240 IELTS Essay Writing Topics

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240 of the Toughest IELTS writing topics

If you want a good IELTS workout, set yourself the goal of writing a 300 word essay for one IELTS task 2 writing prompt from each of the 17 categories listed below.  After you have drafted your essay, do a grammar check. For Vietnamese students interested in the IELTS, check out IELTS defeating.

Advertising, journalism, and the media

  1. News plays an important part in most people’s lives. Why is news so important to people? Why is so much news dedicated to bad news? Should the news focus on good news instead?
  2. Some companies sponsor sports as a way to advertise themselves. Some people think it is good, while others think there are disadvantages to this. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  3. Violence in the media promotes violence in society. To what extent do you agree?
  4. Most people think that the truth should be objective rather than subjective when it comes to the news. Do you think all news is true? What is the function of a newspaper?
  5. More and more newspapers and news channels are using photographs to support their news articles and stories. Some people think that photographs are not a reliable source of news while others consider photographs to be irrefutable. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  6. With the development of the media online, there is no future for the radio. To what extent do you agree?
  7. Some people believe that what children watch on television influences their behaviour. Others say that amount of time spent watching television influences their behaviour. Discuss both views and give own opinion.
  8. Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  9. Companies spend millions each year on advertising online, in magazines and on billboards. These adverts can encourage people to buy goods that they do not really need. What are the positive and negative effects of consumerism?
  10. One of the prime times for advertising on TV is when children get back from school. Some people think that advertisements aimed at children should not be allowed. What is your opinion?
  11. Many people buy products that they do not really need and replace old products with new ones unnecessarily. Why do people buy things they don’t really need? Do you think this is a good thing?
  12. Many people think that fast food companies should not be allowed to advertise while others believe that all companies should have the right to advertise. What is your opinion?
  13. The majority of news being reported is bad news such as wars, famines, accidents and crime. Why do you think that is? Do you think the news should be a balance of both good and bad news?
  14. At present the media affects people’s lives significantly. What impact does this have on society? Is it a negative or positive development?

Art

  1. Art and music are considered some of the fundamental elements of all societies. Do you think art and music still have a place in today’s modern world of technology? Should children spend more time learning art and music at school?
  2. Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree with this view?
  3. Art is considered an essential part of all cultures throughout the world. However, these days fewer and fewer people appreciate art and turn their focus to science, technology and business. Why do you think that is?
  4. What could be done to encourage more people to take interest in the arts? Some people think that art is an essential subject for children at school while others think it is a waste of time. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  5. Artists need a certain amount of freedom to develop their creativity. Some people think that artists should have total freedom to express any thoughts and ideas. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. Most artists earn low salaries and should therefore receive funding from the government in order for them to continue with their work. To what extent do you agree?

Business and money

  1. In some countries, a few people earn extremely high salaries. Some people think that this is good for a country, while others believe that the government should control salaries and limit the amount people can earn. Discuss both views and give your opinion
  2. Due to the development and rapid expansion of supermarkets in some countries, many small, local business are unable to compete. Some people think that the closure of local business will bring about the death of local communities. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  3. Companies should provide sports and social facilities for local communities. To what extent do you agree?
  4. Large businesses have big budgets for marketing and promotion and as a result, people gravitate towards buying their products. What problems does this cause?
  5. What could be done to encourage people to buy local products? An increasing number of people are buying what they need online. What are the advantages and disadvantages for both individuals and companies to shopping online?
  6. Marketing and promotion are the key to a successful business. To what extent do you agree?
  7. The performance of staff can have a significant impact on the success of a company. What can companies do to increase staff productivity?
  8. Some companies have uniforms for their staff which must be worn at all times. What are the advantages for a company of having a uniform? Are there any benefits of having a uniform for the staff?
  9. Some people think that the best way to run a business is within the family. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a family run business?
  10. Some people think that when recruiting, companies should aim to take on people who are innovative and able to work independently while others considered they should recruit people who are able to work in a team and follow instructions. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  11. Some people think that the only way to have success in business is to have a unique product. What factors, do you think, influence the success of a company?
  12. Small businesses should avoid recruiting young women who do not have their own family in order to avoid paying maternity leave later on. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  13. Sales companies should recruit people who are hungry for money as they will make the most dedicated workers. Do you think money is the driving force behind hard work?
  14. What factors should be taken into consideration when recruiting staff for sales positions?
  15. The reason that most individuals are in debt is due to the overuse as well as irresponsible use of credit cards. Banks should not issue credit cards unless they are completely sure of an individual’s ability to pay back their debts. To what extent do you agree with this?
  16. Some people believe that the higher a product is priced, the more likely it is that people will want to buy it. To what extent does price influence potential buyers? What other factors influence people to buy a product?
  17. Some people think that the only way to judge someone’s success in business is by the amount of money they make. Is money a true indicator of the success of a business? In what other ways could success in a business be measured?
  18. It is common practice for some students to take a gap year between high school and university in order to do charitable work abroad in underdeveloped countries. What are the advantages and disadvantages for young people of doing volunteer work?
  19. Rich countries are getting richer while poor countries are getting poorer. What is the cause of this? What could be done to solve this problem?
  20. Some people think that it is better for a country’s economy for people to spend money while others believe that it would be better for people to save money. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Celebrity and entertainment

  1. Some people feel that entertainers (e.g. film stars, pop musicians or sports stars) are paid too much money. Do you agree or disagree? Which other types of job should be highly paid?
  2. Being a celebrity- such as a movie star or professional athlete- brings problems as a well as benefits. Do you think that being a celebrity brings has more benefits or drawbacks?
  3. Successful sports professionals can earn a much more money than people in other important jobs. Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  4. Sometimes celebrities get invited to international aid events. Do you think that such events deviate from their main purpose by inviting famous people?
  5. Nowadays celebrities are more famous for their glamour and wealth than for their achievements, and this sets a bad example to young people. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Crime and punishment

  1. Some people believe that a person’s criminal record should be removed when they reach the age of 18. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  2. Children should never be put in prison with adults no matter how serious their crime. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  3. Some people say that there should be fixed punishments for each type of crime. Others, however, argue that the circumstances of an individual crime, and the motivation for committing it, should always be taken into account when deciding on the punishment. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  4. Some people believe that capital punishment should never be used. Others, however, argue that it should be allowed for the most serious crimes. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  5. Some people believe the purpose of prison is to punish, while other would argue that rehabilitation is its primary role. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  6. Some people say that excessive noise should be a criminal offence, while others say they should be free to make noise without limitation. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  7. There seems to be an increasing number of serious crimes committed each year. While some think it is best to use the death penalty as a deterrent, many people believe that other measures are needed. Discuss both sides.
  8. Some people feel unsafe when they are in public and at home. What are the possible causes for this and what are some possible solutions?
  9. Some people think certain prisoners should be made to do unpaid community work instead of being put behind bars. To what extent do you agree?
  10. The crime rate nowadays is decreasing compared to the past due to advance technology which can prevent and solve crime. Do you agree or disagree?
  11. Many criminals commit further crimes as soon as they released from prison. What do you think are the causes of this? What possible solutions can you suggest?
  12. It is often thought that the increase in juvenile crime can be attributed to violence in the media. Do you agree that this is the main cause of juvenile crime? What solutions can you offer to deal with this situation?
  13. In some societies, the number of crimes committed by teenagers is growing. Some people think that regardless of age, teenagers who commit major crimes should receive adult punishment. To what extent do you agree?
  14. Some countries are struggling with an increase in the rate of crime. Many people think that having more police on the streets is the only way to reduce crime. To what extent do you agree?
  15. Some people think that women should not be allowed to work in the police force. Do you agree or disagree? Many crimes are often related to the consumption of alcohol. Some people think that the best way to reduce the crime rate is to ban alcohol. Do you agree? What other solutions can you suggest?
  16. Many people believe that having a fixed punishment for all crimes is more efficient. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a fixed punishment?
  17. Some people think that the government should be responsible for crime prevention, while others believe that it is the responsibility of the individual to protect themselves. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  18. The death penalty is the best way to control and reduce serious crime. To what extent do you agree?
  19. While it is sometimes thought that prison is the best place for criminals, others believe that there are better ways to deal with them. What is your opinion?
  20. Crime rate, in most countries, is often higher in urban areas than in rural areas. Why do you think that is? What can be done to reduce the crime rate?
  21. Some people think that poverty is the reason behind most crimes. Do you agree or disagree? Internet crime is increasing rapidly as more and more people are using the internet to make financial transactions. What can be done to tackle this problem?
  22. Some people think that it would be better for large companies and industry to move to regional areas outside large urban centers do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Education, university, and student life

  1. In some countries young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
  2. It is becoming increasingly popular to have a year off between finishing school and going to university . what are the advantages and disadvantages of this?
  3. There seems to be an increasing trend towards using exams rather than continual assessment. What are the advantages and disadvantages of exams as a form of assessment?
  4. University students must pay all tuition fees, because it benefits mostly them individually, rather than the society as a whole. Do you agree or disagree?
  5. Some say that music, art and drama are as important as other school subjects, especially at the primary level. Do you agree or disagree?
  6. Giving lectures in halls to large numbers of people is an outdated method of teaching. With the technology available today there is no justification for it, and everything should be done online. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  7. In most universities students focus on specialised subjects, however some people believe that universities should encourage students to study a wider variety of subjects. To what extent you agree or disagree?
  8. Governments should spend more money on education than on recreation and sports. Do you agree or disagree?
  9. Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programmes (for example working for a charity, improving the neighborhood or teaching sports to younger children). To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  10. Universities should accept equal numbers of male and female students in every subject. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  11. Some people believe that children are given too much free time. They feel that this time should be used to do more academic work. How do you think children should spend their free time?
  12. University students should pay in full for their own education instead of the society funding their studies. The reason is that individuals tend to benefit after graduation more than the society. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give your own opinion.
  13. Some people believe that studying history is very important and we must study the past to understand the present. Others say that it is useless and should not be studied at all. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  14. Some teachers tend to reward students who achieve high academic results. Others, however, support and reward students that show the most improvement. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  15. It is generally believed that some people are born with certain talents, for instance for sport or music, and other are not. However, it is sometimes claimed that any child can be taught to become a good sports person or musician. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  16. Some people think that universities should provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace. Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake, regardless of whether the course is useful to an employer. What, in your opinion, should be the main function of a university?
  17. Some parents think that childcare centres provide the best services for children of preschool age. Other working parents think that family members such as grandparents will be better carers for their kids. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  18. Some people think that it is better to educate girls and boys in separate schools. Others, however, believe that boys and girls benefit more from attending mixed schools. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  19. Some people think that parents should teach children how to be good members of society. Others, however, believe that school is the place to learn this. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  20. Some people think that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged. Others believe that children who are taught to co-operate rather than compete become more useful adults. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  21. Some people believe that students should be allowed to evaluate and criticise their teachers to improve the quality of education. Others think this is disrespectful to teachers. Discuss both views, give your opinion and include relevant examples.
  22. All parents want the best opportunities for their children. There are some people who think that schools should teach children skills, but others think having a range of subjects is better for a child’s future. Discuss both and give your opinion.
  23. Some people think that getting a degree from university is the best way to guarantee a good job. Others believe that it would be better to go straight to work and get experience instead. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  24. In many countries schools have severe problems with students’ behaviour. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?
  25. For centuries, reading, writing and mathematics have remained central to education. With the advent of computers, some people think that computer skill ought to be added to the list of essential components of a good education. To what extent do you agree?
  26. The government should allocate more funding to teaching sciences rather than other subjects in order for a country to develop and progress. To what extent do you agree?
  27. Discipline is an ever-increasing problem in modern schools. Some people think that discipline should be the responsibility of teachers, while others think that this is the role of parents. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  28. Some people believe that children should not be given homework everyday, while others believe that they must get homework everyday in order to be successful at school. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  29. Some children receive almost no encouragement from their parents regarding their performance at school, while other children receive a lot of pressure from their over enthusiastic parents, which can have a negative impact on the child. Why do you think some parents put so much pressure on their children to perform well at school? What do you think the role of a parent should be in their child’s education?
  30. The role of education is to prepare children for the modern world. Schools should cut art and music out of the curriculum so that children can focus on useful subjects such as information technology. To what extent do you agree?
  31. Some parents believe that their children should do educational activities during their free time. Others say that puts too much pressure on children. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  32. Some people think that teachers should be able to ask disruptive children to leave the class. Do you think it is the best way to deal with a disruptive child in the classroom? What other solutions are there?
  33. Education should be accessible to people of all economic backgrounds. All levels of education, from primary school to tertiary education, should be free. To what extent do you agree with this opinion?
  34. The current trend in education is to move away from traditional exams and instead have continuous assessment over the school year. What do you think of this trend?
  35. Some people think that educated people are more valuable than people who have learned skills through experience. Do you think that educated people are the most valuable for society? What kinds of skills can people learn through experience that can benefit society?
  36. Being able to speak a foreign language is an advantage these days. Some people think that children should start learning a foreign language at primary school, while others think children should begin in secondary school. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  37. The gap between education in richer countries and education in poorer countries is a growing concern. What solutions can you suggest to deal with this situation?
  38. Some schools are very strict about their school uniforms and the appearance of their pupils, while other schools have a very relaxed dress code. What are the advantages and disadvantages of children of having a school uniform?
  39. In some high schools, part of the curriculum requires students to participate in community work such as helping the elderly or disabled. In what way do children benefit from this? Do you think it should be part of the curriculum?
  40. The best way to help underachieving pupils is to have compulsory after school activities which they must and. This way they will become more involved in school and their grades will improve. To what extent do you agree?
  41. Some people think that parents have the greatest influence on their child’s academic development, while others think that a child’s teacher has more influence. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  42. In some countries, girls and boys are educated in different schools rather than in the same school. What are the advantages and disadvantage of this?
  43. In nearly all science courses at university, there are significantly more male students than female students. What is the reason for this? What could be done to balance out the numbers?
  44. Some people think that it is beneficial for old people to learn something new while others believe that once a person is past 65 years of age it is too late to learn. What is your opinion?
  45. It is thought by some that a school teacher’s role is to motivate and inspire students. However, other people believe that a teacher’s primary role is to pass on knowledge. What do you think is the role of a teacher?
  46. Fewer schools are requiring children to learn and improve their handwriting skills. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of this trend?

Employment, gender equality, and jobs

  1. Some say that because many people are living much longer, the age at which people retire from work should be raised considerably.
    To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  2. Most high-level positions in companies are filled by men even though the workforce in many developed countries is more than 50 percent female. Companies should be required to allocate a certain percentage of these positions to women. Do you agree?
  3. Women and men are commonly seen as having different strengths and weaknesses. Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender?
  4. As most people spend a major part of their adult life at work, job satisfaction is an important element of individual wellbeing. What factors contribute to job satisfaction? How realistic is the expectation of job satisfaction for all workers?
  5. Nowadays many people work part or full time from home. Some people say that working from home has many benefits while others disagree. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  6. Some people think that people in senior positions alone should make decisions in a business, while others think that employees should be involved in the decision-making process too. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  7. For some people a high salary is the most important criterion when choosing a new job while others are satisfied if the job contributes to society. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  8. Nowadays more and more people have to compete with young people for the same jobs. What problems does this cause? What are some possible solutions?
  9. Many management interviews are based on assessing not only a person’s level of experience and knowledge but also their personality. Is leadership an innate skill? What other characteristics do companies look for in a manager?
  10. Some employers want to be able to contact their staff at all times, even on holidays. Does this development have more advantages than disadvantages?
  11. More and more people are moving away from an agricultural background to relocate to cities in order to look for work. What will be the consequences of this? What solutions can you offer?
  12. Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that gaining experience and developing soft skills is more important. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  13. First impressions are important. Some people think that doing well in interviews is the key to securing a good job. To what extent do you agree?
  14. Finding job satisfaction is considered to be a luxury in many developing countries. Why do you think that is? Do you think job satisfaction is important?
  15. Many people find it hard to balance their work with other parts of their lives. What are the reasons for this? How can this problem be overcome?
  16. Doctors, nurses and teachers make a great contribution to society and Many children are encouraged by their parents to get a part time job in their free time. What are the advantages and disadvantages to children of doing so?
  17. In many developing countries, there is an increasing movement of workers from rural areas into the cities. Why do you think this happens? What problems can this cause?
  18. In some developing countries, it is difficult to get good teachers to work in rural areas which can have a negative impact on the education of children in those rural communities. Why do you think good teachers do not want to work in rural areas in developing countries? What could be done to solve this problem?
  19. Having a good university degree guarantees people a good job. To what extent do you agree?
  20. The number of people working online from home has grown in some countries. What advantages and disadvantages can come of this trend?
  21. Some people with a good education and experience in their field decide to move abroad to work. Why do you think that is? What problems does this cause?
  22. Paying all workers the same salary in a company promotes harmony and respect amongst colleagues. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  23. Getting a promotion is one of the biggest drives for people to apply themselves and work hard in the modern workplace. Why do you think people are so driven to get promotions? What other factors influence people to work hard?
  24. Bringing in foreign workers to fill positions that domestic workers are unwilling to do can cause problems in the local community and should therefore be stopped. Do what extent do you agree with this?
  25. Some people think that employers should ensure a supportive and pleasant work environment where each employee is respected and valued equally while others think employers should focus instead on providing beer facilities and equipment. What is your opinion?
  26. Some people think that people should choose their job based on income in order to provide security for their family.
  27. Do you think money is an important factor when choosing a job? What other factors should be considered?

Environmental policy

  1. Many people think that too much attention and resources are given to protection of wild animals and birds. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree? What other measures do you think might be effective?
  3. Many people believe that companies and individuals should pay to clean up the environment in proportion to the amount of pollution they have produced. Do you agree or disagree?
  4. Global warming is the biggest threat we face today. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  5. Some people think that environmental problems should be solved on a global scale, while others believe it is better to deal with them nationally. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  6. There is a growing demand for fresh water nowadays and this is becoming a global problem. What are the causes and solutions?
  7. Nowadays we are producing more and more waste. What are the causes of this? What can be done to help reduce the amount of waste?
  8. In many developing countries, there is a problem with declining quality of air and water from both industry and construction. What measures could be taken to prevent this?
  9. More and more wild animals are on the verge of extinction and others are on the endangered list. What are the reasons for this? What can be done to solve this problem?
  10. Human activity has had a negative impact on plants and animals around the world. Some people think that this cannot be changed, while others believe actions can be taken to bring about a change. Discuss both and give your opinion.
  11. It is often said that governments spend too much money on projects to protect wildlife, while there are other problems that are more important? Do you agree or disagree?
  12. Some people think the best way to solve global environmental problems is to increase the cost of fuel. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  13. Some people think an international car-free day is an effective way to reduce air pollution. Others think there are more effective ways do to this. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  14. While some people consider global warming to be the most pressing environmental problem which we have at the moment, others believe that deforestation has a more devastating impact on our world. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  15. The government should reduce the amount of money spent on local environmental problems and instead increase funding into urgent and more threatening issues such as global warming. To what extent do you agree?
  16. With increasing population and growing urban centers, many countries are losing their natural beauty spots. What benefits are there to protecting places of natural beauty? How can this be solved?
  17. Although many people value their public parks, this space could be beer used for other purposes such as residential areas for the ever-growing population or to develop business and boost economies. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?
  18. With deforestation, urban development and illegal hunting, many animal species are becoming endangered as they lose their habitat and some are even threatened to the point of extinction. Do you think it is important to protect animals? What measures can be taken to deal with this problem?
  19. Global warming is one of the biggest threats to our environment. What causes global warming? What solutions are there to this problem?
  20. Both governments and individuals are spending vast amounts of money protecting animals and their habitat. This money could be beer spent dealing with fundamental issues in society such as poverty and health care. To what extent do you agree?
  21. As a result of growth in some urban centers, the environment in those cities is deteriorating. How could this issue be tackled by both the government and individuals?
  22. Some people think that current environmental issues are global problems and should therefore be dealt with by the government while others believe that these problems can only be tackled by individuals. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  23. Global environmental issues are the responsibility of rich nations not of poorer nations. Do you agree with this opinion? Many people believe that global environmental problems should be dealt with internationally rather than domestically. What is your opinion?
  24. Many animals are being hunted to the brink of extinction in order to fulfil the demand and greed of mankind for decorative purposes as well as for other reasons, such as traditional medicine. How can this issue be tackled?
  25. Restricting air travel is the only way to prevent air pollution. Do you agree?

Family, heredity, and gender 

  1. Nowadays parents put pressure on their children to succeed. What is the reason for doing this? Is this a negative or positive development?
  2. Many elderly people are no longer looked after by their families but are put in care homes or nursing homes.What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend?
  3. Some people think it is better for children to grow up in the city, while others think that life in the countryside is more suitable. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both places?
  4. In many modern societies, grandchildren rarely spend any quality time with their grandparents. What do you think are the consequences of this? Children can learn effectively by watching television. Therefore, they should be encouraged to watch television regularly at home and at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  5. Some people think that the role of parents is to discipline their children and teach them about right and wrong. Other people consider that the main responsibility of parents is to nurture their children and provide them with a safe environment to grow up in. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  6. Most modern families have both parents working and as a result, children spend less and less time with their parents. What is the reason for this? What problems can this cause?
  7. The nuclear family is well adapted to move geographically due to its size. Do you think children benefit in any way from moving? Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  8. In many countries it is common for families to own and run their own business. Some people think this is the best way to run a business while others consider this a potential source of problems. What is your opinion? In the past, the older generation were a source of knowledge and experience.
  9. Nowadays, members of the older generation have little understanding or experience of the modern world. Has this had any negative impact on the way the elderly are treated by society and the family? What could be done to solve this situation?
  10. In many western countries, there is an increasing number of couples choosing to have no children. What are the advantages and disadvantages to having no children?
  11. These days people are living into their 90’s and beyond. As a result, there is increasing concern about care for the elderly. Do you think it is the responsibility of the family to care for their elderly members or should the government be held responsible for their care?
  12. Some people think that women are generally more peaceful than men as their characters are naturally more nurturing than aggressive. To what extent do you agree with this?
  13. Some people think that intelligence is innate while others think that we can improve our intelligence through learning. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  14. Our personalities are predetermined as a result of our genes before we are born and there is nothing that can be done to alter our character traits. To what extent do you agree?
  15. These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work. What are the main reasons for this? Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?

Globalization, commercialization, and labour mobility

  1. In many places traditional food has been replaced by international fast food. This has adverse effects on individuals and society. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. It is often said, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Do you think people should adapt and accept the culture of the country they visit? Do you think it is possible to learn a culture without learning the language?
  3. Some people believe that visitors to other countries should follow local customs and behaviour. Others disagree and think that the host country should welcome cultural differences. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  4. More and more people are visiting historic site and sometimes tourists may damage these ancient sites. The number of people visiting these places should be strictly limited. Do you agree or disagree?
  5. Shopping has developed from a necessary activity to a kind of entertainment. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. Multinational companies are becoming increasingly common in developing countries. What are the advantage and disadvantages of this?
  7. Many small businesses are being forced to close because they are unable to compete with multinational corporations. What problems does this cause and how can those problems be solved?
  8. An increasing number of professionals, such as doctors and teachers, are leaving their own poorer countries to work in developed countries. What problems does this cause? What solutions can you suggest to deal with this situation?
  9. Young people say that traveling to different countries benefits them and society. Do you agree or disagree? Give your opinion.
  10. It is becoming increasingly popular for people to travel to tourist destinations during public holidays. What problems does this cause? What solutions are there to these problems?
  11. Overpopulation in many major urban centers around the world is a major problem. What are the causes of this? how can this problem be solved?
  12. Many small local shops are closing as they are unable to compete with large supermarkets in the area. how does this affect local communities? How could this situation be improved?
  13. Every year several languages die out. Some people think that it is not important because life will be easier if there are fewer languages in the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Government spending

  1. Space exploration costs taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money each year. What are the advantages and disadvantages of spending money on space exploration?
  2. People prefer to watch foreign films rather than locally produced ones. Why do you think this happens? Should the government support local film makers financially?
  3. Some people think that governments should invest more in public services instead of wasting money on arts such as music and paintings. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  4. Some people believe that the government should pay for and offer housing to people who lost their homes or cannot afford them. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  5. Some people think that mothers should spend most of their time raising their family, and therefore the government should support them financially. Do you agree or disagree?
  6. Some people think that the government should fund music, dance and arts lessons for children. Others think that they should be funded by private businesses or by children’s families. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  7. Many people think that the government should spend money to explore outer space, while others think that it’s a waste of public money. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Health, happiness, and lifestyle choices

  1. Most people agree that money cannot buy happiness. Why is happiness difficult to define? How can people achieve happiness?
  2. Schools should do more to teach students about their health and wellbeing. Do you agree or disagree?
  3. Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
  4. Research indicates that the characteristic we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than any other experiences we may have in our life. Which do you consider to be the major influence?
  5. More and more schools allow fast food restaurants to sell their products to their students. Is it a positive or a negative development?
  6. Some people think that exercise is the key to health while others believe and having a balanced diet is more important. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  7. In some countries levels of health and fitness are decreasing and average weights are increasing. What do you think are the causes of these problems and what are some possible solutions?

International development

  1. Some people believe that richer countries should give poorer countries more financial assistance. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  2. Some people believe that no aid should be given to developing countries that have poor human rights records. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  3. In some countries the numbers of children aged 15 and younger are increasing dramatically. What are the current and future effects of an ever increasing population?
  4. A recent study showed people in developed countries are not as happy as they were before development. What are the causes of this and what are some possible solutions?

Urbanization, modernization, and overcrowding

  1. It is thought by some that it is better to live in a city, while others believe that life is better in the countryside. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  2. A growing numbers of cities are making their centres pedestrian-only zones. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  3. Many cities have serious problems with traffic congestion. What are the causes of these problems and what are some possible solutions?
  4. The first car appeared on British roads in 1888. By the year 2000 there may be as many as 29 million vehicles on British roads. Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  5. Some people believe that the best way to reduce traffic congestion is to increase the price of petrol. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. Some people think that a car is the best way to travel in cities while others believe a bicycle is a better way to commute. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  7. The rise of convenience foods has helped people keep up with the speed of the modern lifestyle what are the advantages of this trend? do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

  8. It is often considered that change is more beneficial to people than trying to avoid it and have everything remained the same. Do you think the advantages of change outweigh the disadvantages?

Success

  1. Success is often measured by wealth and material belongings. Do you think wealth is the best measure of success? What makes a successful person?
  2. Some people fail in school, but end up being successful in life. Why do you think that is the case? What is the most important thing to succeed in life?

Technology

  1. With the rise of e-books comes the decline in paper books some people see this as a good step forward while others do not. what are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend?
  2. Children today are too dependent on computers and electronic entertainment. It would be better to encourage them to spend more time outside playing sports and games. Do you agree or disagree?
  3. Some people think that excessive use of smartphones badly affects teenagers’ literacy skills. Do you agree or disagree?
  4. The internet contains a lot of information that can help people, however, sometimes the information is inaccurate or wrong. Do you agree or disagree?
  5. Nowadays the way many people interact with each other has changed because of technology. In what ways has technology affected the types of relationships people make? Has this become a positive or negative development?
  6. Computers have made the world a better place to live. Do you agree or disagree?
  7. Some people believe that the use of mobile phones in public is as annoying as smoking and should be banned. Do you agree or disagree?
  8. The Internet is a great source of information and has opened up opportunities for people to learn all over the world. Is all information reliable on the Internet? What could be done to control information online?
  9. Some people say that public libraries are an important public resource and should be free, others say that they are just a waste of public money? Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
  10. Some people think that the Internet has brought people closer together, while others think that people and communities are becoming more isolated. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.
  11. With the development of social media, more and more youngsters are being allowed unsupervised access to the Internet in order to meet and chat with friends, which can lead to potentially dangerous situations. What solutions can you suggest to deal with this problem?
  12. With an increasing number of people communicating via the internet and text messaging, face to face communication will become a thing of the past. To what extent do you agree?
  13. More and more businesses as well as individuals are choosing to communicate either professionally or socially using technology rather than being face to face. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using technology for communicating.
  14. Many young children have unsupervised access to the internet and are using the internet to socialise with others. This has can lead to a number of dangerous situations which can be threatening for children. What problems do children face when going online without parental supervision? How can these problems be solved?
  15. Some people think that being able to communicate with others online is breaking down geographical barriers and enabling people, who would normally never have the chance to meet, to communicate. What are the advantages of international communication online? Are there any disadvantages to this?
  16. With the development of online communication, people will never be alone and will always be able to make new friends. To what extent do you agree?
  17. Communication through text messaging and other instant forms of online communication are short and basic. Some people think this will be the death of grammar and spelling. Do you agree or disagree?

Youth

  1. Nowadays many young people deliberately damage public places. What are the causes and solutions?
  2. More and more young people are using drugs and alcohol and as a result, breaking the law. What are the causes of this problem? What are some possible solutions?
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