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Writing Task 2: Solutions Essay


General Information

  • Write a formal essay.
  • Write at least 250 words.
  • The task is the same for both the General and the Academic Path. However, the topic of the essay question in the General Path is sometimes more straightforward than in the Academic Path.
  • Depending on the question, you will need to either provide and justify your opinion, discuss a topic, outline problems and provide possible solutions, or summarise key details.
  • The ideas you provide should be supported with clear reasons and examples based on your knowledge and experience.
  • Spend 40 minutes on this task.

Scoring of Writing Task 2

This writing task is worth two-thirds of the total marks for the writing test. There are four areas that you will be marked on in writing task 2, and each area is worth 25% of the overall mark for this task.

  • Task Response: This gives marks for your ideas, how well you address the topic, and the extent to which you develop ideas and form a conclusion.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This gives marks for the effective use of paragraphs, linking paragraphs and ideas, and referencing.
  • Lexical Resource: This gives marks for the range of vocabulary used, the inclusion of collocations, and accurate spelling.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This gives marks for the use of varied sentence structures, accurate tense, and accurate punctuation.

Structure of the Essay

The essay for task 2 must be 4-5 paragraphs long to show enough skill and evidence to score well for coherence and cohesion. The structure we suggest includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body 1
  • Body 2
  • Body 3 (optional)
  • Conclusion

Linking Words for Coherence and Cohesion

A quarter of your overall score depends on your ability to show cohesion across the essay. Linking words will help you to do this. The words in the table below provide a range of linking words with different functions for you to use in the task 2 essay.

To Order To Show Contrast To Provide Examples To Show A Result To Add More
Firstly, However, For example, As a result, In addition,
Lastly, Alternatively, For instance, Consequently, Additionally,
Finally, Nevertheless, such as Hence, Furthermore,
Although, in particular Thus, Moreover,
In contrast, specifically Therefore, Also,
On the other hand, especially so As well as,
In comparison, obviously For this reason, and
but clearly
despite namely

 

To Show Your Opinion To conclude
In my opinion, In conclusion,
I think that To summarise,
I believe that Overall,
I admit that
In my view,
I agree that
I disagree that
because
owing to
due to
since
as

Timings

If you use the first 5 minutes for planning, you will have 35 minutes to complete the writing task. I recommend using approximately 30 minutes of this time to write your essay and the remaining 5 minutes to check your work. During this time, look specifically for spelling mistakes, misused words, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

IELTS Writing Task 2 General & Academic Path: Solutions Essay

Top Tips for Writing a Solutions Essay

  • The solutions essay question will either ask you to provide solutions OR provide both causes and solutions.
  • If you are asked only to provide solutions, plan for 2-3 body paragraphs with each paragraph focusing on a different solution.
  • If you are asked to provide both causes and solutions, plan for one body paragraph to discuss the causes and one body paragraph to discuss the solutions.
  • Use the language of cause and effect (see below)

Language of Cause and Effect

  • for this reason
  • because
  • so
  • as
  • as a result
  • thus
  • hence
  • therefore
  • consequently
  • since
  • because of this
  • unless
  • that being so
  • in that case
  • if…then

Planning for the Solutions Essay

You must take the time to plan for writing task 2. You will already have completed two full tests and writing task 1. Your brain is likely to be fatigued at this point, so you need to take a few minutes to ensure you respond correctly to the task, generate some ideas, and sequence the essay logically.

The plan does not need to be complicated. I recommend spending up to 5 minutes on this. You can use space on the question paper to write the plan.

The plan used for a solutions essay depends on whether you are being asked to write about the solutions only or the causes and solutions. Use one of the two formats below, depending on the type of question.

Solutions only:

Introduction

State the issue for discussion in the essay

Introduce the number of solutions that will be presented

Body 1

Point: Introduce one solution

Example: Provide an example of this solution

Elaboration: Elaborate on the solution, e.g. explain its impact

Body 2

Point: Introduce another solution

Example: Provide an example of this solution

Elaboration: Elaborate on the solution, e.g. explain its impact

Body 3 (optional)

Point: Introduce another solution

Example: Provide an example of this solution

Elaboration: Elaborate on the solution, e.g. explain its impact

Conclusion

Restate the solutions and the main impact of their implementation

Cause and Solutions:

Introduction

State the issue for discussion in the essay

Introduce the two causes and two solutions that will be presented

Body 1

Point: Introduce the main cause of the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Point: Introduce another key cause of the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Body 2

Point: Introduce the main solution to the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Point: Introduce another key solution to the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Conclusion

Restate the key solutions and impact of their implementation

Sample Question: Solutions Essay

An increasing number of animals are endangered or becoming extinct. What are the reasons for this? What could be done to solve the problem?

Model Plan: Solutions Essay (Cause and Solutions)

Introduction

A growing number of animals are at risk of extinction or are endangered.

Two causes: the destruction of animal homes & global warming

Two solutions: governments – illegal to destroy animal homes & fewer carbon emissions

Body 1

Point: the destruction of animal homes

Elaborate: rainforests being cut down, less space and food for animals living there

Point: global warming

Elaborate: ice melting in the arctic – affecting polar bears – starving

Body 2

Point: governments make it illegal to destroy animal homes

Elaborate: limit resources that humans are allowed to use

Point: reduce carbon emissions

Elaborate: making electric cars compulsory

Conclusion

Laws to protect animal homes and to enforce rules regarding human behaviour

 Model Answer: Solutions Essay

In today’s world, a growing number of animals are endangered or are at risk of extinction. This is mainly due to the destruction of animal homes and the impact of global warming on the environment. There are two key solutions to the problem that governments could implement to reduce the continued danger to at-risk animal species.

Firstly, the main reason for animals being endangered is due to the destruction of their habitat. The Amazon rainforest, for example, is rapidly decreasing in size due to the cutting down of its trees, known as ‘logging.’ As a result, animals inhabiting the rainforest have less space to live and less food to eat, and many of these animals are starving to death. In addition, global warming also has a significant impact. The high levels of carbon emissions produced by humans have caused global warming to become a serious environmental issue, and this is affecting the animal population. Polar bears in the Arctic, as an example, are starving to death. This is due to the warming of the climate in the region that is melting the polar ice caps.

However, there are two main solutions to the issue of endangered animal species. One way to improve this situation is for governments to make it illegal for companies or individuals to destroy animal homes. This will limit the access of humans to the Earth’s resources and, therefore, support humans and animals to co-exist on Earth more effectively. The responsibility for the second solution also lies with governments. If electric cars are made compulsory in every country around the world and gas-guzzling petrol cars are banned, there will be a notable reduction in carbon emissions. This, in turn, should slow down the effects of global warming in some of the world’s most at-risk regions.

In conclusion, to eradicate the endangerment of animals, laws must be put in place to more strictly control human behaviour. By protecting animal homes and reducing carbon emissions, the negative impact of humans on the survival of animals will significantly reduce.

Key Words and Phrases for the Solutions Essay

  • In today’s world
  • This is mainly due to…
  • the impact of
  • There are … key causes / solutions
  • There are … main causes / solutions
  • the main reason for …
  • due to
  • for example
  • as a result
  • in addition
  • significant impact/effect
  • negative impact/effect
  • has/have caused
  • as an example
  • However, …
  • There are two effective solutions
  • One way to improve the situation is…
  • This will…
  • If…
  • This, in turn, should…

Practice Test: Solutions Essay

Many doctors trained in less developed areas of the world are leaving their home countries to work in more developed countries. What are the reasons for this? What problems could this cause?

Practice Test: Model Plan

Introduction

Many doctors who have trained in less developed countries are leaving once trained to work in more developed areas

Two problems: less trained professionals to treat patients – poorer health & less educated professionals to train future doctors – lack of growth

Two solutions: improved pay & conditions in home countries & exchange programme

Body 1

Point: less trained professionals to treat patients

Elaborate: less access to treatment – poorer health of people in the region

Point: less trained professional to train more doctors

Elaborate: lack of growth in numbers of those available to treat patients

Body 2

Point: improved pay & conditions in home countries

Elaborate: people move for this so give it in the home country

Point: exchange programmes

Elaborate: the agreement between govt

Conclusion

Governments must provide good working conditions and links across countries

 Practice Test: Model Solutions Essay

In today’s world, many trained medical professionals from poorer countries seek to work abroad in more developed nations on completion of their training. This is having a negative impact on the health systems in these doctors’ home countries. However, there are two key solutions to this problem that governments could implement to reduce the difficulties faced.

Firstly, one of the main problems with doctors relocating after their training is that there are less trained professionals available to treat patients in the home country. With reduced access to medical care, health problems in the region are likely to increase. As a result, the health system of that country is put under immense strain. In addition, if there is a lack of medical professionals to treat patients, there will also be a lack of professionals available to provide training for future health professionals. This could result in training programmes becoming unavailable or the provision of inadequate training.

However, there are two main solutions to the issue of a lack of health professionals in developing countries. One way to improve this situation is for the working conditions of doctors in these countries to be improved. Doctors are likely leaving to work in more developed areas due to the increased pay, improved facilities, and opportunities for promotion available. If these conditions are offered in the home country, then it may reduce the number of professionals migrating. Alternatively, developing countries could start an exchange programme with more developed countries. For example, if a doctor left Kenya to work in England for one year, the English government would be required to send an English doctor to work in Kenya for that same amount of time.

In conclusion, to reduce the impact on people in developing countries when trained medical professionals leave to work abroad, the government of developing countries must put in place contingency plans. This could involve providing improved working conditions in the home country of the doctors or building links with more developed countries.

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