IELTS Writing Task 2: Question
Try this problem solution essay about the internet. I’m sure you can think of many problems but I suggest you write about only two. You have only 40 minutes in which to write your answer.
The internet has transformed the way information is shared and consumed, but it has also created problems that did not exist before.
What are the most serious problems associated with the internet and what solutions can you suggest?
IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer
There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionised communication and information-sharing in the same way that the telegraph and the television did before it. However, societies have had to cope with unanticipated new problems, including crimes which traditional laws are powerless to prevent. This essay will address some of the illegal acts enabled by the internet and propose solutions.
To begin with, the global scale of the internet means that national laws are no longer adequate to control what happens online. Take restrictions on legal reporting, for example. In some countries, the media is prohibited from revealing details of a defendant’s past in case this prejudices a fair trial. However, such restrictions are no longer enforceable now that information may be freely published in other countries and accessed by all. The only solution here, it seems, is to adopt global standards. Since the internet traverses national borders, the flow of information can only be controlled if all nations agree on what can and cannot be shared.
Another problem concerns anonymity, as internet users can easily conceal their identity and even impersonate others. Many crimes such as identity theft and child abuse result from the ease with which criminals can operate anonymously online. Some have proposed a system of online identification, similar to a passport, which would allow all internet users to be verified and traced. I believe this idea should be explored further, though there are clearly concerns about the security of those who use the internet to protest against oppressive regimes.
In conclusion, the only long-term solution to the problem of internet crime is greater international cooperation. Since the problem is global is scale, the solution must also be global. A new agency of the United Nations should be created to tackle the problems described here.
(298 words, IELTS 8.5)
Why does this Task 2 answer get an IELTS Band 8 score?
Task response: The model answer fully answers the question by stating two distinct problems caused by the internet together with relevant solutions to each problem. Each problem is illustrated with examples. The style is appropriate to academic writing and the answer is at least 250 words in length.
Coherence and cohesion: The introduction to this problem solution essay ends with a clear thesis statement. Each body paragraph deals with a different problem and its solution. Examples are signalled with logical connectives like for example and such as. The conclusion contains a clear recommendation which follows from the body.
Lexical resource: There are many instances of higher-level vocabulary such as prohibited, verified and oppressive. Examples of good collocation include prejudices a fair trial and tackle the problems. There are no spelling errors and correct word forms are used throughout.
Grammatical range and accuracy: The candidate uses a wide range of conjunctions to link ideas into more complex sentences. Where necessary, the candidate uses a shorter sentence to emphasise a point more strongly. Verb tenses, including modals, are always accurate. Punctuation is handled skillfully throughout.
An IELTS problem solution essay will usually ask for problems and solutions (note plural), so try to include two of each. This leads logically to an essay with two body paragraphs, like the model answer above. Try to describe each solution together with the problem it solves in order to be as coherent as possible. And remember, your solutions don’t have to be original, or even realistic, in order to get a high score. The IELTS examiner is only interested in your use of language, not in the quality of your ideas.
Would you like me to check your own answer to this IELTS Writing task? You can take my online IELTS Writing Practice Test anywhere in the world and get a score, corrections, and feedback in just 48 hours. Read more.