This is a list of 20 topics that often appear in the IELTS exam. Would you feel confident writing an essay about any topics given here? How about discussing them in the speaking test? If you’re not familiar with a topic, use the internet to find out more. There is always something new to learn!

Have a look through these topics, write down some ideas and plan how you would approach that essay topic. And remember to get your essay checked by one of E2Language’s IELTS experts by submitting it for a Writing assessment!

Find sample essay topics below.

1       Animals
2       Art
3       Communication
4       Crime
5       Culture/Society
6       Education
7       Entertainment
8       Environment
9       Family
10     Food & farming
11     Global Issues
12     Health
13     Media
14     Money
15     Science/Technology
16     Space
17     Sport
18     Transport
19     Travel
20     Work

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1. Animals

Many animals are facing extinction in the wild. Why is this happening? What can be done to protect them?

Some people think that keeping pets is good for children while others think it is dangerous and unhealthy. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Zoos are sometimes seen as necessary but poor alternatives to a natural environment. Discuss some of the arguments for and against keeping animals in zoos and give your own opinion.

2. Art

Many countries spend a lot of money on art. Some people think investment in art is necessary, but others say the money is better spent on improving health and education. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

All students ought to study art and music in school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Creative artists should always be given freedom to express their own ideas (in words, pictures, music or film) in whichever way they wish. There should be no government restrictions on what they do. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

3. Communication

Some people believe that handwriting is no longer useful in the modern world and should not be taught in schools. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

These days the internet is easily accessible to children. Is this a positive or a negative development?

Nowadays people use social media to keep in touch with others and be aware of the news. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

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4. Crime

All criminals should have access to education and rehabilitation programs while in prison. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many criminals re-offend after they have been punished. Why do some people continue to commit crimes after they have been punished, and what measures can be taken to tackle this problem?

In many countries, an increase in crime has been blamed on violent images on television and in computer and video games. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

5. Culture/Society

Differences between countries become less evident each year. Nowadays, all over the world people share the same fashions, advertising, brands, eating habits and TV channels. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?

Some people believe that governments should ban dangerous sports. Others claim that they should have freedom to choose their favourite activities. Discuss both views and present your opinion.

In the developed world, average life expectancy is increasing. What problems will this cause for individuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of ageing populations.

6. Education

Only formal examinations, written or practical, can give a clear picture of students’ true knowledge and ability at university level. Continuous assessment like course work and projects are poor measures of student ability. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

In many countries, schools have severe problems with student behaviour. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?

Many people say that the only way to guarantee a good job is to complete a course of university education. Others claim that it is better to start work after school and gain experience in the world of work. Discuss both views and give your own opinion

7. Entertainment

Many people prefer to watch foreign films rather than locally produced films. Why could this be? Should governments give more financial support to local film industries?

In most developed countries shopping is not only about buying the goods you need, it is also perceived as entertainment. Is it a positive or negative development?

Some people think that it is important to use leisure time for activities that improve the mind, such as reading and doing word puzzles. Other people feel that it is important to rest the mind during leisure time. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

8. Environment

With deforestation, urban development and illegal hunting, many animal species are becoming endangered and some are even facing extinction.

Do you think it is important to protect animals? What can be done to deal with this problem?

Many people think it is very important to protect the environment but they make no effort to do it themselves. Why do you think this is the case? What actions should individuals take to protect the environment?

Explain some of the ways in which humans are damaging the environment. What can governments do to address these problems? What can individual people do?

9. Family

Children are influenced by their friend’s opinions. In what ways are children affected by their friends? How can parents make sure this influence is positive?

Parents often buy their children many toys. What are the advantages and disadvantages of children having a large number of toys?

Young people spend less of their free time with their family nowadays. What are the reasons for this? Are there more negative or positive sides to it?

10. Food & farming

All people should be vegetarian. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people claim that genetically modified (GM) food can be dangerous while others feel that it may bring enormous benefits to the world. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Junk food advertising has a harmful effect on society and should be banned. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

11. Global issues

The wealth gap between 1st world countries and 3rd world countries seems to be increasing. How can we reduce this gap? Do you think that developed countries have a duty to assist developing countries in every way?

The money given to help poor countries does not solve the problem of poverty, so rich countries should give other types of help instead. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The exploration and development of safe alternatives to fossil fuels should be the most important global priority today. To what extent do you agree and disagree?

12. Health

Despite huge improvements in healthcare, the overall standard of physical health in many developed countries is now falling. What are the reasons for this and how can the problem be tackled?

Some people claim that using tobacco has brought several social problems and smoking should be banned. To what extent do you agree or disagree?  

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in many countries. What are the causes of it and how can the problem be managed?

13. Media

The tendency of news media to focus on problems and emergencies rather than good news has a negative effect on individuals and society. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

“Newspapers and books are outdated.” Why do some people believe this? What is your opinion?

Many people believe that media coverage of celebrities is having a negative effect on children. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

14. Money

Many people say that we now live in ‘consumer societies’ where money and possessions are given too much importance. Others believe that consumer culture has played a vital role in improving our lives. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions. Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Some people believe that money is the most important factor for achieving happiness. However, others believe that happiness has nothing to do with money. What is your opinion?

15. Science/Technology

The Internet has transformed lives and economies but it is turning the world into a global village. Soon everybody will think and behave in the same way. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Some people think that computer games are bad for children, while others believe that they are useful. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of computer games and give your own opinion.

Some people believe that the range of technology available to individuals today is increasing the gap between rich people and poor people, while others say that technology has the opposite effect. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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16. Space

Some people think space research is a waste of money. The government should spend that money on the improvement of people’s living conditions. What is your opinion?

In the last century, the first man walking on the moon said: “It is a giant leap for mankind”. However, some people think that space travel makes little difference to our daily lives. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some scientists think that there are intelligent life forms on other planets and messages should be sent to contact them. Other scientists think it is a bad idea and would be dangerous. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

17. Sport

Some sports are considered extremely dangerous, but many people still like them. Why do people take part in dangerous sports?  Give some suggestions on how to deal with these dangers.

Popular events like the football World Cup and other international sporting occasions are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Because of the pressure of new subjects such as business studies, many schools have dropped sport of physical education (PE) from the curriculum. How important is sport or PE in a young person’s education?

18. Transport

Despite improvements in vehicle technology, there are still large numbers of road accidents. Explain some of the causes of these accidents and suggest some measures that could be taken to address the problem.

Some people think that strict punishments for driving offences are the key to reducing traffic accidents. Others, however, believe that other measures would be more effective in improving road safety. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

It is predicted that in the future cars will be driven by computers. What are the reasons behind this? Would it be a positive or negative development?

19. Travel

In many countries, tourism is a major part of the economy, but it also causes environmental damage and ruins the places it exploits. It is argued that tourists should pay an additional tax to compensate for this damage. Do you agree?

Some people think the advantages of international tourism outweigh its disadvantages. To what extent do you agree?

It is said that travel broadens the mind. What can we learn by travelling to other countries? Should we first explore our own countries?

20. Work

Nowadays employment options are changing and employees cannot rely on having the same job and working conditions throughout their life. What are some possible causes? Suggest some ways to plan for the future under these circumstances.

Some say job security is more important than job satisfaction. What is your opinion?

Nowadays many jobs are more stressful and the working day is longer. What are the reasons for this? What can employers do to help employees?

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