Task II writing questions can often be divided into different parts.
Commonly, these are:
1. a situation which is generally accepted as being true
2. an opinion, speculation or suggestion about the situation
3. words telling you what you should do.
Point 1 introduces the general topic.
Point 2 focuses on the specific topic you should write about.
Point 3 refers to the task words – the words which tell you how you should respond to the topic.
Here’s an example:
Advances in technology and automation have reduced the need for manual labour.
Therefore working hours should be reduced.
To what extent do you agree?
Here are three more IELTS writing questions. Can you divide them into the 3 parts?
High-salary jobs often include free health insurance as part of an employment contract. However, such private medical insurance is unfair, as it offers preferential treatment to the wealthy. Do you agree?
2 The specific topic you should write about: private medical insurance is unfair as it offers preferential treatment to the wealthy
3 The task words: Do you agree?
The number of elderly people in the world is increasing. This will lead to a number of social and medical problems. To what extent do you agree?Show answer 1 The general topic: The number of elderly people in the world is increasing
2 The specific topic you should write about: This will lead to a number of social and medical problems
3 The task words:To what extent do you agree?
Computer games have become the primary source of entertainment for most young children. As a result, children are not forming traditional social skills. What do you think could be done to reverse this trend?
2 The specific topic you should write about: children are not forming traditional social skills
3 The task words: What do you think could be done to reverse this trend?
So what is the difference between Do you agree or disagree? and To what extent do you agree?
Do you agree or disagree? This means you are free to completely agree or disagree if you choose to do so.
To what extent do you agree? This suggests that no sensible argument can be based on completely disagreeing with the proposition.
Not all Task II essays have three clear parts. Nonetheless, you still need to identify the topic and task words. When particularly difficult or technical vocabulary is used in the question, it will sometimes be explained.
What is the topic in each of the Task II titles below? What are the task words?
- Some people need medical treatment due to an addiction such as to smoking or drugs. Should they be treated regardless of the cause?
- Euthanasia* is a moral right. What is your opinion?
- The government fails to provide sufficient medical care for the elderly. Do you agree or disagree?
- We are becoming obsessed with diet and health. Suggest possible reasons why.
*the act of killing someone painlessly (especially someone suffering from an incurable illness)Show the topic and task words 1. TOPIC: medical treatment because of addiction. TASK: Should they be treated?
2. TOPIC: euthanasia is a right. TASK: What’s your opinion?
3. TOPIC: Government medical care for the elderly. TASK: Is is sufficient?
4. TOPIC: Obsessed with diet and health. TASK: Give reasons why
Now you have identified both the topic words and the task words, it often helps to rewrite the question in a more logical order. For example:
A wide variety of vegetarian food is now available. However, although an increasing number of people are adopting a vegetarian diet, it is not healthy. Do you agree?
Could be re-written as: Is a vegetarian diet healthy?
The sentences above could be re-written as:
- Should people who smoke or take drugs have medical care?
- Should people morally be allowed to commit euthanasia?
- Is government care for the elderly sufficient?
- Why are people obsessed with diet and health?