Problems And Solutions Ideas For Essay Hooks

IELTS Writing Task 2 Introduction

This post will help you write better introductions in your Task 2 IELTS essays and show the specific sentences I advise all of my students to use when writing IELTS Writing Task 2 introductions.

The introduction is the first part of the essay the examiner will read and it will give them a good first impression of what to expect in the rest of the essay.

Just like in person, first impressions last.

I often tell my students that a bad introduction in IELTS writing part 2 is the same as going in to the speaking exam and being rude to the examiner- no matter how good you are in the rest of it, the examiner won’t be happy and unhappy examiners are more likely to give you a lower mark.

Despite this warning, many good students go on to produce introductions with a few common problems in them.

Common Problems

  1. Talking too generally about the topic.

Most of these essays start off with ‘Nowadays……’ or ‘In modern life….’ followed by general information about the topic. In my opinion, this is the worst start you can possibly make. Remember that you are supposed to answer the question not write generally about the topic.

  1. Not including a thesis statement

This is the most important sentence in the essay. Not including one will lose you marks in several different ways. I will tell you more about this below.

  1. Not outlining what you are going to do

If you don’t include a sentence outlining what your essay will say, the examiner doesn’t really know what you are going to write about in the rest of your essay. This will also lose you marks. I’ll show you how to write an outline sentence below.

  1. Trying to write a ‘hook’ or be entertaining

Remember this is an IELTS exam, not a university essay. There are no extra points for being interesting, in fact being boring will probably help you. This will help you avoid ‘flowery’ language.

  1. Using an informal style

Know your audience. You are expected to write in an academic style.

Good and Bad Examples

Question: There is a good deal of evidence that increasing car use is contributing to global warming and having other undesirable effects on people’s health and well-being.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Good Introduction

Rising global temperatures and human health and fitness issues are often viewed as being caused by the expanding use of automobiles. This essay agrees that increasing use of motor vehicles is contributing to rising global temperatures and certain health issues. Firstly, this essay will discuss the production of greenhouse gases by vehicles and secondly, it will discuss other toxic chemicals released by internal combustion engines.

Bad Introduction

Nowadays, cars are a very popular way of getting around. Day by day many more people drive cars around but others feel that they cause global warming. Global warming is one of the most serious issues in modern life. They also affect people’s health and well-being which is also a serious issue.

As you can see the bad example talks about the topic very generally, copies words and phrases from the question and doesn’t include a thesis statement or outline statement.

If your introductions look something like this, don’t worry. Most of my students write introductions a lot like this when they first start in my class and the structure below always helps them fix any problems and write very effective introductions.

Structure of a Good Introduction

If you use this structure you will not only score higher marks but you will also save time in the exam. If you practice enough, introductions will become easy and you will do them in just a few minutes. This will leave you lots of time to focus on the main body paragraphs where you can pick up lots of mark.

An IELTS writing task 2 opinion essay should have three sentences and these three sentences should be:

  1. Paraphrase question
  2. Thesis statement
  3. Outline statement

That’s it. Simple! Let’s look at each sentence in more detail.

  1. Paraphrase Question

Paraphrasing means stating the question again, but with different words so that it has the same meaning. We do this by using synonyms and flipping the order of the sentences around.

Question: There is a good deal of evidence that increasing car use is contributing to global warming and having other undesirable effects on people’s health and well-being.

Paraphrase: Rising global temperatures and human health and fitness issues are often viewed as being caused by the expanding use of automobiles.

The synonyms I’ve used are:

Increasing- expanding

Car use- use of automobiles

Global warming- rising global temperatures

People’s health and well-being- human health and fitness

As you can see, I then switched the order of the sentence around.

I have therefore demonstrated to the examiner that I can paraphrase and have a wide range of vocabulary. These are two of the things that the examiner is specifically looking for and you will gain marks for including them.

You should practice this with past paper questions.

  1. Thesis Statement

This is the most important sentence in your essay. This is your main idea and I often describe it to students as how you feel about the whole issue in one sentence. It tells the examiner that you have understood the question and will lead to a clear and coherent essay.

Let’s look at the thesis sentence from the previous example:

Thesis statement: This essay agrees that increasing use of motor vehicles is contributing to rising global temperatures and certain health issues.

It is always just one sentence long so you will have to practice summing up your opinion in one sentence. It should also address the micro-keywords and not the topic in general.

You should start your thesis statement with:

This essay agrees that….. or this essay disagrees that….. (Opinion essays)

The main cause(s) of this issue is….. (Causes and solutions)

The principal advantage(s) is (xxxxx) and the main disadvantage is (xxxxxx). (Advantage and disadvantages).

For a discussion (of two points of view) essay you should state both points of view clearly.

Let’s look at another example:

Some aspects of celebrity culture have a bad influence on young people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

To keep things simple, we have two options-

  1. Agree that some aspects of celebrity culture have a bad influence on young people.
  2. Disagree that some aspects of celebrity culture have a bad influence on young people.

My essay will argue that celebrity culture does have a bad influence and my thesis statement will there be:

This essay agrees that the some famous people’s lifestyles have a detrimental effect on the youth of today.

I have stated my opinion in one sentence and used synonyms to make sure I don’t just repeat the question.

Thesis statements are very important but only in question that ask you for your opinion. Some IELTS questions do not ask you for your opinion and in these cases you can leave it out.

  1. Outline Statement

Now that you have paraphrased the question and told the examiner what you think in your thesis sentence, you are now going to tell the examiner what you will discuss in the main body paragraphs. In other words, you will outline what the examiner will read in the rest of the essay. This should be one sentence only.

Example:

Question: There is a good deal of evidence that increasing car use is contributing to global warming and having other undesirable effects on people’s health and well-being.

Outline statement: Firstly, this essay will discuss the production of greenhouse gases by vehicles and secondly, it will discuss other toxic chemicals released by internal combustion engines.

So what I have done is just look at my main body paragraphs and wrote about what they contain. You should have only one main idea per paragraph. In this essay, I have only two main body paragraphs, so I only need to say two things in the outline statement.

Main body paragraph 1- production of greenhouse gases by cars.

Main body paragraph 2- toxic chemical produced by car engines.

Again, your main body paragraphs should have only one main idea so it should be easy to spot these and then write a sentence about them.

For advantages and disadvantages essays and problem and solution essays you could write something like this:

Advantages and disadvantages: this essay will first discuss the (main advantage(s)) followed by an analysis of the (main disadvantage(s)).

Problem and Solution: This essay will analyse the principal problem(s) and offer solutions to this issue.

Final Example

Question: Learning to manage money is one of the key aspects to adult life. How in your view can individuals best learn to manage their money?

Good answer: One of the keys to adulthood is appreciating how to budget your finances. It is clear that the best way someone can learn this, is by managing money during childhood. Firstly, the essay will discuss the importance of parental involvement during childhood and secondly, the essay will look at the importance of having a part time job during childhood.

As you can see, the above introduction follows the structure I laid out above.

Next Steps

Do you need me to correct your essays and give you feedback on them? Check out our essay correction service.

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Click here to return to the homepage, or click one of the links below to check out more great IELTS stuff.

Writing Task 1

Writing Task 2

  • Virginia Kearney 4 days agofrom United States

    Elvira, if your topic is about a person with potenital, you are probably not doing a problem solution essay. You are writing a reflection essay and I have an article which gives all of the instructions you will need, including information about how to do the introduction. Here is the link to that article:https://owlcation.com/humanities/How-to-Write-a-Re...

  • Elvira 4 days ago

    How can I start writing my essay topic is about Aperson with potential.I don't know how to start.can you please help me?

  • Virginia Kearney 3 weeks agofrom United States

    Kanika--It is a good idea to turn your topic into a question and an answer. Here are some examples:

    What is the effect of divorce on young children (or teenagers or college students)? Your answer would be your thesis. Another topic idea could be:

    What is the effect of divorce on men (or women)?

    What is the effect of divorce on a person's work? See my article on how to write a cause effect paper.

  • Kanika 3 weeks ago

    Can you help me to find topic sentence on,Effect of divorce?

  • Virginia Kearney 4 weeks agofrom United States

  • Sayed Abid sadat 4 weeks ago

    Hi! I need your help to select my topic on information technology to write my artical. thank you

  • Virginia Kearney 6 weeks agofrom United States

    Hi Mr. Johnson, I have everything you might need for writing a college essay on my website. You can look on my profile page or search for my articles on: choosing a topic; writing a thesis and topic sentences; how to organize and write different kinds of essays; using commas and semicolons correctly; easy words to use as sentence starters to write better essays and much more. I have over 100 articles about writing to help you out!

  • Dick Johnson 6 weeks ago

    Hi! I Have An Assignment I Have To Do In My College Class On Friday And I Was Looking For Some Advise! Thanks!

  • Richard Cranium 6 weeks ago

    This website helped my child with her homework.

  • Virginia Kearney 7 weeks agofrom United States

    I have many articles on different subjects for you to look at. Many of the ones in this article would work fine but you can also look at my articles which are specifically for high school students. A good paper idea is one that interests you and it will be easier to write if you immediately can think of your opinion on that topic and some examples you can use from your own life, something you've read, current news or an example from literature, a movie or another video.

  • Stupid Pickle 7 weeks ago

    I have to write an essay for English is there any topics that you would recommend for a high school freshman

  • tommy wensyel 2 months ago

    this article was very helpful and it wasn t bias my english teacher wanted us to write an essay. it was really helpful i got a lot of good ideas

  • Jawaher 2 months ago

    How can get out bad relationship

  • Virginia Kearney 3 months agofrom United States

    Hi Trang--I have a lot of information to help you write your paper. Look for my articles about how to write argument, problem solution and proposal papers. In order to discuss two solutions, you just need to think about two possible answers to the question that have not yet been done. For example, in the question "How can students get enough good sleep each night?" two good answers that are equal would be: making a schedule for work and sleep, and using a technology device like a cell phone or fitbit that tracks sleep patterns.

  • Trang Phan 3 months ago

    my writing teacher asks me to choose a pro-solution topic that is practically related to student life. After that i have to draw out two solutions which are equal to each other.It means that both of them can not be currently done. it seems so difficult

  • sssssss 4 months ago

    How can healthcare be ensured for everyone around the world?

  • Damtaodu 5 months ago

    How do one respond to new challenges and adapting to a different environment, living without familiar amenities, interacting with new and different types of people and studying intensively among others.

  • Virginia Kearney 6 months agofrom United States

    Hi Kashymawoh--I'm glad you've decided on a topic for your essay. You can find everything you need to know about writing it by looking at my other articles on writing problem solution essays and writing argument essays. If you don't see the link for that, search in my profile, which you can find on the top right of the page.

  • kashymawoh 6 months ago

    hi Virginia, i am writing an essay on solving unemployment issues in Nigeria, kindly assist me.

  • Virginia Kearney 7 months agofrom United States

    Hi Cassandra! After you choose your topic, be sure to look at my article about how to write a solution essay. I give all the instructions you should need. If you want help revising or with punctuation, you can find articles on those topic too.

  • Cassandra Pines 7 months ago

    I need to write a 6-7 page essay about a social movement. I don't know how to start

  • Virginia Kearney 9 months agofrom United States

    Hi, Sparsh, Your best help would be to look at my other articles about how to write problem solution essays and argument essays. You might also like to look at my articles on Toulmin, Rogerian and Classical argument strategies. These articles include specific instruction on how to organize and outline your essay as well as how to argue effectively for your solution. In addition, they provide samples with commentary on why these work. Finally, you ought to look at my articles on how to write a great thesis and topic sentences. You can find these by searching for my name on Letterpile, or by looking on my profile page. I have over 100 articles on writing to help you out.

  • SPARSH AGARWAL 9 months ago

    Hey Virginia,

    I am preparing for writing section of PCAT exam. In the writing section, there are generally problem solution essays. It is my humble request if you could provide me with a source where there are more of problem solution sample essays, so that I can prepare accordingly and practice writing on the problems mentioned above.

    Regards

    Sparsh

  • Virginia Kearney 11 months agofrom United States

    Problems with health can be related to disease or preventative measures like diet and exercise. Here are some easy health-related topics: How can a person with Celiac disease best manage their diet? How can students best exercise and eat to be healthy? What are the best strategies to avoid illness? How can people avoid heart disease? What is the best way to stay healthy if you have diabetes?

  • poo 11 months ago

    i want a health related topic. like people should be concerned about their health. but what problem can i state?

  • Stevie Glenn 12 months agofrom Minneapolis

    Great topics on education! Good sources for quick education articles.

  • Chris Velo 14 months ago

    Thank you for all the topics to write on; I would read one section thinking that I couldn't write anything only to discover a few points I had to make into a quick essay.

  • Virginia Kearney 14 months agofrom United States

    Hi Colleen--I'd suggest you look at my Non-Profit Research Paper article for help.https://hubpages.com/literature/Research-Paper-on-...

  • Colleen 14 months ago

    Hello Virgina,

    I have a Critical Analysis & Research Writing paper due the assignment is A Good for A Community: A Research Based-Solution Essay I am having the most difficult time with this. Can you help?

  • Virginia Kearney 15 months agofrom United States

    KyLie--That is an interesting idea. The departmental final exam for my students included a question about this topic. I will see if I can add some to the list.

  • KyLie 15 months ago

    I would like some topics on the death of Harambe the gorilla....

  • Karla 16 months ago

    Should have a topic about animal abuse or cruelty!

  • Bangladesh Page 2 years ago

    Here is a lot of topics to write on. It really makes me think to write something on the topics. There are some topics here I never thought that an essay can be written! Thanks for sharing.

  • Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States

    Hi Zero, I don't exactly understand what you want. Perhaps you mean you want to write an essay about "How to find a good job?" or "Solving the difficult problem of finding a good job?"

  • Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States

    Hi mtariqsattar--I actually have also written articles about how to write essays of many types. You can search for this on Hubpages or just look for the links next to my topic ideas articles.

  • Tariq Sattar 2 years agofrom Karachi

    Hi there VirginiaLynne, I don't know how to start but you nailed it and you seem to possess command over topics. You do justify what you have said in your profile.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your hub - it is helpful to those who are seeking to teach essay at the college or university level, and those who want to writer such a genre of essay. That is problem-solution essay.

    I would ask though about the tips to writing an essay quickly and accurately at the same time. How should you as an essay writer achieve both ends?

  • Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States

    Thanks for the ideas Jaime--I may think about putting some solution ideas into another article.

  • b.s.s 2 years ago

    Wow!! What a great topics

  • Virginia Kearney 2 years agofrom United States

    So glad Symphony Dunbar that you are using my site to get good ideas. You must be doing a good job writing those essays too!

  • Symphony Dunbar 2 years ago

    I love this site. I come on here, get a topic, write an essay, get an A+, just like that!

  • sera 3 years ago

    Thanks it helped so much

  • Maria Cuevas 3 years ago

    I would really like environment issues. It is very passionate among many.

  • Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States

    Hi Justin--Glad this helped you. I have a 5th grade daughter and two daughters in 7th. I used to teach 6th grade myself and know that you are learning a lot about writing!

  • justin 3 years ago

    I really like the questions for the problem and solution it makes me want to improve some mistakes I made.P.S. I'm a 6th grader.

  • Tessa 3 years ago

    Awesome website! I'm definitely going to use one of these topics. Helped a lot. Thanks!!!!!

  • Hyder 3 years ago

    How "Education is solution all our problem" I want to write essay this topic anyone help me

  • Ova ELai 3 years ago

    I would like a topic on counselling a teenage who thinks is having a sexually transmitted disease or HIV

  • Virginia Kearney 3 years agofrom United States

    Thanks Ashley--I will write some topics about that!

  • Ashley 3 years ago

    Military life topics would be great!

  • djelke16 3 years ago

    Great topics! Thank you so much.

  • Dottie 4 years ago

    Thank you! This was so helpful!

  • Rachel 4 years ago

    This website is perfect! Helped me a lot, thanks!

  • Lcarter 4 years ago

    Great topics!

  • Virginia Kearney 4 years agofrom United States

    So glad I helped you Kaiya! I know that getting the right topic and finding some good information can really help someone overcome that writer's block that makes starting an essay so hard!

  • kaiya123 4 years ago

    This helped a ton! Anyone of these topics could easily be well written, being that there is so much information about each topic. I seriously couldn't have thought of any of these topics, and this definitely helped my essay. There was many topics to choose from, depending on the area you are interested in. It made me think about what I really wanted to write about! Thanks so much!!! :)

  • Maria Jordan 4 years agofrom Jeffersonville PA

    A meaty and worthwhile list of subjects for anyone to pursue...most thought provoking and interesting topics. Excellent job.

    Voted UP and UAI. Hugs, Maria

  • SaM 4 years ago

    This HELPED a lot! Thanks!

  • Pamela Oglesby 4 years agofrom United States

    You really thought of so many valid topic that are all worthy of discussion. Anyone of this topic could easily be written about and really there are so many problems, it is a bit overwhelming, but then we must start somewhere. This is a great idea for a hub and no one should have to have writer's block anymore. Voted up and useful.

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