18 Common Topics in IELTS Writing Task 2

On this page is a list of the 18 most common IELTS Writing Task 2 topics that have appeared in actual IELTS essay questions.

Use this list to help you prepare for the IELTS Test.

You can, for example, search for reading material on some of these topics. This will help you to develop your vocabulary; and to develop your awareness of the views that different people have on these topics.

You can also read my IELTS Model Essays for examples of how to address some of these topics.


  • why people spend their lives close to their birthplace
  • the best time to be alive
  • trying new things (e.g. good and travel)
  • owning v renting a home


  • best school leaving age
  • importance of handwriting
  • teaching parenting skills to children
  • learning foreign languages
  • importance of History / Science
  • single sex schools


  • the damage done by plastic
  • importance of recycling
  • protection of endangered species
  • most serious environmental problems
  • importance of zoos


  • driverless vehicles
  • mobile payments
  • robots
  • availability of information online
  • online privacy


  • fast food
  • sugar in food and drink
  • lack of sleep
  • health education
  • importance of exercise on health


  • banning advertising of certain products
  • reasons for the success of advertising
  • impact of technology on media (e.g. newspapers)
  • censorship
  • news coverage


  • travel abroad v in home country
  • understanding other cultures
  • growing similarities between countries
  • impact of travel (e.g. on environment, local communities)


  • benefits of voluntary work
  • retirement age
  • impact of technology on work
  • importance of high salaries v job satisfaction
  • part-time work


  • impact of ageing population
  • effect of population growth
  • gender equality
  • decline of traditional customs
  • crime


  • big business investment
  • government investment in sport / culture
  • cash v contactless cards
  • saving v spending


  • influence of brand names
  • local shops v large shopping malls
  • closure of small, local shops


  • celebrity lifestyles
  • popularity of certain genres (e.g. crime novels)
  • watching movies in cinema v on phone


  • children’s reading habits
  • online v printed books
  • importance of libraries
  • reasons for interest in fiction


  • importance of sport
  • investment in sport
  • money earned by sports personalities
  • professional v amateur sports
  • investment in sport


  • road safety
  • investment in public transport
  • investment in transport infrastructure (e.g. highways, airports)
  • traffic congestion
  • differences between transport types

Family and Children

  • how to bring up children
  • punishment of children
  • differences between generations
  • changing family roles


  • causes of crime
  • appropriate punishments for crime
  • young people and crime


  • impact of technology on communication
  • differences between letter writing and emails
  • video conferencing

About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.