Band 9 Essays – Consumerism

Nowadays people buy a lot of unnecessary manufactured products. Is this a positive or negative development? What is the effect of this on the individual and on society?


For a significant number of people in the modern world, the purpose of existence seems to be to make money in order to buy things that will supposedly make their lives better. While some manufactured goods certainly make life easier, unchecked consumerism has many negative effects on the lives of individuals and the health of society.

It is undeniable that some products have made human life dramatically better. The fact that clothes can now be washed and dried at the press of a button rather than being a hard physical process that took many hours is a good example of this.

However, the problem with many products is that they can make life more complicated. People are always checking their smartphones or looking for the next thing that they can buy to make them happy. For example, someone might upgrade to the next version of a smartphone even though there old one is still perfectly okay. After a few days they barely even notice that they have something new and exciting.

Therefore, it is clear that manufactured items can have a negative effect on individuals. Instead of people finding satisfaction in creating things or helping others, they merely get brief pleasure from buying something then buying something else over and over again, like a drug addict, without noticing all the amazing things in the world around them.

Moreover, rampant consumerism has harmful effects on society. The production of goods often has extremely negative environmental effects as many high-tech products require the mining of precious minerals or the use of toxic chemicals that are often dumped into waterways at the end of the manufacturing process.

Overall, the ability to buy mass-produced goods has made many aspects of our lives more convenient. Nevertheless, everyone must pay attention to the consequences of buying things that are not really necessary and may be dangerous. (294 words)


  1. This essay has four parts (i) positive developments (ii) negative developments (iii) effects on people (iv) effects on society. Make sure you write about each part. You only need ONE idea for each paragraph. In this example, the ideas for each paragraph are (i) make life easier (ii) make life more complicated (iii) can’t buy happiness (iv) environmental damage
  2. Always try to include some synonyms. In this example, “products” has been changed to “goods” and “many” has been changed to “a significant number”.
  3. Try to include some topic-specific vocabulary. Correctly using words like “consumerism” will boost your overall score.
  4. Try to include general advanced vocabulary. In this example, words like “unchecked” and “rampant” and terms like “precious minerals” and “toxic chemicals” will make your writing more academic-sounding and boost your score.
  5. Try to include some SPECIFIC examples to make your ideas clearer and deeper. In this example, the washing machine is used to show the benefits of manufactured products, while smartphones have been used to show some of the negative effects.
  6. The conclusion can just be two sentences that summarize the good and bad points of the topic.


Feel free to post any comments or questions. For more information, idioms, and useful vocabulary like and follow


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