It’s time for another sample band 9 answer and this week we are going to look at a “discuss both views” question from task 2 of the IELTS writing exam. The question that we will examine today is about sports facilities, but the ideas here can be applied to anything. Remember, there are many topics in the IELTS writing test and you should be prepared for the most common ones.

Understanding the Question

Before you begin writing an IELTS essay, you need to understand the question fully. That process has several parts. Let’s look at our question for today in order to understand it.

Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.

Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

What is the topic here?

  1. Sports?
  2. Health?
  3. Society?
  4. Government policy?

I would say that the answer is #2 – health. However, you can clearly see that the other topics I have listed are part of the question as well. You could not answer this well without talking about sports or society.

A Secret for Understanding the Question

If you want to understand a question better, the smart thing to do is paraphrase it. This is because you have to try harder to understand it and it can break the idea down better in your mind.

There are two parts to IELTS questions: the statement and the task:

ielts writing question structure

You need to “discuss both views” and also give an opinion, but about what?

About those two statements:, which I shall paraphrase:

  1. More sports centres will improve public health.
  2. Sports centres would not help, but something else might.

Once you understand the question fully, you can begin to plan your answer. For this sort of question, it is possible to use 4 or 5 paragraphs, but I generally recommend 4 because it is easier and usually more effective.

Structure your IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

I have lots of material on this website about structuring your IELTS writing task 2 essay, but today I will show you my outline for this model essay.

First, you should brainstorm some ideas about the topic. Don’t spend too much time doing this because it is better to spend that time on actually writing the essay. But you could make some notes like this:

More sports centres will improve public health.Sports centres would not help, but something else might.
easier to access
can be helpful for children
group activities
they already exist
no evidence to suggest it would work
education is likely more effective

Those are just a few ideas. You should brainstorm your own ones. You should also present your opinion. It is really important that you do not forget this part or else you will not have adequately answered the question.

Next, you have to wonder how to use your paragraphs to present these ideas effectively. Here is my sample answer:

ielts writing task 2 essay template
You can download this essay template here.

This might not make much sense to you… but don’t worry! Notes are a personal thing and it is only really important that they make sense to the person writing them.

internal paragraph structure for ielts writing task 2
You can download the template here.

Sample Band 9 Answer

Ok, now that you have seen my structure plans, here is my essay:

There is much debate over the issue of how to help improve public health, and some people have suggested that there should be more sports facilities available. Others, however, say that this would have a minimal impact on the situation. This essay will look at both views and argue that it would indeed only have a small positive impact.

Those who support building more public sports facilities believe that they will encourage more people to participate in regular exercise. This is logical, but there are already many public sports facilities available and it has had little impact. The only people who would likely benefit are children, and while this is important, children already have plenty of places to get exercise. Whilst millions of pounds could be spent on building new facilities, it seems that there is little that would really be contributed to helping solve this crisis.

Even if there was an uptick in the number of people doing exercise, it would not eliminate the public health crisis as exercise is only one small part of it. While it is true that exercise is good for the human body, it is nearly impossible to burn off the number of calories that the average person is now consuming. Even if a person were to run a marathon, it would not negate the damaging effects of going to McDonald’s for lunch. That person would still end the day in a calorie surplus and therefore continue to gain weight. When you consider that few people can run marathons, it becomes obvious that the culprit for poor public health is not exercise but rather diet.

In conclusion, it would be good to have more public sports facilities and there may be some small benefit to this, but unfortunately it would not be a significant benefit and other measures would need to be taken too.