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Presenting an Argument and Problems and Solutions

The purpose of this article is to help you expand your vocabulary for dealing with the Task 2 discussion and problem-solution type essays.  To achieve level 7 and above you need to show that you can develop and support an argument, clearly articulate features of the problem in question and also know how to present solutions with appropriate expressions.

The following are lists of mainly less commonly used expressions in discussion essays.


Introducing an Argument

One argument that can be put forward is …

There are (several) ways of looking at this problem.
My approach in this essay is to first. …………and then
To answer this question, we need to scrutinise both the arguments for and against.

Adding a point to support an argument

As well as introducing children to reading and writing, a primary school education is the first step in the socialization of a child.
A further argument in favour of free secondary education is …
On top of the benefits already mentioned, it should also be added that …
Free education in the long term saves societies money. Moreover, it greatly enhances the job opportunities for individuals.

Qualifying and balancing an argument

This is a valid argument but only up to a point. It fails to address the issue of …

 We need to look at both sides of this question, the pros and the cons.
Having said that, there is an opposite case to be made.
It is by no means a perfect situation. Nevertheless, there are some benefits worth considering


Introducing new points


Turning to 
the second point…
This brings us to the cost issue
At this point, we should think again about …
A question this raises is …
 

Referring back and forward

This point relates to the preceding one discussed.

As was mentioned earlier,…
The above figures are not accepted by everyone.
The following examples help to illustrate this point…
The figure below gives the relevant data.

Introducing a problem

These problems have arisen as a result of overcrowding.

There are clearly many shortcomings in the public transport system that need to be addressed.
Increasing urban populations pose many challenges for local authorities.
However, there are inconsistencies in this argument, which I shall describe below.
Unsurprisingly, the lack of planning meant that they soon ran into problems.
People from rural areas often come up against unexpected problemswhen moving to the city.

Dealing with a Problem

A failure to react to this problem quickly led to it getting out of hand.

There are several ways to tackle this problem.
No-one had yet come up with a satisfactory way of resolving this issue.
I would suggest the best way to overcome this kind of problem is by …
A possible remedy to prevent such incidents is to …
This is a type of problem that can be sorted out quite easily.

Whether task 2 requires you to discuss both sides of an argument, agree or disagree with an opinion, or describe a problem and offer solutions, remember that the examiners are looking to see how wide a range of language you can use and how accurately it is used.

If you are serious about taking your IELTS writing to the next level, sign up for your FREE 3 part IELTS writing video course that takes you through both task 1 and task 2. The video lessons are led by our highly experienced UK native IELTS teacher, Katherine. We also provide you with exercises to test your understanding!

Sign up your FREE IELTS writing video course by clicking here.

 

Exercises

Exercise 1

Choose the correct word from the two options in each sentence. The sentences are all possible statements that could be made for the following essay.


Some people think that human history has been a journey from ignorance to knowledge. Others argue that this underestimates the achievements of ancient cultures, and overvalues our achievements.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

 
  1. In addition / As well as laying the foundations for the social relations we take for granted, ancient societies also provide us with a model that we can compare our own modern lifestyles with.
  2. It is shallow thinking to assume that progress is inevitable. Nevertheless/ Furthermore it would be false to assert the opposite view that there is no such thing as social progress.
  3. The above/following reference to science turns/brings us to another area which is often overlooked, namely the achievements of ancient societies in such areas as engineering and medicine.

Exercise 2

Match the sentence beginnings with the sentence endings.

The sentences are all possible statements that could be made for the following essay.

More and more people are migrating to cities in search of a better life, but city life can be extremely difficult. Explain some of the difficulties of living in a city. How can governments make urban life better for everyone?
Many low-income migrants come up
 
to dealing with many of the problems faced by urban communities.
Unfortunately, well-intentioned measures taken to ease urban problems fail
the issue of how local authorities can oversee the control of the private rental market.
The report into inner city living conditions revealed
address the problem of inadequate health care.
Evidence of widespread abuse of tenants by landlords raises
because of inconsistencies between the proposed actions.
The need to improve the living of many inner-city residents poses
tackle the various problems that city life brings.
The setting up of local residents’ committees has proved to be at least a partial answer
against discrimination when trying to find somewhere to live.
Increased rates of chronic illness have been attributed to a failure to
the question of how to finance any action plan.
 
Local authorities face many challenges in trying to
many shortcomings in several areas.
 

Answers to Exercises

Exercise 1

 

  1. In addition / As well as laying the foundations for the social relations we take for granted, ancient societies also provide us with a model that we can compare our own modern lifestyles with.
  2. It is shallow thinking to assume that progress is inevitable. Nevertheless/ Furthermore it would be false to assert the opposite view that there is no such thing as social progress.
  3. The above/following reference to science turns/brings us to another area which is often overlooked, namely the achievements of ancient societies in such areas as engineering and medicine.

 

Exercise 2

 

  1. Many low-income migrants come up against discrimination when trying to find somewhere to live.
  2. Unfortunately, well-intentioned measures taken to ease urban problems fail because of inconsistencies between the proposed actions.
  3. The report into inner city living conditions revealed many shortcomings in several areas.
  4. Evidence of widespread abuse of tenants by landlords raises the issue of how local authorities can oversee the control of the private rental market.
 
If you are serious about taking your IELTS writing to the next level, sign up for your FREE 3 part IELTS writing video course that takes you through both task 1 and task 2. The video lessons are led by our highly experienced UK native IELTS teacher, Katherine. We also provide you with exercises to test your understanding!
Sign up your FREE IELTS writing video course by clicking here.
Don’t forget to COMMENT and SHARE with friends and classmates who are doing the IELTS exam also. = )

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