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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam about government, a topic that comes up all over the test.

It’s an interesting and important area to focus on because there is a very good chance that you will have to talk or write about government (and housing) at some point on IELTS.

My sample answer below contains extra practice with vocabulary and the topic – read on!

You can also review the IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

Here are my other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

Finally, here are my Task 1 Sample Answers!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer (Government)

Some believe that because everyone needs a place to live, governments should provide houses for those who are too poor to afford their own.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many reformers are of the opinion that it is the responsibility of governments to provide public housing for members of the public too poor to afford their own homes. In my opinion, although there are some situations when this might be necessary, it is better to allow people the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty.

Those who support government assistance in housing programs point out the institutional shackles that keep people in poverty. In the United States, there is a long, painful history concerning African Americans that began with slavery, discrimination and still shows its impact in various more muted forms of racism. These people have few chances to escape poverty and own their own homes because they have difficulty getting a good education and then a job. If governments provide them with housing, that frees up their money to go to the education of their children and can break the long chain of poverty that has blighted their path in America.

Although the above-mentioned argument has its merits, in my opinion people who help themselves are more likely to be able to maintain their success. Charity is a notoriously double edged sword because it fosters dependence. Someone who is in poverty who works hard and finds and escape and manages to own a home will develop reserves of willpower and determination that will serve them their entire life. Their self-respect will also help them in their work and encourage them to hold onto their house, regardless of obstacles. If the government simply gifts this person a house, they will be much less inclined to take care of it and will not develop any of the qualities that will spell out their success in life more generally.

In conclusion, people who are more self-reliant are more likely to be successful and hold onto their homes. The role of government ought to be more subtle and include educational reforms aimed at opening up opportunities that individuals can themselves seize.

 Word count: 329

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis (Society)

1. Many reformers are of the opinion that it is the responsibility of governments to provide public housing for members of the public too poor to afford their own homes. 2. In my opinion, although there are some situations when this might be necessary, it is better to allow people the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty.

1. My first sentence paraphrases (restates) the main topic for the essay. Write this sentence quickly because it is not that important compared to other sentences in your essay. Don’t over-paraphrase or you are likely to make mistakes that will confuse the examiner!

2. The next sentence is my opinion. Don’t sit in the middle – make sure that you have an overall opinion!

1. Those who support government assistance in housing programs point out the institutional shackles that keep people in poverty. 2. In the United States, there is a long, painful history concerning African Americans that began with slavery, discrimination and still shows its impact in various more muted forms of racism. 3. These people have few chances to escape poverty and own their own homes because they have difficulty getting a good education and then a job. 4. If governments provide them with housing, that frees up their money to go to the education of their children and can break the long chain of poverty that has blighted their path in America.

1. The first sentence is my topic sentence which has two parts: the topic (positives of government housing) and the main idea (relationship to poverty). Write short, clear topic sentence with 1 main idea.

2. My second sentence begins my example. Make your examples specific and detailed – I will continue to develop this one example for the rest of the paragraph.

3. The third sentence develops the example by giving specific details about why poverty makes it difficult to own a home.

4. My next sentence concludes the paragraph by suggesting the importance of the government for this one particular example.

(5. I do not include, but you could include, a sentence making this more general or applying it globally.)

1. Although the above-mentioned argument has its merits, in my opinion people who help themselves are more likely to be able to maintain their success. 2. Charity is a notoriously double edged sword because it fosters dependence. 3. Someone who is in poverty who works hard and finds and escape and manages to own a home will develop reserves of willpower and determination that will serve them their entire life. 4. Their self-respect will also help them in their work and encourage them to hold onto their house, regardless of obstacles. 5. If the government simply gifts this person a house, they will be much less inclined to take care of it and will not develop any of the qualities that will spell out their success in life more generally.

1. My first sentence is another topic sentence but I am now focusing on the other side: why the government should not provide housing. Focus on one main idea so that you can fully support it; I focus on why charity does not work in many cases.

2. My next sentence explains my main idea. You do not always need this sentence. I did not do it in the previous paragraph.

3.The third sentence begins a hypthetical example. It is fine to use an imaginary example! Try not to use personal examples if possible though…

4. My fourth sentence includes the specific reasons why buying your own house is a good thing.

5. The fifth sentence uses a counter-example to explain why the government giving houses will prevent people from developing themselves.

1. In conclusion, people who are more self-reliant are more likely to be successful and hold onto their homes. 2. The role of government ought to be more subtle and include educational reforms aimed at opening up opportunities that individuals can themselves seize.

1. My first sentence repeats my opinion and the main reason why. Do not use a new reason!

3. The second sentence adds an extra detail. Many examiners require an extra detail sentence for band 7+. You can read more about that sentence here.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the words below in bold mean? If you’re not sure, try not to use a dictionary – try to figure out the meaning from the whole sentence then check your answers below!

Many reformers are of the opinion that it is the responsibility of governments to provide public housing for members of the public too poor to afford their own homes. In my opinion, although there are some situations when this might be necessary, it is better to allow people the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty.

Those who support government assistance in housing programs point out the institutional shackles that keep people in poverty. In the United States, there is a long, painful history concerning African Americans that began with slavery, discrimination and still shows its impact in various more muted forms of racism. These people have few chances to escape poverty and own their own homes because they have difficulty getting a good education and then a job. If governments provide them with housing, that frees up their money to go to the education of their children and can break the long chain of poverty that has blighted their path in America.

Although the above-mentioned argument has its merits, in my opinion people who help themselves are more likely to be able to maintain their success. Charity is a notoriously double edged sword because it fosters dependence. Someone who is in poverty who works hard and finds and escape and manages to own a home will develop reserves of willpower and determination that will serve them their entire life. Their self-respect will also help them in their work and encourage them to hold onto their house, regardless of obstacles. If the government simply gifts this person a house, they will be much less inclined to take care of it and will not develop any of the qualities that will spell out their success in life more generally.

In conclusion, people who are more self-reliant are more likely to be successful and hold onto their homes. The role of government ought to be more subtle and include educational reforms aimed at opening up opportunities that individuals can themselves seize.

Answers:

reformers: people who want to make changes

of the opinion: believe

public housing: houses or apartments for people in need

afford: be able to buy

pull themselves out of: escape from

poverty: not having much money

point out: think

institutional shackles: the world holding you back

muted: mild

racism: believing that another race is inferior

escape poverty: get out of being poor/become middle-class

frees up: allows for

break the long chain of poverty: get out of poverty

blighted their path: stood in their way/held them back

above-mentioned argument: the ideas from the previous paragraph

merits: deserves

maintain their success: continue to do well

charity: giving to others

notoriously double edged sword: famously has pros and cons

fosters dependence: makes people reliant on

reserves: extra supplies

willpower: ability to do what you want

determination: continue on despite troubles

serve them their entire life: help them throughout life

self-respect: thinking highly of yourself

regardless of obstacles: no matter the challenges

gifts: the verb of gift/to give for nothing

less inclined: do not want to

spell out: defines

generally: in general, not applying to everyone

self-reliant: depend on yourself

hold onto: keep

subtle: mild, not strong

educational reforms: improving education

opening up opportunities: making new things possible

seize: take

Pronunciation

rɪˈfɔːməz 

ɒv ði əˈpɪnjən 

ˈpʌblɪk ˈhaʊzɪŋ 

əˈfɔːd 

pʊl ðəmˈsɛlvz aʊt 

ˈpɒvəti

pɔɪnt aʊt 

ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃən(ə)l ˈʃæklz 

ˈmjuːtɪd 

ˈreɪsɪzm 

ɪsˈkeɪp ˈpɒvəti 

friːz ʌp 

breɪk ðə lɒŋ ʧeɪn ɒv ˈpɒvəti 

ˈblaɪtɪd ðeə pɑːθ 

əˈbʌvˈmɛnʃ(ə)nd ˈɑːgjʊmənt 

ˈmɛrɪts 

meɪnˈteɪn ðeə səkˈsɛs 

ˈʧærɪti 

nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli ˈdʌbl ɛʤd sɔːd 

ˈfɒstəz dɪˈpɛndəns 

rɪˈzɜːvz 

ˈwɪlˌpaʊə 

dɪˌtɜːmɪˈneɪʃən 

sɜːv ðɛm ðeəɪnˈtaɪə laɪf 

sɛlfrɪsˈpɛkt 

rɪˈgɑːdlɪs ɒv ˈɒbstəklz 

gɪfts 

lɛs ɪnˈklaɪnd 

spɛl aʊt 

ˈʤɛnərəli 

sɛlfrɪˈlaɪənt 

həʊld ˈɒntʊ 

ˈsʌtl 

ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˌriːˈfɔːmz 

ˈəʊpnɪŋ ʌp ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪtiz 

siːz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many ______________ are ______________ that it is the responsibility of governments to provide ______________ for members of the public too poor to ______________ their own homes. In my opinion, although there are some situations when this might be necessary, it is better to allow people the opportunity to ______________ of ______________.

Those who support government assistance in housing programs ______________ the ______________ that keep people in poverty. In the United States, there is a long, painful history concerning African Americans that began with slavery, discrimination and still shows its impact in various more ______________ forms of ______________. These people have few chances to ______________ and own their own homes because they have difficulty getting a good education and then a job. If governments provide them with housing, that ______________ their money to go to the education of their children and can ______________ that has ______________ in America.

Although the ______________ has its ______________, in my opinion people who help themselves are more likely to be able to ______________. ______________ is a ______________ because it ______________. Someone who is in poverty who works hard and finds and escape and manages to own a home will develop ______________ of ______________ and ______________ that will ______________. Their ______________will also help them in their work and encourage them to hold onto their house, ______________. If the government simply ______________ this person a house, they will be much ______________ to take care of it and will not develop any of the qualities that will ______________ their success in life more ______________.

In conclusion, people who are more ______________ are more likely to be successful and ______________ their homes. The role of government ought to be more _________________ and include ___________________ aimed at __________________ that individuals can themselves ______________.

Government & Housing Article

It’s really important to review the language from the above topic and get some more experience with coming up with ideas related to this.

Read the article below to continue learning about this topic. You can read some ideas about using the news to improve your reading here.

Mexico’s Housing Projects (Wired.com)

Public Housing IELTS

Public Housing IELTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government & Housing Video

Don’t neglect your listening skills either!

The more time that you spend reviewing a single topic in a variety of ways (through listening, reading, writing and speaking), the more likely it is that your will improve your ideas and ability to think about complex topics like government and housing.

Read more here for some ideas for how to watch this video.

 

Comment below  – write your own essay about government and I will give you some feedback!

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – keep up to date with your English and your IELTS!


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