Task 2 Essay Topics

IELTS Writing Questions

On this page you will find examples of IELTS writing questions given in the IELTS exam for Task 2.

The essay questions have been divided into common IELTS writing topics.

This way you can easily see and understand the kind of areas of knowledge you will need to know about in order to help you do well in the test.

Some of the IELTS writing questions could of course be in more than one topic area.

Animals

A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans, while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Blood sports have become a hot topic for debate in recent years. As society develops it is increasingly seen as an uncivilized activity and cruel to the helpless animals that are killed. All blood sports should be banned.

Discuss the main arguments for this statement and give your own opinion.

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Examine the arguments in favour of and against animal experiments, and come to a conclusion on this issue.

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Culture

Government investment in the arts, such as music and theatre, is a waste of money. Governments must invest this money in public services instead.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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It is inevitable that as technology advances, traditional cultures will be lost. It seems that we cannot have these two things together.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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There are many types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important and should it be preserved or is international music that is heard everywhere nowadays more useful to a society?

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Many old buildings protected by law are part of a nation’s history. Some people think they should be knocked down and replaced by news ones.

How important is it to maintain old buildings?

Should history stand in the way of progress?

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Education

Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Education is not a luxury, but a basic human right and as such should be free for everyone irrespective of personal wealth.

Do you agree or disagree?

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Some people think that children's free time must include educational activities otherwise they will waste their time.

What is your opinion?

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Formal examinations are the only effective way to assess a student's performance. Continual assessment such as course work and projects is not a satisfactory way to do this.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?



Environment

Developed countries have created many environmental problems in the World, particularly in their contribution to global warming.

What can be done to reduce the dangers of global warming?

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In order to solve traffic problems, governments should tax private car owners heavily and use the money to improve public transportation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution?

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Global warming is one of the most serious issues that the world is facing today.

What are the causes of global warming and what measures can governments and individuals take to tackle the issue?

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Logging of the rain forests is a serious problem and it may lead to the extinction of animal life and human life.

Discuss.

Health

Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. However, at best these methods are ineffective, and at worst they may be dangerous.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

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The percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by almost 20% in the last ten years.

Discuss the causes and effects of this disturbing trend.

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Eating a balanced diet is the most important factor for a healthy life.

To what extent do you agree?

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Do the dangers derived from the use of chemicals in food production and preservation outweigh the advantages?

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Many of the medical problems that people are experiencing in today's world are due to the fact that we have a very sedentary lifestyle.

To what extent to you agree?

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Stress is now a major problem in many countries around the world.

What are some of the factors in modern society that cause this stress, and how can we reduce it?

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Media

Some of the methods used in advertising are unethical and unacceptable in today’s society.

To what extent do you agree with this view?

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Are famous people treated unfairly by the media? Should they be given more privacy, or is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?

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These days, we are seeing an increasing amount of violence on television, and this is having a negative impact on children's behaviour.

Do you agree or disagree?

Society

Nowadays, families are not as close as in the past and a lot of people have become used to this.

Explain the reasons for this and discuss any possible effects it may have on society.

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Smokers have rights too, so they should be allowed to smoke in public places.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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Smoking not only harms the smoker, but also those who are nearby. Therefore, smoking should be banned in public places.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Some people think that the best way to reduce crime is to give longer prison sentences. Others, however, believe there are better alternative ways of reducing crime.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

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Levels of youth crime are increasing rapidly in most cities around the world.

What are the reasons for this, and suggest some solutions.

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There is an increasing trend around the world to have a small family rather than a large family.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having a small family rather than a large family?

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Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems.

Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems.

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Technology

In the last 20 years there have been significant developments in the field of information technology (IT), for example the World Wide Web and communication by email. However, future developments in IT are likely to have more negative effects than positive.

To what extent do you agree with this view?

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People use computers when they work or go banking, but some argue that it will make people isolated and decrease their social skills.

To what extent do you agree with this viewpoint?

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Some people think that computers are more of a hindrance than a help in today's society. Others believe that they are such indispensable tools that they would not be able to live or work without them.

Discuss both opinions and give your opinion.

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Nowadays many people have access to computers on a wide basis and a large number of children play computer games.

What are the negative and positive impacts of playing computer games and what can be done to minimize the bad effects?

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Do you think that modern technology, such as the internet and computers will ever replace the book or the written word as the main source of information?

Science

Genetic engineering is an important issue in modern society. Some people think that it will improve people's lives in many ways. Others feel that it may be a threat to life on earth.

Discuss both opinions and give your opinion?

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As people live longer and longer, the idea of cloning human beings in order to provide spare parts is becoming a reality. The idea horrifies most people, yet it is no longer mere science fiction.

To what extent do you agree with such a procedure?

Have you any reservations?

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Below are sample IELTS essay questions and topics reported by IELTS students in writing task 2. The 100 essay questions have been reworded and are organised under common topics which frequently come in IELTS writing task 2.

At the bottom of the page, I’ve put some essay questions for you to practice each type of essay: opinion, discussion etc. These are practice essay questions to prepare ideas, not for full exam practice.

IELTS often use the similar topics for their essays but change the essay question. In order to prepare well for writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for common topics and then practice applying them to the tasks given (to the essay questions). Also see model essays and tips for writing task 2.

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Common IELTS Essay Questions

IELTS practice essay questions divided by topic. These topics have been reported by IELTS students in their tests. Essay questions have been recreated as accurately as possible.

IELTS Essay Questions by Essay Type

There are 5 main types of essay questions in IELTS writing task 2 (opinion essays, discussion essay, advantage/disadvantage essays, solution essay and direct question essays). Click on the links below to see some sample essay questions for each type.

2018 IELTS Essay Questions

You can see recent essay questions reported by students in Jan 2018, here: Jan 2018 Essay Questions. For 2017, see these links: IELTS Essay Questions 2017. Essay questions for December 2017.

Recent Exam Questions

A page of recent questions in all sections of the IELTS test reported by students. Although the words in the essay questions can be changed, the issues and topics often remain the same.

Main IELTS Pages

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

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