IELTS Writing Task 2 | Is patriotism the primary cause of wars globally?

Task 2 | Essay 11
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Some argue that patriotism is the primary cause of wars globally. Others feel that it serves to prevent less ethical politicians from running a country and starting wars.
  • Discuss both views and give your opinion.
How to answer this essay?
  • Introduction:
  • Paraphrase the overall essay main topic.
  • Write a clear opinion.
  • 1st Body Paragraph
  • Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  • Explain your main idea.
  • Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  • 2nd Body Paragraph
  • Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea.
  • Explain your new main idea.
  • Include specific details and examples.
  • Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  • Conclusion:
  • Summarise your main ideas.
  • Include a final thought.
Model Answer | Marked as Band 8
Cohesive connecting words that improve coherence in writing . Useful less common words that boost fluency in writing .
  • Many feel that patriotic feelings do more to foment, rather than prevent, conflicts and potential wars. In my opinion, although patriotism can be a positive force in a nation, it is more likely to serve as the justification for armed conflict.
  • Those who value the benefits of patriotism argue that it is a tool to oppose international interventions. This is most often the case in countries where it is possible for citizens to voice their opinions publicly. A standout example of this would be in the United States as the government is often engaged in unpopular conflicts abroad such as the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Many critics make the argument that the US was originally isolationist and should not now interfere in the affairs of other countries. This appeal to the patriotic roots of the country is persuasive.
  • However, it is more common for politicians to encourage nationalistic feelings to justify foreign wars. There are examples of this from both the modern era and past historical epochs. For instance, in Medieval Europe there were frequent wars of aggression between France, England, and Spain. The rulers of these countries used both religious and ethnic or nationalistic justifications for either expansion or defensive measures. Over time, patriotism came to be considered a method to distract residents from the domestic situation and motivate them towards a common goal.
  • In conclusion, despite the legitimate potential advantages of patriotism within a country, I feel that it is more likely to serve as a catalyst for international conflict. In fact, individuals have very little overall impact on whether or not their country enters a war.
271 words

Vocabulary and Useful Expressions

  • patriotic feelings: being proud of your country
  • foment: create
  • rather than prevent: instead of stop
  • conflicts: fights
  • potential wars: possible fights
  • patriotism: feeling strongly about your country
  • positive force: does good
  • serve as the justification: are the main reason for
  • armed conflict: wars
  • value: importance of
  • benefits: advantages of
  • argue: contend
  • tool to oppose international interventions: method to stop fights abroad
  • This is most often the case in countries where: usually happens in nations in which
  • voice their opinions publicly: protest
  • A standout example of this would be in the United States as: A good instance is in America where
  • engaged in unpopular conflicts abroad: always fighting wars
  • critics: those who argue against
  • argument: contention
  • originally isolationist: before didn’t interfere with other countries
  • interfere in: intervene
  • affairs: situations
  • appeal: try
  • patriotic roots: thinking about the past of your country
  • persuasive: convincing
  • politicians: governments
  • encourage nationalistic feelings: make people love their country more
  • justify foreign wars: give reason to fight abroad
  • modern era: nowadays
  • past historical epochs: past eras
  • frequent wars of aggression: fighting others / attacking others
  • religious and ethnic or nationalistic justifications: reasons related to religion, race, nation
  • either expansion or defensive measures: in order to grow bigger or protect yourself
  • Over time: later on
  • considered: thought of as
  • distract residents: make people not pay attention to
  • domestic situation: how things are in the country
  • motivate them towards a common goal: make them come together
  • despite: regardless of
  • legitimate potential advantages of: real possible benefits from
  • serve as a catalyst for international conflict: be the main reason for wars abroad
  • In fact: actually
  • very little overall impact on whether or not: not much effect on the whole regardless if
  • enters a war: starts a fight
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