A rocket on a space background symbolises the importance of practicing with these authentic 100 IELTS essay topics

100 IELTS Essay Topics for IELTS Writing

Let me start by saying that by far the best resource for authentic IELTS essay topics are the Cambridge 1 – 13 books. These are real past IELTS exam papers and, therefore, provide students with the highest quality questions for all parts of the test. However, what do you do if you have finished the Cambridge books? Or you struggle with one particular type of question and want a lot of that specific type of practise?

Well, until now, people have relied on questions that were “memorised” by test-takers(often incorrectly), or written by well-meaning teachers who have no specific education in test creation. As a result, many of the “IELTS questions” on the Internet are worded incorrectly. And, as a professional exam writer (yes, I work creating academic exams for universities), I know how damaging it can be if even one word in a question is changed.

So, today I am sharing my list of 100 IELTS writing topics. Some are taken from old exam papers, a few are from the Cambridge books, but most are from my own courseMore importantly, I can guarantee that each of these questions is as “authentic” as a question can be. Have fun (and let me know your favourite question in the comments!) 

If you are new to IELTS, then check out my FREE Introduction to Writing Task 2  👈video lesson. It contains everything you need to know to get started on your IELTS journey 🚀

IELTS Discuss Both Views and Give your Own Opinion Writing Topics

  1. Some people think that illegal Internet downloads are having a negative effect on the music industry. Others feel that they have little or no impact on artists. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  2.  Some people think that exams are a good way of assessing a student’s level. Other people believe that they put unnecessary pressure on young learners and tell us very little about their actual ability. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  3. Successful sportsmen can earn a great deal more than people in other important professions. Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  4. Some people feel that there should be a fixed punishment for each type of crime. Others feel that the circumstances of an offence should be taken into account when deciding on a punishment. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  5. Some people believe that all children should learn a foreign language from the time they start school, while others believe it is better to wait until a child is at secondary school. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  6. Some people believe that in the near future there will be no borders between countries, while others feel that national borders will always remain. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  7. Some people feel that the cost of space exploration is far too high for the benefits it brings while others argue that we space programmes should continue no matter what the cost. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  8. Some people believe that advertising has a strong effect on a person’s decision-making process. Others feel that it has little or no real impact. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  9. Some people believe that every human can create art. Other people think that art can only be created by people with special talents. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  10. Some people feel that the media has the strongest impact on people’s lives. Others feel that it is politicians who have the most control over the way people lives. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  11. Some people feel that the primary function of a university should be to prepare students for the working world. Others argue that the purpose of a university education is to provide knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  12. Some people thing that the teenage years are the happiest times of most people’s lives. Others think that adult life brings more happiness in spite of greater responsibilities. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  13. Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change. Others, however, prefer to take risks and think that change is a positive thing. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  14. Some people think that boys and girls should attend school together. Others feel that they should be educated separately. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.
  15.  Some people feel that global warming should be dealt with by governments. Others feel that it is the responsibility of individuals in society to solve the problemDiscuss both views and give your own opinion.
  16. Some people think that all university students should study whatever they like. Others believe that they should only be allowed to study subjects that will be useful in the future, such as those related to science and technology. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  17. Some people think that a sense of competition should be encouraged in children. Others believe that children who are taught to cooperate rather than compete become more useful adults. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  18. Some people think that economic development is the only way to end poverty while others believe that it is causing damage to the environment and so should be stopped. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  19. Some people think that new houses should be built in the same style as the older houses in an area. Others believe that the government should allow people to build houses in the style they want. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  20. Some people like to spend their leisure time with their colleagues while others prefer to keep their private life separate from their work life. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

A thumbs up and thumbs down sit either side of a question marks. The picture depicts the uncertainty of whether or not I should include my opinion in the introduction to an IELTS Discuss Both Sides essayShould include your opinion in the introduction to a Discuss Both Sides essay? Great question! Click here to find out the answer!

 To What Extent Do you Agree or Disagree Writing Topics

  1. University education should be free for all students. To what extent do you agree or disagree
  2. Men and womeare capable of doing all jobs equally wellTo what extent do you agree or disagree?
  3. Some people believe that nowadays we have too much choiceTo what extent do you agree or disagree?
  4. Advertising that targets childreshould be banned from our televisions. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  5. Some people say it is important to keep your home and your workplace tidy, with everything organised in the correct place. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. In countries it is common for school leavers to take a year off between finishing school and starting university. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this practice?
  7. Open plan offices offer a better working environment for staff than a normal office. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  8. Universities should accept equal numbers of male and female students in every subject. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  9. The recent popularity of online shopping will result in the end of high street shopsTo what extent do you agree or disagree.
  10. International sporting events promote peace between countries.To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  11. Some people think it is a good thing for senior managers to have much higher salaries than the other workers in a company. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  12. People who read for pleasure in their free time have a better imagination than those who prefer to watch TVTo what extent do you agree or disagree? 
  13. Some people believe that children who are given pocket money every week have less problems managing money when they become adults. To what extent do you agree or disagree? 
  14. Some people believe that eventually all jobs will be done by artificially intelligent robotsWhat is your opinion?
  15. Nowadays environmental problems are too big for individual countries or people to solve. We have reached the stage where we need cooperation on an international level to protect the environment. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  16. Some people say that a person’s success is as a direct result of the way they were  brought up by their parents. Do you agree or disagree?
  17. Some people think that plastic shopping bags should be banned because they contribute to land and sea pollution.To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  18. Some people who have been in prison become good citizens laterand so it is often argued that these are the best people to talk to teenagers about the dangers of committing a crime.To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  19. Some people believe that children should be taught how to manage money at schoolDo you agree or disagree?
  20. Some people believe that in order for a hobby to be enjoyable, it needs to be difficultDo you agree or disagree?

A hand holds a pair of scales to signify the importance of adding balance in an IELTS agree/disagree essayIs it importance to add balance to a To What Extent essays or can you argue strongly for one side? Great question – many answer is even better! Just click here to find out!

Best Way IELTS Essay Topics

  1.  One of the biggest problems facing the world today is growing enough food to feed the ever-expanding populationGenetically Modified foods are the best way to solve this issue. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  2.  The main cause of global warming is pollution from cars. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  3. Playing computer games only has negative effects on children. To what extent do you agree or disagree
  4. The main reason for the high sale of consumer goods in today’s society is advertisingTo what extent do you agree or disagree?
  5. Good marketing is the key to running a successful businessTo what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. The best way to tackle the problem of obesity is to educate people about healthy eating. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  7. The most important factor in job satisfaction is salaryTo what extent do you agree or disagree?
  8. Many people use customer reviews on the Internet to make decisions about what they buy. Are customer reviews the most useful tool to use when making a purchase?
  9. Many governments think that economic progress is their most important goal. Some people, however, think that other types of progress are equally important for a country. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  10. Some people say that the only reason for learning a foreign language is in order to travel to or work in a foreign country. Others say that these are not the only reasons why someone should learn a foreign language. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.
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Cause / Problem / Solution IELTS Essay Topics

  1. The increase in the number of privately-owned cars is having a negative impact on both our towns and the environmentWhat can individuals and the government do to reduce this problem?
  2. Many people play sport when they are young, but then stop when they become adultsWhy do so many adults stop doing physical exercise? What can be done to solve this problem?
  3. Fewer people today visit museums than in the past. Why is this? What can be done to encourage more people to visit museums in the future?
  4. Many animals today are being hunted to the point of extinctionWhat can be done to tackle this problem?
  5. In many countries today, the average weight of people is increasingWhat has led to this situation? What can be done to solve it?
  6. Global warming is one of the most serious issues facing the world today. What are some of the causes of global warming? What can governments and individuals do to solve the problem?
  7. The gap between the rich and poor is growing. What difficulties does this cause? How can these problems be overcome?
  8. More and more people are stressed today than ever before. What are the causes of this stress? Can you what can be done to address this problem?
  9. Many young people today are leaving their homes in the countryside to move to cities. Why is this happening? What can be done to encourage young people to stay in rural areas?
  10. Many people today are choosing to stay in rented apartments rather than hotels when they travel. What led to this change? What problems could it cause the travel industry?
  11. Children today spend a lot of time on social media. What potential problems could this cause and how could they be addressed?
  12. Many young people today will never be able to afford to buy a houseWhat has led to this situation? What can be done to remedy it?
  13. In many countries, the tradition of having family meals together is disappearing. Why is this happening? What will the effects of this be on the family and society?
  14. Nowadays we are producing more and more rubbish.Why do you think this is happening? What can government do to help reduce this amount of rubbish produced?
  15. In many countries, the level of crime is increasingWhat do you think are the main causes of crime? What can we deal with those causes? 
  16. People today are spending more and more time outside of the homeWhat are the reasons for this trend? What effects is it having on individuals and society?
  17. In spite of the advances made in agriculture, many people around the world still go hungryWhy is this the case? What can be done about this problem?
  18. People today know fewer of their neighbours than in the past. Why is this? What can be done to solve this problem?
  19. The quality of life in many large cities is currently becoming worse. Why is this? What measures can be introduced to tackle this issue?
  20. Many people have jobs that involve working shifts (i.e. working at night). What are some of the problems that shift workers might face? What can be done to solve them?

 Do you struggle coming up with good ideas for essays? You are not alone – it is the number one problem facing even high-level students. However, the three techniques in this blog post will help you to brainstorm good ideas for ANY IELTS essay!

IELTS Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Topics

  1. Thanks to low-cost airlines, many people can travel abroad. What advantages and disadvantages do tourists bring to the countries they visit?
  2. People today are able to take out loans from the bank or get a credit card very easilyWhat are the advantages and disadvantages of this practice?
  3. Many people use the Internet as their main educational resourceWhat are the advantages and disadvantages of this practice?
  4. In some countries, teenagers have part-time jobs while they are still at schoolWhat benefits does this bring a child? Are there any drawbacks?
  5. Schools in some countries require their students to wear a uniformWhat are the positives and negatives of this rule?

 The symbols e dot g dot which are used to denote an example are used to illustrate that the text is about how to add good examples in your IELTS essay, for example essayOne of the most important things you should do in an IELTS essay is support your argument with relevant examples. But what are good examples for an IELTS essay? – well, let me give you a clue: they do NOT include fake statistics and they are NOT personal! 

Outweigh Advantages and Disadvantages Essay Topics

  1. Being a celebrity– such as a film star or singer – brings problems as well as benefits. Do you think that being a celebrity brings more benefits or more problems?
  2. As a country develops, more people are able to purchase a carDo you think that the positive for the individual outweigh the negatives for the environment?
  3. Many museums charge an admission fee while others are free. Do you think that the advantages of charging admission to museums outweigh the disadvantages?
  4. Today, it is common to see famous sports people advertising sports products. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?
  5. More and more people are choosing to eat ready-made meals rather than freshly cooked foodDoes this trend have more advantages than disadvantages?

Positive or Negative Development IELTS Essay Topics

  1.  Many parents today employ private tutors to teach their children after school hours. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
  2. Today, more people are waiting until their thirties to get married and have childrenDo you think this is a positive or negative development?
  3. In recent years, many small local shops have closed because customers travel to large shopping centres or malls to do their shopping. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
  4. Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products anywhere in the world. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
  5. Nowadays many people communicate using social mediaDo you think this is a positive or negative development?

Most IELTS blog posts are full of advice about how to paraphrase. Me? I’m the opposite – I want to encourage people NOT to paraphrase? Why? Read my blog post on the Dangers of Paraphrasing to find out! ☠️

IELTS Direct Question Writing Topics

  1. Some students who perform badly at school go on to have very successful lives as adults.What qualities are needed to do well at school? Are these the same qualities that help people succeed later in life?
  2. 100 years ago, it was felt that the human race was making progress in all areas of life. Nowadays, there is less certainty that this is the case. In what areas do you think that the most progress has been made so far? In what area are more things needed to be done?
  3. Many people believe that globalisation is leading to the culture of individual countries being lostWhat can be done to protect a society’s traditional values?
  4. Children often complain that history lessons are boring because they are about a past that is dead. How can schools bring history alive for pupils?
  5. Some people think that the government is responsible for looking after the elderly. Others believe that it should be family members. Who do you think should take responsibility?

Don’t know what a complex sentence is or how to write one? Well my friend, you are in the right place! There is a reason why my ▶️ FREE Introduction to Complex Sentences video  has had over 100,00 views this year! (It’s good!)A thumbnail photo for a video that teaches about IELTS complex sentences

IELTS Two-Part Question Essay Topics

  1. More and more people today are moving from the countrysideWhy is this happening? Do you think it is a positive or a negative development?
  2. People spend a major part of their adult like at work, and job satisfaction is an important part of individual well-being. What contributes to a person feeling satisfied at work? How realistic is it for all people to feel satisfied?
  3. Many people have problems managing their money. What skills does a person need to manage their money well? Who should teach children these skills?
  4. Technology has changed the way that people interact with each other. In what ways has technology changed the types of relationships that people make? Has this been a positive or negative development?
  5. Children have to be punished to learn the difference between right and wrong.To what extent do you agree or disagree?What sort of punishments should parents be able to give their children?
  6. Thanks to developments in technology, many people today have lost basic skills such as how to repair clothes, etc. Why is this happening? Do you think that this is a negative development?
  7. Some people think that governments should try to reduce air traffic by taxing it more heavily, Do you agree or disagree? What other methods could be used to reduce air traffic?
  8. Some people feel that schools should teach children how to become a good parentDo you agree or disagree with this opinion? What skills do people need to be a good parent?
  9. Nowadays, men’s sport is given far more attention in society than women’s sports. What are the reasons for this? Do you think this is a positive or a negative situation?
  10. Advances in technology mean that many people today work from home. What has led to this change? Is it a positive of negative development?

So, those were 100 IELTS essay topics you can use to practice your IELTS skills. I hope you found them useful. You can find out how to write every one of these 100 essay in My IELTS Classroom – the interactive writing course with 33-hours of lessons that will prepare you for any IELTS question 🚀

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