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

The structure of the question is a little bit strange for IELTS but you can write your essay the same way: answer the question with a clear opinion and talk about 2 sides – that’s what I did.

Check out my online courses here and my writing correction service here.

Dave

Before reading, play the audio and take notes for extra listening practice:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Researching Medical Treatments

Research into medical treatments are essential to improve health and fight disease.

Who do you think should fund this research: individuals, private companies or governments?

Real Past IELTS Exam

It is indisputably important for researchers to develop new medical treatments in the battle against poor health and disease. In my opinion, this research should be funded primarily by governments and well-regulated private companies.

Governments are able to concentrate solely on public interests. They are indebted to tax-payers and have a responsibility to direct that money back into various services benefitting the nation at large. A good example of the important role governments play in medical services and treatments is the theory of disease originated by Louis Pasteur while working for the publicly funded University of Lille in France. It is unlikely he would have had the time or resources to conduct his experiments on his own and questionable if a private company would have recognised the commercial value of his work. Government funding functions much the same way today to fund medical projects without a clear path to profits but enormous importance for public health.

However, governments are notoriously slow-moving, under-funded and less innovative than private corporations. Companies are motivated to generate a profit, which pushes them to compete, innovate, and pay for the best minds in the field. Evidence for this is numerous and includes advances in surgical procedures, stem cell therapy, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, cancer research, and emergency medicine. Government funded projects and hospitals have a tendency to become complacent while private companies must innovate to excel. The risk, naturally, is that these companies will charge exorbitant costs and reserve the best medicine for select, wealthy clientele. Government regulation is therefore needed to keep these corporations in check.

In conclusion, the government plays a key role in medical research both as a creative body and a regulator. Private companies should not be vilified for their exploitation of health problems but they should be kept within clear limits.

Analysis

1. It is indisputably important for researchers to develop new medical treatments in the battle against poor health and disease. 2. In my opinion, this research should be funded primarily by governments and well-regulated private companies.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay.
  2. Write your opinion – directly answer the question.

1. Governments are able to concentrate solely on public interests. 2. They are indebted to tax-payers and have a responsibility to direct that money back into various services benefitting the nation at large. 3. A good example of the important role governments play in medical services and treatments is the theory of disease originated by Louis Pasteur while working for the publicly funded University of Lille in France. 4. It is unlikely he would have had the time or resources to conduct his experiments on his own and questionable if a private company would have recognised the commercial value of his work. 5. Government funding functions much the same way today to fund medical projects without a clear path to profits but enormous importance for public health.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Begin a specific example.
  4. Develop the example.
  5. Generalise and relate back to the overall question.

1. However, governments are notoriously slow-moving, under-funded and less innovative than private corporations. 2. Companies are motivated to generate a profit, which pushes them to compete, innovate, and pay for the best minds in the field. 3. Evidence for this is numerous and includes advances in surgical procedures, stem cell therapy, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, cancer research, and emergency medicine. 4. Government funded projects and hospitals have a tendency to become complacent while private companies must innovate to excel. 5. The risk, naturally, is that these companies will charge exorbitant costs and reserve the best medicine for select, wealthy clientele. 6. Government regulation is therefore needed to keep these corporations in check.

  1. Write your topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Give specific examples or support – the more specific the better.
  4. Continue to develop your main idea.
  5. Here I qualify the importance to be consistent with my overall opinion.
  6. Finish with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, the government plays a key role in medical research both as a creative body and a regulator. 2. Private companies should not be vilified for their exploitation of health problems but they should be kept within clear limits.

  1. Repeat your opinion and summarise your arguments.
  2. Finish summarising and conclude with a strong statement.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

It is indisputably important for researchers to develop new medical treatments in the battle against poor health and disease. In my opinion, this research should be funded primarily by governments and well-regulated private companies.

Governments are able to concentrate solely on public interests. They are indebted to tax-payers and have a responsibility to direct that money back into various services benefitting the nation at large. A good example of the important role governments play in medical services and treatments is theory of disease originated by Louis Pasteur while working for the publicly funded University of Lille in France. It is unlikely he would have had the time or resources to conduct his experiments on his own and questionable if a private company would have recognised the commercial value of his work. Government funding functions much the same way today to fund medical projects without a clear path to profits but enormous importance for public health.

However, governments are notoriously slow-moving, under-funded and less innovative than private corporations. Companies are motivated to generate a profit, which pushes them to compete, innovate, and pay for the best minds in the field. Evidence for this is numerous and includes advances in surgical procedures, stem cell therapy, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, cancer research, and emergency medicine. Government funded projects and hospitals have a tendency to become complacent while private companies must innovate to excel. The risk, naturally, is that these companies will charge exorbitant costs and reserve the best medicine for select, wealthy clientele. Government regulation is therefore needed to keep these corporations in check.

In conclusion, the government plays a key role in medical research both as a creative body and a regulator. Private companies should not be vilified for their exploitation of health problems but they should be kept within clear limits.

Answers

indisputably important definitely crucial

new medical treatments important medicine

battle fight

funded primarily by given money from

well-regulated private companies corporations limited by laws

concentrate solely focus only

public interests what citizens all need

indebted owing money to

tax-payers citizens

direct focus towards

back into returned to

benefitting for the good of

nation at large the whole country

important role crucial part

play (play a role is a collocation meaning to ‘have a role’)

medical services and treatments medicine to help/treat sicknesses and diseases

originated comes from

Louis Pasteur French scientist who created a theory of germs and made many important discoveries

publicly funded money from the government

unlikely probably won’t happen

conduct his experiments do his experiments/research

questionable dubious

recognised know about, realised

commercial value can make a profit

functions much the same way today works in the same method

without a clear path to profits no way to make money

enormous importance for public health a lot of value for everyone

notoriously slow-moving famously not fast

under-funded not enough money

innovative new ideas and products/services

generate a profit make money

pushes them to compete motivates rivalry

innovate revolutionise

best minds in the field smartest people in a subject

evidence support

numerous lots of

advances progress

surgical procedures operations

stem cell therapy a type of regenerative medicine

nutrition eating healthy

pharmaceuticals prescribed drugs

cancer research study into cancer

emergency medicine medicine for accidents or fast-acting medicine

tendency inclination

complacent settled, lazy

excel do really well

naturally organically

charge exorbitant costs must pay a lot of money

reserve hold for

select chosen (adjective)

wealthy clientele people with a lot of money

keep these corporations in check control companies

plays a key role has a lot to do with

creative body institutions that think of ideas

regulator controller

vilified turned to villains

exploitation take advantage of

kept within clear limits not allowed complete freedom

Pronunciation

Listen and repeat:

ˌɪndɪsˈpjuːtəbli ɪmˈpɔːtənt 
njuː ˈmɛdɪkəl ˈtriːtmənts 
ˈbætl 
ˈfʌndɪd ˈpraɪmərɪli baɪ 
wɛl-ˈrɛgjʊleɪtɪd ˈpraɪvɪt ˈkʌmpəniz 
ˈkɒnsəntreɪt ˈsəʊlli 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈɪntrɪsts 
ɪnˈdɛtɪd 
tæks-ˈpeɪəz 
dɪˈrɛkt 
bæk ˈɪntuː 
ˈbɛnɪfɪtɪŋ 
ˈneɪʃən æt lɑːʤ 
ɪmˈpɔːtənt rəʊl 
pleɪ 
ˈmɛdɪkəl ˈsɜːvɪsɪz ænd ˈtriːtmənts 
əˈrɪʤɪneɪtɪd 
ˈluːɪs pæˈstɜː 
ˈpʌblɪkli ˈfʌndɪd 
ʌnˈlaɪkli 
ˈkɒndʌkt hɪz ɪksˈpɛrɪmənts 
ˈkwɛsʧənəbl 
ˈrɛkəgnaɪzd 
kəˈmɜːʃəl ˈvæljuː 
ˈfʌŋkʃənz mʌʧ ðə seɪm weɪ təˈdeɪ 
wɪˈðaʊt ə klɪə pɑːθ tuː ˈprɒfɪts 
ɪˈnɔːməs ɪmˈpɔːtəns fɔː ˈpʌblɪk hɛlθ 
nəʊˈtɔːrɪəsli sləʊ-ˈmuːvɪŋ 
ˈʌndə-ˈfʌndɪd 
ɪnˈnɒvətɪv 
ˈʤɛnəreɪt ə ˈprɒfɪt 
ˈpʊʃɪz ðɛm tuː kəmˈpiːt 
ˈɪnəʊveɪt 
bɛst maɪndz ɪn ðə fiːld 
ˈɛvɪdəns 
ˈnjuːmərəs 
ədˈvɑːnsɪz 
ˈsɜːʤɪkəl prəˈsiːʤəz 
stɛm sɛl ˈθɛrəpi 
nju(ː)ˈtrɪʃən 
ˌfɑːməˈsjuːtɪkəlz 
ˈkænsə rɪˈsɜːʧ 
ɪˈmɜːʤənsi ˈmɛdsɪn 
ˈtɛndənsi 
kəmˈpleɪsnt 
ɪkˈsɛl 
ˈnæʧrəli 
ʧɑːʤ ɪgˈzɔːbɪtənt kɒsts 
rɪˈzɜːv 
sɪˈlɛkt 
ˈwɛlθi ˌkliːɑːnˈtɛl 
kiːp ðiːz ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃənz ɪn ʧɛk 
pleɪz ə kiː rəʊl 
kri(ː)ˈeɪtɪv ˈbɒdi 
ˈrɛgjʊleɪtə 
ˈvɪlɪfaɪd 
ˌɛksplɔɪˈteɪʃən 
kɛpt wɪˈðɪn klɪə ˈlɪmɪts 

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

It is i_________________________t for researchers to develop n_________________________s in the b__________e against poor health and disease. In my opinion, this research should be f_______________________y governments and w_______________________________s.

Governments are able to c___________________y on p___________________s. They are i______________d to t_______________s and have a responsibility to d______________t that money b_____________o various services b_____________g the n_________________e. A good example of the i_________________e governments p______y in m_______________________________s is the theory of disease o__________________d by L________________r while working for the p_____________________d University of Lille in France. It is u______________y he would have had the time or resources to c_________________________s on his own and q_________________e if a private company would have r_______________d the c___________________e of his work. Government funding f_________________________________y to fund medical projects w______________________________s but e______________________________________h.

However, governments are n________________________g, u________________d and less i_________________e than private corporations. Companies are motivated to g____________________t, which p______________________e, i_____________e, and pay for the b______________________d. E____________e for this is n______________s and includes a_____________s in s___________________s, s__________________y, n____________n, p______________________s, c___________________h, and e________________________e. Government funded projects and hospitals have a t_______________y to become c_______________t while private companies must innovate to e_______l. The risk, n____________y, is that these companies will c_________________________s and r_____________e the best medicine for s__________t, w__________________e. Government regulation is therefore needed to k___________________________k.

In conclusion, the government p____________________e in medical research both as a c________________y and a r______________r. Private companies should not be v___________d for their e__________________n of health problems but they should be k_______________________s.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Listen more about Louis Pasteur below:

Reading Practice

Read a story about research funding from The New York Times below:

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Health

How can people improve their physical health?

What about their mental health?

In what ways can teachers encourage students to do sports?

What is the role of doctors in raising health awareness?

Can social media also play a role?

Real IELTS Speaking Exam

Writing Practice

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

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

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam

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