Ielts English Essay Topics

Here are a couple topics that kind people remembered and shared:

1. What are the benefits of living in big cities, as opposed to rural areas? What are the problems of rural areas and how can they be solved?

2. Recently the freedom to work and live anywhere has become the main trend due to the development of communication technology and transportation. Do the advantages of these developments outweigh the disadvantages? Discuss.

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How To Get Ideas And Plan Your Essays

What we’re going to do is look at about 5 or 6 IELTS Task 2 questions.

And together we’re going to work through what we’re going to write for each paragraph.

I’m going to be quite quick but I just want to show you the process I use for when I’m writing my essays.

And I do write a lot of essays ’cause I find out

the more I write, the easier it gets (logically).

And of course being a native speaker, I don’t have to check it.

Although, I will admit

my spelling isn’t fantastic.

However, I got Microsoft Word and stuff like that for some of the other problems (usually the vowels and stuff).

But anyway, let’s get going.

First of all, good luck to Shuko and Hamilian.

The 2 online students that are gonna take the test.

I’ve been working with them trying to get ideas working on the speaking,

get ideas for essays,

working on their grammar,

and I’m pretty certain they’re going to do it.

So we’ll see. I’ll let you know how it goes.

But I’m pretty certain they can do it.

They’ve been working quite hard (especially Shuko… she never stop sending me essays).

But it’s good.

Let’s get started.

So I’ve decided to take question from about 3 or 4 subjects.

Globalization

Education

and Equality.

Let’s get started.

First question:

“Do you think it is better for students to work before the university study?”

“Why”

“Use reasons and specific examples to support your choice.”

Now then…

For this essay, I decided “Yes, it is better.”

For the 1st paragraph I said:

“The student would get practical experience,”

“they get contacts,”

“they get on-the-job skills.”

That’s very good collocation to use “on-the-job skills.”

And then to prove my point, I give an example and I say,

“Studies from the UK Government show that graduates with work experience are twice as likely to find employment.”

So it’s quite believable, that example.

And of course, these are just rough ideas but it’s a solid idea.

And I’m going to say “yes” from beginning to the end.

I’m not going to write a discussive essay because there’s no need to.

I agree totally with what the question says.

Then for question 2, once again “yes.” A second reason.

So I’ll say, “Can you continue the first argument?”

I’ll say, “It’s better preparation, chance to improve social skills, close the gap between academia and the private sector…”

Also more collocations there: “social skills,” and “private sector.”

“It also helps the student to commit…”

“It also helps the student before they commit to a long term plan.”

So it helps them decide. Then for my example, I said:

“One out of six students will change their higher education course while at university.”

If you actually look at the presentation on a slideshow or on the video on YouTube,

You’ll see that the notes, they’re not full sentences. It’s just a few bullet points, random ideas, all put together.

And I’ve used the shortened version (I didn’t say “university” I just put “uni”).

‘Cause at this stage, my grammar doesn’t have to be perfect.

The spelling doesn’t have to be perfect.

I’m just getting ideas and building the essay.

In this podcast, we’re just going to look at paragraph 1 and paragraph 2.

‘Cause introductions and conclusions can be written after you’ve got your main ideas for your body paragraphs.

… And that’s where you pick up most points.

Next question… Also related to education…

“Some people believe that children should do organized activities in their free time while others believe that children should be free to do what they want to do in their free time.”

Not the best written question there but anyway…

“Which viewpoint do you agree with?”

“Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.”

Let’s go.

Quickly, I’m writing down ideas. I’m going to say:

“There’s lots of benefits in letting the mind wonder.”

“Children can express themselves.”

“They can find themselves.”

“They can do what they prefer and excel at.”

Like I said, ideas. Ideas. Just getting them down. Maybe I’ll use 2 of these in the actual body paragraph.

Then I’ve got an example… or a believable example

(I invented this but it doesn’t matter.)

(I invented this but it’s believable.)

“Recent studies show 12% of school students dislike physical education, therefore if sports were chosen it be unfair to this minority.”

Yeah? That’s believable. That’s believable. It’s about 12%.

I remember at school, there’s a few that didn’t’ like sports, so it’s believable.

I’m not saying, “99% or all students hate physical activity” because that would just be insanely inaccurate.

And also, notice the vocabulary I used.

I’ve used the collocations of course, “physical education”

but I also used, “dislike” I didn’t say “hate” or “absolutely disgust” because that is very strong language.

And this is an academic essay so we have to limit it a little bit.

We cannot be so absolute.

Now, my second paragraph focuses on the cost and what would be necessary.

Basically, the disadvantages.

And so I’m saying that:

“It’d be costly for the school.”

“They might need time to plan it.”

“They might need to buy possible equipment.”

And then for my example, I would say:

“Furthermore studies show that the brain operates better after a distraction from a structured task such as studying.”

Then finish the sentence with “Therefore recreational time from the students’ schedule would have detrimental effects.”

Also, not the more specific vocabulary.

I’m talking about “schedule”

“recreational times”

This is good vocabulary because it’s vocabulary only related to education or specially related to education.

So it shows the examiner I’ve got rich vocabulary.

Next question.

“Many people say that globalization and the growing number of multinational companies have a negative effect on the environment.”

“to what extent to you agree or disagree.”

“Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.”

So what’s the crooks of the question?

“That globalization and multinational companies are damaging the environment. Having a negative effect.”

So first: Globalization, definitely damaging the environment.

I could be long. I could give a long and complex, more accurate answer saying that:

“Globalization is increasing the cost of world economic resources which is therefore increasing the price of substitute products (or rival products) such as ecological energy from wind farms… blah, blah, blah…”

But the examiner doesn’t care. Yeah?

He wants to see just something logical.

So I’m just going to take simple route.

Something that’s going to be easy to explain and where I’ve got some good vocabulary.

Let’s go. This is my idea:

“Increased interaction between countries”

“Leads to increase goods and services traded”

“Which means more production”

“Therefore more resource extraction” (such as mining)…

Maybe I’ll remove that in my final sentence ’cause then I could just talk about the example, which would be:

“For example, in China (largely considered the workshop of the world), in many cities air pollution masks are needed to commute around the city center.”

So therefore, I’ve proved my point. I said that globalization is damaging the environment.

Quite simple.

Believable example.

And it’s easy to follow.

Next, I have to go back to the question ’cause I wanted to check.

The 2nd point was about multinationals.

Once again, I’ve taken the simple route. It says,

“Multinationals are responsible for negative effects in the environment.”

It’s quite a big statement to say that. But I’m just gonna say “yes.”

I’m just going to say “yes” because it’s simple.

I’m getting points for my language, not for the quality of my ideas.

So I will say,

“Yes, multinationals do increase pollution.”

“Globalization requires global solutions (these can have drastic consequences if accidents happen).”

Of course I’m going to expand it a little bit but that’s the main part of my argument.

It says, “A negative effect in the environment” in the question.

Here, I’ve put “increased pollution” more or less is saying.”

I’ve put “destroyed the local ecosystem” in my example.

In my example, I talk about:

BP

The Gulf of Mexico

The oil pill (a few years ago)

… destroyed the local system.

It proves my point.

And if you’ve caught them before, I said “drastic consequences” just another collocation there.

Once again, get in a solid plan together,

put in down the points,

thinking of an example that will correspond,

then I’ve got 2 solid paragraphs.

Now, all I have to do is my conclusion and my introduction.

Which I can draw from the body paragraphs.

Next question:

“Parents want to achieve balance between family career but only a few manage to achieve it.”

“What do you think is the reason?”

“Discuss possible solutions and provide examples.”

Now, we’ve got the problem and a possible solution.

So the first paragraph will be what is the reason why there is a challenge trying to find the balance between family and career.

My second paragraph, I will suggest solutions.

This is very important.

I’ve paid attention to the question and each paragraph will correspond

to the question,

to the parts of the question,

structures of the question,

and therefore I’m going to pick up points for Task Response.

Let’s have a look.

“The first reason why there is an imbalance…”

Notice as well, I used the negative form of the verb.

It says, “It’s difficult to achieve a balance,” so I said, “The reason for the imbalance…”

“… is because there’s increased competition in the work place,”

“changes in society,”

“increase in the amount of working mothers put strain on the family…”

As you can see, I’ve got quite a few points here. So I might cut them down and only use the ones most relevant to my example.

And my example (once again) is completely invented but it’s believable. Here it is:

“Studies in the United States (US) show that families with two full-time parents are more likely to separate.”

“Therefore, this shows that finding the balance is incredibly difficult.”

This is the reason. This is what I think.

They’re more likely to separate. Full time, lots of stress, it’s going to be difficult.

Paragraph two, possible solutions.

Possible solutions. Here, I’ve just gone for something that fitted…

I came with my example first, and then I thought “Okay, I can go with this route.”

First I thought of France having a 35-hour working week.

(Which is quite outrageous if you’re coming from the UK and from the United States to even do this.)

(Due to the culture that we have there in the UK).

So the solution would be:

Regulations from the government.

Government could legislate for increasing maternity leave.

More flexible working practices.

Reduced working week.

For example, “In France, the government proposed and implemented a 35-hour working week.”

Also, lot of collocations there.

“maternity leave”

“flexible working practices”

“working week”

Use these. Once you get in special vocabulary that you’re only going to find talking about this topic.

So we’ve done a few questions about globalization, also touching on the environment.

We’ve done a few about education.

Now, we’re going to do one about… Well, another one about equality.

Let’s go.

“Nowadays both men and women spend a lot of money on beauty care. This was not so in the past.”

“What may be the root cause of this behavior?”

“Discuss the reasons and possible results.”

Now this one was tricky.

This one was tricky for me because it’s difficult to find the examples about this.

Especially for 2 paragraphs.

Okay, it wasn’t difficult. It was a bit more of a challenge and I have to think more.

But it’s important that you do the thinking process beforehand.

So let’s have a look at paragraph 1.

Before I tell you the answers, try and think of some ideas yourself.

The more times you do this,

the more times you look at a question

and think of examples,

think of ideas,

think of arguments,

the easier it gets.

Especially regarding the examples.

Especially if you invented the examples.

So my idea was basically marketing.

I’ll give you the question again:

“Nowadays both men and women spend a lot of money on beauty care. This was not so in the past.”

“What may be the root cause of this behavior?”

“Discuss the reasons and possible results.”

My idea for paragraph 1:

Marketing.

For this, it’s quite easy to think of examples ’cause we are exposed to publicity everyday.

So it’s not that difficult.

“The beauty market for women is worth millions, consumer goods companies see similar potential for the male market.”

Once again, just bullet points.

“Therefore developing new ranges, e.g. L’Oreal for Men Expert.”

“Therefore the reason is the potential opportunity.”

Okay?

“The female market for women is worth millions.”

“The male market isn’t developed.”

“Therefore developing the male market and we’ve practically doubled our sales.”

So let’s have a look at some of the collocations.

“consumer goods companies”

And I can even say, “Consumer goods companies such as L’Oreal, Proctor and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson…”

“see the potential for male market”

For example, L’Oreal developed an expert.

And that’s fine.

That’s fine.

If I put up all these ideas together in one cohesive paragraph…

And if you need to know how to write a cohesive paragraph, have a look at the sentence guide at

ieltspodcast.com

Because that gives you just a really simple formula to use to drop your ideas in and presto.

You have a strong, coherent paragraph.

Let’s go.

Next paragraph.

This one was a little bit more difficult to think of.

Because I was going a bit off topic.

I was going to talk about people are now caring for themselves more.

They started to eat more organic food.

And then I thought, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop. Stop. That’s a crazy idea.”

“There’s nothing to do with organic food.”

So what I did was just crossed it all out,

went back to the beginning,

and I said:

“It’s difficult to say the results of this because it’s earlier.”

I went back to the question. The second part was:

Discuss the reasons and possible results.

Well, the results are that it’s difficult to say because it’s early. It’s early days.

And then I say:

“However the general trend is in this direction.”

For example:

“Deodorant was considered unnecessary before the 1950s.”

“Therefore the market will probably grow and will be completely normal in the future.”

I didn’t have to say reasons to this or stuff like that.

Because it’s kind of clear.

Deodorant wasn’t a product available in the 1950s/before the 1950s.

However the consumer goods companies slowly introduced it in the society.

So maybe if you’re from a different country, you’d think of an example.

Maybe it’s happening at the moment in certain countries. You know?

10 years ago, there was no market for moisturizer in the country.

Now, the local market is the 2nd biggest in the world.

Blah, blah, blah. Something like that.

Now, to get the skill of thinking of ideas and building paragraphs, all you can do is go to

ieltspodcast.com/250

Download 250 IELTS Task 2 questions,

20 IELTS essays.

And if you’re still having problems, if you want to develop it further you can go to

ieltspodcast.com

and have a look at the sentence guide.

I’ve been having lots of success with that. It’s making the whole process a lot easier.

So definitely consider that.

And if you’ve got any questions, just send us an email and I’ll be happy to respond.

I’ll be happy to help you out.

Ok, good luck in the exam.

It’s just a question of work. I think you can do it.

Alright? Keep on it.

Keep going.

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