There are two main kinds of Task 2 Essay Topics, Argumentative Topics and Report Topics.
Although most IELTS Task 2 topics are argumentative, meaning that you must choose an opinion, there is a small percentage of Task 2 topics that require you to write a report instead. In some ways, reports are easier than argumentative essays because it is not necessary to give strong opinions. However, writing a report can be difficult because you need to rely more on your personal knowledge.
How will you know which kind of essay to write???
It’s important to identify which kind of essay you need to write immediately. That way, you can begin to write quickly and save time. Argumentative Essay Topics are usually phrased in this way:
Some people believe that cake is more delicious than pie, while others assert that pie is more delicious. What is your opinion on this issue? Please provide support for your answer.
Or this way:
Cake is the most delicious dessert. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
On the other hand, Report Topics generally take the following form:
These days, cake has become very unpopular. State reasons for this trend and possible effects on society.
Or this form:
The increase in cake consumption has had many serious consequences in our society. Please discuss these and what, if anything, can be done about them.
Obviously, the topic of cake is a bit simple for IELTS! However, this does give a good idea of how report topics differ from argumentative (dichotomous) topics. In this case, it is not necessary to pick an opinion or to present arguments to support your opinion.
However, you should make sure to answer all parts of the question, and think of good examples to help you describe the situation. Most reports should follow a pattern like this:
- Paragraph 1: Introduce the problem/issue and describe it. We should assume that the statement made by the question is true.
- Paragraph 2: Discuss possible reasons for the problem or issue. Why is this issue occurring?
- Paragraph 3: Discuss possible results of the problem or issue. What effect does it have on society? Does it affect you personally?
- Paragraph 4: Briefly conclude your essay. At this point, it’s possible to add a small amount of opinion or offer solutions to the issue raised above.
Remember that you should always make a plan before you start writing!
However, since in this case, you don’t need to make a list of advantages or disadvantages, you can merely make a quick plan with three columns like this:
Causes Effects Solutions
Of course, you should read the topic carefully to be sure that you are addressing exactly what it’s asking for.
Below you will find some IELTS topics that should take the form of a report. Try thinking about causes, effects, and solutions for each one.
More and more people are moving from rural areas to urban areas. Discuss the reasons for this migration and what effects in might have on cities.
In many countries, the level of crime is increasing and crimes are becoming more violent. Why do you think this is and what can be done about it?
The world population is growing at an ever-increasing rate, which creates many problems with regards to the environment and the general standard of living. Discuss the impact of increasing population and what solutions, if any, should be implemented.
In many countries, the obesity rates for children are increasing. Discuss some of the reasons for this trend and any possible solutions.
Cities all over the world experience a high volume of road traffic, with serious implications for health and safety. Discuss the causes for this problem and some of the effects it has on urban life.