Tips on Writing an Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

During their academic career, students have to write many kinds of essays, and students who have English as their second language are no exception. Teachers like to assign some sorts of essays because they believe that it allows students to practice and sharpen their writing skills, as well as their critical thinking. Essays also allow teachers to evaluate students’ knowledge. One of the essay types that are equally useful for both native English speakers and ESL students are advantages and disadvantages essays. Learn more about these essays with Writers House.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Before you start to write an advantages and disadvantages essay, make sure that you perfectly understand the definitions of these terms. Native English speakers don’t have problems with these terms, however, those who study in primary school may need an explanation. The easiest way to explain these terms is to provide examples. For instance, the advantage of doing homework is that you can learn something new or train your skills. The disadvantage is that you cannot spend this time with your friends and have fun. You can also find your own examples of advantages and disadvantages.

Most often, college students are already familiar with this type of essays, and their assignments are more complicated. College-level essays require students to do some research and plan the structure to make their papers comprehensive and informative. English learners may also be asked to consider examples appropriate for their level. For instance, they may need to explain the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad. Essays of this kind may also be called “pros and cons essays.”

Consider Examples from Your Life

The best way to prepare for writing is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the things you’ve experienced in your life. For example, write about tough decisions you’ve made or a discussion with your parents where they’ve been trying to make you change your mind. No matter what it was, the chances are that you may have everything you need to write an advantages and disadvantages essay without even knowing that. Practicing will help you prepare for such assignments and may even inspire you to find a topic you can relate to.

Choose a Topic

If you cannot come up with a nice topic related to your personal experiences, you may look for a topic on the internet or in the library. There are many sources where you can find examples of advantages and disadvantages topics. You can even talk to your friends or relatives and ask them for ideas. Choosing the right topic is especially important because the better the topic, the more interesting the essay. We also recommend that you look for a topic that will be easy for you to write about.

However, sometimes, you cannot choose a topic. For example, advantages and disadvantages prompts are quite common in English exams. Being given a topic also has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you don’t need to brainstorm on a topic yourself. On the other hand, the topic might be unfamiliar or too difficult for you.

Examples of Topics

Unless you have a prompt with a topic, you need to choose your own topic, especially if it’s just a regular assignment. We hope that these examples of topics will help you get started or give you some inspiration so that you can understand what you should write about.

  • Advantages and disadvantages of buying a house instead of renting it.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using technology in education.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of working remotely.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of having a car.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of imported products.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of e-books.


Once you’ve chosen a topic for your essay, it’s time to figure out what the essay itself will look like. We recommend that you grab a sheet of paper and fold it vertically or separate it into two columns. Brainstorm on your topic and write down a list of advantages and disadvantages. After this, select the best ideas and add some details that will support your argument.

Pick a Side

Although you should try to provide an unbiased review of advantages and disadvantages, there’s nothing wrong with leaning toward a certain point. It will help you to provide an interesting perspective and to engage your readers. However, your teacher may also ask you to avoid expressing any personal opinions. Thus, we recommend that you always check out the requirements before planning your essay.

How to Write an Essay

Before writing your first draft, create an outline. Depending on the type of your essay and your level of study, the structure of your outline may vary. For example, young students might write two body paragraphs, while college students may write three or more paragraphs. A three-paragraph body is a widely accepted standard.

When writing the outline, create headlines and plan what you will write under each one of them. When you start writing the essay itself, use your outline as a guide, transferring all the key points from your outline to your paper. Don’t forget to include transitions to ensure the logical flow of thoughts.

Why Such Essays Are Important

Knowing how to write advantages and disadvantages essays is useful for everyone who wants to improve his or her English skills. We need to consider the pros and cons of different situations every day so writing such essays will also help you make decisions. Obviously, these essays also allow you to train your writing skills so practicing will certainly help you with your future assignments.

The IELTS Exam

Those who study English as an international language often have to take the IELTS exam. This exam is necessary for people from non-English speaking countries who want to land a job in an English-speaking country. Those who want to get into a college or university in English-speaking countries may also have to take the same test.

Synonyms of “Advantages and Disadvantages”

When writing an advantages and disadvantages essay, you may use these words too often. We recommend that you avoid unnecessary repetition and replace the words “advantages and disadvantages” with synonyms. Here are some words you can use instead:

  • pros and cons;
  • good and bad aspects;
  • benefits and drawbacks;
  • one outweighs another.


If you don’t have any problems with writing your essay, you don’t need to worry while waiting for your grade. Your grades are valuable feedback that can help you improve your writing. All the teachers have different criteria for evaluating the students’ work, and your grade also depends on a number of factors. For instance, if you have English as a second language, your teacher will likely pay attention to your vocabulary and grammatical accuracy, as well as transitions between paragraphs. You may also talk to your teacher and ask them what they expect from you.

If you’re a native English speaker, you may also need to write an advantages and disadvantages essay for different reasons. Your essay will be evaluated according to other criteria, compared to ESL students. In this case, teachers will likely pay attention to the way you develop  your points and follow requirements. Don’t forget that advantages and disadvantages essays are often written based on personal experiences. However, you may also need to do some research to support your points.

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