IELTS Essay Writing Tips and Strategies for High Band Scores

Learn How to Properly Respond to the Problem and Solution Type IELTS Essay Writing Questions

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PI - Prepare IELTS

2023-10-10

ielts essay writing

Overview

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognised exam that assesses a person's English language proficiency. One of its most challenging components is the Writing section, where candidates are expected to demonstrate their ability to express ideas coherently and effectively.

Among the various types of IELTS essay writing questions, the problem and solution question type stands out as it tests your critical thinking skills. In this blog, we will discuss ways to appropriately respond to IELTS writing problem and solution questions and tips on how to write essay in IELTS to aid you with proper preparation in obtaining high scores.

How to Write Essay in IELTS Writing Task 2

Before diving into the writing process, it's crucial to understand the structure and requirements of a problem and solution question. Typically, this type of question presents a problem and asks you to propose solutions to it. Your response should include:

  • An introduction: Briefly introduce the problem and provide some context.

  • A description of the problem: Clearly explain the problem and its significance.

  • Solutions: Propose one or more solutions to address the problem.

  • Support: Offer evidence or reasons why your solutions are effective.

  • A conclusion: Summarize your solutions and restate their importance.

Common Mistakes That Students Do While Answering

Below are some common mistakes that students make while answering the problem solution type Question:

  • The most typical error in problem-solution essays is just listing several problems and solutions without developing your ideas. The examiner does not want a list of all the issues and solutions you can think of, and please don’t do this in the exam. Instead, if you take a look at how the exam is graded, you'll see that the examiner wants you to select one or two issues and your solutions, then elaborate on them with details and illustrations. 

  • Some candidates come up with really strong issues and solutions that fully address the inquiry, and they then elaborate on their responses with justifications and anecdotes, but they speak too broadly. Instead, focus on concrete illustrations and justifications. Below, we'll look at ways to prevent this.

  • Writing about issues and solutions that are not directly related to the inquiry is another common error. When responding to the question, you should act like a sniper and only offer suggestions that are extremely detailed as opposed to suggestions that broadly discuss the larger problem. Focus on recognising keywords and micro-keywords in the questions. 

  • Many people come up with fantastic solutions to problems, but they often do not connect these solutions to the original issues. Hence, every issue must have a direct answer or, alternatively, a solution that resolves the issue at hand.

Tips for IELTS Essay Writing Answer

Now, here are some tips to answer the problem and solution-based questions.

  • Plan Your Response: After reading a question, take a few minutes to brainstorm and outline your essay. Also, ensure your ideas flow logically from one paragraph to the next.

  • Avoid Off-Topic Rambling: One of the most important tips is to stick to the topic and avoid going off on tangents. Try to keep your essay focused and concise.

  • Vocabulary and Grammar: Use a wide range of vocabulary to express ideas precisely. Also, pay attention to grammar, sentence structure, transition words, and punctuation.

  • Proofread: Make sure to allocate time to review and edit your essay for errors. 

  • Time Management: Last but not least, manage your time wisely; you have 40 minutes for Task 2 in IELTS Writing. Allocate around 5 minutes for planning, 30 minutes for writing, and 5 minutes for proofreading.

Sample Problem and Solution Based Question and Answer

Now, let’s understand how to attempt problem and solution based IELTS essays with the help of an example.

Problem Solution

Dumping of industrial wastes into the nearby water bodies.

They must be treated, purified and recycled.

Dumping of non-biodegradable wastes in the environment.

Stop using plastics.

Choose one of the problems and discuss it in detail. Here’s an example:

Problem: Dumping of industrial wastes into the nearby water bodies.

Solution: They must be treated, purified and recycled.

Vocabulary:

  • Wastewater treatment

  • Biodegradable products

  • Water bodies such as lakes, rivers etc

  • Ecosystem

Paraphrasing the question: Rise in seawater level is one of the serious threats posed on the environment due to global warming. 

Outlining the problem and solution: The main reason for this is the letting out of industrial wastes in nearby water bodies, and a reliable solution is wastewater treatment.

So the introduction is framed as: Rise in sea water level is one of the serious threats posed on the environment due to global warming. The main reason for this is the letting out of industrial wastes in nearby water bodies, and a reliable solution is wastewater treatment.

 

The main paragraphs must be organised as follows:

Main body paragraph 1: Letting out of industrial wastes in nearby water bodies

Main body paragraph 2: Industrial wastewater treatment

 

Main body paragraph 1 :

Central idea: Industries are increasing in number.

Explanation: There are no strict rules in place regarding the environment. So industries let out their wastes into the nearby water bodies such as lakes, rivers, etc., which affects the respective eco-system and thereby leading to more serious issues.

Example: As installing a wastewater treatment plant is an additional burden and is costly, it is easier to let the wastewater into the nearby water bodies as nobody questions this.

The completed main body paragraph 1 will look like this :

Industries are increasing in number. There are no strict rules in place regarding the environment. So industries let out their wastes into the nearby water bodies such as lakes, rivers, etc., which affects the respective eco-system and thereby leading to more serious issues. As installing a wastewater treatment plant is an additional burden and is costly, it is easier to let the wastewater into the nearby water bodies as nobody questions this.

 

Main body paragraph 2 :

Central idea: Installing Industrial wastewater treatment plants could be beneficial to the environment.

Explanation: Industrial wastewater treatment illustrates the processes used for treating wastewater that is produced by industries into a by-product. The treated industrial wastewater may be reused or released to a sanitary sewer.

Examples: There are proven records for reducing water pollution after wastewater treatment.

The completed main body paragraph 2 will look like this :

Installing Industrial wastewater treatment plants could be beneficial to the environment and help in reducing global warming effects. Industrial wastewater treatment illustrates the processes used for treating wastewater that is produced by industries into a by-product. The treated industrial wastewater may be reused or released to a sanitary sewer. There are proven records for reducing water pollution after wastewater treatment.

 

Conclusion:

You need to sum up all that you have said in the previous paragraphs. Use words like In summary, to summarise, to conclude, as a conclusion, etc. You can give recommendations, if any.

Conclusion will look like this:

In summary, every industry should have a wastewater treatment plant installed to treat their wastewater, which will reduce water pollution and thereby benefit the environment. This will help reduce global warming and ultimately prevent the rise in seawater levels.

So, the completed essay will look like this :

Rise in sea water level is one of the serious threats posed to the environment due to global warming. The main reason for this is the letting out of industrial wastes in nearby water bodies, and a reliable solution is wastewater treatment.

Industries are increasing in number. There are no strict rules in place regarding the environment. So industries let out their wastes into the nearby water bodies such as lakes, rivers, etc., which affects the respective eco-system and leads to more serious issues. As installing a wastewater treatment plant is an additional burden and is costly, it is easier to let the wastewater into the nearby water bodies as nobody questions this.

Installing Industrial wastewater treatment plants could be beneficial to the environment and help in reducing global warming effects. Industrial wastewater treatment illustrates the processes used for treating wastewater that is produced by industries into a by-product. The treated industrial wastewater may be reused or released to a sanitary sewer. There are proven records for reducing water pollution after wastewater treatment.

In summary, every industry should have a wastewater treatment plant installed to treat their wastewater, which will reduce water pollution and thereby benefit the environment. This will help reduce global warming and ultimately prevent a rise in seawater levels.

Conclusion

Mastering the art of responding to IELTS Writing problem and solution questions is essential for achieving a high band score. By understanding the question type, following a structured approach, and practicing regularly, you can boost your confidence and performance on test day. Remember, practice makes perfect, so hone your skills and strive for excellence in your IELTS Writing endeavours.

So, if you are also ready to appear for IELTS, then we recommend you to sign up for our IELTS Courses designed by our experts. If you need further guidance, please contact Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors. Our team of education experts is dedicated to assisting you in the best possible way for the IELTS exam. You can also get a one-on-one counselling session online via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388.

FAQs

Students have to write a complete essay somewhere between 200 to 250 words.

A crucial component of any IELTS Writing Task 2 solution is the conclusion. A strong conclusion helps stress the significance of the key ideas or opinions in your essay and provides the reader with a sense of closure in addition to providing a summary of the information offered in your essay.

There should be an introduction, two main body paragraphs, and a conclusion in your Problem/Solution essay. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that summarises its primary points.

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