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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer on the topic of recycling taken from the real exam.

The essay features a common topic (the environment) as well as a common question structure (who should be responsible?).

Reading and practicing below can really help to boost your IELTS score if this topic or question type come up when you take the test!

You can access my online courses here for more detailed lessons and feedback from me.

My other sample answers can be found here.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Recycling (Real IELTS Test)

Most agree that we should be training children to recycle waste to preserve the Earth’s natural resources. However, some believe that it is parents who should teach their children to recycle waste while others feels schools are more responsible.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Real IELTS Past Tests

The general sentiment in most quarters is that recycling is an integral part of combatting climate change and most debate now circles around whether parents or teachers should be most responsible. In my opinion, schools reach the largest number of children overall.

Many believe that instilling values is a parental right. Parents have the basic right to influence their children according to their own beliefs. For example, a Muslim living in a Christian country will likely still follow many Islamic traditions. Even if the child learns implicitly or explicitly about Judeo-Christian tenets in school, the parents have a right to raise their child in the manner they think is most culturally fitting. This also applies to recycling, though it is hardly a matter of subjective belief to most informed citizens today.

Despite the rare potential parents who may be against recycling, schools should be where recycling is taught because government mandates will reach all children. There is simply no way to legislate every single family to make their children recycle but this can be easily enacted in schools. A good example of this would be in Japan where school children take an active role in cleaning and separating their own rubbish for recycling. Not only does this make a huge difference in it of itself but it is also a nationally comprehensive approach to fostering life-long environmentally conscious habits across an entire generation.

In conclusion, schools are more likely to have a larger impact on recycling habits and therefore this is their responsibility. Governments ought to make recycling one of their top educational priorities in the future as part of a cohesive plan to better the environment.

Analysis

1. The general sentiment in most quarters is that recycling is an integral part of combatting climate change and most debate now circles around whether parents or teachers should be most responsible. 2. In my opinion, schools reach the largest number of children overall.

  1. The first sentence simply paraphrases the main topic. Don’t waste too much time making this sentence perfect.
  2. You should write a clear opinion for a second sentence. My opinion here isn’t 100% clear but that is ok because I will make it clearer in my conclusion.

1. Many believe that instilling values is a parental right. 2. Parents have the basic right to influence their children according to their own beliefs. 3. For example, a Muslim living in a Christian country will likely still follow many Islamic traditions. 4. Even if the child learns implicitly or explicitly about Judeo-Christian tenets in school, the parents have a right to raise their child in the manner they think is most culturally fitting. 5. This also applies to recycling, though it is hardly a matter of subjective belief to most informed citizens today.

  1. For you first sentence, write a simple clear topic sentence with your main idea for the whole paragraph.
  2. My second sentence explains my main idea. You might not always need this sentence if your main idea is obvious.
  3. The next sentence should begin an example focused on that main idea. Focus on just 1 main idea, just 1 example, fully developed.
  4. My fourth sentence develops the example.
  5. The last sentence extends the example to the topic of the essay to make a clear connection.

1. Despite the rare potential parents who may be against recycling, schools should be where recycling is taught because government mandates will reach all children. 2. There is simply no way to legislate every single family to make their children recycle but this can be easily enacted in schools. 3. A good example of this would be in Japan where school children take an active role in cleaning and separating their own rubbish for recycling. 4. Not only does this make a huge difference in it of itself but it is also a nationally comprehensive approach to fostering life-long environmentally conscious habits across an entire generation.

  1. My first sentence is another topic sentence. A bit longer this time but still with a single main idea.
  2. The second sentence develops the main idea.
  3. My third sentence begins a specific example. These are the centerpieces of your writing.
  4. The last sentence conludes the paragraph and my example.

1. In conclusion, schools are more likely to have a larger impact on recycling habits and therefore this is their responsibility. 2. Governments ought to make recycling one of their top educational priorities in the future as part of a cohesive plan to better the environment.

  1. In my conclusion, I make my opinion crystal clear.
  2. Add in an extra detail or final thought at the end of your essay – it is important – don’t forget it!

Vocabulary

Try to figure out what the words in bold mean. If you’re not sure, use the context of the sentence and paragraph to work it out!

The general sentiment in most quarters is that recycling is an integral part of combatting climate change and most debate now circles around whether parents or teachers should be most responsible. In my opinion, schools reach the largest number of children overall.

Many believe that instilling values is a parental right. Parents have the basic right to influence their children according to their own beliefs. For example, a Muslim living in a Christian country will likely still follow many Islamic traditions. Even if the child learns implicitly or explicitly about Judeo-Christian tenets in school, the parents have a right to raise their child in the manner they think is most culturally fitting. This also applies to recycling, though it is hardly a matter of subjective belief to most informed citizens today.

Despite the rare potential parents who may be against recycling, schools should be where recycling is taught because government mandates will reach all children. There is simply no way to legislate every single family to make their children recycle but this can be easily enacted in schools. A good example of this would be in Japan where school children take an active role in cleaning and separating their own rubbish for recycling. Not only does this make a huge difference in it of itself but it is also a nationally comprehensive approach to fostering life-long environmentally conscious habits across an entire generation.

In conclusion, schools are more likely to have a larger impact on recycling habits and therefore this is their responsibility. Governments ought to make recycling one of their top educational priorities in the future as part of a cohesive plan to better the environment.

Answers

general sentiment opinion of most people

most quarters the majority of people

integral part important element

circles around surrounds

reach decide on

instilling values enforcing beliefs

parental right parents should be able to

Islamic traditions values from Muslims

implicitly not overtly

explicitly overtly

Judeo-Christian tenets values from the Bible

manner way

culturally fitting that accords with their culture

hardly barely

subjective belief personal feeling

informed citizens educated voters

against recycling oppose recycling

government mandates proclamations/rules from the government

legislate make laws about

easily enacted simple to create and enforce

take an active role be a big part of

in it of itself just by itself

nationally comprehensive approach way of reaching the whole country

fostering life-long environmentally conscious habits encouraging good habits for their whole life

top educational priorities important educational goals

cohesive plan good idea of how to proceed

better improve

Pronunciation

ˈʤɛnərəl ˈsɛntɪmənt 
məʊst ˈkwɔːtəz 
ˈɪntɪgrəl pɑːt 
ˈsɜːklz əˈraʊnd 
riːʧ 
ɪnˈstɪlɪŋ ˈvæljuːz 
pəˈrɛntl raɪt
ɪzˈlæmɪk trəˈdɪʃənz
ɪmˈplɪsɪtli 
ɪksˈplɪsɪtli 
ʤuːdeɪəʊ-ˈkrɪsʧən ˈtiːnɛts 
ˈmænə 
ˈkʌlʧərəli ˈfɪtɪŋ
ˈhɑːdli 
səbˈʤɛktɪv bɪˈliːf 
ɪnˈfɔːmd ˈsɪtɪznz 
əˈgɛnst ˌriːˈsaɪklɪŋ
ˈgʌvnmənt ˈmændeɪts 
ˈlɛʤɪsleɪt 
ˈiːzɪli ɪˈnæktɪd 
teɪk ən ˈæktɪv rəʊl 
ɪn ɪt ɒv ɪtˈsɛlf 
ˈnæʃnəli ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnsɪv əˈprəʊʧ 
ˈfɒstərɪŋ laɪf-lɒŋ ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntli ˈkɒnʃəs ˈhæbɪts 
tɒp ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl praɪˈɒrɪtiz 
kəʊˈhiːsɪv plæn 
ˈbɛtə 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The __________________ in ___________________ is that recycling is an ___________________ of combatting climate change and most debate now ___________________ whether parents or teachers should be most responsible. In my opinion, schools ___________________ the largest number of children overall.

Many believe that ___________________ is a ___________________. Parents have the basic right to influence their children according to their own beliefs. For example, a Muslim living in a Christian country will likely still follow many ___________________. Even if the child learns ___________________ or ___________________ about ___________________ in school, the parents have a right to raise their child in the ___________________ they think is most ___________________. This also applies to recycling, though it is ___________________ a matter of ___________________ to most ___________________ today.

Despite the rare potential parents who may be ___________________, schools should be where recycling is taught because ___________________ will reach all children. There is simply no way to ___________________ every single family to make their children recycle but this can be ___________________ in schools. A good example of this would be in Japan where school children ___________________ in cleaning and separating their own rubbish for recycling. Not only does this make a huge difference ___________________ but it is also a ___________________ to ___________________ across an entire generation.

In conclusion, schools are more likely to have a larger impact on recycling habits and therefore this is their responsibility. Governments ought to make recycling one of their ___________________ in the future as part of a ___________________ to ___________________ the environment.

Listening Practice

Watch this video to see the example that I wrote about in the third paragraph:

Reading Practice

Read below and use these ideas to practice:

https://fee.org/articles/the-worlds-recycling-system-is-falling-apart-whats-going-on/

Student Sample Corrections

Waste recycling is among the major concerns of the public nowadays. Some people claim that children should be taught  waste recycling by their parents, others argue that it will be more effective for children when they was learned it at school. This essay discusses both sides of the argument and then I will give my own perspective.[A1] 

On the one hand, there are some understandable reasons why it is necessary to educate children to reuse waste by their parents. [A2] Firstly, children spend most of their formative years with their parents. Therefore, they will likely take cues from how their parents doing and mirror those actions. If parents demonstrate the way of using different bins for recyclable and non-recyclable products, children are more likely to follow their example. Another reason is that the majority of recycling takes place in the home and parents could more easily control the recycling habits of their children. [A3] [A4] [A5] 

On the others hand, it is believed[A6]  that school would be more effective in terms of teaching students to recycle waste. The main reason is that school is the place that children are taught about life’s knowledge [A7] and could also heighten children awareness of environmental problems. For example, teachers could educate their students about the limit of all natural resources and how the world are being faced with this issue. As a result, it could make an contribution to raise children awareness about recycling of waste.[A8] 

In conclusion , I firmly believe that both sides of the argument have their positive points. However, I am inclined to believe that recycling of waste should be educated to children by their parents, cause parents spend more hours with their children and serve as a role model for the development of youngsters. [A9] 

290 words[A10] 

This would also be band 6.5. Lots of good accurate vocabulary and grammar but nothing too remarkable. The arguments are good and well supported and it is clear. To get to band 7 you need better more detailed examples and more natural vocabulary.

Dave


 [A1]In this essay, I will examiner both sides of the argument and then present my own opinion.

 [A2]Awkward phrasing better to say ‘there are reasons why it is better for parents to …’

 [A3]Very well supported!

 [A4]Very well supported!

 [A5]

 [A6]Often argued

 [A7]Too vague

 [A8]Good but could be more specific

 [A9]Very clear!

 [A10]Good!


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