IELTS Writing Task 2

Agree / Disagree Sample Answer

In this agree-disagree essay for IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll notice that the essay follows the standard essay format. It starts with an introduction where I identify both the topic and my two main ideas. I then expand on those two main ideas in my paragraphs before re-iterating them in my conclusion.

Many people believe that learning how to play a musical instrument is just as crucial to a child as developing their literacy skills. While encouraging a child’s musical sense may be beneficial, my feeling is that it is far less critical than learning to read and write because few people become professional musicians, whereas  literacy is a prerequisite to the education, training, and job opportunities that enable financial independence.

The importance of knowing how to play a musical instrument is often overblown with parents arranging music lessons for their children in the hope of boosting their chances of entering elite schools. Yet, the ability to play an instrument does little to give their children a competitive edge. Ultimately, knowing how to read and write well is what schools and employers require of their candidates.

That doesn’t mean that acquiring a musical skillset shouldn’t be encouraged. Several studies have shown that it can help with a child’s development of coordination, rhythm, relaxation, and expression; therefore, provided it doesn’t exert a financial burden on the family, music lessons can offer some advantages. However, on the whole, the gains that children make do not offset the sacrifices that accompany prioritizing learning to play an instrument over learning to read and write.

When all said and done, provided parents have the resources to give equal weight to literacy and music, there is no reason not to do so but, in situations where financial resources are limited, the gift of literacy should override music lessons because the long-term benefits are greater.

This is the agree-disagree essay prompt that I used:

‘For all children, the ability to play a musical instrument is just as important as the ability to read and write.’

How far do you agree with this suggestion? How important is it for a child to learn to play a musical instrument, in your view?


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Agree / Disagree – High Scoring Structures

Discussion Sample Answer

This is the discussion essay prompt for this essay about space exploration

Some people feel that the exploration of space justifies a large amount of government and private investment. Other people think that this field is of increasingly low relevance and should not be a priority.

Debate both sides of this discussion and explain your own view.

How important is it for us to explore space at the moment?

In the following sample answer for IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll notice that each paragraph only develops one idea. Writing more about less allows you to offer more detail, and that’s what your examiner wants to see.

For each body paragraph think in terms of offering a statement, an explanation, and an example.

Statement -> Explanation -> Example

One of the highly contentious issues today relates to whether governments and corporations should prioritize investing in finding another planet to relieve earth’s overpopulation or focus on solving  wealth disparities here on earth. My feeling is that our current earthly issues should be the primary focus of any resource allocation.

Pursuing space exploration is of paramount importance to some people because, sooner or later, humans will need a second planet. With its ongoing food crises, global warming and serious pollution, the Earth is showing signs of overpopulation and is gradually becoming uninhabitable. For this pro-exploration group, mankind’s survival depends on finding a new planet, making it habitable and moving to it.

The anti-exploration group argues that space exploration does not appear to benefit the majority of people and; therefore, more should be invested in finding solutions to the urgent problems mankind is facing. One such issue is the widening of the wealth disparity gap and the resulting mass migration and brain drain from poorer countries to richer countries. The slim likelihood that these ordinary citizens would ever set foot on a new planet leaves this group feeling that governments and corporations who invest in space exploration are, yet again, catering to the rich.

In conclusion, while the long-term goal of finding a new planet for earth’s overflow may be valid, my feeling is that, in the short term, our resources should target critical issues such as extreme poverty. Rather than funding the finding of another Earth, we should invest in the well-being of our own Earth and its people.

High-scoring structures in this Discussion Essay

How long should an IELTS Task 2 Essay be?

You’ve got a lower limit of 250 words in IELTS Writing task 2, so you can go over that, but remember !

The more you surpass the 250 words…

  • the less effective your writing
  • the longer it will take to proofread your writing at the end.
  • the more likely you will make mistakes that reduce your score.

Problem – Solution Essay for IELTS Writing Task 2

This is the problem – solution essay prompt that I used:

Many people today are worried about the large quantities of waste produced by ordinary households.

What problems are caused by household waste, and what solutions may be possible in both the short and the long term?


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In this problem – solution essay for IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll notice that the essay starts with an introduction where I identify both the topic and my two main ideas, expand on those two main ideas, and then re-iterates those main ideas in the conclusion.

The alarming increase in household waste has become a serious issue creating problems for residential developments and demanding swift action by both homeowners and local governing bodies.

As landfills reach saturation point, pungent odors fill the air creating unpleasant living conditions for local residents and devaluing their properties. Moreover, since no-one wants to live near a landfill, the NIMBY attitude of ‘Not In My Backyard’ exacerbates the problem of land shortages for new housing developments.

Looking to the future, a three-step approach might offer an eco-friendlier result. In the first step, local governments would impose deterrents discouraging the generation of residential waste. Such deterrents might include limiting the amount of garbage that trash collectors are willing to pick up. The second step would take the form of educating the public about the 4Rs – recycle, reuse, replace and reduce. Where funding allowed, such awareness programs could be started in elementary schools where impressionable young children could easily be trained in the 4 Rs. The third step would take the form of tackling industry where copious amounts of packaging make a significant contribution to the amount of waste the average household has to deal with. With a little help from federal governments, manufacturers could be encouraged to rethink their product packaging.

In conclusion, residential waste adds to the burden of landfills, lowers our living quality and pollutes the air. The problem can be solved by imposing levies, educating the population, and tackling manufacturers packaging.

High-scoring structures in this Problem – Solution Essay

Opinion Essay for IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Writing Tips

  • Blend short, compound and complex sentences.
  • Use parallels appropriately – Lists and series should always follow a parallel form
  • Punctuate accurately.
  • Check agreements – The third person in the simple present tense, and most plural nouns need an ‘s’
  • Use adverbs and adjective properly – Adjectives describe a state, whereas Adverbs describe how something is done.
  • Present a coherent response – Make sure your essay follows the standard essay structure.
  • Present a cohesive response – Glue your words and sentences together so that they flow.
  • Know your problem areas – Get a sample of your writing checked so that you know which errors will result in a bad score and how to fix them.
  • Work with a tutor – As your tutor for IELTS General or IELTS Academic, I’ll help you understand and work on the most critical areas required for your score.

Opinion Essay Writing prompt

“Governments should impose a higher tax on fast food because of the increasing health issues associated with it.” To what extent do you agree or disagree?

In this opinion essay for IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll get some ideas about the important things to include in IELTS Writing Task 2.

All over the world, there is a tendency to blame the fast-food industry for the health issues and eating habits of local populations. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and respiratory issues can all be traced back to diet, ill-health, and lifestyle choices. I tend to agree with the concept of placing higher taxes on these foods as this would increase the money available to treat people who determinedly eat fast food while at the same time encouraging others to choose healthier alternatives.

Unfortunately, for many people, convenience often overrules cost when dinner time approaches. Faced with the prospect of dirtying the kitchen to prepare a meal, and then dealing with all those dishes, it is easy to understand why someone would stop at a fast-food joint to pick up a no-mess supper. Since that convenience puts a huge burden on already over-stretched health systems, diverting a special tax to the medical infrastructure would help to ensure health-care coverage when illness eventually takes hold.

For others, who may both be a little more health conscious and a little less affluent, strengthening the relationship between expense and fast food might encourage organizing meal preparations for the work week more carefully so that getting meals does not automatically mean facing a messy kitchen.

In conclusion, it would seem that while imposing a higher tax on fast food might increase the resources available to health systems, it might also lift some financial strain by increasing the number of people who choose health through healthier meal options.

High-scoring structures in this Opinion Essay

Double Question Essay for IELTS Writing Task 2

This is the problem – solution essay prompt that I used:

Weddings are getting bigger and more expensive.

What is the reason for this?

Is it a positive or negative development?


If you’d like feedback for an Essay you have written for IELTS Writing Task 2, please submit it to my paid writing correction service.

If you’d like to know what you would score for your IELTS Essay, please paste it in the comments box below.

In this double question essay for IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll notice that I identify the topic and my two main ideas in the introduction before expanding on those two main ideas in the body paragraphs, and re-iterating them in the conclusion.

The trend towards lavish weddings may create job opportunities and successful companies within the wedding industry, but the resulting financial pressure that it puts on the young couples who get caught up in it can doom their marriages before they even get started.

Much of the encouragement toward bigger and better weddings comes from wedding companies’ publicity efforts. In their attempts to grow their businesses, they target young people, often through social media channels, showing them their services, decorations, and menus. By using celebrities to peddle their wares, these companies define what a luxurious wedding looks like, plot the course towards achieving it, and encourage young couples to spend heavily on ‘the most important day of their lives’.

While selling all these services creates a certain amount of employment for anyone interested in working in the wedding industry, it often encourages young people to spend far more on their weddings than they can really afford. It is not unheard of for newlyweds to start their married lives heavily in debt. With all the pressures that already come with married life, having this additional financial burden can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, causing unnecessary friction. These young couples who thought they would soon be starting a family, suddenly realize that because of the amount they spent on their wedding, they will have to wait until they are either debt-free, or in a more financially stable situation.

In conclusion, the wedding business exploits young couples for profit and leaves those same couples facing unnecessary strains as they navigate what should be the happiest days of their lives.

High-scoring structures in this Double Question Essay

How to get from IELTS 6.5 to 7+

  1. Use lots of subordinating conjunctions and referents
  2. Express your ideas efficiently using possessives, participles and parallels
  3. Be accurate with your tenses
  4. Use a variety of synonyms and vocabulary
  5. Don’t overuse conjunctive adverbs
  6. Only give your opinion if the question explicitly asks for it
  7. For writing prompts with two questions, write one paragraph for each question, and summarize them in the conclusion.
  8. Use appropriate transitions. What’s appropriate in a discussion essay may not be appropriate in a two-question essay.
  9. Leave enough time for proofreading. Double-check your punctuation, agreements, tenses, and anything you know you have trouble with.
  10. Say more about less
5 tips for an IELTS 7+ Essay

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