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IELTS Writing Sample #165

Essay Tip

For Writing Task 2, you may be asked to discuss a problem and possible solutions to it. For this type of question, you should explain exactly what the problem is (its causes and effects) and then consider the merits and drawbacks of various solutions.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

As the number of private cars has increased, so too has the level of pollution in many cities. What can be done to tackle this increasingly common problem?

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

As the number of private cars has increased, so has the level of pollution. Overreliance on cars at the expense of public transport has made this problem even worse, causing many concerned citizens to look for a solution to the problem.

One potential solution to this problem is to discourage the use of private cars by raising taxes. If the cost of petrol was increased, then many people would consider using alternative forms of transport or even walking. Admittedly, there would be a number of complaints from car drivers, but these would not be of much importance when balanced against the environmental benefits.

Another solution could be to look at more specific causes of the problem. Modern cars are fitted with cleaner burning engines and catalytic converters. Accordingly, they do not cause as much of an environmental hazard as some older cars. In Japan, for example, cars are heavily taxed once they have been on the road for three years or more, encouraging people to buy new cars which pollute less. By heavily taxing older vehicles from the road, some of the worst-polluting vehicles would be taken off the road. However, this would not really be fair to those who cannot afford a new car with such regularity.

An improvement in the quality and efficiency of public transport would also encourage people to use their cars less. In London, for example, a system has been operating for some time in which people are allocated days of the week when they can use their cars. On days that they are not allowed to drive, public transport is taken.

Although these are potential solutions to the problem, none of them are perfect. Only by a concerted effort by both the government and the public can this situation truly be resolved.

(298 words)


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