IELTS Essay Topics - Types, Format, Tips


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 10:51 AM IST

The IELTS Writing section is a 60-minute test with two tasks: task 1 and task 2. Task 2 requires applicants to write a 250-word essay on a topic assigned by the examiners. This work is graded on a host of factors, including word count, vocabulary, grammar, and more.

IELTS Essay Topics - Types, Format, Tips

International English Language Proficiency Testing System (IELTS) is an acclaimed English proficiency test that is taken by students where English is not their country's official language. Whether you are considering studying abroad or intend to settle there, you must pass proficiency exams such as the IELTS as part of your visa and university requirements.

You will be assessed on four core skills in the IELTS exam: writing, reading, listening and speaking. Writing is contemplated as the most difficult of the four sections, with lengthy essay questions that can be perplexing. Task 2 requires you to draft an informal essay in response to a statement in the IELTS writing section.

Writing Task 2 requires you to write a 250-word essay in 40 minutes. You are expected to write in response to an argument, point of view, or a problem presented on the topic. IELTS writing task 2 essay assesses ones grammar, writing ability, vocabulary, reasoning abilities, concepts, and analytical thinking.

You will be given a topic and asked to respond by expressing and defending an opinion, addressing a topic, summarising details, describing challenges, and offering viable solutions. Using reasons, justifications, and relevant examples from your knowledge or experience, you have to support your opinion or your take on the topic.

We have helped hundreds of students to get admission in their desired universities abroad. 

Get Expert Help in Getting Admission Abroad!

Types of IELTS Essays

IELTS essay writing topics are frequently divided into different sections. Questions can be presented in a variety of tricky ways, making it difficult to discern what kind of essay it is and what is expected from the candidate. Therefore, it is critical to understand all of the IELTS essay patterns, writing task 2 IELTS topics, types and forms. Let us check out some types of essays in the IELTS exam:

Discussion Essays

Discussion essays are also known as argumentative essays. As evident from the name, candidates are required to provide a reason for or against their take on the given topic. This type of essay is quite popular in the IELTS exam. Check out some tips to answer the IELTS discussion essay:

  • Only provide your opinion if the task specifically asks for it.

  • Acknowledge both sides.

  • Find points of agreement across both sides.

Opinion Essays

For opinion essays, you must discuss your viewpoint on the specified topic. Naturally, having a prior understanding of prevalent IELTS essay topics is the ideal method to achieve good scores in such essays. Apart from this, you can follow these tips for IELTS opinion essays:

  • Express your thoughts clearly.

  • Spend at least five minutes analysing the language and concepts in the statement.

  • Stay consistent with your point of view throughout your essay.

  • Ensure your response is comprehensive and covers all aspects of the question.

Solution Essays

In such essays, candidates must propose a solution to a specific problem or cause. You may be asked why a given situation occurred, and you would have to provide your perspective as the answer. You can check these tips to answer an IELTS solution essay:

  • Pay attention to the instructions; you must provide either only solutions or both causes and solutions.

  • Make use of the flexible language of cause and effect.

  • Plan your key points and supportive points ahead of time.

  • Place the causes in one paragraph and the answers in the next.

Direct Question Essays

The subjects for this type of essay will be given to you as a direct question that you must respond to based on your perceptions and perspectives. Two-question essays is another term for these types of essays (although you may get more than two questions). These tips will help you tackle the IELTS direct question essay:

  • Spend time thinking about the responses to the questions.

  • Each question should be answered in its body paragraph.

  • As an answer, each question must include one primary point.

Advantage or Disadvantage Essays

You must write about the good and bad aspects of a topic in this sort of essay. Such essays put your argument-building skills to the test. It also tests your ability to use English to convey messages as clearly and logically as possible. Following these tips will help you answer the IELTS advantage or disadvantage essay:

  • Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the given statement.

  • Put all of your advantages in one paragraph, and disadvantages in another.

  • Ensure that you have sufficient supporting evidence.

Here are some helpful pages to guide first-time IELTS aspirants:

How to Crack IELTS in First Attempt?

How to Get 8-Bands in IELTS?

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Preparing for IELTS

What are the benefits of IELTS Coaching?

Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS

How Much Time is Required to Prepare for IELTS?

Common IELTS Essay Topics With Subtopics

You should practise coming up with ideas for all of the popular IELTS essay topics so that you can complete your essay within the time restriction. The content of the essays frequently remains the same, even though the essay questions change. Each topic has subtopics for which you should prepare. The following is a list of the 20 most common IELTS essay topics with subtopics that appear in writing task 2:

Art (5 essay questions)

  • Art at school

  • Benefits of art for individuals and society

  • Censorship of art and artists

  • Creativity

  • Funding

Business & Money (17 essay questions)

  • Business and technology

  • Family run business

  • International business

  • Management and leadership

  • Materialism and consumerism

  • Skills vs knowledge for business

  • Small vs large business

  • Success in business

Communication & Personality (17 essay questions)

  • Face-facing vs long-distance communication

  • Family and communication

  • Female/male characters

  • Innate or developed personalities

  • Technology and communication

  • The development of character and personality

  • Types of communication

Crime & Punishment (12 essay questions)

  • Capital punishment vs other types of punishment

  • Crime and technology

  • Criminals - what makes a criminal

  • Major vs minor crime

  • Men and women in law enforcement

  • Prisons vs rehabilitation

  • Teenagers and crime role of policemen

Economics (6-7 essay questions)

  • Cash vs credit cards

  • Economic progress and success

  • Globalisation and economy

  • Saving vs spending

  • World economic issues

Education (17 essay questions)

  • Children and education

  • Discipline and rules in school

  • Education and technology

  • Educational aid to poorer countries

  • Funding

  • Relevant subjects

  • Role of teachers

  • Single-sex schools

  • Uniforms

Environment (12 essay questions)

  • Animals

  • Environmental problems saving the environment & solving

  • Government vs individual roles

  • Protection of endangered species

  • Zoos

Family & Children (8 essay questions)

  • Discipline

  • Family and education

  • Family roles family size

  • Role models

  • Generation gaps

Food and Diet (8 essay questions)

  • Children and diet

  • Education of diet

  • Fast food

  • Health diets

  • Traditional vs modern diets

Health (9 essay questions)

  • Dealing with global epidemics

  • Exercise and health

  • Funding

  • Health aid

  • Health and education poor countries and rich countries

  • Hospitals and treatment

  • Obesity

  • Prevention vs cure

Language (2 essay questions)

  • Having only one language in the world

  • Language and culture

  • Methods of language learning

  • The disappearance of languages

  • Travel and language

Media & Advertising (12 essay questions)

  • Advertising methods

  • Censorship, control and freedom of speech

  • Children and advertising

  • Media and technology

  • News & reporting

Other Common Essay Topics (depends)

  • Change or Moving vs Stability and Constancy

  • Space Exploration

  • Water and Oceans

Reading (5 essay questions)

  • Books in education

  • Children and reading

  • Libraries

  • Paper books vs eBooks

  • Reading and leisure

Society (10 essay questions)

  • Budget spending

  • Crime on the streets

  • Homeless people

  • Modern lifestyles

  • Overpopulation

  • Poverty

  • Public services

Sports and Exercise (3-6 essay questions)

  • Equipment

  • Men vs women in sport

  • Professionals vs amateurs

  • Salary

  • Sport and learning

  • Sport as a school subject

  • Types of sports

Technology (6 essay questions)

  • Children and technology (safety)

  • Controlling the internet

  • Hacking

  • Letter vs email

  • Safety of personal information

  • Socialising online

  • Storing data

  • Change in society

Transport (7 essay questions)

  • Comparing forms of transport

  • Development of infrastructure

  • Environmental issues

  • Problems with modern forms of transport

Tourism/Travel (6-7 essay questions)

  • Culture and travel

  • Living in a global world

  • Understanding people and travel

Work (16 essay questions)

  • Children and exploitation

  • Employment

  • Equality

  • Part-time work

  • Salary

  • Shift work

  • Types of jobs (blue collar/ white collar)

  • Women in work

  • Work and technology

Our study abroad counsellors have years of experience assisting students in getting into their desired universities following extensive IELTS preparation.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Samples

The second task of your IELTS Writing test is IELTS Writing Task 2 (also known as IELTS Essay Writing). It lasts 60 minutes and includes discussion, opinion, argument, report, description, etc in the form of answers. You will be given an essay topic to respond to, and you will be graded on your capabilities to cope with the issue presented to you.

However, you should be aware that scripts that are a) under the minimum word length, b) partially or entirely plagiarised, or c) not composed as full, connected language or text will be penalised.

You must write at least 250 words, and since Task 2 is lengthier than Task 1, it is recommended that you spend 40 minutes on this task and 20 minutes on the first one.

For detailed facts and figures, take a look at IELTS Writing task 2 sample questions and answers, which will help you to prepare for this task.

Note: The key factor in getting the desired score in IELTS Writing task 2 question answer is an impressive introduction with excellent rephrasing.

How to Answer IELTS Writing Task 2 Essays?

It is not easy to answer the IELTS essay topic questions. Before you can brainstorm an answer, you must first comprehend the topic. Before you begin answering the question, be sure you know what the examiner is looking for. You can improve your ability to answer essays in the IELTS Writing task 2 by doing the following steps:

Start With a Sturdy Introduction

The essay's beginning should give a general concept of what the essay is about. Ensure that you have included a proper introduction that summarises the essay's main points.

Comprehend the Question Thoroughly

The first step to acing writing task 2 essays is to thoroughly read and comprehend the question. Most of the time, candidates respond to the question without adequately understanding what it requires.

You should examine the question attentively, determine the question type, and attempt to identify the keywords. Finally, you must fully comprehend the instructions before attempting to respond.

Prepare a Masterplan for the Answer

You must plan the framework of your answer after you have grasped the question. This will help you organise your thoughts and come up with a concise and coherent response.

Remember! The Main Body is the Artist-in-Residence

The major body of your essay is where you must present all of the vital information. Explain your ideas and back them up with examples, statistics, and other pertinent information. You must convey a proper conclusion once you have completed the essay writing.

Does the Essay Question Repeat in IELTS Writing Task 2?

Students often boggle whether the IELTS essay questions are repeated or not. No, they are not. The essay topics might repeat, but the essay questions never do. Possibly, you will receive a question on recycling such as 'Recycling is seen as too little, too late.' To what extent are you in agreement with this statement?. Perhaps another question would be, Recycling is obligatory in many countries today, but not in others. How can we encourage other countries to recycle more? These are the same type of questions that are asked in the IELTS Writing task 2 section in a tricker way which you must answer conceptually.

Tips for IELTS Writing Task 2

When answering IELTS writing task 2, you must adhere to a basic format. You must begin with a short introduction to the topic, followed by a statement that supports your point of view. Once you have formed your decision, present data to back up your decision. You must also state the alternative viewpoint once to inform the examiner. You should close the essay by summarising your points, as a well-written essay is meaningless if the conclusion is ambiguous. You can utilise the following to ace the IELTS writing task 2 without spending much time:

  • The Writing portion consists of a 60-minute exam with two questions. To comfortably answer both questions within the time limit, you should work on your time management abilities.

  • Make an effort to think beyond the box when looking for solutions.

  • Make an effort not to write in a single paragraph. Try to split down the paragraphs when necessary and learn to connect each paragraph.

  • Make as many similarities as possible between the assigned topic and reality and current events.

Check out these samples for section-wise IELTS preparation:

IELTS Reading Practice Test

IELTS Essay Writing Samples

IELTS Writing Task 1

IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Reading Tips

IELTS Task 1 Line Charts and Graphs

If you want to prepare for the essay task in the IELTS Writing task 2 section, follow the guidelines above to get an idea of the most recent IELTS essay topics. You can prepare for the essay task by researching more about the sample IELTS essay writing topics and subtopics that have been discussed above. Also, keep up with current events and international concerns to write or conclude your essay by including the current scenario and offering appropriate remedies.

For further information about SOP, LOR or admission-related services please contact our study abroad experts. Please email us at if you have any questions.

Let Our Experts Help You Better Study Abroad Application!


What is the most common type of essay question in IELTS?

IELTS opinion essay is the most common type of essay question in the IELTS exam. Applicants must discuss both sides of an argument in discussion essays, offering both positive and negative points of view. Choosing one point of view to agree with and one side to disagree with is the simplest method to approach this type of IELTS Task 2 question.

How to identify the type of essay in IELTS Writing task 2?

To identify the type of essay in IELTS Writing task 2, you need to recognise the essay prompt and what it requires as an answer. Type 2 essay will require you to discuss the benefits and drawbacks as well as express your view on whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks or vice versa. Type 1 essay, on the other hand, requires you to simply outline the benefits and drawbacks.

What are IELTS agree or disagree essay questions?

In the IELTS agree or disagree essay questions, you can either agree or disagree with the statement, or you can provide your view. However, your standpoint should be a balanced response to the issue in question. This is not to say that you cannot be on both sides. To get a decent grade, you must express your thoughts clearly.

What is an IELTS problem and solution essay?

The IELTS problem and solution essay is one in which applicants must enumerate difficulties linked with a specific topic and then propose solutions to those problems. A question will be posed, and the applicants will be required to write down all of the problems associated with that statement. Students must then propose solutions or cures to the problems after stating them.

What is an IELTS two-part essay?

An IELTS two-part essay consists of two questions. There are two extremely similar questions that support one sentence. Students must ensure that they respond to both of the essay's questions. Even if a student has written a 250-word essay, if they forget one question, the test will be incomplete. Thus, students must remember that all of the question's components must be answered.

What are IELTS compare and contrast essays?

In an IELTS compare and contrast essay, a candidate must distinguish between two items by listing their similarities and differences. There will be two items; they can be anything - an event, an ingredient, or a situation in which comparison and contrast should be made between the two. Students will need strong analytical and comprehension skills to answer this essay.

What are IELTS cause and solution essays?

In an IELTS cause and solution essay, the causes of a specific scenario or occurrence must be discussed as well as the solutions or measures to avoid such problems. When applicants receive a statement, they must analyse and understand it to determine the root reasons. They must come up with innovative and competitive solutions to stop or prevent the problems. The applicants may also be able to offer answers as well as precautions.

What are lexical resources in IELTS?

Lexical resources in IELTS is all about the flexibility and fluency with which a candidate can locate the correct words and sentences to convey their innovative or specific ideas on a presented topic. The more a candidate progresses in this area, the more likely they are to achieve a high band score.

Should I use complex sentences in my IELTS Essay writing?

Yes, you should use complex sentences in your IELTS essay writing since they demonstrate a wider range of grammar and hence, give you a higher band score. You can create beautiful complex phrases that are easy to understand by combining compound, relative, subordinate, and conditional types.

What is an opinion essay format in IELTS writing?

An opinion essay format in IELTS writing is where students are required to write their opinions on a topic presented to them. Their arguments are supported by examples and explanations. It is critical to review the definition, prerequisites,  themes, and structure of an opinion paper before beginning. Students must use examples to support their answers. 

You can share this post!

Admission Open 2024

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Articles

Popular Universities to StudyAbroad

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.