In this tutorial we look at 10 typical IELTS questions and suggest possible topic sentences. In the audio tutorial these sentences are further improved to avoid repetition, and rewritten to improve their effectiveness.
We also cover:
- How to expand your vocabulary
- Eliminating redundancy in your sentences
- How to start concisely start your essay
- How to stay on topic
Topic sentences form the backbone of your IELTS Task 2 essay. A topic sentence is a sentence that captures the essence of your paragraph. It introduces the reader to the topic or main point that you set out to make in that paragraph and sets the tone for the rest of the paragraph.
The examiner should be able to read the topic sentence, and immediately know what the rest of the paragraph will be about. So this part is very important. Think of it as making a first impression on a date.
Here are some other pointers before we continue:
It is important to read the question extremely carefully so that you can order your arguments in a coherent manner.
You should outline your position and write a coherent argument. It helps to plan your answer or argument before you begin.
Each paragraph should contain one main idea/point. This is where your topic sentences come in. This sentence IS the main idea or point that you wish to make in the paragraph.
Your essay is made of paragraphs that have supporting points. Each paragraph should come together to form a coherent whole essay. The topic sentence is just one way to make your writing shine!
Here are 10 examples of topic sentences that you can practice with for your IELTS essay. I have included the questions and examples on how you could write a paragraph.
- Some people argue that it is the responsibility of the police to educate children about good behaviour in society, whereas others believe that parents should be responsible for teaching their children how to behave in an acceptable way. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
It is the responsibility of the police to educate children about good behaviour …
The police and parents have a mutual responsibility to teach children about good behaviour
- Some people believe that more women should be encouraged to pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), while others believe that women are naturally suited for careers in the Humanities/ Social Sciences, such as teaching and psychology. Discuss your views and opinion.
There are not enough women pursuing careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics( STEM)
Women are better suited for careers in the Humanities/Social Sciences
- Scientists argue that the use of modern gadgets, such as cellphones and tablets, by young people has the potential to boost creativity. Do you agree or disagree?
There has been evidence that the use of modern gadgets by young people does in fact increase their creativity
The use of modern gadgets decreases the creativity of young people
- Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become a more important source of news and information for young people, than newspapers. Do you agree or disagree?
Example: Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become a major source of news and information for young people
Example: Newspapers are still a more important source of news and information for young people than social media networks
- School children should be instructed in their home language for the first 6 years of school.
Example: Young learners need to be taught in their home language in the first 6 years of their education
It is not important for school children to be taught in their home language in the first few years of school
OR more advanced:
Pupils need not be taught in their home language in the first 6 years of their education
- Nowadays women are having children at a much later age than previous generations. Do you think this a positive or negative thing? Discuss both sides.
Example: Nowadays females have children much later in life than they did in the past
Currently women start families much later in life than previously (vague?)
- In many countries women are opting not to have children. Some people believe that having children stifles a woman’s career growth. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Example: Having children can take a toll on a woman’s career
Female careers been hindered by starting families is (unfortunately) a very common concern for both females and employers.
- Nowadays children are exposed to more sex and violence in the media than before. What are the reasons for this? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Example: There are several reasons why young people see more sexual and violent media than before
- Parents need to do more to protect children from cyberbullying. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Example: Parents can do a lot to protect their children from cyberbullying
Parenting nowadays has become increasingly more complex largely
thanks due to the internet and cyber bullying.
Regarding protecting their children online, parents need to find a balance between their child’s online freedom and becoming online helicopter parents.
especially because most parents are not digital natives.
- Some people think that children should not have a cell phone until they have reached their teens, whereas others believe that children should have cell phones at an early age. Discuss both views and give your own opinion
Example: Children should not be allowed to have a cell phone until they are 13
Parents should encourage cell phone use at an early age
As you have seen, there are many different ways you can write your topic sentence. The topic sentence forms the backbone of your paragraph- it is where you state your main point, so it is important to get this right.
I hope you find the above examples and tips helpful in your preparation for the IELTS writing task!
You can download or listen to the audio version here: