IELTS. Writing Part 2. How to write Problem and Solution Essay Type.

Problem Essays


These are sometimes called ‘causes and solutions’ or ‘problems and solutions’ essays. This type of IELTS Task 2 question starts with a statement, then asks you to discuss the problems or causes and the solutions.


Key tips

  • Don’t list lots of causes and solutions.

  • Choose just one or two and develop them fully.

  • Be sure to link each problem/cause and its solution.

A common mistake is for candidates to list all the problems/causes and solutions they can think of, not necessarily linking them together. They also fail to explain any of them in detail and don’t include any examples.



Essay Structure

1) Introduction

  • Paraphrase the question

  • State 1 key problem/cause and related solution

2) Main body paragraph 1 – Problem or Cause

  • Topic sentence – state the problem or cause

  • Explanation – give detail explaining the problem or cause

  • Example – give an example

3) Main body paragraph 2 – Solution

  • Topic sentence – state the solution

  • Explanation – give detail explaining the solution

  • Example – give an example

4) Conclusion

  • Summarise the key points and state your opinion




Band 9 answer sample. IELTS ESSAY. Part 2. Problem and Solution Type of Essay


These days a sedentary lifestyle is becoming more and more popular despite a big number of sport facilities. This essay will discuss the main problems associated with this epidemic and propose some possible solutions to avoid them.


The main problems caused by inactive lifestyle are obesity and various spine disorders. A growing number of body research shows that long periods of physical inactivity raise a risk of becoming overweight. This is because people burn fewer calories and easily gain weight. What’s more, a lot of studies show that so-called ‘sitting disease’ often results in posture and backbone problems. Due to constant sitting, person loses muscle tissue and curves spine, developing numerous spinal diseases. For example, it has been proven that about 80% of people experience backache at least once a week.


In my opinion, the best solution to these problems is promoting active lifestyle. Firstly, millions of people stay less active because they use cars instead of walking. Therefore, an effective way to make people more active is to advertise walking and cycling as safe and attractive alternatives to motorized transport. Moreover, inactive lifestyle is gaining popularity because nowadays a lot of people prefer passive rest to workouts in the gym. And the best way to avoid the hazards of unhealthy living is to obtain a regular dose of physical activity. Thus, promoting gyms and regular exercising would increase the level of activity.

In conclusion, leading a sedentary lifestyle causes a lot of health problems, including obesity and spinal diseases. The most effective solution is to increase the level of fitness among the society by advertising physical activity.


(268 words)

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