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This is an IELTS Sample Answer for Task 2 Writing from January, 2018 – it’s a good question as far as boring IELTS questions go!

There’s nothing really that tricky. The main area my students struggled with was not supporting their main ideas enough in the first paragraph.

Read this sample answer and analysis and complete the vocabulary exercises below it in quizlet.

Check out the links to articles and videos to become more familiar with the topic.

If you want to read another sample answer you can check out this one on businesses.

You can also follow us on our Instagram for early previews of our sample answers.

 

 

Task 2 IELTS Sample Question

Living in large cities today poses many problems for people.

What are these problems? Should governments encourage more people to live in smaller towns?

Sample Answer

More and more people live in cities today than at any point in the past and this trend will likely continue in the future. This has resulted in many problems including extreme overcrowding and governments should take measures to make living outside cities more attractive.

There are a wide range of drawbacks associated with the rise of modern cities but one of the most obvious issues is related to population density. The large number of people crammed into a relatively small area has caused expensive housing, increased traffic and severe pollution. For example, apartment prices in mega-cities like Tokyo and New York have soared to the point where only the wealthiest inhabitants can afford decent living standards. Regardless of financial status, all city dwellers have to deal with more and more traffic jams as the population increases while the area of cities remains fixed. Finally, all these people living and travelling in one place puts a tremendous strain on the environment and some cities, like Beijing in China, have become dangerously polluted.

In my opinion, governments have a duty to encourage citizens to move to more rural areas. If cities continue to expand unabated then the above problems will only get worse. We might one day find ourselves living in densely packed, heavily polluted cities that resemble scenes from a dystopian science fiction film. In order to prevent this from happening, the government can give tax breaks to companies that choose to locate offices and production facilities outside the city. This will provide more jobs for people who are willing to live in the countryside.

In conclusion, the concerns related to overcrowding in cities can and should be somewhat countered by governments incentivising living in rural areas. If this is done then we may still face problems related to cities in the future, but at least they will not be as serious.

You can download it here.

 

Analysis

Introduction: More and more people live in cities today than at any point in the past and this trend will likely continue in the future. This has resulted in many problems including extreme overcrowding and governments should take measures to make living outside cities more attractive.

  • The first sentence simply restates what the general topic is – expanding cities.

  • The second sentence gives my opinion about what the main problem with this is and my opinion that governments should encourage people to live outside cities.

Body Paragraph 1: There are a wide range of drawbacks associated with the rise of modern cities but one of the most obvious issues is related to population density. The large number of people crammed into a relatively small area has caused expensive housing, increased traffic and severe pollution. For example, apartment prices in mega-cities like Tokyo and New York have soared to the point where only the wealthiest inhabitants can afford decent living standards. Regardless of financial status, all city dwellers have to deal with more and more traffic jams as the population increases while the area of cities remains fixed. Finally, all these people living and travelling in one place puts a tremendous strain on the environment and some cities, like Beijing in China, have become dangerously polluted.

  • The first sentence is a topic sentence that includes my main idea for the whole paragraph (the main problem is population density / overcrowding). 

  • The second sentence expands my main idea by saying that overcrowding has caused other problems related to housing, traffic and pollution. I must describe all three of these issues in order to effectively support my topic sentence.

  • The third sentence explains the first problem – expensive housing.

  • The fourth sentence explains the second problem – traffic jams.

  • The fifth sentence explains the third problem – pollution.

Body Paragraph 2: In my opinion, governments have a duty to encourage citizens to move to more rural areas. If cities continue to expand unabated then the above problems will only get worse. We might one day find ourselves living in densely packed, heavily polluted cities that resemble scenes from a dystopian science fiction film. In order to prevent this from happening, the government can give tax breaks to companies that choose to locate offices and production facilities outside the city. This will provide more jobs for people who are willing to live in the countryside.

  • The first sentence is a topic sentence that includes my main idea for the whole paragraph (governments should encourage people to live in rural areas).

  • The second sentence supports my opinion by saying that problems in cities are only getting worse.

  • The third sentence further supports my opinion by saying how terrible life in cities may someday get. It’s important to say ‘might’ because I don’t want to make an argument that is too strong in a short essay.

  • The fourth sentence suggests governments have the power to do this by giving corporations tax breaks.

  • The fifth and final sentence extends my solution by saying that more people will move to the countryside if jobs are available there.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the concerns related to overcrowding in cities can and should be somewhat countered by governments incentivising living in rural areas. If this is done then we may still face problems related to cities in the future, but at least they will not be as serious.

  • The first sentence restates the main ideas from the sample answer as well as my overall opinion. Make sure you have an overall opinion because the question directly asks you whether or not governments should encourage people to live outside cities.

  • The second sentence adds an extra detail (claiming that by doing this inevitable future problems related to cities will not be as severe) that is needed to get above a Band 7 for Task Achievement according to some, but not all, examiners.

 

 

Vocabulary Practice

I really love this website – Quizlet – because it’s so convenient to practice with!

Don’t believe me? Click on the link below and use it to easily learn some high-level vocabulary from the sample answer above:

Quizlet Vocabulary Study

Study the vocabulary from our IELTS sample answer on cities!

 

 

Cities Articles

Cities of the Future

The World’s Most Overcrowded Cities

How to Prevent Overcrowding

Ghost Cities of China

Urban Threats

Rural Support Problems

 

Cities Videos

Top 10 Most Overcrowded Cities

New York City Problems

The Future of Cities

Responses to Urban Issues

Animated Short Film

 

 

Example Notes

Here are some notes I made about cities (from our Instagram page)!

 

Now it’s Your Turn! Comment below on our IELTS Sample Answer:

Tell us about your city! Is it big? What kind of problems are there? Do you live in a small town?

 

 

 


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