IELTS Model Essay: Sharing Information


Here is another of my IELTS model essays for IELTS Writing Task 2. I’ve also added an activity at the bottom of the page. It’s a discuss both views essay question:

Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business and the academic world. Others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

(Cambridge IELTS Book 12 Test 5)

My Thoughts

This is quite a tricky question, partly because the 2 views are NOT opposites:

  • View 1 is that it’s good to freely share as much information as possible. (It is NOT arguing that ALL information should be freely shared.)
  • View 2 is that some information shouldn’t be freely shared.

My Position: I agree with BOTH views: I think as much information as possible should be shared, but some information shouldn’t be shared.

My Plan

View 1: it’s good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business and academia
– e.g. peer reviews of new research underpin academic progress
– same goes for scientific research – collaboration is often essential

View 2: some information is too important or valuable to be shared freely
– e.g. financial information
– military and intelligence secrets
– intellectual property – people need an incentive to create new technology

My Model Essay

We now live in an age where information is a valuable commodity and can drive progress. However, there is some debate over how much of that information should be shared freely.

There are several arguments in favour of the idea that as much knowledge as possible should be shared, and in fact in some domains it is essential. Academic progress is underpinned by the ability to peer-review new research and theories, and similarly, in scientific research, collaboration between different scientists is often essential in making new breakthroughs. The development of the Internet, for example, was only made possible by openly sharing its architecture so that everyone could use it. There are also arguments in favour of sharing certain types of business information, such as management methods and findings related to employee performance, as these might help to improve a country’s economic competitiveness.

However, there must be limits as to what can be shared. It would be absurd for companies to share their financial accounts openly as this would make it easy for their rivals to compete unfairly, and a lot of personal information should be similarly protected. And while sharing new findings can be useful, it is important to understand that sometimes these are often made at considerable expense in terms of time and money. There would be less incentive to develop intellectual property like new technologies and new drugs if they were instantly shared for everyone to duplicate.

Therefore there needs to be a balance between sharing and protecting information. Some types of information can, and must, be shared freely, but not when it would discourage the creation of that information.

(272 words)


Without looking at the model essay above, try to complete my essay by filling in the blank spaces.

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Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds an MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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