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academic writer: organization: main body: advantages and disadvantages

Advantages and disadvantages
Text can be structured in terms of advantages and disadvantages especially if you are writing a practical report such as a recommendation report. This approach is less suitable for the kind of open ended, exploratory writing which is found in many academic essays.
EXAMPLE The following example is concerned with the advantages and disadvantages of technology. Note that the actual words ‘advantage’is not used. (Second language user students tend to overuse advantage/disadvantage in their writing compared to first language users.) The word 'but' clearly marks the border between the end of the 'advantages' and the beginning of the 'disadvantages'.

Technology in Everyday Life
The work of engineers touches almost everyone every day through food production, housing, transportation, communications, military security, energy supply, water supply, waste disposal, environmental management, health care, even education and entertainment. Technology is more than hardware and silicon chips.
In propelling change and altering our belief systems and culture, technology has joined religion, tradition, and family in the scope of its influence. Its enhancements of human muscle and human mind are self-evident. But technology is also a social amplifier. It stretches the range, volume, and speed of communications. It inflates appetites for consumer goods and creature comforts. It tends to concentrate wealth and power, and to increase the disparity of rich and poor. In the competition for scarce resources, it breeds conflicts.
In social-psychological terms, it alters our perceptions of space. Events anywhere on the globe now have immediate repercussions everywhere, with a portfolio of tragedies that ignite feelings of helplessness. Technology has also skewed our perception of time, nourishing a desire for speed and instant gratification and ignoring long-term impacts.

Academic Writer 2000