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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of banning mobile phones in public from the real IELTS exam.

Here is a similar question from the exam on mobile phones.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Banning Mobile Phones in Public Places

Many people think that mobile phones should be banned in public places such as libraries, shops and public transport.

Do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam Essay

There have been recent calls for the regulation of mobile phones in public areas. In my opinion, though this would have a positive effect on social interactions, a complete ban is unrealistic and impractical.

Those in favour of such sweeping reforms can point to reduced communication in society. Look inside any public space, whether it be a library, a store, a bus, or a park, and most likely the majority of individuals will be staring at their phones. This stands in stark contrast to the days before smartphones when people had to resort to talking to each other, or, at worst, reading a book to curb social anxiety. In the last two decades, mobiles have greatly reduced chance encounters, potential friendships, and conversations with both strangers and friends. The long-term effects of this are still unknown but it is safe to say that future generations will be less sociable and dynamic and more isolated and passive.

Nonetheless, banning phones in public is purely theoretical as they have become indispensable. Most jobs require employees to either be available by phone, for example doctors and police officers, or to use their phones throughout the day, as is common with businessmen and lawyers. This means most people must have their phone on them in public places for work reasons. Moreover, phone addiction has reached a point where nearly everyone in public is either messaging, playing a game, reading the news, or scrolling through social media. These have become important escapes for individuals and serve the practical purpose of minimising boredom during breaks and while waiting. Phones are therefore no longer a luxury but a key ingredient in daily life.

In conclusion, despite the impact of phones on social interaction, I believe a ban would interfere too much with ingrained habits. It is instead the responsibility of individuals to police their own behaviour.

Analysis

1. There have been recent calls for the regulation of mobile phones in public areas. 2. In my opinion, though this would have a positive effect on social interactions, a complete ban is unrealistic and impractical.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic. Read about introductions here.
  2. Write a clear opinion – don’t sit in the middle. Include your main ideas if possible.

1. Those in favour of such sweeping reforms can point to reduced communication in society. 2. Look inside any public space, whether it be a library, a store, a bus, or a park, and most likely the majority of individuals will be staring at their phones. 3. This stands in stark contrast to the days before smartphones when people had to resort to talking to each other, or, at worst, reading a book to curb social anxiety. 4. In the last two decades, mobiles have greatly reduced chance encounters, potential friendships, and conversations with both strangers and friends. 5. The long-term effects of this are still unknown but it is safe to say that future generations will be less sociable and dynamic and more isolated and passive.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain or begin to develop your main idea.
  3. Making a comparison to the past is a good way to develop your idea.
  4. Include specific details.
  5. State the final results and don’t switch to a new main idea.

1. Nonetheless, banning phones in public is purely theoretical as they have become indispensable. 2. Most jobs require employees to either be available by phone, for example doctors and police officers, or to use their phones throughout the day, as is common with businessmen and lawyers. 3. This means most people must have their phone on them in public places for work reasons. 4. Moreover, phone addiction has reached a point where nearly everyone in public is either messaging, playing a game, reading the news, or scrolling through social media. 5. These have become important escapes for individuals and serve the practical purpose of minimising boredom during breaks and while waiting. 6. Phones are therefore no longer a luxury but a key ingredient in daily life.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new clear main idea.
  2. Begin developing your idea.
  3. State the results.
  4. If you switch to another idea, be sure it is related to your topic sentence.
  5. Explain/develop your ideas fully.
  6. Finish with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, despite the impact of phones on social interaction, I believe a ban would interfere too much with ingrained habits. 2. It is instead the responsibility of individuals to police their own behaviour.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final detail/thought. Read about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

There have been recent calls for the regulation of mobile phones in public areas. In my opinion, though this would have a positive effect on social interactions, a complete ban is unrealistic and impractical.

Those in favour of such sweeping reforms can point to reduced communication in society. Look inside any public space, whether it be a library, a store, a bus, or a park, and most likely the majority of individuals will be staring at their phones. This stands in stark contrast to the days before smartphones when people had to resort to talking to each other, or, at worst, reading a book to curb social anxiety. In the last two decades, mobiles have greatly reduced chance encounters, potential friendships, and conversations with both strangers and friends. The long-term effects of this are still unknown but it is safe to say that future generations will be less sociable and dynamic and more isolated and passive.

Nonetheless, banning phones in public is purely theoretical as they have become indispensable. Most jobs require employees to either be available by phone, for example doctors and police officers, or to use their phones throughout the day, as is common with businessmen and lawyers. This means most people must have their phone on them in public places for work reasons. Moreover, phone addiction has reached a point where nearly everyone in public is either messaging, playing a game, reading the news, or scrolling through social media. These have become important escapes for individuals and serve the practical purpose of minimising boredom during breaks and while waiting. Phones are therefore no longer a luxury but a key ingredient in daily life.

In conclusion, despite the impact of phones on social interaction, I believe a ban would interfere too much with ingrained habits. It is instead the responsibility of individuals to police their own behaviour.

Answers

recent calls people asking for

regulation rules about

public areas libraries, parks, etc.

positive effect good impact

social interactions talking to people

complete ban totally restricting

unrealistic not likely

impractical can’t really happen

in favour of preferring

sweeping reforms big changes

reduced communication less talking to each other

public space outside the home

whether it be if it is… or

most likely often

majority most of

staring looking at

stands in stark contrast to big difference to

resort have to use

at worst worst case scenario

curb social anxiety be calm in public

greatly reduced chance encounters much fewer opportunities for new meetings

potential friendships possible relationships

long-term effects how things will be impacted in the future

unknown still up in the air

it is safe to say that will likely be true that

less sociable not as friendly

dynamic active, malleable

isolated alone

passive not active

purely theoretical only works in theory/as an idea

indispensable can’t be given up

available always on call

as is common with can be seen in

have their phone on them always available

phone addiction can’t stop using a phone

reached a point finally arrived at

scrolling looking through

escapes getaway from

serve the practical purpose have value because

minimising boredom reducing feeling bored

luxury extravagance

key ingredient essential component

interfere get in the way of

ingrained habits can’t change behaviour

police verb of police meaning ‘control’

Pronunciation

ˈriːsnt kɔːlz 
ˌrɛgjʊˈleɪʃən 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈeərɪəz
ˈpɒzətɪv ɪˈfɛkt 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˌɪntərˈækʃənz
kəmˈpliːt bæn 
ˌʌnrɪəˈlɪstɪk 
ɪmˈpræktɪkəl
ɪn ˈfeɪvər ɒv 
ˈswiːpɪŋ ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
rɪˈdjuːst kəˌmjuːnɪˈkeɪʃən 
ˈpʌblɪk speɪs
ˈwɛðər ɪt biː 
məʊst ˈlaɪkli 
məˈʤɒrɪti 
ˈsteərɪŋ 
stændz ɪn stɑːk ˈkɒntrɑːst tuː 
rɪˈzɔːt 
æt wɜːst
kɜːb ˈsəʊʃəl æŋˈzaɪəti
ˈgreɪtli rɪˈdjuːst ʧɑːns ɪnˈkaʊntəz
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈfrɛndʃɪps 
ˈlɒŋtɜːm ɪˈfɛkts 
ʌnˈnəʊn 
ɪt ɪz seɪf tuː seɪ ðæt 
lɛs ˈsəʊʃəbl 
daɪˈnæmɪk 
ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd 
ˈpæsɪv.
ˈpjʊəli θɪəˈrɛtɪkəl 
ˌɪndɪsˈpɛnsəbl
əˈveɪləbl 
æz ɪz ˈkɒmən wɪð 
hæv ðeə fəʊn ɒn ðɛm 
fəʊn əˈdɪkʃ(ə)n 
riːʧt ə pɔɪnt 
ˈskrəʊlɪŋ 
ɪsˈkeɪps 
sɜːv ðə ˈpræktɪkəl ˈpɜːpəs 
ˈmɪnɪmaɪzɪŋ ˈbɔːdəm 
ˈlʌkʃəri 
kiː ɪnˈgriːdiənt 
ˌɪntəˈfɪə 
ɪnˈgreɪnd ˈhæbɪts
pəˈliːs 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

There have been r_________________s for the r_______________n of mobile phones in p________________s. In my opinion, though this would have a p_________________t on s____________________s, a c________________n is u________________c and i________________l.

Those i_________________f such s___________________s can point to r____________________________n in society. Look inside any p_________________e, w__________________e a library, a store, a bus, or a park, and m________________y the m______________y of individuals will be s______________g at their phones. This s___________________________o the days before smartphones when people had to r___________t to talking to each other, or, a___________t, reading a book to c___________________y. In the last two decades, mobiles have g________________________________s, p__________________________s, and conversations with both strangers and friends. The l____________________s of this are still u______________n but i___________________________t future generations will be l__________________e and d_______________c and more i_____________d and p_____________e.

Nonetheless, banning phones in public is p____________________l as they have become i____________________e. Most jobs require employees to either be a_________________e by phone, for example doctors and police officers, or to use their phones throughout the day, a____________________h businessmen and lawyers. This means most people must h_________________________m in public places for work reasons. Moreover, p_____________________n has r______________________t where nearly everyone in public is either messaging, playing a game, reading the news, or s_______________g through social media. These have become important e_____________s for individuals and s____________________________e of m______________________m during breaks and while waiting. Phones are therefore no longer a l______________y but a k____________________t in daily life.

In conclusion, despite the impact of phones on social interaction, I believe a ban would i________________e too much with i______________________s. It is instead the responsibility of individuals to p_____________e their own behaviour.

Listening Practice

Watch the related video about a phone ban in schools below:

Reading Practice

Read about how phones may or may not have ruined a generation below:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following topic from the real IELTS part 2 speaking exam:

Talk about a time you could not use your phone

IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic from the exam and check with my sample answer below:

Some people believe that smartphones are destroying social interaction today.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam

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