20 Common Essay Topics for IELTS Writing Task 2

Below is a list of the 20 most common IELTS essay topics that appear in writing task 2 with subtopics.  Although the essay questions change, the subject of the essays often remains the same. Each topic is divided into subtopics which you should prepare.

You should practice developing ideas for all common essay topics used by IELTS so that you can write your essay within the given time limit. Follow this link to get over 100 IELTS essay questions for the topics below.

Common Essay Topics with Subtopics

  • Art
    • censorship of art and artists
    • creativity
    • art at school
    • the benefits of art for individuals and society
    • funding
  • Business & Money
    • small vs large business
    • international business
    • family run business
    • management and leadership
    • success in business
    • business and technology
    • skills vs knowledge for business
    • materialism and consumerism
  • Communication & Personality
    • technology and communication
    • family and communication
    • face to face vs long distance communication
    • types of communication
    • the development of character and personality
    • innate or developed personalities
    • female / male characters
  • Crime & Punishment
    • prisons vs rehabilitation
    • capital punishment vs other types of punishment
    • criminals – what makes a criminal
    • major vs minor crime
    • crime and technology
    • teenagers and crime
    • role of policemen
    • men and women in law enforcement
  • Economics 
    • cash vs credit cards
    • saving vs spending
    • globalisation and economy
    • world economic issues
    • economic progress and success
  • Education
    • children and education
    • relevant subjects
    • education and technology
    • role of teachers
    • discipline and rules in school
    • single-sex schools
    • uniforms
    • funding
    • educational aid to poorer countries
  • Environment
    • animals
    • protection of endangered species
    • zoos
    • environmental problems
    • saving the environment & solving problems
    • government vs individual roles
  • Family & Children
    • family roles
    • family size
    • the generation gap
    • discipline
    • role models
    • family and education
  • Food
    • health diets
    • education of diet
    • traditional vs modern diets
    • fast food
    • children and diet
  • Health
    • prevention vs cure
    • funding
    • health and education
    • poor countries and rich countries
    • health aid
    • dealing with global epidemics
    • hospitals and treatment
    • obesity
    • exercise and health
  • Language
    • having only one language in the world
    • methods of language learning
    • travel and language
    • the disappearance of languages
    • language and culture
  • Media & Advertising
    • censorship, control and freedom of speech
    • advertising methods
    • children and advertising
    • media and technology
    • news & reporting
  • Other Common Essay Topics
    • Space Exploration
    • Water and Oceans
    • Change or Moving vs Stability and Constancy
  • Reading
    • paper books vs ebooks
    • children and reading
    • books in education
    • libraries
    • reading and leisure
  • Technology
    • controlling the internet
    • socialising online
    • children and technology (safety)
    • the change in society
    • letter vs email
    • storing data
    • safety of personal information
    • hacking
  • Transport
    • development of infrastructure
    • comparing forms of transport
    • problems with modern forms of transport
    • environmental issues
  • Travel
    • culture and travel
    • understanding people and travel
    • living in a global world
  • Society
    • overpopulation
    • poverty
    • homeless people
    • crime on the streets
    • modern life styles
    • budget spending
    • public services
  • Sport
    • professionals vs amateurs
    • salary
    • equipment
    • sport and learning
    • sport as a school subject
    •  men vs women in sport
    • types of sport
  • Work
    • shift work
    • women in work
    • types of jobs (blue collar / white collar)
    • children and exploitation
    • part time work
    • work and technology
    • employment
    • salary
    • equality

IELTS Recent Exam Topics

To get a list of recent essay questions as well as recent topics and question from all other sections of the IELTS test, follow this link: Recent IELTS Exam Questions & Topics

IELTS Writing Task 2

Get model essays, tips, free video lessons and practice exercises for IELTS writing task 2: IELTS Writing Task 2

100 IELTS Essay Questions

Get over 100 IELTS essay questions for free. The essay questions are organised into topics and also into different types of essays: 100 IELTS essay questions

IELTS Vocabulary

Develop your vocabulary for some of the above topics: IELTS vocabulary page.

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more.

Get my free lessons by email

Subscribe for free to get my new IELTS lessons sent to your email inbox.


  1. Handsome boy says

    Hi Liz ,

    Why are you not active in youtube. When can we see new video of yours there ?

    • This is due to a serious health problem that has prevented me from making videos for many years.

      • Breaks my heart to here this. I’m sure everybody’s wish here is same as me and that we all hope you recover soon.

        • Thanks. That’s very kind. I hope that next year my health will be more stable and if so, I’ll try to make some new videos 🙂

  2. Hi Liz,
    Hope your great.

    Just need your opinion about increasing overal writing from 6 to 7 or above. Even though how hard i tried my writing score is not increasing beyond 6. Would be happy if you could give your overal opinion on how to increase it. Thanks in advance

    • This is not a simple task to explain in just a short message on my website. For this reason, I created advanced writing task 2 lessons and e-books in my online store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/. You can buy them individually so you can see if one of them helps you. If they do help, you can consider getting more.

  3. Maneesha says

    Hi Liz,

    I need your help in understanding this question in Task 2- writing.
    Some people think educated people are more valuable than people who learned skills through experience. Do you think educated people are the most valuable to society? What kinds of skills can people through experience that can benefit society?
    In this question, does education mean Hard Skills or formal education such a degree/ certification and skills through experience means soft skills?
    Thanks for your support.

    • Education refers to formal educational. This is about education or skills – not about different types of skills.

  4. I’m new to this website, although reading the few comments here makes me feel secured. I hope to get the best from here. Thanks

  5. Sutanuka says

    Hello Liz
    You have some great content. It is extremely helpful when preparing for IELTS. Recently I came across an essay topic for GT that seemed quite vague.
    ‘In some areas of the US, a curfew is imposed, in which teenagers are not allowed to be out of doors after a particular time at night unless they are accompanied by an adult. What is your opinion about this?’
    This is from a credible practice material. What is a good response to this?

    • Which sources did you get this from? IELTS essay questions do not relate to only one country. However, the topic of curfew is possible. With such a topic, you would write about freedom of movement, learning independence and learning about safety, against protecting children for various reasons.

  6. Lakshmi says

    Hi Liz,
    Is there any difference in essay topics that can appear for general and academic writing task 2? If yes, can you categorize them accordingly? Is there any difference in writing essay for academic and general ielts?

  7. Folarin says

    Hello Liz,

    Your trainings are very useful. For those writing the general ielts test (Not Academic), are the essay topics limited to specific areas ? Would the topics be selected from the different essay types such as opinion essay, discussion essay, solution essay, direct questions etc ?

  8. Hi liz,
    I am a trainer of IELTS. Your lessons are much beneficial for me. But I have a question that while getting training I heard from trainers that we are not allowed to use personal words like we, us, he, she, him, her, our as well as words like etc. and too, too much as it effect our writing bands.
    So can you tell me that is it put any effect on our band of writing or not?
    Thank you

    • “etc” is an abbreviation of “et cetera”. When you give examples, choose the number of examples to give rather than use “etc”. When you explain something, be specific rather than using “etc”. It is completely fine to use pronouns, but some pronouns are used more than others. For example, the pronouns “we” and “us” are not commonly used. Also the pronouns “he/him” or she/her” are also not used a lot because we are mostly writing about people in general rather than specific people. The word “too” is used whenever it is needed. So, you see, there are no IELTS rules about this. It is just about what the likely to be used based on the aims of the essay. I have a chapter on Pronouns in the Grammar E-book which covers this.

  9. Task 2 academic topic:
    Date: August 6, 2020
    Some people believe that old customs and traditions should be given up, as people do not use them now. To what extent you agree and disagree?

  10. Hi Liz,,
    I would like to thank you for the great effort put in this website,, really useful.
    Regarding writing task 2,, what should I do if I did not get the meaning of the essay topic?!!

    • If you can’t understand the meaning fully, hopefully you can understand the meaning partially. Of course, it will affect your score for Task Response, but not for the other marking criteria. However, most essay questions are written quite simply so you can understand. Also, your preparation should involve reviewing all common topics and over 100 essay questions.

  11. Theresa Choong says

    Hi Liz, I hope you’re doing well. I have encountered some problems in giving correct points in writing task 2. Here is the question of the task which I selected for your website.
    Some schools are very strict about their school uniforms and the appearance of their pupils, while other schools have a very relaxed dress code.
    May I know ‘strict about their school uniforms’ simply means having the same dress codes/school uniforms?
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thank you so much

    • Strict implies that they follow the dress code precisely and have very specific dress codes. For example, they have very precise rules for the length of a girls skirt and they make sure these rules are followed. In South Korea, they are even strict about the length of a girls hair and if a teacher thinks the girls hair is longer than permitted, they get a pair of scissors and cut it. That is a very strict rule about appearance. However, in the school I went to, girls had to wear ties, but the ties could be tied in any way the girl wanted. There were also rules about how short a skirt could be. But, in fact, the girls often looked very sloppy with ties in a mess and skirt very short. So, my school had rules but didn’t enforce them properly. So, struct dress codes applies to both the rules and the enforcing of those rules.

      • Theresa Choong says

        Hi Liz, thank you for the very clear and informative explanation. I’ve bought your E-books and advanced lessons and I’ve noticed my improvement after following exactly what you mention in the books and the lessons. All in all, I’m more than happy that I found your website and I would highly recommend to anyone who wishes to score in IELTS follow every note and advise at your website. Thank you and stay safe.

  12. Sarah says

    Hello Liz, I have been reluctant to send you a comment since I don’t know if you would be free to reply. I am planning to take the GT exam whenever the quarantine is over but until then, I have been practicing the writing task. my questions is: Can you have a glance at my essays and just let me know if what I am doing is right or not? I just need to know if my answering steps are in place, if I am starting my essay in the correct way and how much will I approximately score if I continued practicing in this manner.
    Thank you in advance and stay safe!

    • Unfortunately I don’t offer a marking service at present. However, I suggest you get my Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons which take you step by step through each paragraph and will ensure you use the right techniques. I’m running a discount from about May 5th on those lessons as well as for my new Grammar E-book which will released then. Wait for that time to purchase.

  13. Vinit says

    Is there any important topics for GT essay? Could you please assume frequently asked essay?

    • There is no difference between GT essays and Academic essays except that the GT essays are easier with slightly easier essay questions, So, ALL the lessons and tips for writing task 2 on this site are for both GT and Academic Writing Task 2. If you want ideas for topics, get my Ideas for Topics E-book which you can find in my online store. Click here: Liz’s Online Store

  14. Bhavin Patel says

    I just started ielts preparation so please share ielts materials.

    • This whole website contains hundreds of page of lessons, tips etc. Go to the HOME page and read how to access them.

      • Aster says

        Hello Liz, I have a question to ask about agree or disagree essay.
        “In the future, it seems more difficult to live on the Earth. Some people think more money should be spent on researching other planets to live, such as Mars. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”
        My essay goes like this:
        1. Intro: disagree, money should be spent on saving the Earth rather than doing researches on other planets
        2. Body 1: no certainty about life on other planets => could waste money
        3. Body 2: saving the Earth is more important => reasons
        4. Conclusion
        Is it ok if I write like that?
        Thank you in advance!

        • You have the right approach. However, your third body paragraph is not needed. That forms part of body paragraph 1 = Earth is more important which is why more money should be spent on research.

  15. Dear Liz, do we have to practice all the subtopics to get a good band in writing? Or working on only one subtopic will be enough?

    • The more you prepare, the better your chances of getting a specific question you have prepared. You can use this page for questions: https://ieltsliz.com/100-ielts-essay-questions/ and this page is a link to my Ideas for Essay Topics E-book in my online store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

      • Hi Liz,
        Thank you for your effort in providing excellent resources. I have a strange question. If I get a question which I dont know at all in task 2, can I write something general related to that.For instance, if they asked about the importance of preserving historic places, can i just talk about history and can still get good bands for the other three criteria except for task achievement. Secondly, If I dont talk about anything about history,and I completely write offtopic, do they still consider my answer by giving 0 for task achievement,but giving appropriate band scores for the other three criteria.Thank u

        • 1. If you don’t write about history at all, you might get band 0 for a memorised answer. Don’t change the topic because you prefer a different one.
          2. If your topic is obviously off topic because you chose that – the above might apply.
          3. You should always stick as close to the topic as possible. Yes, being on or off topic, only affects Task Response score – unless the above applies.
          4. If you got my e-book “Ideas for Essay Topics” this is an unlikely situation: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/. In fact, preserving old buildings and also the importance of history are both given in my e-book which actually covers over 150 common essay topics.
          I hope this helps 🙂

  16. Sushant says

    Hey Liz, Greetings.
    Can I agree on the first half and express my disapproval on the second half for the same essay?

    • For the same point? You would say “I agree in free education” and then in the next paragraph you would say “I don’t agree with free education”? This means you have confused the reader. In an opinion essay, the requirement of a high score is that you maintain a clear position throughout – this means one position from start to finish. This is clearly stated in the band score descriptors that IELTS have published to the public.

      I think what you are talking about it actually a partial agreement (a balanced approach) to an opinion essay. You should only try this if you have been trained. See my Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons which you can purchase on this page: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/. Otherwise, stick to a one sided approach – it’s easier.

    • it depends on the plan followed in an essay as well as question asked. for illustration, if you are asked to give only your views then you can,,or if you are asked to discuss both pros and cons of notion.In the case,you are discuss give only one side so you have to go on one side either in favour or not.

  17. Mona p says

    Dear Liz
    Thanks a million for all the unconditional help and support you have given us during these years to improve our English. I have a question regarding Agree/Disagree essays. In the following essay question are we supposed to write about both positive and negative effects if we think there are more positive aspects? I mean in these types of questions we must explain both sides even if we think there are more advantages? Below is the question.
    In the last 20 years there have been significant development in the field of IT. However, these developments are likely to have more negative effects than positive in future. To what extent do you agree with this view?
    Best regards

    • You need to look at how it is phrased: more X than Y. If you think there is more X, you will also think there is less Y. This means you will explain both from your point of view. Do you see what I mean?

  18. Lovepreet singh says

    A Huge Thanks for providing theses topics!
    I have almost gone through every topic in detail and now when i check latest questions from your website, i feel like i can write ay of those tasks easily.

    I have just one doubt. While studying about poverty i found that every cause of it is totally related to other one, and in this situation it becomes difficult to write two separate reasons or body paragraphs about poverty.
    Overpopulation, for instance, is the reason of lack of resources or services that include education, but education can be a different reason. In the similar way unemployment is another cause of pooverty, and unemploymet is also due to overpopulation.

    • You have plenty of ideas and that’s great. Now it is your task to select and organise. You can’t put all your ideas in your essay – you need to decide which ones to use. If the essay is about poverty (lack of money), then resource depletion isn’t really relevant. However your point about limited education is a good point. You do not need to link lack of good education to overpopulation – that isn’t necessarily connected. So, one cause is – lack of good education which helps create professionals who will pull a country out of poverty. Your second point is lack of employment – this is a clearly connected to poverty and that is a another good cause. You can add as a supporting point that overpopulation leads to too much competition for jobs that are scarce in the first place.
      So, you see, you need to filter your ideas and cut out any point that isn’t directly related. IELTS essays are short – only 280 words on average – you can’t list everything. So, we have cut out “resource depletion” and we have decided that “overpopulation” is a supporting point which adds problems to the lack of employment. The two main causes will be: limited education and lack of jobs, which together cause poverty both for the country, for families and for individuals.
      Do you see how you need to plan more after you have brainstormed. Once you have ideas, sift through them to choose only two causes that you will use. This of course is advice for a cause/solution essay where you shouldn’t have more than two causes.
      I hope this helps.

      • Lovepreet singh says

        Thanks for clearing my doubts mam
        You are so generous and humble. I can’t express my gratitude towards you in words.

        I wish you healthy and happy life!!!

  19. Danial says

    Dear Lucia,
    Thank you so much. It took me about 2 month to improve my skills and to be honest, I spent most of my time reading different topics. Based on Topic’s complexity and range of questions, each topic took me between 1 to 4 days to study at first.

  20. Hi Dear Liz,
    I didn’t know where to say my words so i Chose this page.
    I just wanted to extremely express my appreciation for your great website and your efforts to help people pass the IELTS exam. I have centered around my study time on your website and I went through all the 100 essay topics and latest speaking questions in all three parts. I have succeeded in the exam with L:8.5, R:8, S:7.5, W:7.5 while my previous scores were: L:8.5, R:8.5, S:6.5 W:6 and your website was the one main way that made my dream come through. I again want to thank you a lot and I am referring your website and your courses to all the people who ask about my success path here in Iran.
    I hope all people understand and appreciate your hard work and thanks for all the positive energies.

    • I’m really pleased for you, Danial. It’s great to see your scores improving so much – well done 🙂

    • Lucia Arif says

      Hi Danial,
      I am also happy for you that you got that such a brilliant score.. Could you please share how you make it? I also following Liz’s website which is very helpful fo me.. But i wondering about how long did you prepare to get that much improvement?and how many topics of writing did you do everyday?

      Thank you in advance

    • Nafas says

      Hi Danial,
      What exactly you did to improve your skill by this website?

  21. Dear Liz,
    I just want to know that in agree or disagree type of essay, the body paragraph should be based on one side either agree or disagree or it should be 80:20 ratio? Please guide me, I will be very thankful to you.

    • There are no such rules. No rules at all like that in IELTS. You decide your own personal opinion when you read the essay question.

  22. Claudia says

    Hi Liz,

    Are calculators allowed in the IELTS exam? Thanks!

  23. Hlo mam
    can u please provide last 3 months essay topics

  24. Hello Liz,
    I had this question, I saw several times in videos that while question asks about “advantages and disadvantages”, tutors write one example of for each advantage and disadvantage. I was wondering, is it OK to do so on test day?
    thanks in advance!

    • It is your choice how you expand and explain your ideas. You can use or not use examples – it’s your choice.

  25. Soumen Aich says

    Hello Liz,

    I had a question and would appreciate if you could kindly clarify. The below essay statement falls under which category? and Why?
    To me it looks like an opinion essay where we need to choose a side either positive or negative and then give points to support the view in 2 paragraphs. Is that right?

    Essay Question:
    Some universities offer online courses for students. Do you think it is a positive or negative development for students?

    The question is listed under sample essay questions on this website.

    Thank you,

  26. Chintan Patel says

    Please give me last six months essay topics which came in a ielts exam..

  27. I’m Ali , from iran and I have to say THANK YOU ! May God bless you

  28. Advertisement reflects the power of renowned consumer products in which celebrities are act as a crowd puller by doing advertises on television screen. Youngsters attract easily due to their favourite film stars , singers advertisevent. However, it is true argument that reduces the substancial real needs of the society in which they sold their goods.

    Throughout the years, the scenario has been changed due to development of technology worldwide that helps the advertise companies to launch their products efficiently. Although, there is no actual need of that goods but individual purchase it through online website for instance, http://www.amazon.com /www.eBay.com etcetera that leads to wastage of currency and also grown-ups foster their guardians for that unworthy things. Besides this, companies provide lot of benefit and offer on goods to influence the public but it might have palpable effect that create skin infection , elergy problems due to the usage of cosmetica, medicines or protein powders that are consumed to gain or lpose weight . So , generally unhealthy for people.

    On the other hand, there are various aspects against this argument. It is a people’s choice to take decision to buy goods . Advertising may be not a cause of consumer’s buying habits .individuals have their own spending habits . If they have got enough disposable income then they have right to purchase that product . Before buying consumer goods they should evidently aware about it positives and negatives.

    To conclude , it is quit inconvenient to say everyone is swayed by advertising. Compared with other product companies , the sensitive areas of business such as toys industries that should be curtail to advertise because children have not enough mature to judge about good or bad.

  29. Hi Liz, your website is very helpful,no doubt :).
    My ielts test day is 15th dec and i am really confused…
    i wanted to ask that what i ought to do if i have no knowledge about the question in writing task 2.
    waiting for your response..

  30. s.siman says

    hi Liz,
    today I have elaborately studied marking criteria of writing task 2. Could you please explain me these three things- 1)coherence 2)cohesion 3)referencing

    looking forward to your reply
    thanks in advance 🙂

  31. s.siman says

    I have been looking for site to know writing task 2 topics with sub-topics,thanks to ieltsliz because its made my task easy.

  32. Dear Liz,

    You might have no idea how MANY DOCTORS around the world are thankful for your help in learning English! On behalf of all white coat wearing people, THANK YOU!.

    I read many FB med group chat’s comments and other social networks, where many who want to come to the UK to practice medicine get together , and many of them recommend watching your videos.

    Thousands of them, mostly from developing countries, show their gratitude to you.

    we need above 7.5 in total and above 7 in each.

    Personally, I have given IELTS 5 times, in 6 years. Unfortunately, I have not received the required score yet. BUT, I have received in Speaking 8,
    reading 7, Listening 7.5, and most horrible part-writing 6.5

    Those numbers were different in each time, I just compiled them in the best shape, to show the greatest achievement I could get in those hardest ever my exams. I never got any bad marks during my 8 years of medical exams. I graduated from medical school with Honors yet ENGLISH- is my weak point.

    I am proactive and will try for the 6th time, I believe it will be my last time of giving IELTS, I will achieve the required and even more band.

    I have never really practice writing exactly at it is given in your explanation. But this time I WILL.


    from Central Asia.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I’m aware of the issues doctors face hitting their required score and am glad my site helps 🙂 I have actually replied to you at length via email using the email address you have used to post this message. Take a look as I’ve given you some extra tips and a gift. Good luck 🙂

      • Thank you . You are not wise only, generous and have real concerns for your students.

        Heavenly rewards for your tremendous work.

        Advance Merry Christmas!

        Many new adventures in coming year 2017!

        Thank you!!!

  33. Thank you Liz for your help so much! I know you have probably heard it many times before but I really do appreciate your great work. In my case especially, your study materials are priceless. I am a mother of a 9 months old baby girl so you can only imagine how challenging for me is studying and taking care of her at the same time. Actually, now at the moment I am burning the midnight oil to study for my IELTS exam (Academic) which is coming in the beginning of December 2016. My English is far from being perfect and my dream is to get band 8+. I am full of doubts and totally bushed, worried about my final results but I know that I just simply cannot give up. I think many people are having the same thoughts and worries as I do. But you are here, for us and that’s amazing. I am sending my warmest greetings from Finland.

  34. Thank you very much for your stunning site and I really like and benifited from it.I am a student of IELTS. My asking to you, how can I guess Argumentative written or narrative written. Some time I make mistake it . May you give me any easy way to identify it. Thank you

  35. Tarinder Singh says

    4 in reading

  36. Hi Liza,

    really love your website. It’s very interactive.

    In my speaking test had to speak about the last story I had watched on TV, with whom I watched and what did I liked about it and why.

  37. Gursharanjit Singh says

    In most of the GT writing test part II in the introduction paragraph, its mentioned that “In this essay I will be describing or I explained about…..bla bla

    Similarly, In conclusion part,”I/we discussed and explained so and so…….”

    My question is that is it right to use I and We the way I used in the above example or generalised statement will be given more weightage.

  38. A.Taha says

    Hi Liz
    Thank you for your great and wonderful lessons and tips that is really valuable to us.
    i bought your Advanced IELTS Writing task2 for different types of essay questions and its amazing,v.thanks.
    “people should work a fixed number of hours per week,and employers should not ask anybody to work more than this”
    give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples.
    what is this type of essay?and how to deal with it?and if any advices you can give it to me regarding my question.
    thank you.

    • That question is not complete. Where did you find it?

      • A.Taha says

        Cambridge 10 general training test2

        • A.Taha says


          • That’s so badly written for an IELTS question. It’s an opinion essay. You need to comment on the opinion given by giving your own opinion. You need to explain what you think of people working a fixed number of hours in a week.

  39. Sumedha Sharma says

    Hello mam, i done my best in ielts exam …i follow format similar trend which should be followed but unfortunately i overall got 5.5 band in writing ..Can u suggest me something ..now I’m going for it again.

  40. Hussain says

    I am going to give general ielts test and I need your advice before giving the test please give me some tips for general ielts test and which lessons is are good for general test from your lessons

    • All writing task 2 lessons are also for GT. On the writing task 1 page, you will find tips for letter writing.

  41. Hi Liz,

    I am preparing for Ilets Academic exam,
    It is on 31st March, I have started my preparation on 19th March 🙁
    My goal is to achieve 6.5 band in writing, i am doing quite well in other sections.
    But i am not feeling confident in writing, kindly give me some tips on writing

  42. Hey Liz,
    I know you are taking some time off. However, I have a question for you in regard to Task 1. When the question is asking you to write a letter to your friends and in your letter,
    thank them for the photos and for the holiday you spent overseas. Since, no names were given, how would you suggest addressing this letter ?
    Would you suggest simply using imaginary names?

  43. Rukshesh says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for sharing valuable information for IELTS exam.

    After going through your tips, I am a bit confused about how to write an essay for the question ‘To what extent do you agree’?

    For example, “Most artists receive low salaries and should therefore receive funding from the government in order for them to continue their work. To what extent do you agree?” – – Can I disagree with the statement or I have to agree only? As I can say here that government has other priorities as well.
    – In addition to funding, can I write something like additional unemployment benefits for artists etc to further help artists.
    – Furthermore, If I agree (partially or fully) or disagree, two body paragraphs which I make, I have to justify my statement given in introduction only or can I discuss other side as well (may be in second para)?
    – I am getting confused over this type of question (To what extent) so please provide me with some resources on it as I have my exam on 23rd Jan.


  44. Zeeshan Afzal says

    Do you have any solve essay so that I can see all the method.

  45. Hi Liz,

    What is your opinion on giving a Title to the Essay before we begin writing it. Will that have a positive or negative impact? Please advice.


    • You should not write a title.

      • hi madam I bit confuse about what I write in this topic some sports make use of steroids in order to boost their performance as it easy to obtain legal drugs through a medical prescription . suggest some possible measures to check such unethical practices ielts task 2 …Please reply me as soon as possible because my exam is on 7 November. .Thanks

        • This can be checked by regular urine and blood tests. It can also be dealt with by having harsher penalties for people using drugs to enhance their performance. This issue has been in the news a lot so you can read up on google.
          Good luck

  46. Kelly Piron says

    Hello Liz,

    I can’t remember where I found an essay question that really stressed me out. It was something along the lines of “Some people believe the government should spend more money on defense while others believe social benefits should be favored. Discuss both sides.” I really can’t remember what it was exactly, but it concerned defense and social benefits and I honestly had no idea what I could write about on that topic. Would you have tips?

    Thank you so much,


    • This is a current issue in many countries. Should a country aim to protect itself or should it spend money on providing benefits for its citizens. Defense is essential in order to ensure the security of a country and its citizens. Without defense, a country would be open to attack from terrorists or other countries. It is in the interest of the citizens to provide strong defenses. However, if many of a country’s citizens are in poverty or sick, the government has a responsibility to provide benefits and extra money to support them. Without these benefits, they might end up living below the poverty line. I hope some of these ideas help. Feel free to share your views.

      • Kelly Piron says

        Thank you so much for your answer !

        Also, I read that each paragraph should have one controlling idea. However, on subjects such as “Some believe a good salary is more important, others believe an enjoyable job is more important. Discuss both views and give your opinion” (something along those lines, I shortened it of course). I’m struggling on two things :

        1. Is it ok if I write two paragraphs, one about good salary and the other about enjoying the job but with more than one idea for both? (ie. I wouldn’t have one single controlling idea).
        2. Do I have to give my opinion in the intro or can I give it in the conclusion?

        Thank you for your time!


        • You must put your opinion in the introduction, body and conclusion. You could have two body paragraphs and join your opinion with one of them or you could put your opinion separately. Have a think about getting one of my advanced training lessons for essay writing – they are very detailed and will help a lot: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore
          All the best

      • i think you are right this will help us and our country and their would not be any problem.

  47. Dear liz,

    The writing task 2. I came across in my IELTS general exam was

    Some people thinks that radio is much more interesting and entertaining than Tv.
    To what extent do you agree? Or disagree?.
    Discuss with relevent examples.

    • Thanks for sharing 🙂

      • Hello there !
        Liz, I tried writing this topic and I’m trying the For-and-Against approach, and my opinion stated at the last paragraph. However, I can’t come up with any ideas as to how is radio more entertaining? How is it more entertaining than TV? Could you please help me out?

        • I am not clear what topic you are referring to – you need to write it in full in your message. Also I don’t know what you mean about the “for-and-against” approach. Are you talking about the discussion essay?

          • Oh, I’m sorry, I completely forgot to mention which essay I was talking about. I was referring to “Some people think that radio is much more interesting and entertaining than TV. To what extent do you agree/disagree?”
            And what I meant by “for-and-against” was that I handle those type of questions like a discussion essay. I would first write the reasons why some people think it IS better than TV, and in the next paragraph I would list the reasons why others think it IS NOT. At the end I give my own opinion. However, I couldn’t think of any ways in which radio is more interesting, so I thought I would ask you for some ideas.

            Thank you for the fast reply!

            • It is ESSENTIAL that you follow the instructions. The instructions do not say “discuss both sides”. This is an opinion essay, you decide your opinion in the introduction and explain it in the body paragraph. Never add any information which is not your opinion. If you fail to follow instructions 100%, you will get a low mark. See my opinion essay lesson from my online course for detailed training: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore
              All the best

  48. Dear Liz,

    Do you teach online ?

  49. Gorang says

    Hi Liz,
    I found your blog very useful, I have my exam in a week time, I m looking to improve my scores in Reading and Writing Section of ielts, I m good enough in English I would say, What tips you would help me on this.

    Listening: As I m from Asian, And you mentioned that on your video that most of the foreigners have issues when it comes to listening to Plurals. with S. any way i can differential or improve on identify it. if so

    Reading for General: Ii have experienced issue with matching question type and matching of heading or where you have lists of headings to choice or pick from like for example ( i, ii, iv) or the case of matching with the paragraph ( A, B, D,H). one where of the problem i fixed was with use of Synonyms in passage vs question., with the crunch of time . Are the Any Traps.. to look out for or tips that can help me to do well with this kind of questions apart from skimming the text and identifying the main idea of the paragraph…

    Writing: I have issue with sentence construction or paragraph building i have ideas or points in mind when i end up reading up a task question.

    Speaking: I plan on using diverse vocabulary words. towards my topic, but how would be able to know when should i use , Could be/ Should be / Would be any differences on those, I m sure i m likely loose points on misuse of words in context or when it comes to pronounciation of words. is that the case

    • I don’t have time to give you all tips but here are some. For speaking, the issue you are talking about is not vocabulary, it is grammar. The use of the correct modals (should, could etc) and the use of conditional sentences all relates to your grammar accuracy and range. You will find a grammar website recommended on my useful website page in the IELTS Extra section. For writing, the key is preparing ideas for all common topics and also planning your essay so that each paragraph has a central point. If you mix your ideas up in paragraphs, you will not get a good mark for coherence and cohesion – so plan your ideas and then plan how to put them into paragraphs. After that, plan how to support them. All that should be done before you start writing.
      All the best

  50. Luisa says

    Hi Liz,

    Would you recommend to have a balanced view? Or single sided view? If I will choose a balanced view, I think I still need to state clearly which side I preferred. Is that correct? Thanks

    • You can get a good score with either approach. A one sided approach choose one side (either agree or disagree). The balanced approach is a specific opinion which doesn’t fully agree or fully disagree. I’ll soon be releasing a video to buy which explains in detail how to do both approaches for the opinion essay. I’ll post a link when it’s ready.

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