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Happiness is often considered difficult to define. Why? What factors determine..-Task 2 Essay Band 9

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.


Write about the following topic:


Happiness is often considered difficult to define.

Why is this?

What factors determine happiness?


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


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Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay - Happiness is often considered difficult to define.

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IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay

Generally, people find it difficult to provide a definition of happiness, because it is a relative idea that varies from person to person. However, this essay considers both material and emotional well beings are the major determiners behind happiness.


Joy is an emotional feeling that individuals experience and therefore it can vary from person to person. Due to this reason, providing a common definition has become difficult. Some would view certain things as factors that give them joy while others would consider them as a nuisance. For instance, some enjoy listening to music in loud noise, whereas others might prefer a low mellifluous voice. Therefore, due to the change in preferences, it has become challenging to define enjoyment.


The two main factors that give happiness to mankind are materialistic features and emotional aspects. Materialistic elements are tangible possessions that individuals consider valuable to them. These include properties, jewelleries, vehicles, mobile phones and other such things. Men and women feel happy when they own these items. They strive to achieve these materialistic factors because it gives them joy. The other factor which makes them happy is emotional aspects such as maintaining good relationship with others, being truthful and honest etc. Those individuals who gain happiness through emotional factors will always prioritize these values when dealing with people. For example, according to a study conducted by the University of West London, 43% of the respondents agreed that they gained happiness by materialistic items while 47% by emotional factors.


To conclude, happiness is a feeling and can differ from individual to individual which makes it hard to define. However, both tangible assets and intangible values equally can determine peoples’ happiness.


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