IELTS writing topics and answers

IELTS writing topics are extensive, and consistently finding answers for them takes practice. Below I share how I produce an essay, including thinking of ideas, building paragraphs and planning.

Tutorial contents

IELTS essay topics and answers: education

IELTS essay topics and answer: globalisation

IELTS essay topics and answer: travel and transport

IELTS essay Topics and Answer: Employment

IELTS essay topics and answer: gender issues

IELTS topic and answer: education

IELTS essay topics and answer: employment (skills)

IELTS topic : gender issues (career)

IELTS essay topics and answer: technology

IELTS essay topic and answer: health

IELTS essay topics and answer: society

Quick presentation on the topics and answers

Common IELTS writing task 2 topics (list)

Below is a list of the most common IELTS essay topics for task 2 questions. Click the topic to get a sample essay, vocabulary list, and a Ted Talk video (to help learn the vocabulary in context). You can also find an indepth tutorial about IELTS vocabulary and lexical resource here.

Sport
Employment
Law
Health
Technology
Politics
Education
Language and culture
Crime
Environment

IELTS essay topics, answers and ideas

Technology

Some people think that robots are important for human’s future development. Others think that robots have negative effects on society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Ideas: Definitely important, true, big advances, productivity, intelligence, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc

Can have negative effects -
Unemployment - automation - loss of jobs - safe nets need to be in place - welfare system etc
Even death of citizens - Tesla accident autonomous driving -

Conc: there are too many advantages to ignore, we cannot forego these advances however more precaution and govt. Legislation could be wise.

Society

Some people think that new houses should be built in the same style as older houses in the local area. Others disagree and say that local authorities should allow people to build houses in the styles of their own choice. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Yes, should be in the same style, keeps property values higher, uniformity, conformity, and cohesion -

EG certain villages in prosperous parts of England such as Cheshire, The Cotswolds, and Howarth have extreme rules because the areas have immense cultural heritage. To place a modern MacDonald’s style restaurant in one of these areas would be tantamount to architectural vandalism.

-Great idea! Innovates an area, introduces new flavours, styles and ideas into stale and old areas. Your house can reflect your personality. You can make it more environmentally friendly. You can install technical innovations. Solar panels, or even solar cells in roof tiles, available from Elon Musk’s company.

Conc: both are viable and fair, the caveat is that the law should be clear from the beginning and be permanent - changing it would be extremely unfair.

Sports

Some people spend a lot of money attending cultural or sports events. Is it a good or a bad thing? Give your opinion and examples from your own experience.

Intro

Body paragraph 1

Definitely a good development, gives something for people to aspire to. It also most likely begets higher revenues for the performers and promoters, which should ultimately lead to a even more events. This undoubtedly leads to greater monetary and cultural wealth for a society.

Take for example the English Premier League (EPL), this entertainment spectacle has brought considerable wealth into cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and London. Higher ticket prices lead to better wages for football stars, which lead to more quality players wanting to play in the EPL, leading to a considerable increase in high net-worth individuals residing in these cities.

There has undoubtedly been a positive self-fulfilling cycle of improvement and quality, fuelled by increasing prices. Furthermore high prices will most likely mean higher tax revenues for the government, this is definitely beneficial for society.

P2 - Same, but apply to a cultural event - ballet - opera???

IELTS essay topics: audio version and transcript

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IELTS essay topics and answer: education

Do you think it is better for students to work before their university study? Why?  Use reasons and specific examples to support your choice.

MY ANSWER: YES! – One position, easier to write, easier to read. 

PARAGRAPH 1
Practical experience, contacts, on the job skills. EG: Studies from the UK Government show graduates with work experience are twice as likely to find employment…..

PARAGRAPH 2
Better preparation, chance to improve social skills, close the gap between academia and private sector, helps student decide on future before committing long term, EG 1/6 students will change their higher education course while at uni….

Many people believe that it’s better to learn something in a group rather than individually. Do you agree or disagree?

Paragraph 1
Agree - learning in group has many advantages
Elements of teamwork can be adopted
Group can utilize each person’s skill expertise

Paragraph 2
Disagree - Individualism is better
Self reliant, own the result, not dependant on others
More mature way, more responsible
No laggards


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IELTS essay topics and answer: education (child)

Some people believe that children should do organised activities in their free time while others believe that children should be free to do what they want to do in their free time. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

MY ANSWER: YES! – One position, easier to write, easier to read.  

PARAGRAPH 1 Practical experience, contacts, on the job skills. EG: Studies from the UK Government show graduates with work experience are twice as likely to find employment…..

PARAGRAPH 2 Better preparation, chance to improve social skills, close the gap between academia and private sector, helps student decide on future before committing long term, EG 1/6 students will change their higher education course while at uni…. 

Many people believe that it’s better to learn something in a group rather than individually. Do you agree or disagree? 

Paragraph 1 Agree - learning in group has many advantages Elements of teamwork can be adopted Group can utilize each person’s skill expertise

Paragraph 2 Disagree - Individualism is better self reliant, own the result, not dependant on others, more mature way, more responsible. No laggards. 

For the full podcast, click here

IELTS essay topics and answer: globalisation

Many people say that globalisation and the growing number of multinational companies have a negative effect on the environment. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

PARAGRAPH 1 -DEFINITELY DAMAGING THE ENVIRONMENT
-Increased interaction between countries
-Increase in goods and services traded -this means more production, therefore more resources. EG China ‘workshop of the world’ – many places air pollution masks needed.

PARAGRAPH 2 -MULTINATIONALS / PROBS WITH GLOBALISATION
-YES increase pollution – (this decision taken for simplicity)
-Globalisation requires global solutions -these can have drastic consequences if accidents happen
-EG BP Gulf of Mexico, oil spill, destroyed the local ecosystem…

Scientists believe that in order to protect the environment, people must use less energy in their daily lives. However, most people have not changed the way they live. Why do you think many people have not taken individual action? What could be done to encourage them to take action?

Ideas for body paragraph 1

Not taken individual action because:
- Danger not immediately or directly facing them
- Tragedy of the commons
- Collective problem - easier to shirk responsibility

Ideas for body paragraph 2

What could be done to encourage them to take action?
- Media campaigns by the government
- Tax or financial incentives EG In Tokyo ……

Some believe that is the responsibility of people to take care of the environment. Others say it is the government that should take care of the environment. Discuss both views and state your opinion.

Paragraph 1
People should take care of the environment because:
We are the consumers, we vote with our wallets,
Throw away culture become considerably too prevalent - consumers are causing horrendous damage (pacific garbage patch)

Paragraph 2
Government should take care of the environment because:
They have the power to legislate
Can impose fines and taxes on polluters
Supposed to be guardians of the country, which means collectively they are guardians of the earth… but not true in reality

Conclusion
Both should be doing more!


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Some people say that protecting the environment is the government’s responsibility. Others believe that every individual should be responsible for it. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Ideas for body paragraph 1
- Yes: Government's responsibility
- Policies govt could do, then country specific example

Ideas for body paragraph 2
- Yes individual responsibility
also
- Action individuals could take + examples. 

Conclusion
MY OPINION: Such a mess, such a disastrous state, such a shame, so much so that all parties need to step up and take responsibility for the state of affairs we have landed ourselves in.

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IELTS essay topics and answer: travel and transport

In many countries small shops and town centers are going out of business, because people tend to drive to the large out-of-town stores. This results in an increase in car use, and it also means that people without cars have limited access to out-of-town stores. Do you think advantages of such development outweigh its disadvantages?

Ideas for body paragraph 1

The advantages of out of town shopping centres are very limited…
- Slightly cheaper prices - but huge new developments contribute to urban sprawl of cities… This reduces investment in city centres … which are more much more than just places for shopping EG Vienna regularly has art exhibitions in the city centre…

Ideas for body paragraph 2

- For example: those without transport are disenfranchised
- Traffic on the roads
- ALSO (MAIN POINT) -Some might argue they create jobs .. but really it is probably just shifting employment from one area to the other…

IELTS essay topics and answer: employment

Parents want to achieve balance between family and career but only a few manage to achieve it.
What do you think is the reason?
Discuss possible solutions and provide examples.

Paragraph 1 – The reason for imbalance
-Reason is work life balance, increased competition in the workplace, changes in society, increase in the amount of working mothers puts strain on the family, EG Studies in the US show that families with two full-time parents are more likely to separate. -therefore this shows that finding the balance is incredibly difficult.

Paragraph 2 – Possible Solutions?
-Regulations from government, increasing maternity leave, more flexible working practices, reduced working week, EG France had a 35 hour working week

Some people believe that employees should stay in the same job for the rest of their lives. Others think they should switch jobs at least once during their career. To what extent do you agree / disagree?


Click here for the band 6.5 – 7 essay graded by an ex-IELTS examiner (from our team of essay correctors!)

IELTS essay topics, answer and ideas: gender issues

Nowadays both men and women spend a lot of money on beauty care. This was not so in the past.
What may be the root cause of this behaviour?
Discuss the reasons and possible results.

INTRO

Paragraph 1 -Marketing.
Beauty market for women is worth millions, consumer goods companies see similar potential for the male market.
Therefore developing new ranges, e.g. Loreal for Men Expert.
Therefore main reason is the potential opportunity.

Paragraph 2 -Results?
-Difficult to say the results because it is still early, however general trend is in this direction,
-Deodorant was considered unnecessary before the 1950s.
-Market will probably grow and it will be completely normal in the future.

CONCLUSION

Some people think that men are naturally more competitive than women. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Paragraph 1
Agree - Men are more competitive
Look at sporting fans, globally most are male
A lot of sports historically only men participate: F1, Boxing, MMA, etc.
Psychological drivers of men include: dominance, control

Paragraph 2
Agree - Men are more competitive
Although it is difficult to say without sounding sexist
Is it nature or nurture - difficult to say


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IELTS essay topics and answer: education (student reward)

Students perform better in school when they are rewarded rather than punished.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

IELTS writing essay structure:

Intro: Paraphrase question and state your side / argument.

Idea / Paragraph 1: they perform better in schools -definitely better
Types of reward - certificate, recognition, positive reinforcement,
Studies show children are sensitive and easily influenced when younger, therefore positive environment probably better…

Idea / Paragraph 2: they perform better when punished - works but too harsh for childhood
Possibly does work, but it’s old fashioned, potentially dangerous - could discourage a student for life

Conclusion: Positive better and more more modern.

IELTS essay topics and answer: employment (skills)

In today’s very competitive world, a worker has to possess multiple skills to succeed.
Among the skills that a worker should possess, which skill do you think is more important, social skills or good qualifications?
Explain the reasons and provide specific examples to support your answer.

IELTS writing essay structure:

Intro: Paraphrase question and state your side / argument.

Paragraph idea 1:
Social skills more important - no man is an island - idiomatic expression correctly used i.e in context
We need people around us -
Lacking social skills could seriously disrupt, demotivate and damage a team. - big list of great vocab for Lexical Resource score there.

Paragraph idea 2:
Good qualifications, certificates very useful, extremely useful in certain fields such as medical, but in general, less technical areas, social skills triumph - less common vocabulary “triumph”

Conclusion:

Consider both, but give more weight to sociability.

IELTS essay topics and answer: employment (business)

Do you think businesses should hire employees who will spend their entire lives working for the company?
Explain why do you agree or disagree.
Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

IELTS writing essay structure:

Intro: Paraphrase question and state your side / argument.

Paragraph idea 1:
Very bad idea to have life time permanence- almost zero incentive to improve,
Not fair to employee because the company may pledge allegiance to the company but then the company relocates to Asia. Horrible.

Paragraph idea 2:
The employee may become a burden for the company. Employee may become a cost that damages the company, lots of companies suffer because contractual arrangements made in boom times.
British Airways is a perfect example of expensive pension contracts made, only for the entire industry to change and render the contracts a massive headache.

Conclusion:

Freedom should be given for employees to “cherry pick” their career destiny.

ielts essay topics: cherry pick definition
Cherry Pick your Best Ideas

IELTS essay topics and answer: gender issues (career)

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.

Paragraph idea 1:
Women should of course be given equal rights to perform to the best of their ability (good collocation) in the market place
Generous provisions and allowances should be made into law to encourage this behaviour and allow females to also fairly take time out from the career ladder to pursue a family.

Paragraph idea 2:  another good reason why I think the first point:
Making legal structures to facilitate this transition would not only help to improve the worker’s happiness and wellbeing but also improve the health of society as a whole.
Japan has a rather bleak future due to the low fertility rate, perhaps this kind of future could be avoided with more generous legislation.

Conclusion:
Definitely should pursue a career and definitely fulfil the traditional family role also. Government should help make both objectives possible.

IELTS essay topics and answer: technology

Do you think that technological advancement has brought more harm than good?
Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

What technologies did you use to help you in your studies? Describe how it has helped you. Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.

With the latest technological advancements, dating is now possible online. Would you recommend online dating for your single friends? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online dating? Site some examples to support your answer.

In the developed world, technological progress is increasing. What problems will this cause for individuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of radical technological advancements.

At the present time, artificial intelligence of some technologies is advancing rapidly, especially in the driving sector. Do the advantages of this situation outweigh the disadvantages?

Films and computer games which contain violence are very popular. Some people believe they have a negative effect on society and so should be banned. Other people, however, say they are just harmless and help people to relax. Discuss both these points of view and give your own opinion.

Ideas for body paragraph 1

Some people believe they have a negative effect on society and so should be banned.
- No strong scientific study
- Present globally but clearly only the US has issues regarding gun violence.
- Banning usually has the direct opposite of its intentions

Ideas for body paragraph 2

...harmless and help people to relax.
- Playing with toy guns never seemed to be a problem, these are a modern interpretation of toy guns
- With every new development of a generation the older generation is usually worried… EG This happened with the Beatles, with heavy metal and Us hip hop..

These days, mobile phones and the internet are very important to the ways in which people relate to one another socially. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Paragraph 1
It is more advantageous to relate socially to others via the phone
Possible to give more frequent contact and support
Possible to find others similar to you, useful for those with obscure or specialist interests

Paragraph 2
Disadvantages
Cyber bullying is becoming a realty
Teenagers becoming addicted to phones, even labeled screenagers
Phenomenon called instagram realty which shows the real life pictures without the filters…


For the full podcast, click here

Some people are fond of buying new gadgets, phones, or laptops. Is this a good or bad thing? Discuss your opinion.

I can write it’s an entirely bad thing, or I can write it’s an entirely good thing. 

Ideas for body paragraph 1
- Good: New tech, drive innovation, tech development, job creation etc.
- Example: new investment in tech to stay competitive - Sony - manufactures new chip plant in Korea for PlayStation 5. 

Ideas for body paragraph 2
- Bad: Consumerism, waste, unnecessary,
planned obsolescence
- Example: Research showed searches for the phrase “slow iPhone” peaked a few weeks before the launch of new iPhone models. This is an extremely worrying development because people might be manipulated into buying new gadgets, and finding an exaggerated happiness in their new products. 

Conclusion
- Pros and cons: I think in the past it was fantastic, nowadays with the environment in such a dire state consumerism needs to be upgraded somehow.

For the full podcast, click here

Some parents think it is good to have mobile phones for their children, others disagree with it. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Ideas for body paragraph 1

- Agree: Good idea because can stay in contact with parents, safer, can be used for making better enriching a child’s life.
- Example: algebra app, language learning app, … recent studies showed students learned 26% faster when using IELTS Podcast Android app.

Ideas for body paragraph 2

- Phones are bad: Undoubtedly bad detrimental. Teenagers are quickly swiftly becoming screenagers, missing out on physical interactions and games.
- Social media has a negative impact on confidence and contributes to cyber-bullying… and other trends such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). For example ….

For the full podcast, click here

Topic and answer: health

Many doctors say that people in today's world do not do enough physical exercise. What do you think are the causes of this?
What solutions are there to this problem?

Ideas for body paragraph 1

Cause of not doing enough physical exercise
- Joke: no natural predators nowadays, nature would have solved this problem,... in the past wild animals would have eliminated those out of shape…. JOKE
- Sedentary lifestyle in the office
- Lack of time for sport in a lot of modern lifestyles (40h / week + commuting etc)

What solutions are there to this problem?
- Media campaigns by the government
- Tax or financial incentives EG In Tokyo ……

Topic and answer: society

Weddings are more expensive in many countries nowadays when compared to the past. What is the reason behind this? Is this a positive or a negative development?

Paragraph 1
Reason behind this is probably social media
Vapid attempts at self promotion and
“keeping up with the joneses”.
Now it can be really publicised Ideas here need to be organised a little before starting the essay.

Paragraph 2
Definitely a negative development
Although it’s a memorable day and should be cherished - fact is, large amounts of cash are being spent,
Most families have a considerable financial mountain ahead - babies, mortgage, etc


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Nowadays consumer goods have become the most important part of people’s lives. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Ideas for body paragraph 1
- Advantage: Understandable - a car - can be the most important if you need it for work, family etc Advantages are mobility, freedom, independence…  

Ideas for body paragraph 2
- Disadvantage: When you fawn over a new product, it has been said the product owns you rather than you owning the product.
- Example: expensive phone, you are constantly worried about the screen smashing, or leaving it on a table, or in a taxi -- the worry associated can be stressful. 

Conclusion
Although it is understandable they are vital components of modern life, it must not be forgotten, that our lives are so much more than consumer durables.

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Some people believe that if people are allowed to work after the age of 60, it will cause some problems. Do you agree or disagree?

Ideas for body paragraph 1

- Yes: lots of problems,
- Sight, attention, technology gap, especially machinery… blue collar work..
- In some countries senior citizens are required by law to retake their driving exam….

Ideas for body paragraph 2

- Disagree: The elderly can be better qualified at the job, more life experience, more insight, more wisdom..
- Pension burden if not allowed to work after 60.
- Example: most western countries have a serious demographic deficit of an ageing workforce. A country simply cannot prosper if all its wealth goes towards a pension.

Conclusion

- For some sectors it should be illegal or at least the worker should be medically tested, but for other jobs, especially white collar work, it should be ok.

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