Having a clear knowledge of how you structure your IELTS Opinion Essay Task is an essential skill that will make you attain your desired band score and eventually move to the country you are aiming for.
Since the IELTS Opinion Essay Task is one of the most challenging parts of the IELTS Writing Test, we have outlined for you everything there is to know about this part of the test, so read on.
- What is IELTS Writing Task 2?
- What is the IELTS Writing Opinion Essay Task?
- What are some Essential Tips for Writing the IELTS Opinion Essay?
- How to Structure Your Opinion Essay Answer?
- Planning Tips for the IELTS Opinion Essay Task
- Good or Bad: Writing a Long Introduction?
- How to Use the Last 5 Minutes of the IELTS Writing Task 2 Test?
- What are Some Useful Phrases in Writing Opinion Essay?
- Helpful Ways to Improve your IELTS Writing for a Band 7
- Model Essays for IELTS Opinion Essay Task
- Additional FAQs – IELTS Writing Task 2 – Opinion Essays
What is IELTS Writing Task 2?
You must write at least 250 words and should spend at least 40 minutes (out of the 60 minutes) on this task because it carries more weight.
You must write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem in IELTS Writing Task 2. It assesses your ability to:
- present a logical, relevant, and well-structured argument
- provide facts or examples to back up ideas
- use appropriate language
What is the IELTS Writing Opinion Essay Task?
There are five types of questions that are posed in the IELTS Writing Task 2 and you will only find out the type of test you should answer on the day of the test itself. That is why prior to taking the IELTS Test, you should make yourself familiar with them.
The IELTS opinion essay task is also known as ‘agree or disagree’ or argumentative essay and is one of the most widely used types of IELTS Writing Task 2 questions. This type of query necessitates an answer.
A factual statement will nearly always precede the opinion to provide context. The next question will usually be something along the lines of ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree with…’ or anything along those lines.
Violence on television and in video games, according to some, has a harmful impact on society. Others contend that none of these factors significantly influence people's choices. What are your thoughts on the matter?
Is it more necessary to have a big salary than to be happy at work? Do you agree with this statement or not?
Students should be required to wear a school uniform in all schools. To what extent do you agree?
What are some Essential Tips for Writing the IELTS Opinion Essay?
One of the most common types of essays in the IELTS Writing Task 2 portion is the opinion essay. Usually, this question asks if you agree or disagree with the given topic.
As a result, rather than remaining neutral, you must choose a side. You are not correctly answering the question if you do not express whether you agree or disagree with the given topic.
Here are the most proven tips to help you get high marks in the IELTS opinion essay task.
- Make the most of your time:
You have an hour (60 minutes) to finish the IELTS Writing Test. Because the IELTS Writing Task 2 is more important for your overall band score, we recommend devoting no more than 20 minutes to Task 1 and 40 minutes to task two. Allow time for planning and double-checking your work. When taking practice examinations, it’s a good idea to stick to a 60-minute time limit.
- Answer the question directly:
Answer the question in a straightforward manner. Avoid writing an essay on a topic you have already prepared ahead of time. Ensure that your examples and ideas are valid. If you simplify too much and are not particular enough, it will alter how the examiner perceives your ideas.
- Answer all the questions:
You must carefully evaluate the question to estimate the number of components it contains. To obtain a band 6 or higher, you must answer all portions of the question. Remember that it is critical to take a clear stance in response to the statement to demonstrate that you understand the subject and to maintain that position throughout the essay.
- Use linking phrases:
You need to begin with an introduction and end with a conclusion. Your ideas must be clearly defined and structured. If you are expected to present both points of view and your viewpoint, begin with your perspective and then move on to the other points of view. The essay might then be finished by returning to your own point of view. This is the most logical order in which these thoughts should be presented.
- Have your essay in paragraphs:
To separate your writing into various pieces, use paragraphs. The examiner should be able to read your essay easier as a result of this. Make sure each paragraph is well-organized and contains a well-developed topic of at least three sentences. It also shows that you can logically arrange and articulate your thoughts and ideas.
- Make use of unusual vocabulary:
Avoid using old-fashioned words that are not used in everyday language. If you use a synonym, be sure it has the same meaning as the original and does not alter the meaning of the issue. When studying a language, use both common and uncommon words. You may also use phrasal verbs when discussing certain topics or using idiomatic language.
- Avoid using memorized words, phrases, or examples:
Avoid using any memorized words, phrases, or examples in your writing. They do not show off your eloquence in writing. Examiners are well aware of this. Furthermore, because they are vague and do not sufficiently handle a task, they should not be utilized in writing. You should always utilize straightforward language and appropriate word choices to communicate your thoughts properly.
- Make use of a variety of advanced sentence structures:
Using several frameworks, you should accurately explain your ideas and beliefs. Prove to the examiner that you can employ a variety of structures and that your sentences are error-free. In your writing, use a combination of smart and basic sentences.
However, keep in mind that your complicated sentences should not be excessively long or intricate. With perfect capitalization, commas, and full stops, your punctuation should likewise be perfect.
How to Structure Your Opinion Essay Answer?
In writing essays, paragraphs are vital because they divide your thoughts into manageable pieces that a reader can grasp. Imagine reading a 250-word IELTS opinion essay in just one long block of text?!
As a result, many basic writing standards such as introductions and conclusions and the premise that each paragraph should contain only one idea apply. This makes it easier for a writer to provide clear information that a reader can comprehend.
Generally, you need to have at least four paragraphs in the IELTS opinion essay task. However, you may opt to have a five-paragraph essay, which is completely fine.
Example: Traveling in a group assisted by a tour guide is the best way to travel. How much do you agree or disagree with this assertion?
First Paragraph — Introduction
This paragraph gives the reader a sense of the essay as a whole and leaves an impression on the examiners. The first sentence is the question statement’s paraphrasing. The examiner should be able to recognize if you have fully understood the question by reading this sentence.
As a result, we recommend that you compose this paragraph so that examiners can acquire a clear picture of the essay.
More individuals are traveling throughout the world these days, and some of them prefer to do so in tour groups. There are various reasons why people travel this way. However, some people strongly oppose it and would rather travel alone or with a smaller group, such as friends or family. Independent travel is superior to guided tours, according to this essay.
Second Paragraph — 1st Body Paragraph
When composing your body paragraphs, you can choose one of these two options to construct each one: You can either submit two reasons for agreeing or disagreeing or write a single rationale with an example.
The side with which you disagree is discussed in the first body paragraph of the IELTS opinion essay task. Always remember to layout the first body paragraph’s structure before you start writing.
People prefer to travel in groups for a variety of reasons. Some of the most prevalent reasons are that it is less expensive, more convenient and that you will be guided by a professional who will speak your language and provide crucial information. This is mostly accurate, but it also creates an artificial environment by isolating visitors from their destination. Large groups of tourists are primarily surrounded by other tourists, taken to pre-arranged destinations, and allowed access to only what the tour proposes. With this, they are missing out on many of the opportunities that individuals who travel more freely have.
Third Paragraph — 2nd Body Paragraph
You make an argument for the viewpoint with which you agree in the third paragraph. As a result, always consider either four or two reasons to support your position, each with an example.
Individuals who travel alone have the freedom to choose their own itinerary and, if desired, to adjust it according to their preferences. Let's imagine they've decided to tour across Thailand's islands. They can fall in love with one island and decide to stay longer rather than stick to the original itinerary. Furthermore, because they will be able to talk with people and explore an area spontaneously, their experience will be more authentic.
Fourth Paragraph — Conclusion
This paragraph sums up your essay and wraps up your supporting points. To create an effective ending, include the thesis from the introduction, but in a paraphrased form to avoid using the same terms twice. Then, summarize the points from your second and third body paragraphs that support your argument.
Some may say that getting lost or having trouble with translation are problems that would ruin a vacation, but they actually bring adventure and experience. Traveling with a guide makes it easier, but it doesn't make it better.
Complete IELTS Opinion Essay Task:
"More individuals are traveling throughout the world these days, and some of them prefer to do so in tour groups. There are a lot of reasons why people travel this way. However, some people strongly oppose it and would rather travel alone or with a smaller group, such as friends or family. Independent travel is superior to guided tours, according to this essay. People prefer to travel in groups for a variety of reasons. Some of the most prevalent reasons are that it is less expensive, more convenient and that you will be guided by a professional who will speak your language and provide crucial information. This is mostly accurate, but it also creates an artificial environment by isolating visitors from their destination. Large groups of tourists are primarily surrounded by other tourists, taken to pre-arranged destinations, and allowed access to only what the tour proposes. With this, they are missing out on many of the opportunities that individuals who travel more freely have. Individuals who travel alone have the freedom to choose their own itinerary and, if desired, to adjust it according to their preferences. Let's imagine they've decided to tour across Thailand's islands. They can fall in love with one island and decide to stay longer rather than stick to the original itinerary. Furthermore, because they will be able to talk with people and explore an area spontaneously, their experience will be more authentic. Some may say that getting lost or having trouble with translation are problems that would ruin a vacation, but they actually bring adventure and experience. Traveling with a guide makes it easier, but it doesn't make it better.
Planning Tips for the IELTS Opinion Essay Task
How you plan and draft your IELTS opinion essay task will dictate the structure of your output. Remember that you only have 40 minutes for this task, and once you start writing, there is no going back. Hence, it is important that you follow the tips below to produce a quality essay.
Read and Understand the Question:
You will be asked if you agree or disagree with the question stated. That implies you will have to choose a side. Examiners will not evaluate what you are thinking or what you genuinely believe. They will simply look at the content of your essay.
As a result, after giving the question statement some thought, choose the side on which you have more strong points to discuss, even if you do not favor that side in real life.
Pick the Important Points:
You may have various points to discuss. However, you will not be able to write all of them. Examiners want you to clearly communicate your point of view, backed up with logic and examples.
Draft the Structure of your Essay:
Your IELTS opinion essay is finished by composing 14 sentences in four paragraphs. It is as easy as that. This is how we write a 4/14 essay.
The structure is simple to remember and apply in the IELTS Writing Test:
- Introduction – 3 sentences
1st Sentence: Paraphrase the given topic.
2nd Sentence: Write a thesis statement.
3rd Sentence: Write an outline sentence.
- 1st Body Paragraph – 4 sentences
1st Sentence: Topic Sentence 1
2nd Sentence: Explain Topic Sentence 1.
3rd Sentence: Present logic for Topic Sentence 1, including drawbacks.
4th Sentence: Give a supportive example for Topic Sentence 1.
- 2nd Body Paragraph – 4 sentences
1st Sentence: Topic Sentence 2
2nd Sentence: Explain Topic Sentence 2.
3rd Sentence: Present logic for Topic Sentence 2, including drawbacks.
4th Sentence: Give a supportive example for Topic Sentence 2.
- Conclusion – 3 sentences
1st Sentence: Summarize the body paragraph 1.
2nd Sentence: Summarize the body paragraph 2.
3rd Sentence: Give a final remark summarizing both body paragraphs.
Good or Bad: Writing a Long Introduction?
As mentioned earlier, your introductory paragraph should be clear and concise. You are advised to have a maximum of 3 sentences. Do not elaborate too much so that you would not have anything to write in the succeeding paragraphs anymore. Moreover, it is also not recommended that you write your introduction in only one sentence.
The IELTS opinion essay task requires you to give your opinion in the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
Opinion in the Introduction
Which side do you favor when you write your opinion in the initial paragraph of your essay?
Let us imagine you are an ordinary writer who does not show your point of view in the first paragraph. The examiner may interpret your points as they see fit in this situation. The reader also may be perplexed when they read in the last line which side you favor. This may cause you to lose points unnecessarily.
Opinion in the Conclusion
It is critical to write your viewpoint in the conclusion as well, as this is the final pronouncement. Finally, it persuades the examiner that your thinking is valid. However, remember that you should not repeat the terms you have already used in the introduction.
How to Use the Last 5 Minutes of the IELTS Writing Task 2 Test?
The last 5 minutes of the IELTS Writing Test could mean the difference between a 5 and a 6.5 band score. Utilize it well.
Ensure that by this time, you have finished writing your IELTS Writing Test and that you have enough time to double-check the following:
- Number of Words
- Sentence Structures
These may seem minor details, but you would not believe the number of candidates who have failed to recheck their essay and got a low band score. Do not commit the same mistake.
What are Some Useful Phrases in Writing Opinion Essay?
The use of appropriate words is an important component of effective essay writing. To explain thoughts more effectively, one should continually grow and strengthen one’s vocabulary.
The following are the top words and phrases to know to produce excellent IELTS opinion essays:
- I’d argue that…
- In my opinion…
- Personally, I believe…
- It appears to me that…
- I have to admit that…
- As far as I can tell…
- As for me, I believe…
- That is something I cannot deny…
- I’d like to emphasize that…
- In my personal experience…
- To attest…
- To prove…
- This is testified by…
- This is evidenced by…
- This establishes that…
- This is attested/proven by…
Expressing General Point of View
- It is commonly stated that…
- According to popular belief…
- It is commonly assumed that…
- It is generally assumed that…
- It is largely agreed upon that…
- It’s a widely held assumption that…
- It is evident that …
- The truth is that …
- It is obvious that …
- This shows that …
- There is no doubt that …
- As an example…
- Take for instance…
- We can see this in…
- A good illustration of this is…
- Evidence for this is manifested in…
- To summarize…
- In conclusion…
- In general…
- Taking everything into account…
Helpful Ways to Improve your IELTS Writing for a Band 7
Preparing for the IELTS Writing Test is not as difficult as you would imagine. It just takes enough practice and preparation.
The good news is that this is not the first time you are writing, and for sure, you already have the knowledge and skills for it. You just need to review and apply them when you take the IELTS Writing Test.
- Make sure you understand the concepts you are discussing:
Take time to mentally explain the notion to a six-year-old who lives inside your head before you begin writing. If you want to attain a specific outcome with your writing, consider what that result should be. Have a clear objective in mind before you start writing. Then stay with it.
- Learn how to brainstorm ideas and create an outline:
Unfortunately, having good English grammar and vocabulary is not enough. Because the IELTS examiner is evaluating your ability to generate cohesive and orderly responses, you should practice thinking of themes to write about. As a result, you should practice brainstorming and outlining ideas for your IELTS Writing Task 2 responses.
- Do not go overboard with your explanations:
You should keep things simple if you have taken the effort to organize your thoughts ahead of time.
The goal is to provide readers with just enough information to understand what you are saying without overwhelming them with unnecessary information. If you are getting bogged down with unnecessary details, consider whether each piece of information is necessary to help your reader understand your point. Otherwise, get rid of it.
- Avoid using too many prepositional phrases:
Prepositional phrases make your work overly wordy and difficult. It is a fact. Although prepositions are not difficult to grasp, they do necessitate some explanation. You should get clever about prepositions and strive to simplify them whenever possible. Your writing will gain a much-needed boost in clarity.
- Know your strategy:
Each IELTS Writing task necessitates a distinct strategy.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
You need to determine the major patterns and characteristics and rewrite the material from the task in the introduction using synonyms and grammar transformations. Describe only the facts that are relevant to the inquiry, not all of it. In conclusion, summarize the main themes from your body paragraphs.
IELTS General Training Writing Task 1
You need to analyze the question and brainstorm ideas using bullet points. Design paragraphs by addressing your bullet points, and write the letter.
IELTS Writing Task 2
Rephrase the question in the introduction and construct a thesis statement based on your viewpoint. Write topic sentences outlining your essential points – one for each theme – and use one of them to begin each body paragraph. Use explanations and examples to support the main sentence in the rest of the paragraph; in conclusion, summarize your points.
- Improve your grammatical range and vocabulary:
Spend time reading different materials, such as commercials, articles, manuals, magazines, reports, and sample models from practice exams, in the weeks leading up to test day to learn new vocabulary in varied situations.
Practice making sentences with new words and difficult structures.
- Keep your sentences short and simple:
Long, complex sentences can be written with style by literary experts. It is easier to read shorter, less convoluted sentences. Keep things simple.
However, vary the length of your sentences to create a smooth flow in your writing.
- Practice, practice, practice:
The best way to enhance your writing is to figure out what makes it weak in the first place and then work on addressing (and eventually preventing) the flaws. You will improve your writing, editing, and proofreading skills as you write, edit, and proofread more. Practice as often as you can.
Model Essays for IELTS Opinion Essay Task
Before taking the IELTS Writing Test, you are advised to spend time reading the sample and model responses that receive high marks from the examiner. This will help you strategize and choose which technique to employ when you finally have to take the IELTS Writing Test.
Question: Because many people own weapons, the number of shootings in various countries is on the rise. How much do you agree or disagree with this assertion?
Sample Response: "Many people own guns for self-defense and recreational purposes throughout the world. The ethics of such types of private gun ownership are brought into stark relief by gun-related deaths in households, in particular. In this paper, I will utilize crime statistics to show that having a gun in the house puts a person at a much higher chance of being shot. To begin with, it is self-evident that possessing a gun in the home puts children and teenagers in danger. This is because minors lack the necessary knowledge and maturity to safely use firearms. For example, according to the US Department of Justice, 150 American children and teenagers die each year as a result of incidents involving domestic guns. As a result, it is undeniable that household weapons contribute to more shootings. Second, when partners have violent disagreements, domestic weapons become more deadly. This is attributed to the fact that male sexual wrath, in particular, frequently leads to lethal aggressiveness. For example, the International Crime Bureau recently published statistical proof indicating if there is a household gun, a man is twice as likely to shoot his wife in a jealous rage if he discovers she is having an affair. As a result, household weapons have a positive correlation with more shootings. Finally, there is irrefutable proof that having a gun in the house leads to more shootings. Given the gravity of this evidence, greater legislation limiting individual gun ownership will be needed in the future."
Question: Some individuals believe that international athletic events are the best way to showcase the host country's qualities to the rest of the world. Others argue that these events are primarily an unreasonable waste of money. How much do you agree or disagree with this assertion?
Sample Response: "The Olympics, the World Cup, the Extreme Games, and even the American Super Bowl provide incredible chances for countries. These legendary events can either bring a country an avalanche of economic advantages or expose it to a public relations disaster. Both points will be discussed in this essay, with Russia and the United Kingdom as examples. First, keep in mind that simply holding the event and attracting global media attention does not ensure positive advertising. This is mainly because even though the country receives a lot of attention, the media frequently reports on controversial news. Take, for example, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The athletes are receiving a lot of media attention, but the debate about homosexuality legislation is also getting a lot of attention. As a result, despite the potential for international recognition, the country may experience backlash. Second, unless the costs of constructing the huge infrastructures required to host big events are fully amortized, the benefits may outweigh the costs. This is largely owing to the fact that stadiums, Olympic parks, ski runs, and other significant capital expenditures, which are frequently undertaken by the public sector, are costly to build. The municipality commissioned a stadium for athletic events for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, which was eventually converted and sold to Manchester City, the city's premier football club. As a result, the cost of such structures and assets can be recovered through proper, fair, and cost-effective administration. To summarize, a host city or nation stands to benefit much from these events, but only if they are properly managed economically,. The country does not have any contentious issues for the media to bring up."
Question: Some individuals believe that children's recreational activities must be instructive; otherwise, they are a waste of time. Do you agree with this statement or not? Give explanations for your choice and any relevant instances from your own life.
Sample Response: "Over the last 30 years, the East has fought for a greater 'slice of the economic pie,' aiming for living standards comparable to those of the EU and the United States. This has put more strain on natural resources, prompting calls for governments to set consumption limits. This concept is faulty since it undermines product safety and harms the poor by designing items to last. To begin with, the notion that governments prohibit people from acquiring "up to date products" would limit the option for customers to improve their safety. This is because, as technology advances, new discoveries can be applied to improve the utility of existing technologies. Consider the automobile sector, where technologies such as anti-lock brakes, airbags, and seat belts have all resulted from a continuous stream of advances. As a result, if governments were allowed to regulate purchases, automakers would be hesitant to invest in new features, and safety would never improve. Second, while it is true that we are consuming more due to rising populations, the rationale that "items should be created to last" is no longer valid. Products would be more expensive if they were made to be more durable. This would be detrimental to the less fortunate consumer, yet these things can often be recycled at a later date, thanks to current technology. Glass, plastic, paper, batteries, and even cellphones are being gathered to repurpose, reuse, and recycle. As a result, durable products are superfluous and would damage people with lower incomes. To summarize, allowing the government to discourage use would jeopardize product advances and, eventually, consumer safety. Interfering with product durability would almost certainly be detrimental to the poor. As a result, I am vehemently opposed to both of these ideas.
Question: Parents should be required to attend a parenting training course to learn how to raise their children. How much do you agree or disagree with this assertion?
Sample Response: "Many people feel that prospective parents must take a course to learn how to raise children. However, due to the wealth of parenting information accessible and the intrinsic capacity to raise children, I disagree that it should be mandated. First and foremost, parents have raised perfectly healthy children for generations without participating in a training program. They have been successful in providing for their children by relying on their natural maternal or paternal instincts. To demonstrate this argument, parenting courses were not available in the United Kingdom until recently, and the vast majority of children have grown up to be healthy and well-adjusted adults. This would not have been the case if parenting lessons were required. Another aspect in favor of new parents is that they have access to a variety of knowledge without having to attend a training course. For example, millennials are at ease getting information from video sharing platforms and internet knowledge bases like YouTube and Wikipedia. Furthermore, there are a slew of apps made just for aspiring parents that can allay any fears about parenthood. Furthermore, new parents can gain essential wisdom from their friends and relatives, particularly those with past child-rearing experience. If they run into any problems, they will never be short on information or assistance. To summarize, while there is nothing wrong with taking parenting classes, I do not believe they are required. The main reasons for this belief are that parents have ample resources, which they can combine with their natural desire to nurture their children."
Question: In the previous 100 years, advances in health, biology, and other sectors of society have changed the way we live as well as postponed the day we die. There has never been a finer time to be alive than right now. How much do you agree or disagree with this assertion?
Sample Response: "Because of its direct connection to survival and health, biology is one of the most significant fields of science. Because of the tremendous advancements, it has been stated that now is the best moment to be alive. For two reasons, I strongly agree with this statement: first, lives have been better, and second, risks have been decreased. To begin with, when comparing life today to life a century ago, it is feasible to identify new benefits such as hospitals, doctors, medicines, diagnoses, donors, and transplants, all of which were previously highly unusual. Science has made a significant difference in people's lives all throughout the world. Consider a procedure performed several years ago in France on a woman who had a total face transplant. This would have been unthinkable in 1910, thus her life has clearly improved as a result of science. Second, health hazards have decreased dramatically, to the point that it is now possible to go to tropical areas that previously posed significant concerns. This is due to the lack of typical prophylactic methods like immunizations, immunization, and prescription pills. Furthermore, their cost has decreased over the previous thirty years, making exotic travel accessible to practically anyone with sufficient cash. As a result, contemporary science has improved the opportunities and lowered the risks associated with travel in ways that have never been seen before in history. To sum up, I believe that advances in biology and science have improved people's well-being and the opportunity to explore the globe. This is unquestionably the first time in history that such circumstances have arisen."
Additional FAQs – IELTS Writing Task 2 – Opinion Essays
How Do I Write an Opinion Essay for IELTS?
To write an IELTS opinion essay task, you first need to read and understand the question. Then, you have to plan and draft what you need to include in the essay.
Next, you will write the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion of your essay. Make sure you meet the required number of words, at least 250 words.
Can You Use Quotes, Idioms, or Proverbs in Your Essay?
In the IELTS Writing Test Task 2, you get a high score when you employ appropriate, natural language in the proper context.
As a result, avoid using quotes, idioms, or proverbs in your essays. Because these are not your own words, they are not appropriate for the IELTS Opinion Essay Task. Utilizing them in your essay will lead to low marks.