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20 Common Essay Topics for IELTS Writing Task 2

Below is a list of the 20 most common IELTS essay topics that appear in writing task 2 with subtopics.  Although the essay questions change, the subject of the essays often remains the same. Each topic is divided into subtopics which you should prepare.

You should practice developing ideas for all common essay topics used by IELTS so that you can write your essay within the given time limit. Follow this link to get over 100 IELTS essay questions for the topics below.

Common Essay Topics with Subtopics

  • Art
    • censorship of art and artists
    • creativity
    • art at school
    • the benefits of art for individuals and society
    • funding
  • Business & Money
    • small vs large business
    • international business
    • family run business
    • management and leadership
    • success in business
    • business and technology
    • skills vs knowledge for business
    • materialism and consumerism
  • Communication & Personality
    • technology and communication
    • family and communication
    • face to face vs long distance communication
    • types of communication
    • the development of character and personality
    • innate or developed personalities
    • female / male characters
  • Crime & Punishment
    • prisons vs rehabilitation
    • capital punishment vs other types of punishment
    • criminals – what makes a criminal
    • major vs minor crime
    • crime and technology
    • teenagers and crime
    • role of policemen
    • men and women in law enforcement
  • Economics 
    • cash vs credit cards
    • saving vs spending
    • globalisation and economy
    • world economic issues
    • economic progress and success
  • Education
    • children and education
    • relevant subjects
    • education and technology
    • role of teachers
    • discipline and rules in school
    • single-sex schools
    • uniforms
    • funding
    • educational aid to poorer countries
  • Environment
    • animals
    • protection of endangered species
    • zoos
    • environmental problems
    • saving the environment & solving problems
    • government vs individual roles
  • Family & Children
    • family roles
    • family size
    • the generation gap
    • discipline
    • role models
    • family and education
  • Food
    • health diets
    • education of diet
    • traditional vs modern diets
    • fast food
    • children and diet
  • Health
    • prevention vs cure
    • funding
    • health and education
    • poor countries and rich countries
    • health aid
    • dealing with global epidemics
    • hospitals and treatment
    • obesity
    • exercise and health
  • Language
    • having only one language in the world
    • methods of language learning
    • travel and language
    • the disappearance of languages
    • language and culture
  • Media & Advertising
    • censorship, control and freedom of speech
    • advertising methods
    • children and advertising
    • media and technology
    • news & reporting
  • Other Common Essay Topics
    • Space Exploration
    • Water and Oceans
    • Change or Moving vs Stability and Constancy
  • Reading
    • paper books vs ebooks
    • children and reading
    • books in education
    • libraries
    • reading and leisure
  • Technology
    • controlling the internet
    • socialising online
    • children and technology (safety)
    • the change in society
    • letter vs email
    • storing data
    • safety of personal information
    • hacking
  • Transport
    • development of infrastructure
    • comparing forms of transport
    • problems with modern forms of transport
    • environmental issues
  • Travel
    • culture and travel
    • understanding people and travel
    • living in a global world
  • Society
    • overpopulation
    • poverty
    • homeless people
    • crime on the streets
    • modern life styles
    • budget spending
    • public services
  • Sport
    • professionals vs amateurs
    • salary
    • equipment
    • sport and learning
    • sport as a school subject
    •  men vs women in sport
    • types of sport
  • Work
    • shift work
    • women in work
    • types of jobs (blue collar / white collar)
    • children and exploitation
    • part time work
    • work and technology
    • employment
    • salary
    • equality

IELTS Recent Exam Topics

To get a list of recent essay questions as well as recent topics and question from all other sections of the IELTS test, follow this link: Recent IELTS Exam Questions & Topics

IELTS Writing Task 2

Get model essays, tips, free video lessons and practice exercises for IELTS writing task 2: IELTS Writing Task 2

100 IELTS Essay Questions

Get over 100 IELTS essay questions for free. The essay questions are organised into topics and also into different types of essays: 100 IELTS essay questions

IELTS Vocabulary

Develop your vocabulary for some of the above topics: IELTS vocabulary page.

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.

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IELTS Cause Solution Essay Band 9 Model Answer

The model answer below is for an IELTS cause and solution essay  in writing task 2 on the topic of crime and punishment.

Many offenders commit more crimes after serving the first punishment. Why is this happening, and what measures can be taken to tackle this problem?

A large number of criminals who serve their first prison sentence, leave prison only to reoffend. This is mainly because of the lack of rehabilitation and difficulty finding regular employment once released. There are a number of solutions which should be implemented to deal with criminals who reoffend.

Firstly, the reason for most first-time offenders committing crimes again, once they have been released from prison, is due to the lack of rehabilitation whilst in prison. In other words, offenders are not given a chance to retrain and learn new skills for their future or develop a deeper understanding of correct moral behaviour and instead mix with other criminals, which only strengthens their criminal intentions. Secondly, repeat offending is also owing to the difficulty in finding employment after being released. As a result, many of them struggle financially which leads them back to crime, regardless of the consequences.

There are two effective solutions to the problem of repeat offenders. One way to tackle this is to ensure that all criminals entering prison are given the chance to retrain with useful skills which will hopefully ensure them a job after they have served their sentence. By doing this, it will help them reintegrate back into society and give them some means of supporting themselves financially. Another method of dealing with criminals who reoffend is to have more supervision and checks in place when they are back in society. This solution would hopefully prevent them from taking any chances and deter them from reoffending because they are being so closely watched.

In conclusion, having training in prison and also close observation when first time offenders are released are effective in dealing with the issue. If governments implemented these solutions, crime figures would soon drop.

Comments

This essay address the task completely. Both causes and solutions are given and developed with relevant ideas. Linking is used not only effectively but also flexibly. Paragraphing is also used effectively to help the reader. There is a range of sentence structures and also tenses used. Vocabulary is also flexible with a good range of less common words. Essay Length: 290 words

IELTS Model Essays

IELTS Conclusion Paragraph for Opinion Essay

This lesson looks at how to write an IELTS conclusion paragraph for an opinion essay given below. Before you practice the conclusion, make sure you have completed the other lessons for this topic:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

An IELTS conclusion paragraph should summarise the main opinion that you gave in your opinion essay – both in the introduction and the body paragraphs. The conclusion repeats the main points in brief and maintains your position.

This is the introduction for this essay: Eating meat is considered by some to damage our health and for that reason they believe all people should adopt a vegetarian diet. In my opinion, although a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy option, having a balanced diet, which contains vegetables and some healthy meat, is the key.

The above introduction explains the main points and the position of this essay. Now you must restate the main points again for your conclusion paragraph. Use the tips below to help you.

Tips for an IELTS Conclusion Paragraph
  1. Paraphrase the main points introduced in your introduction
  2. Don’t put new main points in your conclusion
  3. Don’t change your opinion in the conclusion
  4. Don’t write over 40 words
  5. You can write either one or two sentences
  6. Can you have a concluding statement which is a predicting if you wish

Write your conclusion before you check the model. Model Conclusion

In conclusion, by balancing both vegetables and healthy meats, for instance fish and chicken, people will be able to adapt their diet more easily in order to benefit their health.

OR

To conclude, by balancing mainly vegetables with fish or chicken, people will be able to adapt to a healthier diet more easily rather than become vegetarian. If people are educated about eating healthily, there will be less health problems in the future.

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Video Lesson: IELTS Conclusion Linkers
IELTS Video Lesson: Using the official answer sheet

Grammar for IELTS Writing: Adding a Clause Video Tutorial

This video tutorial will teach you how to improve your grammar for IELTS writing task 2 by adding a clause to a sentence to form a complex sentence structure. To get a good score, you must be able to demonstrate a range of grammar including the ability to use clauses.

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IELTS Opinion Essay Body Paragraphs

This lesson looks at how expand your main points for the body paragraphs in your IELTS writing task 2. This lesson follows on from two previous lessons. Make sure you read the previous lessons first:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Planning Body Paragraph A

The main point: A vegetarian diet is certain healthy.

Supporting points:

  • a diet based mainly on vegetables is rich in essential vitamins and minerals
  • protein can be found in pulses and dairy products
  • avoiding certain meats can help reduce heart problems and diabetes

Planning Body Paragraph B

The main point: Not all meat is unhealthy

Supporting points:

  • not all meat is unhealthy
  • examples: fish and chicken

Planning Body Paragraph C

The main point: Having a balanced diet is key

Supporting points

  • A diet which has mostly vegetables and a small amount of meat is best
  • Eating meat in moderation is considered beneficial to health

Now try writing the paragraphs before you check the models below.

Models

Model Paragraph A
Firstly, it must be admitted that having a vegetarian diet is certainly healthy. A diet which contains a high quantity of vegetables is rich in all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to promote health. In addition, avoiding red meats, which is said to lead to heart problems if eaten in large quantities, can also be beneficial.
Model Paragraph B
However, while having a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy way to eat, not all meats are actually unhealthy. Take, for example fish, this meat contains vital omega 3 oils which are essential in building health and it is recommended by the medical profession to include fish in the diet at least once a week. Another illustration is white meat, such as chicken, this meat is also considered healthy when eaten in moderation.
Model Paragraph C
Finally, the key to health is to eat a balanced diet which consists of predominantly vegetables but also some healthy meats, namely fish and chicken. Having a balanced diet is generally more manageable for most people and would require only small changes in their current diet to see significant changes in their health.

 

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Opinion Essay Model
IELTS Video Lesson Writing Skills: Connecting sentences
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing: Should ideas be interesting?

 

IELTS Essay Introduction for an Opinion Essay

This lesson looks at how to write an IELTS essay introduction for an opinion essay. The introduction is the easiest part of any IELTS essay as it follows a similar content for all IELTS task 2 types.

This lesson is a follow-on lesson from last week. Learn how to find main points before continuing with this introduction lesson: Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

How to write an IELTS essay introduction
  1. Write one statement paraphrasing the information given. This will be your background statement. Make sure you paraphrase the information exactly and don’t include any irrelevant or extra information in it.
  2. When you paraphrase, make sure you are using words that you are confident with. It is good to paraphrase but you will reduce your band score if you have too many errors.
  3. Introduce your answer in the thesis statement. The thesis statement follows the background statement. It should contain your answer, your main points.
  4. Don’t write more than 50 words for your introduction.
Model Introduction

Eating meat is considered by some to damage our health and for that reason they believe all people should adopt a vegetarian diet. In my opinion, although a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy option, having a balanced diet, which contains vegetables and some healthy meat, is the key.

Vocab Builder
  • cause serious health problems = damage our health
  • become a vegetarian = adopt a vegetarian diet

 

Next lesson, we will look at how to write the body paragraphs for this essay.

Recommended Lessons

Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay (Previous Lesson for this topic)
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: Connecting Sentences
IELTS Liz YouTube Channel

Opinion Essay: Finding Main Points

This lesson shows you how to find ideas for your IELTS opinion essay and organise them into paragraphs. It is important to spend time analysing the statement before you decide your opinion. You should look at the essay question carefully and think about the issues in the statement. Below you will see some questions to help you analyse the opinion essay title.

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Analysing an Opinion Essay

Answer the following questions

  1. Do you think vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat?
  2. Do you think the vegetarian diet is healthy?
  3. Do you think people who eat meat are unhealthy?
  4. Does eating meat always create health problems?
  5. Is there any meat which you think is healthy to eat?
  6. Do you think all people should be vegetarian?
  7. Do you think all people should stop eating meat?
  8. What is another way to say “vegetarian”?
Model Ideas & Structure
  • Body Paragraph A: I agree that eating a vegetarian diet is healthy.
  • Body Paragraph B: However, not all meat is unhealthy
  • Body Paragraph C:  I believe that having a balanced diet containing predominantly vegetables with some healthy meats is best.
Paraphrase
Vegetarian = people who do not eat meat / people who do not have meat in their diet / to have a vegetarian diet. You cannot paraphrase “vegetarian” as “vegan”. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use any product that comes from animals.

 

Recommended Lessons

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IELTS Model Essay Score 9 for Direct Questions

This is an estimated band score 9 model for an IELTS writing task 2 direct questions essay. This model essay shows you how to answer each question directly and how to organise the answers into paragraphs.

Some people think that money is one of the most essential factors in promoting happiness.

Do you think people can be happy without much money?

What other factors contribute towards happiness?

Money is considered by many people to be one of the most important contributing factors towards happiness. In my opinion, it is possible for people to be happy even if they have little money and other aspects of life can play a more vital role in creating happiness.

Although having money brings happiness to a lot of people, it does not necessarily follow that people without money are, therefore, unhappy. Take for example the comparison between developing and developed countries, most Westerners would agree that people in developing countries are happier, enjoy stronger family connections and take more pleasure in the simplicities of life to a greater extent than those in developed countries.

One way that people can gain happiness is through their work. For instance, a doctor doing volunteer work in underdeveloped countries may have very little money but the reward of helping people and doing the job they are good at, brings happiness in itself. In other words, happiness can be found by using skills that people are trained for and through job satisfaction.

Finally, another factor influencing happiness is having supportive and loving people in one’s life.  While money may bring the opportunities to enjoy pleasures, few people would enjoy them on their own. Being surrounded by a loving and caring family is considered by most people to be more valuable than any amount of money.

In conclusion, money is not essential for happiness, which can be found through job satisfaction as well as family. If more people strived in life towards true happiness rather than money, the world would be a better place.

Comments: Your task is to give an answer to both questions and no more. Each question may have one or two main points to answer it. Your essay should never have more than 3 body paragraphs. You can see that in this IELTS model essay, the first body paragraph is answering the first question and the second question is answered with two main points in two different body paragraphs. Words = 275 (an appropriate length for writing task 2)

Recommended Lessons

Model Opinion Essay: click here
IELTS Writing Task 2 Practice Essay Questions: click here