Writing Task 2 | Essay Language Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Sam and I often mark essays that are well written in terms of the grammar and vocabulary but the main ideas are not relevant (not directly connected) to the question that was asked. It is impossible to receive a good band for task achievement if your ideas are not relevant. Today’s post will:

Help you identify 2 different question types.
Help you spot irrelevant ideas.
Help you to plan your essay.

Show a model band 9 answer.


​​Read the following IELTS writing Task 2 question (see the model answer after the exercise).

Companies should provide sports and social facilities for local communities.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

To answer this type of question, you must give your opinion about the topic. If you wish, you may include contrasting opinions but you don’t have to.

Let’s decide if the following ideas are relevant to the IELTS task. Use this interactive activity to select relevant if the idea is directly connected to the task or irrelevant if it is not. When you finish, click ‘Get Score’ to check your answers. If you go an answer wrong, think about why you are wrong. If you are still unsure, you can leave a comment in the comments section at the bottom of the page and we will reply as soon as we can.


1. These facilities will improve the lives of locals and so improve the image of the company in the community.
2. Office workers are recommended to stand up and move around at least once every hour in order to stay healthy in the workplace.
3. Companies have a responsibility to the communities they are situated in and so should contribute towards maintaining public facilities
4. Many larger companies these days have on-site sports facilities which their staff can use.
5. Many companies are too small to be able to pay for public sports or social facilities.
6. I would like to work for a company that provides the local community with sport or social facilities.
7. Companies pay tax so they shouldn’t be expected to pay for facilities from their own pockets.
8. In some countries, companies sponsor public areas such as beaches or parks, and so they are allowed to advertise in these spaces.

Our Model Answer


Here is our band 9 model answer. Can you find any of the ideas from the exercise above in this answer?

Companies should provide sports and social facilities for local communities. Open for the model answer.

There is a lot of debate about who should pay for recreational facilities in communities. Although some people believe the business sector should provide these facilities, it is my opinion that this is the role of government.

Some people think that companies should do more to support local communities. By providing sports and social facilities, it is argued that companies can directly benefit communities. Sports facilities will mean the local people are healthier and social facilities will provide meeting places and cultural attractions which will enrich people’s lives. However, it is likely that companies will see this as a way to advertise and may build facilities simply to improve the image of their brand.

Personally, I believe that the government should be responsible for providing recreational facilities. If they are provided by the government, facilities can be advertising free, aimed solely at improving life in the community. Taxes on businesses could be used to fund these facilities, but the building and maintenance should be carried out by the government. All local businesses could be taxed, which would be more effective than just a few companies providing facilities. This solution provides facilities that will improve the community and are paid for by the business sector.

In conclusion, it is important that public facilities remain advertising free and so I believe it is better for the government to provide recreational facilities which could be funded by taxes on businesses. Before the government decides what to build in each area, local communities must be consulted to see what they really need and want.

260 words


Now let’s see if you can do the same with a different question type. ​​Read the following IELTS writing task 2 question.

Some people believe that public health is the responsibility of the government while others think that people should be responsible for their own health.

Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

​To answer this type of question, you must give two different sides of the argument and say what your opinion is.

Decide if the following ideas are relevant to the question above.


1. The government should use tax money to educate the population about health issues.
2. Some people feel like the state has no right to tell them how to live their life and that each individual should be entirely responsible for his/her health and that of his/her family.
3. Many diseases are becoming resistant to antibiotics and this could create an extremely dangerous situation in the future.
4. Since governments started investing more in public health from the mid nineteenth century onwards, we have seen untold millions of lives saved and many once dangerous diseases eradicated.
5. Antivaxers are of the opinion that government health programs such as children’s vaccinations do more harm than good as they can lead to autism, however, there is no real science to base this belief on.
6. Many people who think the government should be involved in health care also believe that the government should pay more towards the education system.
7. I have never thought about this topic before so I don’t have an opinion about it.
8. In a situation where people have access to all the facts about diet and smoking yet choose to live unhealthy lives, the taxpayer shouldn’t be expected to pay for medicine and hospital visits.

How did you do? Write your 250+ answer to the task above. Time yourself – no more than 40 minutes. You should follow this simple 3 step plan.

Step 1
Brainstorm ideas and plan the structure of your essay – 5 to 10 minutes.
For each main idea you think of, make sure you think of supporting ideas and evidence to include. People who don’t brainstorm and plan generally write bad essays.

Step 2
Write the essay – 20 to 30 minutes.
You have your structure and ideas ready from step 1 so this shouldn’t take too long to do.

Step 3
Check for errors – 5 to 10 minutes.
Check for punctuation, spelling and grammar errors.

Use this timer to practice.


A new lesson guides you through the steps to write a complete essay, based on the task below:

A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important.’

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Begin our new task 2 presentation lesson.