Hunger: IELTS Problems Solutions Sample Essay

Here is this week’s IELTS Model Essay. It’s an IELTS Problems Solutions Essay on the topic of hunger.

In spite of the advances made in agriculture, many people around the world still go hungry.

Why is this the case?

What can be done about this problem?

Cambridge IELTS Academic 13 Test 4

 

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My Plan

I will first plan this essay using my 4 Step Planning Process.

Step 1: Understanding The Task

The topic statement says: “In spite of the advances made in agriculture, many people around the world still go hungry.” So it’s NOT asking you  “why do people go hungry?” – if it were, you could simply say that they forget to eat! It’s asking you “why do people go hungry despite agricultural advances?” This narrows down the topic.

Step 2: Decide Your Position

Your position is your answer, so for this task, my position is my answer to the 2 questions:

  • Why is this the case? (i.e. the causes of the problem)
  • What can be done about this problem? (the solutions)

Personally, I think the main causes of hunger are:

  • war
  • climate change
  • extreme poverty

And I think solutions include:

  • emergency food relief
  • education
  • GM food

Step 3: Extend Your Ideas

Next, I need to develop my ideas. This step is essential to get a Band 7 or higher for Task Response. So I need to take my main ideas from Step 2, and add some detail to these points. Here is my more detailed plan, with supporting information (e.g. explanations and examples):

Causes of hunger:

  • war
    • war displaces people -> may be hard to get food in new place
    • hard to farm land in war zone
  • climate change
    • drought – lack of water -> plants and livestock die
    • hotter temperatures -> affects crops and animals
    • too much water -> floods – can destroy crops
  • extreme poverty
    • urban areas – hard to buy food if poor / can’t grow food in cities
    • farming communities – people sell of livestock for money if poor -> unable to far,

Solutions:

  • short-term solutions
    • emergency food relief (famine relief, WFP, food banks)
  • long-term solutions
    • education: teach farmers about techniques, nutrient-rich crops
    • GM food: controversial but more resistant to drought / disease

There’s quite a lot here, so I might not write everything in my final essay!

Step 4: Structure Your Essay

Finally, I need to decide how to organise these ideas. In other words, which paragraphs will contain each of these ideas and supporting details.

I could simply do this:

  • Paragraph 1: introduction
  • Paragraph 2: causes of hunger
  • Paragraph 3: solutions
  • Paragraph 4: summary

But this essay will probably be quite long, so it makes sense to divide my ideas into more, smaller paragraphs:

  • Paragraph 1: introduction
  • Paragraph 2: cause #1 – war
  • Paragraph 3: cause #2 – climate change
  • Paragraph 4: cause #3 – poverty
  • Paragraph 5: short-term solutions
  • Paragraph 6: long-term solutions
  • Paragraph 7: summary

So my complete plan would look like this:

Introduction [Paragraph 1]

Causes of hunger:

  • war [Paragraph 2]
    • war displaces people -> may be hard to get food in new place
    • hard to farm land in war zone
  • climate change [Paragraph 3]
    • drought – lack of water -> plants and livestock die
    • hotter temperatures -> affects crops and animals
    • too much water -> floods – can destroy crops
  • extreme poverty [Paragraph 4]
    • urban areas – hard to buy food if poor / can’t grow food in cities
    • farming communities – people sell of livestock for money if poor -> unable to far,

Solutions:

  • short-term solutions [Paragraph 5]
    • emergency food relief (famine relief, WFP, food banks)
  • long-term solutions [Paragraph 6]
    • education: teach farmers about techniques, nutrient-rich crops
    • GM food: controversial but more resistant to drought / disease

Summary [Paragraph 7]

So now it’s time to turn my detailed plan into full sentences!

My Essay

Hunger continues to be a problem around the world despite agricultural advances such as improved crop yields and new harvesting technologies. This essay will consider some reasons for this, along with both short and long-term solutions.

One of the main causes of extreme hunger is war, which tends to displace thousands and sometimes millions of people as they flee conflict, making it difficult for them to get access to food. War can also make it difficult for farmers to engage in daily farming or to gather in the harvest, which can exacerbate food shortages.

Climate change is an additional cause of hunger. Drought makes irrigation impossible, causing crops to die off and livestock to die, while flooding caused by heavy rains can destroy plants.

Urban inhabitants, even in developed countries, can be victims of hunger. Those in extreme poverty may find it hard to feed themselves more than once a day because of increased prices, and the fact that they live in cities means they can’t grow their own food.

One obvious solution is to provide emergency food supplies to the hungry. The UN’s World Food Programme is one organisation that has provided effective emergency famine relief in regions affected by war and drought, while food banks can provide assistance to people living in urban areas. However, these are only short-term solutions.

Longer term solutions include better training for farmers, especially in the developing world. This could include advice on how to implement more efficient agricultural techniques as well as on how to grow more nutrient-rich crops. Although controversial, the increased use of genetically-modified foods may provide another long-term solution, as it could lead to the cultivation of crops more resistant to drought and disease.

In summary, global hunger is caused by a number of factors, including war, climate change and poverty, but emergency food supplies, education and GM foods can be used to help alleviate the worst of the problems.

(321 words)

Band 9 Vocabulary

This essay uses a wide range of vocabulary in a natural way. This vocabulary also explains and illustrates my ideas in a very precise way. In particular, I use lots of natural collocations – groups of words. IELTS Examiners want to see groups of words like these in the higher bands.

  • improved crop yields
  • new harvesting technologies
  • both short and long-term solutions
  • extreme hunger
  • exacerbate food shortages
  • victims of hunger
  • emergency food supplies
  • World Food Programme
  • food banks
  • nutrient-rich crops
  • genetically-modified foods

I’ve also used several complex noun phrases. These are all groups of words that act as a single noun, but contain more than one grammatical item.

  • flooding caused by heavy rains
  • effective emergency famine relief in regions affected by war and drought
  • the cultivation of crops more resistant to drought and disease

 

 

Posted in IELTS Model Essays.

Charles Cornelius is a PGCE and CELTA-qualified teacher and former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds a MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 70,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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