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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam about the type of society we live in.

Society is a really common topic and can come up in many different ways. This one focuses specifically on a ‘throwaway society’ where people use items once and then toss them out.

Read my sample answer below and practice some of the vocabulary related to society!

Here is some review on IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

These are some other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

Here are some Task 1 Sample Answers as well!

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more!

Learn more about my online courses here.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer (Society) by Dave

In many countries people are living in a “throwaway society” where things are used for a short time and thrown away. 

What are the causes of this and what problems does it lead to?

The proliferation of single use products is a major concern for all countries. In my opinion, the main cause of this is increased disposable income coupled with advances in technology and the main result of this trend is environmental degradation.

The rise of single or limited use products comes from new technologies and people’s ability to afford these items. A hundred years ago, it would not have been possible to cheaply produce plastic products on a mass scale. The technological advances of the last hundred years have made these products profitable for large companies like Walmart. Of course the advances in technology have only met demand from a burgeoning global middle class. People today do not have to use the same plates, dishes, and bags that previous generations would have been more protective of; nowadays people can afford to buy and throw out various household items.

The main result of the overdependence on single use products is burning more fossil fuels which in turn escalates climate change. Cheap plastic is made through a chemical process involving raw oil and is then transported on ships or planes running on petrol before being carted on trucks to supermarkets. The total accumulation of fossil fuel consumption is therefore massive. In the last half century this has precipitated climate change leading to increases in the severity of natural disasters, further endangerment of plant and animal species and dire warnings by climate scientists for the standard of living of future generations.

In conclusion, the so-called ‘throwaway society’ is a result of economic and technological factors and is taking a massive toll on the environment. More governments should seek to curb this problem by instituting wide-reaching bans on single-use plastics like straws and bags.

Word count: 289

Video Analysis

This is preview of a video from my online courses that you can access here for the full video and lessons on other topics.

Learn more about my full online lessons here!

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis (Society) by Dave

1. The proliferation of single use products is a major concern for all countries. 2. In my opinion, the main cause of this is increased disposable income coupled with advances in technology and the main result of this trend is environmental degradation.

1. The first sentence restates the topic for the essay. Spend a lot of time understanding the question correctly but you can write this sentence really quickly as it is simply paraphrasing!

2. My next sentence is my opinion. Say your opinion in the introduction and the conclusion to make it 100% clear.

1. The rise of single or limited use products comes from new technologies and people’s ability to afford these items. 2. A hundred years ago, it would not have been possible to cheaply produce plastic products on a mass scale. 3. The technological advances of the last hundred years have made these products profitable for large companies like Walmart. 4. Of course the advances in technology have only met demand from a burgeoning global middle class. 5. People today do not have to use the same plates, dishes, and bags that previous generations would have been more protective of; nowadays people can afford to buy and throw out various household items.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence that lets the reader know what the whole paragraph is about. Read more about topic sentences here.

2. The second sentence compares now to the past to show the cause.

3. My third sentence details what has changed over the years leading to the throwaway society.

4. The next sentence adds further detail by talking about a related cause – the growing middle class.

5. My final sentence concludes by describing how those two causes combined.

1. The main result of the overdependence on single use products is burning more fossil fuels which in turn escalates climate change. 2. Cheap plastic is made through a chemical process involving raw oil and is then transported on ships or planes running on petrol before being carted on trucks to supermarkets. 3. The total accumulation of fossil fuel consumption is therefore massive. 4. In the last half century this has precipitated climate change leading to increases in the severity of natural disasters, further endangerment of plant and animal species and dire warnings by climate scientists for the standard of living of future generations.

1. The first sentence is my topic sentence and describes the result (what this society leads to). Be sure to address the question prompt as directly as possible to be sure that you are focused on answering the correct question – otherwise you risk getting a band 4 or 5 for task achievement!

2. My second sentence describes the result as specifically as possible. Be specific and detailed!

3. The third sentence continues to describe the result.

4. My fourth sentence also further details the consequences of burning fossil fuels and concludes my paragraph.

1. In conclusion, the so-called ‘throwaway society’ is a result of economic and technological factors and is taking a massive toll on the environment. 2. More governments should seek to curb this problem by instituting wide-reaching bans on single-use plastics like straws and bags.

1. My first sentence restates my overall opinion. Be crystal clear – never sit in the middle or be unclear!

2. The final sentence puts forth an extra detail to the paragraph that many examiners will require for at least band 7 for task achievement.

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!

The proliferation of single use products is a major concern for all countries. In my opinion, the main cause of this is increased disposable income coupled with advances in technology and the main result of this trend is environmental degradation.

The rise of single or limited use products comes from new technologies and people’s ability to afford these items. A hundred years ago, it would not have been possible to cheaply produce plastic products on a mass scale. The technological advances of the last hundred years have made these products profitable for large companies like Walmart. Of course the advances in technology have only met demand from a burgeoning global middle class. People today do not have to use the same plates, dishes, and bags that previous generations would have been more protective of; nowadays people can afford to buy and throw out various household items.

The main result of the overdependence on single use products is burning more fossil fuels which in turn escalates climate change. Cheap plastic is made through a chemical process involving raw oil and is then transported on ships or planes running on petrol before being carted on trucks to supermarkets. The total accumulation of fossil fuel consumption is therefore massive. In the last half century this has precipitated climate change leading to increases in the severity of natural disasters, further endangerment of plant and animal species and dire warnings by climate scientists for the standard of living of future generations.

In conclusion, the so-called ‘throwaway society’ is a result of economic and technological factors and is taking a massive toll on the environment. More governments should seek to curb this problem by instituting wide-reaching bans on single-use plastics like straws and bags.

Answers:

proliferation: spread throughout

single use products: products that can only be used once

disposable income: salary that you can use freely on what you want (not for rent, food, etc.)

coupled with: combined with

environmental degradation: the environment getting worse

afford: be able to buy

cheaply: inexpensively

on a mass scale: on a very large scale/affecting a lot of people/places

technological advances: improvements in science

profitable: making money

demand: want/desire

burgeoning global middle class: growing groups of people with disposable income

previous generations: past generations

household: your home

overdependence: rely too much on

fossil fuels: oil and gas dug up in the Earth

escalates: speeds up

chemical process: using chemical substances to create or transform

carted: carried

total accumulation: the amount saved/combined

massive: huge

half century: 50 years

precipitated: led to

severity: very strong/powerful

further endangerment: causing more risk/danger

dire warnings: signs of trouble in the future

standard of living: how well people live

so-called: claimed/supposed

‘throwaway society’: society where people often throw things away after using them

massive toll: large (negative) impact

curb: slow down

instituting wide-reaching bans: enacting stops of things across a lot of areas

Pronunciation

prəʊˌlɪfəˈreɪʃən 

ˈsɪŋgl juːz ˈprɒdʌkts 

dɪsˈpəʊzəbl ˈɪnkʌm 

ˈkʌpld wɪð 

ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntl ˌdɛgrəˈdeɪʃən 

əˈfɔːd 

ˈʧiːpli 

ɒn ə mæs skeɪl 

ˌtɛknəˈlɒʤɪk(ə)l ədˈvɑːnsɪz 

ˈprɒfɪtəbl 

dɪˈmɑːnd 

ˈbɜːʤənɪŋ ˈgləʊbəl ˈmɪdl klɑːs 

ˈpriːviəs ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃənz 

ˈhaʊshəʊld 

ˌəʊvədɪˈpɛndəns 

ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz 

ˈɛskəleɪts   

ˈkɛmɪkəl ˈprəʊsɛs 

ˈkɑːtɪd 

ˈtəʊtl əˌkjuːmjʊˈleɪʃ(ə)n 

ˈmæsɪv 

hɑːf ˈsɛnʧʊri 

prɪˈsɪpɪteɪtɪd 

sɪˈvɛrɪti 

ˈfɜːðəɪnˈdeɪnʤəmənt 

ˈdaɪə ˈwɔːnɪŋz 

ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 

ˈsəʊˈkɔːld 

ˈθrəʊəweɪ səˈsaɪəti 

ˈmæsɪv təʊl 

kɜːb 

ˈɪnstɪtjuːtɪŋ waɪdˈriːʧɪŋ bænz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The __________________ of __________________ is a major concern for all countries. In my opinion, the main cause of this is increased __________________ advances in technology and the main result of this trend is __________________.

The rise of single or limited use products comes from new technologies and people’s ability to __________________ these items. A hundred years ago, it would not have been possible to __________________ produce plastic products __________________. The __________________ of the last hundred years have made these products __________________ for large companies like Walmart. Of course the advances in technology have only met __________________ from a __________________. People today do not have to use the same plates, dishes, and bags that __________________ would have been more protective of; nowadays people can afford to buy and throw out various __________________ items.

The main result of the __________________ on single use products is burning more __________________ which in turn __________________ climate change. Cheap plastic is made through a __________________ involving raw oil and is then transported on ships or planes running on petrol before being __________________ on trucks to supermarkets. The__________________ of fossil fuel consumption is therefore __________________. In the last __________________ this has __________________ climate change leading to increases in the __________________ of natural disasters, __________________ of plant and animal species and __________________ by climate scientists for the __________________ of future generations.

In conclusion, the __________________  __________________ is a result of economic and technological factors and is taking a __________________ on the environment. More governments should seek to __________________ this problem by __________________ on single-use plastics like straws and bags.

Society Links from YouTube and Articles

Single-Use Plastic – Explained in Stop-Motion

One Month Without Single-Use Plastics | One Small Step | NowThis

Throw Away Culture

Comment below  – write your own essay about society 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 IELTS!


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