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Dec 2017 IELTS Writing Task 2 Reported Questions

IELTS writing task 2 questions reported in December 2017. This list below contains questions that students have reported in their IELTS test. It is possible for questions or topics to be repeated. However, you should also prepare ideas for all common topics.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Questions December

A list of IELTS writing task 2 questions used so far in IELTS in December. I will continue to add more writing task 2 questions when students post them.

  1. Some people think that paying taxes is a big enough contribution to society, while others think people have more responsibilities as member of society than only paying taxes. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. In the past people liked to store knowledge in books. However, in the present, we prefer to store knowledge on the internet. Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  3. Some people say success in a person’s life as an adult is the result of the way he was brought up by his parents. Do you agree or disagree?
  4.  Some people say that travelling abroad is the only way to really learn about another country. However, other people say that it is not necessary to travel  as we can find enough information about other countries on the TV or through the internet. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  5. Developments in technology make our life complex, and we should try to simplify our life and stay away from these developments. To what extent do you agree?
  6. Many people believe that international tourism is a bad thing for their country. What are the reasons for this?
    What can be done to change this negative attitude towards international tourism?
  7. The use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, is replacing face-to-face contact with many people. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  8. Shopping online has increased recently. What are the effects of this trend on the environment and what type of jobs does it create.
  9.  Some people think that charity organisations should give aid to those who need urgent help wherever they live, while others say that these organisations should serve only in their country. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  10. Competitiveness is a skill that is required in modern society in order to succeed. How does competitiveness affect the individual? Is it a positive or negative quality?
  11. Despite education being readily accessible, there are still adults who do not know how to read or write. What are the effects of this on those adults? What can the government do to prevent this happening?
  12. Some people believe that in secondary school (high school) student should study academic subjects like history and physics. However, others believe that in secondary school students should study practical subjects like car mechanics or cookery. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  13. Wild animals and birds have started living in towns and cities. Some people propose to kill them, while others want to protect them. Give your opinion on both views.
  14. By paying more to employees based on their performance levels, you can keep their motivation high. Do you agree this is the best way to encourage employees?

IELTS Writing Task 2

Useful links for IELTS writing task 2 preparation:

Common Essay Questions: All students must prepare ideas for common topics. 

Tips, Videos & Model Essays: Get lots of free tips for writing task 2.

Advanced writing task 2 lessons: These are excellent lessons to purchase for students needing band 7 plus

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IELTS Problem Solution Essay Model Answer

Below is an IELTS model answer for the IELTS problem solution essay in writing task 2. There are five types of essays in IELTS writing task 2 and the “solution” type essay is a common one. However, make sure you follow the instructions. You need to know the difference between “what are the causes?” and “what problems does this cause?”.  The first requires causes and the second requires problems.

Problem Solution Essay Instructions

The instructions for problem solution questions are often paraphrased in different ways. Below you can see a few examples:

  1. What are the problems to this and how can it be solved?
  2. What problems are caused by this? What solutions would you recommend?
  3. What problems arise from this situation? What measures can be taken to deal with it?
  4. What problems does this cause? What can be done to deal with this situation?

You can find some essay questions for solution essays and problem solution essays on this page: Solution Essay Questions and you can find over 100 essay questions to practice: 100 Essay Questions for IELTS

IELTS Problem Solution Essay Question

An increasing number of professionals, such as doctors and teachers, are leaving their own poorer countries to work in developed countries. What problems does this cause? What can be done to deal with this situation?

Model IELTS Essay: Problems and Solutions

More and more professionals from developing or underdeveloped countries are choosing to live and work in richer countries. As a result, poorer countries will struggle to develop but this can be tackled by offering more incentives to stay and better living conditions.

The main problem faced by poorer countries due to the brain-drain, in fields such as medicine and education, is that they will struggle to develop and find it difficult to improve their economy as well as living conditions. One of the main ways that a developing country can better themselves is through the skills and dedication of their professionals which is negated when they choose to take their skills to benefit another country. Consequently, less developed countries will not be able to offer their citizens high levels of education or health care, and this in turn will hinder their ability to compete on a global scale, to entice investors and ultimately to stop the poverty cycle.

One effective solution to deal with professionals leaving their country is for their government to encourage them to stay by offering better work conditions. This can be done by increasing wages and investing in state-of-the-art equipment and training to tempt doctors and teachers to continue working there. Another possible answer is for  poorer countries to offer better standards of living, more tolerance and a positive future as a way to entice their professionals back to their own country after they have completed their training abroad. However, these solutions are financially demanding which means poorer governments may have to look to developed countries for aid in order to implement these changes.

In conclusion, poorer countries are unable to develop due to the brain-drain which can only be tackled by enticing professionals to remain in their country of origin through better conditions.


What type of IELTS essay is this?

Look at the IELTS essay question below:

An increasing number of professionals, such as doctors and teachers, are leaving their own poorer countries to work in developed countries. What problems does this cause? What can be done to deal with this situation?

What do you think?

  1. What type of essay is it?
  2. How many paragraph will you have?
  3. What content will you put in the essay?




IELTS Essay Instructions Agree Disagree To what extent

Below are the answers to your concerns about IELTS essay instructions.

In writing task 2, it is essential that you understand the instructions given to you. It will affect your score for Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Are the following instructions different?

  1. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Do you agree?
  3. To what extent do you agree?
  4. What is your opinion?

Are they the same or are they different?


Click below to reveal the answers.


All instructions above are the same.  There is no difference between them. You will write the same essay.

IELTS like to paraphrase instructions. All the above instructions are asking for your opinion. For all the above instructions, you can choose a one sided approach or a partial agreement (known as a balanced view or specific view).



IELTS Essay Topic: Maternity Leave

In the last few months, the topic of maternity leave was given in IELTS writing task 2. Maternity leave means paid leave given to women who are going to have a baby. They are paid during the months they do not work by the company they work for and can return to their position at the end of their paid leave.

Below are some ideas that you can use for this topic.

Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments box below.

Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages to maternity leave?

Advantages of Maternity Leave

  • Women no longer need to choose between a career and having a family.
  • Women will be able to enjoy time with their newborn baby without financial concerns.
  • Parents will be better able to afford the necessary medical care for both mother and baby.
  • Companies will be able to keep a good member of staff.

Disadvantages of Maternity Leave

  • Small companies are not able to afford to pay women for maternity leave.
  • Companies will need to find a temporary replacement for the work which might not be easy.
  • When mothers return to work they will not be up-to-date with recent developments in the company.
  • Maternity leave encourages women to continue working rather than staying at home to raise a child.

Can you think of more advantages and disadvantages?

Post your comments below.


Important things are free: Essay Thesis statements

Below you can find various introductions for this essay:

Some people think that the most important things in life are free and cannot be bought. To what extent do you agree?

Sample Introductions

Not everyone agrees whether the best things in life are available for free and that money cannot buy them. I believe that most basic human necessities in life require money to obtain them and only a few things are completely free.

While some people believe that the best things in life do not require money to be obtained, others disagree. In my opinion, happiness, family and health, which are the most important aspects of life, are completely free for all people.

Although there are people who consider that most good things in life are free for both rich and poor, other people believe this is not the case. I think that the things central to a good life need to be bought and only happiness can be attained without money.

People have different views about whether the best things in life can be obtained without money. In my opinion, the things that are crucial to human survival must be paid for, except happiness and health.


You can see the various options for background statements and different ways of expressing your views in the thesis statement.

Important Things are Free Essay Tips

A number of students reported this essay question in IELTS writing task 2. Many of you have asked me for ideas and tips about this essay. You can find step by step tips below. The essay below is called an Opinion Essay (however some teachers called it an “argumentative essay” or “agree/disagree essay”).

IELTS Essay Question 2017

Some people think that the most important things in life are free and cannot be bought. To what extent do you agree?

Tips for this IELTS Essay

  1. Please note that the wording of the essay is “important things” not “important services”. You need to pay close attention to the words used in the essay so that you don’t change the meaning.
  2. You need to make a list of things that are important in life and are free:
    1. family
    2. health
    3. appreciation of nature
    4. love
    5. Each of the above cannot be bought using money – they are available to rich and poor alike.
  3. This essay is not about WHY they are free. You need to be very clear what the aim of the question is. The question is “do you think the most important things are free or do you think the most important things are not free and must be bought.
  4. You need to think of things that are not free and must be bought:
    1. food
    2. housing
    3. education
    4. health care
    5. clothes
    6. cars
    7. electricity
    8. these items must be bought using money. Rich people get better quality food, housing, education etc than poor people who sometimes can’t afford even the most basic human necessities.
  5. Now you have brainstormed your ideas. What is your opinion? Do you think the best things in life are free? Or do you think the best things in life are not free?
  6. Your opinion must be written clearly in the introduction and explained in the body paragraphs.
  7. Your thesis statement:
    1. The thesis statement should be one sentence that presents your position (your opinion).
    2. You can start this sentence with : In my opinion or I think or I believe or something similar that shows YOUR own personal opinion. Don’t start it with “this essay”.
  8. Model Introduction
    1. See a range of different introductions for this essay question: Model Introductions

IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Essays

You can find more tips, free videos and model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2.

I also offer advanced writing task 2 lessons. Each lesson is a 1 hour lecture which explains everything there is to know about the right techniques for each type of essay. Click here: Liz’s Advanced Writing Lessons


Get my free lessons by email

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IELTS Writing Task 2: Addressing the Task

You will get a lower score in IELTS writing task 2 if you don’t fully address the task in the essay question. This means you need to check your essay plan before you start writing your essay.

Your plan must address all issues in the question.

I hope you find this lesson useful 🙂

IELTS Essay Question

  • The main topic is: how children spend their leisure time
  • The IELTS essay question below has two issues that need addressing: homework and sport

Essay Question:

Some people think that children should spend their free time doing homework, while others believe it would be better for children to participate in sports activities instead. What is your opinion?

One Sided Opinion

If you agree with one side, for example that sport is more important, then you must still address both issues.

Plan 1:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time because it promotes health.

BP2 – I also think sport is good because students can avoid stress and enjoy their free time.

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! If you agree with one side ( that sport is important), you can’t ignore the issue of homework. Your opinion must address both sport and homework – in the body paragraphs as well as the introduction. This essay would get a low score for Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Plan 2:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time.

BP2 – other people think that homework is more important

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! This is an opinion essay, it is not a discussion. This means the instructions are asking for YOUR opinion, not other people’s opinions. Writing a full body paragraph about other people’s opinions is irrelevant to the instructions and will lower your score.

Plan 3:

BP 1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time as it promotes health and reduces stress.

BP 2 – I think children should not do homework in their free time because they already spend six hours a day studying and should not do more educational work.

Comments: This is correct. Your opinion has been given on both issues. But personally, I wouldn’t take this approach to this essay question. See below:

Partial Agreement (Balanced View)

For this essay question, I would recommend a balanced view (a partial agreement). This does not mean you agree with both sides equally. It means you present a specific view which is quantified.


Thesis Statement =  In my opinion, while some homework is useful, the amount should be limited and children should spend more time playing sport instead.

BP 1 = children should spend only a small amount of their free time doing homework and the length of time should limited to avoid pressure and stress.

  • homework is an essential part of educational development
  • homework should be limited to avoid stress which has an adverse effect on school performance
  • parents and schools should help children limit this time

BP 2 = the main focus of children’s leisure time should be on sport because ….

  • children need to enjoy life outside their educational studies for their own welbeing
  • children can benefit through improved health
  • having an interest outside school helps reduce stress and encourages them to meet new people

Comments: There is a clear opinion which has been fully explained and addresses all issue.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Models

You can find writing task 2 tips and model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page. All my writing task 2 lessons are for GT and Academic students.


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