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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of whether governments should direct more funding towards medical or environmental research.

It’s a good topic to practice with because it focuses on two common IELTS topics: medicine and the environment.

See what I did below and be sure to learn more about my online courses here and my writing corrections service here.

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio for extra practice:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Medical Research

Governments should spend more money on medical research and less on researching the environment.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many believe governments today should prioritise funding for medicine over environmental studies. In my opinion, learning more about the environment is one way to inform policy regarding climate change but more money should be directed towards medical research.

Those advocating for increased focus on the environment are eager to understand and counter the effects of climate change. There is arguably no greater threat facing the future of human civilisation than a degrading natural world. At the moment, billions are being poured into studies to understand how fast the polar ice caps are melting, what the impact will be, the damage to ecosystems, the interrelation between humans and these delicate ecosystems as well as the role of fossil fuels in aggravating climate change. There are wildly different theories about all these areas and some think the best utilisation of research grants is to give scientists free rein to study and collaborate in the hope of coming to a stronger consensus, which can then shape international accords and domestic policy decisions.

Despite the force of the above argument, I believe health is a more tangible and pressing concern. There is constant disagreement from climate scientists and it is unclear if increased funding would be a remedy or injury. Health research is unequivocally positive. Some of the many advances in health from the last several decades include increased understanding of mental illness, less invasive procedures for surgery, better vaccines, and countless new iterations of advanced medical equipment. These are all put into practice immediately and save or better lives in every country around the world. More money for research now would open up possibilities for new medical innovations that could involve experimentation with genetic modification and greater understanding of disease prevention.

In conclusion, making sense of climate change is important but nothing is more essential than one’s health. Governments ought to find ways to balance these competing interests but also be mindful of what most benefits their present citizenry.

Analysis

1. Many believe governments today should prioritise funding for medicine over environmental studies. 2. In my opinion, learning more about the environment is one way to inform policy regarding climate change but more money should be directed towards medical research.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the whole essay.
  2. Write a clear opinion.

1. Those advocating for increased focus on the environment are eager to understand and counter the effects of climate change. 2. There is arguably no greater threat facing the future of human civilisation than a degrading natural world. 3. At the moment, billions are being poured into studies to understand how fast the polar ice caps are melting, what the impact will be, the damage to ecosystems, the interrelation between humans and these delicate ecosystems as well as the role of fossil fuels in aggravating climate change. 4. There are wildly different theories about all these areas and some think the best utilisation of research grants is to give them free rein to study and collaborate in the hope of coming to a stronger consensus, which can then shape international accords and domestic policy decisions.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end of it.
  2. Explain/develop the idea.
  3. Make your support as specific and clear as possible.
  4. State the results and the reasons to support your original main idea.

1. Despite the force of the above argument, I believe health is a more tangible and pressing concern. 2. There is constant disagreement from climate scientists and it is unclear if increased funding would be a remedy or injury. 3. Health research is unequivocally positive. 4. Some of the many advances in health from the last several decades include increased understanding of mental illness, less invasive procedures for surgery, better vaccines, and countless new iterations of advanced medical equipment. 5. These are all put into practice immediately and save or better lives in every country around the world. 6. More money for research now would open up possibilities for new medical innovations that could involve experimentation with genetic modification and greater understanding of disease prevention.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Here I start with a counter-example to make it clear why this is my opinion.
  3. I transition to why health is important.
  4. I inclue a lot of specific detail related to health advances.
  5. Then I state why these advances are so important.
  6. Conclude your paragraph with more support – no need for summary.

1. In conclusion, making sense of climate change is important but nothing is more essential than one’s health. 2. Governments ought to find ways to balance these competing interests but also be mindful of what most benefits their present citizenry.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Include a final thought/detail for full marks from the examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many believe governments today should prioritise funding for medicine over environmental studies. In my opinion, learning more about the environment is one way to inform policy regarding climate change but more money should be directed towards medical research.

Those advocating for increased focus on the environment are eager to understand and counter the effects of climate change. There is arguably no greater threat facing the future of human civilisation than a degrading natural world. At the moment, billions are being poured into studies to understand how fast the polar ice caps are melting, what the impact will be, the damage to ecosystems, the interrelation between humans and these delicate ecosystems as well as the role of fossil fuels in aggravating climate change. There are wildly different theories about all these areas and some think the best utilisation of research grants is to give researchers free rein to study and collaborate in the hope of coming to a stronger consensus, which can then shape international accords and domestic policy decisions.

Despite the force of the above argument, I believe health is a more tangible and pressing concern. There is constant disagreement among climate scientists and it is unclear if increased funding would be a remedy or injury. Health research is unequivocally positive. Some of the many advances in health from the last several decades include increased understanding of mental illness, less invasive procedures for surgery, better vaccines, and countless new iterations of advanced medical equipment. These are all put into practice immediately and save or better lives in every country around the world. More money for research now would open up possibilities for new medical innovations that could involve experimentation with genetic modification and greater understanding of disease prevention.

In conclusion, making sense of climate change is important but nothing is more essential than one’s health. Governments ought to find ways to balance these competing interests but also be mindful of what most benefits their present citizenry.

Answers

prioritise make more important

medicine health related study

environmental studies learning about the natural world

inform policy regarding climate change help shape/make better decisions about global warming

directed towards focused on

advocating in favour of

increased focus more emphasis

eager excited for

counter argue against

arguably no greater threat facing probably nothing more pressing

degrading natural world hurting the environment

poured put into

how fast the polar ice caps are melting the speed with which icebergs are disappearing

damage injury

ecosystems plants and animals interacting with their environment

interrelation interaction

delicate ecosystems fragile environments

role part to play in

fossil fuels oil, gas

aggravating climate change making the environment worse

wildly different theories many different ideas

utilisation use

research grants money to study

give researchers free rein allow them to study whatever they want

collaborate work together

in the hope of with the goal of

coming to a stronger consensus agreeing on

shape international accords influence international agreements

domestic policy decisions a country’s laws

Despite the force of the above argument nonetheless

tangible real impact

pressing concern important problem

constant disagreement never agree on

climate scientists researchers looking into global warming

unclear equivocal

increased funding more money for

remedy fix

injury hurt

unequivocally positive definitely good

last several decades 30 or so years

increased understanding of mental illness more knowledge on mental disorders

less invasive procedures for surgery not have to cut into a person as much

vaccines shot to make you immune to a disease

countless new iterations many new versions

put into practice immediately used right away

open up possibilities allow for

new medical innovations new ideas in health

experimentation trying out ideas

genetic modification changing your genes/biology

disease prevention stopping illnesses

making sense of understanding

nothing is more essential than the most important thing is

balance equality

competing interests forces in conflict

mindful aware of

what most benefits their present citizenry the biggest advantage for all people of a country

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
ˈmɛdsɪn 
ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmɛntl ˈstʌdiz
ɪnˈfɔːm ˈpɒlɪsi rɪˈgɑːdɪŋ ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ 
dɪˈrɛktɪd təˈwɔːdz 
ˈædvəkeɪtɪŋ 
ɪnˈkriːst ˈfəʊkəs 
ˈiːgə 
ˈkaʊntə 
ˈɑːgjʊəbli nəʊ ˈgreɪtə θrɛt ˈfeɪsɪŋ 
dɪˈgreɪdɪŋ ˈnæʧrəl wɜːld
pɔːd 
haʊ fɑːst ðə ˈpəʊlər aɪs ˈkæps ɑː ˈmɛltɪŋ
ˈdæmɪʤ 
ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəmz
ˌɪntə(ː)rɪˈleɪʃən 
ˈdɛlɪkɪt ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəmz 
rəʊl 
ˈfɒsl fjʊəlz 
ˈægrəveɪtɪŋ ˈklaɪmɪt ʧeɪnʤ
ˈwaɪldli ˈdɪfrənt ˈθɪəriz 
ˌjuːtɪlaɪˈzeɪʃən 
rɪˈsɜːʧ grɑːnts 
gɪv rɪˈsɜːʧəz friː reɪn 
kəˈlæbəreɪt 
ɪn ðə həʊp ɒv 
ˈkʌmɪŋ tuː ə ˈstrɒŋgə kənˈsɛnsəs
ʃeɪp ˌɪntə(ː)ˈnæʃənl əˈkɔːdz 
dəʊˈmɛstɪk ˈpɒlɪsi dɪˈsɪʒənz
dɪsˈpaɪt ðə fɔːs ɒv ði əˈbʌv ˈɑːgjʊmənt
ˈtænʤəbl 
ˈprɛsɪŋ kənˈsɜːn
ˈkɒnstənt ˌdɪsəˈgriːmənt 
ˈklaɪmɪt ˈsaɪəntɪsts 
ʌnˈklɪə 
ɪnˈkriːst ˈfʌndɪŋ 
ˈrɛmɪdi 
ˈɪnʤəri
ˌʌnɪˈkwɪvəkəli ˈpɒzətɪv
lɑːst ˈsɛvrəl ˈdɛkeɪdz 
ɪnˈkriːst ˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ ɒv ˈmɛntl ˈɪlnɪs
lɛs ɪnˈveɪsɪv prəˈsiːʤəz fɔː ˈsɜːʤəri
ˈvæksiːnz
ˈkaʊntlɪs njuː ˌɪtəˈreɪʃənz 
pʊt ˈɪntuː ˈpræktɪs ɪˈmiːdiətli 
ˈəʊpən ʌp ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪtiz 
njuː ˈmɛdɪkəl ˌɪnəʊˈveɪʃənz 
ɛksˌpɛrɪmɛnˈteɪʃən 
ʤɪˈnɛtɪk ˌmɒdɪfɪˈkeɪʃən 
dɪˈziːz prɪˈvɛnʃən
ˈmeɪkɪŋ sɛns ɒv 
ˈnʌθɪŋ ɪz mɔːr ɪˈsɛnʃəl ðæn 
ˈbæləns 
kəmˈpiːtɪŋ ˈɪntrɪsts 
ˈmaɪndfʊl 
wɒt məʊst ˈbɛnɪfɪts ðeə ˈprɛznt ˈsɪtɪznri

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many believe governments today should p_____________e funding for m_____________e over e_________________________s. In my opinion, learning more about the environment is one way to i____________________________________e but more money should be d________________________s medical research.

Those a___________________g for i_______________________s on the environment are e______________r to understand and c_____________r the effects of climate change. There is a_______________________________g the future of human civilisation than a d__________________________d. At the moment, billions are being p__________________d into studies to understand h_____________________________________g, what the impact will be, the d____________e to e________________s, the i______________________n between humans and these d_____________________s as well as the r________e of f___________________s in a____________________________e. There are w________________________s about all these areas and some think the best u__________________n of r_____________________s is to g_____________________________n to study and c_______________e i_______________f c_______________________s, which can then s__________________________s and d________________________s.

D_______________________________________t, I believe health is a more t____________e and p______________________n. There is c___________________________t among c_____________________s and it is u_____________r if i____________________g would be a r_____________y or i__________y. Health research is u_______________________e. Some of the many advances in health from the l________________________s include i__________________________________s, l_______________________________y, better v____________s, and c_______________________s of advanced medical equipment. These are all p____________________________________y and save or better lives in every country around the world. More money for research now would o_______________________s for n___________________________s that could involve e_____________________n with g_________________________n and greater understanding of d_______________________n.

In conclusion, m________________________f climate change is important but n_________________________n one’s health. Governments ought to find ways to b_____________e these c_____________________s but also be m___________l of w______________________________________________y.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Learn about some real-life medical researchers at Mass General:

Reading Practice

Read about genetic engineering here:

https://www.wired.com/story/scientists-take-a-harder-look-at-genetic-engineering-of-human-embryos/

Speaking Practice

Talk about the health-related topic of walking below from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Walking

Do you go places on foot a lot?

Did you walk more when you were younger?

Why do some people prefer walking to driving a car?

Do people in your country walk a lot?

Real Past IELTS Exam

Writing Practice

Write about the following topic related to the environment and then check with my sample answer:

The increase in the production of consumer goods results in damage to the natural environment.

What are the causes of this?

What can be done to solve this problem?

Real Past IELTS Exam

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