General IELTS Writing Task 2 – Discussion/Opinion Essay for IELTS General Training


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that old buildings should be replaced with more modern ones. Other people argue that we should protect old buildings because they have a special value.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Write at least 250 words.


TASK 2  – A Discussion/Opinion Essay – Sample answer Band Score 8

As cities grow and become more crowded, there is often a debate about exactly what sort of construction is best in urban centres. Should we build modern towers out of glass and steel, or should we conserve the more traditional architecture built by earlier generations? There are good arguments in support of both sides.

Contemporary designs are much safer in disasters like earthquakes and fires, and this has been shown by experience in Japan and elsewhere. Also, they are more environmentally friendly, as they are built with modern materials and air conditioning systems that regulate temperature more efficiently. And also, the needs of today’s businesses in terms of the way space is used and communications are better met by the most up to date buildings.

But there are also aesthetic and cultural considerations. Architecture is part of a city’s creative heritage and should be preserved like any other artwork – we would not destroy old paintings or sculptures and replace them with ‘new’ ones. Also, using local techniques and materials gives each city a unique identity, which is being lost as newer cities tend to often look similar. Lastly, in my home town there have been problems with new buildings being leaky and badly built, whereas traditional architecture was better quality.

To sum up, cities need to find a balance between the old and the new. Dangerously outdated buildings should be replaced, and some modern creativity must always be encouraged. But this cannot be at the expense of historical structures, which give our cities a sense of continuity. 

(257 words)

Task Response: 8  The writer presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas.

Coherence and Cohesion: 7.5 Information and ideas are logically organised and there is a clear progression throughout the answer. There is a clear central topic within each paragraph, although there is an over-use of some cohesive devices.

Lexical Resource: 8  The writer uses a wide range of vocabulary with a very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 8  A wide range of structures is evident and the majority of sentences are error-free. The writer makes occasional errors or inappropriacies.


General IELTS Writing Task 2 – Discussion/Opinion Essay for IELTS General Training
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