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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay from the real IELTS exam on the topic of income inquality.

It’s a really interesting question because a lot of politicians have been talking about this recently.

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Before you read the sample answer, you can improve your listening by playing the audio before and taking some notes on the keywords/ideas and then reading the sample essay:

Sample Answer Essay: Income Inequality

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Income Inequality (Real Past IELTS Test/Exam)

Many believe that the best way to ensure a happier society is to reduce the difference in income earnings between the rich and poor.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

Class distinctions are an intrinsic element of human relations but many today worry over the drastically widening gap between rich and poor. In my opinion, in order to have a happy society there must be a more equal distribution of income.

The main reason that these economic reforms would make society happier is by diffusing personal frustrations. The less wealthy often feel resentful and insecure about their place in life. This has a number of symptoms ranging from relatively benign unhappiness to deep depression, and takes a collective toll on individuals, families and societies. In the most extreme examples, mass shootings in the United States are invariably undertaken by poor, white males who feel left behind economically. The net impact of lifting people out of poverty would be a boon to everyday families as well as society at large.

Furthermore, if people no longer had to stress and work themselves to the bone to make ends meet, new outlets to contribute more to society would open up. They could volunteer for a charity, if they have an altruistic bent, take up an art, spend more time being a dedicated family member, or even set aside time to try to innovate in their vocation. Small-scale parallels for this exist already in the form of scholarships given to underprivileged students who are then able to get degrees and contribute across a variety of disciplines to making society happier in general.

In conclusion, there is little doubt that in the 21st century income inequality has reached a level that causes extreme unrest among the general population and distributing capital more evenly would remedy this. Countries ought to look closely at recent proposals for a universal basic income.

Analysis

1. Class distinctions are an intrinsic element of human relations but many today worry over the drastically widening gap between rich and poor. 2. In my opinion, in order to have a happy society there must be a more equal distribution of income.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the essay first of all.
  2. Then include your overall opinion – make it 100% clear.

1. The main reason that these economic reforms would make society happier is by diffusing personal frustrations. 2. The less wealthy often feel resentful and insecure about their place in life. 3. This has a number of symptoms ranging from relatively benign unhappiness to deep depression, and takes a collective toll on individuals, families and societies. 4. In the most extreme examples, mass shootings in the United States are invariably undertaken by poor, white males who feel left behind economically. 5. The net impact of lifting people out of poverty would be a boon to everyday families as well as society at large.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a relevant main idea at the end of the sentence.
  2. Begin to explain/develop your main idea.
  3. Continue developing with as much specific detail as possible.
  4. Include a specific example if possible.
  5. Describe the effect/result of your main idea.

1. Furthermore, if people no longer had to stress and work themselves to the bone to make ends meet, new outlets to contribute more to society would open up. 2. They could volunteer for a charity, if they have an altruistic bent, take up an art, spend more time being a dedicated family member, or even set aside time to try to innovate in their vocation. 3. Small-scale parallels for this exist already in the form of scholarships given to underprivileged students who are then able to get degrees and contribute across a variety of disciplines to making society happier in general.

  1. Write a new topic sentence. My topic sentence here is a little too long – try to write a shorter, simpler topic sentence.
  2. Again include specific examples – the more specific, the better!
  3. Here I use a comparative example to support my main idea. This paragraph is only 3 sentences, aim for 4-5 in your own writing.

1. In conclusion, there is little doubt that in the 21st century income inequality has reached a level that causes extreme unrest among the general population and distributing capital more evenly would remedy this. 2. Countries ought to look closely at recent proposals for a universal basic income.

  1. Repeat your opinion and include some strong vocabulary/grammar at the end.
  2. Add in a final thought or extra detail to get full points for task achievement from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

Try to figure out what the words in bold below mean:

Class distinctions are an intrinsic element of human relations but many today worry over the drastically widening gap between rich and poor. In my opinion, in order to have a happy society there must be a more equal distribution of income.

The main reason that these economic reforms would make society happier is by diffusing personal frustrations. The less wealthy often feel resentful and insecure about their place in life. This has a number of symptoms ranging from relatively benign unhappiness to deep depression, and takes a collective toll on individuals, families and societies. In the most extreme examples, mass shootings in the United States are invariably undertaken by poor, white males who feel left behind economically. The net impact of lifting people out of poverty would be a boon to everyday families as well as society at large.

Furthermore, if people no longer had to stress and work themselves to the bone to make ends meet, new outlets to contribute more to society would open up. They could volunteer for a charity, if they have an altruistic bent, take up an art, spend more time being a dedicated family member, or even set aside time to try to innovate in their vocation. Small-scale parallels for this exist already in the form of scholarships given to underprivileged students who are then able to get degrees and contribute across a variety of disciplines to making society happier in general.

In conclusion, there is little doubt that in the 21st century income inequality has reached a level that causes extreme unrest among the general population and distributing capital more evenly would remedy this. Countries ought to look closely at recent proposals for a universal basic income.

Answers

class distinctions different levels of wealth

intrinsic element innate part

human relations human society

drastically widening gap getting larger very quickly

more equal distribution of income less disparity in wages

economic reforms changes to the economy

diffusing personal frustrations lessening the impact of annoyance with yourself

resentful anger towards others

insecure lacking confidence

place in life standing in life

symptoms results

relatively benign unhappiness comparatively not harmful feeling bad

deep depression feeling very sad

collective toll total drawbacks on everyone

most extreme examples outliers

mass shootings when lots of people get shot

invariably always

left behind economically stranded financially

net impact total effect

lifting people out of poverty helping poor people get richer

boon benefit

society at large all of society

work themselves to the bone to make ends meet work really hard to make enough money

new outlets novel avenues for

open up allow for

altruistic bent care about others over yourself

take up begin doing

dedicated passionate about

set aside time have free time to

innovate implement new ideas

vocation job

small-scale parallels comparisions

scholarships money to study

underprivileged poor

disciplines fields

extreme unrest strong discontent

distributing capital more evenly spreading money equally

remedy fix

recent proposals new ideas/regulations/laws

universal basic income salary for every citizen

Proununciation

klɑːs dɪsˈtɪŋkʃənz 
ɪnˈtrɪnsɪk ˈɛlɪmənt 
ˈhjuːmən rɪˈleɪʃənz 
ˈdræstɪk(ə)li ˈwaɪdnɪŋ gæp 
mɔːr ˈiːkwəl ˌdɪstrɪˈbjuːʃən ɒv ˈɪnkʌm
ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˌriːˈfɔːmz 
dɪˈfjuːzɪŋ ˈpɜːsnl frʌsˈtreɪʃənz
rɪˈzɛntfʊl 
ˌɪnsɪˈkjʊə 
pleɪs ɪn laɪf
ˈsɪmptəmz
ˈrɛlətɪvli bɪˈnaɪn ʌnˈhæpɪnəs 
diːp dɪˈprɛʃən
kɒˈlɛktɪv təʊl 
məʊst ɪksˈtriːm ɪgˈzɑːmplz
mæs ˈʃuːtɪŋz
ɪnˈveərɪəbli 
lɛft bɪˈhaɪnd ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪkəli
nɛt ˈɪmpækt 
ˈlɪftɪŋ ˈpiːpl aʊt ɒv ˈpɒvəti 
buːn 
səˈsaɪəti æt lɑːʤ
wɜːk ðəmˈsɛlvz tuː ðə bəʊn tuː meɪk ɛndz miːt
njuː ˈaʊtlɛts 
ˈəʊpən ʌp
ˌæltrʊˈɪstɪk bɛnt
teɪk ʌp 
ˈdɛdɪkeɪtɪd 
sɛt əˈsaɪd taɪm 
ˈɪnəʊveɪt 
vəʊˈkeɪʃən
smɔːl-skeɪl ˈpærəlɛlz 
ˈskɒləʃɪps 
ˌʌndəˈprɪvɪlɪʤd 
ˈdɪsɪplɪnz 
ɪksˈtriːm ʌnˈrɛst 
dɪsˈtrɪbju(ː)tɪŋ ˈkæpɪtl mɔːr ˈiːvənli 
ˈrɛmɪdi 
ˈriːsnt prəˈpəʊzəlz 
ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːsəl ˈbeɪsɪk ˈɪnkʌm

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

______________ are an ______________ of ______________ but many today worry over the ______________ between rich and poor. In my opinion, in order to have a happy society there must be a ______________.

The main reason that these ______________ would make society happier is by ______________. The less wealthy often feel ______________ and ______________ about their ______________. This has a number of ______________ ranging from ______________ to ______________, and takes a ______________ on individuals, families and societies. In the ______________, ______________ in the United States are ______________ undertaken by poor, white males who feel ______________. The ______________ of ______________ would be a ______________ to everyday families as well as ______________.

Furthermore, if people no longer had to stress and ______________, ______________ to contribute more to society would ______________. They could volunteer for a charity, if they have an ______________, ______________ an art, spend more time being a ______________ family member, or even ______________ to try to ______________ in their ______________. ______________ for this exist already in the form of ______________ given to ______________ students who are then able to get degrees and contribute across a variety of ______________ to making society happier in general.

In conclusion, there is little doubt that in the 21st century income inequality has reached a level that causes ______________ among the general population and ______________ would this. Countries ought to look closely at ______________ for a ______________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Obama’s an expert! Review the topic of income inequality with the video below:

Reading Practice

Further review with this article:

https://www.wired.com/story/the-paradox-of-universal-basic-income/

Comment any questions that you have about IELTS below!


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