Analysing the question
Part of the mark given for your essay depends on how well you answer the question, so take time to read the question carefully, to make your answer as suitable as possible.
- As with Task 1, your first step must be to determine the topic of the question. Start by identifying the keywords in the question. If the question is short, the topic will be easy to find. If the question is in the shape of a long paragraph, try looking towards the end to find the main ideas.
- Determine the task. Now that you know the topic of the essay, you need to know in what way you must discuss it.
- Are you required to present a solution?
- Are you required to present an opinion?
- Are you required to evaluate (or compare) opposing opinions? (this question will often be in the form of To what extent…)
Once you have determined the task, you can begin to plan your answer.
- Use ideas in the whole question to assist you. Although a long question can be difficult when determining the topic and task, it can be useful when planning the structure of your essay. It will usually contain examples and ideas that you can discuss in your essay, although you will also need to provide more examples and ideas of your own.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In the modern world, the image (photograph or film) is becoming a more powerful way of communicating than the written word.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
In today’s world, images in the form of photographs, films and pictures are used everywhere as a means of communicating with the public. I certainty agree that such images have become a very powerful means of communication and they are used in many different sectors to influence, inform and entertain the public.
The media, for example, use images to give detailed information and immediate impact to their news coverage. Similarly, advertising industries constantly use images to influence, persuade and make people identify with what they see. The powerful attraction of images is also evident in the entertainment industry and even in the growth in mobile phones that can send photos as part of a regular personal ‘conversation’.
However, while it is evident that the image has certainly become a very powerful way of communicating, that it not to say that it has become more powerful than either the written or spoken word. Images can be interpreted in a range of different ways, and because of this they are rarely used alone. Captions, headlines and written explanations or spoken commentaries almost always accompany the use of images, whether they are used in advertising or the media. Used alone, the message of a picture can be notoriously misleading, and is less effective as a result.
In conclusion, therefore, I only partly agree with the statement. While it is true that images can send very powerful messages, they are only really effective as a means of communication when used together with either the written or spoken word.