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IELTS Writing

IELTS Writing Task 2 Essays: Opinion, Discussion, and Two-Part Question


The IELTS Writing Task 2 is an important part of the exam where students are required to express their viewpoints effectively. This article delves into the nuances of different essay types within this task, providing insights into their structures, key components, and IELTS exam tips.

And these are what we are going to discuss:

  • Opinion essay
  • Discussion essay
  • Two-part question essays
  • IELTS essay writing tips

Opinion essay

In the opinion essay, your goal is to clearly present your point of view on a given topic and support with solid arguments and examples. The Academic writing sample task presents a topic and expects you to provide your viewpoint with supporting reasoning and examples. You should aim to write at least 250 words, utilizing a structured approach to achieve a coherent and well-organized essay.
IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 sample:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
An increasing number of individuals who have health concerns are experimenting with unconventional forms of medicine and therapies rather than seeking care from their typical physician.
Do you think this is a positive or a negative development?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.

In this task you should:

  1. Express your personal point of view on the subject presented in the task.
  2. Give reasons (arguments) for your opinion.
  3. Provide relevant examples to support the arguments.
  4. Write at least 250 words.

You should have at least 3 paragraphs in your essay: an introduction, a body paragraph, and a conclusion. However, good responses usually have between 4 and 5 paragraphs. The structure and content of an essay can vary depending on your ideas, arguments, and examples.

TIP. Use this structure to get a high score for task achievement:

Paragraph 1. Introduction. (≈35 words)

  • Give some background information about the topic
  • Paraphrase the task
  • Express your view on the matter

Paragraph 2. Body paragraph*. Argument 1. (≈90 words)

  • Present the first idea to support your view
  • Develop your idea and give relevant examples

Paragraph 3. Body paragraph*. Argument 2. (≈90 words)

  • Present the second idea to support your view
  • Develop your idea and give relevant examples

*It’s not a must to have an example in each paragraph, however, a typical structure of a strong paragraph is:

  • a topic sentence (the main idea of that paragraph) + supporting ideas + relevant examples + a concluding sentence.

Paragraph 4. Conclusion (≈35 words)

  • Shortly paraphrase key ideas from the body paragraphs
  • Restate your position
  • Add a final suggestion
TIP. Express your opinion directly:

  • I believe/feel that ...
  • I am of the opinion that ...
  • From my point of view ...
  • In my opinion/view ...
  • To/in my mind …

If it’s an agree/disagree essay, you can use these phrases:

  • I strongly agree with this notion.
  • I share the view that ...
  • I totally/ completely agree with the idea that …
  • I am of the same opinion because ….
  • I certainly do not agree on ...


TIP. You can use these phrases for an introduction:

  • This essay will explain why ...
  • This essay will explore the reasons for ...
  • This essay will examine ... and propose ...
  • … for a number of reasons.
  • In this essay, I will discuss ...

TIP. Link your ideas:

  • The first thing to consider is ...
  • A further reason is …
  • Another reason could be...
  • Another important point is that ...
  • One justification for …

Discussion essay

In the discussion essay, your goal is to explore both sides of an issue, express your viewpoint, and prove your attitude with well-structured arguments and examples.

Academic writing sample task

Some people believe that it is important to spend time in nature in order to maintain good health, others say it is better to do sport in gyms under the supervision of professionals. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.

To excel in this task, follow this approach:

  1. Discuss both points of view providing arguments and examples.
  2. Express your personal opinion giving reasons (arguments) and examples.
  3. Write at least 250 words.

You should have at least 3 paragraphs in your essay: an introduction, a body paragraph, and a conclusion. However, good responses usually have between 4 and 5 paragraphs. The structure and content of an essay can vary depending on your ideas, arguments and examples.

TIP. Use this structure to get a high score for task achievement:

Paragraph 1. Introduction. (≈30 words)

  • Give some background information about the topic
  • Paraphrase the task
  • Mention both views
  • Express your view on the matter

Paragraph 2. Body paragraph*. Argument 1 for the view that you agree with. (≈65 words)

  • Present the first idea to support your view
  • Develop your idea and give relevant examples

Paragraph 3. Body paragraph*. Contrasting argument for the other view. (≈65 words)

  • Present an idea to support the other view
  • Develop that idea and give relevant examples

Paragraph 4. Body paragraph*. Argument 2 for the view that you agree with. (≈65 words)

  • Present the second idea to support your view
  • Develop your idea and give relevant examples

*It’s not a must to have an example in each paragraph, however a typical structure of a strong paragraph is:

  • a topic sentence (the main idea of that paragraph) + supporting ideas + relevant examples + a concluding sentence.

Paragraph 5. Conclusion (≈30 words)

  • Shortly paraphrase key ideas from the body paragraphs
  • Restate your position
  • Add a final suggestion


TIP. You can use these phrases for an introduction:

  • There are those who believe that ..., while the opposing view is that ...
  • This essay will reflect on both of these viewpoints before concluding with why...
  • There are good arguments in support of both sides.
  • It has been argued that ...
  • … is a hotly debated issue.

TIP. Express your opinion directly:

  • I personally believe/feel that ...
  • Despite … I am of the opinion that ...
  • Even though …, from my point of view …
  • In my opinion/view ...
  • To/in my mind ...

TIP. Link your ideas:

  • Looking at the ... perspective firstly, the key reason why …
  • With regards to ..., supporters of this view argue that …
  • There are a number of arguments in favour of...
  • There are those who say that …
  • At the same time others believe that ...

TIP. Restate your opinion in the conclusion:

  • On balance, my personal view is to support the ... view because …
  • Weighing up both sides of the issue, despite the ..., I am of the belief that...
  • Taking both points into consideration, I believe...
  • Weighing up both opinions again, I support ...

Two-part question essays

In the two-part question essay, you're required to address both questions posed in the task, supporting your responses with coherent arguments and examples.
IELTS General essay writing task:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Recycling is becoming more and more common in many countries.
What are some benefits of recycling?
How can we encourage people to recycle more?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
To succeed in this task, adopt the following structure:
  1. Answer both questions.
  2. Give reasons (arguments) for your answers.
  3. Provide relevant examples to support the arguments.
  4. Write at least 250 words.

You should have at least 3 paragraphs in your essay: an introduction, a body paragraph, and a conclusion. However, good responses usually have between 4 and 5 paragraphs. The structure and content of an essay can vary depending on your ideas, arguments and examples.

TIP. Use this structure to get a high score for task achievement:

Paragraph 1. Introduction. (≈35 words)

  • Give some background information about the topic
  • Paraphrase the task

Paragraph 2. Body paragraph*. Question 1. (≈90 words)

  • Answer the question
  • Present at least 1 idea to support your answer
  • Develop your idea and give relevant examples

Paragraph 3. Body paragraph*. Question 2. (≈90 words)

  • Answer the question
  • Present at least 1 idea to support your answer
  • Develop your idea and give relevant examples

*It’s not a must to have an example in each paragraph, however a typical structure of a strong paragraph is:

  • a topic sentence (the main idea of that paragraph) + supporting ideas + relevant examples + a concluding sentence.

Paragraph 4. Conclusion (≈35 words)

  • Shortly paraphrase key ideas from the body paragraphs
  • Add a final suggestion

️ TIP. You can use these phrases for an introduction:

  • This essay will explain why ...
  • This essay will explore the reasons for ...
  • This essay will examine ... and propose ...
  • In this essay, I will discuss ...

TIP. Link your ideas:

  • The first thing to consider is ...
  • A further reason is …
  • Another reason could be...
  • Another important point is that ...

Helpful IELTS Writing tips

To master IELTS Writing Task 2, apply these valuable tips:

  • Practice Diverse Topics: Practice writing on various topics to enhance your versatility.
  • Directly Express Opinions: Use phrases like "I personally believe" or "From my point of view" to convey your stance.
  • Coherence is Key: Maintain logical progression and cohesion throughout your essay.
  • Illustrative Examples: Back up your arguments with real-life examples to add depth and credibility.
  • Structured Paragraphs: Adopt a clear paragraph structure with topic sentences, supporting ideas, and concluding sentences.
  • Word Count Management: Ensure your essay meets the minimum word count requirement (≥250 words).
  • Checklist Utilization: Use a checklist to assess your preparedness for the exam.

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