Improving Sentences: E-books and paper books

Improve your academic writing skills for IELTS writing task 2.

In recent years, more and more people are choosing to read e-books rather than paper books.

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

The statements below are taken from a student’s essay and contain some mistakes. Can you re-write these sentences so that they are not only correct but also higher band score?

  1. In my point of view, reading digital books have more advantages compared with printed books.
  2. First and foremost, E-book is been accessed, nowadays, easily by the people in a fraction of seconds through the advanced modern communication technologies.
  3. Secondly, buying an electronic version books are easier than the printed paper books.
  4. On the other hand, People health will affect when they spend more time to read books by using the modern gadgets such as laptop, mobile phones and tablets.
  5. In conclusion, in my view, electronic version books bring more pleasure and easily to access.

Try writing the sentences for yourself before you check the answers.Answers

  1. In my opinion, reading digital books has more advantages compared to printed books. (“reading digital books” is the subject and it is actually singular so the verb must be “has” not “have”)
  2. First and foremost, e-books can be easily accessed by people in only a fraction of a second through the use of advanced modern technology. ( The phrase “a fraction of a second” can’t be plural and must be written as it is. It’s a nice phrase to use and can be used for academic writing – just make sure you write it correctly)
  3. Secondly, buying electronic books online is easier for the consumer than purchasing printed paper books.
  4. On the other hand, spending too much time reading e-books on bright screens from gadgets such as laptops or tablets, can have an adverse effect on people’s health.
  5. In conclusion, I think that e-books are more accessible to both read and buy for the consumer than conventional paper books.

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  1. hi liz,
    should i write the advantages or disadvantages ?
    thank you .

  2. Christina says:

    Hello,Liz! This is my first time to take ielts..could you please have a look at my essay and give me your feedback 🙂

    Nowadays, a majority of people choose to rely on electronic gadgets to read rather than traditional books.Despite of the daggers drawn as a results of e-books, it has numerous merits.

    First of all, it is preferable to choose e-books as they are convenient and extremely portable. For instance,instead of packing a bunch of books to keep your self entertained while you are on a holiday, you can carry a pocket-size device where you can store multiple books of different genres.Apart from its convenience, it is possible to magnify and adjust the font and size of the words according to the reader’s preference and therefore, it makes it enjoyable to read.This is also a blessing to people who has eye-related problems. Moreover, probably many people spend most of their money on buying new books. It is affordable to buy a laptop or an ipad instead of wasting your money on printed counterparts.

    However, on the other hand, it is perceived that e-books possess numerous negative impacts. People tend to spend innumerable hours glued to the device to read a story. This possibly has myriads detrimental health hazards. For example, radiations can destroy your nerve cells,not only this but excessive use of electronic devices damages your eyes as well.

    In conclusion, too much of anything ruins it. E-books receives many tremendous benefits to people.So, to avoid missing any of them and protect yourself from their harms, it is advisable to limit the number of reading hours.

  3. maria cavaco says:

    Thank you so much, it really helped and I will keep practicing until I get it better. Thank you again for your help and for all your dedication.

  4. Hi Liz.

    Thank you veru much for your comments.

    I didn’t know that I shouldn’t tell the reader my plan in the essay. I read some where that I was supposed to do that but now that you say it makes sense 🙂

    I’m going to kepp practicing my writing and continue reading your posts.

    Once again, thanks!

    All the best.


    • Hi,

      The introduction is to introduce the essay question and to introduce your answer – the main points. The actual aims of the essay are already known to the examiner. Keep checking my model essays to see how it’s all done. I’m glad you understood 🙂

  5. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for the advice. I will work on that. I am working towards getting a 9 🙂 .

  6. This is our humble request to you to provide us a list of academic words.

    • Hi,

      It’s not really possible to do that. It would be endless. It’s not just about being academic but using words appropriately in the right context. This is all part of learning a language. Most students think that learning vocabulary is about learning meaning. But that is only the first step. You learn meaning first, then synonyms, then the difference between the synonyms, then when and how to use the words etc. All I can suggest is to review the vocabulary you commonly use and make sure you actually know when it use it, how to use and what the difference is between the synonyms you want to use. This can all be found using free online dictionaries.
      All the best

  7. Thank you very much!
    Please suggest me how i can develop academic vocabulary?
    What would the band of the essay be?

    • Hi,

      Can you check my previous comments. This is still borderline 6.5 /7. When you write an essay, review the vocabulary to learn and develop accuracy. With your current level of organisation and you ability to answer the task, you only need more accuracy with vocabulary to hit 7.
      All the best

  8. Thank you Liz, I will practice more, you are right I need to improve my vocab .

  9. Hi Liz this is a lovely essay. I have a question could you please identify the different topics in the writing task two? Please, explain a little bit more deeply about “do the advantage outweigh of disadvantage”? I mean how we could answer for that.

    Best Regards

  10. Hi Liz,
    From the first sentence if I remove the comma (,) the system suggests that it is correct sentence with ‘have’.

    Example : “In my opinion reading the digital books have more advantages compare to printed books”

    Can you please explain, why ‘have’ is correct in this situation?

    • Hi Liz,
      Thank you for the quick response. I think I wasn’t able to explain the question clearly.

      My question is….Remove the Comma (i.e. ‘,’) from the sentence. Now if you remove the ‘Comma’ (,) the sentence becomes like “In my opinion reading digital books has more advantages compared to printed printed books.” When I checked above sentence in ‘word doc’ it displays an error and to correct the sentence the ‘has’ should be replaced with ‘have’. whereas when try to check it online I found that after removing the comma, the sentence is correct either with ‘has’ or ‘have’.
      So I got confused and my question is: Is the below sentence correct if write it with ‘have’ and without ‘comma’ e.g. “In my opinion reading digital books have more advantages compare to printed books.” ?
      Once again thank you so much, for your time and response.

  11. Diyorbek Hayitmurodov says:

    Hi Liz, thank you for the lesson. Indeed reading habits of people have changed dramatically in the last decade. I wonder if you could have lessons dedicated to the advanced vocabulary for the topics like plants, flowers, birds… Thank you in advance !

    • Hi,

      It’s certainly possible for me to put more advanced vocabulary up. However, the key to reading is not understanding 100% of the vocabulary in the passage but knowing how to deal with words you don’t know. Even for native speakers there may be words that we are not familiar with due to the subject but knowing how to cope is the key.

      But I will put up more academic vocabulary on unusual topics if you want.
      All the best

  12. Can we use the word I,We in writing task 2 ? Is there any penalty if we use these words. …

    • Hi,

      You can use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay to give your opinion. Otherwise, you should refer to people in the third person plural “they” and “their”. On the whole, you should avoid using “we” or “you”.
      All the best

  13. Hello dear Liz,
    Could you please clarify one thing regarding the above essay topic you posted with the students response. The question asks, do the advanteges outweigh the disadvantages, and does not actually asks what are the advantages and disadvantages and do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, does this mean we have to answer this question with whatever in our opinion is the situation ,for example I think advantages of e books outweigh the disadvantages, and then explain only that reasons in body paragraphs or do we have to describe advantages and disadvantages both and conclude what we think?

    • Hi,

      This essay asks if there are more advantages than disadvantages. If you think there are more advantages than disadvantages, you should put your opinion in the introduction, you should explain what the advantages and disadvantages are (of course you will stronger advantages than disadvantages because that’s your opinion) and then you conclude your opinion. I wouldn’t recommend ignoring the disadvantages completely in your essay.
      All the best

      • Liz,

        Do you mean that we have to deal with such tasks as similarly as the “Discuss” essays? I mean I have to discuss both of benefits and drawbacks in the essay’s body,… However, if I do so, then I’ll contradict myself if I say that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or vice versa. I think it’s Ok to write about both sides if I say that something has advantages as equally as its disadvantages,…

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