IELTS Task 2 Essays

Here you will find a model essay for each Task 2 question type (they are not all here yet but more are coming soon). After the essay there are some questions and answers to help you understand why the essay is a band 8/9. Try to answer the questions on your own first BEFORE you look at the answers. The questions for each essay are all a little bit different but you could use any of the questions for any of the essays.


1. Almost everyone agrees that we should be training children to recycle waste to save the Earth’s natural resources. Some believe that it is parents who should teach their children to recycle waste. Others argue that school is the best place to teach them to do this. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
(write at least 250 words)

Every year people throw away tons of rubbish into landfill sites. A lot of this waste could be recycled, and as the Earth’s resources are becoming scarcer, the importance of teaching our children to recycle is increasing. Although many would say that they should learn about this at school, I believe that habits that children learn at home have more influence on them.
It is understandable that many might see the role of teaching children about recycling as belonging to teachers in schools. This is the place where children go to learn and teachers have a natural authority over their pupils. Lessons on waste and the environment can easily be incorporated into other lessons, for example Biology or Geography, and so children would learn about this important issue in a holistic way, seeing the environmental impact that rubbish has on life and the planet.
However, recycling waste is a habit that needs to be formed and it takes time. It requires repetition every day before it becomes a normal part of a child’s life. We can compare it to learning to brush our teeth twice a day or having a shower regularly. This kind of habit can only be learnt in the home where other every-day habits are being learnt and reinforced by parents. Children learn through observing adults, and so if, for example, they see their parents separating out plastic, glass and paper for recycling, they are far more likely to adopt that habit themselves than if they are just told about it in school. So the home is a far more natural place to teach children about recycling if we want the lessons to be remembered outside the classroom.
In short, there is a place in schools for learning about the effects of waste on the planet, and it is important that children learn about this. However, forming the habit of recycling our waste can really only be accomplished in the home.

​This is a Discuss both views and give you opinion question.

  1. ​What is the purpose of the introduction?
  2. Where is my opinion in the essay above?
  3. What is the purpose of the first main body paragraph?
  4. What is the purpose of the second main body paragraph?
  5. Can you find and make a list of topic vocabulary in this essay? Are there any word families which help increase the range of vocabulary? Can you find some collocations?

Answers:

  1. ​The purpose of the introduction is to state the topic (rephrase the question) and show how you are going to answer it. Do not write 'I will discuss both sides and give my opinion.' ​The examiner knows this - it is written in the question. He wants to know what you are going to talk about (very generally - do not give details) and what you think about it. In this essay the 2 main points (what I am going to talk about) are clear from the question - teach at home or teach at school. But sometimes you need to be a little more specific (see the advantages/disadvantages question below). Notice that I have changed the order of the 2 points from the order in the question. This is fine as long as you follow this order in the main body paragraphs too.
  2. You should be able to find my opinion in the introduction, the second body paragraph and the conclusion. If you are asked to give your opinion, make sure you give it in the introduction as well as in the essay.
  3. The purpose of the first main body paragraph is to discuss my first point - teach about recycling at school.
  4. The purpose of the second body paragraph is to discuss my second point - teach about recycling at home - and to state that this is also my opinion on this topic.
  5. Topic vocabulary and word families:
  • tons of rubbish, waste, landfill sites, Earth's resources, becoming scarcer, the environment, environmental impact, separating out plastic, glass and paper, recycling waste
  • schools, teacher, teaching (noun), pupils, learn, lessons, Biology, Geography, classroom.
  • recycling, recycle, recycled (adj), the environment, environmental
  • Collocations - landfill sites, recycle waste/rubbish, a natural authority, an important issue, to adopt a habit, to form a habit, brush our teeth, have a shower, the effects of waste.
2. Some people believe that children's leisure activities must be educational, otherwise they are a complete waste of time.
Do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.

Recently there has been an increasing trend for parents to fill up their children’s free time with a variety of extra-curricular activities. Along with this trend is a rising pressure from other parents and family to make all these activities educational. While it is true that some children’s leisure time should be spent learning, it would be wrong to think that it should all be so.
As well as the traditional lessons that children learn in school, it is important that they continue their education out of school. It would be impossible for a young person to learn everything they might need for life in school time. Music lessons are a good example of this as very few schools put a strong focus on learning an instrument in their curriculum. The result is that children would not have the opportunity to play an instrument if they did not go to lessons after school hours. So the time spent mastering, for example, the piano in children’s spare time is educational and worthwhile.
However, these days, parents seem to be afraid to allow their children even the smallest amount of totally unplanned free time. They become their children’s taxi driver, taking them from school to music, to dancing, to football, to karate, to swimming lessons and so on terrified that their child will not be as clever or accomplished as the other children in their class. Although these children are learning a lot of skills, where is the time for them to just be on their own with their own thoughts following their own interests? Having nothing to do encourages independence and imagination, without which they will not grow up to be well-rounded adults. Far from being a waste of time, it is vital that we allow them the empty time to decide what they want to do, rather than planning activities that we feel are ‘good’ for them.
I believe that society should stop putting pressure on parents to turn their children into super-intelligent beings. While some free-time should be spent in acquiring new knowledge, children need time to themselves to play and just be children for a while every day, otherwise they will not grow into creative, independent adults in the future.

This is a Do you agree or disagree? question.

  1. Can you totally agree or totally disagree with the statement, or should you look at both sides? What does the essay above do?
  2. Cohesion. Can you find examples of how my sentences are held together? Where are the cohesive words, the 'linking' words? What do they do? Do they add more inforamtion, show a contrast, refer back to another word or sentence?
  3. Look at the sentences 1st main body paragraph. How do the ideas flow through the paragraph? How are the ideas linked?

Answers:

  1. ​This is a very common question from students and I think you will probably get different answers from different teachers. You CAN completely agree or disagree if you want but I do not advise it for 2 reasons. The first is that it results in an unbalanced essay. It is generally not good practice to completely ignore the other side of a point of view. Even if you feel very strongly for or against, it is a good idea to acknowledge that SOME people see it the other way. But you can mention the other side and then state why you disagree with it. The second reason is that you never know what your examiner thinks. I said that you will probably get different answers from different people, and maybe the guy reading your essay thinks you should mention both sides. But please make sure that it is VERY clear whether you agree or disagree. If you read my introduction again, you'll see that I disagree.
  2. Introduction: '... this trend...' - referring back to the previous sentence. '...it..' - referring to leisure time. '...be so.' - substitution for 'spent learning' in the previous sentence.  1st main body paragraph:  '...of this...' referring back to previous sentence. 'The result is...' introducing a result of the previous sentence. 'So...' introducing a reason.         2nd main body paragraph: 'However...' introducing a contrasting idea. 'They..' referring to 'parents'. '...these children...' referring to the children who are taken to lots of activities (in the previous sentence). '...without which...' referring to independence and imagination 'Far from being a waste of time...' repetition of question words.
  3. Sentence 1 is the topic sentence and introduces the topic of this paragraph, namely learning out of school is important. Sentence 2 develops this idea and sentence 3 introduces an example for sentence 2. Sentence 4 shows a result of the example and the last sentence states again the reason why children should learn outside the classroom using the example as proof. The last sentences also links back to the topic sentence and also the question. Now can you do the same thing for the next paragraph?