The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) writing section is a 1-hour test that comprises two questions: task 1 and task 2, which assess your vocabulary, grammar, word count, collocations, and ability to construct complex sentences with moderation and without repetition.
To begin, it is pivotal to understand that the IELTS essay topics vary for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training Tasks. In Task 1 of IELTS Academic, you must write a report on a graph, diagram or chart, whereas, for IELTS General Training Task 1, you must write a letter. Task 2 of the General and Academic modules is essay writing; while the topics for essays in both modules may differ, the essay writing strategy remains the same.
Examiners use the following criteria to calculate Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 scores: Task Achievement, Task Response, Coherence, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Lexical Resource.
IELTS Writing Task 2 for Academic
The IELTS Academic Writing section consists of two tasks that must be completed in one hour:
Writing Task 1
In Task 1, you are assigned a graph, visual information, table or chart, which you are required to describe in your own words. You must write a report in 150 words, accurately describing what the information in the graph or picture represents. The IELTS writing task 1 marking criteria accounts for 33% of the total IELTS writing evaluation score, and you should try to finish this part in 20 minutes or less because IELTS writing task 2 is more difficult and will take at least 40 minutes to complete.
Writing Task 2
IELTS writing task 2 marking criteria has a 66% weightage, where you must complete a 250-word essay in 40 minutes. Candidates must respond to a problem, a point of view, or an argument in this task, with a curated response. The essay’s content should be written with perfect grammar and focused solely on the topic. As task 2 holds more weight, candidates should devote significant time to it and ensure a properly curated essay for a good band score.
Let us now review some fundamentals of IELTS essay structure that you can apply to this task. A typical writing piece includes an introduction, the main body consisting of a few paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should write the context of your issue and a thesis statement representing the main idea of your text.
The central section of your essay will discuss various facts and arguments that support or oppose the thesis statement. Finally, restate the thesis statement, bolstering it with new details from the main body.
Here’s a list of the latest IELTS essay topics and sample questions to help you efficiently prepare for task 2 of the IELTS Writing section.
Latest IELTS Essay Topics for 2023
IELTS essay writing topics are usually based on current events and world affairs. You will find a series of essay writing topics for IELTS in the following listicles. Also, one of the most effective ways to prepare for answering essays in the Writing section of IELTS is to work on the sample essay questions. The topic categories and essay writing samples to help students looking for the latest IELTS essay topics are stated below:
- Environmental Crisis: One of the most common topics in IELTS is the environment essay IELTS band 9. Many students, however, do not see the need to prepare for this because it is one of the most specific topics resulting in a loss of marks.
Click here for the Environmental Crisis essay sample and answers for practice.
- Global Warming: It is common for IELTS speaking and writing sections to include questions about broad discussion topics, such as climate change, the greenhouse effect, global warming, and deforestation.
Click here for the Global Warming essay format, sample and answers for practice.
- Sustainable Energy: If you are unfamiliar with the framework and concepts of an essay, it can be a daunting task. All of the sentences must be related and formed in such a way that they provide a clear view and information. You may be penalised if you veer off-topic while writing your essay. Sustainable energy and nuclear power topics are debated topics; hence practising them will give you an edge over your peers.
Click here for the Sustainable Energy essay structure, sample and answers for practice.
- Fossil Fuels: The IELTS essay topics for writing task 2 are usually based on common themes frequently discussed in the average aspirant’s daily life. One such theme is the use of renewable energy sources in place of nonrenewable resources such as fossil fuels.
Click here for the Fossil Fuels essay sample and answers for practice.
- Importance of First Impression: IELTS examiners have a short attention span and read hundreds of essays daily. Hence, it is pivotal for you to get the start right and make a good first impression in your First Impression is Important IELTS essay.
Click here for the Personality essay sample and answers for practice.
- Hobbies: ‘Hobbies’ is a common theme in both the IELTS Writing Task 2 and the Speaking section. This is a simple, mark-fetching topic with few challenges for students taking the exam.
Click here for the Hobbies essay sample and answers for practice.
- Fashion: Fashion is a recurring topic with global themes and one of the best topics to practise your public speaking skills.
Click here for the Fashion essay sample and answers for practice.
- Importance of Leisure Activities and School Values: The IELTS Essay on Education is one of the most challenging tasks, with unpredictable questions in the exam. These education essay topics, like the Importance of leisure activities, are opinion-driven and assess students’ ability to express their knowledge and skills thoughtfully.
Click here for the Education essay sample and answers for practice.
- Government and Society: As an IELTS exam candidate, you should review as many common topics for Writing Task 2 as possible. One such common IELTS test theme is government and society, with which you should be well-acquainted.
Click here for the Government and Society essay sample and answers for practice.
- Ideal Society: Candidates should practise sample questions and answers for the Ideal Society IELTS essay to gain a firm grasp on writing and vocabulary and improve their overall band score.
Click here for the Ideal Society essay sample and answers for practice.
- Social Media: Social media essays are a popular topic in IELTS writing task 2. For a social media IELTS essay band 9 and similar topics, the most straightforward approach is maintaining the proper word count and being aware of various approaches to the topic.
Click here for the Social Media essay sample and answers for practice.
Business & Global Consumerism
- International Trade: Over the years, one of the topics covered in the IELTS exam has been global business. Your answer for such topics should contain everything; your responses, solutions, arguments, reasons, opinions, and evidence are critical to answering the question.
Click here for the International Trade essay sample and answers for practice.
- Management and Leadership: In any organisation, leadership and management are critical roles. Your essay for such topics should always be pertinent to the question.
Click here for the Management and Leadership essay sample and answers for practice.
- Foreign Languages: Foreign languages and language barriers are recurring themes in the IELTS writing task 2. Express your own opinions on such topics.
Click here for the Culture essay sample and answers for practice.
- Sports and children: Sport is a recurring theme, and the essay content should not deviate from the main points at any point in the essay.
Click here for the Sports essay sample and answers for practice. Covid 19
- Covid impact: The topics of IELTS Writing task 2 are usually drawn from current events worldwide, making Covid-19 an anticipated topic.
Click here for the Covid 19 essay sample and answers for practice.
- Obesity: Overweight essays are among the most common topics in IELTS writing task 2. Obesity, recent trends in health among children and adults, and other similar topics may also be discussed in relation to overweight.
Click here for the Health essay sample and answers for practice.
Types of IELTS Essays
IELTS essay writing topics are usually classified under various sections. You can expect essays in the IELTS exam from any of the following types:
In this essay category, you must discuss your opinion on the given topic. Naturally, the best way to score high in such essays is to have prior knowledge of common topics that are popular in the IELTS exam.
- Most teenagers today own a smartphone. Provide your opinion to discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
- Crime novels and TV series have become quite popular in recent years. What is your opinion about these crime dramas?
- Developing nations often require international assistance. Many believe that this assistance should be monetary, while some think practical help and advice would be more beneficial. Discuss both these views along with your opinion.
- Many consider automobiles to be the biggest source of pollution in urban areas, while some believe industries are responsible for it. Explain both views and provide your opinion.
- Many people believe individuals involved with creative arts should be financially supported by the government. Some others believe they should find separate resources. Discuss each of the views and give your opinion.
- Some believe success in life comes from hard work, dedication, and motivation. While many believe success depends on other important factors like money and appearance. Discuss both views and provide your opinion.
- Many think that governments should fund programs in search of life on other planets. However, others believe governments should focus on unresolved issues on the planet. Provide your opinion and discuss both views.
You can also check out this detailed guide on Opinion Essays to learn the appropriate structure for maximum scores!
In the case of discussion essays, the candidates need to put forward an explanation for or against any given topic. Such essays are the most common to appear in the IELTS exam.
- Many believe living in big cities comes with more advantages than residing in the countryside. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- The shopping habits of people depend more on their age group than on any other factors. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- More and more children and minors are becoming overweight in developed nations. This is a major problem for most wealthy countries. Explain the causes and impacts of this issue.
- The internet is a great invention that brings a host of advantages for the world population. However, there are several issues in terms of security and control of personal data. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- Advertising prevents originality in people and makes them look the same and do the same. Do you agree or disagree with this?
- Parents today often tend to organise extra classes on weekends or even after school. Do you believe this is at all useful? Or do you think the education provided in school is sufficient?
- Some people believe that capital punishment should be done away with. Do you agree or disagree with this?
We have covered valuable tips & tricks to attempt Discussion Essays that can come in handy in your exam.
For solution essays, you will have to provide a solution to a particular issue. At times, questions might be provided as to why a specific issue has occurred, and candidates have to provide their opinion on the answer.
- The massive movement of people from agricultural areas to cities in search of employment can lead to serious problems in both places. What are the problems, and how can these be solved?
Check out our sample question and answer on Solution Essays for a more thorough explanation.
Advantage or Disadvantage Essays
In this type of essay, students have to write about a particular topic’s positive and negative sides. Such essays test your argument construction skills and how well you can use English to communicate your views as clearly and coherently as possible.
- International tourism has greatly benefited many places. However, there have been major concerns about its impact on the local environment and inhabitants. Do the negative impacts of international tourism outweigh the benefits?
- Some countries have recently passed laws to restrict the daily working hours of employees. Explain whether this will have a positive or negative impact.
- More and more people today are visiting extreme places such as Antarctica or the Sahara desert. What are the advantages or disadvantages of such travels?
- Social media is gradually replacing in-person face-to-face contact with many people worldwide. Do the benefits of social media outweigh the disadvantages?
Use the sample questions from the Advantage/Disadvantage Essay type to practise your writing skills.
Direct Question Essays
For this type of essay, the topics will be provided as direct questions, which students have to answer based on their experiences and thoughts.
- Shopping used to be a routine domestic task in the past. However, today, it has become more of a hobby. Is this a positive trend?
- You can get more information on these rare essay-type questions on our Direct question essay structure blog.
Preparation Tips for IELTS Writing Task 2
Many students believe they don’t need to prepare much because they speak English reasonably well. Well, the IELTS exam is not that easy. In fact, even native English speakers may find the test difficult. As a result, candidates should prepare for this section rigorously and methodically and start early preparation.
- Begin your IELTS preparations at least 6 months before your intended test date, and ensure to devote some time daily to all 4 sections.
- Choose writing topics for both tasks, especially writing task 2, and try to write about them daily. Time yourself; remember that you must complete both tasks in one hour.
- Spend significant time learning new vocabulary and brushing up on your grammatical skills. Following that is structured thinking, allowing you to convey your ideas logically. While writing, pay close attention to lucidity, logic, and clarity.
- You should expand your ideas because the IELTS writing task 2 could cover any topic. Go through all the resources like magazines, books, and online materials to expand your knowledge and vocabulary. Additionally, practice as many mock tests as possible.
As mentioned above it’s only practice that can get you the desire scores. But along with it you also need the best preparation materials and guidance. And the best solution we suggest is to register for the LeapScholar IELTS courses. Along with live classes from the best IELTS tutors, you’ll also have access to mock tests, speaking and writing evaluations and comprehensive study materials. As a reward you’ll also receive a course completion certificate.
How to Answer Task 2 Essays in IELTS Writing Section?
Students can employ the following steps to successfully enhance their ability to answer essays in the Writing section:
Step 1: Read and Understand the Question
The first step to nailing task 2 essays is to read and understand the question carefully. Most of the time, candidates answer the question without understanding what it demands. Candidates should carefully analyse the question, identify the question type and try to identify the keywords. Finally, they should clearly understand the instructions and then attempt to answer.
Step 2: Plan the Answer
Once students have understood the question, they need to plan the structure of the answer. This will allow candidates to organise their ideas and produce a clear and coherent response.
Step 3: Write a Solid Introduction
The introduction of the essay should give an idea of what the essay is all about. Make sure to write an appropriate introduction conveying the gist of the essay.
Step 4: Carefully Curate the Main Body
The main body is the essential part of the essay, where you must provide the necessary details. State your points accordingly and substantiate them with explanations, examples, and other relevant data. Once done, you need to give a proper conclusion.
Tips for IELTS Writing Task 2
Candidates can use the following tips to ace their IELTS Writing test:
Although IELTS is a difficult test to master, one can achieve a good score with systematic and consistent preparation. If you require assistance in acing your IELTS Writing Task 1 and 2, our Leap Scholar experts will provide the necessary guidance, tips, and tricks to help you pass your IELTS test with flying colours. If you are planning to prepare for the essay task in the Writing section, you can go through this comprehensive guide to get an idea about the latest IELTS essay topics. You can prepare for the essay task accordingly with the help of sample essay topics and questions provided in the above sections.
Still unclear about some portions of IELTS, then enrol for IELTS professional coaching. IELTS Prep app by Leap Scholar is a one-stop solution for your study abroad dream. You can access specially crafted lessons by experts accredited by IDP, British Council, and Cambridge. About 1M + students have trusted us with their IELTS prep journey. Join us, download our IELTS prep app and get access to the best resources!
Frequently asked questions
How can you score well in IELTS Writing Task 2?
Ans. IELTS Writing Task 2 mainly has four performance descriptors: Task Response, Cohesion & Coherence , Lexical Resource, and finally Grammatical range and accuracy. The scoring happens on four parameters, so follow these and prepare with the correct books and practice questions.
What are the most popular questions asked in IELTS Writing Task 2?
Ans. The different types of questions in IELTS Writing Task 2 include: Problem/ Causes questions, Opinion questions, Advantage/ Disadvantage questions, Discussion of views, etc.
What are the main themes on which IELTS Writing Task 2 questions are based on?
Ans. Some of the broad themes include Environment, Food, Health, Art, Business, Communication, Crime & Punishment and more. Ideas and topics are taken under these broad themes for question framing.
Is it necessary to use complex words in IELTS Writing section?
Ans. Having a good vocabulary is an added advantage. However, difficult words should not be forcefully put in sentences. Your sentences should be organic and should fit the meaning and the context of your essays.
How to develop ideas for IELTS Writing Task 2?
Ans. The easiest ways to generate ideas for IELTS Writing Task 2 are by analyzing model essays, finding ideas on google, talking to experts, watching movies, asking yourself some questions about the topic, generating main ideas from specific examples.
How many mistakes are acceptable in IELTS Writing Task 2?
Ans. Making one or two mistakes is overlooked by the examiner if the overall essay is good. However, making more mistakes than that can lead to lower IELTS band score.
What are the basic topics in IELTS writing task 2?
Some of the common IELTS topics for Writing Task 2 are Art, Environment, Education, Health, Jobs and Employment, Sport, Science and Technology Friends and Family, Government and Society etc.