IELTS Writing Task 2 Problems And Solution Essay

In the problem solutions IELTS essay you will be asked to identify the reasons behind a particular issue/problem and offer possible solutions to this problem. This question asks you to describe causes and propose solutions for a given problem. Each solution should match with a problem. The resulting essay should not be too general or vague, but should directly answer the specific issues mentioned within the question. From my many years of experience teaching students from Singapore, I have noticed that one of the main reasons students fail to score well in this essay is because despite having sufficient causes, they fail to expand on their thoughts. They do not develop or support their causes with further details or examples. Doing so is crucial for all writing task 2 questions task achievement scores.

In this article we will look at the best way to go about answering this type of the essay We will cover:

  • How to analyse the problem solution question
  • How to generate ideas
  • The problems and solution essay structure
  • How to write a good introduction
  • How to write the main body paragraphs
  • How to write a good conclusion

Let us look at the following example:

The influence of human beings on the world’s ecosystem is leading to the extinction of species and loss of biodiversity.

What are the primary causes of loss of biodiversity?

What solutions can you suggest?

Analyse The Question

Every essay question has three different types of phrases / words. Topic Words which give us an idea about the general essay topic. Keywords in the question give more details as to what you specifically have to write about regarding the general topic. Often students write a general essay about the main topic instead of focusing on what the specifics asked for in the question. Lastly, every question includes Instruction words which tell us exactly how to answer. In this particular example, the main topic is about biodiversity, in particular we have to write about how humans affect an ecosystems biodiversity.

Generate Ideas

The next step in writing your essay would be to generate suitable ideas for the essay topic, The process of thinking of ideas for the problems and solutions essay is quite simple. For every problem you can think of, try to think of a suitable solution as well. It is also important to ensure that for every main idea you come up with, you have sufficient supporting points and examples to back them up with

Problem And Solution Essay Structure

In general your essay should include 4 paragraphs. If needed you can add more than one problem and solution.

  • Introduction
    • Paraphrase question
    • Outline sentence

    Problem

    • State problem
    • Explain what problem is
    • What is the result of this problem
    • Example

    Solution

    • State solution
    • Explain how the solution will solve the problem
    • Example

    Conclusion

    • Sentence summary of main points in paragraphs 2 and 3

How To Write A Good Introduction For An IELTS Problem Solution Essay

A good introduction always includes a sentence that paraphrases the question. You can reorder or use synonyms of the questions words. You also need to write a brief outline of what the examiner can expect in the upcoming paragraphs This outline statement should not be very long. Ideally your entire introduction should only be about 30 to 40 words

Here’s our sample intro:

Despite knowing about biodiversity’s importance for a long time, human activity has been causing massive extinctions of different species. This essay will examine the main causes of loss of biodiversity and possible solutions of this problem.

How To Write The Main Body Paragraphs For An IELTS Problem Solution Essay

Once we have written our introductions, we need to develop our main ideas into a cohesive main body paragraph using good vocabulary and cohesive devices Use one of your main ideas to create a topic sentence. The rest of the paragraph will expand on these ideas. One of the simplest ways to do this is to add an explanation. You can also add an example (true or not) to further justify your stance. Repeat the same process with the second paragraph.

Here are some good phrases that you can include in your main body paragraph:

Good Phrases to Introduce Causes:

  • A major cause of …….. is ….
  • Perhaps the major cause of this is …
  • The main/ primary cause of this is …
  • A further cause of this is …
  • An additional cause of …. is
  • …. also plays a role in …
  • …… is (often/ usually) responsible for …
  • Another cause may / might be … (you can add may or might if you are unsure about the causes

This type of question usually asks you to suggest solutions – not just one solution. Therefore, you will need to use linking words to propose other solutions such as:

How to Propose Possible Solutions:

  • First and foremost,
  • Another possible solution is
  • In addition, Moreover,
  • Finally,

How To Write An Effective Conclusion For An IELTS Problem Solution Essay

A good conclusion will neatly end the essay by linking all your ideas together and sum up your arguments or opinions. You should not introduce any new ideas or make your conclusion too long. Every conclusion should include only two to three sentences. The first sentence is basically just a summary of your introduction. And the last sentence of your conclusion should either be a recommendation sentence or a prediction sentence.

Here is our sample conclusion:

To conclude, people’s activities that change the environment have a negative impact on the world’s ecosystem. However, we can significantly lessen the extinction of species by protecting natural areas and enlightening people as to this problem.

Problem And Solution Model Answer

Despite knowing about biodiversity’s importance for a long time, human activity has been causing massive extinctions of different species. This essay will examine the main causes of loss of biodiversity and possible solutions of this problem.

The two main causes of species extinction are change of their habitats and overexploitation of natural resources.

When humans artificially transform the environment, they destroy vegetation and animals’ natural habitat. For instance, to build new roads people are cutting down the trees and cementing the soil, altering the environment . Because of that, a lot of species are dying out. Also, when the activities connected with capturing and harvesting a natural resource are too intense in a particular area , the resource becomes exhausted . For example, too frequent fishing doesn’t leave enough time for fish to reproduce and makes them disappear. In other words, human activities often deplete local flora and fauna and cause loss of bio-diversity.

Some possible solutions to this problem are protecting natural areas and promoting awareness among people. By protecting areas where human activity is limited and avoiding overexploitation of its resources , we can save the untouched environment and prevent species from dying out. Moreover, the next step in fighting bio-diversity loss is informing the general population about the dangers of this problem. This way, people will be more conscious of the environment and won’t overuse or destroy its resources.

To conclude, people’s activities that change the environment have negative impact on the world’s ecosystem. However, we can significantly lessen the extinction of species by protecting natural areas and enlightening people as to this problem.

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