Writing Task 2

IELTS Essay Check, Task 2: Taxing Air Travel to reduce traffic

Please feel free to share your essay at eltecielts@gmail.com

Air traffic is increasingly leading to more noise, pollution and airport construction. One reason for this is the growth in low-cost passenger flights, often to holiday destinations. 

Some people say that governments should try to reduce air traffic by taxing it more heavily.

Do you agree or disagree?

(250 words, 40 minutes)

Like all IELTS questions, this question wants students to link 2 topics. Please note that you can’t challenge the question statement given at the top. You can agree or disagree with “controlling air traffic by taxing it”.

Topic 1: Air traffic leading to more noise, pollution and airport construction. One of the reasons is low-cost passenger flights.

Topic 2: Tax it heavily. (It = Low-cost passenger flights)

Intro: Introduce the topic by linking topic 1 and 2. Write about 3 sentences.

Sample introduction: Increasing prosperity during the past few decades has let to a dramatic increase in air travel across the world. Moreover technological improvements and economies of scale have helped reduce price of air transport. To contain the phenomenal growth of low-cost passenger flights, which has led to pollution and massive airport construction projects, some people believe that governments across the world should impose heavy taxes. I believe this approach will be more harmful than useful in managing the issue.”

Body para 1:

Reason 1, Example 1

Body para 2:

Reason 2, Example 2


Here’s a correction to essays sent by several students. Please not how successful each student was in losing CONTEXT. I’m sharing mistakes of others so that everyone can learn from each other’s mistakes. Perhaps we make similar mistakes.

  1. Diksha:

Intro: You missed the point. Question is not on pollution. Pollution and airport construction are secondary issues. Primary issue is reducing air traffic by taxing it heavily. You can’t say “There are various reasons which create pollution such as vehicles and industries.

Moreover, Can reason create pollution? No.

Body Para 1: 

will be + snatching (not snatched) – Tenses mistake.

to + verb: to travel (not travelling)

promise their children (not promise to their offspring)

Reason 1 and Example 1 are of average quality. 5.5 bands content. Try to make things better.

Body Para 2:

Spelling mistakes: hectic, schedule.

Rephrase: Since air travel is a faster mode of transport than road or rail, people prefer it to save time. (“Since” construction is a useful one in IELTS exam).

Prefer X over Y. (“Prefer” construction is another way to prove your proficiency in IELTS exam). 75% people prefer flights over rail and road transport even when ticket charges are increased.

Body Para 3:

to + verb: to decline (not declining)/ in declining.

You wrote well, but missed the point. Reduce air traffic by taxing heavily? Only body para 2 links with the question. You should have pointed out that this is not enough. To reduce air traffic, government must make rail transport more attractive by making it move faster. Maglev trains of France and bullet trains of Japan.

Bands: 5.5

2. Simarjeet:

Intro: Increasing tax WILL NOT reduce air traffic. (use future tense)

I can’t see the link between “increasing technology” and rest of the paragraph. Preferably say “While advancement in technology have made airplanes more powerful and efficient, which has made air travel cheaper, it has also led to massive increase in traffic and hence pollution.”

Your intro does not link topics stated above. It fails at introducing the essay.

Body para 1: 

Is a single “airplane” responsible for air pollution?

You LOST CONTEXT. Question is not on pollution or airport construction. It is on CONTROLLING these things by TAXING air travel heavily.

It contains no reason why increasing tax will (/will not) reduce air traffic.

Body para 2:

Again, LOST CONTEXT. Answer the question “Why TAX will reduce air travel?“.

Bands: 5.0

3. Desraj:

Intro: You’ve touched topic 1 only. Not topic 2 (Tax to control air traffic).

Is technology leading to environmental issues? There’s no CONTEXT here.

Body Para 1: Do not waste words in absurd stuff. “First and foremost ……….. leaps and bounds” is ABSURD. How does it link with our topic? Please read how I linked advancements in technology with the given topic in Simarjeet’s and Diksha’s essay.

Come to Reason 1 directly.

Which governing body?

LOST CONTEXT here. Should have discussed Reason 1 (Why taxing will solve/ not solve air traffic problem?)

Body Para 2: Which governing authority?

You’ve not explained the Reason in detail.

Bands: 5.0

4. Aditya:

Intro: How does “Education” fit in this essay? Context lost.

The question is not on why air pollution, noise and airport construction are increasing. Question is WILL TAXING AIR TRAFFIC HELP CONTROL THIS PROBLEM? Are there some other solutions to reduce air traffic and hence control pollution (apart from TAXING)?

Write complete essay to receive bands.

5. Adish:

Same problem as Aditya. LOST CONTEXT in introduction. Read structure and explanation at top to understand what to write.

Complete the essay to receive bands.

6. Navjot:

You have also lost the context. Please read the essay structure at the top along with comments on other students’ essays. You’ve made same mistakes.

Your introduction is about benefits of air transport. That’s not our question. Please read it carefully.

Body Para 1: To commence with, firstly…..” Don’t write that. That’s poor English. Start straight away. Last line of intro must link with Body Para 1.

7. Maninder:

Your introduction focuses only on topic 1 and fails to touch topic 2. You have to mention “How taxing air travel will control air traffic?

Please write complete answer to receive bands.

8. Harman:

Same mistakes as other students. Lost CONTEXT. Please read the question carefully.

Please complete the essay to receive bands.

Most of the students lose bands because they’re unable to stick to the question and maintain CONTEXT. Please feel free to share your essay with us. Perhaps we can learn from each other.

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Categories: Writing Task 2

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