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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of extinction from the real IELTS exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Extinction

It is a natural process for animal species to become extinct (e.g. dinosaurs, dodos, etc.). There is no reason why people should try to prevent this from happening.

Do you agree or disagree?

Some today argue that humanity should not interfere with the extinction of other species. In my opinion, this was a more legitimate argument in the past, when mankind was not the primary driving force behind this phenomenon.

Throughout history, extinction has been part of natural selection and evolution. Creatures such as the dinosaurs disappeared due to a likely cataclysmic event, but in more recent history, less adaptable species have also gone extinct. Humanity, in these cases, played either no role or one commensurate with the rest of nature. This can be seen as necessary to the work of nature. Certain species develop and prosper, while other ones do not and perish. A modern, compassionate public might view this as inhumane, but the indifferent cruelty in nature has served the historic purpose of maintaining a healthy, thriving, and diverse ecosystem.

However, contemporary human dominance must be accompanied by a larger share of responsibility. Mankind is no longer one animal among many, but the dominant species whose actions affect the majority of other animals. The most pertinent examples of this relate to deforestation and climate change. In order to sustain booming populations, production has stripped bare sections of the earth, decimating natural habitats and plunging thousands of species to the brink of extinction. The causal role of human industry necessitates taking responsibility. Moreover, there are simple steps that could be taken to preserve species and curb the effects of human progress. If countries collectively committed to moderate conservation efforts, then the earth could be restored to a more natural equilibrium.

In conclusion, though humanity was not at fault for past extinctions, the current influence of industry means that we should now take responsibility for biological diversity. Once a species disappears, it will never return.

Analysis

1. Some today argue that humanity should not interfere with the extinction of other species. 2. In my opinion, this was a more legitimate argument in the past, when mankind was not the primary driving force behind this phenomenon.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Throughout history, extinction has been part of natural selection and evolution. 2. Creatures such as the dinosaurs disappeared due to a likely cataclysmic event, but in more recent history, less adaptable species have also gone extinct. 3. Humanity, in these cases, played either no role or one commensurate with the rest of nature. 4. This can be seen as necessary to the work of nature. 5. Certain species develop and prosper, while other ones do not and perish. 6. A modern, compassionate public might view this as inhumane, but the indifferent cruelty in nature has served the historic purpose of maintaining a healthy, thriving, and diverse ecosystem.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.
  6. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. However, contemporary human dominance must be accompanied by a larger share of responsibility. 2. Mankind is no longer one animal among many, but the dominant species whose actions affect the majority of other animals. 3. The most pertinent examples of this relate to deforestation and climate change. 4. In order to sustain booming populations, production has stripped bare sections of the earth, decimating natural habitats and plunging thousands of species to the brink of extinction. 5. The causal role of human industry necessitates taking responsibility. 6. Moreover, there are simple steps that could be taken to preserve species and curb the effects of human progress. 7. If countries collectively committed to moderate conservation efforts, then the earth could be restored to a more natural equilibrium.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it fully!
  5. Vary short and long sentences.
  6. Add in more detail and results.
  7. The further you extend your ideas, the better.

1. In conclusion, though humanity was not at fault for past extinctions, the current influence of industry means that we should now take responsibility for biological diversity. 2. Once a species disappears, it will never return.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Some today argue that humanity should not interfere with the extinction of other species. In my opinion, this was a more legitimate argument in the past, when mankind was not the primary driving force behind this phenomenon.

Throughout history, extinction has been part of natural selection and evolution. Creatures such as the dinosaurs disappeared due to a likely cataclysmic event, but in more recent history, less adaptable species have also gone extinct. Humanity, in these cases, played either no role or one commensurate with the rest of nature. This can be seen as necessary to the work of nature. Certain species develop and prosper, while other ones do not and perish. A modern, compassionate public might view this as inhumane, but the indifferent cruelty in nature has served the historic purpose of maintaining a healthy, thriving, and diverse ecosystem.

However, contemporary human dominance must be accompanied by a larger share of responsibility. Mankind is no longer one animal among many, but the dominant species whose actions affect the majority of other animals. The most pertinent examples of this relate to deforestation and climate change. In order to sustain booming populations, production has stripped bare sections of the earth, decimating natural habitats and plunging thousands of species to the brink of extinction. The causal role of human industry necessitates taking responsibility. Moreover, there are simple steps that could be taken to preserve species and curb the effects of human progress. If countries collectively committed to moderate conservation efforts, then the earth could be restored to a more natural equilibrium.

In conclusion, though humanity was not at fault for past extinctions, the current influence of industry means that we should now take responsibility for biological diversity. Once a species disappears, it will never return.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

humanity mankind

interfere get in the way of

extinction an animal species completely disappearing

species kind of animal

legitimate argument justified ideas

mankind humanity

primary driving force behind main source of

phenomenon happening

throughout all the way through

natural selection the way animals evolve

evolution how animals change over time

disappeared gone away

due to a likely because of probably

cataclysmic event big problem

in more recent history in the last few decades or so

less adaptable not as flexible

gone extinct completely gone

in these cases in these instances

played either no role had no effect in it

commensurate equal to

rest of nature all other plants and animals

necessary needed

develop change over time

prosper flourish

perish die out

modern new

compassionate public caring people

view opinion

inhumane cruel

indifferent cruelty not caring and mean

served did its part

historic purpose reason throughout history/the past

maintaining keeping up

thriving flourishing

diverse ecosystem lots of different plants and animals

contemporary human dominance recent era of mankind ruling

accompanied by along with

larger share of responsibility more duty

no longer not anymore

dominant most powerful

majority most of

pertinent relevant

relate to have to do with

deforestation cutting down forests

climate change global warming

sustain booming populations feed more and more people

stripped bare everything taken away

sections of the earth parts of the world

decimating natural habitats destroying animal homes

plunging thousands of species making many animals disappear

brink of extinction nearly gone

causal role the one that made it happen

necessitates requires

simple steps basic actions

preserve species keep animals live

curb the effects of human progress limit the impact of mankind

collectively committed altogether decided to

moderate conservation efforts minor changes to policies

restored to brought back to

more natural equilibrium more equal and balanced

at fault their responsibility

biological diversity different kinds of plants and animals

return come back

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

hju(ː)ˈmænɪti 
ˌɪntəˈfɪə 
ɪksˈtɪŋkʃən 
ˈspiːʃiːz
lɪˈʤɪtɪmɪt ˈɑːgjʊmənt 
mænˈkaɪnd 
ˈpraɪməri ˈdraɪvɪŋ fɔːs bɪˈhaɪnd 
fɪˈnɒmɪnən
θru(ː)ˈaʊt 
ˈnæʧrəl sɪˈlɛkʃən 
ˌiːvəˈluːʃən
ˌdɪsəˈpɪəd 
djuː tuː ə ˈlaɪkli 
ˌkætəˈklɪzmɪk ɪˈvɛnt
ɪn mɔː ˈriːsnt ˈhɪstəri
lɛs əˈdæptəbl 
gɒn ɪksˈtɪŋkt
ɪn ðiːz ˈkeɪsɪz
pleɪd ˈaɪðə nəʊ rəʊl 
kəˈmɛnʃərɪt 
rɛst ɒv ˈneɪʧə
ˈnɛsɪsəri 
dɪˈvɛləp 
ˈprɒspə
ˈpɛrɪʃ
ˈmɒdən
kəmˈpæʃənɪt ˈpʌblɪk 
vjuː 
ˌɪnhju(ː)ˈmeɪn
ɪnˈdɪfrənt ˈkru(ː)əlti 
sɜːvd 
hɪsˈtɒrɪk ˈpɜːpəs 
meɪnˈteɪnɪŋ 
ˈθraɪvɪŋ
daɪˈvɜːs ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm
kənˈtɛmpərəri ˈhjuːmən ˈdɒmɪnəns 
əˈkʌmpənid baɪ 
ˈlɑːʤə ʃeər ɒv rɪsˌpɒnsəˈbɪlɪti
nəʊ ˈlɒŋgə 
ˈdɒmɪnənt 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈpɜːtɪnənt 
rɪˈleɪt tuː 
dɪˌfɒrɪˈsteɪʃ(ə)n 
ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ
səsˈteɪn ˈbuːmɪŋ ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃənz
strɪpt beə 
ˈsɛkʃənz ɒv ði ɜːθ
ˈdɛsɪmeɪtɪŋ ˈnæʧrəl ˈhæbɪtæts 
ˈplʌnʤɪŋ ˈθaʊzəndz ɒv ˈspiːʃiːz 
brɪŋk ɒv ɪksˈtɪŋkʃən
ˈkɔːzəl rəʊl 
nɪˈsɛsɪteɪts 
ˈsɪmpl stɛps 
prɪˈzɜːv ˈspiːʃiːz 
kɜːb ði ɪˈfɛkts ɒv ˈhjuːmən ˈprəʊgrəs
kɒˈlɛktɪvli kəˈmɪtɪd 
ˈmɒdərɪt ˌkɒnsə(ː)ˈveɪʃən ˈɛfəts
rɪsˈtɔːd tuː 
mɔː ˈnæʧrəl ˌiːkwɪˈlɪbrɪəm
æt fɔːlt 
ˌbaɪəʊˈlɒʤɪkəl daɪˈvɜːsɪti
rɪˈtɜːn

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Some today argue that h______________y should not i_______________e with the e____________n of other s___________s. In my opinion, this was a more l______________________t in the past, when m___________d was not the p______________________________d this p_______________n.

T_______________t history, extinction has been part of n_______________n and e______________n. Creatures such as the dinosaurs d__________________________y c___________________t, but i______________________y, l___________________e species have also g___________________t. Humanity, i__________________s, p_____________________e or one c________________e with the r_______________e. This can be seen as n______________y to the work of nature. Certain species d___________p and p___________r, while other ones do not and p_________h. A m____________n, c____________________________c might v______w this as i___________e, but the i____________________y in nature has s________d the h__________________e of m______________g a healthy, t____________g, and d___________________m.

However, c_________________________________e must be a__________________y a l_____________________________y. Mankind is n____________r one animal among many, but the d_____________t species whose actions affect the m___________y of other animals. The most p_______________t examples of this r__________________________n and c__________________e. In order to s_________________________________s, production has s______________________________________h, d_________________________s and p____________________________s to the b__________________n. The c____________e of human industry n_______________s taking responsibility. Moreover, there are s_________________s that could be taken to p__________________s and c_________________________________s. If countries c_____________________d to m_________________________s, then the earth could be r_____________o a m__________________________m.

In conclusion, though humanity was not a__________t for past extinctions, the current influence of industry means that we should now take responsibility for b____________________y. Once a species disappears, it will never r________n.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Wildlife

  1. Have you ever seen a wild animal?
  2. What is your favourite wild animal?
  3. How do you feel when you see animals at the zoo?
  4. What is the importance of animals to children?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.


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