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The IELTS writing task 2 can be challenging if you don’t prepare properly! Here you will find some common IELTS writing topics plus a consistent essay formula that will help you structure your text and paragraphs.

Hello from the E2 Team! Whether you are taking your IELTS test for the first time, or you already had a go at it, it is undeniable that the second task of the writing section is one of the parts of the exam that requires the most planning and attention.

Read till the end to learn some useful tips to be prepared for your essay and how E2 Test Prep can help you make your desired goal score a reality.

IELTS Writing Task 2: An overview

The essay writing task is included in both the general and academic IELTS. You will have 40 minutes to write a 250-word response to an essay question. Your essay should include four (4) paragraphs:

  1. An introduction
  2. Body paragraph #1
  3. Body paragraph #2
  4. A conclusion

Although there is a consistent essay formula that will help you to structure your essay and paragraphs, you need to be aware of the different types of essay questions there are.

IELTS writing question types: What you should expect

Agree or disagree IELTS questions

The agree/disagree essay question gives you a topic and asks you to what extent do you agree or disagree with an idea related to that topic. For example:

Less and less parents these days are smacking their children. Some people think that this is leading to a generation of misbehaved children. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

The question above is related is establishing an argument around smacking children. Your essay must answer that question by giving your opinion on whether you agree or disagree with the statement in addition to supporting ideas and examples.

Advantage or disadvantage IELTS questions

The advantage/disadvantage essay question gives you a topic and then asks you to discuss its advantages and disadvantages. A sample advantage/disadvantage essay question looks like this:

Some graduates prefer to travel for a year between graduation and gaining full-time employment. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this.

Here you will need to present both sides of the argument (one per paragraph) with supporting ideas and examples for each.

Discuss both views IELTS questions

The discuss both views question type gives you two postures or opinions related to a topic and asks you to discuss both. For example:

Some people think it’s the government’s responsibility to tackle environmental issues. Others believe it is up to each individual to be environmentally responsible. Discuss both sides.

Here you need to spend one body paragraph on each opinion, giving explanations and examples for why people may hold each view.

Discuss both views and give your opinion

The discuss both views and give your opinion question is very similar, but instead of just asking you to discuss two views, it also asks you to state which one you agree with. For example:

Some people think it’s better to educate boys and girls in separate schools. However, others believe that boys and girls benefit more from attending the same school. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

In response to this essay question, you’d need to discuss both opinions (one in each paragraph) and give explanations and examples to support each one. You’d also have to say which one you agree with. You can do that within the body paragraph.

Problem/solution IELTS question

The problem/solution essay question presents you with an issue that you need to discuss and then provide possible solutions for. Here’s an example:

The overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments can tackle these problems.

Here you will talk about the problems caused by overpopulation in the first body paragraph, and suggest some government-led solutions in the second body paragraph.

Double question IETLS question

In the double question essay, you’re actually asked two questions, and you need to make sure you answer both. For example:

Today more people are travelling than ever before. Why is this the case? What are the benefits of travelling for the traveller?

Here you have two questions to answer. 1. Why are people travelling more than before? 2. What are the benefits of travelling. You should spend one paragraph answering each question, it is essential that you don’t forget the other one!

IELTS Writing Topics: Some ideas

There are common themes in IELTS writing topics, though the specifics of each question vary.

The best way to be ready to write about these topics is to be familiar with them. You will need to generate ideas during the test and come up with examples from your own knowledge and experience.

This is why you should read about general topics to broaden your general knowledge. This will have the double effect of widening your vocabulary and reading skills as well as giving you knowledge that you can then use to generate ideas for your essay.

In any E2 Test Prep IELTS course, you will find commonly used topics and several example essays that you can use as a reference, sign up/login today and get to work on your writing skills.

Did you know you can take IELTS mock tests with feedback from an expert on E2 Test Prep? Check out our IELTS General info page or our IELTS Academic info page to learn more about them.

Preparing online for your IELTS with E2 Test Prep will provide you with effective methods, practice essays and expert feedback to feel confident and prepared for writing and every other task of the exam.

Lastly, make sure to subscribe to our IELTS youtube channel, there’s heaps of content and useful tips that you can access for free.

Watch our video about 7 mistakes to avoid in IELTS writing. Subscribe to our channel for more content
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