IELTS Essays: Discuss Both Views – Trains

High-Speed Trains 1

In a number of countries, some people thinks it’s necessary to spend large sums of money on constructing new railway lines for very fast trains between cities. Others believe the money should be spent on improving existing public transport. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE WRITING –

(1) In this essay you have to discuss BOTH sides! If you only discuss one, you will not get a good mark.

(2) You also have to give YOUR opinion. Therefore,  good structure is a four-paragraph one.

(3) In the introduction, state (i) the topic (ii) each side (iii) mention that you will discuss each side and THEN give your opinion.

(4) Your opinion can be given in the conclusion.

(5) Look at the topic and see if you can think of some synonyms for the key points. For example, in this topic you should/could have synonyms for “In a number of countries”, “some people think”, “it’s necessary”, “spend large sums”, “constructing”, “very fast trains”, “Others believe”, “improving existing public transport”. You do NOT need to think of a synonym of these, and if you can’t you shouldn’t guess, but you should never copy the question as it is given to you. Look at the sample essays below for some examples of synonym use.

(6) Think of some simple benefits (and disadvantages) of each. For example, fast trains make traveling long distances quicker and cheaper (but what about the cost!?), while public transport now has some problems (old, dirty, polluting) that more money could fix. Use these basic ideas to create your topic sentences, then expand on them with more details and explanation.

NOTE – The following contains two sample answers: a basic one and an advanced one. Each essay contains linking vocabulary in italics and synonyms and other advanced vocabulary are included in bold. The advanced essay is written at a Band 9.0 level.

High-Speed Trains 2

SAMPLE ANSWER ONE (Basic)

In a number of countries, some people thinks it’s necessary to spend large sums of money on constructing new railway lines for very fast trains between cities. Others believe the money should be spent on improving existing public transport. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

In many places around the world, a large number of people believe that huge amounts of money should be spent to construct high-speed railway lines between cities. However, there are others who believe that using this money to upgrade existing public transport systems is a better idea. This essay will look at both sides and then attempt to reach a conclusion.

To begin with, it is clear that fast trains would make traveling between cities much easier. In fact, it can be faster than traveling by plane because you do not have to wait so long at the airport. Moreover, train travel is generally cheaper than traveling by train, which will allow more people to travel than before. Nevertheless, the cost of constructing a long-distance train system is very high and this money could be used in a more effective way.

This leads to the idea of using the money to improve current public transport. For example, although public transport is seen as environmentally friendly, many old buses produce a lot of smoke, and this could be solved by spending money on electric buses that do not produce harmful emissions. Furthermore, current public transport is what people use every day, so it makes sense to improve this rather than build a new system that might not be used so much.

Overall, a high-speed rail system is a great way to connect a country and even a group of countries. However, if money is an issue, it is better to improve the current system to a high standard before taking on a new plan. (263 words)

High-Speed Trains

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO (Advanced)

In a number of countries, some people thinks it’s necessary to spend large sums of money on constructing new railway lines for very fast trains between cities. Others believe the money should be spent on improving existing public transport. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

High-speed inter-city trains are now a common sight in Europe, China, and Japan. Due to the success of these rail networks, a rising number of people believe that constructing new railway lines of this type is a necessity. Conversely, there is a sizeable group who hold the view that the money would be better invested in upgrading existing public transport infrastructure.

Those in favour of connecting cities via high-speed trains believe that a modern society needs an advanced transport system that is also affordable. In other words, these transport systems allow people to travel quickly and cheaply, which is desirable in terms of economic growth and social connection. To be precise, by reducing the cost and travel time, people will be more able to conduct business and visit relatives than they have in the past when they needed to be able to afford a plane ticket or endure a long and uncomfortable journey by bus or slow train.

Nevertheless, opponents argue that already-existing public transport should be improved before embarking on a high-speed rail project. This is mainly due to the fact that day-to-day public transport is a more immediate problem. Old buses pollute the city air with thick acrid smoke, while their degraded condition makes people unwilling to ride them, and this only exacerbates the problem of traffic congestion and air pollution in major cities. Therefore, this issue should be fixed before any large-scale nationwide project is undertaken.

Overall, while having cities connected by a modern high-speed rail network is a positive thing that brings many benefits, improving public transportation as it exists today should be the priority as this will have a more immediate and measurable benefit for people’s lives. (282 words)

YOU MAY FIND SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RELATED LINKS USEFUL

IELTS Essays (Basic to Band 9): Discuss – Junk Food

IELTS Band 9.0 Essays Real Test: Discuss – Responsibility for Pollution

Band 9 Essays: Discuss Both Sides – Art at School

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2 thoughts on “IELTS Essays: Discuss Both Views – Trains

  1. Pingback: IELTS Essays: Discuss Both Views – Trains — IELTS UNLOCKED | Purland Training

  2. Pingback: IELTS Real Test Essays: Advantages and Disadvantages: Small vs. Big Stores | IELTS UNLOCKED

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