IELTS Writing Task 2 – Q.15

Here’s a sample Writing Task 2 question on an unusual but fairly easy topic.


Happiness is considered very important in life. Why is it difficult to define? What factors are important in achieving happiness?


This is a classic two-part question. Here’s an essay structure for this type of question.

I found this great article that discusses some of the points you can include in this essay. Here, I have taken brief paragraphs and highlighted good band 7+ vocabulary:

1. What is happiness?

Defining happiness can seem as elusive as achieving it. Happiness is made up of pleasure, engagement, and meaning. It involves both daily positive emotions and a global sense that life is worthwhile. People can accurately report their own levels of happiness. Happier people are more likely to live longer and tend to be healthier, more successful, and more socially engaged than people who describe themselves as less happy. 


2. Sources of happiness: 

Researchers have explored three basic sources of happiness: genetics, including temperament and personality; life circumstances, such as wealth and health; and our own choices.

3. Who is happier?

People with strong ties to families and friends are consistently happier than those without social ties. Some personality traits tend to go along with happiness. People who are optimistic, have high self-esteem, and are extroverted are more likely to describe themselves as happy.

4. What doesn’t work?

Most of us have a mental list of what would make us happier. Our culture celebrates the pursuit of money, fame, good looks, material possessions, health, love and power. Yet we’re often disappointed—even when we do get what we want.

Now, use the vocabulary above to jot down notes for a Writing Task 2 essay. Once you’ve jotted down some notes, give yourself 40 minutes to write the essay. Timing yourself from time-to-time is useful exam practice. Make sure you give yourself a few minutes at the end to read your work again, checking for spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes.

Also, have a look at the different types of IELTS writing task 2 questions here.

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