IELTS Model Essays: Competition v Cooperation (IELTS 19)

In this lesson you are going to see 5 different essays written in response to the following task:

Some people think that competition at work, at school and in daily life is a good thing. Others believe that we should try to cooperate more, rather than competing against each other. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Cambridge IELTS 19 Academic Test 1

Each essay responds to the same task in different ways. Each essay is accompanied by an essay plan and vocabulary list.

Essay 1

Here is the 1st essay. This essay discusses both sides of the debate, before arguing that cooperation is more beneficial over the long-term.

Essay 1 Plan

Introduction

  • Introduce the topic of competition vs. cooperation.
  • Mention the debate on which is more beneficial.
  • State the aim of the essay: discuss both views and provide my opinion.

Body Paragraph 1: Competition

  • Point: Competition drives individuals to excel.
  • Example: Workplace productivity and innovation.
  • Example: Academic motivation and critical thinking skills.
  • Explanation: Competition pushes individuals to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Body Paragraph 2: Cooperation

  • Point: Cooperation fosters teamwork and collective effort.
  • Example: Workplace problem-solving and diverse perspectives.
  • Example: Cooperative learning in schools.
  • Explanation: Cooperation enhances academic performance and social skills.

Body Paragraph 3: My Opinion

  • Point: Cooperation is more beneficial in the long run.
  • Example: Team-oriented workplaces and job satisfaction.
  • Example: Cooperative learning preparing students for real-world scenarios.
  • Explanation: Cooperation promotes community and belonging.

Conclusion

  • Summarize the benefits of both competition and cooperation.
  • Reiterate the preference for cooperation.
  • Final thought: Encouraging collaboration over competition leads to sustainable success.

Essay 1

[Introduction]

In today’s competitive world, the debate over whether competition or cooperation is more beneficial in work, school, and daily life is highly relevant. Some argue that competition drives individuals to excel, while others believe that cooperation fosters a more supportive and productive environment. This essay will explore both viewpoints and provide my perspective.

[Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition]

Advocates of competition argue that it pushes individuals to reach their full potential. For instance, in the workplace, competition can lead to higher productivity and innovation as employees strive to outperform their peers. Similarly, in schools, students may be motivated to achieve higher grades and develop critical thinking skills to stay ahead of their classmates. The pressure to succeed can drive individuals to acquire new skills and knowledge, ultimately benefiting society as a whole.

[Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Cooperation]

On the other hand, proponents of cooperation emphasize the importance of teamwork and collective effort. In work settings, collaboration can lead to more effective problem-solving and the sharing of diverse perspectives, resulting in better decision-making. In educational environments, cooperative learning encourages students to work together, promoting mutual understanding and support. This approach not only enhances academic performance but also helps students develop social and emotional skills, such as empathy and communication.

[Body Paragraph 3: My Opinion]

In my opinion, while competition can spur individual achievement, cooperation is ultimately more beneficial in the long run. Cooperation fosters a sense of community and belonging, which is essential for personal and professional growth. For example, in a team-oriented workplace, employees are more likely to feel valued and supported, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates. Additionally, cooperative learning in schools prepares students for the collaborative nature of modern work environments, where teamwork is often crucial to success.

[Conclusion]

In conclusion, both competition and cooperation have their merits. However, I believe that fostering a cooperative spirit is more advantageous as it promotes a supportive and inclusive environment, which is essential for sustainable growth and development. Encouraging collaboration over competition can lead to more meaningful and lasting achievements.

Vocabulary List

  • Competitive world – phrase referring to a society where individuals or groups compete.
  • Drive individuals to excel – idiom meaning to motivate people to achieve high standards.
  • Workplace productivity – noun phrase referring to the efficiency of employees at work.
  • Critical thinking skills – noun phrase denoting the ability to analyze and evaluate an issue.
  • Collective effort – phrase meaning a combined effort by a group.
  • Mutual understanding – noun phrase meaning shared comprehension among people.
  • Supportive and inclusive environment – complex noun phrase referring to a setting that encourages and includes everyone.
  • Personal and professional growth – noun phrase denoting development in personal and career aspects.
  • Team-oriented workplace – adjective-noun phrase describing a work environment focused on teamwork.
  • Sustainable growth – noun phrase meaning growth that can be maintained over time.

Essay 2

Here is the 2nd essay. This essay takes the view that while both competition and cooperation are beneficial, cooperation should be prioritised.

Essay 2 Plan

Introduction

  • Introduce the topic of competition vs. cooperation.
  • Acknowledge the ongoing debate.
  • State the aim of the essay: examine both perspectives and provide my opinion.

Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition

  • Point: Competition drives excellence and personal achievement.
  • Example: Workplace productivity and performance incentives.
  • Example: Academic motivation and resilience in sports competitions.
  • Explanation: Competition leads to critical life skills.

Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Cooperation

  • Point: Cooperation creates a harmonious and productive atmosphere.
  • Example: Workplace creativity and problem-solving.
  • Example: Cooperative learning and social skill development.
  • Explanation: Cooperation promotes a supportive environment.

Body Paragraph 3: My Opinion

  • Point: Cooperation is more beneficial for long-term success.
  • Example: Teamwork and employee satisfaction in companies.
  • Example: Cooperative learning preparing students for future challenges.
  • Explanation: Cooperation is essential in an interconnected world.

Conclusion

  • Summarize the advantages of both competition and cooperation.
  • Reiterate the preference for cooperation.
  • Final thought: Prioritizing cooperation fosters a supportive society.

Essay 2

[Introduction]

The ongoing debate about whether competition or cooperation is more beneficial in various aspects of life, such as work, school, and daily activities, continues to spark interest. Some believe that competition is essential for personal and societal advancement, while others advocate for the benefits of cooperation. This essay will examine both perspectives and provide my opinion.

[Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition]

Advocates of competition assert that it drives individuals to strive for excellence. In professional settings, competition can lead to increased productivity and innovation as employees aim to outperform their colleagues. Similarly, in educational contexts, competitive environments can motivate students to achieve higher academic standards and develop resilience. For instance, sports competitions teach students the value of hard work, perseverance, and discipline, which are crucial life skills.

[Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Cooperation]

Conversely, those who favour cooperation argue that it cultivates a more harmonious and productive atmosphere. In the workplace, collaboration can enhance creativity and problem-solving by bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise. In schools, cooperative learning strategies, such as group projects and peer tutoring, help students develop interpersonal skills and foster a sense of community. Cooperation encourages individuals to work together towards common goals, promoting a supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

[Body Paragraph 3: My Opinion]

I believe that while competition has its place, cooperation is ultimately more beneficial for long-term success. In today’s interconnected world, the ability to work effectively with others is essential. For example, companies that emphasize teamwork and collaboration often experience higher levels of employee satisfaction and lower turnover rates. Similarly, students who engage in cooperative learning activities are better prepared for real-world challenges, as they learn to communicate, negotiate, and compromise.

[Conclusion]

In conclusion, both competition and cooperation offer unique advantages. However, I contend that cooperation should be prioritized, as it fosters a supportive and inclusive environment that is conducive to sustainable success. By promoting collaboration over competition, we can create a society where individuals work together to achieve shared goals, leading to greater overall prosperity.

Vocabulary List

  • Ongoing debate – noun phrase referring to a continuous discussion.
  • Drives individuals to strive for excellence – idiom meaning motivates people to aim for the best.
  • Resilience in sports competitions – noun phrase referring to the ability to recover from setbacks in sports.
  • Enhanced creativity and problem-solving – noun phrase describing improved ability to create and solve issues.
  • Collective goals – noun phrase meaning shared objectives.
  • Interconnected world – adjective-noun phrase describing a world where everyone is connected.
  • Shared knowledge and resources – noun phrase referring to information and materials that are used collectively.
  • Employee satisfaction – noun phrase denoting the contentment of workers.
  • Real-world challenges – adjective-noun phrase referring to practical problems faced in life.
  • Overall prosperity – noun phrase meaning general well-being and success.

Essay 3

Here is the 3rd essay, written in response to the same task. It takes a similar view to Essay 2, arguing that while competition can have short-term benefits, cooperation has long-term benefits.

Essay Plan

Introduction

  • Introduce the topic of competition vs. cooperation.
  • Mention the relevance of the debate.
  • State the aim of the essay: discuss both viewpoints and provide my perspective.

Body Paragraph 1: Arguments for Competition

  • Point: Competition is a powerful motivator.
  • Example: Workplace performance and incentives.
  • Example: Academic achievement and scholarship motivation.
  • Explanation: Competition drives individuals to excel.

Body Paragraph 2: Arguments for Cooperation

  • Point: Cooperation fosters teamwork and mutual support.
  • Example: Workplace innovation through collaboration.
  • Example: Cooperative learning in schools.
  • Explanation: Cooperation enhances social skills and inclusivity.

Body Paragraph 3: My Perspective

  • Point: Cooperation offers long-term benefits.
  • Example: Shared knowledge and resources in the workplace.
  • Example: Cooperative learning preparing students for teamwork.
  • Explanation: Cooperation promotes collective growth.

Conclusion

  • Summarize the benefits of both competition and cooperation.
  • Reiterate the preference for cooperation.
  • Final thought: Encouraging cooperation leads to sustainable success.

Essay

[Introduction]

The question of whether competition or cooperation is more beneficial in work, school, and daily life is a subject of much debate. Some argue that competition drives progress and individual excellence, while others believe that cooperation fosters a more supportive and effective environment. This essay will discuss both viewpoints and provide my own perspective.

[Body Paragraph 1: Arguments for Competition]

Proponents of competition argue that it is a powerful motivator. In the workplace, competitive environments can lead to higher levels of performance as employees strive to achieve better results than their peers. For instance, sales teams often perform better when there are incentives for top performers. Similarly, in academic settings, students who compete for the highest grades are likely to put in more effort and achieve higher academic standards.

[Body Paragraph 2: Arguments for Cooperation]

On the other hand, advocates for cooperation highlight its importance in fostering teamwork and mutual support. In professional settings, collaborative efforts can lead to innovative solutions and improved outcomes. For example, tech companies that encourage teamwork often develop more creative and effective products. In schools, cooperative learning helps students build essential social skills, such as communication and empathy, and can lead to a more inclusive and supportive educational environment.

[Body Paragraph 3: My Opinion]

From my perspective, while competition can lead to short-term gains, cooperation is more beneficial for long-term success. Cooperative environments promote a sense of community and shared purpose. For instance, in a cooperative workplace, employees are more likely to share knowledge and resources, leading to collective growth and development. In educational settings, cooperative learning not only enhances academic performance but also prepares students for real-world scenarios where teamwork is essential.

[Conclusion]

In conclusion, both competition and cooperation have their advantages. However, I believe that cooperation should be emphasized as it fosters a supportive and inclusive environment, essential for sustainable growth and success. By promoting cooperative practices, we can create a more harmonious and productive society.

Vocabulary List

  • Relevant debate – adjective-noun phrase referring to a discussion that is applicable to the current context.
  • Powerful motivator – noun phrase meaning a strong incentive or drive.
  • Performance-based incentives – noun phrase referring to rewards based on achievements.
  • Scholarship motivation – noun phrase meaning the drive to earn academic scholarships.
  • Teamwork and mutual support – noun phrase denoting collaboration and helping each other.
  • Innovative solutions – noun phrase referring to creative and effective answers to problems.
  • Enhances social skills – verb phrase meaning improves the ability to interact with others.
  • Collective growth – noun phrase meaning development as a group.
  • Sustainable success – noun phrase referring to long-term achievement.
  • Encouraging cooperation – verb-noun phrase meaning promoting teamwork.

Essay 4

Essay 4 Plan

Introduction

  • Introduce the debate on competition vs. cooperation.
  • State the aim: discuss both views and argue for the benefits of competition.
  • Brief overview of the main points.

Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition

  • Point: Competition drives innovation and progress.
  • Example: Tech industry advancements driven by rivalry (Apple vs. Samsung).
  • Explanation: Competitive environments encourage continuous improvement and creativity.

Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Cooperation

  • Point: Cooperation fosters teamwork and collective success.
  • Example: Group projects in academic settings.
  • Explanation: Cooperation helps develop communication and collaboration skills.

Body Paragraph 3: Opinion in Favor of Competition

  • Point: Competition prepares individuals for real-world challenges.
  • Example: Sports competition teaching resilience and discipline.
  • Explanation: Competitive experiences build crucial life skills.

Conclusion

  • Summarize the benefits of both competition and cooperation.
  • Reiterate the stance that competition is more beneficial.
  • Final thought: Emphasizing competition leads to personal and societal growth.

Essay 4

[Introduction]

The debate over whether competition or cooperation is more advantageous in work, school, and daily life is ongoing. Some argue that competition drives progress and excellence, while others believe that cooperation fosters teamwork and mutual support. This essay will discuss both perspectives, ultimately arguing that competition offers greater benefits.

[Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition]

Competition is a powerful driver of innovation and progress. In the tech industry, for instance, the rivalry between companies like Apple and Samsung has led to significant technological advancements. Each company strives to outdo the other by introducing new features and improvements, benefiting consumers with cutting-edge products. Such competitive environments foster continuous improvement and creativity, pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

[Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Cooperation]

On the other hand, cooperation is essential for fostering teamwork and collective success. In academic settings, group projects encourage students to work together, share ideas, and solve problems collaboratively. This helps them develop vital communication and collaboration skills, which are crucial for success in the modern workplace. Cooperation ensures that everyone’s strengths are utilized, leading to well-rounded and effective solutions.

[Body Paragraph 3: Opinion in Favor of Competition]

Despite the advantages of cooperation, I believe that competition is more beneficial as it prepares individuals for real-world challenges. Sports competitions, for example, teach participants resilience, discipline, and the importance of hard work. These experiences build crucial life skills that are applicable in various aspects of life. Furthermore, competition motivates individuals to strive for excellence and achieve their personal best, leading to personal and societal growth.

[Conclusion]

In conclusion, both competition and cooperation have their merits. However, competition is more beneficial as it drives innovation, prepares individuals for challenges, and promotes personal and societal growth. By emphasizing competition, we can foster an environment where individuals are motivated to excel and continuously improve.

Vocabulary List

  • Innovation
  • Progress
  • Competitive environments
  • Continuous improvement
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Collective success
  • Communication skills
  • Collaboration
  • Real-world challenges
  • Resilience
  • Discipline
  • Personal growth
  • Societal growth
  • Technological advancements
  • Incentives
  • Rivalry
  • Academic settings
  • Market dynamics
  • Efficiency
  • Problem-solving
  • Product development
  • Strategic planning
  • Skill development
  • Motivation
  • Excellence
  • Productivity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economic growth
  • Benchmarking

Essay 5

Essay 5 Plan

Introduction

  • Introduce the competition vs. cooperation debate.
  • State the aim: discuss both views and argue for the benefits of competition.
  • Brief overview of the main points.

Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition

  • Point: Competition enhances personal performance and achievement.
  • Example: Performance-based incentives in workplaces.
  • Explanation: Competition motivates individuals to reach their highest potential.

Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Cooperation

  • Point: Cooperation builds strong, supportive communities.
  • Example: Collaborative community projects.
  • Explanation: Working together helps solve local issues and fosters a sense of belonging.

Body Paragraph 3: Opinion in Favor of Competition

  • Point: Competition drives economic growth and innovation.
  • Example: Competitive markets leading to better products and services.
  • Explanation: Competition encourages efficiency and higher standards.

Conclusion

  • Summarize the benefits of both competition and cooperation.
  • Reiterate the stance that competition is more beneficial.
  • Final thought: Prioritizing competition fosters excellence and societal advancement.

Essay 5

[Introduction]

The debate between the benefits of competition and cooperation in work, school, and daily life is an important one. While cooperation promotes teamwork and collective success, competition can enhance personal performance and achievement. This essay will discuss both views, ultimately arguing that competition is more beneficial.

[Body Paragraph 1: Benefits of Competition]

Competition significantly enhances personal performance and achievement. In workplaces, performance-based incentives drive employees to excel and reach their highest potential. For instance, sales teams often compete to achieve the best results, leading to increased productivity and higher sales figures. This competitive spirit motivates individuals to set ambitious goals and strive for excellence, ultimately leading to personal growth and success.

[Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Cooperation]

Conversely, cooperation is crucial for building strong, supportive communities. Collaborative projects, whether in schools or local communities, encourage people to work together towards common goals. For example, community clean-up initiatives bring residents together to improve their environment, fostering a sense of belonging and shared responsibility. Cooperation helps solve local issues effectively and creates a supportive network where individuals can rely on each other.

[Body Paragraph 3: Opinion in Favor of Competition]

Despite the advantages of cooperation, competition drives economic growth and innovation. In competitive markets, companies are constantly striving to offer better products and services to gain a competitive edge. This leads to higher standards, efficiency, and continuous improvement. For instance, the fierce competition in the automotive industry has resulted in safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly vehicles. Competition encourages businesses to innovate and optimize resources, driving economic prosperity and societal advancement.

[Conclusion]

In conclusion, while cooperation builds supportive communities and addresses local issues, competition is more beneficial as it enhances personal performance, drives economic growth, and fosters innovation. By prioritizing competition, we can create an environment where individuals and businesses are motivated to excel and continuously improve, leading to societal advancement and excellence.

Vocabulary List

  1. Personal performance
  2. Achievement
  3. Performance-based incentives
  4. Highest potential
  5. Supportive communities
  6. Collaborative projects
  7. Sense of belonging
  8. Economic growth
  9. Innovation
  10. Competitive markets
  11. Efficiency
  12. Higher standards
  13. Motivation
  14. Excellence
  15. Societal advancement
  16. Productivity
  17. Benchmarking
  18. Goal setting
  19. Entrepreneurial spirit
  20. Competitive edge
  21. Market leadership
  22. Talent development
  23. Strategic initiatives
  24. Resource optimization
  25. Competitive advantage
  26. Performance metrics
  27. Organizational success
  28. Market dynamics
  29. Consumer satisfaction
  30. Quality improvement

Practice Exercises 1

Try to complete the essays as above. Drag and drop the missing words/phrases into the correct spaces. (The exercise work best on desktop, not mobile).

Essay 1

Essay 2

Essay 3

Practice Exercise 2

The paragraphs in the following essay are in the wrong order. Try to put the paragraphs into the correct order.

Essay 4

Practice Exercise 3: Hard!

The sentences in the following essay are in the wrong order. Try to put the sentences into the correct order. This is quite difficult, so good luck!

Essay 5

About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.