Practice Essay for Sample Materials

I am currently working on an e-book for IELTS writing task 2 grammar. I need sample writing from people preparing for IELTS for my book.

I would like you to write a model essay for the question below. Sentences from your essay might be used in my e-book. Obviously, your name will not be used, just some sentences. If you post your essay, you are giving me your consent to use sentences in your essay in my e-book.

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

I have written a full model essay for this question and also a long list of tips which relate directly to many of the essays posted below.

To view the model essay and tips, click below:

Model Essay & Tips


All the best



The points below will help you when you type your essay into the comments box.

  1. Please note this is a multi-task essay. The first question asks for your opinion on the issue. The second asks for your solutions. Both questions carry equal weight.
  2. You should aim for between 270 and 290 words. It is not recommended to go over 300.
  3. You should use a range of linking devices.
  4. Do not use learned phrases. Each sentence should be uniquely created by yourself.
  5. Always divide the body into paragraphs. Choose a logical organisation of ideas.
  6. Don’t aim to impress. Always aim for accuracy.

IELTS Discussion Essay Model Answer

This IELTS discussion essay sample answer is estimated at band 9. See comments below the essay for advice and tips.

Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important.
Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

It is considered by some that being a university graduate is the key to securing a good job, while there are others who think that it is better to have experience and soft skills. In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.

On the one hand, many think it is easier for most people to find a good job if they are university graduates with a good degree. In other words, having tertiary education puts people one step ahead of others who do not and this can be the deciding factor in getting a good job. The competition to get in to universities and the increasing number of graduates show just how significant this level of education is for people’s future work opportunities.

On the other hand, having work experience and soft skills, such as leadership skills and other interpersonal skills, can also throw the balance in favour of the applicant, according to some. For many positions there are an overwhelming number of applicants and, therefore, it is often thought that having relevant experience in that line of work or having acquired useful soft skills that can be valuable to a company, can put one ahead of the game when applying for a position.

Finally, in my opinion, whether needing high level education or skills and experience, depends on the position being applied for. Take for example law, medicine or teaching, it is impossible to be considered for a position without the required educational background. In contrast, in business, it would be more important for a candidate to have soft skills and experience in that line of business so they can step into a position without further training and be of immediate benefit to the company.

In conclusion, getting a good job requires a relevant background either in experience or education depending on the type of work and field. People should make sure they attain the necessary skills or degrees before applying for a job in order to be sure of success.

Comments: This is a a band score 9  essay. It has over 300 words but all sentences are relevant, focused and well written. Band score 8.5 and 9 students can attempt long essays successfully but students from band 8 to band 6, should aim for around 270 to 290 words. Both sides are clearly discussed and the opinion is also clearly given. Linking devices are well used.


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Background Statement Practice for IELTS Essays

Practising Background Statements for IELTS Introductions

Below are four essay questions that appeared this month (December 2018) in IELTS writing task 2. Under each essay question are model background statements. You will see the different ways you can paraphrase the essay question.

All IELTS writing task 2 essay introduction paragraphs contain:

  1. Background statement = a paraphrase of the essay question
  2. Thesis statement = your position or main points

This lesson will give you practice at paraphrasing essay questions to make a background statement. Below you will find 4 essays with model background statements and a list of tips to help you.

IELTS Background Statement Practice

Paraphrase the essay questions below to create one background statement. The first one has been done for you as an example with three possible options. I would like you to write a background statement for questions 2-4.

Essay Question 1

Science will soon result in people living to an average of 100 years or more. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Model Background Statement for IELTS:

  1. People’s lifespan is increasing due to developments in science and it is thought that people will soon have an average life expectancy of 100 years or longer.
  2. Due to the development of science, people’s lifespans might be extended to 100 years or even longer.
  3. People may one day live to be 100 years old or more owing to the development of science.

Essay Question 2

Some people prefer online classes, while others think it is better to be in a traditional classroom. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Model Background Statements:

  1. While there are people who prefer to take part in online courses, others believe that traditional classroom teaching is by far superior.
  2. Online course are very popular with some people, however others still consider teacher led classrooms as the most effective way to learn.
  3. Although online courses are preferred by some people, there are others who firmly believe that learning should take place in a classroom face to face with a teacher.

Essay Question 3

Many people try to find a balance between their work and other aspects of their life. However, few actually achieve this. What solutions can you suggest?

Model Background Statements:

  1. It is a common problem that people struggle to find a healthy balance between their work and other areas of their life.
  2. Finding a balance between work and other areas of life can be a challenge that some people struggle with.
  3. While many people wish for a healthy work-life balance, few are able to realise this.

Essay Question 4

There has been an increase in the number of children and youngsters committing crime. What are the reasons for this and punishments should they receive?

Model Background Statements:

  1. The number of crimes involving children and adolescents has risen over recent years.
  2. Children and teenagers appear to be involved in an increasing number of crimes.
  3. It has been observed that juvenile crime is on the rise.

Tips for IELTS Background Statements

  1. Don’t write a very long background statement. It doesn’t help your score to do that and wastes valuable time.
  2. Try to write your background statement as one complex sentence. to do that, use a clause and correct linking.
  3. Don’t paraphrase unless you are 100% sure your word is perfect. Not all words can be changed in English. Be selective when you paraphrase. Paraphrasing is a skill about when to change something and also when NOT to change something.
  4. Don’t aim to impress – aim for accuracy instead.
  5. You don’t always need to start your background with “some people..”. See all the options above.
  6. You should not start your essay with overused expressions that are popular with low level English users, such as “In the modern era,” or “With the advent of modern technology..”
  7. Avoid learning expressions which you think will impress the examiner “A hot debate..” / “a burning question..” “a highly controversial issue..”. The examiner is trained to spot these learned expressions. They don’t help your score and show a lack if individuality in your language. You need to write each sentence in your own words, unique to yourself.

I hope you found this lesson useful 🙂

All the best


Spelling Practice: Vocabulary for Zoos

Spelling is part of the IELTS writing task 2 marking criterion of vocabulary, which is 25% of your final marks. Spelling mistakes will lower your score for writing task 2.

The passage below is based on the Advantages & Disadvantages of Zoos. A common topic in IELTS writing task 2.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Zoo

Spelling Practice: Read the paragraphs below and spot the 14 spelling mistakes. What is the correct spelling? Please note, this is NOT a full essay. 

There are a number of reasons why it is wrong to put wild animals in zoos. Firstly, wild animals are not domisticated and should be free to rome around their natural habitate. Putting them in confinned spaces in zoos means that they will never be able to return to the wild again. Secondly, animals have natural instinkts which they develop from living in the wild and pass down to their own off spring. These instincts will gradually fade and never return if they are kept in capivity.

On the other hand, keeping animals in zoos does serve some useful porposes. Zoos can serve a way to protect indangered species. Many species are facing dwinling numbers due to the distruction of their habitat or from disease so by keeping them in zoos, they are protected from extinction. Another reason why zoos can be useful is that they can serve as a way to educate the public. Most people will never come into contract with such a range of species in their lives. So, by having zoos, people are able to experiance seeing them and also learn about them. Hopefully this will help with the pretection of animals in the future as people will learn to appreciate animals.


The answers are now available for this lesson. Click below:

Answers for Spelling Zoo Vocabulary Lesson: Answers

All the best


This lesson was suggested by a student called Karamdeep. If you have any ideas for lessons, please let me know by posting your ideas in the comments box below.

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Sept & Oct 2018 IELTS Essay Questions

Below is a list of IELTS essay questions for September and October 2018. These topics have been reported by IELTS candidates in their writing task 2 test – they are NOT predictions.

IELTS sometimes repeat topics, but they often change the essay question. Reviewing recent questions is a good way to see what topics are trending at present. However, your preparation should always be based on common topics for writing task 2 which you can find on this page: 100 IELTS Essay Questions

IELTS Essay Questions September & October 2018

IELTS do not release exam questions except in the IELTS Cambridge test books. These questions have been reported by students and written as well as they can remember.

  1. Many parents believe that when their children read books for entertainment, they are wasting their time, and that they should read only serious, educational books. What is you opinion about this?
  2. In countries where unemployment is high,  education should only be obligatory up to primary school and not secondary school. To what extend do you agree or disagree.
  3. Employers should give longer holidays to employees to encourage them to do their job well. Do you agree?
  4. Some people think money is the best gift to give youngsters, while others disagree. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  5. Human activity has had a negative effect on plants and animal all over the world. Some people think that it is too late to do something about it. Others think that there is still time to take effective action. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  6. The international community must act immediately to ensure all nations reduce the consumption of fossil fuel (gas and oil). To what extent do you agree or disagree.
  7. Nowadays, many medical research projects are funded by private companies.In your opinion, do you think that research should be carried by private companies, individuals or government?
  8. Some say that the most important thing about being rich is that one has the opportunity to help others. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  9. The restoration of old buildings in major cities throughout the world involves enormous expenditure. This money would bring more benefits if it was used to provide new housing and road development. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  10. As a country develops, people tend to buy more cars. Do the advantages for the individual outweigh the disadvantages for the environment?
  11. Some people think that advertising on TV is useful for viewers, while others disagree. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  12. Some people think that activities done in a person’s free time should be planned, while others disagree. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  13. Some students tend to play computer games rather than do sports. Why is this? What can be done to tackle the problem?
  14. Individuals should improve the environment or is it the government and large companies that should take action?
  15. Many museums and historical sites are mainly visited by tourists, but not local people. Why this is the case? What can be done to attract more local people to visit these places?
  16. Today, many people want to get married and have children in their thirties rather than when they are younger. Is it a positive or negative development ?
  17. Some people say that all students should study history as a major subject, while others feels that other subjects are important for children in today’s society. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  18. People who read for pleasure have better imagination and language skills than those who prefer watching TV. To what extent do you agree?
  19. A growing population is a big problem in many countries. Should the government provide new homes in the cities or countryside?
  20. Local people do not go very often to museums or historical sites. Why is that? What can be done to change the situation?
  21. Stores should sell local food products and not the imported food products. Do you agree or disagree?
  22. Some people say the Olympic Games are not relevant in the 21st century. Do you agree or disagree?
  23. Tourism is encouraged in many countries. Does tourism brings more advantages or disadvantages to a country?
  24. Some people think that the media (newspapers) have the right to publish details of people’s private life, while other’s think it should be controlled ? Discuss both views

More useful links:

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics September – December 2018: Recent Speaking Part 2 Topics

IELTS Writing Task 2 Advanced Lessons to Purchase: Essay Training with Liz

All the best



Linking Words Practice August 2018

Fill in the gaps below with the correct linking words. This is useful practice for your IELTS writing task 2 essay. Using linking words requires you to be careful with the grammar structure of your sentences – this lesson will review your ability to do that.


Choose the correct letter to complete each sentence. It is possible to have more than one letter for an answer.

  1. ……………. the government building more homes in city centres, there is still a lack of housing.
    1. Answers: A) Although   B) Despite   C) So
  2. ………….. the government is increasing the amount of money spent on dealing with environmental pollution, individuals must still play their part.
    1. Answers: A) But    B) Although  C) Despite
  3. People should eat a balanced diet ……………..  avoid serious health problems.
    1. Answers:  A) due to    B) so     C) in order to
  4. …………… there are children who may not find it easy to live abroad, for others it can be an experience that helps them mature and become more independent.
    1. Answers: A) While  B) In spite of  C) Even so
  5. ………………….. more and more people moving to the city to find jobs, housing has become a serious problem in city centers.
    1. Answers A) Consequently   B) As a result  C) As a result of  D) Owing to


Answers are now available:

Click here:  Answers Linking Word Lesson

All the best



July 2018 IELTS Essay Questions

Below is a list of IELTS Essay Questions July 2018 reported in writing task 2.

Will these questions be repeated?

  • IELTS often repeat topics but change the questions and instructions.
  • To prepare for IELTS writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for the topics below and common topics which you will find on this page: 100 IELTS Essay Questions.
  • No one can predict the question you will get in your test. So, prepare as many common and recent topics as possible.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Questions July 2018

The questions below have been reported by IELTS candidates and may not be accurately remembered.

  1. Some people think that modern technology is making people more sociable, while others think it is making them less sociable. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. Online, people write product reviews and opinions about services. Is it a good thing or bad thing?
  3. Some people argue that formal education should start for children as early as possible, while others think that it should not start until 7 years of age. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.
  4. Some people believe that teachers have a important role to play in the educational success, while others think it is the students’ attitude that matters. Discuss both views and share your opinion.
  5. Some physiologists recommend that it is important to overcome stresses by spending time do nothing. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. The education of young people is the main priority in countries around the world. Some people believe that educating adults who cannot read or write is essential for the society and more funding should be made available for it. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  7. The only way to solve the increasing crime rate of young offenders is to teach parents better parenting skills. To what extent do you agree?
  8. Scientist have been warning for many years about the importance of protecting the environment and that we must limit the use of energy in our daily lives. Despite warnings, many people do not do this. What are the reasons for that and how people can be encouraged to take an interest in protecting the environment?
  9. Some people believe that a great difference in age between parents and children is more beneficial. Do you think the advantages of a greater difference in age between them outweigh the disadvantages?
  10. Some people think the government should be responsible for solving the pollution problems which result from heavy traffic. To what extent do you agree?
  11. Some people believe that universities should only offer places to students with high marks, while others believe that people of all ages should be allowed even if they don’t do well in school. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  12. People are less fit and active nowadays than in the past. What are the reasons for this? What measures can be taken to fix this?
  13. The world of work is changing rapidly. Working conditions today are not the same as before and people no longer rely on taking one job for life. Discuss the possible causes for these changes and give your suggestions for how people should prepare for work in the future.
  14. Some people find it beneficial to sent young children to nursery school before they go to primary school, while others think it is good to keep children at home with their family. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  15. Some people think that to reduce traffic and pollution, the government should increase tax on petrol (gasoline).  Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  16. It is believed that young people are more interested in international pop singers and movie stars than in history and historical people. Why is this? (June)
  17. Nowadays, culture is more or less the same around the world compared to in the past. Is this a positive trend or negative trend? (June)


IELTS Essay Questions & Answer June 2018

IELTS Writing Task 2 Questions and Model Essay June 2018

Below you will find:

  1. June IELTS essay question with model answer
  2. List of more June essay questions for you to practise at home
  3. List of March April essay questions
  4. Tips for Writing Task 2 Preparation

Take your time to read through this page and make the most of the tips and links.

Please note: these are past essay questions which have been used this month. They are not predictions. To prepare for IELTS writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for recent questions and common questions. See below for recent questions and here is a link to common essay questions: 100 IELTS Essay Questions

IELTS Essay Question June 2018

Some people think that the teenagers should concentrate on all subjects at school. Others believe that teenagers should focus on the subject they are best at or they are most interested in. To what extent do you agree?

Model IELTS Essay June 2018

While it is thought that adolescents ought to focus on a broad range of school subjects, others feel it would be better for them to concentrate only on chosen subjects. I believe the number of subjects they study should depend on their age.

One reason adolescents from around the age of 13 to 17 ought to focus on learning as many different subjects as possible is that they are too immature to make serious decisions that will affect their future. By studying various subjects, they will develop a clearer understanding of their skills and interests, which often change as a child ages. Secondly, teenagers need to vary what they learn to help them develop into well rounded adults. For example, they need sport to encourage health, they need maths to be able to perform simple arithmetic in life, and they need languages to help them learn communication. At a young age they are not mature enough to be responsible for their own development.

However, by the age of 18, adolescents know not only what subjects they most enjoy or excel at, but also which subjects are most useful for their future prospects in life. For this reason, the majority of university applicants are 18 years old, and they are eager to engage more deeply in specific subject matter. Furthermore, their ability to concentrate on one specific subject and study in depth is fully established at that age, unlike when they were younger. Lastly, older adolescents have the ability to manage their own schedule and can take responsibility for continuing art or sport as hobbies.

To conclude, younger teenagers are not ready to specialise and require a broad framework of subjects to help them develop, but at the age of 18, this is no longer the case.

More IELTS Essay Questions June 2018

  1. Nowadays, people move from one country to another for work. Some people think children of these families suffer because of this, while others think it is helpful for them. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  2. Adults do less exercise these days. Some people think that showing sports events on the television such as the Olympics and international tournaments is the best way to encourage adults to do exercise. Others believe there are more effective ways to do so. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  3. Some parents, specially mothers, stay at home instead working, and some people think that they should receive monetary compensation from the government. Do you agree or disagree?
  4. Some people use technology to take advice for their medical problems rather than seeing a doctor. Why this is so? It is positive or negative development according to you?
  5. Although more and more people are reading the news on the internet, most people still prefer reading the news in a newspaper. What are your views?

Click here for: March & April Essay Questions

How to Prepare for IELTS Writing Task 2

  1. Prepare ideas for topics. You can do this by googling online. Here is a list of common essay questions and topics for IELTS writing task 2: 100 Essay Questions
  2. Make sure you have learned your list of linking words which must be used flexibly: Linking Words for IELTS WT2
  3. Learn about essay length and paragraphing:
    1. essay length
    2. structure and importance of conclusions
  4. Learn how to add examples to your essay: Adding Examples Language
  5. Get training to hit band 7 and above: Advanced IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons

All the best


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