Essay Ideas and Structure: Public Services

The topic below was just reported in the IELTS academic writing task 2 last week. Take a look at the topic and see some ideas and vocabulary below to help you.

Some people think that the government should spend more money on public service rather than wasting money on the arts. To what extent do you agree.

Public Services:  Schools, Health Care, Public Transportation etc

The Arts:  Museums, Galleries, Theatre etc

One Side Essay Structure:

Introduction: Direct Answer: I disagree that money should be taken from the arts for public services. (this approach gives a clear position on one side and therefore the essay can only give information supporting that side)

Body Paragraph 1: Art is important because all societies need to express their culture through art

Body Paragraph 2: The arts are often poorly funded and therefore if money were directed away from the arts for any reason, even for public services, it would likely fail entirely.

Conclusion: restate your opinion and summarise main points.

Balanced Approach Essay Structure

Introduction: Direct Answer: I agree that public services such as health care and transportation need more funding but not at the cost of the arts which are still very important. (this approach gives a clear position and allows you to write about both sides.)

Body Paragraph 1: Health care system – give reasons why this needs more funding.

Body Paragraph 2: Public transport – give reasons why this should be improved.

Body Paragraph 3: Explain that the arts are still important and why money should not be diverted away.

Conclusion – restate your opinion and summarise main points.

Steve, thanks for letting us know about the topic. Good luck with your results!

Main IELTS Pages

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

Sharing is caring...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest


  1. Hello Liz. Firstly thanks for your wonderful-helping videos.

    Can you explain to me how the band score for listening is calculated?
    For example, if my overall score in listening was 34 out of 40. what will be the listening band score? Thanks.

  2. siva chapram says:

    It is suggested by many people that government authorities ought to utilize more money on public services instead of misusing money on arts. In my opinion, although I agree that public services such as health care system and transportation need more funding but not at the cost of arts which are still very important.

    Could you please verify whether my background statement is correct or not?

  3. Hello Liz,
    I want to ask about Task 1 and 2! Can we write them just on Capital letter, they will accept it?
    thank you

  4. Hi Liz

    Could you please comment on this introduction. I’ve taken points from your suggestions
    It is considered by some that more money should be utilised on public sectors, for instance healthcare or transport system, instead of supporting arts with large sum of money. In my opinion, I agree that public sector (transport and aneeds more funding as it is the determining factors of a nation’s development but not at the cost of arts which are still very important

  5. Hi
    I have a doubt in my opinion essay, if I agree in one side, is it ok i can write However paragraph mentioning other side and ending with my agree statement. Then conclusion paragraph please give a feedback
    thanks alot.

    • Mercy Chacko says:

      Hi Liz
      I know, you are on vacation sorry for the disturbance
      if i write my answers(listening and reading)in capital letters , if there is in the answers (eg. multiple question answers if any lower case letters what shall i write, capital letter or lower? ) Please if Liz not available, any one can replay please

  6. Liz, what if I get a question like “Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree?”, I want to know if I could mention only public services as other areas? Or I must talk about something else than public services?

    • It is your choice how you interpret “other areas”. However, personally, I would think of two minimum. For example, education and health care. Public Services is still good as it includes many facilities and services.

      • Filipino RN says:

        Dear Liz,

        I have read all of the tips on how to excel in the second part of the IELTS writing exam. You make it a point to always give a link that you don’t comment on essay writings as of the moment. I just want to ask if you correct/ and give comments on essays which are of band 7 caliber?

        In addition, I just want to ask if you have any tips on how to write faster. I think my worst enemy in this writing exam is time. No matter how I plan and construct my ideas, it takes me a lot of time to erase and edit my work for it to be worth of a good score.

        I hope you can enlighten me as well such as the countless students you’ve helped.

        Warm regards,

        Filipino RN

        • Sorry but I don’t comment on any writing now because I don’t have time. For writing faster, I can only suggest practice. To avoid errors, which take time to correct, you need to develop better English and plan each sentence. You only need to write about 13 sentences in the essay so plan each one.

          • Filipino RN says:

            Dear Liz,

            Thank you for spending precious time answering back to my query. I think I will just try planning the 13 sentences that I need to construct for me to be successful in landing a passing score in my upcoming IELTS exam this 24th of October.

            I just have a question not only for myself, but also for all of your avid fans, which are predominantly students.

            Does the UKVI IELTS exam have the same test structure, guidelines and rules compared with the regular IELTS exam?

            I have big plans in applying for a nurse position in your country. Given a chance to get there (UK) through success in my UKVI IELTS exams, I will certainly go to one of your seminars, lectures and thank you in person or even get your autograph. ^_^

            Warm regards,

            Filipino RN

  7. Dr.Saqib Ali says:

    hello liz!
    Just last point before exam 😛
    Is it ok if i write in favour of the statement and also support the opposing argument as well?

    • Dr.Saqib Ali says:

      as u have mentioned Balanced appproach! But an IELTS teacher here puts stress on one sided approach only!
      please clarify me so that i would do my best tomorrow!

      • A balanced approach does not mean agreeing with both sides, it means have a specific opinion with a clear position. You can choose a one-sided approach or a balanced approach – both approaches can get band 9. It is all about how you present your ideas and support them.
        All the best

    • If you only agree with one side then your essay contains only that. The idea is that you give an opinion in the introduction and explain it in the body paragraphs. It does not ask you to discuss both sides or present other people’s views. I know this can be confusing. If you need detailed training please watch my opinion essay tutorial:
      All the best

  8. KS deep says:

    hi liz,
    please comment on my intro part.

    numerous individuals surmise that government is squandering money on arts.Rather than, spending money on public services such as schools, heath care and so on. In my opinion I believe that government should utilize money for bringing up our nation by introducing new technology, develop hospitals and many more. However,I also believe that some money should spent for developing museums and art.

  9. Hi liz
    First of all thank you so much for your tremendous effort in helping us to achieve a targeted score.
    plz comment on my essay.

    It is argued by some people that public service should be given top priority in terms of funding than to arts .In my opinion,although, public service such as health care and transportation plays an important role in people, investment in arts sector should not be diverted away.

    Firstly,health care system, a basic need to people obviously must rate top category , as long as health is good , a better productivity of a country is expected, compromising in health sector tends downfall of nation. Government should forecast a budget plan to establish more health sector not only in cities but also in urban areas.

    Secondly, public transportation also plays a vital role in development of nation . Through only the means of transportation people can travel to any corner of the world, thus, funding in transportation sector helps greater movement of people throughout the nation and the world . Definitely, this can help improve the developing process of the country , exchange of goods ,employment opportunity,tourism attraction are some positive feedback of growing transportation.

    On the other hand, overshadowing the value of arts via cutting off budget on this sector leads lack on preservation of our heritage and culture,eventually, these aspect of society will demolish with no existence.In addition, arts and culture are the ornaments of country that make us renown in the world, it is a source of tourist attraction through which tourist industry can flourish giving benefit to the country, moreover, arts and craft make the history stay alive to stage of generation.Therefore authority should have keen interest on this field as well.

    In conclusion, although, public service has much importance in the development of country, government must equally divide the budget in all sector including arts and architecture.

  10. Hi liz
    Thank you so much for your caring.I really appreciate it.
    Do you mean that the thesis statement is OK or do I have to change something in it?

    • For this essay it’s fine as long as your main points directly relate to the issue in the essay question. But be careful sitting on the fence with other opinion essays – it isn’t a technique that works with all essay questions.

  11. Hi liz,
    Would you please tell me which intro would be better and give me a score for it?
    It is strongly believed by some individuals that the authorities should spend the greatest sum of money on public service and not on arts.
    It is strongly believed that it will be a waste of money if the government funds the arts rather than the public service.However, in my opinion, the public service and the arts are of equal importance and therefore the government should maintain focus on both of them.

    • I would go for the second background statement. But be careful with your introduction. This essay is not about which one you support, it’s about diverting funds.

  12. shariful5036 says:

    Dear Mam@ I am blind fun of you due to your brilliant innovation, technique and encourages of aspirants. Its beyond description because it only can be feel rather expression.
    However, I am trying to writing Introductory part in this essay. If you have a little bit time to read this, please comments on below.

    Introduction: It is commonly believed that investing money in public services are more fruitful and effective than arts. In my opinion, Public services as well as arts have an equal role for society. In this essay, we can easily surmise why both are carried same weigh after discussing this issue.

    • Don’t use “we” in your essay. Don’t write you will discuss the essay because it is not a discussion essay. Please watch my video about how to write an introduction.
      All the best

  13. Hi Liz, could u spend few minutes and give a mark for my try.

    Nowadays, people could easily realize the wide-scale debate over the issue of whether the authorities should invest more funds on public service or on the arts. Some argue that it is wasting money to allocate money to the arts. Personally, my clear position in relation to this is that we should not neglect the importance of the arts and cut down the funds on it.

    To begin with, a firm belief held by me is that the communities could be more harmony through promoting the arts by government, as the arts can cultivate people the sense of mutual understanding with each other. In the second place, it is an undeniable fact that the expanding of art can boost the economic that would benefit both individuals and the government. An instance is that many cities in China are mainly relying on the tax revenue of different forms of art (museums, galleries), which is ample to testify what I have laid out before.

    As for another aspect of the related issue, the importance of focusing on improving the public service could also be detected as long as enough contemplation is given. It is indisputable that sustain the citizens’ basic demands is the crucial task of the authority, such as public transportation and education. And if we comprehend it as the significant and most wanted requirements of people, I deem there is no exaggeration. Yet, if we behold it as the only pivotal stuff and overlook the outstanding needs of mental materials from the citizens, it will be a partial and deflected standpoint.

    In conclusion, based on what has been discussed above, I could restate my view that keeping investing on the arts is more beneficial for the government and individuals. In future, we should balance the investment and pay attention on both public service and the arts.

    • Hi Alex,

      I’m a little confused with this essay. You state that you think the arts are important and the money shouldn’t be reduced and shouldn’t be given to public services. This means you should have one paragraph about why the arts need the funding and one paragraph about it shouldn’t be given to public services. Instead, your body paragraphs have turned into a discussion essay which supports both sides – very confusing.

      Also make sure you don’t use complicated vocabulary. The more mistakes you make, the lower you score will be. There are too many vocabulary errors in this essay for a high score. For vocabulary, you would only get about band 5 or 5.5. You need to write using language you are 100% sure of – keep your language natural and accurate.

      Try this one again.

      • Hi, Liz, many thanks for your comments. The second body paragraph, I write as a concession for supporting my position, so it’s not a good idea to write a concession for the “agree or not agree” essay?

        • Hi,

          If you agree with the statement, it means you 100% agree. This means you can’t have any concession because that would go against the complete agreement.
          All the best

  14. Hello Liz
    First of all thanks for perfect and effective lessons
    please I want to ask you when we can produce our opinion and when we should not mention it?
    because there is some tips for Academic writing prohibit using ‘I,ME,YOU,WE….’

  15. Hello Liz,

    I’m fortunate to know about your site whilst it’s very informative and helpful. I’m preparing IELTS general aiming at least 7+ on all modules. Preparation is on track for my test next week.

    I understood the styles of Essay writing suggested above. But would like to know when asked for an opinion on a topic which style would be preferred – One sided or Balanced? Yes depends on the topic and one’s thought process. But which style has edge over other.

    Also, is it fine to use – “To culminate”, instead of “To conclude” OR
    “In a Nutshell”, .

    Appreciate your advise on this please.


Speak Your Mind