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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of noise in public places and the causes and solutions for this problem.

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IELTS Essay: Noise

There is too much noise in many public places in cities.

What are the causes of this problem?

What can be done to solve the problem?

Public areas in cities today are becoming increasingly noisy. In my opinion, this change is caused by surging urban populations and shifting attitudes to personal space. The best solutions involve innovative urban design.

The underlying reasons for higher noise levels in public spaces are growing residential figures and changes in social behavior. Firstly, the migration of individuals from the countryside to cities has been well documented over the last century. This trend shows no sign of abating and it is self-evident that more residents talking, operating vehicles, and interacting in public areas will create more noise. Moreover, people are now less self-conscious. This is a uniquely modern trend and is most apparent on social media. Most people are now comfortable making videos in public, taking photos, and talking loudly on their phones. This psychological shift has its benefits but one drawback is the contribution to noise levels.

The most realistic solutions are adaptations by the authorities. I strongly believe that the trends themselves cannot be countered since they follow the dictates of human nature. Attempting to ban phones in public or restrict residency numbers in certain cities would in fact engender greater problems. Instead, governments can make myriad minor adjustments. Public spaces could include more structures, such as trees and statues, in order to absorb sound. On public transport, there could be softer padding so that sound does not bounce and travel as far. There may also be steps that could be taken in terms of traffic and residential areas that would encourage more spread out cities with lower density. These are minor solutions to a large problem, however, their impact in the aggregate would be meaningful.

In conclusion, although cities are becoming noisier as they become more populous and people are more open today, this can be remedied if authorities devise novel counters. In the future, this issue will only become more pressing.

Analysis

1. Public areas in cities today are becoming increasingly noisy. 2. In my opinion, this change is caused by surging urban populations and shifting attitudes to personal space. 3. The best solutions involve innovative urban design.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.
  3. I usually write 2 sentence introductions, but this isn’t a strict rule.

1. The underlying reasons for higher noise levels in public spaces are growing residential figures and changes in social behavior. 2. Firstly, the migration of individuals from the countryside to cities has been well documented over the last century. 3. This trend shows no sign of abating and it is self-evident that more residents talking, operating vehicles, and interacting in public areas will create more noise. 4. Moreover, people are now less self-conscious. 5. This is a uniquely modern trend and is most apparent on social media. 6. Most people are now comfortable making videos in public, taking photos, and talking loudly on their phones. 7. This psychological shift has its benefits but one drawback is the contribution to noise levels.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Vary long and short sentences.
  6. This paragraph might be longer because there are two ideas.
  7. Finish the development.

1. The most realistic solutions are adaptations by the authorities. 2. I strongly believe that the trends themselves cannot be countered since they follow the dictates of human nature. 3. Attempting to ban phones in public or restrict residency numbers in certain cities would in fact engender greater problems. 4. Instead, governments can make myriad minor adjustments. 5. Public spaces could include more structures, such as trees and statues, in order to absorb sound. 6. On public transport, there could be softer padding so that sound does not bounce and travel as far. 7. There may also be steps that could be taken in terms of traffic and residential areas that would encourage more spread out cities with lower density. 8. These are minor solutions to a large problem, however, their impact in the aggregate would be meaningful.

  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. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. State the results as well.
  7. Include some long sentences.
  8. Relate it back to the topic.

1. In conclusion, although cities are becoming noisier as they become more populous and people are more open today, this can be remedied if authorities devise novel counters. 2. In the future, this issue will only become more pressing.

  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.

Public areas in cities today are becoming increasingly noisy. In my opinion, this change is caused by surging urban populations and shifting attitudes to personal space. The best solutions involve innovative urban design.

The underlying reasons for higher noise levels in public spaces are growing residential figures and changes in social behavior. Firstly, the migration of individuals from the countryside to cities has been well documented over the last century. This trend shows no sign of abating and it is self-evident that more residents talking, operating vehicles, and interacting in public areas will create more noise. Moreover, people are now less self-conscious. This is a uniquely modern trend and is most apparent on social media. Most people are now comfortable making videos in public, taking photos, and talking loudly on their phones. This psychological shift has its benefits but one drawback is the contribution to noise levels.

The most realistic solutions are adaptations by the authorities. I strongly believe that the trends themselves cannot be countered since they follow the dictates of human nature. Attempting to ban phones in public or restrict residency numbers in certain cities would in fact engender greater problems. Instead, governments can make myriad minor adjustments. Public spaces could include more structures, such as trees and statues, in order to absorb sound. On public transport, there could be softer padding so that sound does not bounce and travel as far. There may also be steps that could be taken in terms of traffic and residential areas that would encourage more spread out cities with lower density. These are minor solutions to a large problem, however, their impact in the aggregate would be meaningful.

In conclusion, although cities are becoming noisier as they become more populous and people are more open today, this can be remedied if authorities devise novel counters. In the future, this issue will only become more pressing.

Answers

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

public areas parks, open places in cities

caused by the result of

surging increasing a lot

urban populations people in cities

shifting attitudes changing outlooks

personal space private space

best solutions optimal remedies

innovative urban design creative ideas for the city

underlying reasons basic causes

noise levels how loud it is

public spaces open areas where all people can go

growing residential figures more and more people living there

social behavior how people act in public

migration moving

countryside rural areas

well documented covered a lot

century 100 years

trend pattern

no sign of abating not getting better

self-evident obvious

residents people living there

operating vehicles driving cars

interacting talking to

less self-conscious not worried about what others think

uniquely modern trend distinctly new

most apparent clearest

social media Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

comfortable feel good about

loudly very noisily

psychological shift change in thinking

drawback tradeoff

contribution adding to

realistic solutions practical fixes

adaptations changes

authorities those in charge

strongly believe really feel

countered fixed

dictates rules

human nature how people naturally are

attempting trying

ban prohibit

restrict residency numbers limit the number of people who can live there

in fact actually

engender create

greater problems bigger issues

make myriad minor adjustments do lots of little changes

structures objects

statues models of people and things

absorb contain

public transport buses, subways, etc.

softer padding not hard surfaces

bounce ricochet off of

steps stages

in terms of concerning

encourage motivate

spread out go to

lower density less full

minor solutions small fixes

in the aggregate altogether

meaningful valuable

populous lots of people living there

open free

remedied fixed

devise novel counters create new solutions

pressing important

Pronunciation

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

ˈpʌblɪk ˈeərɪəz 
kɔːzd baɪ 
ˈsɜːʤɪŋ 
ˈɜːbən ˌpɒpjʊˈleɪʃənz 
ˈʃɪftɪŋ ˈætɪtjuːdz 
ˈpɜːsnl speɪs 
bɛst səˈluːʃənz 
ɪnˈnɒvətɪv ˈɜːbən dɪˈzaɪn
ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ ˈriːznz 
nɔɪz ˈlɛvlz 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈspeɪsɪz 
ˈgrəʊɪŋ ˌrɛzɪˈdɛnʃəl ˈfɪgəz 
ˈsəʊʃəl bɪˈheɪvjə 
maɪˈgreɪʃən 
ˈkʌntrɪˌsaɪd 
wɛl ˈdɒkjʊmɛntɪd 
ˈsɛnʧʊri.
trɛnd 
nəʊ saɪn ɒv əˈbeɪtɪŋ 
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdənt 
ˈrɛzɪdənts 
ˈɒpəreɪtɪŋ ˈviːɪklz 
ˌɪntərˈæktɪŋ 
lɛs sɛlf-ˈkɒnʃəs
juːˈniːkli ˈmɒdən trɛnd 
məʊst əˈpærənt 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈmiːdiə
ˈkʌmf(ə)təbl 
ˈlaʊdli 
ˌsaɪkəˈlɒʤɪkəl ʃɪft 
ˈdrɔːbæk 
ˌkɒntrɪˈbjuːʃən 
rɪəˈlɪstɪk səˈluːʃənz 
ˌædæpˈteɪʃ(ə)nz 
ɔːˈθɒrɪtiz 
ˈstrɒŋli bɪˈliːv 
ˈkaʊntəd 
ˈdɪkteɪts 
ˈhjuːmən ˈneɪʧə
əˈtɛmptɪŋ 
bæn 
rɪsˈtrɪkt ˈrɛzɪdənsi ˈnʌmbəz 
ɪn fækt 
ɪnˈʤɛndə 
ˈgreɪtə ˈprɒbləmz
meɪk ˈmɪrɪəd ˈmaɪnər əˈʤʌstmənts
ˈstrʌkʧəz
ˈstætjuːz
əbˈsɔːb 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈtrænspɔːt
ˈsɒftə ˈpædɪŋ 
baʊns 
stɛps 
ɪn tɜːmz ɒv 
ɪnˈkʌrɪʤ 
sprɛd aʊt 
ˈləʊə ˈdɛnsɪti
ˈmaɪnə səˈluːʃənz 
ɪn ði ˈægrɪgɪt 
ˈmiːnɪŋfʊl
ˈpɒpjʊləs 
ˈəʊpən 
ˈrɛmɪdid 
dɪˈvaɪz ˈnɒvəl ˈkaʊntəz
ˈprɛsɪŋ

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:

P____________s in cities today are becoming increasingly noisy. In my opinion, this change is c__________y s_________g u___________________s and s__________________s to p_______________e. The b_______________s involve i_______________________n.

The u______________________s for higher n____________s in p___________s are g______________________s and changes in s_________________r. Firstly, the m_____________n of individuals from the c_____________e to cities has been w____________________d over the last c_________y. This t_______d shows n_________________g and it is s__________t that more r___________s talking, o_______________s, and i_____________g in public areas will create more noise. Moreover, people are now l________________s. This is a u_____________________d and is m_____________t on s_________________a. Most people are now c______________e making videos in public, taking photos, and talking l_________y on their phones. This p__________________________t has its benefits but one d___________k is the c___________n to noise levels.

The most r_______________________s are a____________s by the a_______________s. I s__________________e that the trends themselves cannot be c________________d since they follow the d__________s of h____________e. A____________g to b___n phones in public or r______________________________s in certain cities would i__________t e__________r g__________________s. Instead, governments can m______________________________s. Public spaces could include more s____________s, such as trees and s__________s, in order to a_________b sound. On p_______________t, there could be s__________________g so that sound does not b__________e and travel as far. There may also be s______s that could be taken i_____________f traffic and residential areas that would e__________e more s___________t cities with l_____________y. These are m_______________s to a large problem, however, their impact i__________________e would be m____________l.

In conclusion, although cities are becoming noisier as they become more p____________s and people are more o_____n today, this can be r____________d if authorities d______________________s. In the future, this issue will only become more p_________g.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.bksv.com/en/knowledge/blog/sound/noisiest-city-in-the-world

Speaking Practice

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

Noise

  1. Do you live in a noisy area?
  2. How often to do overhear other people’s conversations?
  3. Would you like to live in a quiter place?
  4. Where are the noisiest places in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Today, many people do not know their neighbors in large cities.

What problems does this cause?

What can be done about this?


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