This is a Task 2 model essay! Try copying it word for word! Then try writing it from memory! Be sure to note any new language items you see in your journal! 👀

This questions was seen in Saudi Arabia in May 2018:

Some people think cars are the best way to get around a city, while others prefer cycling. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Getting around a city by car or bicycle poses advantages and disadvantages. This essay will examine both before declaring a preference.

There are two obvious benefits to travelling around a city by car. The first is speed. For example, a car can get its driver from one side of a metropolis like New York City to the other in only a few hours. Cars also allow travellers to transport large numbers of items with them, a trait that is very useful to professionals commuting to and from work. These two abilities are simply not possible by bicycle. Thus, there is convincing support for the argument that cars are the optimal vehicle with which to travel around a city.

However, there are nevertheless several advantages to traversing a city by bicycle. For one, unlike a car, a bicycle does not produce harmful emissions, and this is much better for the cleanliness of a city. Bicycles are also small enough to navigate their way between cars, and this means they are less prone to delays due to traffic jams. In addition to this, their small size makes them easier to park, which can significantly reduce transportation related costs in a large city.

This discussion makes clear that both sides of the debate purport valid and convincing arguments that are relevant to the particular needs of the traveller, so it is difficult to declare one form of transport universally better than the other. In my personal case, transit via bicycle is best because I only travel short distances. Both cars and bicycles can be effective methods of city transport given specific circumstances.

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Watch me write an IELTS essay!

The process involves more planning than you might think! In this video, I try to explain some of the mental planning you should quickly do before starting your Task 2 response. Coming up with a few ideas regarding how to approach the essay question gives you some direction and helps you to produce much better structure in your essay.

The question that appears in this video is:

Some people think that the government should invest money in arts and culture, while others believe the government should spend money on more important things. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

If you would like to read a text version of the essay that appears in this video, I published it two days ago here:

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Read this May 2018 model essay

I screencasted myself as I wrote this, but I don’t have time to edit and publish the video tonight. You can expect that video tomorrow!

In the meantime, have a look at the question and model essay:

Some people think that the government should invest money in arts and culture, while others believe the government should spend money on more important things. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

The manner in which a nation decides how to use public funding is an often debated topic. For some, providing financial support to a nation’s arts and culture is seen as necessary; however, others feel this money is best spent elsewhere. This essay will analyse both opinions before a reasoned conclusion is reached.

As many argue, fostering a nation’s arts and culture is a wise use of government funding. There are several merits to this position. For one, financially supporting the arts can help solidify historical record and understanding. In China, for example, a tremendous amount of money is spent every year to preserve and promote the traditions of the Beijing Opera. These efforts give modern people a window into the past, and this encourages worldwide understanding of China and its history. Another benefit is the manner in which a strong arts and culture scene promotes national identity. Encouraging people to collectively identify with the historical art and culture produced in their nation establishes peace and stability in large countries like China. The advantages of this point of view are thus very clear.

Other people, however, feel such spending on arts and culture is wasteful and neglects a nation’s more pressing needs. For instance, an art gallery in my home city of Ottawa once spent over a million dollars on a large painting that displayed varying shades of white, a piece most people described as ‘dull’. Local residents found this municipal move distasteful and irresponsible given the fact that the money could have been put towards much needed social projects like helping the homeless find steady employment. It is thus understandable why many are proponents of this point of view.

The above discussion illustrates how nuances between countries make it impossible to recommend a set spending pattern for all governments. Nations are thus best to fund their arts and culture in accordance to their specific needs.

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Train for those difficult to understand regional accents in IELTS Listening

Before you watch the video you may want to try the exercise yourself! Download the paper and MP3 here:

Please note: an Irish accent –heard in this exercise in Section 1– is unlikely to appear in an actual IELTS Listening exam.

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