Ideas for IELTS Writing Topics 1-5

The following are the most important topics with ideas and notes. Both the topics and notes will help you have ready-made to write and speak on any IELTS topic.

1. Advertising

Positives of Advertising
Advertising is a key part of modern business. Companies need to tell customers about their products. Advertisements inform us about the choices we have. Advertising is a creative industry that employs many people. Without advertising we would have less choice. Without advertising there would be higher unemployment. Advertising is a form of modern art People enjoy adverts.

Negatives of Advertising
Advertising manipulates people. It aims to persuade people that buying a product will make them happier. Advertisers focus on selling a brand image. They use glamorous, successful people. We now live in a consumer culture. We are persuaded to follow the latest trend. We are encouraged to associate certain brands with a higher status. Advertisers often aim their marketing at children. Children can easily be influenced by advertisements. Children put pressure on parents to buy them things.

Opinions about Advertising
Advertising should be regulated. Advertising aimed at children should be controlled or even banned. Unhealthy foods should not be marketed in a way that attracts children. Products that can be risk to healthy should display warnings. In some countries it is illegal to advertise cigarettes on television. Warnings must be displayed on cigarette packets. However, advertising is necessary in free market economies. It creates demand for products. Governments should only censor false information or products that are harmful.

2. Animal rights

Arguments for Animal testing
Animals are used in important scientific research. It is necessary to do medical tests on new drugs. Animal testing helps to advance medical and scientific knowledge. Many important medical discoveries involved experimentation on animals. Researchers aim to minimize the suffering that animals experience Testing for the cosmetics industry is now banned in many countries.

Arguments against Animal Testing
The benefits of research using animals do not justify the suffering caused. There are alternative methods of research. The lives of animals should be respected. Humans have no moral right to do experiments on animals.

Arguments for Vegetarianism
Vegetarians do not eat foods that are produced by killing animals. Many people choose a vegetarian diet for moral or health reasons. A healthy diet is possible without eating meat. It is unnecessary to kill animal for food. A vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of disease like cancer. Many people question the treatment of animals in factory farms.

Arguments against Vegetarianism
Vegetarians do not eat a balanced diet. In many cultures, meat is the main ingredient in traditional meals. Meat-eaters argue that animals are below humans in the food chain. It is completely natural for us to kill them for food. Our aim should be to improve farming methods. Farms should produce organic food.

Positives of Zoos
Zoos play an important role in wildlife conservation. They can help to protect endangered species. Zoos allow scientists to study animals and their behavior. Zoos are educational, interesting and fun Children, in particular, enjoy learning about animals. Zoos provide job opportunities.

Negatives of Zoos
Zoo animals are kept in artificial environments. They are kept in cages or have limited space. Zoo animals rely on humans. They lose the freedom to hunt for food. They best way to save endangered species is by protecting natural habitats. Some people believe that zoos are unethical Zoos exhibits animals with the aim of making money. We have no right to use animals for entertainment and profit.

3. Cities

Reasons for Urbanization
People move to cities in search of job opportunities. Cities offer greater employment possibilities and a higher standard of living. People migrate to cities from the countryside. Traditional activities like farming need fewer workers nowadays.

Negatives of City Life
Life in cities has its drawbacks. The cost of living is higher than in rural areas. Some people do not manage to find work. Housing is usually much more expensive. Homelessness and poverty are common on cities. There is a gap between rich and poor. Life in cities can be extremely stressful. There are problems like traffic congestion and crime. Cities lack a sense of community. People do not even know their neighbor Cities are sometimes described as “concrete jungles”.

Pedestrian Areas
Pedestrian zones in city centre can improve the local environment. Banning cars encourages people to walk or cycle. Many European cities have built bicycle lanes. Dependence on cars is linked to health problems like obesity. People who walk or cycle regularly are generally healthier. Pedestrian areas are safer and more attractive for both residents and tourists.

4. Crime

Police and Crime Prevention
The job of the polices is to catch criminals. They must also prevent crime and make communities safer. There should be an increase in the number of police officers on the streets. Police officers should be seen as part of the community. They should be involved with education and prevention. The police should be in close contact with schools. They should focus on young people who have dropped out of school. These teenagers may become involved with gangs.

Fines are used as punishment for minor crimes. If the crime is more serious, prison is the most common punishment. Some criminals pose a threat to society. They are put in prison to ensure the safety of other citizens.

Negatives of Prisons
Criminals are put together. They make friends with other offenders. Many prisoners re-offend when they are released. A criminal record makes finding a job more difficult.

Another aim of prisons is rehabilitation. Prisoners receive education of vocational training. Prisoners should learn personal skills and specific job skills. Punishment could make prisoners’ behavior worse Rehabilitation aims to make them better citizens Rehabilitated prisoners are less likely to re-offend.

Capital punishment
Supporters say that capital punishment deters crime. Fear of the death penalty stops people from committing offences. The death penalty shows that crime is not tolerated. It is a form of revenge. The cost of imprisonment is avoided. The offender cannot pose a threat to others.

Against Capital Punishment
Innocent people could be wrongly convicted and executed. Crime rates are not necessarily reduced. Many criminals do not think they will be caught. Capital punishment is not a good deterrent. Executing prisoners creates a violent culture and encourages revenge. We have no right to take another human life.

Community service
Community service is a way to reform offenders. It could be a solution to prison overcrowding. It avoids the cost of imprisonment. It makes offenders useful in their local communities. They are required to clean streets or talk to school groups. Offenders repay their community. They avoid the negative influence that prison can have.

Against community service
Community service is not a sufficient punishment. Criminals should be locked up, away from their victims.

Crime in the Media
Crime is one of the main subjects of most news programs. The mass media focus on violent and sensational crimes. This lead to fear of crime among the public Sensational stories attract more viewers or readers. The media report crime stories in order to increase their audience.

5. Education

Benefits of education
Education gives people knowledge and skills. People with qualification are more likely to find work. They can earn a higher salary. They can contribute positively to society. Schools aim to teach young people moral values such as tolerance and sharing. Schools prepare children to be members of a society.

Benefits of Studying Abroad
Foreign institutions may offer better courses. Many students want to attend a prestigious university. The best universities employ teachers who are experts in their fields. Qualifications gained abroad can open the door to better job opportunities. Living abroad can broaden students’ horizons. Overseas students are exposed to different cultures and customs. They become more independent. They are responsible for cooking, cleaning and paying bills. They will learn a foreign language. Drawback of studying abroad
Living and studying abroad can be difficult. Students have problems with paperwork such as visa applications. The language barrier can be a problem. Students have to find accommodation and pay bills Studying in a foreign language is challenging Living alone in an unfamiliar culture can cause homesickness.

Technology in Education: Advantages
Technology is a powerful tool to engage students. Technology can make lessons much more interesting. Students can do research using online resources. Students can study at their own place Adults can take distance learning courses. Students can study whenever and wherever they want. Students also learn skills which are useful for their future jobs. For example, they learn to write reports using a word processor.

Technology in Education: Disadvantages
People rely too much on computers. Young learners do not become proficient in some basic skills. They use word processors and spelling may suffer. People should be able to write a letter by hand. Technology is no substitute for a real teacher. Learners need a structured course. An experienced teacher knows what materials to choose. Computers are expensive to maintain and can be unreliable.

Technology in Education: Opinion
Institutions should supplement traditional teaching with the use of technology. Technology is part of everyday life. It can enhance a teacher’s lessons. Students can use online resources to help with homework. Students must still learn to write by hand. They should still use traditional sources of information such as books.

Education in Developing countries: Problems
Children often have to work from an early age. There are no schools in many areas. Families do not have access to books or computers. Literacy rates are often low. People in developing countries need knowledge and skills. Education is the key to improving the economy of these countries.

Education in developing countries: solutions
Developed countries could help developing nations by providing money. They could invest in schools and technology. They could supply the funds to build schools and pay for teachers. Children need to have access to free schooling. Computer equipment could be donated. The Internet can expose students to a world of knowledge and information. Governments should make education compulsory for all children. They should encourage parents to send their children to school. Governments of developed and developing countries must work together.

Higher education: Advantages (also see “benefits of education”)
There are many benefits to going to university. A degree can open the door to better employment prospects. Economies are becoming increasingly knowledge-based. Most jobs require specific knowledge and skills. Skilled workers are needed for sectors such as information technology and engineering. Repetitive manual jobs are now done by machine. Many factories have moved to developing countries.

Higher education: Disadvantages
A healthy economy needs a wide range of workers. Some manual workers will always be needed. A university degree is not necessary for many service professions. Practical training is more important in some industries. In the UK, for example, there is currently a shortage of plumbers. Their services are therefore becoming more and more expensive.

Advantage of Home-schooling
Some parents decide to educate their children at home. Some families live in isolated areas with poor transport. Other parents are not satisfied with local schools. Parents can respond to what their children need and how they learn best. One-to-one lessons allow much faster progress. The child can work at his or her own pace. Discipline problems are avoided by home-schooling.

Disadvantages of home-schooling
Most parents do not have the time to educate their children at home. One parent would need to give up work. School subjects are normally taught by up to ten different teachers. Most parents do not have the necessary knowledge or resources. Private tutors are expensive. Children will miss out on the social experience that school offers. At school, children learn how to get on with each other Home-schooled children may lack social skills. Schools offer a better overall educational experience.

Bad behavior in schools: causes
Bad behavior is due to a lack of structure and discipline. There are too many children in some classes. Large classes are difficult to manage. Many disruptive students come from an unstable family background. Other parents are too lenient and spoil their children. Some children are used to getting whatever they want. Schools can do very little if they are not supported by parents.

Bad behavior in schools: solutions
Schools need a clear code of conduct. Schools need a clear set of rules about behavior. They need to create a positive working atmosphere. Teachers must have the power to punish disruptive students. Schools should remove difficult children from lessons. Schools need to work closely with parents. Discipline could be lacking at home. Parents must support the school rules. They should take responsibility for their children’s behavior.

Corporal Punishment: Opinion
Corporal Punishment is not a good idea. Physical punishment is a way of controlling children using fear. This does not promote trust between adults and children. Children who are punished physically may become shy or resentful. Corporal punishment creates an atmosphere of fear and anger.

Single Sex Education: Advantages
Some people believe that male and female students should go to separate schools. This is often for religious or cultural reasons. Discipline problems might be avoided by separating boys and girls. Boys and girls may learn in different ways and have different needs. Student at single-sex schools often get better exam grades.

Single-sex Education: Disadvantages 
Separating boys and girls is unnecessary. It is unhealthy in terms of children’s social development. Many coeducational schools are extremely successful. A mixed-sex environment is more representative of real life. Coeducational schools provide children with better social skills for adult life.

Advantages of Streaming (grouping children according to ability)
Some schools separate students according to their academic ability. Teachers can work at the right speed for their students. Teachers can plan more suitable lessons. High-level groups may progress faster. Lower level groups can benefits from a slower pace. Some teachers and parents support streaming for these reasons.

Disadvantages of Streaming
Grouping by ability may have a negative impact on students. Children do not want to be seen as less intelligent than others. Streaming could damage students’ self esteem. They may lose motivation. Students from wealthier families tend to be better prepared. Children from poorer families may receive less support from parents. Mixed ability classes encourage everyone to achieve their potential.

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