SIMPLE YET POWERFUL LAYOUT FOR WRITING TASK 2

There are so many people having problems with writing, especially Writing Task 2. To be frank with you all, I myself had taken IELTS test and had a problem when doing the writing in my very first attempt. The problem was mainly with the time allocation. I did not do it well within the time pressure and thus I started trying to figure out what it takes to produce quality writing consisting of 250 words only in 40 minutes.

I come to a conclusion that in my previous test, I spent too much time for planning my writing instead of looking for ideas, reasons, and examples. And as you may have assumed, I had no more time for evaluating the writing, paraphrasing the repeated words or monotonous sentence structure and 6.0 was the score that I got.

So I have been doing some research from books and online sources formulating a simple yet powerful layout for writing, especially Writing Task 2. I am not going to make any judgement on how you should do the writing since I have never found a single authoritative layout giving a guarantee to pass the test. The one I’m going to explain below is just the most common layout for Writing Task 2 in IELTS I formulate from different sources of material.

Let’s make this topic as an example

Some people think that public health is the responsibility of the government while others think that people should be responsible for their own health.
Discuss both sides and give your opinion

[Paragraph One]

1. Giving an Overview

In this very first part, you have to present a very general information by paying a very serious attention to the keywords in the topic. From the topic above we have four essential keywords to consider namely: health, responsibility, government, and people.

There are more and more health issues nowadays and hence there is now a higher need for health care. This results in an increasing cost for public health that finally becomes a burden for the people since there is more and more personal obligation in keeping their own health. Government is also considered having a great responsibility in providing good health service for the people.

2. Stating Your Basis of Argument

In this step, you have to decide your stance before you give any elaborated explanation in the next two paragraphs. Your stance will be based on the question, and since the question is asking you the both sides of argument, then you can explain both of them by contrasting both ideas.

Despite the fact that government is responsible for assuring public’s wellbeingness, I personally think that health is a personal responsibility.

3. Explaining the Flow of Your Writing

I’m not actually sure about this point, since some people believe that you need to have this in your writing, while some people say you cannot have this since it is considered cliché and unnecessary. But let’s just talk about it anyway. In this part, you need to explain how your writing is going to be organized. I only know one way to do this step, so please enlighten me if you know how to do it different way.

This writing aims to exp
lain whether health should be a personal responsibility or government’s responsibility by providing several examples and reasons.


[Paragraph Two]

4. Giving Balanced Argument

This is another part which is still debatable point in Writing Task 2. Here are the two common arguments regarding this step:

a. You should focus on your argument and not being tentative by giving balanced argument. However, you still have to consider the fact that you have to write at least 250 words and it would be pretty hard to meet this requirement only by having your own argument, especially when you are not familiar with the topic or when the topic is very specific.

b. You should use balanced argument since it is actually used to give more emphasis on your argument by applying a contrastive explanation in your writing. Will discuss it further.

If you feel like being a little confused giving arguments, you can do a brainstorming first before you make the complete writing. So I believe that health is a personal responsibility, so I need to explain the opposite argument, explaining that health is not 100% personal responsibility. Say I have these conceptions of public health:

a. Health civil rights
b. Government provides facilities
c. Tax allocated for health

After dealing with the brainstorming, it is time to realize them in the writing. Hence, they’ll be:

Some people believe that health is one of the most fundamental aspects of civil rights. Health is a public’s sake and thus government is responsible for providing good and affordable health service for the people. The citizens pay the tax, so they definitely have the right for health insurance. Government should do all necessary effort to maximize the budget for health service since government is the one having the authority to regulate the budget. Government has the responsibility for providing health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, ambulance, etc. since they have not only authority but also resources required for keeping their people in a good health.

5. Bridging the Two Arguments by Using Contrasting Statement

The reason why you need to put the balanced argument first and then followed by your own argument is actually to give more emphasis on your argument (as I have said before). By doing this, you basically say that:

It is probably right that government is responsible for assuring the people’s health [balanced argument], but it is inevitable that keeping health is more effectively done by individuals, which means that the government helps with everything people cannot do by themselves, like building hospitals, for example [my own argument].

There are several ways to make a bridging statement, namely:

a. Using linking words such as however, despite, in spite of, on the other hand, etc.

b. Using expressions, such as
-The positive impact and the negative impact of modernization are like the two sides of a coin

-The positive impact of modernization has to come with a price

The later is actually preferable since it makes you seem more insightful and of course, you can avoid repetition as well as being too literal by using expressions.


Okay, so for this topi, I will use this linking statement:

Despite the fact that government has to ensure its citizens’ health, it is inevitable that the responsibility will be partial. Individuals also have to take any necessary effort to keep their health while supporting the government to do their role.

[Paragraph Three]

6. Explaining Your Own Argument
In this part, you will explain your argument, stating that people are responsible for their own health. Let’s do another brain storming before we do the entire paragraph.

a. Health starts from individuals

b. Government cannot entirely control people’s health
c. People are supposed to promote healthy life

Okay, now let’s do the writing now


It is argued that health is something that we should start from ourselves, just the way sickness does. Factors regarding individuals are more likely to cause sickness, such as stress level, diet, or any other unhealthy practices. Since avoiding is far better than curing, it is actually better for the people to not depend on the government only when it comes to health. Health problems are mostly caused by individuals’ tendency not to live a healthy life, such as drinking alcoholic beverage, lacking of exercise, smoking, and many other unhealthy lifestyles. It is not possible for the government to control these factors, and thus, there is always a limit to their endeavor in assuring the people’s health. Government is capable of formulating a policy on health service, promoting a healthy lifestyle, banning the excessive production of cigarettes, etc, but all these efforts will end up being useless if the people are n
ot aware of the importance of staying fit and healthy.

7. Giving a Conclusion and Solution
Conclusion and solution should be the summary of all ideas you have previously proposed, aiming to bridge the two arguments and suggesting a solution for the problem. For the topic above, the conclusion and the solution can be formulated as follows:

In summary, government can only be partly responsible for the health of the people and individuals should be aware that healthy life actually starts from themselves. Hence, government’s goodwill to do their duty and the people’s awareness of healthy lifestyle is the best solution for the problem.

The whole writing will look like this:

There are more and more health issues nowadays and hence there is now a higher need for health care. This results in an increasing cost for public health that it finally becomes a burden for the people since there is more and more personal obligation in keeping their own health. Government is also considered having a great responsibility in providing good health service for the people. Despite the fact that government is responsible for assuring public’s wellbeingness, I personally think that health is a personal responsibility. This writing aims to explain whether health should be a personal responsibility or government’s responsibility by providing several examples and reasons.

Some people believe that health is one of the most fundamental aspects of civil rights. Health is a public’s sake and thus government is responsible for providing good and affordable health service for the people. The citizens pay the tax, so they definitely have the right for health insurance. Government should do all necessary effort to maximize the budget for health service since government is the one having the authority to regulate the budget. Government has the responsibility for providing health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, ambulance, etc. since they have not only authority but also resources required for keeping their people in a good health. Despite the fact that government has to ensure its citizens’ health, it is inevitable that the responsibility will be partial. Individuals also have to take any necessary effort to keep their health while supporting the government to do their role.

It is argued that health is something that we should start from ourselves, just the way sickness does. Factors regarding individuals are more likely to cause sickness, such as stress level, diet, or any other unhealthy practices. Since avoiding is far better than curing, it is actually better for the people to not depend on the government only when it comes to health. Health problems are mostly caused by individuals’ tendency not to live a healthy life, such as drinking alcoholic beverage, lacking of exercise, smoking, and many other unhealthy lifestyles. It is not possible for the government to control these factors, and thus, there is always a limit to their endeavor in assuring the people’s health. Government is capable of formulating a policy on health service, promoting a healthy lifestyle, banning the excessive production of cigarettes, etc, but all these efforts will end up being useless if the people are not aware of the importance of staying fit and healthy. In summary, government can only be partly responsible for the health of the people and individuals should be aware that healthy life actually starts from themselves. Hence, government’s goodwill to do their duty and the people’s awareness of healthy lifestyle is the best solution for the problem.

*PS: I am actually not familiar with the topic and making writing is actually hard for me. If feel like having a suggestion or having a better writing, post it on comment section.

Cheers!

For learning some common mistakes in IELTS Writing Task 2, go to this link
Common Mistake in Writing Task 2

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