IELTS Writing Task 2: Causes/Solutions Sample Essay

Woman pointing pencil at head to indicate causes and solutions essay

The “cause and solution” style of IELTS Writing Task 2 question presents a common social problem; your job is to identify the causes of the problem and propose ways the problem could be solved. For more information on this type of Writing Task 2 question, including tips and tricks, you can go to Magoosh’s guide to the different kinds of IELTS Writing Task 2 questions. And here in this post, we’ll go through a full causes and solutions model question and sample response.

The response itself is written at the band 9 level. After you read the essay, there is more explanation as to why this essay gets top marks. And to write a similarly high scored essay, check out our IELTS Writing Task 2 template.

Causes/Solutions Model Essay

This essay is a response to the sample prompt immediately below.

Sample Task

Many large cities around the world lack affordable housing. What problems does a lack of affordable housing cause? How can these problems be overcome? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Essay (Band 9)

In almost every part of the world, expensive housing is closely associated with urban life. This is the underlying cause of many different problems, and civic planners are struggling to find solutions. I believe that the biggest, most important problem caused by high housing prices is homelessness. In my opinion, this problem can be addressed through rent control and welfare payments to low-income people.

Expensive urban housing leads to homelessness both directly and indirectly. The housing costs themselves cause some people to lose their homes, but such costs also drive up general prices, which can indirectly cause homelessness. For example, if a grocery store itself pays high rent, it must charge everyone more for food. This in turn forces landlords to charge more for rent in order to feed themselves. Once that happens, their tenants may have trouble paying the higher rent while also paying for more expensive food.

To reduce homelessness and make it easier for people to afford housing, I propose a twofold solution: limits on rent prices and increased welfare payments to the poor. Legally limiting rent fees will make housing much more affordable, while welfare payments can help people deal with the high costs of other goods. To give an example, if the government provides low-income people extra money for food, those people, in turn, have more room in their budget to pay rent. By employing both approaches, rent costs are directly reduced, and costs that compete with rent also go down.

In short, while expensive housing and homelessness are serious problems in cities, regulations and public assistance can help. The right kind of regulations will not only reduce the price of housing but also reduce general cost of living. This kind of government action is a win-win for everyone, whether they are homeless or not.

Word count: 300

Explanation of the Score

This essay meets all of the requirements for Band 9 in Task Achievement, Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, and Grammatical Range and Accuracy; these are the categories seen in the official IELTS Writing Task 2 band descriptors. To understand this essay’s strengths, carefully read the level 9 descriptors in that document. And to further understand why an essay might receive a band 9, see the detailed score report at the bottom of Magoosh’s sample band 9 discussion essay for IELTS Writing Task 2.

Additional Model Essays for Task 2

Would you like to see sample essays for all of the most common Writing Task 2 question types on the IELTS? At the links below, Magoosh has you covered!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

Most Popular Resources


  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply