Writing Task 2 | Essay Language Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

In this lesson we will analyse an IELTS writing task 2 essay on the topic of health, paying particular attention to prepositions, high level vocabulary and collocations.
Before we see the task and model answer, let’s study some common uses of prepositions.

do something for yourself

do something for others

good for | vegetables are good for your health

subject + be + adjective + for + noun | it is difficult for governments 

pay for | without these taxes it is difficult for governments to pay for improvements.

for example

Subject + be + adjective + to + verb

I am happy to see you

This information is good to know

tax on | increase the tax on sugar

burden on | reduce the burden on health services

spend on | money is often spent on unnecessary things

the number of + noun

the value of + noun

the percentage of + noun

the amount of + noun

use/implementation of | use of drugs is not recommended, implementation of the law is difficult

result in | changing the price resulted in an increase of sales

in order to | practice is important in order to get a high band score

in + future time | in 10 minutes

in + place | in my city

work with + noun | teachers must work with their students for best results

Now complete the exercise below. Drag the prepositions into the gaps. Use the full-screen option (see the bottom right corner of the exercise) to see the exercise clearly.
An increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of eating too much fast food. It is therefore important for governments to impose a higher tax on this kind of food.

To what extent do you agree with this opinion?

Great job if you got more than 70% right! If you got some wrong, go back and review the correct answers to help you remember for the future. Next let's analyse the band 9 response.

Analysis of the Text

Answer the questions below, then click on the questions to see our answers.
1. How many sentences are there in the introduction?
​There are two. The first states the topic. The second gives the writer’s opinion (thesis statement). A good tip is to keep the introduction very short.
2. What is the main idea of the first body paragraph?
The main idea of the paragraph is how taxing fast food can be beneficial.
3. What example is used to support the idea?
​The writer gives the example of the smoking tax and how it has reduced smoking.
4. What is the main idea of the second paragraph?
​The main idea of the second paragraph is that not taxing fast food costs the taxpayer a lot of money and overburdens the national health service.
5. What does the writer suggest could be done with the revenue from the tax?
​The writer suggests that the money could be spent on promoting healthy eating. The writer gives two examples. First that it could be spent on educating children about nutrition and second that it could be used to teach them how to cook healthy food.
6. How many sentences are there in the conclusion?
​There are two sentences in the conclusion. The first summarises the writers two main points. The second adds a comment as to why we have not yet seen the tax being implemented. A good tip is for the final sentence of an opinion essay to be a comment such as a prediction or suggestion.
Now let's move on to the high level vocabulary used in the text.


​While preparing for the test you should be trying to learn 10 to 15 new words a week. Let’s have a look at some interesting vocabulary which the writer used in the essay.

For each word, select the meaning. There are 5 words.​

Great job. Now lets move on to collocations (words that like to be together).


Using a range of collocations accurately is necessary for a higher band.

Match the two halves of the collocations. If you don’t know the meaning of a collocation then check the meanings below the activity.
Click to see the meanings
​(verb) Break a habit – to stop a habit
(verb) Decrease the burden - to make something less heavy or difficult
(noun) Steep rise – something that goes up suddenly
​(verb) Fall drastically – something that goes down suddenly
​(verb) Apply the same logic – to think in the same way

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