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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether or not governments should help people around the world or focus on their own citizens from the real IELTS exam.

Second time I’ve seen this topic in the last 2 years!

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Governments Helping

It is impossible to help all people around the world in need so governments should focus on people from their own country.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many today have suggested that governments should prioritise supporting their own citizenry over offering foreign aid. I strongly agree with this statement as international interventions often do more harm than good and governments have greater control concerning domestic assistance.

Firstly, foreign aid is notoriously difficult to manage. The majority of countries helped by foreign aid either end up exploiting the charity or become overly dependent. A good example of this would be the aid sent to many African nations during times of civil turmoil. Certain corrupt governments would often leverage the aid, whether it be food supplies or financial support, to maintain their autocratic position. Even in the rare cases where aid reaches its intended targets without interference from governments or non-governmental organisations, there is a strong likelihood of establishing a dependence. Individuals generally profit more long-term from developing characteristics related to self-reliance rather than becoming subservient in a dependent relationship.

Moreover, governments are able to affect greater change over their own populace. The are many different tactics that governments can choose ranging from funding a comprehensive social welfare net to allowing individuals to keep more of their tax dollars and contribute to the economy. A standout example of this would be in China where the government has tremendous sway over both public and private entities. This ensures that their assistance is not misused and that it supports truly vulnerable segments of the population. Their oversight and knowledge of their own country translates to a more efficient allocation of resources and this applies generally to governments globally.

In conclusion, there is little support for the efficacy of foreign aid and governments can intervene most effectively in their own nations. Therefore, foreign aid should be limited to times of extreme crisis.

Analysis

1. Many today have suggested that governments should prioritise supporting their own citizenry over offering foreign aid. 2. I strongly agree with this statement as international interventions often do more harm than good and governments have greater control concerning domestic assistance.

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

1. Firstly, foreign aid is notoriously difficult to manage. 2. The majority of countries helped by foreign aid either end up exploiting the charity or become overly dependent. 3. A good example of this would be the aid sent to many African nations during times of civil turmoil. Certain corrupt governments would often leverage the aid, whether it be food supplies or financial support, to maintain their autocratic position. 4. Even in the rare cases where aid reaches its intended targets without interference from governments or non-governmental organisations, there is a strong likelihood of establishing a dependence. 5. Individuals generally profit more long-term from developing characteristics related to self-reliance rather than becoming subservient in a dependent relationship.

  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.

1. Moreover, governments are able to affect greater change over their own populace. 2. The are many different tactics that governments can choose ranging from funding a comprehensive social welfare net to allowing individuals to keep more of their tax dollars and contribute to the economy. 3. A standout example of this would be in China where the government has tremendous sway over both public and private entities. 4. This ensures that their assistance is not misused and that it supports truly vulnerable segments of the population. 5. Their oversight and knowledge of their own country translates to a more efficient allocation of resources and this applies generally to governments globally.

  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…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Any extra statement of the result will help.

1. In conclusion, there is little support for the efficacy of foreign aid and governments can intervene most effectively in their own nations. 2. Therefore, foreign aid should be limited to times of extreme crisis.

  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.

Many today have suggested that governments should prioritise supporting their own citizenry over offering foreign aid. I strongly agree with this statement as international interventions often do more harm than good and governments have greater control concerning domestic assistance.

Firstly, foreign aid is notoriously difficult to manage. The majority of countries helped by foreign aid either end up exploiting the charity or become overly dependent. A good example of this would be the aid sent to many African nations during times of civil turmoil. Certain corrupt governments would often leverage the aid, whether it be food supplies or financial support, to maintain their autocratic position. Even in the rare cases where aid reaches its intended targets without interference from governments or non-governmental organisations, there is a strong likelihood of establishing a dependence. Individuals generally profit more long-term from developing characteristics related to self-reliance rather than becoming subservient in a dependent relationship.

Moreover, governments are able to affect greater change over their own populace. The are many different tactics that governments can choose ranging from funding a comprehensive social welfare net to allowing individuals to keep more of their tax dollars and contribute to the economy. A standout example of this would be in China where the government has tremendous sway over both public and private entities. This ensures that their assistance is not misused and that it supports truly vulnerable segments of the population. Their oversight and knowledge of their own country translates to a more efficient allocation of resources and this applies generally to governments globally.

In conclusion, there is little support for the efficacy of foreign aid and governments can intervene most effectively in their own nations. Therefore, foreign aid should be limited to times of extreme crisis.

Answers

suggested advised

prioritise value more

supporting helping

citizenry people in a country

over offering foreign aid instead of giving help to other countries

statement opinion

international interventions helping other countries

more harm than good hurts more than it helps

concerning relating to

domestic assistance helping within a country

notoriously famous for bad reasons

difficult to manage hard to deal with

majority most of

either one or the other

end up finally

exploiting taking advantage of

charity organisation that helps others

overly dependent moreso relying on

times of civil turmoil wars, famines, unrest, etc.

corrupt taking bribes, stealing, etc.

whether it be food supplies or financial support if it is food or money

maintain keep up

autocratic position complete control

rare cases exceptions

reaches its intended targets finding where it is meant to go

interference getting in the way

non-governmental organisations charities

likelihood strong chance

dependence reliance on

generally profit overall get more from

long-term over time

characteristics qualities

self-reliance independence

subservient lower than

dependent relationship needing someone

populace people in a country

tactics methods

ranging from including

funding giving money for

comprehensive social welfare net total support for people in need

contribute give to

public citizenry

private entities companies

truly vulnerable segments actually in need parts of the country

oversight control over

translates means

efficient allocation better spreading of money

applies has to do with

globally all over the world

little support not much help

efficacy how well it works

intervene step in, interfere

limited under control

times of extreme crisis when something really bad happens (like a natural disaster)

Pronunciation

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

səˈʤɛstɪd 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
səˈpɔːtɪŋ 
ˈsɪtɪznri 
ˈəʊvər ˈɒfərɪŋ ˈfɒrɪn eɪd
ˈsteɪtmənt 
ˌɪntə(ː)ˈnæʃənl ˌɪntə(ː)ˈvɛnʃənz 
mɔː hɑːm ðæn gʊd 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
dəʊˈmɛstɪk əˈsɪstəns
nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli 
ˈdɪfɪkəlt tuː ˈmænɪʤ 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈaɪðə 
ɛnd ʌp 
ɪksˈplɔɪtɪŋ 
ˈʧærɪti 
ˈəʊvəli dɪˈpɛndənt
taɪmz ɒv ˈsɪvl ˈtɜːmɔɪl 
kəˈrʌpt 
ˈwɛðər ɪt biː fuːd səˈplaɪz ɔː faɪˈnænʃəl səˈpɔːt 
meɪnˈteɪn 
ˌɔːtəʊˈkrætɪk pəˈzɪʃən
reə ˈkeɪsɪz 
ˈriːʧɪz ɪts ɪnˈtɛndɪd ˈtɑːgɪts 
ˌɪntəˈfɪərəns 
nɒn-ˌgʌvənˈmɛntl ˌɔːgənaɪˈzeɪʃənz
ˈlaɪklɪhʊd 
dɪˈpɛndəns 
ˈʤɛnərəli ˈprɒfɪt 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm 
ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪks 
sɛlf-rɪˈlaɪəns 
səbˈsɜːviənt 
dɪˈpɛndənt rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪp
ˈpɒpjʊləs
ˈtæktɪks 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm
ˈfʌndɪŋ 
ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnsɪv ˈsəʊʃəl ˈwɛlfeə nɛt 
kənˈtrɪbju(ː)t 
ˈpʌblɪk 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈɛntɪtiz 
ˈtruːli ˈvʌlnərəbl ˈsɛgmənts 
ˈəʊvəsaɪt 
trænsˈleɪts 
ɪˈfɪʃənt ˌæləʊˈkeɪʃ(ə)n 
əˈplaɪz 
ˈgləʊbəli
ˈlɪtl səˈpɔːt 
ˈɛfɪkəsi 
ˌɪntə(ː)ˈviːn 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd 
taɪmz ɒv ɪksˈtriːm ˈkraɪsɪs

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:

Many today have s______________d that governments should p___________e s___________g their own c__________y o____r o__________________________d. I strongly agree with this s_____________t as i______________________________s often do m_________________d and governments have greater control c_____________g d____________________e.

Firstly, foreign aid is n_______________y d____________________e. The m__________y of countries helped by foreign aid e_______________________g the c________y or become o_____________________t. A good example of this would be the aid sent to many African nations during t________________________l. Certain c________t governments would often leverage the aid, w__________________________________________t, to m_________n their a____________________n. Even in the r____________s where aid r________________________s without i_____________e from governments or n_________________________________s, there is a strong l____________d of establishing a d_____________e. Individuals g__________________t more l_____________m from developing c__________________s related to s_________________e rather than becoming s______________t in a d_____________________p.

Moreover, governments are able to affect greater change over their own p__________e. The are many different t___________s that governments can choose r_______________m f___________g a c___________________________________________t to allowing individuals to keep more of their tax dollars and c______________e to the economy. A s____________t example of this would be in China where the government has t________________________y over both p__________c and p________________s. This e__________s that their assistance is not m___________d and that it supports t______________________________s of the population. Their o___________t and knowledge of their own country t_____________s to a more e_____________________n of resources and this a__________s generally to governments g_________y.

In conclusion, there is l_________________t for the e__________y of foreign aid and governments can i___________e most effectively in their own nations. Therefore, foreign aid should be l___________d to t____________________s.

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:

Helping

  1. Should developed countries help developing countries?
  2. What kind of help is best to provide?
  3. Can help be harmful in some cases?
  4. How should parents help their children?
  5. Are there any advantages to not helping someone?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

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?


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