IELTS Writing Sample #188

Writing the Essay - The Introduction

In many ways, your conclusion and introduction are very similar in that they both state your opinion. The introduction is probably the shortest section of a Task 2 essay.

It might contain:

- a restatement of the question
- your opinion
- what and how you are going to discuss the question

When you write your introduction DO NOT:

- copy the question word for word
- give a lot of background information

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

A government’s role is only to provide defence capability and urban infrastructure (roads, water supplies, etc.). All other services (education, health, social security) should be provided by private groups or individuals in the community.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Write at least 250 words.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Sample answer

Governments can only provide a limited range of services for citizens. Certain types of services, however, must be provided by governments, whereas both governments and private groups or individuals can share the responsibility to provide other services.

A government must provide those services which are essential to a country. These include defence capabilities and-social security. Private enterprise and the profit motive should not form part of these essential services. On the other hand, some services could be provided by either governments or private groups or both. Education and health care are examples of such services. A government must provide at least a basic level of education and health care so all citizens can have access to them. Private enterprise, though, could also provide services in these areas for those who wish to pay for them.

Urban infrastructure is another area where governments and private groups or individuals can share responsibility. Governments must build and maintain a system of roads, but toll roads can be built and road maintenance carried out by private contractors. Similarly, other infrastructure, such as water or electricity supply, can be operated by private companies.

To sum up, there are some services, such as defence and social security, which must be provided by government. Other services, for example water supply or education, could be provided by both government and private enterprise. Consequently, it is not true to say that a government’s role is only to provide some services while others should be provided by the private sector. In fact, both government and private groups can share in the provision of most services.

(265 words)