IELTS Writing Task 2: How To Answer Problem/ Cause & Solution Questions To Reach Band 9
Updated: Nov 14
Problem/ Cause & Solution Writing Task 2
When answering an IELTS Writing Task 2 problem/ cause and solution question you need to think of one or more problems (often two is good), and then give one or two solutions. You can group the problems in one paragraph and the solutions in one paragraph, or you can combine them, with a problem and solution together in each paragraph. It works really well if you have a main general idea for each paragraph which you can divide into two sub-ideas. In my plans below I’ll describe the problems in one paragraph and the solutions in another.
To begin with, think about your main ideas for the essay. The main idea is the general idea, and the sub-ideas go into more detail. In this kind of essay, your main idea 1 is about the problem, while main idea 2 is about the solution.
Basic Problem/Cause & Solution Task Plan:
Main idea 1: problem/ cause:.
Sub-idea A: Problem/ Cause 1
Sub-idea B : Problem/ Cause 2
Main Idea 2: Solution:
Sub-idea A: Solution 1
Sub-idea B : Solution 2
Next, I’ll show you a detailed plan on how to structure the problem/ solution essay with links to articles which have more information.
Detailed Task Plan:
Summarise main ideas 1 & 2
For more information on writing introductions click here
Body Paragraph 1 (Problem):
Topic Sentence: Summarise main idea 1. You may want to use “owing to ”/ “as a result of”/ “due to ” to give the reason for the problem. (see Giving Reasons/ Causes vocabulary below).
Introduce Sub-idea A: Describe the problem in one or two sentences.
Expand Sub-idea A: Write one or two sentences that explain/ support sub-idea A - say why or how it happens and/ or give an example. (see Giving Examples vocabulary below)
Result Statement: Explain the results of the problem. (see Results vocabulary below)
Introduce Sub-idea B: Use “Furthermore”, “In addition”, or “Moreover” and then describe the problem.
Expand Sub-idea B (as above)
Result Statement (as above)
For more information on writing essay body paragraphs click here
Body Paragraph 2 (Solution):
Topic Sentence: Summarise main idea 2 clearly. Use phrases such as “One solution is”/ “In order to address this problem”, etc. (see Proposing Solutions vocabulary below)
Introduce Sub-idea A: Describe the solution in one or two sentences.
Expand Sub-idea A: Write one or two sentences that explain/ support sub-idea A - say why or how it solves the problem and/ or give an example.
Result Statement: Explain the expected results of the solution. You can use the 2nd conditional here e.g. “This would lead to” . For more information on 2nd conditionals click here
Introduce Sub-idea B: Use “Furthermore”, “In addition”, or “Moreover”, and then describe the solution.
Summarise main ideas 1 & 2: Begin with “In conclusion”/ “To conclude”/ “To summarise”/ “In summary”. Avoid repeating vocabulary. Use synonyms and parallel expressions.
Below you’ll find the useful vocabulary that will help you when you write your problem/ cause and solution IELTS essay.
Giving Reasons/ Causes:
As a result of
…is a major cause of
....is a source of
...can contribute greatly to
…is the underlying cause of
The main cause of ………… is
….is due to
...are (important/ major) factors in
To give an example,
Suppose, for instance, that
As an example,
Good examples include
This would lead to/ This leads to
This would mean that/ This means that
As a result
As a consequence
By doing this
This will provide
In this way
A consequence of this is
This will create a situation where
This makes it
One solution to this problem is
In order to address this problem
In order to do this
It would be a good idea if
…should be encouraged to
Steps should be taken to
...should take measures to
The problem can be fixed by
So what does this essay look like in full? Keep reading below:
Problem/ Cause and Solution Task Example:
It is generally agreed that family relationships are not as close as they were in the past.
Explain why you think this has happened and suggest how family relationships could be made closer.
Main Idea 1: Changes in society make it harder to maintain close relationships
Sub-idea A: People are more likely to move to another area or city
Sub-idea B: People have very busy lives so have less time for family
Main Idea 2: People should make more effort to foster family relationships
Sub-idea A: People should meet up with family members more often
Sub-idea B: We can take advantage of modern communication technology
Now we have the main and sub-ideas for the essay, we are ready to write it.
It is commonly thought that families are not as close-knit as they were previously.
Summarise main ideas 1 & 2: In my opinion this could be the result of changes in society that have made it harder for people to spend quality time with family members. In order to address this problem, it’s important that people make more effort to stay in touch with family, and they can leverage modern communication devices and applications to do this.
As a result of various changes in society it is much harder for people to maintain close ties with their families than previously.
Introduce Sub-idea A:
For one, in the past, people tended to live very near relatives during their whole lives, whereas in today’s world this is not the case.
Expand Sub-idea A:
These days, people are more mobile and regularly move to different cities or even countries in order to find a better job, take advantage of better education or for some other opportunity.
This makes it more difficult to socialise with relatives and therefore more difficult to maintain close relationships.
Introduce Sub-idea B:
Furthermore, people’s lives are busier today than they were in the past.
Expand Sub-idea B:
We have a plethora of work and personal responsibilities, not to mention all of the recreational and personal development opportunities now available.
This means that it is even harder to find time for family. People are often only able to focus on providing for their nuclear family, at the expense of bonds with siblings, cousins and other family members.
One solution to the problems causing weakening family relationships is for people to prioritise their family members and make more effort to foster family relationships.
People should get together with relatives more frequently and spend more quality time together.
For example, they could organise a weekly meal together, or a regular family day out.
As a consequence of these activities, family members would become closer.
Moreover, even if a person lives far away from their relatives, in the modern world we have a myriad of technologies which enable us to stay in touch with them.
Be it on Skype, Messenger, or any similar application, people can message and speak to their siblings, parents or others quickly and cheaply.
By doing this, people who live far apart from their family members would still be able to remain close with them.
In conclusion, changes in society have made it harder for people to maintain strong family bonds. However, if we make a little more effort, and take advantage of the communication technologies now available, there’s no reason why we can’t maintain close relationships with our families.
Finally, if we put it all together, we get a model essay for a problem/ cause and solution IELTS writing task 2.
It is commonly thought that families are not as close-knit as they were previously. In my opinion this could be the result of changes in society that have made it harder for people to spend quality time with family members. In order to address this problem, it’s important that people make more effort to stay in touch with family, and they can leverage modern communication devices and applications to do this.
As a result of various changes in society it is much harder for people to maintain close ties with their families than previously. For one, in the past, people tended to live very near relatives during their whole lives, whereas in today’s world this is not the case. These days, people are more mobile and regularly move to different cities or even countries in order to find a better job, take advantage of better education or for some other opportunity. This makes it more difficult to socialise with relatives and therefore more difficult to maintain close relationships. Furthermore, people’s lives are busier today than they were in the past. We have a plethora of work and personal responsibilities, not to mention all of the recreational and personal development opportunities now available. This means that it is even harder to find time for family. People are often only able to focus on providing for their nuclear family, at the expense of bonds with siblings, cousins and other family members.
One solution to the problems causing weakening family relationships is for people to prioritise their family members and make more effort to foster family relationships. People should get together with relatives more frequently and spend more quality time together. For example, they could organise a weekly meal together, or a regular family day out. As a consequence of these activities, family members would become closer. Moreover, even if a person lives far away from their relatives, in the modern world we have a myriad of technologies which enable us to stay in touch with them. Be it on Skype, Messenger, or any similar application, people can message and speak to their siblings, parents or others quickly and cheaply. By doing this, people who live far apart from their family members would still be able to remain close with them.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found that helpful!
- IELTS Writing
IELTS Writing Task 2: How to Write the Introduction Paragraph
IELTS Writing Task 2: 7 Ways To Improve Grammatical Range To Score Band 7+
IELTS Writing Task 2: Topic Sentences; The Key To Band 7+
IELTS Task 2- Problem Solution Essay
This article explains and shows you how to reach a band 9 on your writing task 2 with a problem and solution essay. In my library of IELTS content, you will find articles on all of the task 2 essay types.
What is the problem solution essay?
The problem solution essay can be the hardest for many students. This can be due to how the question is worded. Generally you will be asked to discuss the problem and solution. But you may be asked to discuss the cause and solution and the solution only.
What's the difference between a problem, cause and solution?
Problem - I arrived at the wrong restaurant even though I had put the address into Google maps
Cause - I didn't check the postcode and discovered there was more than one 'Luigi's'
Solution - Next time I will be sure to check the correct post-code is entered to avoid arriving at the wrong destination
What is the essay structure?
As with any essay structure, you need an opening, the middle where you address the question in more depth, and the conclusion. But let's apply a more specific structure. You would have seen this in other essay posts I have written, so this should be somewhat familiar.
- Paraphrase the question
- State 1 key problem/cause and related solution
P aragraph 1 – Problem or Cause
- Topic sentence – state the problem or cause
- Explanation – explain the problem or cause
P aragraph 2 – Solution
- Topic sentence – state the solution
- Explanation – explain the solution
- Summarise the key points
How many problems/cause should I write about?
This depends on how quickly you can write. If you can fit two in, which will result in a 350-400 word response then this is fine. Using one main problem/cause and developing your idea is also fine. With any of the essay types, it's always imperative to develop your ideas. So be sure to do this irrespective of the number of ideas.
Writing task 2 example
Let's use an example question to see how you can answer this question with a band 9 score. This question is a problem and solution essay.
The internet has transformed the way information is distributed and consumed, but it has also created problems that prior to this, did not exist.
What are the most serious problems associated with the internet and what solutions can you suggest?
We have our structure in mind but planning is always part of writing. The structure above is something you should memorise. Then use a table like below and structure your ideas down in five minutes.
You can put this into a table if it helps to remember or simply create the titles and jot down your ideas.
Writing task 2 example, in full
Since the boom of the internet in the 1990's, it has since changed how we consume and share information. In particular, the last decade has seen significant changes in how we use the internet, and our relationship with it. Although serious problems have arisen and continue to do so, there are solutions.
One of the first problems with the internet and arguably, the most worrisome, is the ease with which children can access sites with dangerous and harmful content. For example, pornography sites are easily accessible to them because they can claim to be an adult and have free rein thereafter. The lack of security in this corner of the web means that children are being exposed to content that is far beyond their emotional and cognitive understanding. Undoubtedly, this would affect their thoughts and damage how they otherwise see the world, people and relationships. It could damage their ability of forming their own understanding of sexual relationships as they grow up and mature. Such behaviour could be imitated and potentially harmful to others, and therefore negatively impacting society.
Another serious problem is the growth of online fraud and hacking. With such a wealth of our personal data online and the sophistication of hackers, our data is subject to theft. Whilst there are protective measures online and this issue is often in news stories, this issue is on the rise and has become an incredibly rich industry with hackers that can surpass online security. Even government and state conglomerates have been attacked. Take for example the 2017 NHS cyber attack. Proving that even those deemed safe and ostensibly with great power, are still susceptible to online criminals. From what is reported in the news, it seems as though regardless of status, background, or employment, we can all fall victim to the online hands of criminals.
It is important that action is taken to directly combat these problems. Firstly, Governments should ensure that adequate legislation is in place that will prevent young people from accessing dangerous sites. Clearly the current measures are not enough to protect children online. As well as this, companies dedicated to online protection should be doing more to create stricter, appropriate entries to such sites. Protection can also come from home. Parents should monitor their children whilst online and restrict access to certain sites. Fortunately this is now easier than ever and parents can control what their children consume. Similarly, the government should create stricter legislation around cyber security. Individual companies must also improve their onsite IT security systems to make fraud and hacking much more difficult and virtually impossible. Companies could collaborate on this and those operating within the same field, such as finance, could come together to create more successful online barriers.
To conclude, the internet is an incredible technological tool that has changed people's lives and brought them opportunities, connections, and much happiness but it is not without negative and genuinely harmful impacts. With the right action, especially by governments and business, alongside individuals, it can be a safe place for everyone.
Identify where the structure has been applied
- How many problems are discussed?
- What are they?
- What language is used to initiate discussion of the problems?
- How are the problems explained further?
- What solutions are discussed for each problem?
Read my example and highlight with a different colour 1-5 within the body of the text.
You have 40 minutes in the exam to write your 250 word answer. When first starting, give yourself 50 minutes. Each time you practice, shave off five minutes and see how you can meet the word count in ideally 30 minutes. It's always good to have time left over to proofread your response.
The need to know language for the problem and cause question:
- Problem – issues, resulting, situation, obstacle, drawback
- Cause – reasons, why, source, root, basis, origin
- Solution – deal with, addressed, tackled, remedied, improved, measures taken, solved, prevent
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IELTS Preparation Courses
IELTS Writing Task 2 Problem and Solution Essay Lesson
Problem Solution Essay
This lesson on how to write a problem solution essay will:
- discuss common mistakes;
- show you how to analyse the question;
- show you how to think of ideas;
- give you a structure that can be used again and again on all problem solution IELTS essays;
- describe how to write an introduction , main body paragraphs and conclusion; and
- give you a full band 9 sample answer.
Problem/solution questions are one of the most common IELTS Writing Task 2 questions on the academic paper. Despite being very common, many students fail to do well in these questions. This post will look at some of the most common mistakes and then take you through how to answer these questions step-by-step.
- The most common mistake for problem solution essays is not expanding on your ideas and instead simply listing lots of problems and solutions. The examiner does not want a list of all the problems and solutions you can think of, and please don’t do this in the exam. Instead, if you look at how the exam is marked , the examiner wants you to pick one or two problems and solutions and then expand on them with explanations and examples. More on how to do this below.
- Another common mistake is writing about problems and solutions that are not directly linked to the question. You should be like a sniper when answering the question and only give very specific ideas rather than ideas that generally talk about the overall issue. This has a lot to do with how you identify keywords and micro-keywords in the questions which we will look at below.
- Lots of people think of good ideas for problems and then fail to link their solutions to these problems. Each problem should have a solution directly linked to it, or in other words, it should solve the actual problem.
- Finally, some candidates think of really good problems and solutions that answer the question properly and then expand their answers with explanations and examples, but they talk too generally. Instead, you should be thinking of specific examples and explanations. We will look at how to avoid this below.
Analysing the Question
This is one of the most crucial parts of answering any IELTS writing question. If you don’t take the time to think properly about what the examiner is asking you to do, then it is very difficult to answer the question correctly.
We analyse the question by thinking about three things:
- action words
Keywords are the words that tell us what the general topic is.
Micro-keywords identify which part of the general topic the examiner wants you to discuss. They often give an opinion, qualify the statement or talk about a sub-category of the bigger general topic.
Action words tell us what the examiner wants us to do.
Problem Solution Sample Essay
Global warming is one of the biggest threats humans face in the 21st Century, and sea levels continue to rise at alarming rates.
What problems are associated with this, and what are some possible solutions?
If we look at this question, we can see that the keywords are ‘ global warming ‘. This is our general topic. We will write about this, but we cannot write about any problems associated with global warming. If we do this, we have not answered the question properly. We, therefore, need to look at the micro-keywords.
The micro-keywords are ‘ humans ‘ and ‘ sea level rise ‘. So instead of writing just about the huge topic of global warming and any problems associated with that (such as increased storms, extinction of certain animals, erosion of soil), we have to talk about how particularly sea level rises will affect humans . If we talked about the problems affecting the ‘planet’ or ‘animals’ or the ‘atmosphere’, we would not be answering the question.
The action words are problems and solutions . Our task is, therefore, to write about that and only that. It does not ask our opinion about the disadvantages, advantages, or causes, just the problems and solutions. If we discussed the causes of sea level rise, we would not be answering the question.
For more information, go to effectively analyse an IELTS question .
How to Think of Ideas
Now that we know exactly what the question is asking us to do, we need to think of specific and relevant ideas. There are many strategies for thinking of ideas for IELTS task 2 questions TO THINK OF IDEAS FOR IELTS WRITING TASK 2 but for problem-solving questions; I like to use something called the ‘coffee shop method’.
Instead of brainstorming or mind-mapping- which take too much time and lead to irrelevant ideas in my opinion- you should pretend you are in a coffee shop with a friend and they have just asked you a simple question. In this case, it would be “What are the problems and solutions associated with sea level rise on humans?”
If you were talking to a friend about this, I’m sure you would have no problem thinking of at least 2 or 3 problems and solutions. This method takes you out of an exam situation and puts your mind into a more relaxed environment. Try it and see. If you don’t like it, try one of my other methods.
There are several problems and solutions, including:
Problem : flooding of people’s homes and businesses
Solution : build flood barriers or move to higher areas
Problem : loss of agricultural land and starvation
Solution : switch to more suitable crops
Problem : displacement of millions of people
Solution : move people in a planned and orderly way before the floods
Problem : groundwater undrinkable
Solution : build desalination plants
As you can see, I didn’t think of lots of problems and then lots of solutions. For each problem, you should think of a solution that directly solves this problem.
You now have lots of ideas, but now you must decide which ones to use. I always tell my students to pick the ones they know most about, i.e. that they can explain and give relevant examples.
I advise my students to use a basic four-paragraph structure with all problem solution IELTS essays. Your four paragraphs should look something like this:
Paragraph 1- Introduction
Paragraph 2- Problems
Paragraph 3- Solutions
Paragraph 4- Conclusion
At a sentence level, your structure should look like this:
1- Paraphrase question
2- Outline sentence
3- State problems
4- Explain first problem
5- Explain second problem
6- Example of second problem
7- State solutions
8- Explain solution to first problem
9- Explain solution to second problem
10- Example of solution to second problem
Sentence 11- Summary of main points in paragraphs 2 and 3
For more structures, check out our IELTS task 2 structures guide .
Now let’s look at each paragraph in more detail.
The introduction will have two sentences: a paraphrase of the question and an outline statement.
Paraphrasing is simply saying the sentence again with different words but with the same meaning. We can do this by using synonyms and/or changing the order of the words.
Question- Global warming is one of the biggest threats humans face in the 21st Century, and sea levels continue to rise at alarming rates.
Paraphrased- Climate change is among the principal dangers facing people this century, and ocean levels are increasing dramatically.
As you can see above, I have used synonyms to change the words of the questions, but it still has the same meaning. The examiner will look for your ability to do this in the exam, so practising this skill is a good idea.
Our outline sentence is next, which tells the examiner what they will read in the rest of the essay. This makes it very clear to the examiner and makes the rest of the essay much easier to understand. You will, therefore, gain marks for coherence and cohesion.
Our outline sentence should look something like this:
This essay will first suggest that the biggest problems caused by this phenomenon are the loss of land and the flooding of homes and then argue that pollution reduction and building flood protection are the most viable solutions.
Our introduction will, therefore, look like this:
Climate change is among the principal dangers facing people this century, and ocean levels are increasing dramatically. This essay will first suggest that the biggest problems caused by this phenomenon are the loss of land and the flooding of homes and then argue that pollution reduction and building flood protection are the most viable solutions.
It should be noted that this introduction does not contain a thesis statement. This is because this particular question does not ask us for our opinion. However, IELTS problem solution questions sometimes do ask you for your opinion, and you should then include a thesis statement.
Our problems paragraph will have this structure:
Sentence 1- State problems
Sentence 2- Explain first problem
Sentence 3- Explain second problem
Sentence 4- Example of second problem
State problems : The foremost problems caused by climbing sea levels are that land is being lost and peoples’ residences are often flooded.
Now that we have stated the problems, we must explain these. You should always consider your audience to be someone with no specialist knowledge in this area, and you, therefore, need to explain what everything means. Don’t assume that the IELTS examiner is educated and knows what you are talking about. These assumptions will stop you from writing what you need.
Explain first problem : As water levels rise, low-lying land is submerged, and many countries become smaller.
Explain second problem : Furthermore, millions of people worldwide live in coastal areas, and if the sea rises by even a few feet, they are inundated with water and lose their property.
Now we must give an example of what we are talking about. When we give an example, it should be as specific as possible.
An example of a very general example would be:
Lots of people in the world have experienced floods recently.
This is far too general to be considered a good example.
Example : The devastation brought about by this was clear for all to see during the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, in which millions of people were displaced.
This example is much more specific. Stating a place and/or date can help you make your examples more specific.
Our second paragraph will look like this:
The foremost problems caused by climbing sea levels are that land is being lost and people’s residences are often flooded. As water levels rise, low-lying land is submerged, and many countries become smaller. Furthermore, millions of people worldwide live in coastal areas, and if the sea rises by even a few feet, they are inundated with water and lose their property. This devastation was clear for all to see during the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, in which millions of people were displaced.
Now we must move on to our solutions.
Our solutions paragraph will have this structure:
Sentence 1- State solutions
Sentence 2- Explain solution to first problem
Sentence 3- Explain solution to second problem
Sentence 4- Example of solution to second problem
State solutions : Possible solutions to these problems would be to reduce the amount of pollution created and build flood barriers.
We now need to explain how our solution will help solve the problem. Again, do not assume that the examiner has any specialist knowledge of this topic, so you need to explain what you mean.
Explain first solution: If each person reduces their carbon footprint, the negative effects on the environment will be reduced, which will mean that the water level will stop rising.
Explain second solution : Furthermore, flood defences, such as dikes, dams, and floodgates, could be built along coasts and waterways, thereby stopping the water from reaching populated areas.
Example : The Netherlands is one of the most populated areas in the world and one of the most vulnerable to flooding. They have successfully employed various flood defence systems.
Our whole solutions paragraph will look like this:
Possible solutions to these problems would be to reduce the amount of pollution being created and to build flood barriers. If each person reduces their carbon footprint, the negative effects on the environment will be reduced, which will mean that the water level will stop rising. Furthermore, flood defences, such as dikes, dams, and floodgates, could be built along coasts and waterways, thereby stopping the water from reaching populated areas. The Netherlands is one of the most populated areas in the world and also one of the most vulnerable to flooding, and they have successfully employed various flood defence systems.
We have now answered the question and need to sum up what we have said in the conclusion.
The conclusion should have no new ideas but instead should list the main points from the previous two paragraphs. You can also use synonyms in this paragraph to avoid repetition.
Conclusion : To conclude, stemming the rising tides caused by increasing global temperatures is one of the foremost challenges we face, and it will ultimately lead to some countries losing landmass and many of the world’s cities being left underwater, but possible solutions could be to protect our environment and to utilise the flood prevention techniques already used by countries like Holland.
Our whole conclusion for this problem solution essay will look like this:
To conclude, stemming the rising tides caused by increasing global temperatures is one of the foremost challenges we face, and it will ultimately lead to some countries losing landmass and many of the world’s cities being left underwater, but possible solutions could be to protect our environment and to utilise the flood prevention techniques already used by countries like Holland.
Problem and Solution Sample Essay
Here is the whole essay:
Climate change is among the principal dangers facing people this century, and ocean levels are increasing dramatically. This essay will first suggest that the biggest problems caused by this phenomenon are the loss of land and the flooding of homes and then argue that pollution reduction and building flood protection are the most viable solutions. The foremost problems caused by climbing sea levels are that land is being lost and peoples’ residences are often flooded. As water levels rise, low-lying land is submerged and many countries become smaller. Furthermore, millions of people all over the world live in coastal areas, and if the sea rises by even a few feet, they are inundated with water and lose their property. The devastation brought about by this was clear for all to see during the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, in which millions of people were displaced. Possible solutions to these problems would be to reduce the amount of pollution being created and to build flood barriers. If each person reduces their carbon footprint, the negative effects on the environment will be reduced and this will mean that the water level will stop rising. Furthermore, flood defences, such as dikes, dams, and floodgates, could be built along coasts and waterways, thereby stopping the water reaching populated areas. The Netherlands is one of the most populated areas in the world and also one of the most vulnerable to flooding and they have successfully employed various flood defence systems. To conclude, stemming the rising tides caused by increasing global temperatures is one of the foremost challenges we face and it will ultimately lead to some countries losing landmass and many of the worlds’ cities being left underwater, but possible solutions could be to protect our environment and to utilise the flood prevention techniques already used by countries like Holland.
I hope this post helps you with IELTS problem solution essays, and if you have any questions, please comment below.
If you found this lesson useful and it has helped you write a problem solution essay, you should also check out our lessons on task 2 opinions essays , discussion essays and advantages and disadvantages essays .
Do you need me to correct your essays and give you feedback on them? Check out our essay correction service .
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How to Write a “Problem and Solution” Essay for IELTS Task 2
In this tutorial, we look at an example of a problem and solution essay for IELTS writing.
What is a “problem and solution” essay?
A “problem and solution” essay, as its name suggests, proposes a problem to you and asks you to suggest a solution or solutions to it. It may also ask about the causes of the problem or the effects which the problem has.
As with an opinion essay in task 2 , there is no right or wrong answer. What is being tested is your competence in writing English, not your skills as a policy-maker!
Basic Elements of a Problem-Solution Essay
A problem-solution essay has some key elements.
- First, it must identify a problem.
- Second, it must propose one or more solutions to that problem.
- Third, it must explain why the proposed solution is the best option.
Before you start writing a problem-solution essay, it's important to first understand the problem. What are the causes of the problem? What are its effects? Once you have a clear understanding of the problem, you can begin to brainstorm solutions.
The introduction to a problem and solution essay should briefly state:
- The problem
- Explain why it needs to be solved.
- A brief summary of the proposed solution.
- A strong statement that sets out the purpose of the essay.
Body paragraphs are where you develop the solution to your problem. In a problem and solution essay, your body paragraphs will need to discuss
- The feasibility of your solution
- Its potential benefits and drawbacks.
- How your solution will impact different groups of people.
When writing your body paragraphs, it is important to keep your argument clear and concise. Be sure to support your claims with evidence, and always keep your reader in mind. Remember, the goal of a problem and solution essay is to offer a practical solution to a real-world problem.
The conclusion of a problem and solution essay should be concise and to the point. It should restate the main points of the essay and leave the reader with a sense of closure.
Examples of “problem and solution” essay questions
- “Loneliness is an increasing problem in many societies, especially among the elderly. Why is this? How might it be remedied?”
- “The world’s oceans are filling up with waste plastic. What are the reasons for this, and how can the situation be improved?"
- “Many of the world’s rarest plants and animals are on the verge of becoming extinct. Why is this? What, if anything, can be done to slow this process or arrest it altogether?”
How are “problem and solution” essay questions structured?
Each of the questions above has something in common.
Each of them begins by stating a problem, asks about the causes (or sometimes about the effects) of the problem, and then asks you to propose the solution. As the name of this essay type suggests, they fall essentially into two parts:
- the problem
- the solution
How to structure your answer
There are many different ways to structure a problem-solution essay. But no matter how you choose to organize your essay, it will need to have three essential elements:
- An introduction that clearly states the problem and your proposed solution.
- A body that discusses the various causes of the problem and the merits of your proposed solution.
- A conclusion that summarizes the main points of your argument and reiterates your solution.
As usual, the structure of the question should give you your cue for how to structure your answer.
Problem-and-solution essays fall naturally into two parts, the first describing and exploring the problem, the second setting out the solution or solutions.
For these purposes, treat questions about the causes or effects of problems as part of the description of the problem itself.
Let’s take a concrete example from the series of examples which I gave earlier. “Loneliness is an increasing problem in many societies, especially among the elderly. Why is this? How might it be remedied?”
Here there are in fact two questions, a question about the cause of the problem (“Why is this?”) and a question about possible solutions to it.
This indicates how the essay should be structured.
- First describe the problem, including its causes. (Remember, questions about the causes or effects of the problem should be included as part of its description.)
- Then, in a second paragraph, offer your account of its solution.
How to describe the problem in your essay (with examples)
The first thing to do is simply to state the problem, with examples or illustrative descriptions, if possible. One can begin simply by restating the problem. A good opening sentence, for example, might run as follows:
“Loneliness is an increasingly acute problem in most societies. The problem affects all age groups and social classes, but especially the poor and the elderly.”
With this opening sentence, you have not only restated the problem.
- You have also added to it, giving a qualitatively richer description.
- You have made it clear that the problem is not confined to the elderly, but also affects other age groups too.
- You have also introduced the question of social class.
Try to develop your description of the problem a little bit more. For example, what is the problem (in this case, loneliness) like for those who experience it? What are its consequences?
“Not only is loneliness in and of itself an unhappy state, but it also weakens the ties between family and friends which hold society together.” “Loneliness is not only a social problem, but, potentially, a medical one: it can lead to poor physical and mental health.”
You now have a fuller, qualitatively richer description of the problem. Good! This could be expanded further, but the approach to take is clear. Now it is time to move on to the question of causes, which you should treat as part of the description of the problem. Single-cause or “monocausal” explanations are sometimes less persuasive than explanations which take into account a variety of factors.
Here is an example of an attempt to address the question of the causes of loneliness in modern societies.
“The causes of increased loneliness in modern societies are not completely certain. Amongst them might be included: the disappearance of many traditional occupations; the decline of public transport links; and the rise of modern cultural technologies.”
The answer starts by admitting uncertainty. It is an indicator of strength to be able to concede limitations to one’s knowledge.
How to suggest solutions in your essay
There is more that could be said here, but it is time to move on to proposing solutions. Remember that you are not limited to any single solution. It is quite in order for you to suggest a number of solutions. This is possible even if the suggested solutions seem to conflict with each other. You are simply being asked to canvass one or more possible solutions.
Let’s consider how this might work in this particular case, with the problem of loneliness. You might begin with a general statement like this:
“Because there are a number of causes at work in the problem of loneliness, it is unlikely that any single solution will by itself be sufficient.”
This sentence does two things:
- it connects the first part of your essay to the second part, and
- it prepares the reader for the fact that you will offer a number of solutions to the problem.
“One immediate practical solution is to improve public transport links. This would enable family members and friends in different cities to visit each other more easily.” “But if, as we have seen, the causes of the problem are more deeply-rooted, we may need to consider structural solutions.” “For example, can we change the way in which work is organized in our society so that people more often work together and face-to-face?”
Here you have done something quite important: you have made a qualitative, rather than a merely episodic, distinction between your different points. In other words, the structure of your argument now appears logically motivated rather than merely accidental. You have begun with an immediately achievable practical solution, and have gone on to discuss a more ambitious and more general one.
VIDEO: Model Answers to recent "Problem/Solution" essay questions
In this tutorial, we have begun to learn how to
- write a “problem-and-solution” essay.
- structure the essay clearly into two complementary parts, as well as how to link those parts.
- structure the argument internally so that it appears logical rather than merely episodic.
Take a look at some task 2 sample essay questions to help you prepare all kinds of topics for the IELTS exam .
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many paragraphs are in a problem-solution essay.
A problem-solution essay is are usually written in five paragraphs, with each paragraph addressing a different aspect of the problem or solution.
How do you start a problem-solution essay?
To start a problem-solution essay, you need to first understand the problem. What are some of the main causes of the problem? Once you have a good understanding of the problem, you can start brainstorming solutions. After you have brainstormed some solutions, you can start writing your essay.
How do you end a problem solution essay?
Your conclusion should briefly summarize the main points of the essay and emphasize the importance of solving the problem.
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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Questions & Band 9 Answers
If you’re looking for IELTS Writing Task 2 sample questions and answers to help improve your writing score, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, you’ll find sample questions, band 9 sample answers and feedback videos showing you how to avoid the key mistakes that other students have made.
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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample #1
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To benefit as much as possible from this page, do the following;
- Look at one question and write an answer. Do not look at the video or sample answer yet.
- Watch the video and/or read the sample answer. Find mistakes in your answer by comparing with the video and sample.
- Take action your mistakes. Make sure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes in your next answer.
Also, my IELTS Writing Task 2 lessons will help you understand what to include in your Task 2 answers.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #1
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #1 Feedback Video
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #1
Some are okay with the media publishing private details of celebrities’ lives, while other people feel that this shouldn’t be allowed. Those who think this can continue believe that celebrities have sought out this type of life, whereas the people who think it should be banned understand that it’s bad for these famous people’s mental health. I personally feel that it should stop as it distracts the average person from focusing on important news. Those who are okay with the media publishing celebrity news think that celebrities understood that their private lives would be exposed before they decided to pursue their careers. As they have willingly agreed that they are okay with this, there is no need to prevent the media publishing their stories. However, the group who would like this type of news to stop understand that it takes a tremendous toll on the mental health of these celebrities. Being constantly followed by paparazzi and having intimate details of one’s life leaked to the public causes massive amounts of stress and often results in mental illness. I also believe that news like this should be stopped as it results in a lot of people neglecting to read more important news. As many are drawn to learn more about celebrities, important news stories about war and politics are often overshadowed by celebrity scandals. In conclusion, some feel that it’s acceptable for the media to publish stories about celebrities’ private lives because the celebrities themselves understood that this would happen. In contrast, others feel it should be stopped to prevent celebrities from suffering poor mental health. I personally agree that it should be stopped as celebrity news often takes attention away from more important issues.
Sample Question #2
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #2 Feedback Video
Band Sample Answer #2
These days, a lot of young people like to copy the actions of the celebrities they admire most. This is because those famous people represent the most fashionable trends for the youth, and they appear to have glamorous lives. However, I think this is a negative circumstance as it causes these young people to undervalue their own importance. One of the causes of children and teenagers copying the behaviour of famous people is that these famous people are at the forefront of modern fashion trends. This is because they hire stylists to ensure that their style is always up to date, and when young people see how good these celebrities look, they are inspired to purchase and wear similar clothing. Another reason for copying the way celebrities act is because they appear to have elegant lifestyles. When young people see this, they wish that they were also surrounded by luxurious items so feel compelled to copy the actions of the celebrities in an attempt to get closer to their way of life. I believe that young people mimicking their favourite stars is a negative situation as these they often undervalue their own importance. Because these young people are aspiring to be rich and have a large number of online followers, they feel inadequate in comparison and don’t fully appreciate that they are just as important as anyone else. In conclusion, the way that many young people are copying the actions of their favourite celebrities has been brought on by the desire to be fashionable and live an elegant lifestyle. This, however, is a negative situation as it causes these young people not to fully appreciate their own importance in life.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #3
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #3 Feedback Video
Sample Answer #3
All over the world, many individuals use most of their spare time at home watching television programmes. The advantages of this situation are that they save money and don’t need to make plans, whereas the disadvantages are that they aren’t healthy and don’t feel a sense of accomplishment. The first benefit is that these people save more money than those who have other hobbies. Most hobbies involve membership or entrance fees that must be paid regularly, whereas watching television is comparatively cheaper and rarely requires any additional payments after the initial purchase of the TV set. Another key advantage is that those who primarily watch TV to pass the time don’t need to make plans. Many free time activities are done with other people, and it can often be difficult and tiresome to coordinate with others. On the other hand, poor health is a disadvantage for those who spend most of their leisure time at home watching television. Compared to people who have active hobbies, those who watch TV get little exercise and when this continues over a long period, their health deteriorates. Furthermore, there is the additional drawback of gaining no sense of accomplishment from watching TV. In comparison to the individuals who enjoy the experience of completing a craft project or spending time at the gym, the people at home watching television have little or no sense of achievement. In conclusion, anyone who watches televisions as their primary means of passing the time has the advantage of saving money and not being required to make plans in advance of their free time. However, they do have the disadvantages of not being healthy, and they tend not to have any sense of accomplishment from their hobby.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #4
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #4
Some believe team sports build children up to be ready for their careers, but others disagree. According to those who think these sports are an advantage, cooperation is an integral part of working, whereas the other group disagrees since they understand that competition results in cheating. My opinion is that team sports are beneficial because they show the value of hard work. Some individuals believe that team sports teach children how to cooperate and this helps with future careers. The only teams that succeed are those whose members work together to avoid losing. In team sports, this skill is more apparent than in any other activity that children engage in, and, as a result, those who play on a team have an advantage when working on a team later in life. Those who feel that team sports are not an advantage understand that this type of competition often leads to cheating. Compared to playing other sports, children are more likely to be encouraged to cheat by their team members due to the desire to win at all costs. As this mentality is then brought to the workplace, it only allows for short term success and inevitably leads to shame and the loss of jobs. My opinion is that team sports help children in their future careers because they learn the value of working hard. Success doesn’t come easily, and children who play on a team understand that they must work hard to win. This realisation transfers directly into one’s career as they know that hard work will result in success. In conclusion, some believe that team sports will lead to children being better prepared for their future careers because they will learn the value of cooperation, while others disagree as they understand that competition can result in cheating. I, however, believe that these sports benefit children as they realise that hard work will lead to success.
Sample Question #5
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #5 Feedback Video
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #5
Some individuals think that technology from the modern era, like the internet and smartphones, is creating more issues than it is resolving. I completely agree with this statement because people’s mental health is suffering, and, also, people don’t enjoy their free time as much as they used to. First of all, modern technology is negatively affecting the mental health of many individuals. This is because an essential aspect of good mental health is processing what happens to us, particularly any negative experiences. However, with modern technology, many people don’t take any time to reflect on their lives and instead spend all of their available time on the internet or watching television. These days, for instance, most customers in supermarket queues look at something on their phones, whereas before this technology, they had no option but to think about whatever came to mind. Another drawback is the way that this technology has hindered how much people enjoy their leisure time. Passing the time with modern technology, such as phone apps or video games, requires minimal effort but are not as enjoyable or rewarding as hobbies such as playing a sport or gardening, which were more popular in the past. For example, in my family, most members had various outdoor pursuits that they did in the evenings, but now, it’s more common to see them sitting inside the house on their phones. In conclusion, I agree that the advent of modern technology has created more issues than it has solved because of the decline in mental health that it has brought about and the resulting lack of enjoyment that people experience in their free time.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #6
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #6 Feedback Video
Sample Answer #6
Some feel that schools should teach practical skills like bank account management or how to maintain a car in addition to conventional subjects. I completely disagree with this idea as students already have too much to learn, and it’s better to learn these skills when required. Nowadays, students have an incredible amount of study to do both during and after school hours, so it isn’t reasonable to add more subjects to the curriculum. While growing up, it’s important to spend time with friends and to have hobbies but we would be reducing the opportunities that students have to enjoy these experiences by introducing extra subjects that would undoubtedly come with additional homework. In Ireland, for instance, extra subjects related to civics were introduced during the 90s, resulting in students having less free time outside of school. Furthermore, it’s more beneficial to learn practical skills as and when they are needed. Any skill will disappear unless it is used regularly, which means that any practical skill learned at school will likely be forgotten by the time it’s required. This is why it’s best to wait until we need to do something before learning how to do it. For example, in Switzerland, anyone who hasn’t driven a car in over ten years must resit the driving test as it is acknowledged that the person will no longer be competent. In conclusion, I firmly disagree that students should be required to learn practical skills because they already spend too much time studying the existing subjects and any skills they learn will most likely have been forgotten by the time they need to use them.
Feedback Video #7
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #7
Some students stay at their family home while attending university, but other students decide to move out. The advantages of moving away from home to attend university do not outweigh the drawbacks because the main disadvantages are the cost of living and the lack of focus on studies, whereas the only advantage is learning to be independent. The first disadvantage of living away from home is the increased cost of living. That is to say that there are extra costs such as accommodation that don’t need to be paid by those who stay with their families. As it usually takes four years to complete a university degree, these costs put considerable strain on an average family’s finances. Another downside is that students who move out of home tend to be less focused on their studies. Because they have nobody making sure they attend university every day, they are far more likely to skip lectures when they’re tired or not in the mood. When I was at college, for instance, it was very rare for someone who lived with their parents to miss a lecture, which was not the case for those in rented accommodation. However, there is the advantage of having more independence. Students who live away from family are responsible for all aspects of their lives and need to complete household chores that their family members would otherwise complete. From these responsibilities, they become more independent, and this independence generally translates into other situations as well. In conclusion, the advantages of moving away from home to study at university do not outweigh the disadvantages as this costs substantially more money, and these students are less focused on their studies. But, on the other hand, there is the advantage of becoming more independent.
Sample Question #8
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #8
There are individuals who feel that living in a rural area is more beneficial, while others feel that the city is a better choice. The people who prefer the countryside enjoy the peaceful surroundings, whereas the others like urban life as they are closer to work. I personally prefer the country as I enjoy having a private outdoor space. On the one hand, some individuals like the countryside best as it’s more peaceful. With all the noise from traffic and construction in urban areas, it’s difficult to relax. Where I live, for example, trucks on the nearby highway blow their horns all through the night, and this regularly affects my sleep. On the other hand, other individuals like city life best because the short journey to and from work is a significant advantage. As people in the countryside often spend hours commuting between their house and workplace, they lose a lot of time compared to those in the city. This means that people who live in urban areas have additional free time and get to spend it doing things they enjoy. My opinion is that life in the countryside is better as the private outdoor space is an enjoyable feature. Houses in the country tend to have space outside that belongs to the owner, but this is rare for city houses. Having this land is a massive benefit as it can be used for barbeque parties with friends and family. In conclusion, some people prefer to live in the country as they are more relaxed by the peaceful environment. In contrast, others who prefer to live in a city enjoy the benefits of having a short commute to work. However, my own opinion is that countryside life is more enjoyable because of the private outdoor space.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #9
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #9 Feedback Video
Band 9 Sample Answer #9
These days, a lot of people see shopping as something to do for enjoyment instead of as a necessary task for purchased items they require. This can create the problems of people not using their time wisely or getting into debt, and one possible solution is to reduce shopping hours. Shopping as a form of entertainment is problematic as it wastes valuable time. Instead of doing something useful like learning a new skill, people who do this receive little or no benefit from their activities. For example, some younger members of my family regularly shop at our local mall but also insist that they don’t have enough time for their homework. Furthermore, viewing shopping in this way can result in debt. This is especially true when these people have credit cards and choose to ignore the dangers of overspending in favour of purchasing an item that they crave. In Ireland, for instance, the vast majority of credit card debt is related to purchases of non-essential items. One possible solution is for governments to reduce the times during which shops can open. As most shops are open for 12 or more hours every day, this allows people with the mindset that shopping is a leisure activity to indulge in this behaviour. However, if shops were accessible for fewer hours each day, they would find more beneficial activities instead. In conclusion, the main problems related to people shopping to pass the time are that they don’t use their time to benefit themselves, and many fall into debt. A potential solution is for governments to enforce shorter opening hours for shops to curb the number of hours during which these people can shop.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #10
Feedback Video #10
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #10
Nowadays, a lot of employees stay late at work rather than returning home to spend time with their families. This happens because these people need the extra income they can earn by working overtime, but it results in fatigue and misbehaviour in the children. Many people work extra hours because they need to earn additional money. They may have bills that they can’t cover or live above their means which puts them in a situation where their basic salaries aren’t enough. In my old job, for instance, the majority of my colleagues who worked late often complained that our pay wasn’t high enough for them. For people who work late, the result can be extreme tiredness. As they don’t have enough time to let their minds and bodies recover from the work they do each day, the outcome is that these people are exhausted beyond what is healthy. For example, studies in New Zealand showed that working fewer hours resulted in more productivity because employees had more energy and focus. Another effect of this phenomenon is that the children of those people working late start to misbehave. Because the children feel neglected and want more of their parents time, they act out in an attempt to get as much attention as possible before the parent is gone again. In conclusion, the main cause of people staying late at work is that they don’t have enough money to sustain their bills or lifestyle without the additional money. The effects this has on society are that these people are affected by fatigue, and their children’s behaviour suffers as a direct consequence.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #11
Feedback Video #11
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #11
In many nations, rising numbers of young people are committing serious crimes. This is happening because many parents are too busy, and children have easy access to violent movies. To resolve this issue, governments should enforce a maximum number of hours that people can work, and websites with mature content should require their visitors to register. One of the primary reasons for more crimes being committed by young people is that parents must work longer hours. Because they don’t have the time to care for their children properly, some young people use the additional freedom to explore criminal activities. Furthermore, with the advent of the internet, young people can easily access inappropriate films, and some come to admire the violent characters portrayed so imitate the behaviour they observe. The first way this can be resolved is by setting a limit to the number of hours that anyone can work. If parents spend less time at work, they will have the opportunity to closely foster their children and guide them away from any unlawful behaviour. In addition to this, websites that provide access to movies unsuitable for children should require their visitors to create accounts that confirm their age. This will ensure that children are not exposed to inappropriate content and will not be negatively affected. In conclusion, more young people are breaking the law because their parents are too busy working, and violent content can readily be accessed on websites. To overcome this, governments should set a maximum number of working hours per person, and websites with violent movies must get visitors to register and confirm their age.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #12
Feedback Video #12
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #12
Because of modern technology, more people are working from home rather than commuting to their employers’ offices. Doing this has more advantages because the main benefits are saving time and money, whereas the main disadvantage is solitude. First of all, working at home saves the employee a lot of time because they don’t need to travel to their office every day. Compared to those who spend several hours commuting to and from work each day, people working from home can use this time as they please. For instance, in Manilla, where commuters spend up to 6 hours a day in traffic, online jobs are in demand because of the additional free time that comes with them. In addition to this, working from home saves more money. As people who work online can prepare their meals at home, they don’t have to pay the high prices that restaurants charge. For example, in most office environments, lunchtime is seen as an opportunity to bond with colleagues, so there is an expectancy to eat out instead of bringing food from home. Despite the benefits mentioned above, the solitary existence of working from home is the one disadvantage. The social interaction that comes with working in an office and being surrounded by others doesn’t exist for those who work from home, and it can get lonely without having others to bond with. This was seen during coronavirus lockdowns, where people’s mental health suffered due to the isolation. In conclusion, there are more advantages to working from home because of the time and money saved by people who do this; however, the one drawback is that it can be a lonely lifestyle.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #13
Feedback Video #13
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #13
Nowadays, a lot of children use more of their time to play computer games than to play sport. This is because parents are scared to let their children go out unattended, and I think it’s a positive development as the children are safer at home. Many children pass more of their time with video games than with sport because their parents are afraid to allow them out of the house by themselves. In the past, parents were not as informed about the dangers of the outside world, but now that this information is better communicated, parents understand that it’s safer for their children to be at home. As a result, children can only play sport when they are under the supervision of another adult, so they must spend a more significant amount of time at home where they play the most popular indoor pastime; video games. I believe that this circumstance is beneficial for children as no harm will come to them when they are at home. To clarify, when children play sport together, they need to go back and forth from one another’s houses and go to sports facilities, and during these times, they could come to harm at the hands of strangers. For example, in Ireland, since parents are more hesitant to let their children out alone to play sport with their friends, fewer young people visit hospitals as a result. In conclusion, as parents are concerned about the dangers their children can be exposed to when going out to play sport with their friends, the children are encouraged to stay at home to enjoy playing video games. I think this is a favourable situation as it means that children these days are safer.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #14
Feedback Video #14
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #14
Because, in general, people nowadays are older when they get married, there are some people who are concerned that this circumstance will have a negative effect on families. I completely agree with this because older people aren’t as good at taking care of children, and they are more selfish than their younger counterparts. When couples wait until they’re older before getting married, they are not as capable of looking after their children. This is because, as people get older, they have less stamina and don’t have the energy it takes to care for and entertain a young child properly. In Ireland, for example, it is common to see younger parents run around and play with their children at the playground, but the older ones tend to sit at the sides and just watch as they don’t have the energy to get involved. Furthermore, these people have grown to be more selfish during the extra years they have waited to get married. Because they have only needed to consider their own needs and desires for such a long time, they resent the concept of helping others and allowing others to make decisions for them. For instance, in America, it’s more common for couples to get divorced if they wait until they are older to get married, and this is often because they can’t learn to cooperate with one another. In conclusion, I firmly agree that families are experiencing a negative consequence because of the decision made by many to wait until they’re older to get married. This is because they are not as capable as young parents of taking care of children and the extended time alone often makes them selfish.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #15
Feedback Video #15
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #15
It is believed that parents should limit the amount of time their children spend in front of the television and encourage them to spend more time reading. I completely agree with this opinion because of the adverse effects watching television has on eyesight and the benefits that reading has on literacy. Parents shouldn’t allow their children to spend too much time watching television because it harms the eyes when children do this for too long. This is because the light from a screen damages the internal tissue of the eye, especially over prolonged periods. Furthermore, this damage is long-term and cannot be undone. For example, it’s more common for a child with glasses to have eye damage caused by extended periods of watching television than because of any other cause. Another reason parents should limit how much time their children can watch television in favour of reading books is that reading is fundamental to literacy development. Mastering the skill of reading requires a lot of practice, and children who don’t spend enough time doing this are unlikely to improve their ability later in life. In Korea, for example, it has been discovered that many children who are unable to read at the expected level for their age spend an excessive amount of time watching television. In conclusion, I agree that children’s exposure to television should be limited to encourage them to read more as it will reduce the harmful effects that too much television can have on a child’s eyes and the extra time spent reading will allow them to achieve higher levels of literacy.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #16
Feedback Video #16
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #16
Some individuals choose to find accommodation in the country, although that results in longer commuting times to work every day. The advantages of this decision are that they can find cheaper housing and live in a quieter environment, whereas the drawbacks are the distance to a hospital and the time they lose while driving to and from work. One of the main benefits of living in the countryside is that the accommodation is cheaper. Compared to living in the city, renting or buying in the country is more reasonable and results in more disposable income. An additional advantage is that the environment in the countryside is quieter. Without the noise of traffic and music coming from business premises, those who live outside cities have a more peaceful existence, and this is known to have a positive impact on one’s mental health. On the other hand, there is the drawback of being far from a hospital if any medical emergency happens. Although it is not a common occurrence, when there is a medical emergency, those who live in a city will get medical assistance much sooner, and this can be the difference between life and death. Another less serious disadvantage is that people in the countryside lose more time commuting to and from work than those in the city. This can amount to several hours a week and, in many cases, means that those in the countryside must forgo their hobbies due to a lack of time. In conclusion, living in the countryside is beneficial as it allows for savings on accommodation and a more peaceful environment because of the lack of noise. However, there are also the disadvantages of being further from medical facilities if there is an emergency and people who live in the countryside lose a lot of time travelling back and forth to work.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #17
Feedback Video #17
Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #17
There are individuals who believe that antisocial behaviour is exacerbated by social media, whereas other people don’t agree. Those who feel social media is inciting this type of behaviour see how frequently offensive comments are found online, while the others think this behaviour has always existed. I hold that it does encourage unacceptable behaviour because of the anonymity people have online. Some individuals believe that social media makes people more comfortable to behave inappropriately because abusive comments are so widespread on these platforms. Even when a thread starts off positive, it usually becomes hostile soon thereafter. For example, YouTube celebrities are encouraged not to read comment sections because hurtful remarks are inevitable. However, others feel that society has always been this way, but online comments seem more predominant because of their longevity compared to the spoken word. Before social media, if someone did something antisocial, it only upset those in the immediate vicinity. On social media platforms, though, there is a permanent record of these actions, and as a result, it seems as though they’re more prevalent than ever. I personally hold that social media is to blame for an increase in antisocial behaviour because people can stay anonymous while carrying out these unacceptable acts. Without any direct repercussions, these people feel comfortable doing unethical things that they would never be brave enough to do in front of others. In conclusion, some people feel that the hurtful comments that dominate social media are evidence that these platforms are encouraging antisocial behaviour, while others think that this behaviour had existed since before this technology. I believe that social media is responsible for more antisocial behaviour because people who are generally afraid to behave inappropriately feel braver when they’re anonymous.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #18
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #18
These days, people all over the world can read many different periodicals on the internet. Some individuals feel that it won’t be long until newspapers and magazines which are printed on paper disappear entirely. I completely agree with this belief because the online versions are better for the environment and more profitable. The first reason printed newspapers and magazines will cease to exist in the near future is that they have a negative effect on the environment. There is the apparent need to cut down trees to produce paper, but there is also the additional effect of the carbon dioxide created when transporting the materials and finished products to the various locations before a customer can purchase them. This is why many people choose to read newspaper and magazine articles online, and this trend will continue to grow as individuals worldwide continue to become more concerned about the environment. Furthermore, the companies that run newspapers and magazines won’t profit from the printed versions of their publications for much longer. This is because the number of people purchasing them has already decreased substantially since the emergence of the online format. As this trend continues, it will only be a short amount of time before the readership is too low to attract advertisers, and once this happens, it will be financially unviable to continue printing them. For example, this has already happened to ‘The Dublin Times’, and it is only published online nowadays. In conclusion, printed newspapers and magazines won’t exist for much longer because they are bad for the environment, and they will stop being profitable for the companies that publish them.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #19
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #19
Because populations are growing, additional housing is required in many nations. My opinion is that it’s better to build these new houses in existing cities rather than creating new towns in the countryside because more children will have access to high-quality education and the countryside will be preserved for wildlife that lives there. The first reason building extra houses in cities is preferable to constructing them in the countryside is that the children who live in them will have a better education. It is well-known that the schools in cities are far superior to their rural counterparts and by building the extra houses in cities, more children will have access to the best possible education. For example, in Vietnam, many children leave their hometowns to live with their extended families in the cities because the schools there are of a higher standard. Another motivation to construct these new houses in urban areas is to conserve the habitats of local wildlife in rural areas. The animals in these places cannot adapt to life in urban or suburban landscapes and must relocate when their homes are overrun by humans. As the amount of land available for these animals shrinks, their numbers decline because of a lack of space to flourish. For instance, when I was growing up in rural Ireland, wild animals such as foxes and rabbits were a common sight, but due to the area being more built up, these animals are a rare sight nowadays. In conclusion, we should favour building additional housing in urban rather than rural areas as it’s better for children’s education and leaves the habitat of local wildlife intact.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #20
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #20
All over the world, accidents on the road each day result in grave injuries. Consequently, some hold that more stringent laws are required to reduce the number of casualties. I completely disagree with this because people already ignore that reckless driving can result in fatalities, and previous efforts to reduce accidents with stricter laws have failed. First of all, increasing the severity of the rules governing road safety won’t result in fewer injuries because the people driving recklessly are already ignoring the more severe consequence that it could kill them. People who drive dangerously are more concerned with the thrill of speeding or getting to an appointment on time than with the real dangers of driving. Because the risk of death isn’t incentive enough for these people, a lesser punishment such as a fine will not have the desired effect. Furthermore, many countries have already failed to make their roads safer with stringent laws. The problem is that many dangerous drivers aren’t worried about penalties because they’re confident that the police won’t catch them. Because they have this mentality, the punishment has no significance as they already believe that they won’t face any consequences. For example, in America, a person driving under the influence are now sent to prison instead of losing their licence, as was the case in the past. However, this has not reduced the number of drink driving cases. In conclusion, I don’t believe that stricter laws will result in safer roads because dangerous drivers are already willing to ignore the more serious consequence of dying in a collision. In addition, previous attempts by countries to improve road safety with more severe punishments have failed.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #21
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #21
Some individuals are of the view that raising children in the countryside is much better than raising them in the city. I completely agree with this opinion because there is less air pollution in the countryside and there is less noise. The first reason why it’s better for children to grow up in the countryside is that the air is cleaner and less polluted. This is because there are fewer factories, and therefore, less pollution is being emitted from such places. Furthermore, there is less traffic as compared to fast-paced cities, and this also results in less pollution being added to the air. This ensures that these children grow up breathing healthy air and develop fewer respiratory issues than the children who live in cities and have to breathe toxic, polluted air. Another reason why raising children in the countryside is a better option than cities is that there is less noise due to these places being less crowded and having fewer businesses. This lack of noise provides a calm environment for children to concentrate better on their studies. For Instance, most of the students living in cities must go to libraries to study because of the noisy surroundings, whereas children living in the countryside aren’t exposed to the same levels of noise, so can study at home. In conclusion, I firmly agree that it’s best for children to grow up in the countryside because they have the benefits of cleaner air and less noise pollution.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #22
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #22
Some individuals think the online libraries offer more benefits than conventional libraries. I completely agree with this idea because online libraries generally have a wider selection of books and using online libraries saves time. The first reason why I believe that online libraries are more beneficial is that they have a larger range of books. This is because it doesn’t cost any money for the materials to publish online books, whereas every paper book needs to be printed and distributed, and this extra cost means that normal libraries are limited by the amount of money that they have to spend on the books that they make available. As well as this, traditional libraries are limited by the amount of space that they have and must often throw away old books to make space for new ones, but this is never necessary for online libraries that can easily add more digital books to their online storage. Furthermore, using an online library saves time in comparison to using a bricks-and-mortar library. This is largely because people do not need to commute to and from the library whenever they want to do some research or borrow another book. This means that they time that they would have used for commuting can be used for other things when a person uses online libraries. People can also use the search function in an online library to find the information that they need almost instantly, whereas in a normal library, it can take hours to find the correct resources as it must be done manually. In conclusion, I firmly believe that online libraries are superior to offline ones because they offer a wider range of books and they save time for the users.
IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question #23
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Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer #23
In certain societies, it is customary for younger generations to leave their parents’ dwellings as soon as they can. The main advantages of this situation are the sense of independence and the personal development that these young adults experience, while the disadvantages are they miss their families and it is difficult for them to survive on their own. The first advantage of young adults leaving their family homes as soon as possible is that they feel a strong sense of independence. When an individual leaves their home, they can enjoy a life that is free from any kind of restrictions. That is because oftentimes parents make a lot of decisions for the family members. The other main advantage is that these young adults will experience a lot of personal development. By living on their own, they will need to fix the various problems that arise by either learning how to fix them or finding the right people to help them resolve their issues. Through this process, they will develop the types of skills that will be useful to them throughout the rest of their lives. However, there is also the significant disadvantage of missing their family members. As they have spent their entire lives in their family homes, this new experience can often be unnerving and without the support of their loved ones, they feel lonely and long for the support that their family had always provided them up until this point in their lives. Another significant issue is that they might find it difficult to survive without the support of their families. Trying to keep up with the necessary household chores as well as keep up with the requirements of their jobs or studies can be a massive challenge, and oftentimes, these young adults resort to unhealthy diets as they are unable to find the necessary time for shopping, cooking and cleaning. In conclusion, the main advantages of young adults moving out of their family homes is that they experience more independence and get to grow in a way that wouldn’t happen if they continued to live with their parents. However, they will experience the disadvantages of missing their families and potentially struggling to survive.
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Additional Sample Questions
For additional IELTS Writing Task 2 sample questions from official sources, you can use these links.
- IELTS.org #1 & #2
- IDP #1 & #2
- BC #1 & #2
IELTS Problem-Solution Essay: A Proven Band 9 Strategy
Alcohol abuse is becoming more and more common in many countries.
What are the reasons of the problems it causes? What are some of the possible solutions?
A Complete Response
It is often argued that the over usage of alcohol has become increasingly common in different countries. Though various chronic diseases are arising from excessive drinking, people are unlikely to restrain from it because of the belief that alcohol releases stress. However, a proper rehabilitation can be the most effective measure to address this issue. The following paragraphs are going to elucidate the idea in detail.
Most of the people resort to alcohol to avail a sigh of relief from an emotional shock or distress. Usually, unmet expectation, exhaustive workplace environment, inter-personal and familial difficulties etc. might push them into this traumatic stage. In fact, the established notion that drinking alcohol can give a relaxation creates an unreal expectation in people’s mind, which lead them to keep drinking beyond the standard limit, resulting in deadly chronic diseases like high blood pressure, liver and colon cancer etc. In spite of all these serious potential threats, people tend to value their current pleasure and eventually immerse themselves into drinks, aiming to find a momentary release from the stress of daily life. This is how inevitable anxiety breeds and motivates people towards an excessive alcoholism
However, a proper rehabilitation could be an effective mechanism to address this issue. In other words, critically alcohol addict patients should be treated in specialized medical care centers where specially trained physicians would be all-time guide for them. The reason behind this suggestion is that such sickness cannot be cured by the person himself, a team of professionals is required to overcome it. To clarify, a study conducted by the Ministry of Health in Lebanon revealed that 70% of alcohol addicts succeeded to quit this negative habit with the help of dedicated physicians. Therefore, rehabilitation is the most effective measure for the alcoholics.
In conclusion, stress is the main reason behind alcohol abuses, and a continuous care under physicians would be the most suitable solution to be enforced and abided by to combat this challenge.
IELTS Problem and Solution Writing Samples Band 9
Nowadays, more and more older people who are looking for work have to compete with younger people for the same jobs. what problems does this cause what are some possible solutions, with the development of social media, more and more youngsters are being allowed unsupervised access to the internet in order to meet and chat with friends which can lead to potentially dangerous situations. what solutions can you suggest to deal with this problem, the percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by almost 20% in the last decade. discuss the causes and effects of this disturbing trend., in some citites and towns all over the world ,the high volume of traffic is a problem.what are the causes of this and what actions can be taken to solve this problem., many university graduates cannot find a job in their chosen profession, what factors may have caused this situation and what, in your opnion, should be done about it, since the technology is cheaply accessible, parents find it convenient to engage their children with the same. what problem does it cause and what solution can you suggest, pollution is becoming a serious issue in today's world. what are the primary causes of pollution what solutions can you suggest, plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic packaging are bad for the environment. what damage does plastic do to the environment what can be done by governments and individuals to solve this problem knowledge or experience, in recent years a large number of highly professionals like doctors, engineers and it professionals from poorer businesses are leaving their countries for developed countries for better-paying jobs. what are the possible problems of this and what solutions can you suggest to deal with this issue, overpopulation in many major urban centers around the world is a major problem. what are the causes of this how can this problem be solved, dating online is popular because of technology. what are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend, topic : children are facing more pressures nowadays from academic, social and commercial perspectives. what are the causes of these pressures and what measures should be taken to reduce these pressures, many countries are experiencing serious problems with their environment, with pollution of their land, water and air. what are these problems and how might they be reduced, global warming is one of the biggest threats humans face in the 21st century, and sea levels are continuing to rise at alarming rates. what problems are associated with this and what are some possible solutions, global warming is one of the biggest threats humans face in the 21st century, and sea levels are continuing to rise at alarming rates. what problems are associated with this and what are some possible solutions, 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, in most countries, young people form a large proportion of those who are unemployed. why this is the case, and what can be done to solve the problem.
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