IELTS Writing Sample #132

Essay Tip: Giving Opinions

For a Task 2 essay you will often be asked to give your own opinion. You should also include a range of other viewpoints to show that you understand both sides of an argument.

To give your own opinion, use phrases such as In my view / opinion and verb phrases such as I think that / I believe that… .

To show other people’s opinions, use According to + group of people (e.g. parents / scientists / politicians) … .

Use verb phrases such as Some people think that / Many people believe that / People argue that / Other people claim that … .

Other verbs include suggest / state / say.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The number of overweight children in developed countries is increasing. Some people think this is due to problems such as the growing number of fast food outlets. Others believe that parents are to blame for not looking after their children's health.

To what extent do you agree with these views?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that children are overweight and the situation is getting worse, according to the medical experts. I feel there are a number of reasons for this.

Some people blame the fact that we are surrounded by shops selling unhealthy, fatty foods such as chips and fried chicken, at low prices. This has created a whole generation of adults who have never cooked a meal for themselves. If there were fewer of these restaurants, then children would not be tempted to buy take-away food.

There is another argument that blames the parents for allowing their children to become overweight. I tend to agree with this view, because good eating habits begin early in life, long before children start to visit fast food outlets. If children are given chips and chocolate rather than nourishing food, or are always allowed to choose what they eat, they will go for the sweet and salty foods every time, and this will carry on throughout their lives.

There is a third factor, however, which contributes to the situation. Children these days take very little exercise. They do not walk to school. When they get home, they sit in front of the television or their computers and play video games. Not only is this an unhealthy pastime, it also gives them time to eat more junk food. What they need is to go outside and play active games or sport.

The two views discussed play an equal role in contributing to the problem, but I think we have to encourage young people to be more active, as well as steering them away from fast food outlets and bad eating habits. We need to have a balanced approach.

Position: Writer refers to a number of reasons in the introduction, and to the need for a balanced view in the conclusion.

Main ideas: First sentence of the second paragraph; first and second sentences of the third paragraph; second sentence of the fourth paragraph.

Linkers: and, according to, some people, such as, if, then, there is another argument, because, or, there is a third factor, however, not only, also, the two views discussed, but, as well as

Reference words: the, this, who, themselves, these, this view, they, their, them

Topic vocabulary: medical experts, shops, unhealthy, fatty foods, chips, cooked, take-away food, chocolate, sweet and salty, exercise, walk, television, computers, video games, unhealthy pastime, junk food, active games, sport, fast food outlets

Sentence types: A wide range of complex structures and sentences is used.

Length: 286 words

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