It’s been a long time since I posted a sample answer here! I used to do it occasionally, but stopped in late 2017. Well, today I am going to post one that I wrote recently because I think it serves quite well as a model for writing IELTS writing task 2 questions. I have even made a video, which you can find below.
First, let’s look at the question:
Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
So what are we really being asked to do here? I often suggest rewriting the question differently in order to understand it better:
- Discuss the loss of species as main problem
- Discuss another problem (as main problem)
- Give your own opinion (on which is main problem)
Remember that regardless of your opinion, you need to discuss both views.
Here is what I wrote to answer this question:
It is obvious that the planet is in great danger, but people disagree over whether the main problem is the loss of certain species or other issues such as climate change. This essay will discuss both views and conclude that they are both interrelated, and that there is no one problem that is the worst.
Around the world, species of animals and plants are dying at a shocking rate. Forests are being cut down to make way for giant cattle farms, while endangered animals are being poached so that their body parts can be sent to China to make fake medicines. This is a devastating trend not just because these animals don’t deserve to die, but because biodiversity is tremendously important to the planet. When sharks are killed, for example, it is not just the sharks that die. The whole underwater ecosystem faces collapse, which can be catastrophic for the world.
Other problems exist aside from just the loss of species. Major environmental issues today include climate change. This is caused by many factors such as air pollution and the loss of forests and coral reefs, and it has massive potential ramifications, such as sea level rises and desertification. Ultimately, this could lead to the extinction of humanity and the destruction of our world. However, to say that it is worse than the extinction of certain species overlooks the fact that they are related. When we kill certain plants and animals, we are contributing to climate change indirectly, and all of these environmental tragedies bring the world closer to complete destruction.
In conclusion, there are many ways in which humans are wreaking havoc on the planet, but it is hard to say that one is worse than another because they all add up to the same result.
You can see that I have used a basic four paragraph structure. I have devoted one paragraph to the first idea: loss of species. My second paragraph is more complicated. It is partly about another environmental problem (climate change); however, I then make my position clear. My opinion is that both problems are the same, or at least they are part of one bigger problem.
This is a quite complex notion, and I consider this a very advanced IELTS essay structure. There is also some great vocabulary for the topic of environment here:
- wreaking havoc
In the following video, I show you how to write an essay like this step-by-step. It’s quite a long video at about 18 minutes, but I think it is very helpful for learning how to plan an IELTS essay.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel. 🙂
More About Environment
The topic of environment is really common in IELTS nowadays and it could appear in any section of the exam. Here are some posts I have made about it:
- IELTS speaking questions about environment
- TED talk about climate change
- Reading practice on plastics
- An environmental flow chart for task 1
- Another sample essay
- Environmental vocabulary PPT
You can also read more about climate change on the NASA website.
Thanks for your sharing. I have a suggestion: The sentence “However, to say that it is worse than the extinction of certain species overlooks the fact that they are related” might sound better if we say “However, to say that it is worse than the extinction of certain species MEANS WE overlook the fact that they are related”. What do you think about it?
That would not be better because it introduces a personal pronoun and thus reduces the level of formality. My sentence is a little more formal and a little more concise.
Environment constitutes of everything that surrounds us, everything we require from cradle to grave is obtained from the environment. Anyhow, we are exploiting the environment to the very core just for our greed and this in turn is deteriorating the nature. The debate continues as some experts believe that the main problem is disturbing the ecological cycle while some believe there are more problems to worry about.
First of all stating the first view that main problem arises is the extinction of various flora and fauna is supported by scientists as they believe that it leads to alteration of the ecosystem which affects all the living as well as non living components directly or indirectly. Likewise, this incurs in-numerous damages in the long term, as every species has an important part to play which cannot be substituted artificially.
On the contrast, many people think that there are other environmental problems that need to be taken into consideration like global warming and climate change. As the greenhouse gases are increasing it is leading to increase in the global temperature because of which the glaciers are melting at unprecedented rate. Furthermore, the sea level rise directly affects the people living in coastal regions as well as the marine life. These changes also disrupt the migration pattern of various species including humans.
In my opinion, any harm to environment whether small or big has an overall impact on the cycle of the nature thus any one problem cannot be given utmost priority neither can we put any one above the other. Thus each and every problem should be given equal attention and thereby dealt sustainably to create a safer place to reside.