Essay Ideas and Structure: Public Services

The topic below was just reported in the IELTS academic writing task 2 last week. Take a look at the topic and see some ideas and vocabulary below to help you.

Some people think that the government should spend more money on public service rather than wasting money on the arts. To what extent do you agree.

Public Services:  Schools, Health Care, Public Transportation etc

The Arts:  Museums, Galleries, Theatre etc

One Side Essay Structure:

Introduction: Direct Answer: I disagree that money should be taken from the arts for public services. (this approach gives a clear position on one side and therefore the essay can only give information supporting that side)

Body Paragraph 1: Art is important because all societies need to express their culture through art.

Body Paragraph 2: The arts are often poorly funded and therefore if money were directed away from the arts for any reason, even for public services, it would likely fail entirely.

Body Paragraph 3: Public services do not require more funding because…

Conclusion: restate your opinion and summarise main points.

Balanced Approach Essay Structure

Introduction: Direct Answer: I agree that public services such as health care and transportation need more funding but not at the cost of the arts which are still very important. (this approach gives a clear position and allows you to write about both sides.)

Body Paragraph 1: Health care system – give reasons why this needs more funding.

Body Paragraph 2: Public transport – give reasons why this should be improved.

Body Paragraph 3: Explain that the arts are still important and why money should not be diverted away.

Conclusion – restate your opinion and summarise main points.

Steve, thanks for letting us know about the topic. Good luck with your results!

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  1. Hi Liz,
    I just purchased your grammar book, I have a question, could you please answer it?
    Whether a person is rich or poor will determine how much they spend on holidays.
    Is that possible I revised as to “how much he or she spends on holiday”?
    a person, means any person?
    I am so confused about it.

    • Did you check the chapter on Pronouns & Referencing? This is explained clearly in that chapter 🙂

  2. Ana Ghoghoberidze says

    Hi dear Liz,
    I’ve purchased your book about essay ideas and on page 11 there’s a sentence with the phrase “at the home” and is it correct to use article here?

    • Did you read the instructions for that exercise? Your aim is to spot the word that is wrong in the sentence. That is the reason for the exercise. If you look at the answer key, it will show you what the mistake is. Please always read the instructions with each exercise.

  3. Rino John says

    Dear Ma’am

    Your blog posts about IELTS are amazing. It helped me a lot. Ma’am, I have this doubt. What is the difference between a balanced essay approach and one-sided essay approach? It will be of great help if you could explain that. I know that there are 5 different essay questions.

    • A balanced essay approach and a one-sided approach are different approaches to an Opinion Essay. The balanced approach is a partial agreement – you should only use that if you have been trained properly.

  4. thanks a lot Liz for your selfless teachings.. I want to ask you about the above topic.if I totally agree about diverting money on public services and give reason why without talking about art being a waste of money will it have any effect on my writing score.

    • You can’t ignore half of the essay question. It would have a seriously negatively impact on your score.

  5. Hi Liz,

    It would be great to receive your feedback on below balanced approach introduction for this essay:

    Government spending on arts is ought to be a wastage by some and, therefore, they suggest to allocate that money to other areas. In my opinion, spending money on arts is affordable and practical for developed nations, however, under-developed and developing countries ought to focus on their growth through investment in public sectors, such as education and healthcare.

  6. Hi Liz,

    Not sure if I’m writing on the correct page. Could you please help me deciding the structure for the below essay:
    Most students do part time job while studying in universities. Is is a good or bad idea?

    Is it just an opinion essay or discuss both sides and give your opinion?

    Really appreciate your support.


  7. Hi liz
    I need a help
    If i write : the child should be responsible toward ( their or his / her ) studies
    What is the correct form

    • It is best to write “Children should be responsible for their studies”. Your ideas will be referring to children (plural) in general, rather than one child.

  8. Dear Liz,
    I was in peace and I thought I understand opinion essay finally, until I saw the one sided opinion provided above.

    It seems to me like we are neglecting part of the question,
    I thought that we should write a paragraph about the other issue which is public transport
    Bp1. Why we should spent money on arts
    Bp2 . Why we should not spend money on public transport

    ( or the reverse)

  9. I know very well that you are certainly a busy person.but if you correction any 5 essay of comments may be it will be helpful for every one.lots of things we can learn by these corrections.. thank you for your benevolent step.

  10. Hey, don’t follow blindly. Be skeptic! 😉

  11. It is a known fact that the government is spending a large sum of money on different sectors. Arts is of no exception. Although i agree that, it is important to spend more amount on public services, it did not mean that spending on art is a waste of money.

    There are several reasons to spend a significant amount of money on public sectors. First and foremost, the government should allocate the funds according to the priority, where the public services are the prime focus. That includes hospitals, schools and roads. Attributing the budget in these field will strengthen the health, education and transportation of the people which in turn will escalate the standard of a country. For instance, through more governmental hospitals the health of the citizens will increase. Similarly, proper education can be delivered to children through additional educational institutions.
    However, this does not mean that the arts should be neglected. To begin with, it is the responsibility of a government to preserve the culture and heritage of a country, which exist through the field of arts. Furthermore, many arts institutions are facing many hurdles to generate much profit. So without some help from the government many theaters and other such places cannot withstand. Moreover, arts also have an important impact in our quality of life. Many people get pleasure in going to see music and theater performance. So it is the duty of the government to assist such institutions that can continue providing entertainment to the public. Finally, arts brings economic benefits to a nation in the form of tourism , where arts play a key role.
    To sum up, spending on public service ensure a large amount of benefits to the society. But i do not believe utilizing money on arts is a waste of money as this too have great impact on the society.

    Hi Liz…… can you please correct the essay and give me the feedback and score.

  12. Hello Liz. Firstly thanks for your wonderful-helping videos.

    Can you explain to me how the band score for listening is calculated?
    For example, if my overall score in listening was 34 out of 40. what will be the listening band score? Thanks.

  13. siva chapram says

    It is suggested by many people that government authorities ought to utilize more money on public services instead of misusing money on arts. In my opinion, although I agree that public services such as health care system and transportation need more funding but not at the cost of arts which are still very important.

    Could you please verify whether my background statement is correct or not?

  14. Hello Liz,
    I want to ask about Task 1 and 2! Can we write them just on Capital letter, they will accept it?
    thank you

  15. Hi Liz

    Could you please comment on this introduction. I’ve taken points from your suggestions
    It is considered by some that more money should be utilised on public sectors, for instance healthcare or transport system, instead of supporting arts with large sum of money. In my opinion, I agree that public sector (transport and aneeds more funding as it is the determining factors of a nation’s development but not at the cost of arts which are still very important

  16. Hi
    I have a doubt in my opinion essay, if I agree in one side, is it ok i can write However paragraph mentioning other side and ending with my agree statement. Then conclusion paragraph please give a feedback
    thanks alot.

    • Mercy Chacko says

      Hi Liz
      I know, you are on vacation sorry for the disturbance
      if i write my answers(listening and reading)in capital letters , if there is in the answers (eg. multiple question answers if any lower case letters what shall i write, capital letter or lower? ) Please if Liz not available, any one can replay please

  17. Liz, what if I get a question like “Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree?”, I want to know if I could mention only public services as other areas? Or I must talk about something else than public services?

    • It is your choice how you interpret “other areas”. However, personally, I would think of two minimum. For example, education and health care. Public Services is still good as it includes many facilities and services.

      • Dear Liz,

        I have read all of the tips on how to excel in the second part of the IELTS writing exam. You make it a point to always give a link that you don’t comment on essay writings as of the moment. I just want to ask if you correct/ and give comments on essays which are of band 7 caliber?

        In addition, I just want to ask if you have any tips on how to write faster. I think my worst enemy in this writing exam is time. No matter how I plan and construct my ideas, it takes me a lot of time to erase and edit my work for it to be worth of a good score.

        I hope you can enlighten me as well such as the countless students you’ve helped.

        Warm regards,

        Filipino RN

        • Sorry but I don’t comment on any writing now because I don’t have time. For writing faster, I can only suggest practice. To avoid errors, which take time to correct, you need to develop better English and plan each sentence. You only need to write about 13 sentences in the essay so plan each one.

          • Dear Liz,

            Thank you for spending precious time answering back to my query. I think I will just try planning the 13 sentences that I need to construct for me to be successful in landing a passing score in my upcoming IELTS exam this 24th of October.

            I just have a question not only for myself, but also for all of your avid fans, which are predominantly students.

            Does the UKVI IELTS exam have the same test structure, guidelines and rules compared with the regular IELTS exam?

            I have big plans in applying for a nurse position in your country. Given a chance to get there (UK) through success in my UKVI IELTS exams, I will certainly go to one of your seminars, lectures and thank you in person or even get your autograph. ^_^

            Warm regards,

            Filipino RN

  18. Dr.Saqib Ali says

    hello liz!
    Just last point before exam 😛
    Is it ok if i write in favour of the statement and also support the opposing argument as well?

    • Dr.Saqib Ali says

      as u have mentioned Balanced appproach! But an IELTS teacher here puts stress on one sided approach only!
      please clarify me so that i would do my best tomorrow!

      • A balanced approach does not mean agreeing with both sides, it means have a specific opinion with a clear position. You can choose a one-sided approach or a balanced approach – both approaches can get band 9. It is all about how you present your ideas and support them.
        All the best

    • If you only agree with one side then your essay contains only that. The idea is that you give an opinion in the introduction and explain it in the body paragraphs. It does not ask you to discuss both sides or present other people’s views. I know this can be confusing. If you need detailed training please watch my opinion essay tutorial:
      All the best

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