Model Essay for TV & Weight Problems with Tips

This page contains a model essay and a long list of useful tips to help you develop your IELTS writing task 2 skills.

Essay Question

Some people think that watching TV causes weight problems in children. Do you agree with this view? What solutions can you suggest to tackle children’s weight problems?

Model Essay

It is thought by some people that weight problems in children are caused by watching TV. While I agree that excessive hours in front of the TV can contribute to this problem, diet also plays a role. Furthermore, weight problems can only be dealt with by tackling the issues behind them.

Firstly, I think that although watching TV in itself does not actually cause children to gain weight, spending too much time each day sitting in front of the TV without doing exercise can result in weight problems. In other words, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are directly linked to problems with obesity. Secondly, however, weight problems are also compounded by poor diet consisting of a lack of healthy meals and too much processed foods containing high levels of fats and sugars. This comes from both children and parents making poor dietary choices which lack fresh wholefoods. Both lack of exercise and poor diet directly contribute to weight problems in children.

There are two obvious solutions to dealing with childhood obesity. One answer is to reduce the amount of inactivity in a child’s life by cutting out hours spent either watching TV or on electronic devices, and use that time to participate in physical activities. By doing this, children will burn off excess calories which will drastically reduce their weight. Altering a child’s diet is another measure that can be taken to tackle this issue. Parents should be more proactive in producing healthier meals and reducing the amount of junk food available in the house. It might also be sensible to encourage children to take part in the cooking process which ought to ensure they grow up being able to produce their own balanced meals.

In conclusion, by introducing children to sports and other physical activities as well as providing them with a better diet, these measures can counteract the causes of childhood obesity.

Useful Tips

I have written these tips to help you with your essay. 

The tips have two aims:

  • To help you understand my model essay above.
  • To help you understand some of the problems with your own essay. I have read the essays you posted and I have put advice which will relate to many of you below.

Tips for IELTS Essays

  1. There are two tasks in this essay question.
    1. You must give your opinion as to whether watching TV causes weight problems. 
    2. You must present solutions to the problem of childhood obesity.
    3. Both of these tasks carry equal weight.
  2. Your introduction should not be long. Your conclusion should not be long. The high scores for writing task 2 are in the body paragraphs. See my essay above to assess the length and balance of the essay.
  3. Because you have two tasks, you will use one body paragraph for your opinion and one body paragraph for the solutions. This is logical organisation and logical paragraphing.
  4. Your opinion about TV causing weight problems should be given in the introduction and explained in body paragraph 1.
    1. A complete agreement with the statement would mean you agree that watching TV causes weight problems for children.
    2. A partial agreement would be that it does to some extent but there are other possible reasons or reason.
    3. It is always wise to address the fact that watching TV is not a problem in itself – it is the amount of time doing so that is the problem. This is an important aspect of the essay question that needs to be addressed if you are aiming for a high score. High band scores will require you to intelligently assess the issue or issues in the question.
    4. Your opinion which is about causes is body paragraph 1. You do not have a separate body paragraph with your opinion.
  5. Expressing your Opinion
    1. The words “This essay will …” or “This essay agrees …” does NOT express your own personal opinion. If you have done that, you will have failed to follow the instructions which require a direct personal opinion from you. This will lower your score.
    2. To express your own personal opinion, you MUST use “I” or “My”.
  6. If you have two causes and two solutions of childhood weight problems, you should make sure both causes and both solutions are easy to identify in the body paragraph. This means using linking words or signposts. Check my essay above and see how I do this. If you didn’t do this, you should consider more about your use of linking. This will be assessed by the IELTS examiner.
  7. The solutions to the problem given will appear in the second body paragraph. 
  8. You cannot have more than 3 body paragraphs in an IELTS essay. Each body paragraph should be of equal length (roughly). This is because each main point must be equally developed for a high score.
  9.  Vocabulary
    1. You need to avoid inappropriate and informal language, such as the word “kids” which is informal. That word can be used in IELTS speaking, not in IELTS writing.
    2.  The words “children” and “child” will be repeated. It is 100% fine to repeat some words in the English language. Paraphrasing is not about changing all words, all the time. It is about choosing which words to change and which words NOT to change.
    3. Don’t use expression such as “I want to say that..”. This is too informal for an IELTS essay.
  10. Choose the information you present in your essay carefully.
    1. If you want to write about meal times. Do not give a list of times (for example breakfast 7-9am). Instead, write that meal times should be at a scheduled time each day to provide routine. Think about what your point really is.
    2. Don’t write a list of junk food. If you use the word junk food, you do not need to give examples of it. The examiner knows the meaning of junk food. Examples are used to illustrate a point to make it clearer. The words “junk food” do not need explaining.
    3. Don’t give examples of video games or online gaming. The examiner does not need that information to understand your point.
    4. You do not have to start your examples with “A recent survey..”. The examiner does not care where your ideas or information come from.
  11.  Conclusion
    1. If you miss the conclusion, you will automatically get a reduced score for Task Response which is 25% of your marks.
    2. Always start your conclusion with a useful linking device. It helps the examiner locate your vital conclusion.
  12. Make sure you essay is below 300 words and between 260 and 290 words. My model above is 302 which is slightly over, but as I am a native speaker and highly experienced with IELTS I will not penalise myself for this πŸ™‚

I hope you found this exercise useful. I hope the tips will help you develop your writing skills for IELTS.

Thank you for posting your essays. Some of the sentences and paragraphs you have written may be used in the new Grammar E-book I am compiling. Without your name or details mentioned of course.

All the best



  1. Mrudula Sandeep says

    Thank you mam….

  2. Ankush Sharma says

    Can i use phrases like-
    i do indeed agree strongly with…
    i concur with the fact that..
    please tell if “do indeed” or “with the fact” can be used or not?
    or it’s advisable to just say “i agree with”or “i agree that”

    • “I do indeed strongly agree” is really old fashioned – we don’t usually write this.
      “I concur with the fact that..” if it is a fact, it doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree – a fact is a fact.

  3. Hi Liz,

    Just to let you know, you are highly appreciated here. God bless you.

  4. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for the lessons. What’s your view about including an example each in the main body paragraphs, especially for essays that states that you may give examples….. I noticed you don’t add examples in your essays, is there any penalty for that? Thanks. Wish me luck, my exam is tomorrow.

    • There is no penalty. I give examples when you want. Some people have plenty of examples and will give one in each paragraph. Other people cannot think of specific examples and expand their ideas with explanation – it’s all fine. Keep your eye on the clock tomorrow! Good luck πŸ™‚

  5. Dear Liz,
    Is it grammatically correct to use the phrase:
    “I believe” to express my opinion in the essay?

  6. Hi liz..thanks for a job well done. In your second paragraph you wrote “secondly, however” is it proper to use both or use one? Thanks

  7. wellington says

    Can i use this structure ; Problem 1 – Spending too much time sitting on TV.
    Explanation / Example -Lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyle.
    Results- Obesity
    Problem 2 – Poor diet
    Explanation /Example -Lack of healthy meals and eating too
    much processed foods
    Results- Weight problems due to poor dietary choices

    Solution 1 – Reduce inactivity in children
    How- By cutting out hours spent on TV or electronic
    Idea- Use the time to participate in physical activities
    Solution 2- Altering children diet
    How – Parents should provide healthier meals and reduce junk
    Idea -It creates a balanced diet

  8. Marizu samuel ifeanyi says

    Marizu samuel:
    febuary 4th,2019 2:30pm.
    thanks Liz,infact you are a God sent angel to help me out in this ielts exam.
    i will be taking my exam this month.and i will be entering the exam hall with confident because of your tips.once again thanks a lot.

  9. Thank you Liz

    • Anene Anthonia says

      Thank you so much LIZ.
      your teachings have been wonderful.

    • Ani Grigoryan says

      Hello Everyone, I need your opinion in regards to requesting a remark. I need to pass the IELTS test in order to move to Canada from The USA. My fiancΓ© lives there, and this test is on of our options to be together ASAP. My 4th IELTS attempt was on 1/19/19. Results are as follows: Speaking-8, Reading-8, Listening-8, Writing-6.5. I am thinking of doing a remark. All we need is 7 for writing. I requested a remark last time. The results remaind unchanged. I just don’t know what to do. Would appreciate any help. Best, Ani

      • You go for a remark, not because you want a higher score, but because you understand all the marking criteria and you are convinced your essay was under marked.

  10. seriously the best teacher ever. thank you

  11. If I write an essay about an animal specie that may not be in existence or that doesn’t live in a particular area BUT my essay still obeys all marking criteria. Would I be penalized?

    • I don’t understand your question. The essay question above is about weight problems in children and TV. Why would you write about animal species?

      • Sorry I meant writing an Essay in general, not this one. Does writing about something (not factual) lead to penalties?

        • Do you mean by writing about thing that are completely false and made up? Why would any do that? In what way would you benefit from writing things that are nonsense or false?

  12. liz's student says

    I guessed it right, thanks for clearing it for me… you ‘re doing a job.

  13. Hello Liz
    I have noticed that people in last essay used lots of heavy words that are hard to put in real exams.Does using these kind of heavy loaded words would increase IELTS score

    • Your aim should always be to avoid errors and not to impress. If you are not sure if the word is appropriate, don’t use it. If you are not sure the context is correct to use the word, don’t use it. Always choose words that you are familiar with and know how to use with accuracy.

  14. liz's student says

    hi liz
    I’m slightly confused about”…although watching tv is itself does not……” should it not be like….although watching tv in itself ….
    it might be really silly of me,but please explain it

  15. Hitesh patel says

    U have written
    Weight problems can be dealt with by tackling …
    Can we use two prepositions together?As u used by and with here…or it is typing mistake?

    • The preposition “with” is actually part of the verb. It is a phrasal verb “deal with”.

      • Hitesh patel says

        When can we expect ur E book?
        I have exm on 9 th Feb.
        Can we write T and F rather than Writing true or false.? as u knw we Have already less time in reading.
        U r doing a great work.. I have been following so many people for Ielts writing but I found ur method is best and understandable because u gave reasons for all questions.

  16. This model essay and the noted tips explains every point of doubt precisely. Thanks for your useful resources and guidance regarding the test. 😊😊

  17. Hi Liz thank are doing great job for us.God bless you

  18. Hats off to you, Liz! I came across your lessons by chance and, since then, I simply cannot stop myself from following you. You are trully amazing! Everything is so well organized, coherent, yet simple…not pretentious.Thus, it is easy for everyone who is interested in IELTS to understand the requirements of such an exam. Thank you for your kind efforts and, why not, for your smile.

  19. Thank you,
    Tips are very usefull,
    Can you guide to the page or link where i can find “basic structure” for all essay types given by you?

    Or is there different structures to follow to write different type of essay?

  20. Thank you madma Liz . I’ve really enjoyed your lectures. I watch ur videos and even go ahead to read your PDF lecture notes . And I ve been trying my hands on different essay topics with the guidance of your lecture notes I am always able to tackle all questions.

    God richly bless you. Hoping to meet you one day. πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

  21. Suresh Thapa says

    Thank you so much for giving opportunity to learn all these things

  22. SUMIT SHARMA says

    Hello Liz…I want to Ask a question
    Can I divide the the points discussed in the 1st body paragraph in two paragraphs and similar with the solutions.I mean to say that is it ok to write 4 body paras excluding intro and conclusion???

    • That would show an inability to group a central topic in one paragraph which would lower your score for Coherence and Cohesion.

  23. Johnson Avith Crasta says

    Hi Liz,
    We are lucky to have you here. You are a great person and your valuable guidance is helping to all IELTS aspirants. Truly you are a rock star. I have been checking every post that your are posting in your website and I appreciate you for the effort without taking any benefit out of it. Thank you again.

  24. Hitesh patel says

    Dear Liz,
    Which tense should i use in essay to score more? U have mentioned for task 1 that when and how to use tenses but for task 2 academic I can’t find this information.Can you pls share that information here?.

    • For writing task 2, there are no specific tenses to use. You will use a range, but you can only ever use tenses that are suitable to the issues given to you by IELTS. You cannot force an inappropriate tense into your essay. It is better to focus on a range of sentences structures and reducing errors. Having less errors is vital to your score. I am currently putting together an E-book of Grammar for Writing Task 2 which explains this in more detail and gives examples of both tenses and sentence structures that can be used. It should be ready later this year.

  25. Dear Liz,
    You are doing a very great job. I appreciate your selflessness and patience. Thank you for demystifying IELTS.

  26. Md Kamal Hossain says

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you very much for your model essay and holistic tips. I have repeatedly read the question prompt and tried to understand the requirement of reply. Then I have found the sequential portrait of your essay. It is logically set and formally presented. Even, the structure of this is well organized.

    The Introduction
    Body Paragraph 1 – The causes
    Body Paragraph 2 – The solutions
    The Conclusion

    I am personally happy to find such a standard essay with band 9. Besides, the holistic tips will contribute more to all types of writing at real IELTS exam. Wonderful indeed!

  27. thanks Liz πŸ™‚

  28. Budhdhimali says

    Hi LIz,

    Thanks for your valuable comments and suggestions. They are immensely useful.

  29. Hi
    I hope you doing well. I just want to thank you for all your lessons which are free available online. They really helped me in my exam I achieved my score. Once again thank you and god bless you.

  30. Thanks Liz god bless you a lot

  31. Just read your post about the e-book

    I am desperately waiting for your e-book and so happy that you are going to publish it in march πŸ™‚

  32. Hi liz,
    Sometimes there are writing tasks 2 essay coming with 3 questions. In such case, how about introduction para. and how many body paragraphs will be?

    • The intro thesis will introduce the main direction you will be taking. It will cover the main points, but don’t add extra detail, just keep it short and concise. For three questions, you can have three body paragraphs. There are no fixed rules about this, but it is perfectly fine to have three body paragraphs.

  33. thanks liz for this lecture

    i am waiting for your e-book when it will be publish?

    • My “Ideas for IELTS Essays” will hopefully be out in March. It’s just taking me so long to format it. Fingers crossed. The Grammar for Writing Task 2 is in progress at present. Not sure how long that will take. Some time this year for sure.

  34. Ikechukwu Ihochi says

    Thank you Liz, learning a lot from all your post.

  35. Is it okay to have more than 300 words in IELTS writing task 2? does it lower your score?
    And when the question is discuss both views and give your opinion, is it okay if I have two body paragraphs for the views and then include my opinion with the conclusion?

    • I want you to go back to the page above and check tip number 12 about essay length πŸ™‚
      I don’t understand your question about views. Your opinion will be body paragraph 1 and your solutions will be body paragraph 2. Your conclusion summarises it all.

  36. Hi Liz,
    thank you so much for these useful tips, they really are very helpful!
    My question is – can we use semi-formal (neutral) language in writing task 2 in General IELTS? Will register affect the score?
    I personally struggle with the formal language when expressing ideas, it sounds rather unnatural and pretentious…

    • The idea is not to necessarily use formal language, it is to avoid informal slang such as “kids”. GT writing task 2 is marked with more generosity, but I would still try to avoid slipping into informal language. So, this is not a case of changing your writing, it is a case of avoiding certainly errors.

  37. Adeniyi Adebimpe Tobi says

    Must we always agree with the topic given. Can i also disagree. I disagree when i wrote the essay and linked obesity to genetic. I said it is hereditary although being idle can also be a major factor.

    • If you said it is genetic, but that being idle can be a contributing factor, you have not disagreed. A complete disagreement is that watch TV for one hour or ten hours a day does not contribute in any way to weight problems.
      Your view is therefore the same as mine – it is a partial agreement. You agree that watching too much TV can lead to problems, but that the main cause is genetic.
      Your first body paragraph will then explain your whole view.

  38. Thank you Liz! Recently, I subscribed to your site and I thoroughly enjoyed doing this activity. After your site, my interest for English language as such has increased.

  39. Thanks Liz……..It would be a proud moment for us if you insert our name in your book…..,πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ……..

    • That’s sweet, but I won’t be publishing any names. Sorry. But on the plus side, you can all know that you helped contribute towards the creation of the book πŸ™‚

      • I know …..I feel so friendly to communicate to you … You are great continue the inspiraring work of reaching millions in thier needs…….God bless you

  40. Great job, Liz. I’m so intrigued by how you patiently do all these for free. You are really a source of inspiration to many of us. Thanks a big bunch!

  41. Mahmuda Begum says

    Thank you are always well done for us.

  42. I thought it is necessary to mention the solution part in introduction! But apparently I was wrong!

    • There’s no right or wrong here. It is 100% fine to add another sentence to this introduction: “Dealing with weight related problems can be done by directly tackling the causes mentioned.” The key is to get away from generic sentences such as “There are a number of solutions to this problem”. That is the type of sentence that doesn’t really help before it is not topic or issue specific. I didn’t add a solution sentence only because my essay was getting so very lengthy.
      Again, it is important to realised there is a degree of flexibility in how you write your essay and where you put particular content.

  43. Dear Liz
    May I request you to kindly proofread this essay once again for glaring errors in word order and grammar.
    We follow your posts very closely and would like you to maintain the highest standards.
    We look forward to reading a revised version soon.

    • I really appreciate people pointing out mistakes over looked in proof reading, typing or in saving changes when I edit at a time when my computer crashes.

      But I do not at all appreciate your condescending tone. Please do not ever speak to me like that again. The words “may I kindly respect” do not change the passive aggressive rudeness of “glaring errors”. There are many ways to correct someone and that is not one of them as you should know as a teacher yourself.

      Part of teaching is about setting an example of generosity, support, kindness and respect. It is about treating the people you interact with as complete equals regardless of any mistakes they make or language errors they make. Have you forgotten this aspect of teaching?

      You should learn from the students and people preparing for IELTS on this site how to use English in a non-passive aggressive manner and in a respectful way. If you teach EFL, this is doubly important. Never abuse the language you teach by hiding disrespectful remarks behind a front of politeness.

      • Mertxe Herran says

        I totally agree with your answer Liz. The tone is not appropriate at all and I also felt the same way. Thanks for helping us grow better as a teacher and in this case as a person.

        • I really didn’t expect your comment. Thank you so much. It’s really kind. I don’t like to lecture – it is not in my character. But I do sometimes feel that I need to speak out. Thanks again – I appreciate your support πŸ™‚

  44. Rameez Bhat says

    Thanks for sharing such a valuable & thoughtful information!
    In your essay, it seems that you’re referring to sedentary lifestyle and NOT sedimentary. Please correct me, if my understanding is incorrect.


  45. Ameer Oudah says

    Well done Liz! You are always amazing and your posts are simplified for a better understanding.
    I hope if you could write a full book about all writing skills and strategies not only on grammars. We need your guidance in all Ielts aspects.

    God bless you

  46. Hai liz..Is it spending too much TV each day?

  47. Hana Osman says

    Thannnnnnks …i love toi liz,,,toi really helped me amour, liz do toi have Γ  pravite coure online ???
    I really want to be in

  48. This question have been asked to me in my speaking test .

    • Yes. There are many similarities between the topics in writing task 2 and speaking. Particularly in speaking part 3 which tackles broader world issues. The difference will be in your language in answering and your focus. Speaking and writing do NOT have the same marking criteria.

  49. Thank you liz you are great

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