IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Topics
By anna hasper, 08 february 2024 - 12:52.
Lots of people who take IELTS Academic think that, of the two writing tasks in the test, Task 1 is the most challenging. Perhaps this is because it involves a visual image and often numbers, too.
While it’s impossible to predict which topic you’ll be assigned, you can prepare for this task with some concrete steps that will help you develop a good strategy and get the score you need. So, let’s look at what you can expect in IELTS Writing Task 1, and provide you with a structure for completing this task successfully.
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IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 topics and answers
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is an information transfer task. The test paper shows you an image (a graph, table, chart or diagram) with certain information, and you will need to present this information in at least 150 words.
So, how can you get a good score in this task? Let’s take a step-by-step approach to Writing Task 1 preparation:
1. Learn the requirements of Writing Task 1
Before taking the test, it is important to fully understand what the task expects you to do:
“Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.”
Let’s break it down:
- Summarise. So, avoid writing about every detail. You are writing a summary report.
- Select the main features of the image. Choose three to five aspects of the image and write about these with some detail.
- Report, i.e. write about what is visible in the image. Do not give your opinion - stick to the facts!
- Make comparisons where relevant: look for similarities and differences in the image if appropriate.
2. Read about common topics
In this task, you might see images that present information about current topics such as education, the environment, technology use, health, tourism, infrastructure, economic developments - there are lots of potential topics.
So, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with current affairs and read quality newspapers in English to help expand your vocabulary around these topics. That way, you’ll be prepared for IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic topics.
3. Research the language you’ll need in your answer
Common images you might see in the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 are:
- Line graphs
- Bar charts/ graphs
- Or a combination of the above
It's important to research the language you’ll need to talk about these types of images. Check if the images show information about the past, present or future.
For pie charts, line graphs, bar charts or graphs, and tables, you’ll probably use language of comparisons and superlatives. For example: The amount of renewable energy accounted for quite similar proportions for both countries. However, in New Zealand most renewables consisted of wind energy.
For processes, it might be appropriate to use the passive, and the language of sequencing. For example: Once the coffee beans have been dried, they are roasted in industrial roasters. Finally, after they’ve been roasted, they are ground into a fine powder.
For maps and plans, you’ll need to use language of location and directionality, for example: A new school building, which will be double the size of the current one, will be built to the north of the student parking area.
Learning the language you need will help to prepare you to write detailed answers about the IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic topics.
How to answer IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
Your examiner will be looking for three key elements in your report:
- An introduction
- An overview
- One or two body paragraphs with details about the image
Let’s look more closely at what you should include in each section of your answer to IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic topics.
1. The Introduction
The introduction answers one or more of the following three questions:
Keeping these questions in mind, write a brief introduction on the subject of the images. Now, there might not always be a where or a when, but there always is a what!
2. The overview
Here it is useful to group the common images mentioned above into two main categories:
- Images that are data-related , such as pie charts, line graphs, bar charts/ graphs and tables. In other words: images with numbers.
- Images that show processes of change : such as processes, maps and plans.
You’ll need to adopt a different approach, depending which category your image belongs to. Let’s take a look:
Data-related: The overview presents the big picture; what are the most significant trends or developments? You do not need to present data, such as exact numbers or percentages here. It’s fine to keep it general.
Processes of change:
- Processes: highlight how many steps you can see in the image and try to categorise related steps into three or four main stages. Doing this shows that you can see the relationships between the different steps.
- Maps and plans: highlight the main changes or developments. Around three to five aspects should be enough.
If you are presented with more than one visual, for example two line graphs, your overview needs to highlight the main trends or changes for both, and make general comparisons.
You can write the overview at the end, as a separate paragraph or connect it to the introduction. Ideally, write the overview directly after the introduction to make sure it is included.
3. Paragraph(s) with details about the image
Write one or two paragraphs in which you present the noticeable features in more detail. Here you need to use the data, e.g. the numbers, to support your description and use comparisons where relevant.
For data-related tasks write details such as the highest, the lowest, the biggest difference, similarities and significant exceptions.
For processes of change provide details about the three to five stages (process) or main changes or developments (maps and plans) you mentioned in your overview.
“Read” the visual(s) and use the changes in location, direction, size etc. as data. Don’t forget to compare and contrast where relevant!
How is Writing Task 1 marked?
Writing task 1 in IELTS Academic is worth around 33% of your total writing score. To give you an appropriate score, the examiner will look at the following four areas according to the descriptors:
1. Task achievement
The examiner looks at your ability to answer the question properly. You need to write in prose, include an introduction and a general overview, as well as talk about the main features using the data from the task.
The examiner assesses your ability to logically group and organise the information. You need to use a range of cohesive devices to make the connection between your sentences and paragraphs clear.
3. Lexical resource
The examiner assesses your ability to use a variety of vocabulary items with precision. You need to show you can use collocations and synonyms appropriately. Correct spelling is also important.
4. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
The examiner looks at your ability to use a variety of sentence structures and different grammar items accurately and appropriately. You need to use appropriate punctuation.
To read more about the updated IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 descriptors check here .
Preparation is key for success
When it comes to Writing Task 1 in IELTS, preparation is the key to success! Prepare yourself thoroughly for IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic topics, and you won’t be taken by surprise in the test. If you approach the task in a systematic way, you’ll get the best score you can. For more insights and IELTS test strategy, sign up for our free weekly IELTS preparation webinars .
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British Council India
Ielts writing task 2 - paragraph writing, by india blog team, 1 april 2021 - 1:26pm.
In the IELTS writing test Task - 2, you are expected to write an essay in about 250 words, in response to a certain point of view, a problem, or an argument. The duration to complete the writing task is 40 minutes.
First, let us understand what an essay is for the purpose of the IELTS writing test Task - 2. An essay is a piece of non-fictional writing that is designed to present an idea, develop an argument, express a point of view, and so on. As you are aware, most pieces of writing require more than one paragraph. Mastering the art of writing paragraphs is essential for success in any form of writing, whether it is an email, a report, a newspaper article, or an IELTS essay. In these longer pieces of writing, each paragraph generally introduces a new idea to develop the central theme . Needless to say, the division into paragraphs aids readability and prevents monotony as it provides a physical break on the page. It is important to remember if you do not have appropriate paragraphing in the essay, you are penalised.
A paragraph is unified by a central, controlling idea or theme . This idea or theme is called the topic of the paragraph and can be expressed at someplace in the paragraph by one (or two sentences), by the topic sentence . You can write the topic sentence as a statement, a problem, or even a question. This topic sentence can be at the beginning of, middle, or end of a paragraph. If one is a proficient writer, there may not be an overt topic sentence at all, it may be implied in the paragraph. However, most topic sentences are found at the beginning of a paragraph.
After you have gathered your thoughts and have started writing your paragraph, see that every sentence contributes to the central idea, which is contained in the topic sentence. Only then your paragraph will have unity. To maintain unity in the paragraph, you need to remember that other than the topic sentence and supporting details (the sentences that support the topic sentence) it should be coherent . In a coherent paragraph, you as a writer must take the reader logically and smoothly from one idea to the next. The reader must clearly recognise that each sentence logically leads to the next.
Another technique in the IELTS writing test Task - 2, that brings about coherence in a paragraph is the use of cohesive devices between sentences or at the beginning of sentences. These words/phrases will help you as a writer to move smoothly from one sentence to the next and show a logical relationship between sentences.
The following list includes words and phrases that function as cohesive devices or linkers:
- To give examples: for example, for instance, as an illustration
- To express sequence: first, second, third, then, next, finally
- To express addition: moreover, furthermore, also, besides, in addition
- To express comparison: similarly, likewise, whereas
- To express contrast: however, nevertheless, on the other hand
To develop the central theme of a paragraph for the IELTS writing test Task - 2, you have to expand the idea contained in the topic sentence. This you can do by adding more information, explanation, examples, etc. Giving examples is one of the simplest ways of developing a topic. When you give examples, you help the reader understand a rather difficult and abstract generalization that may be contained in the topic sentence. You are also able to persuade the reader that the generalization is correct because there are examples to support it. Examples also add to the reader’s interest. Besides using illustration to develop the topic of your paragraph, you may in some cases need to use the technique of cause and effect . You may, for instance, be asked to write about the causes of and the effects or consequences of taking drugs, deforestation, noise pollution, etc.
So far you have seen ways of developing paragraphs that deal only with one topic. Sometimes a topic can be developed by showing how two things are alike or different, i.e.by showing comparison and contrast.
Generally, two items are compared for three basic purposes:
i) To point out distinctions in order to give information about the two things. ii) To clarify the unfamiliar by comparing it with the familiar.
iii)To show the superiority of one thing over another, for example, a comparison between two television sets.
There are two ways of arranging information when comparing or contrasting things. One is to write down all the main points about one of the things to be compared or contrasted in a paragraph and then to use the next paragraph to write about the other thing. The other way is to take each point in turn and to compare the two things in respect of each point.
Finally, any writing can only be impactful if there is a range of vocabulary used with correct grammar. So, be a ‘word collector’ and ‘word seeker’. This can only happen if you read regularly and listen to English programmes. Also write at least a paragraph every day. Remember the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is practice.
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100 IELTS Essay Questions
Below are practice IELTS essay questions and topics for writing task 2. The 100 essay questions have been used many times over the years. The questions are organised under common topics and essay types. IELTS often use the similar topics for their essays but change the wording of the essay question.
In order to prepare well for writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for common topics and then practise applying them to the tasks given (to the essay questions). Also see model essays and tips for writing task 2.
Below you will find:
- Essay Questions By Topic
- Essay Questions by Essay Type
Please also note that my new Grammar E-book is now available in my store along with my Ideas for Essay Topics E-book and Advanced Writing Lessons. To visit store, click here: Liz’s Store
1) Common IELTS Essay Questions
IELTS practice essay questions divided by topic. These topics have been reported by IELTS students in their tests. Essay questions have been recreated as accurately as possible.
- Art (5 essay questions)
- Business & Money (17 essay questions)
- Communication & Personality (20 essay questions)
- Crime & Punishment (12 essay questions)
- Education (17 essay questions)
- Environment (12 essay questions)
- Family & Children (8 essay questions)
- Food & Diet (13 essay questions)
- Government (6 essay questions)
- Health (9 essay questions)
- Housing, Buildings & Urban Planning (8 essay questions)
- Language (6 essay questions)
- Leisure (1 essay question)
- Media & Advertising (12 essay questions)
- Reading (5 essay questions)
- Society (10 essay questions)
- Space Exploration (3 questions)
- Sport & Exercise (6 essay questions)
- Technology (6 essay questions)
- Tourism and Travel (11 essay questions)
- Transport (7 essay questions)
- Work (17 essay questions)
2) IELTS Essay Questions by Essay Type
There are 5 main types of essay questions in IELTS writing task 2 (opinion essays, discussion essay, advantage/disadvantage essays, solution essay and direct question essays). Click on the links below to see some sample essay questions for each type.
- Opinion Essay Questions
- Discussion Essay Questions
- Solution Essay Questions
- Direct Questions Essay Titles
- Advantage / Disadvantage Essay Questions
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35 Sample Band 9 IELTS Essays
Take a look at these 35 sample Band 9 IELTS essays for writing task 2 of the IELTS exam . Task 2 can cover a wide range of essay topics for the IELTS writing task section of the test, so preparation is key. Use the following samples when preparing your IELTS essays to see how close you are to a band 9!
These IELTS band 9 essay samples will help you highlight your mistakes and improve your writing band 9 level.
See the below IELTS essay writing sample questions and answers to practice for your IELTS writing task 2 .
You will find the IELTS essay questions and answers categorised by the following essay types.
- Do you agree/disagree
- Discuss both views and give your opinion
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages
- Discuss the problems and possible solutions
- Is this a positive or a negative development
For a FREE ebook of our top 10 IELTS Band 9 essay samples in PDF, click here!
1. agree or disagree .
- Some people believe that technology has made man more social. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
- Some people think that a person improves their intellectual skills more when doing group activities. To what extent do you agree? Use specific details and examples to explain your view.
- In some countries, the number of shootings increase because many people have guns at home. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
- Some people believe that international sporting events are the ideal opportunity to show the world the qualities of the hosting nation. Others believe that these events are mainly a large unjustifiable expense. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
- Crime is a big problem in the world; many believe that nothing can be done to prevent it. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give your own opinion.
- Doing an enjoyable activity with a child can develop better skills and more creativity than reading. To what extent do you agree? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.
- Improvements in health, education and trade are essential for the development of poorer nations. However, the governments of richer nations should take more responsibility for helping the poorer nations in such areas. To what extent do you agree?
- Advances in health and biology and other areas of society in the last 100 years have transformed the way we live as well as postponing the day we die. There is no better time to be alive than now. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
- The world is consuming natural resources faster than they can be renewed. Therefore, it is important that products are made to last. Governments should discourage people from constantly buying more up-to-date or fashionable products. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
- Some people believe that children’s leisure activities must be educational, otherwise, they are a complete waste of time. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your experience.
- Many governments in the world spend large amounts of money on art, which helps to improve the quality of people’s lives. However, governments should spend money on other things rather than art. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion.
2. Discuss both views and give your point of view?
- NEW SEPTEMBER 2022: Some people believe that professionals such as doctors and engineers should be required to work in the country where they did their training. Others believe they should be free to work in another country if they wish. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
- Nowadays most green energy is becoming evermore prevalent in both developed and developing countries. Some argue they greatly reduce costs and are better for the environment, others believe they are a serious threat to energy security. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
- Some people are of the opinion that children should be rewarded for good behaviour. Others think they should be punished for bad behaviour. Discuss both views and give your personal opinion and reasons.
- Some people think that keeping pets is good for children while others think it is dangerous and unhealthy. Which opinion do you agree with? Discuss both options and give examples .
- Some people think that secondary school children should study international news as one of the school subjects. Other people think that it is a waste of valuable school time. What do you think? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
- Some products can be made quickly by a machine. Other items take a long time to be made by hand. As a buyer, which do you prefer and why? Give specific details and examples in your answer.
- Some people think women should be given equal chances to work and excel in their careers. Others believe that a woman’s role should be limited to taking care of the house and children. Which opinion do you agree with and why? Include specific details and examples to support your choice.
- Most schools are planning to replace sports and exercise classes with more academic sessions. How will this change affect children’s lives in your view?
- Some people think that schools have to be more entertaining, while others think that their sole purpose is to educate. Which do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
- Some people think that it is acceptable to use animals in medical research for the benefit of human beings, while other people argue that it is wrong.
- Should humans adapt to technology or should technology be adapted to us? Is technology making us intellectually weaker or more intelligent?
- Do copyright laws limit creativity or reward it? Would society function better without such rules and regulations?
- Should education and healthcare be free of charge and funded by the government, or should it be the responsibility of the people to pay for these services? Discuss the above and give your opinion using examples.
3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages
- Is it good for children to start using computers from an early age and spend long hours on them? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
- Some people think high school graduates should travel or work for a period of time instead of going directly to study at university. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
4. Two questions, for example: Why is this happening? Is this a positive or negative development?
- These days some people spend a lot of money on tickets to go to sporting or events. Do you think this is a positive or negative development ?
- Some people like to travel outside their country. Others would rather travel to tourist spots in their own country first, before travelling abroad. Which do you prefer to do and why? Include specific details and examples to support your choice.
- Women can do everything that men can and they even do it better. They also can do many things that men cannot. But it is a fact that their work is not appreciated as much as men’s, although they have to sacrifice a lot for their family and career… It is said: “A woman’s place is in the home.” What do you think?
5. Discuss the problems and possible solutions OR discuss the causes and what problems it causes?
- People are using a lot of online language translation apps. Do the benefits of this outweigh the disadvantages?
- Obesity is a serious problem in many countries, especially in rich countries. Discuss ways to solve the problem. Provide specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
- Today, the quality of life in large cities is decreasing. Discuss the causes and solutions.
- Research shows that global warming is caused by human activity. What are the possible effects of climate change and what can governments and individuals do to reduce these?
- In many countries, recently young single people have been living far from their parents, from the time they began studies or work and until they married. Do you think there are more advantages or disadvantages to this trend?
- Traditional schooling is out of date, boring and stifles a child’s natural talents, various professionals have pushed for an education revolution. Are there alternatives in the education system? Is traditional education doing more harm than good?
Take a look at some of our writing tasks to help you prepare for your IELTS exam , and if you need more help, we have a course that is guaranteed to help you pass IELTS. Practicing IELTS writing task 2 essays is very important for your exam preparation.
Video: IELTS Band 9 Writing Sample – Body Paragraphs
Click here for a FREE ebook of our top 10 IELTS Band 9 samples for writing task 2 in PDF,
For more preparation, take a look at our latest tutorials:.
- Band 9 Model Essay and Vocabulary-Cryptocurrency
- Sample task 2 questions
- Sample Band 9 Essay: Children and Education
- Sample Answers: discuss the advantages and disadvantages
- How to get ideas for task 2
- Full guide to academic collocations
- How to write a agree/disagree essay
- IELTS Writing Task 2: advantages and disadvantages questions
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Enhance Your Essays with Our Efficient Online IELTS Essay Checker
Practicing for IELTS Writing Task 2? You’re in the right place. But after you practice, how can you know if your essay is good? We have a tool to help! It’s called the online IELTS essay checker .
You can find it here . This tool is very easy to use. You write your essay, and our tool checks it. It tells you what mistakes you made and how to fix them. This means you can learn and get better faster. The best part? You save money.
Many students pay a lot for IELTS classes or teachers to check their essays. But our online IELTS essay checker is cheaper and works fast. You don’t have to wait! So, after you read the sample essays on this page, use our online IELTS essay checker .
It can help you see where you can do better. And it’s a good way to get ready for the IELTS exam without spending a lot of money. So, if you want to write better essays and save money, try our online IELTS essay checker .
We made it for students like you. We hope it helps you get the score you want.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How to score band 9 in ielts writing.
You can score band 9 in IELTS writing by following these steps:
- Make sure you understand the question and answer what is being asked.
- Plan out your essay before you start writing
- Write your essay, review it and then “rewrite” it .
- Get feedback on your essays and find out where you may be losing points.
- Improve your language skills.
Read this post for more tips.
How do you write a 9 band essay?
Practice each essay type and be clear about the criteria for a perfect score. Basically, you need clear formal paragraphing, an essay that ‘flows’ logically and stays focused on the question, which is answered fully with high-level vocabulary and near-perfect grammar.
How can I get 9 in IELTS writing?
Look at model answers and memorize phrases that work for most essays – ‘In the modern world’ is a great way to start. A focus on global issues and international examples rounds out your answer and practice timed essays before the test.
Can you get 10 in IELTS?
No, the top band score is a 9. Be realistic though, some of the best universities in the world require a band 7 or 7.5 for their most challenging courses so a perfect score isn’t necessary in most situations.
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IELTS Essay Topics
Most people doing IELTS Writing Task 2 get stressed out about which IELTS essay topics they will face. They worry about getting an unfamiliar topic and not having any good ideas or enough vocabulary to complete the task.
This article will help you by giving you the most common IELTS essay topics and showing you how to use these to get higher scores.
Why is it important to know the IELTS essay topics?
If you are familiar with the most common topics you will have a huge advantage because you will be better at two of the most important things:
- Thinking of relevant ideas
Of all the things people worry about when doing Task 2 , not having enough ideas to complete the essay is normally top of the list. However, you should remember that IELTS is not a test of your knowledge, it is a test of your English. The examiners do not expect you to be an expert on the essay topic, they just want you to show that you can write clearly and persuasively in English.
You should also realise that IELTS is a global exam and when the writers of the exam are making the questions, their main concern is writing questions that can be understood by nearly everyone in the world. For example, common IELTS essay topics are education, crime and health. Everyone in the world has an opinion on these everyday topics and you need to understand that the examiners are not looking for the ‘best’ ideas, they are just looking for relevant ideas.
Let’s look at an example question on the topic of international aid:
Rich countries should help poorer countries when they suffer natural disasters. Do you agree?
You don’t have to think of the ‘best’ ideas, you just have to think of two ideas that are relevant to this question. Reasons why rich countries should help are:
- It is the morally correct thing to do.
- They have legal obligations under international law.
- Not helping will result in many deaths and suffering.
- They have more than enough money to do this.
- It is in their interests to do so for the peace and security of the world.
- Some of their own people might be involved in the disaster.
- Every rich country has a fund for disaster relief within their budget.
- They might suffer a disaster one day too and need help from the international community.
You obviously do not need to think of this many ideas and some of the ideas are better than others, but the point I am trying to make is that there are lots of ‘relevant’ ideas you could think of.
Despite this, you will obviously be more confident and be able to think of ideas more quickly if you are familiar with the common topics. Below I will show you how you can use the common IELTS essay topics to learn about the general topics and improve your English at the same time.
25% of your marks come from vocabulary and this is directly linked to IELTS essay topics. One of the main ways the examiner will judge your vocabulary is something called ‘topic-specific vocabulary’. The idea is that someone with a wide-ranging vocabulary should be able to talk about any of the common essay topics easily using words that are specific to that topic.
For example, if the question was the same as above, you would be expected to use words like ‘international aid’, ‘wealthy’, ‘developed’, ‘developing’, ‘earthquake’, ‘hurricane’, ‘relief fund’, ‘obligation’, ‘moral’ etc. These are words that you use specifically to talk about the essay topic. You don’t have to use these words, but they would help.
Therefore, the more familiar you are with the topic, the more ‘topic-specific’ vocabulary you will know and the higher your score will be. Knowing the most common IELTS essay topics allows you to focus on the most important vocabulary . Below I will show you the most common topics and some of the more important words you should know.
Are IELTS essay topics predictable?
Yes and no. You will obviously not be able to predict the exact topic that will come up. There are just too many to do this and it would be a very easy test if you knew what the exact topic was going to be.
However, there are between 10 common topics that come up more than others. You should focus on these first, especially if you don’t have much time before the test.
The most common IELTS essay topics are:
- International Development
- Public Transport
- Criminal Justice
- Youth Crime
- Government Spending
- Traditional Culture
I think that technology, health, education and the environment are the most important topics and will feature regularly in the future.
For more information on the most common topics, please visit my most common topics page .
How can I use the most common topics?
There are two main ways you can use the most common IELTS essay topics to your advantage. The first is to familiarise yourself with them while practising and improving your English and the second is to focus on topic-specific vocabulary.
Common Topic Familiarisation
If you are going to do well in the IELTS test you need to be using and exposing yourself to English every day. You should be reading, listening, writing and speaking in English as much as possible. You should make sure that if you are listening to or reading something in English you do it within the common topics. For example, you could listen to a podcast on technology one day and then read a newspaper report about education or health the next day. Most of the questions are on current topics, therefore staying up to date with what is happening in the world will really help you think of ideas.
For example, three of the biggest news stories of 2015 were the refugee crisis, terrorism and internet privacy issues. These topics have, unsurprisingly, already appeared on the IELTS writing paper this year.
Please check out my 25 online language learning tools for lots of ways you can study within the common topics at home for free.
If you really want to get advanced, you could also try making up your own questions based on the news of the day and then give these questions to a study partner. This is something that I do with my classes. They go to a popular news site like the BBC and write a Task 2 question based on one of the stories they were reading about and then they give it to a classmate who does the essay for homework.
Vocabulary – Notebook
There are two things you can do here: start a vocabulary notebook and focus on key topic-specific vocabulary.
As mentioned above, you should be listening to and reading English as much as possible before your test. This will not only improve your listening and reading skills but will, more importantly, expand your vocabulary.
When you are reading or listening you will always notice words that you don’t know. Most students simply look these up immediately in the dictionary and then forget about them. I think this is a total waste of time because the words do not stay in your head and you never use them again. A much better thing to do is to start a vocabulary notebook. This is the single most effective way to improve your vocabulary. Follow the steps below:
- Buy a notebook that you will only use for vocabulary.
- When you see or hear a new word try to guess the meaning from the context of the sentence or paragraph. This step is very important because it is an essential skill to develop and will help you remember the words.
- Check the meaning after you have guessed it in the dictionary.
- Note the new word and the definition in your vocabulary notebook.
- Review the list of words and test yourself on these words after one week, two weeks, one month and two months. Soon you will have expanded your vocabulary dramatically.
You can also do this by using apps like Memrise to record and review vocabulary.
Vocabulary- Topic Specific Words
As mentioned above, one of the ways in which the examiner judges your vocabulary is how many topic-specific words you use. Learning these words before the exam for the most common essay topics should help you get a higher vocabulary score.
However, one of the worst things you could do is simply learn a list of words and insert them into your essay. This is not how good vocabulary works and the examiners are trained to spot this. Your focus should always be on accuracy i.e. using words correctly. Because of this I advise my students to use the 100% rule.
You should never use any word or phrase in IELTS essays if you are not 100% sure about it. By 100% I mean that you are sure about its:
If you are not 100% sure about the things above, then do not use it. If you do, you will probably get it wrong and this will lower your band score.
Vocabulary for Three Most Common Topics
Below are some keywords and phrases for the three most common IELTS Task 2 essay topics:
For all of the words above I have made word circles like the one below:
These will help you remember them and they are based on the 100% rule I mentioned above.
Click these links below to access all of them:
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IELTS Writing Task 2 British Council Topic: A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged
Updated On Dec 11, 2021
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A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honor, kindness, and trust, no longer seem important. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
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Given the power and influence of the super-rich, it might seem as if social status and material possessions are the new symbols of personal worth, but in everyday life, I do not think this is true.
It is apparent that most celebrities today are admired or envied solely for their material wealth or position in various social hierarchies. Many of these people are known to turn their backs on friends, cheat on their spouses or spend their evenings over-indulging in alcohol and drugs. Things like owning a mansion, driving an expensive car, and getting into A-list parties are exalted above old-fashioned values. Ultimately, though, it is the many readers of gossip magazines and celebrity blogs who reinforce these ideas.
Nevertheless, I believe that most people still believe in values such as honor, kindness, and trust in their day-to-day lives. In some way, most of us want to form loving families, raise our children to be good citizens, stand up for the oppressed, and protect our communities from harm. We still form friendships, romances, and business partnerships based on old-fashioned criteria. When our trust is abused, or we are unfairly treated, we see that as a major violation of our relationship, and we judge the wrongdoer accordingly.
In conclusion, I believe there is some truth to the notion that status and possessions have superseded old-fashioned values as a measure of a person’s worth. However, looking beyond the tabloids, it is apparent that most ordinary people have still preserved an old-fashioned conscience.
Band 9 Sample Essay
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An individual with a Ferrari sports car ignites more curiosity among by-standers than someone driving a Hyundai car. The idea of ownership, be it wealth, property or antiques has become more appealing than possession of traits like integrity, resourcefulness or simplicity. In my opinion, this phenomenon has become utterly prevalent in day-to-day society and has taken over the present generation like a virus. In the following paragraphs, I will justify my views by exploring the topic in detail.
To begin with, it is quite evident in everyday life the biased treatment that people from middle to low-income groups experience. The acute effort to be in the good books of well to do individuals is also observable among many. Although this kind of behaviour is peculiar in the least, the reasons for such actions are simple and nearly understandable. Since the advent of social media, the concept of glamour and luxury have slowly risen to ridiculously high standards. Recently, appearances have become more consequential than intrinsic values.
Another notion that is borne out of this present-day lifestyle is ‘fan culture’. This perception that celebrities, especially actors, actresses and other creative artists are the crème de la crème of society is becoming popular at an alarming rate. The idea of fame has become particularly alluring lately. Thus, reaffirming the pervasiveness of social position among human beings.
Nevertheless, a portion of our community does hold morality and virtue in high regard. That being said, such values get individuals in troublesome circumstances more often than favourable situations in present times.
The escalation of superficial beliefs in the minds of people is posing a threat to the way of life for future generations. The increasing lack of tolerance and acceptance in humanity needs to be improved before it becomes part of our nature.
Free Download Model Essay :
More Writing Task 2 Essay Topics
- People Should Follow The Customs And Traditions When People Start To Live In A New Country
- Some People Believe That Excessive Use Of Modern Technologies
- Technology Can Bring Many Benefits But It Can Also Cause Social And Environmental Problems
- Advertising Discourages People From Being Different Individuals
- Some People Say Government Should Give Health Care The First Priorities
Also check :
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- IELTS Writing Answer sheet
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Practice IELTS Writing Task 2 based on Essay types
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Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through ieltsmaterial.com. With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.
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Posted on Dec 1, 2023
It is argued by some that in contemporary life, the more powerful and wealthy people are, the more respect they receive, while core values of morals seem to be overlooked. In my opinion, I partly agree with this viewpoint, which outlines the reason in the following essay.
Admittedly, not everyone can attain high social status and accumulate substantial wealth. This means that the individuals possess a certain capability to achieve this success, which is understandable as to why a majority of people highly recognize them. Furthermore, individuals with financial abundance and societal influence are better positioned to extend assistance to those in need, thereby elevating their standing in the public eye.
However, all these points do not imply that core values are no longer necessary. Children are taught from an early age by their parents that a well-behaved child is honest and kind. These are fundamental ethical values of an individual in society. Moreover, without honor, kindness, and trust, it is challenging for society to function as it does. In business, if individuals working together do not prioritize maintaining integrity, long-term success is unlikely. An employer always desires an employee who not only excels professionally but is also loyal and stands by their side.
In conclusion, while it’s true that those with elevated social status and wealth often have heightened appreciation, I firmly believe that enduring societies must uphold traditional values as their core principles.
Overall Band: 5 The writer expresses a position, but the development is not always clear.Some main ideas are put forward, but they are limited and are not sufficiently developed and there may be irrelevant detail. Simple vocabulary is used accurately but the range does not permit much variation in expression. For a detailed evaluation, Click here to connect 1:1 with our IELTS Expert for a FREE Writing Demo Class.
Posted on Sep 22, 2021
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Writing Task 2 Sample
IELTS Writing Task 2 ( also known as IELTS Essay Writing ) is the second task of your IELTS Writing test. Here, you will be presented with an essay topic and you will be scored based on your ability to respond to the topic.
You need to write at least 250 words and justify your opinion with arguments, discussion, examples, problem outlining, proposing possible solutions and supporting your position. You will have approximately 40 minutes to finish your Essay Writing. IELTS Writing Task 2 carries more weights than Writing Task 1.
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An opinion essay
Learn how to write an opinion essay.
Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.
Some people think that some types of criminals should not go to prison. Instead they should do unpaid work in the community. To what extent do you agree?
Owing to the great variety of crimes that can be punishable by prison, some people argue that not all criminals are the same and it would therefore be more appropriate to give certain criminals community service instead. I agree that in some cases, prison may not be the best solution and community service would probably have more benefits.
One justification given for prisons is to keep society safe by removing criminals from the outside world. So the first thing to consider is if someone who has broken the law is a danger to other people. In the case of violent crime, there is an argument to keep the perpetrator away from society. However, burglary or possession of drugs, for example, does not involve violence against other people so the criminal does not present a direct danger to anyone in the community. Keeping these types of criminals in prison is expensive for the taxpayer and does not appear to be an effective punishment as they often commit the same crime again when they come out of prison.
Personally, I also believe punishments should reform people so they do not reoffend. A further reason not to put these people in prison is that they may mix with more dangerous and violent criminals, potentially committing a worse crime when they are released. By keeping them in the community, helping others, they not only learn new skills, but they could also develop more empathy and care towards others. If this occurs, society can only benefit.
Critics of this more rehabilitative approach to crime believe that justice should be harsh in order to deter people from committing similar crimes and that community service could be less likely to have that effect. However, there is very little evidence to suggest that long prison sentences deter criminals.
In conclusion, putting criminals who are not a danger to society in prison is expensive and, in my opinion, ineffective, both as a deterrent and as a form of rehabilitation. Community service for non-violent crimes benefits both society and the offender. That said, it would be useful to have more data to work out whether community service or prison is more likely to stop someone reoffending. I strongly believe that decisions on how best to deal with criminals should be based on evidence of what actually works.
- Introduce your essay by restating the question in your own words.
- If the essay asks you to what extent do you agree?, make your opinion clear throughout. You can either agree, partially agree or disagree with the statement, explaining and justifying your opinion.
- The first reason why you agree/disagree
- The second reason why you agree/disagree
- The third reason why you agree/disagree (if you have one)
- Use phrases to organise and link your ideas, e.g. Owing to … , One justification for … , The first thing to consider is … , A further reason … , In conclusion ... .
- If you do not have solid evidence for your ideas, use modal verbs such as might , may or could (e.g. they could develop more empathy and care ) or other tentative phrases (e.g. it does not appear to be an effective punishment ).
- Conclude by restating your opinion and summarising your two or three main arguments.
Do you agree that community service is better than prison for some crimes?
Good day Sir/Madam,
I would like to ask about the expression ‘So the first thing is to…’. In academic and formal writing, should I avoid using ‘thing’ or ‘so’ or is it still fine? Thanks a lot for taking your time to read this. Hope to hear from you.
Your sincerely, Kimmie
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Thanks for your question. In academic and formal writing, there is a general preference for precision over vagueness, so generally speaking it's better to avoid this usage of so and thing and use more precise and academic terms when they are available (e.g. Therefore, the first factor/issue to consider is ... ).
However, if you search academic writing, you will find writers do use thing sometimes, especially in fixed phrases (e.g. the first thing / the same thing ) or technical terms ( e.g. the Internet of Things ). Some writers might also use more general terms first before moving onto more precise terms.
(Note: The essay on the page above is in a somewhat formal style but not very formal.)
I hope that helps.
This is immensely valuable for me. Thank you so much for your swift response. Hope you have a nice day.
In my country it is often debated whether community services are better than prison for certain crimes. I think it's pretty obvious that it should be an option for less important faults. However, sometimes it happens that a judge decides to grant this benefit to some type of powerful criminals who cause more significant damage to society than others who do not have the same possibility, such as financial criminals or corrupt government agents. In my opinion, these types of sentences can have a bad impact on people, since they see that these behaviors are not severely punished and are somehow protected by the law. In conclusion, I agree that certain types of crimes should avoid prison, but I believe that before implementing it, the society must agree on which crimes will be able to enjoy this possibility to ensure that justice is fair for all.
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The subject of how criminals should be punished is complicated, there are a lot of different opinions defending their points of view. There are two main ideas the first is arresting all the offenders, and the second idea is separating those not dangerous to society, and sending them to work in the community. In my opinion, I agree with the second idea, because there are many expenses with the prisons and the prisoners, so if lessen the population in this environment the conditions and the quality could be better than if there were overpopulation, avoiding justice being done right. Furthermore, these people aren't violent and dangerous to others, so with bad company in the prison, they might become bad people too. In this case, it's an awful idea to mix a different kind of person. Therefore, it's an excellent suggestion to oblige these people to do work in society, but with supervision in the right way and strictly.
On account of the differences between several types of crimes, not all criminals should be sent to prison. It is suggested that giving certain offenders community service would be more appropriate than just jailing them.
Honestly, I completely agree that the right way to protect people from harm is to imprison criminals who conduct violent crimes that endanger human physical health. Nevertheless, this penalty may be ineffective with offenders who have administrative guilts or non-violent offenses. Since they often commit the same crime after getting out of prison, this is just a temporary punishment to ensure the security of citizens for a certain period. The nature of the problem is these crimes originate from greed and bad habits which lead to their deviant behaviors but have not yet resulted in such severe consequences that affect human life.
From my perspective, the government would rather reform these types of offenders than deter them as a kind of punishment. It is better to have an alternative that perceptively impacts these people’s awareness which is to make them do community service. Jailing these criminals just increases their hatred and develops antisocial personality. By keeping and controlling them in a community, besides learning new skills, they amend their bad manner as well as develop more empathy and care towards others.
Given these points, the application of punishment should be based on the nature of each specific crime. Prisons should only be used for perpetrators committing directly dangerous crimes to people's lives. Making non-violent criminals do community service is more of a practical way to optimize tax wasted for prisons as well as give them a chance to fix their wrong behaviors.
There are several types of crimes and for each of them, a different sentence is dictated. A paramount question to be considered is whether community servers are more accurate than prisons for some crimes.
To begin with, community servers would help and support criminals through specialized psychologists. Not only would community servers help and support them, but also it would give them jobs to help them give the society back a contribution in return.
In addition, prisons only contribute to worsening the situation owing to the fact that criminals will commit crimes again. The key to excellent behavior is learning. If they learn suitable habits, they will adapt to society and help it.
Furthermore, it is necessary to have empathy with criminals and not judge them because their hate increases when they are condemned in prison. A further reason for this is that hate feeds hate. Nevertheless, some criminals must be in jail due to their danger on the streets. It is difficult to know that a person who kills someone else, is going to change even if he/she receives help from psychologists.
In contrast, most of society believes that all criminals should be in prison. However, prisons must be all comfortable like a hotel in order to bring for the prisoners a place to recover themselves. The reason why they must live in appropriate conditions is due to his mental health. For instance, in Norway, prisons are like hotels because the government considers that criminals need a second chance to live in a community
To conclude, it would be suitable for all criminals to live in accurate prisons in order to recover themselves. Despite the cost that kind of prisons are supposed to take, they are worth paying for them. In my opinion, safety is priceless and is more important than the cost.
There are many things to consider in punishing criminals or law offender, Technically Speaking, Prison sentence varies entirely depending on a Country's legal system.
I partially agree in reinforcing community service to those non violent criminals, whereas harsh punishment for violent criminals who committed felonious crime. This perspective is reflected on my understandings in a community where social injustice is prevalent. In my country misdemeanor crime and felony crime offender are detained in the same prison cell, they only differ in the duration of prison sentence. This is where the serious societal issues of crime rate initially rooted, non violent offenders are mixed up with serious offenders, doing and smuggling drugs all a while in prison.
Further reasons to justify harsh punishment for felonious crime is it can act as deterent for potential criminals, while community service may reinforce less serious offender to reflect on their own actions and give back to the community. Moreover it may help them develop empathy towards others.
In my conclusions punishment should vary on the severity of the crime of the perpetrator, Criminals should be legally convicted and fairness in prosecution of Criminals must be reinforce.
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IELTS Sample Essays
Here you will find IELTS Sample Essays for a variety of common topics that appear in the writing exam.
The model answers all have tips and strategies for how you may approach the question and comments on the sample answer.
You can also view sample essays with band scores on this page.
Looking at IELTS essay topics with answers is a great way to help you to prepare for the test.
These IELTS sample essays have been categorised in a way that makes it easy for you to see how certain essay question types require you to provide certain responses to ensure the question is fully answered.
Specifically these are:
- Agree / Disagree
- Discuss Two Opinions
- Problems and Solutions
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- Other Types
Agree / Disagree Type Questions
In these types of question you are given one opinion and you then have to state the extent to which you agree or disagree with that opinion:
- Alternative Medicine
- Spending on the Arts
- Human Cloning
- Social Interaction & the Internet
- Airline Tax
- Free University Education
- Scientific Research
- Banning Smoking
- Employing Older People
- Paying Taxes
- Examinations or Formal Assessment
- Multinational Organisations and Culture
- Internet vs Newspapers
- Technology Development
- Dying of Languages
- Animal Extinction
- Truth in Relationships
- Role of Schools
- Return of Historical Artefacts
Discuss Two Opinions Type Questions
In this essay question type you are given two opinions, and you have to discuss both of these and then give your own view:
- University Education
- Reducing Crime
- Animal Rights
- Child Development
- Diet & Health
- Donating Money to Charity
- Closing Zoos
- Becoming Independent
- Formal and Informal Education
- Influence of Scientists and Politicians
- Sources for Stories
- Searching for Extraterrestrial Life
Cause Type Questions
There are a variety of 'cause type' essay questions. In these you first have to give the reasons why something has happened, in other words the causes, but then discuss a different aspect of it, such as the effects, solutions or the extent to whether it is a positive or negative development:
Causes & Effects:
- Child Obesity
- Skin Whitening Creams
- Family Size
- Having Children Later in Life
- Time Away from Family
Causes and Solutions:
- Youth Crime
- Global Warming
- Paying Attention in Class
- International Travel & Prejudice
- Museums & Historical Places
- Disappearance of Traditions
- Communication Between Generations
Causes, Pros & Cons:
- Family Closeness
- Living Alone
- Rural to Urban Migration
Problems & Solutions Type Questions
In these type of questions, instead of discussing the causes of a problem, you need to discuss the problems related to a particular issue in society, and then suggest what can be to solve these problems:
- Competing for Jobs
- Professionals Immigrating
Advantage & Disadvantages Type Questions
In these type of questions you are asked to discuss the positive and negative sides of a particular topic. You will usually be asked this in the context of giving an opinion ( e.g. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Is it a positive or negative development? ):
- Traffic Problems
- Food Additives
- Computer Games
- Age Discrimination at Work
- Children using Tablets and Computers
- Cell Phones, Internet, & Communication
- Working from Home
- Eating Locally grown Produce
- Oil and Gas Essay
- Peer Pressure on Young People
- Online Fraud
'Hybrid' Types of Essay Question
There are sometimes questions that don't fit easily into a particular category as above. I've called these 'hybrid', as they are of mixed character, are composed of different elements from other types of essay, or are perhaps just worded differently.
- Protecting Old Buildings
- Animal Testing
- Fear of Crime
- Communication Technology
- Influence of Children's Friends
Sample Essays with Band Scores
You can also view some sample essays that have been written by candidates practising for the test and have band scores and comments by an experienced ex-IELTS Examiner based on the IELTS marking criteria.
- IELTS Band 8 Essay Samples
- IELTS Band 7 Essay Samples
- IELTS Band 6 Essay Samples
- IELTS Band 5 Essay Samples
- IELTS Band 4 Essay Samples
Student Sample Essays
For more IELTS essay topics with answers you can also view essays that have been written by students. Some have feedback from other students or IELTS teachers:
- Student Model Essays (with comments by other students)
- Student Model Essays (with comments by IELTS buddy)
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