IELTS Writing Sample answers Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Agree or Disagree Question with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

One of the most common question types in Task 2 asks you to agree or disagree with a statement. Read this statement about cars and decide if you agree or disagree.

The car is a disastrous 20th Century invention that has made the world’s cities more dangerous and polluted, as well as being responsible for the deaths of millions of people in accidents.

Do you agree or disagree?

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

The car has certainly had some negative publicity in recent decades. Automobiles have been blamed for many of the problems that affect our cities, such as air pollution, traffic accidents, and the disappearance of traditional communities. Although the statement is a controversial one, I have to agree that the automobile has been a disastrous invention.

First, there is no doubt that cities have been transformed by cars, with mostly negative consequences. The streets of most European cities, for example, were built long before the invention of the automobile and were never designed for heavy traffic. As a result, we see narrow roads crowded with vehicles, while pedestrians are restricted to pavements for their own safety. The fact that some cities have banned cars and pedestrianised their urban centres is a clear indicator that automobiles pose a danger to our cities.

Furthermore, in both urban and rural areas, cars have proved deadly to human beings. Not only are thousands of people killed each year in road accidents, but there are also long-term health problems caused by vehicle emissions. The automobile industry has tried to respond to both problems with the development of car safety features and cleaner engines, but even these gains are offset by the increasing number of people worldwide who want to drive. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that the cult of vehicle ownership has become a monster beyond our control.

In conclusion, despite widespread advertising that tries to persuade us that cars bestow status and freedom, the truth is actually that cars have been detrimental to our lifestyles and communities for many decades. Historians in the future may look back on our time and wonder why we allowed such a dangerous and inefficient form of transportation to persist unchecked. I look forward to the day when viable alternatives replace automobiles once and for all.

(308 words, IELTS 9.0)

Why does this IELTS Writing Task 2 answer get a Band 9 score?

Task response: The writer states clearly if they agree or disagree with the question (bold). The body paragraphs support the writer’s opinion with fully developed reasons. The model answer is at least 250 words.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer is logically divided into paragraphs. Each paragraph is related to the writer’s opinion. Sentences are linked by connectives (underlined) which make the argument easy for the reader to follow.

Lexical resource: The model answer uses a wide range of relevant vocabulary including several synonyms for ‘car’ (automobile, vehicle). Less-common adjectives such as ‘detrimental’ and ‘controversial’ are used to frame the topic. There are many examples of good collocation such as ‘pose a danger’ and ‘viable alternatives’.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The model answer includes many examples of complex sentences with no grammatical errors.

Teacher’s Notes

IELTS TeacherYou may be surprised at the strong opinions expressed in this essay. However, I recommend that you also try to write in this way. IELTS examiners usually prefer it when a candidate has a strong opinion, rather than tries to write a well-balanced essay. This is because well-balanced essays are more difficult to interpret. Whether you agree or disagree, try to make your position very clear.

IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Positive or Negative Question with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

Positive or negative questions are becoming more common in IELTS Writing Task 2, Try this question about the rising elderly population. A sample answer is provided below.

In many developed countries, life expectancy is rising while birthrates are falling. As a result, the elderly will make up a much larger proportion of the population in future.

Is this a positive or negative development?

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

How long do you expect to live? Until the age of 80? 100? If you had asked your parents the same question, they would surely have felt that a life expectancy of 70 was around average. Your grandparents, meanwhile, might have felt fortunate to live for 60 years. It is clear that people are living longer than ever before, but is this a positive or negative development?

On the one hand, increased life expectancy brings many opportunities later in life to try things that you could not do in your youth. Going on a world cruise, taking up a new hobby, even going back to university to get a degree: all of these opportunities are available to retired people nowadays. What is more, while many parents find raising children to be a stressful experience, spending time with grandchildren brings far more pleasure. Therefore, a more elderly population generally means a happier population with more time to enjoy life.

On the other hand, since elderly people often rely on the government or their children to support them, there are real concerns about the financial consequences of an aging society. Countries such as Japan are already being forced to raise both taxes and the age of retirement in order to offset the problem. Without a doubt, many other countries will need to take similar actions in the coming decades.

Overall, I would say that the benefits to individuals of living longer far outweigh the cost to society of supporting an elderly population. Of course, various countries need to take steps to ensure that the process is carefully managed.

(266 words, IELTS 8.5)

Why Does This Task 2 Answer Get an IELTS Band 8 score?

Task response: The sample answer is at least 250 words in length and describes both a positive and negative development. In some places the tone is informal and not entirely suited to an academic essay.

Coherence and cohesion: The sample answer is logically paragraphed, with each body paragraph detailing a positive or negative trend. The paragraphs and sentences are logically connected by phrases such as ‘On the one/other hand’.

Lexical resource: The sample answer includes many examples of good collocation such as ‘stressful experience’ and ‘financial consequences’. There is little repetition of vocabulary and no spelling errors.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The sample answer includes a range of simple and complex sentences. An incomplete sentence ‘Until the age of 80?’ is used, which might be penalised in an academic essay.

Teacher’s Note

IELTS TeacherThis IELTS Writing Task 2 sample answer is a great example of how to use an ‘unconventional opening’ to set your response apart from those of other candidates. Instead of the usual form of introduction, this sample answer takes a more direct conversational approach. This creates an immediate impression and the examiner may see it as evidence of strong writing skills. However, you need to show that you can also write in a more formal academic style, so don’t use a conversational tone throughout the whole essay.

IELTS Writing Sample answers Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Discuss Both Views Essay with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

Try this IELTS Writing question which requires you to discuss both views of an issue. It’s basically the same as an argument essay that we studied previously. The wording of the question is different, that’s all.

The free movement of goods across national borders has long been a controversial issue. Some people argue that it is necessary for economic growth, while others claim that it damages local industries.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion. You should write at least 250 words.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

One of the most debatable issues of the last century has been the extent to which international trade benefits or harms national economies. Many arguments have been made for and against free trade between nations. In this essay, I will discuss both views and state my own position.

Those who support the expansion of global free trade claim that economies grow faster when they can specialise in just a few industries in which they have a strong advantage. As a result, each region or country produces something of value to the world economy. For example, East Asia manufactures electronic goods, the Middle East exports energy, and the EU produces luxury items. Free trade proponents claim that dependence on global trade helps to strengthen international cooperation and prevent wars.

Meanwhile, opponents of free trade—sometimes called ‘protectionists’—claim that the unrestricted movement of goods and services causes damage to local communities. This is because jobs are lost when it becomes cheaper to import a product than to produce it domestically. They also argue that the vast distances travelled by food, oil, and consumer goods is harming the environment and making our lives unsustainable. Protectionists are in favour of tighter controls on the movement of goods and services in order to protect jobs and livelihoods.

In conclusion, while there are convincing arguments on both sides of the debate, a return to protectionist policies would surely be a mistake. I believe that global trade is inevitable and should not be restricted. It is no longer realistic for nations to source all of their energy, food, and manufactured goods within their own borders.

(267 words; IELTS 9.0)

Why does this Task 2 answer get a Band 9 score?

Task response: The model answer discusses both sides of the argument in equal measure and ends with a clear opinion. The writer includes background information and examples. The essay meets the word requirement.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer is clearly structured, with each body paragraph discussing a different side of the argument. The relationship between paragraphs is clearly signalled by words like Meanwhile and In conclusion. Ideas are developed further with logical links such as For example, because and also.

Lexical resource: The writer uses higher-level vocabulary relevant to the topic such as opponents, domestically, unsustainable, and interdependence. The core concept of ‘free movement of goods across national borders’ is repeatedly paraphrased. Spelling is correct throughout the model answer.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The writer uses a wide variety of grammatical features including concessive clauses (while…), relative clauses (in which…), and other complex forms (It is no longer realistic for nations to…). There are no grammatical errors in the model essay.

Teacher’s Note

IELTS Teacher‘Discuss both views’ is a common type of IELTS essay question in which the examiner will pay particular attention to paragraphing. Make your essay structure very clear by writing two body paragraphs that each discuss a different view. Try to make these two paragraphs similar in length—three sentences is enough—and save your own opinion for the conclusion. You can score highly on a ‘discuss both views’ question by following these simple rules.


IELTS Writing Sample answers Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Two-part Question with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

Try this two-part question about the United Nations. Though they may sound complicated, two-part questions are actually quite easy because they give you two points to discuss, rather than the usual single point.

The United Nations recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. What benefits has it brought during this time? Do you think the UN will last another 70 years?

You should write at least 250 words.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

The United Nations was established at the end of the Second World War in order to provide a peaceful way to resolve national differences. Since its formation 70 years ago, there has not been a Third World War. Furthermore, the UN has expanded its global role to include many more activities besides peacekeeping. This essay will look at some of the UN’s achievements and predict what the future might hold for the organisation.

It is difficult to imagine a world without the United Nations. The organisation plays a leading role in everything from conflict resolution and peacekeeping to emergency food aid and global public health. Many people trust the UN because it is a democratic organisation that reflects the interests of all its member states and not just one particular country. In this way, it can be argued that the UN has restricted the influence of powerful countries like the USA, Russia and China, while allowing smaller nations a say in global affairs. It is also effective at collecting funds from richer member states and redistributing it as economic aid or emergency assistance to parts of the world which need it most.

Yet the world is a very different place from how it looked in 1945, which has led some people to question the need for a powerful organisation like the UN. In particular, there are some proponents of free trade who argue that competition and not cooperation between nations is the fastest way to pursue economic development. However, I would argue that the more nations become interdependent, the more they will require a global forum to resolve their differences. While there are other global organisations that can play a similar role, such as the World Bank and International Criminal Court, none has the scope of the UN. For that reason, the UN is sure to exist for decades to come, and possibly for another 70 years.

In conclusion, the UN remains the most viable organisation for dealing with the world’s problems, and this is unlikely to change very soon.

(340 words, IELTS 9.0)

Why does this Task 2 answer get an IELTS Band 9 score?

Task response: The candidate answers both parts of the question. The candidate states clear opinions and supports them with examples. The argument is well-written and persuasive.

Coherence and cohesion: There are two body paragraphs which each deal with one part of the question. Both parts of the two-part question are addressed in both the introduction and conclusion. There are clear links between sentences and between paragraphs.

Lexical resource: The candidate introduces topic-specific vocabulary with natural collocation: global affairs, conflict resolution, emergency assistance, etc.

Grammatical range and accuracy: Conjunctions and relative pronouns are used throughout the essay to combine two or more ideas into complex sentences. There are no errors in the candidate’s grammar or punctuation.

Teacher’s Notes

IELTS TeacherDid you find some parts of the model answer difficult to understand? If so, you needn’t worry too much. Only a native speaker could have written this. An IELTS Band 6 or 7 answer would not be as sophisticated. An IELTS Band 8 answer would resemble this one but contain a few mistakes. So, even when the subject is a lofty one like the United Nations, try to be realistic in your objectives. It’s only a quick writing exercise, not a master’s thesis!


IELTS Writing Task 2 Writing Techniques

IELTS Writing Task 2: How to Organise Your Answer

Use the following guide to plan, organise and paragraph an essay in IELTS Writing Task 2. This applies to both General Training and Academic IELTS Writing modules, but there are different ways of organising an answer depending on the question type.

First paragraph: Introduction

Key technique: Don’t begin with your thesis statement.

Never begin an essay with I believe, I agree, or In my opinion in IELTS Writing Task 2. These indicate your thesis statement and should go at the END of your introduction, after you have introduced the topic and problem to be discussed. As a rule, start generally and take several sentences to build to your main idea. Note that the style of thesis statement will vary depending on the question type. Study the question carefully first to determine if you should give your opinion in the introduction or in the conclusion.

  • Introductory sentence: What topic is to be discussed? Recently, there have been…
  • Narrow the focus: What issue concerning the topic is to be resolved? However, some people argue that…
  • Thesis statement (opinion essay): What is your opinion on this issue? This essay will argue that…
  • Thesis statement (argument essay): What will happen in this essay? This essay will look at both sides of the argument before stating my own opinion.
  • Thesis statement (problem/solution essay): What are you going to write about? The main problems are X and Y and I will propose solutions to both in this essay.

Hint: You can choose either to write in the first person (I believe...) or third person (This essay will…). The third person sounds more objective and academic.

Hint: Don’t include your main reasons or arguments in the introduction, these should go in each of the body paragraphs.

Body paragraphs

Key technique: Make a paragraph plan

In IELTS Writing Task 2, you will need to write between two and four body paragraphs. Each paragraph should express one main idea in relation to the thesis statement (see above) and how you order these paragraphs is also important for the overall coherence of the essay.

In an opinion essay, if you express a strong opinion (I firmly believe…), then all body paragraphs should support it. However, if your opinion is weak (I agree to some extent…), consider writing one paragraph against followed by two paragraphs in favour (see hint below).

In an argument essay, it is best to give equal space to both sides of the argument, which means writing either two or four body paragraphs. If you write three body paragraphs, i.e. there is clearly a bias towards one side of the argument, make sure your final opinion is in favour of that side!

In a problem/solution essay, make sure you give equal treatment to all parts of the question. Two problems and two solutions are enough. It is best not to write about problems you can’t offer solutions to. There are many ways to organise such an essay. You can write about a problem and its solution in one paragraph or you can deal with all the problems first and the solutions later.

Once you have decided on a paragraph plan, make sure each paragraph is organised as follows:

  • Link to the previous paragraph: First, Furthermore, On the other hand, etc.
  • Topic sentence: Describe the main idea of the paragraph in general terms.
  • Supporting sentences: Use examples or further explanation to support the claim made in the topic sentence.
  • Qualifying sentence: Sometimes it is clear that an idea isn’t perfect or there may be exceptions. You can point this out as long as you don’t destroy your main idea completely.
  • Summarising sentence: If you have included a qualifying sentence, or if you have written several supporting sentences, consider returning to your main point by paraphrasing your topic sentence at the end.

Hint: If one of your body paragraphs goes against your main idea, put this paragraph first so that the remaining body paragraphs flow logically to your conclusion. The same is true in an argument essay. Discuss the side you don’t agree with first, so that the opinion expressed in your conclusion follows naturally from what has come before.

Final paragraph: Conclusion

Key technique: Give your reader something to consider.

One habit of IELTS test-takers is to end with a simple summary of their opinion and main ideas. This is absolutely fine and can add essential extra coherence, but try also adding some kind of concluding comment. This will leave the examiner with a powerful final impression of your essay when he or she comes to score it. A full conclusion should contain:

  • Concluding signal: In conclusion, In summary, Overall, etc.
  • (Re)state opinion: In an opinion essay, you can simply paraphrase your original thesis statement. In an argument essay, this is where you state your opinion, often using a phrase such as Having considered both sides of the argument, I believe…
  • Summary: Paraphrase the main idea of each body paragraph in very brief terms. Never include examples or explanations. These go in the body of the essay.
  • Concluding comment: Give the reader something to think about. Highlight the importance of the issue you have just discussed. Ask the reader to consider the future consequences if the issue is not resolved. Recommend a course of action that the reader or society should follow.

Hint: Don’t include anything in the introduction that is completely new or requires detailed explanation. This is also true for the concluding comment. Keep it obvious. Don’t write an idea that you then need to explain.

IELTS Writing Sample answers Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Problem Solution Essay with Sample Answer

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.

Teacher’s Note

IELTS TeacherAn 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.


IELTS Writing Sample answers Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Argument Essay with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

Try this argument essay question about access to a university education. It’s very important that you write a balanced argument before giving your opinion.

It is sometimes argued that too many students go to university, while others claim that a university education should be a universal right.

Discuss both sides of the argument and give your own opinion.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

In some advanced countries, it is not unusual for more than 50% of young adults to attend college or university. Critics, however, claim that many university courses are worthless and young people would be better off gaining skills in the workplace. In this essay, I will examine both sides of this argument and try to reach a conclusion.

There are several reasons why young people today believe they have the right to a university education. First, growing prosperity in many parts of the world has increased the number of families with money to invest in their children’s future. At the same time, falling birthrates mean that one- or two-child families have become common, increasing the level of investment in each child. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that young people are willing to let their families support them until the age of 21 or 22. Furthermore, millions of new jobs have been created in knowledge industries, and these jobs are typically open only to university graduates.

However, it often appears that graduates end up in occupations unrelated to their university studies. It is not uncommon for an English literature major to end up working in sales, or an engineering graduate to retrain as a teacher, for example. Some critics have suggested that young people are just delaying their entry into the workplace, rather than developing professional skills. A more serious problem is that the high cost of a university education will mean that many families are reluctant to have more than one child, exacerbating the falling birthrates in certain countries.

In conclusion, while it can be argued that too much emphasis is placed on a university education, my own opinion is that the university years are a crucial time for personal development. If people enter the workplace aged 18, their future options may be severely restricted. Attending university allows them time to learn more about themselves and make a more appropriate choice of career.

(320 words. IELTS 9.0)

Why does this Task 2 answer get an IELTS Band 9 score?

Task response: The model answer fully answers the question by stating several arguments both for and against the expansion of higher education. The candidate’s position is clearly expressed in the conclusion. The style is appropriate to academic writing and the answer is at least 250 words in length.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer has an introduction and conclusion. Each body paragraph deals with a different side of the argument and begins with a clear topic sentence. Arguments are developed with logical connectives such as therefore and furthermore.

Lexical resource: There is a good range of vocabulary suited to an argument essay, including reporting verbs like claim and suggest, and hedging verbs like can and appear. There is native-like collocation throughout, including growing prosperity, enter the workplace and severely restricted.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The model answer uses a wide range of grammatical devices appropriate to academic writing. These include conditionals (If…), participle clauses (…, increasing the…), concessive clauses (while it can…) and passive constructions (…it can be argued that…). There are no grammatical errors.

Teacher’s Notes

IELTS TeacherThis IELTS Writing Task 2 question asks you to discuss an argument. It’s easy to confuse this with an opinion essay, since opinion and argument have similar meanings. However, in an argument essay like this one, you must write about both sides of the argument before giving an opinion, which can be difficult in just 40 minutes. Since time management can be problem when writing an argument essay, plan to write two body paragraphs only, each dealing with a different point of view. Finally, when you give your own opinion in the conclusion, try to make it follow from the strongest side of the argument, not the weakest!


IELTS Writing Sample Answers Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Opinion Essay with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2 Question

Try this opinion essay question about the cost of space exploration. It’s best to state a clear opinion for or against in your introduction. 

Space exploration is much too expensive and the money should be spent on more important things.

What is your opinion?

IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Answer

There is an argument that exploring space is a waste of money and that there are more urgent needs to be addressed on earth, such as reducing poverty and preventing environmental destruction. However, I completely disagree with this opinion for two reasons.

First of all, many of the technologies we take for granted today were originated thanks to space research. Take satellite technology, for example, which we depend on for broadcasting and weather forecasting. Without satellites, we would not be able to follow global events as they happen, nor give populations any warning of approaching storms. Space research has also led to the development of new lightweight materials that offer us heat protection and enable food preservation. Therefore, the challenge of sending human beings into space has often driven the development of new technologies that benefit our everyday lives.

Second, we cannot foresee the distant future, so we ought to develop the capability to escape from the earth. Gradually, we are learning how humans can survive for long periods in space and even travel to other planets in the future. If space exploration is halted, this valuable knowledge will never be acquired. It is true that environmental destruction is also a serious issue, but it is also true that we remain dependent on our environment if we never accept the challenge of exploring other worlds.

In conclusion, while we undoubtedly face serious problems on our own planet, it is imperative that we continue to explore space. This will promote further technological advances as well as provide a possible means of escape should earth become uninhabitable in future. Ideally, all nations should cooperate in the advancement of space research.

(278 words, IELTS 8.5)

Why does this Task 2 answer get an IELTS Band 8 score?

Task response: The introduction effectively paraphrases the question and presents a clear opinion. The writer’s opinion is supported in the body of the essay. Concrete examples are given. The conclusion restates the writer’s opinion and ends with a recommendation.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer is divided into clear paragraphs and each body paragraph contains one main idea. There are cohesive links between all paragraphs and between most sentences.

Lexical resource: The key concept of space exploration is paraphrased several times. There are many words characteristic of academic writing such as originated, imperative, and foresee. Vocabulary is used with a strong awareness of collocation: take for granted, develop the capability, accept the challenge.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The model answer is free from grammatical errors. A good balance of simple and complex sentences is used to develop an argument. Verb tenses vary, and other grammatical devices such as conditionals and modals are used with high accuracy.

Teacher’s Notes

IELTS TeacherThis IELTS Writing task simply asks you to give your opinion, which appears to be a very open question. As you have just 40 minutes to write your opinion essay, it is best to state a clear opinion in the first paragraph and stick to it, rather than try to deliver a more complex or nuanced answer. Use each body paragraph to add supporting points and restate your opinion in the final paragraph to provide a satisfying conclusion.


IELTS Writing Task 2 Useful Language

IELTS Writing Task 2: Useful Language

Yesterday we looked at why it’s effective to memorise phrases, not sentences, for use in the writing section of IELTS. Here is a second list of useful phrases, this time for use in Task 2.

Again, the phrases are grouped by function. They include some phrases that are great for building an introduction and others that can help you write a really persuasive argument.

Remember that in IELTS Writing Task 2 the quality of your ideas is not what really matters. The examiner wants to see what language you use to make your argument and organise your thoughts. Time is also very limited, so memorising a set of useful phrases is often said to be critical in order to get a high score.

Introducing the topic

  • Some people argue that…
  • Have you ever considered… ?
  • The question raises the issue of…

Stating an opinion (thesis statement)

  • I believe that…
  • It is my belief that…
  • This essay will argue that…

Indicating the scope of the essay

  • In this essay, I will state…
  • This essay will examine…
  • … will be covered in this essay.

Giving reasons

  • One reason for this is that…
  • This can be explained by…
  • This can be attributed to the fact that…

Giving further reasons

  • Not only that, but…
  • A further reason is…
  • It should also be stated that…

Citing general opinions

  • It has been claimed that…
  • It is widely believed that…
  • There is a widespread belief that…

Refuting opinions

  • I would dispute this, however.
  • However, this is not necessarily the case.
  • There are some faults with this reasoning, however.

Hedging strategies

  • It could be argued that…
  • One explanation might be that…
  • This suggests that…

Strengthening an argument

  • There can be no doubt that…
  • Therefore, we can say beyond any doubt that…
  • These are just some of the reasons why…

Concluding and summarising

  • To sum up, … / In summary, … / In short, …
  • Overall, … / On the whole, …
  • To return to my original idea,…

Teacher’s Notes

IELTS TeacherThe IELTS Writing assessment criteria rewards you for attempting to use a range of academic expressions and linking phrases, even if you make some mistakes. The useful phrases above are exactly the sort of language the IELTS examiner is expecting to find in a high-scoring answer, so please start using them in your own IELTS essays. A native English speaker can tell you if the phrases are being used grammatically and appropriately.