IELTS Discussion Essay Model Answer

This IELTS discussion essay sample answer is estimated at band 9. See comments below the essay for advice and tips.

Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important.
Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

It is considered by some that being a university graduate is the key to securing a good job while there are others who think that it is better to have experience and soft skills. In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.

On the one hand, many think it is easier for most people to find a good job if they are university graduates with a good degree. In other words, having tertiary education puts people one step ahead of others who do not and this can be the deciding factor in getting a good job. The competition to get in to universities and the increasing number of graduates show just how significant this level of education is for people’s future work opportunities.

On the other hand, having work experience and soft skills, such as leadership skills and other interpersonal skills, can also throw the balance in favour of the applicant, according to some. For many positions there are an overwhelming number of applicants and, therefore, it is often thought that having relevant experience in that line of work or having acquired useful soft skills that can be valuable to a company, can put one ahead of the game when applying for a position.

Finally, in my opinion, whether needing high level education or skills and experience, depends on the position being applied for. Take for example law, medicine or teaching, it is impossible to be considered for a position without the required educational background. In contrast, in business, it would be more important for a candidate to have soft skills and experience in that line of business so they can step into a position without further training and be of immediate benefit to the company.

In conclusion, getting a good job requires a relevant background either in experience or education depending on the type of work and field. People should make sure they attain the necessary skills or degrees before applying for a job in order to be sure of success.

Comments: This is a a band score 9  essay. It has over 300 words but all sentences are relevant, focused and well written. Band score 8.5 and 9 students can attempt long essays successfully but students from band 8 to band 6, should aim for around 270 to 290 words. Both sides are clearly discussed and the opinion is also clearly given. Linking devices are well used.


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  1. Rahul S Sinena says:

    Hi Liz,
    Your tutorials are really good. I want to thank you creating such a nice and informative site for IELTS.
    Liz, in many of the writing essay questions we see a statement saying “include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience” . But in most of the band8/band9 answers i never see real life example. kindly Explain what do we have to do when “relevant examples from knowledge ” have been asked for

    Rahul S Sinena

    • Examples from your experience of life do not need to be about your friends or people you know. They should be examples of the world in general from your perspective. “For example, the majority of people ….” This is an example of your knowledge. Always remember that the essays is formal. Also you don’t need to put examples in unless you want to. Examples can come in different forms: “In today’s world ….” that is actually an example of your knowledge of the world.

  2. Dear Liz,

    I hope you are going great. Firstly, thanks a lot for this focused website and great assistance you are providing by replying your students’ questions.

    I have a query regarding discussion essay. The question states, “Some people work for the same organization all their working life. Others think that it is better to work for different organizations.” Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

    To attempt the answer, Could I first talk about the people work on different places and then about the ones who stick with the same organisation? Would it cause marks deduction?

    One more favor, would you please tell my English mistakes in this comment?

    May you prosper more,

    • It would affect your score for Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks for task 2. This criterion relates to logical organisation of information. It introduce one order of information and then switch will confuse the reader and is not considered logical.

  3. HI LIZ,
    First of all,thank you for ur wonderful site.I am going to appear for the exam on this saturday.Still i have a doubt regarding discussion essay.if it asks like discuss both views and give your opinion,can i write like this:
    introduction with my opinion
    BP1(Including my opinion)
    BP2(opposite view)
    conclusion with opinion
    kindly give me a reply

  4. Hi Liz,

    thank you so much for your website and your Youtube Channel which are both really helpful.

    I have a question regarding the Discussion Essay’s plan. In my opinion a 3 body paragraphs plan (pros, cons and opinion), like in the model above, seems logical and relevant.

    While looking at a video about Essays planning, I found a teacher who made a 2 body paragraphs plan (pros and cons), only giving his opinion in the introduction.

    I would love to hear your thoughts about this.
    Thank you again for all your useful informations.
    Have nice week end.

    • Yes, it’s fine to do that. There are two options.
      1) opinion in introduction, BP1 = one side, BP2 = other side, BP3 = opinion
      2) opinion in introduction, BP1 = one side with opinion, BP2 = other side.
      In option 2, if you agree with one of the sides, then add that into the relevant BP.
      If you want training in writing task 2, I’ve got a 50% discount on offer for my advanced lessons:

      • Thank you Liz ! Everything is clear for me now.

        Your offer is tempting but I take the test next Saturday and I think I’m done now. I only planned light work and a lot of rest for next week.

        Thank you so much again Liz. You are an amazing teacher.

  5. JITHIN G ALEYAS says:

    Hi Liz
    I am Jithin…. Preparing ielts right now, regularly I go through your post, it’s really beneficial…
    I have a doubt one task 2
    Many people believe that, formal pen and paper examinations are not the best method of assessing educational achievements. What is your view of examination.

    In this essay I agree with this statement that conventional mode of examinations are out dated.
    So what should I include..?
    The advantages of modern examination technology or disadvantages of conventional examination?

    Some times we get these kinds of questions.i really facing difficulties in these kinds of questions.

    If possible give your advice?
    Thank you

    • I don’t know where you got this essay question. The instructions “What is your view of examination.” are not from IELTS. Check where you got this essay question from and also check that you have written it correctly.

  6. hey liz, saade here.
    i was wondering if i could skip the last conclusion paragraph since it repeats most of whats in my last body paragraph. i have seen some model essays with 4 detailed paragraphs.
    in which cases is it acceptable? (i got my exam tomorrow and im hoping for a band score of 8 or above)

  7. SUNNY MANHAS says:

    Hi liz,
    Should we use modals more instead of helping verbs in task2 ?

    • You use a range of tenses, sentence structures and language for a high score. You don’t aim to use one more than the other. Just use appropriate language which showcases your range and accuracy.

  8. Kieroles Mikhael says:

    Hi Liz,
    Actually, all your lessons are great.
    I wish you re-do the offer on advanced lessons again

  9. Hello ma’am
    I want to know what exactly is the difference between agree/disagree and discussion/give opinion essay.
    Actually i aligned to one side completely in my essay which states to discuss both views and give your opinion
    Is it wrong??
    Moreover, i also wrote ‘i agree with this……’ in introduction.
    Does it effect my scores.

  10. Good afternoon Liz! Thank you very much for all your help!
    In a discussion essay, when the prompt asks for our opinion and our opinion stands solely with one of the two aspects. Should it be advisable to state our opinion only in the introduction, or we should restate it in the paragraph where we elaborate on the aspect that we stand for, using again one of the phrases that you taught us (in my opinion, I think, I believe)?

  11. Hi Liz,

    Really appreciate the way you are helping people to get prepared for their IELTS. Your video lessons are really thoughtful and well prepared. Just one question on a subject essay; the topic called for the perspective of people, competing for a job, with skills or without skills but having an education. Whereas, in your essay, the second argument is about business as a good fit for people with no formal education. How do you see it, are you not going away from the topic?

    • This topic is about people who focus on education or people who don’t focus on education and aim for skills and experience instead. This means the latter group don’t have university education because they preferred to get work experience instead. It’s a really common topic in IELTS writing.

  12. Hi Liz! Can you help me about thesis? What is thesis? I can’t understand about it? Can you show any examples?

  13. H Liz,
    Firstly, I want to appreciate your effort to help us. My question is that whether or not it is okay to state my own opinion in my conclusion in ”discuss both sides essays” after discussing the ideas given in the statement rather than in the introduction.

  14. Hi Liz,

    I cannot stress enough how crucial your website has been for my IELTS preparation.
    I have a question regarding the “discuss both views and give your opinion” type of essay.
    Can i incorporate my opinion in the second body paragraph, or a seperate paragraph is needed in order to achieve a good score? (i need at least 7,5)

  15. Abdul samad zafar says:

    Hello Liz, in discussion essay model, should we give our opinion in the conclusion or in the thesis statement. I have a test on 29th of October. It is requested to please answer before it

  16. Helo Liz! m much happy wd ur lessons.they are more informative and vital to pass an ielts exam. . i have one confusion when to give one sided opinion and when to give a balanced opinion.. .? thanx

  17. Hey Liz,

    Should we write about our Opinion if the question only says “Discuss both views.”

  18. Hey Liz,

    Is it a must to write a seperate paragraph for our own opinion or can we mention that shortly in conclusion. I have a exam soon , so hope you reply quick as possible.


  19. Ana Carolina Francisco says:

    Hy Liz, what would happen if I don´t write about all topics, as did? In my case, I just mentioned “experience” in the introduction, but them I forgot it.

  20. hey liz, thanks for your lessons

    i have a doubt

    in discussion type of essay can we write 2-3 ideas all together in one para..

    for example :explain use of interent and discuss both sides.

    in first para i write my frist idea 1: internet is useful
    why it is useful ?explain one sentence
    second idea:internet is cheap source of communication
    how it is cheap?explain in one sentence
    third idea: internet can be used easily
    how it is used easily?expalin in one sentence

    is such paragraph can lead to a band score of =>7

  21. Hi Liz!

    Thanks a lot for your wonderful site! 🙂 It is really great and unique.

    I have one quick question on the discussion essay – is it OK if I share my opinion at the end? I think it looks more logical to put first 2 paragraphs on the discussion of the subject and then my opinion at the end.
    Otherwise, it is a bit misleading if I share different poinsts of view together with my opinion at the beginning and then continue with discussion of “others”. What is the right approach as per examiners? I saw many different approaches, so I am a bit confused.

    Many thanks in advance!

    • The opinion is of equal importance as the discussion. The conclusion should restate ideas, not state them for the first time.

  22. Prasad Surendran says:

    Hi Liz,

    A question for you, In your model answer, you mentioned your opinion is that getting education is the best way to get the job, but in the conclusion you mentioned that it is depended on the job we are trying to apply. could you please explain this?

    • My opinion was given in the introduction “In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.”. You can see that my opinion is divided between academic jobs and business related jobs – this is called a balanced approach.

  23. hashirrehman says:

    education system of your country is this system compare to the international education standard or not
    essay on 250 words

  24. Some people think about learning a foreign language but cannot use it frequently. What are the difficulties that people face while learning a foreign language? What can be done to overcome them

  25. Hi Liz,
    I am grateful to you.Your lessons are helping me a lot.

    I have a question.When the question asks ‘to what extent do you agree with the statement’, do I need to support a single side or I need to explain the points of both sides and state clearly at which points I agree or disagree?

    • When the instructions as for your opinion, then your whole essay contains your opinion and nothing more.

      • Ayesha Bilal says:

        Hi Liz,
        I wanted your help with this. If I discuss both sides in an agree/disagree , how will i make my essay more academic and different from discuss both sides question?

      • Hi Liz. I have a question if you have time. In discussion essay if I do not agree with the statement how can I write it? For exampla, continuous coverage of sport discourages the young from taking part in any sport. i mean thesis and body paragraph. I wrote introduction. Please help me. I have a month left to the exam. Thank you very much

  26. Sammani perera says:

    When it says “Prison is the best punishment for criminals. Discuss” here we should discuss both sides right? Although it doesn’t explicitly state that both sides should be discussed

  27. AbtinSaadati says:

    Hi Liz I’m Abtin I want you to write a writing for me about internet and books in 4 paragraphs for my ielts with 250 words

  28. shahida says:

    hey lliz hope you fine. me going to appear in ielts test kindly suggest me some topics regarding to academic writing module

  29. Hi Liz,
    I would like to ask if its ok to change the order of my body paragraph if I chose to agree with the second opinion in a discussion essay?

    Thank you in advance

  30. Hi liz, recently i got 5.5 in my ielts exam and i got just 5 band in writing section but my requirement is 6 that is why i filled another exam of ielts and date of this exam is 19 dec so pls help me nd give some steps how can i improve my band in writing module….

  31. Hi Liz its me again,
    Question about Discussion Essay paraphrasing general statement.
    Here is a piece of a question taken from an IELTS Discussion Essay–>”There seems to be an increasing number of serious crimes committed each year…….. Discuss both sides.”
    I am confused how will I paraphrase this. I know in discussion essay, discussion languages should be use except where my opinion is. Should I always include discussion essay languages (“many people think”, etc) all the time even, for this example, it does not say “some, most people”. Should I just add “many” or “some”? Or just simply paraphrase the sentence? I hope my question makes sense.

  32. Hello Liz,
    i have watched some of your videos on youtube, you are doing a great job, i must appreciate your efforts.
    I need some clearification from you on the two questions below.
    ‘completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job.on the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important.’ following the model answer i saw on your page, you gave your opinion twice on this question ,that is after you paraphrased the question and immediately after discussing the second side of the question.Does this apply to all discussion essays or it depends on the question? I am saying this because this other question below is asking for my opinion after i must have discuss the two sides.
    some people think that the government should be responsible for crime prevention while others believe that it is the responsibility of the individual to protect themselves.
    Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

  33. Hi Liz, Is it really necessary to cite your opinion on the introduction for this type of essay? From my point of view, you have to discuss two sides first before stating your opinion. Thank you Liz

    • Both giving your opinion and discuss both sides are equally important. It does not say “discuss both sides and afterwards give your opinion”. You put both in the introduction, both in the body and your opinion is summarised in the conclusion.

      • Thanks for that Liz. Is it also necessary to have an entire paragraph of my opinion? can I incorporate my opinion to the side that I agree with instead of having a separate paragraph for the opinion?

  34. Hi Liz,

    In this type of essay (discuss both point of view and give our own opinion): Is it necessary to align myself with one side when I give my opinion?

    I understand that in Agree / Disagree Essays, I should completely align myself with one side but I think in this kind of essay I can just give my opinion without any position.

  35. hi liz I have 2 doubts that is it correct to start one sentence with it?secondly,we need to write both in my opinion and i beleive that together or one is enough?

  36. Hi Liz, I am wondering what approach will I use if the question asks me about the advantages outweighing the disadvantages? is this the same for discussing both views? Thank you Liz

    • No, it is asking which one is more important. You need to explain if you think the adv are more important than the disadv or the other way round. There are some tips for this type of question on the writing task 2 page.

      • Thanks Liz. I have another question. Is it alright to delay my opinion and mention it on the third paragraph of the essay? this is about discussing both views and citing your opinion. In developing my paragraph for this type of essay, I usually begin with the side that I contradict to. Then on the third paragraph, I usually write this way: However, I disagree because….. Is that a good structure?

        • You must put your opinion in the introduction. Then you can add it to a body paragraph of the side you agree with or you have put it in a third body paragraph to explain it more fully. Both ways are fine. Don’t forget to re-state it in the conclusion.

  37. Ridma Kondasinghe says:

    Thank you Liz

  38. Ridma Kondasinghe says:

    Hello Liz, My problem is when we provided with a question of “Solution giving” problem (not solution and cause) for writing task 2 should we write only solutions? Can’t we give the causes? I would be thankful if you will address my matter.

    • You only write about what you are asked for. Any extra information is irrelevant and will lower your score.

  39. Gamal Thomas says:

    Hello Liz , First of all , thank you so much for the invaluable help you give us.

    I also need to ask you two questions if you have time to answer,

    1- How I keep my position or opinion throughout the essay , especially in the discussion essay where I have to present the other view that differs of mine ?

    2 – In a previous IELTS exam I faced with the the word “And” and it was a problem for me, lol. The question was something like that: Modern technology could help in reduce and preventing crime , do you agree or disagree.
    I do not know if the question need two separate paragraphs (one for reducing and the other for preventing) or not …
    If you could clarify it would be great.
    Thank you again Liz

    • These questions can’t be explained in just a few lines. If you are struggling with these concepts, I can only suggest you purchase a writing lesson on my course: Each lesson is about 1 hour in length and explains these issues in detail. It takes quite a long time to explain them fully.
      All the best

  40. I am pleased to know the clear concept about the both views but when i try to write the essay it’s hard for me to write the introduction paragraph don’t know why. Can you give me some tips about introduction…

    • Most discussion essays ask you to discuss both sides and give your opinion. This dictates your introduction. You should paraphrase the two sides that IELTS have given as your background statement and then write your opinion as your thesis statement.

      • You mean that we have to write the both opinion of statement in introduction part . 😊

        • Sure. Take a look:

          It is considered by some that being a university graduate is the key to securing a good job while there are others who think that it is better to have experience and soft skills. In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.

          You can see, above, that both sides are introduced in the first sentence and my opinion is introduced in the second sentence.

          • It is considered by many that prosperous sports professionals get higher remuneration than other professionals but there are some, who unfavor this circumstance and feel it is unfair practice. In my opinion, I certainly believe that higher payments of these renowned sprots professionals need to be equalised ,otherwise this criterion will be adversely affected our modern society.

            Dear liz please check my introduction and provide me feedback that do I in right path to present my introduction in this discussion essay.

            • You should be aiming to produce accurate language without errors. This means don’t take chances with vocabulary.Your vocabulary is a serious problem. I suggest your write with more simple language to avoid errors.

          • Hi dear Liz. it is balanced approach. and how can we write one side aprroach? Please give an example if you have time. thanks in advance

  41. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your great discussion essay tutorial (in the course section). It was really helpful. I also need to learn the correct structure and way to write cause/solution essay and wondering if the tutorial for this type of essay could be provided and if you are preparing it, how soon it will be ready?

    Thank you in advance

    • At the moment I am working on the adv disadv essay. That will be ready (hopefully) at the end of this month. After that, I’ll do the cause/solution essay – it usually takes me about 3 or 4 weeks to write, film and edit a long video.
      All the best

  42. Thank you teacher Liz, all your sample essays in a variety of ways help me to comprehend depending on the task given. Before, I am very confused how will I start, how will I end, and a big question mark in the body paragraph. But now, little by little, I am able to follow the flow as I read your sample essays on how this examination works. Basically, how to attack a question and how to have a good balance in our own opinions. Your lectures truly give us accurate directions on what IELTS is all about. Thank you very much, I hope I can achieve my desired band score.

  43. Hi, Liz. sorry when I write discuss essays I do not write my personal opinion!!! But this essay has a personal opinion (in body-III). Is it right? Can I use my personal opinion not only in body or conclusion but also in introduction? Do you have structure on any type of essay? Thank you in advance.

  44. Dzung Tran says:

    Hi Liz,
    I have a few questions.
    Is the essay above written in the balanced approach ? I also wonder whether it is riskier than usual to state your opinion in that way. It seems that the one-side approach is easier, but if I nail the balanced approach then I will get pretty good score. Am I right ?
    Pardon me if my question sounds silly.
    Thank you so much.

    • Yes, this is a balanced approach. Both the one-sided and balanced view are fine for a discussion essay. The only problem is with the student’s level of English. If a student’s level of English is low and they struggle to get clear ideas across, the one-sided view is better. You won’t necessarily get a higher score because you tried a balanced approach.

  45. Noha Faisal says:

    Hello miss Liz,
    If you have enough time , could you please have a look on my introduction ?

    Some people support the opinion that is graduating from university is the main reason to have a good job , whereas other brains believe in developing expertness and having experience in that is more useful and essential. In my view, i think that completing your education is more important to get higher job, because we are in educational era that needs more knowledge.
    it is about 60 words.

  46. Noha Faisal says:

    Hello Liz,
    Is it a must to show my opinion in a separate paragraph and introduction or in only one of these ??

    • It depends on the type of essay. If it is an opinion essay, your opinion is in the introduction and throughout the entire essay. If it is an adv disadv essay, there is no opinion at all. Read through my model essays to learn more.

      • Noha Faisal says:

        yeah ,, i mean in this kind of essay , the discussion one , there is an opinion showed in introduction and in separate paragraph .

  47. It is often considered by some that completing only instuition education is the most effective method to have better job.However,i am of the opinion that improving particular skills are the most essential factor in this case.
    Hello,how is my introduction?

  48. Hello, i have a question regarding the structure for discuss both views. I would like to know if this is also an accepted structure for example.

    Introduction paraphrased question without opinion
    Body paragraph for the first side
    Body paragraph for the other side
    Conclusion with opinion.


    • The instructions ask you to discuss both sides and give your opinion. That means those instructions should be contained from the start to finish of your essay. You put your opinion in the introduction, body paragraph and conclusion – the same with the discussion.
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,

        why did u decide to re-state your opinion again in the last body paragraph after stating it in the introductory paragraph?

  49. Dear Liz.

    I am struggling with writing, I need 6 bands in writing. Your blog, videos are
    awesome. I have draft a essay, can you please give your valuable feedback and bands to this essay.

    It is to be considered that university graduate is the key to find a promising job while some think that experience and interpersonal skills are essential. In my opinion, university education is necessary for academics job and soft skills for management jobs.

    On the one hand, many people think having university degree helps them in finding excellent career and job, as education clears the basics for the job. To make the idea more clear, I would like to discuss a practical example. Large companies such as Microsoft, Amazon prefer to hire university graduates and trained them according to their needs. Apart from this, during degree individuals study different courses and undergo internship which prepares them for job that’s why countries like Canada encourages international students to come and study.

    On the other hand, Soft skills such as leadership skills enhances the individual personality and helps them to maintain cordial relations with the colleagues. Moreover,
    management and sales jobs require interpersonal skills to get into job.

    Finally, in my opinion, tertiary education, experience and soft skills are equally important. Having inheriting all these skills increased the chances of getting job. In my view, one should work on every aspect to grow chances of getting job.

    In conclusion, getting a job requires a relevant education background and experience depending on the nature of job. One has to work on all aspects to find a appropriate job.


  50. Hi Liz,
    I would like to ask about this type of discussion essays. You didn’t mention about other people’s point of views on each of the paragraph above. I mean you only discuss about your views on both body paragraphs. Shouldn’t we mention about other people’s views like this ‘supporters of this idea say that…’ And so on? Can you please clarify?
    Many thanks

    • There are three body paragraphs. Two which give other people’s views (many think…. / according to some…) and one that gives my opinion. You will see the reference to other people’s views in the topic sentences of the body paragraphs 1 and 2.
      All the best

  51. Hello Liz,

    I would be glad if you would spare some time an judge an essay for me.

    TOPIC- Some people believe that there should be fixed punishments for each type of crime. Others, however, argue that the circumstances of an individual and the motivation for committing it should be taken into account when deciding on the punishments.
    Discuss both the views and give your own opinion.

    It is suggested by some people that a fixed punishment should be imposed for each type of crime, while others oppose this and believe that the punishment should be decided on the basis of the situation and reason behind committing crime and the encouragement for committing it should also be considered.In my opinion, I agree that a fixed punishment should be levied on criminals.

    On one hand, rules are meant to be followed not to be disobeyed, and should be changed for none. Enforcing a fixed punishment is also a type of rule that the government decides and implements for the serious crimes.Disobedience to these rules would lead the nation towards indiscipline, increase the crime rate and further would hinder the progress of the nation. Thus, a fixed punishments play a vital role in maintaining the nation’s discipline and prosperity.

    On the other hand, some people are not criminals but the situation and their needs force them to commit some serious crimes knowingly or unknowingly, and sometimes the encouragement from the criminal world also plays a significant role for an individual in committing a crime. For such cases the punishments should be decided considering these influential and circumstantial factors.

    Finally, in my opinion if there would not be strict punishments then the criminals would continue committing crimes.For example, if “hanging to death” would not be a punishment for rapists, then they would continue this henious crimes that would destroy a girls’ life and would also proliferate the rape cases in the country.Thus, fixed punishments should be levied on criminals irrespective of the circumstances and motivation.

    To recapitulate, castigating the criminals is important and thus fixed punishment should be enforced to the criminals of each type of crime.

  52. Hi Liz,

    I am enormously grateful to have found your website when I was searching for resources I could use before sitting the IELTS test tomorrow.

    With this essay, I just have grammar clarification to raise, to wit:

    1. Paragraph 2, Sentence 3: shouldn’t the conjoined subject “the competition.. and the increasing..” have plural verb? Show instead of shows? Or can these two be treated as one?
    2. Paragraph 4, Sentence 2: Wouldn’t I commit the error of comma splice or run-on sentence if I just use “,” before “…it is impossible to..”? I just thought “take for example …” part is already one sentence.
    3. Paragraph 4, Sentence 1: Is it necessary to write comma before the verb (depends)?

    Thank you so much! I really am hoping to get 9 (writing).

    Hope all is well.


    • For question 1, the noun phrase can be considered as one.
      For question 2, it is used the same as “In terms of, …” so we should use “,” in this sentence. But it can be used in other ways using a different grammar structure without the comma.
      For question 3, no it is not necessary to use a comma. I put it in to help the reader when the noun phrase is long. It’s not required.

      Sounds like you have very good grammar. That is good. Always aim for accuracy in your writing for grammar and vocabulary to reduce your errors. Always aim to answer the question directly and respond to all issues to get a good score in Task Response.
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,

        Thank you so much for your response and for the lessons you are giving here! 🙂 It just took me awhile to reply, though. My apology.

        So, I finally got my test result; and I only got 8.5 in writing. I must have committed some grammar lapses? I don’t know. I’ll sit another IELTS exam by August.

        With that in mind, would you have some sort of paid version of your website where I could send my essays and receive a personalised feedback and marking for them? I have seen some other sites having that service, but I feel like your teaching method or delivery (your video) and writing style (model essays) suit me best and are quintessential.

        Again, thank you so much, Liz!



        • Hi Rigs,

          Getting 8.5 in writing is absolutely excellent. It’s only 0.5 from perfect. I once knew an IELTS teacher who was from Singapore and with completely fluent English. She had to take the IELTS test herself but still only got 8.5 in writing and she was an IELTS teacher. Even a native speaker isn’t guaranteed a band 9. Sure band 9 is possible and I’m sure you can get it but you should still be very pleased with 8.5 in writing!!

          Unfortunately, I don’t offer essay marking services because I just don’t have time. I’m pretty flat out with working on this blog and making videos. My advice to you is to find an ex-IELTS examiner to give you writing feedback. I completed the IELTS examiner training in 2008 which is why my advice is safe. So, you need to find someone also qualified to give advice.
          I wish you all the best and I’ll cross my fingers that you’ll get your band 9 🙂

          • Hello Liz,

            I am actually an IELTS teacher in China – I have been for over 3 years now. For now, I really want to be an examiner; and being a non-native speaker of the language (I am from the Philippines), I would have to get a score of 9 in all bands to be successfully accepted (re IELTS examiner).

            Writing seems to be really the most challenging part for me, or for non-native speakers for that matter. I’m giving myself another try this August which would be the deciding factor of my dream career haha.

            Meanwhile, I am preparing for CPE -Advance so I could have more options should I fail to get 9 in all bands in IELTS this August.

            I have been a language teacher for over 12 years. (I’m not that old, though haha. I’ll be 31 this year). Teaching English among Asian students is a very rewarding experience, thus the desire to master the language myself is of significant part of my professional development – if I were to be true to this profession.

            Thanks a lot for taking some of your time to respond. Just want to let you know that you have inspired a lot of people with your blogs and videos. I am one of them. So, I hope you will continue “touching other people’s lives”.

            All the best! 🙂 I would continue visiting your site daily! 😀

            Thanks again.



            • Hi Rigs,

              I think it’s great that you’re aiming to be an examiner. I did my examiner training in 2008 but afterwards started teaching instead. I’ve got quite a lot of friends who examine and they really enjoy the freedom it gives and the work itself. Getting band 9 is tough, as you know, even for native speakers so even if you don’t get it the first time, don’t give up. Yes, you’re right, writing is the worst, mainly because of Task Response which so many students can misunderstand. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Let me know if you have any concerns.
              Keep in touch

              • Hi Liz,

                I sent you an email thru the email you provided for your video course.

                Looking forward to hearing something from you.


  53. hey liz,
    can i use the term fine skills instead of soft skills?

  54. Hi Liz,
    I was wondering what should be the thesis statement of a discussion essay which doesn’t require opinion? Should it be like : in this essay both advantages and disadvantages of … Will be discussed? Or should one main advantage and disadvantage be discribed like this: for example : a public transport system has the main advantage of reducing traffic congestion in cities but it also has some disadvantages for example everyone is forced to pay for it but not everyone gets access to it.

    • You would write “People have different opinions about what punishment children should receive for committing crimes. While some people think children should receive adult punishment, others feel it is too harsh.” My background statement introduces the topic and my thesis introduces the two sides. At no time should you turn your discussion essay into an advantage disadvantage essay. And you should never learn a formulaic sentence to memorise and write in your test.
      All the best

  55. hey LIZ, kindly help me improve. please highlight my strongest points (so I can be happy about it) and also weak points so that i improve.

    Some people think that the best approach to acquire a good job is to finish university education whereas others think that in order to get a job experience and development of fine skills are required. In my opinion , to get a good job a person should have university degree which not only educates and teaches him better skills but also gives opportunities to practice.

    Regarding university education, skills taught are based on evidence as a result of streneous research. Having proper knowledge gives an edge to practice skills logically and confidently. University also gives chances to students to have first hand experience in their field by sending them to different workplaces for internship.

    On the contrary , it is considered by some that experience and fine skills development are more essential as compared to higher education. This may be due to the fact that an experienced person is more skillful as compared to an unexperienced man because he spents more time practicing. Hence, the chances of getting job is more in this group.

    In my opinion, university education should be upto the standard which not only departs knowledge but also gives opportunities to polish skills since both are important. One cannot excel in the field without education nor he can show good results with experience only.

    To conclude, getting a good job requires both i.e education and skills to prove worth in the ever growing world of competition.

  56. hello Liz,
    Please help me in identifying the type of the following essay. Is it a discussion or opinion essay?

    Some people think that universities should provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace. Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake, regardless of whether the course is useful to an employer.

    What, in your opinion, should be the main function of a university?

    Thank you

    • It’s an opinion essay with a direct question. “what, in your opinion, …”. It does not say “discuss both sides”.
      All the best

  57. cohail says:

    please apologize me for disobeying the rules of your. I noticed you have given band scores for other students that is why I posted my writing. please give me a band score for my writing . If you don’t offer free marking service, then I can pay for you, tell me how much.
    If you don’t have time, please tell me when you can have time to give me a band score.

    • I’m sorry but I don’t offer any essay marking service, paid or unpaid. I don’t have time. If you need detailed feedback, you need to find an IELTS teacher to help you. My work is based on providing free lessons, tips and advice on this blog and making complete training videos for IELTS which will soon be available to buy.
      All the best

  58. Hello Liz, here is my another essay based on direct question module, Please pass your comment on the following points.
    *introduction and thesis statement.
    *idea development and sentence structure.
    * and organization.

    here is the essay statement:
    As most people spend a major part of their adult life at work, job satisfaction is an important element of individual wellbeing.
    what factors contribute to job satisfaction?
    How realistic is the expectation of job satisfaction for all workers?

    here goes my essay:

    Being satisfied with a job is considered to be a prominent factor of ones welfare, therefore many people devote most of their adulthood to professional life. In my opinion, there are many ways to achieving job satisfaction. However, satisfaction is not realized by everyone.
    Firstly, in order to be happy with your job and organization, one has to look for a position with which his education, personality, interpersonal skills and experience match. Secondly, a person is satisfied when he feels that he is contributing toward the attainment of organization goals or he is doing something good for his society and people. Thirdly, receiving positive feedback from his supervisors for performing valuable tasks, and sense of appreciation from his colleagues and teammates. And finally, opportunities to growth and personal development such as trainings, and workshops also leads to job satisfaction.
    On the other hand, there are people who are dissatisfied and do not show any interest in their jobs. The reasons for not being happy with their jobs could be not working in a right position where their qualifications and personalities do not match the requirements of the job or the task they perform can be repetitive and boring. Further, a person may show dissatisfaction due to the diversified culture of organization which require great amount of flexibility and he can not adjust with or a culture where performance is not appreciated by top level managers.
    In conclusion, job satisfaction does play an immense role in the wellbeing of a person, satisfaction is achieved through having a desired job, appreciation from supervisors and through development opportunities in a organization. However, there are people who are not happy neither with their work nor with the organization.

  59. cohail says:

    Dear Liz,

    I did so much practice as you said and improved my time management but I am unsure about the band score I could get. So, could you please check the my report and essay below.
    I assume this as my real exam and I want you to mark each task and give a band score as the real IELTS examiners would do.

    If there is any spelling, punctuation, word or any other mistakes, do kindly deduct marks if the real examiners would do so. I want to know my band score as if in the real test.

    Task 1

    you should about 20 minutes in this task

    The bar chart below shows the total number of minutes (in billions) of telephone calls in Australia, divided into 3 categories, from 2001 to 2008.

    Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant

    Write at least 150 words

    The relevant chart is on this web address –

    ( I am sorry I didn’t know how to post a bar chart on this page, please log into that web address to have the chart. I need to know my total band score, so, please mark my task 1. As a teacher, I hope you will definitely do this help for me and my report is below)

    The bar chart illustrates the number of minutes of telephone calls in Australia by 3 categories (local, national and international, mobiles) from 2001 to 2008. The number of minutes of telephone calls in total have increased steadily and strongly for national and international and mobiles, while for local calls, it has made no changes over the period.

    To begin, in 2001, local telephone calls were spoken much longer at 72 billion minutes. This increased dramatically to a peak of 90 billion minutes by 2005, which the decreased to 72 billion minutes at the end of the period.

    National and international calls started at 38 million minutes an increased gradually to record 61 billion minutes of telephone calls in 2008. The number of minutes of mobile phone calls started at a very low number of minutes at 2 billion. This number, however, increased steadily to stand at 46 billion minutes by 2008, which was 23 times higher than where it started.

    Task 2

    With an increasing population communicating via the internet and text messaging, face to face communication will become a thing of the past.

    To what extent do you agree?

    Increasing use of internet and text messaging for communications, will make face to face interaction a thing of past. In my opinion, I completely agree that electronic communication has posed a barrier in face to face interaction.

    One main reason why face to face communication is hindered by e-communication is because many people find e-communication as an easier way to communicate with others, wherever, they are in this world. Consequently, young as well as old people are adapting to this method. For instance, a person uses e-mail, skype or facebook to contact with someone in another place instead of face-to face interaction.

    Another point under consideration is the lacking ability to interact face to face in coming years. More and more people are adapting to e-communication methods such as internet chat and text messaging. As a result, they could lack the ability to communicate with a real person. Especially, younger generations are affected through this in many ways. One way is that, younger generations use e-communication methods extensively, so that, they would do the same when they reach adulthood. Therefore, in the future, face to face interaction may become a thing of past. Moreover, the e-communication technology and mechanisms would further develop in the coming years which means face to face communication would decline even more. For instance, viber could be treated as a new version of skype. It made video chat through internet more cheap to use.

    In conclusion, extensive use of e-communication methods such as skype, facebook, etc, is likely to make face to face communication a method, invalid in the future. It is seemingly a better approach for individuals to maintain a balance between e-communication and face to face communication.

    • For your bar chart, the key is to put all key features in the overview. You failed to mention which types of calls where most common of the period and which were the least. Also please check your English language to avoid errors, for example ” local telephone calls were spoken… “. Please read the rules for posting writing on this blog. I don’t offer a free marking service:
      All the best

  60. Dear Liz,

    I need to send you a bar chart, can you please provide your e-mail address?

    • Unfortunately, I don’t have time to give more feedback than I offer on this blog.
      All the best

  61. cohail says:

    Dear Liz,

    I find it so difficult to manage my time in IELTS academic writing task 1 and task 2. I couldn’t complete my exam properly due to lack of time although I’am performing good in all 4 marking criteria. I could be successful only if I know how to manage the time.

    Please help me with time management in IELTS

    • Time management improves when you have plenty of ideas prepared for writing task 2 and you have trained to apply them. Also you should have a clear strategy for each type of task in writing task 1. Unfortunately, timing is something that only you can improve through focused training and practice.
      All the best

  62. cohail says:

    Thank you for your reply. Can you please examine the sample body paragraph below?

    On the other hand, it is often thought that children should learn to compete rather than work together and I agree. To be more precise, the globe has now become excessively competitive and , therefore, it is better for a child to learn to compete in order to succeed in the future. For instance, a businessman has to face a number of competitions from other businessmen to survive in the market ,in this case, competitive skills, a child has learnt will be undeniably useful.

    Also, please check the below paragraph, so that you can compare which is correct.

    On the other hand, it is often thought that children should learn to compete rather than work together and I agree. To be more precise, the globe has now become excessively competitive and , therefore, it is better for a child to learn to compete in order to succeed in the future according to some. For instance, a businessman has to face a number of competitions from other businessmen to survive in the market ,in this case, some people think that competitive skills, a child has learnt will be undeniably useful.

    My exact question- Is it correct or wrong to use words such as ” according to some, some people think…….” after giving my opinion, like I have used in the second paragraph.

    I anticipate your guidelines

    • You don’t need to keep referring to some people in the body because it also contains your opinion. Also be careful using the word “globe”. It can not be used to paraphrase the word “world” in all contexts. Please watch my video about paraphrasing which you will find in the vocabulary section.

  63. hello miss Liz,

    If I am re-instating my opinion in the second body paragraph then do I need to give the opinion at the beginning of the body paragraph? And my second question is in this case do I need to give details to justify my opinion as if I am writing a separate opinion paragraph? If you have supported that soft skills and experience are more important than university education in getting a job, how could you have written your opinion in a separate body paragraph and with the second body paragraph, can you please provide a model?

    I anticipate your kind verification

    • I’m not clear about your first question. If you agree with one side, then mention that in the body paragraph for that side. Personally I would mention it at the start of the paragraph to help the reader remember, for example “On the other hand, it is often thought that children should learn to compete rather than work together and I agree“. If you have a different view to that of the sides offered (a balanced approach), then you need a separate paragraph.

  64. Deyasini Mitra says:

    Dear Liz, I will be appearing for my IELTS exam shortly. If time permits for you, can you please evaluate my essay. Many thanks in advance.

    Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.
    Discuss both views and give your opinion.

    In today’s world, more and more students are opting for studying in a university. The completion of university education is an important milestone for them. While many believe that the sole purpose of university education is to increase job prospects for graduates, others are of the opinion that individuals and societies benefit in broader ways from it. In this essay, both sides of this debate will be analyzed before a reasoned conclusion is drawn.
    On the one hand, most people think that studying in a university increases a student’s chances of securing better jobs. As an illustration, almost all educational institutions have placement committees that schedule campus interviews and invite the top organizations to visit their colleges and select students for job placements in their companies. Such hiring of graduates improves their future career prospects. Thus, it is understandable why this point of view has garnered support.
    On the other hand, there are individuals who believe that university education has other advantages. For instance, almost all students have to live away from home, in a college hostel, to complete their course in a university. This develops independence, confidence and socialism in the students. As a result, they grow up to be more mature human beings. In addition, university programmes improves the intellect of students and countries can prosper from the contribution such graduates can make to the society. Therefore, it is clear why some people support this point of view.
    The above discussion puts forth several convincing arguments for both sides of the debate. However, after analyzing these two points of view, it is unambiguous that university education is a precursor to a better job and a fulfilling career. It is therefore expected that more and more students complete university to enhance their job opportunities.

    • Firstly, this sentence has no significance in IELTS writing task 2 ” In this essay, both sides of this debate will be analyzed before a reasoned conclusion is drawn.”. The examiner knows what you plan to do because IELTS gave you the instructions. Please watch my video about how to write a proper introduction for IELTS – see my writing task 2 video lessons.
      Secondly, the instructions ask you to discuss and also give your opinion. Where is your opinion? It is equally important as the discussion. Please see my model discussion essay.
      Thirdly, please watch my video about linking devices to start your conclusion.
      All in all, you write well but your IELTS skills need work.

  65. Dear LIz,
    I need your comments in evaluating my following essay on same topic :-

    Modern technology, such as personal computers and the Internet, have made it possible for many people to do their work from home at least part of the time instead of going to an office everyday. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this situation?

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

    Essay :-

    Advancement in new age technology like computers and internet has provided many employees an option of operating from the comforts of their home, at least part time, rather than reporting at the workplace daily .This essay examines the advantages and disadvantages of this scenario.

    The opportunity to work from home provides employees the flexibility to manage a better balance between their professional and personal lives. This acts as a motivation and results in increased productivity. For instance, many working mothers find it useful, since they can adjust their schedule to match their family needs. It also results in less or no travel time for the employees . Employees can also save money by cutting down on office space and infrastructure requirement.

    However, the work from home situation can also have some drawbacks .The employee get less opportunity to interact with their team members and thus it can affect team work. Productivity can also get affected if employee focus diverts from work to house chores.

    To conclude, work from home situation has both advantages and disadvantages but is a really good option to support sincere employees who are facing challenging times at personal front and need more flexibility.

    • Try to develop both body paragraphs equally. Your score is also calculated on how you develop and extend ideas. Furthermore, check how to write a thesis statement for this type of essay. See my model.
      All the best

  66. Suresh Kumar Gupta says:

    Hi Liz

    I am going to appear in IELTS (GT) coming Thursday. I need you help in assessing and giving your opinion on my essay writing. I am targeting a band score of 7 plus. I am trying developing my writing skills as per the guidelines and instructions in

    Modern technology, such as personal computers and the Internet, have made it possible for many people to do their work from home at least part of the time instead of going to an office everyday. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this situation?

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

    Here goes my essay :-

    Now a days, many advanced communication methods are available through computers and internet, to remain connected with your workplace and customers, even when you are not in your office. This is really helping many who prefer to work from home. This essay will examine some of the positives and negatives of working from home.

    There are advantages to both the employee as well as employers. Firstly, there is cost saving for the companies as working from home for some days in a week will reduce the burden of employee overhead costs like seating space, furniture, refreshments, etc. Secondly, the employees prefer it because it gives them a chance to spend more time with their families as travel time to office and back is cut down completely. This improves their efficiency as well. Finally, for the working mothers, this is of immense help, as they can also take care of their children in between, while working from home.
    Having said these, there are few drawbacks of this situation as well. Many consider that it leads to unorganized working and there are chances to miss important calls and business decisions. This can cost heavily to the companies. Others are of the view that maintaining work discipline will be a challenge as employees will be exposed to two kinds of work places. Sometimes, employee family may not like him to work from home and expect his full attention at home. This can lead to confrontations, many times.
    To conclude, while there are advantages of working from home for few days in a week, it should not be at the cost of compromising work output. Basis job requirements and employees’ specific needs, an optimum balance needs to be maintained for doing office work while at office and from home.

    Need your comments, please.


    Suresh Gupta

    • Hi Suresh,

      It’s a good essay. You’ve given very strong ideas and explained them well. Here are points which you can improve:

      1. Avoid using “you” and write about “people” instead.
      2. Don’t tell the examiner what you will do “this essay will explain the advantages …”. Of course this essay will do that. The examiner knows what you plan to do. But the examiner doesn’t know your ideas. So, introduce your ideas. “While there are advantages to both employees and employers, it could also lead to problems of disorganisation at work.” Now you have introduced your ideas.
      3. Use correct punctuation “seating space, furniture, refreshments, etc.” = “seating space, furniture and refreshments”
      4. Use appropriate linking. “like” = “such as”. “Having said these” = “On the other hand”.
      All the best

      • Suresh Kumar Gupta says:

        Thanks a lot Liz for the quick response and valuable inputs…

        Hope with these suggested improvements- I can target 7 plus

        Thanks again !

  67. Hello Liz, I would like you to comment on the introduction and thesis part of the following discussion essay.

    It is generally believed that some people are born with certain talents, for instance for sport or music, and others are not. However, it is sometimes claimed that any child can be taught to become a good sports person or musician.

    here is my background introduction and thesis statement:
    It is considered in general that some successful people are born naturally talented and some are not while some believe that every child can be an expert in his own field through consistent struggle and hard work.

    • The problem is that you failed to post the instructions with the essay question. Did the instructions say “Discuss both sides and give your opinion.”? If those are the instructions, where is your opinion. You are asked to do two tasks – 1. discuss both sides 2. give your opinion. You introduce both in your introduction. Please read my model essay mode carefully to learn how to do this.
      All the best

      • Hello again, yes the instructions do say “Discuss both sides and give your opinion. and sorry i had forgotten to put my opinion, here i again post the introduction and my opinion.

        “It is considered in general that some successful people are born naturally talented and some are not while some believe that every child can be an expert in his own field through consistent struggle and hard work. In my opinion, I believe that every person is gifted with natural skills while passion, continuous endeavor and great effort are more important for reaching the high levels of success. ”

        thank you

        • The only problem is that I can’t see a clear opinion. It looks like you are trying to agree with both sides to avoid giving an opinion. Your opinion must be 100% clear.

          • is my opinion clear now?

            In my opinion, becoming a successful person need not to be blessed with natural skills however, passion, continuous endeavor and great effort are the guaranteed ways of reaching the high levels of success.

            Please check it one more time and do write your model introduction and thesis statement for this discussion question.

            thank you for your patience.

            • That’s much better. It’s always important to keep your language very clear in the thesis statement so the examiner can understand fully.

              • Good Evening Liz, here is my complete essay, I would like to go through it and give your comments on weak points.

                “It is generally believed that some people are born with certain talents, for instance for sport or music, and others are not. However, it is sometimes claimed that any child can be taught to become a good sports person or musician.”
                Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

                what I have written is:

                It is considered in general that certain successful people such as athletes or musicians are blessed with natural abilities, and others are not while oftentimes it is argued that every child can become an expert in his own field through persistent struggle, and hard work. In my opinion, I believe that a savvy of his own stream need not to be born with innate abilities, however one can acquire the desired talent through continuous endeavor, passion and guidance.

                On one hand, there are people who are naturally talented in their fields for example sportsmen, musicians, or businessmen. These skills could be inherited from their parents or grandparents, because it is medically proved that genetics play an important role in the mindset and ability of a child. If one of the parents is a great musician his son or grandson could inherit the skills of his father of grandfather.

                On the other hand, any normal human being can attain the high levels of success through devotion, tireless efforts and training. Being expert in a field require guidance from a coach or instructor, goal setting, careful planning and continuous exercise. For instance, if some wants to write 90 words per minute on a computer keyboard then he needs to do careful planning and should practice daily to attain the target.

                In my personal opinion, passion for a field, careful training and coaching can make any child professional in his own work.

                To Conclude, professionalism require great deal of effort, time and smart goal setting. Those with innate ability or born naturally talented also need to be guided by some trainers and devote much of their time to daily practice.

                • It is exceedinly odd that you decided to put your opinion in a separate paragraph and only write one sentence for it. You get a good score for developing ideas not just stating them in one sentence. Either put your opinion together with the side you agree with or give more detail. Whatever you decide, you can’t have a main point with no supporting points. Also please be careful with using capital letters.

                • Thank you very much Liz for your valuable comments. I will your advice for further improvements.

                  Thank you,

  68. Some people support the opinion that students should be rewarded for outstanding academic performance, while there are others who think they should be awarded for the strides they have made. In my opinion, I believe that recognizing students for both extraordinary performance and progress made will definitely boost their results.

    On the one hand, it is commonly believed that honouring students for remarkable grades is a highly effective tactic to inspire them to soar, because it builds self-confidence and prepares them for future steps and opportunities. Grading is vital and essential to evaluate students as it assesses their ability and intelligence. When students attain high scores they automatically become eligible to compete for merit-based scholarships and other perks that comes with exemplary performance.

    On the other hand, it can also be argued that tangible rewards motivate learners to continuously find ways to improve their grades because there is increased competition. Consistent incentive learning is often thought of as the most prevalent extrinsic motivator used in schools today as it drives academic performance and builds morale. When students are praised for their accomplishments it inspires them to work diligently reach their full potential.

    Finally, in my opinion, I believe that students who demonstrate extraordinary scholastic achievement deserve to be recognized along with students who are working assiduously to improve their results because they both encourage students to strive for academic success.

    In conclusion, both being outstanding and making progress bolster scholastic performance and should continually be awarded.

    • Hi Liz,

      Sorry about sending without a greeting but my computer was acting strange.

      Kindly peruse the above and provice tips.

      Thanks much.

    • Unfortunately, this opinion doesn’t work. If you were a governor of a school and you had to decide how students were assessed, it would be hard to have both. You must have a clear opinion, you can’t sit on the fence. A balanced approach doesn’t mean agreeing with both sides. It means presenting a clear, specific opinion which is neither one side or the other – for that reason it is called balanced because it’s not extreme (it’s not one sided).

      Some essay titles are easy to write a balanced approach for. Here’s an example: “Some people think that parents have more impact on their child’s academic performance than a teacher. To what extent do you agree or disagree?” A one sided approach chooses either parents or teachers. A balanced approach doesn’t say “I think both parents and teachers are influential“. It should be “I think parents are influential in a child’s early stages but a teacher is more influential once they reach the age of five and above”. Now we have a clear opinion. It is a clear position.

      So, for the essay you have written, I personally would have gone for the one sided approach. Or you could have gone for a balanced approach saying “I think assessing progress is better for younger children but exam assessment is better for older children”. ( the explanation will be that older children need to get used to the pressure that exams give because it is part of their training for their future.).

      I hope that helps.

  69. Hi Liz,

    while answering the above question , If I backed idea of university education being better and wrote …
    One paragraph describing why uni education is good
    and …another paragraph describing how the other point : Soft skills and Experience , is disadvantageous,

    Is there a chance of the examiner deciding that I’m off topic? or rather .. will my task response score less points?



    • It sounds completely on track. It’s a clear plan to address all aspects of the essay question by presenting a clear opinion and position. Well done!

      • Thank you…. You made my day!!!!

        I have been struggling to write descent essays due to various reasons. However, I read almost all of your advices and tips and practiced a lot as you advised and I am much more confident in writing an essay now. Also I seem to form more related points in my head when writing an essay. So I’m really grateful .

        One area I have problems with, is my linkers and my vocabulary. Initially, while I experienced issues compiling a good essay I reverted to simple sentences which enabled me to express my ideas more freely. However now I’m slightly worried that my sentences are too simple; Not consisting of an academic vocabulary. Hopefully I can rectify it before the test.

        Thanks again for all your help


  70. Hi Liz,
    Thank you for your interesting and helpful writing lessons. I have been self-studying for a while and I really want to know where I am right now. So if you have some free time, please take a look at one of my essay below. What band score do you think this essay’s worth?, Maybe some feedbacks if your time allows it. I would be greatly thankful!

    Topic: An increasing number of people use the Internet to meet new people and socialize. Some people think this has brought people closer together while others think people are becoming more isolated. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

    In recent years people who use online communicating services are growing in great number for the widespread accessibility of the Internet. Many critics see this as a threat to internet users’ personal lives, yet it cannot be denied that the unprecedentedly rapid progress of the internet has facilitated communication between people. In my opinion, it depends on how they use the internet to determine whether its effects are harmful or not.
    On the one hand, it is true that using online social network may be the cause of its users’ deteriorating life with regards to their relationships with others. The overuse of online websites such as Yahoo can severely influence people’s capability to socialize face-to-face, which consequently leads to a detrimental sedentary lifestyle. For example, my brother Tim used to spend much time chatting with his friends and acquaintances through his online account. After a few months, he realized he gradually lost his confidence when it came to real life interactions.
    On the other hand, the internet undoubtedly assists people as a means of socialization. Compared to the past when the only way to deliver a letter from one city to another was by foot, many contemporary social websites, Facebook for instance, offers much more convenient services including messenger as well as video call application. More remarkably, while it would take a long time to send a picture or a clip in the past, internet users can now finish the same process with one click. In other words, they can enjoy not only the convenience but also the swiftness that the online socializing industry provides.
    In conclusion, worrying about the possibility of getting isolated on account of improper use of the internet is legitimate. However, it still claims its indispensable place in the modern world as the most effective means of communication. I believe internet users can take full advantage of the service by restricting their time to a moderate amount.

    • Hi,

      I’ll give you two tips. You have not agreed with either side in your opinion. This means you have a specific opinion. So, where is the body paragraph which explains your opinion? The discussion and the opinion have equal weight in this essay as you can see from the instructions. You will lose marks for giving plenty of detail about each side but also no detail of your opinion. Please see my discussion model essay to learn more about the structure of a discussion essay with a specific opinion:

      Tip two, don’t give examples of your friends or family. Write in the third person plural = people. “For example, some people, particularly younger people, spend too much time…”
      All the best

      • Hi Liz,
        First I want to thank you for your reply and your tips, I really appreciate your help!
        And I made some modification according to your feedback. If you have time, pls take a look at my new essay. By the way, I’m aiming for a band 8 or higher in the writing task 2, do you think it is possible to get a band 8 or higher with this essay?

        That the widespread accessibility of the Internet has empowered people to make new friends easily regardless of geographic distance has engendered many critical debates. They believe this phenomenon may pose a threat to Internet users’ personal lives. In my opinion, it depends on how people use the online service to determine whether its effects are harmful or not.

        On the one hand, the Internet, without a doubt, tremendously assists people as a means of communication. Compared to the past when the only way to send a letter from one city to another was by foot, which would take a long time to keep in touch with someone, many contemporary social websites, Facebook for example, offer much smoother and faster services including messenger as well as video call application enabling instant long distance communication. In other words, Internet users now enjoy not only the convenience but also the swiftness that the online social network provides.

        On the other hand, the excessively inappropriate use of the Internet can result in its users’ deteriorating lives. To be more specific, people may gradually lose their ability to communicate face-to-face due to the abuse of online network which consequently can lead to a detrimental sedentary lifestyle. Take Yahoo as an example, it creates an online social network where users can talk with their friends anyplace and anytime. In the long term, people who overuse the service tend to spend too much time alone with their computers, thus, they do not feel the need for real life interactions anymore.

        Finally, from my perspective, the way people use the Internet services directly has an impact on their lives. If too much time is spent in chatting with online acquaintances, the possibility of addiction is relatively high. Therefore, people may not pay attention to their real life relationships and become isolated. However, with a moderate amount of time for using the social network, Internet users may avoid the risk of getting addicted and, as a result, take full advantage of the service.

        In conclusion, the consequence of the Internet misuse is severe, but if people can restrict their time spent on online socialization to a legitimate level, I definitely believe they can enjoy numerous benefits from the Internet.

        In this essay I cut down a few details and add a paragraph explaining my opinion. I did change the writing way I used for the last essay because I wanted to try as many styles as I can.
        Btw I want to ask a few more questions if it is ok with you. Some teachers said that it’s very good to use examples of your own life, family etc… Is it compulsory that I can not use those kinds of examples? Or only this discussion type of essay doesnt allow personal examples? And if the example I provide is about a real person, a celebrity for instance, is it still accepted? My apologies if I asked too many questions 🙂

        • Hi Tim,

          It’s better – well done!. However, avoid sentences that are too long. Having a sentence (1st body paragraph) which is 58 words in length shows lack of punctuation. Keep control of your sentences and use full stops. IELTS essay writing requires you to avoid informal language which includes informal examples. There is more flexibility with the GT writing test allowing more slightly less formal language but for the academic test you will be marked down for informal examples and language. Yes, you can give an example of a specific famous person to illustrate a point – this allowed while still being formal. This applies to all essay types.
          All the best

          • Hi Liz,
            Thank you for your comments, I’ll continue working on my sentences control to keep them within the appropriate length. Do you have anything else about my coherence or vocab? Do I need to use more complicated words in writing task 2? Honestly it’s really difficult for me since I have only been self-studying and I was kinda confused with too many sources of information until I found your video on Youtube. Anyways, your feedback is very useful and I hope maybe you can look at some other essays of mine in the future, of course if you have time 🙂
            Thanks a lot 🙂

            • Hi,

              Your use of vocabulary is natural and appropriate for the topic. In fact, your use of vocabulary is both precise and flexible which great for the high scores. Certainly don’t try to force unnatural language into your essay because you think it will give you a higher score – that is usually how students start losing marks. I know there is a lot of confusing advice and information on the internet. Just try to use your common sense 🙂

              All the best

  71. Nirmal Singtan says:

    Respected mam, if your time allows please provide feedback to improve my discussion essay. And, also, please give expected band score. Thank you so much for your generous help which is

    Some people think that environmental problems should be solved on a global scale while others believe it is better to deal with them nationally. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

    I t is considered by some that environmental issues should be dealt globally while there are others who think that it is important to solve them at a national level. In my opinion, environmental problem today is a global threat that demands a global concern, so dealing with it only within a nation is not enough.

    Environmental issue, for example global warming, is creating a huge problem worldwide. Productivity of agricultural land has decreased due to increase in earth’s temperature and lack of seasonal rainfall. In addition, underdeveloped economies are suffering much from the pollutants created by industrial countries. For example, Mt.Everest, which is in Nepal, has been polluted and, as a result, the level of snow has decreased in that region. This is due to pollutants produced especially by India and China and also because of increase in earth’s temperature.

    On the other hand, dealing on environmental problems within a country might help to some extent to mitigate the issue, however, it is not enough. Take Nepal, for example, which is sandwiched between two major economies of the world, India and China. It is a underdeveloped nation which has few industries and factories that contribute significantly towards environmental degradation. Even then, more and more flash floods are seen each year and agricultural production is decreasing gradually annually. In addition, Countries like Nepal do not possess enough resources to tackle such problems.

    Thus, in my opinion, environmental threats cannot be minimised if all the countries do not come together, hand in hand, to work together as a global community to solve major environmental threats. Most importantly, the major issue like global warming cannot be decelerated unless the government of all countries act upon it, without leaving it to a particular nation.

    In conclusion, the most effective way to reduce global environmental concern is to work together as a global community on a global scale, sharing their resources and expertise. Furthermore, dealing with such major environmental issues nationally may not be effective due to lack of required resources and capital.

    • Hi,

      You write very well and have some excellent vocabulary. You’ve written a very clear introducton – well done! You have the potential to get over 7. Here are some issues to work on:

      1. The essay is too long – cut down your supporting points in the discussion paragraphs and limit your conclusion.
      2. Be more focused with your language to connect ideas to the essay question. Your first body paragraph is not focused enough. This is about solving problems globally. You have really explained why some people think that. You need to explain that environmental problems cross borders and need international cooperation to solve or that some countries don’t have the resources to tackle the problems and so need help from other countries. While you have hinted at this ideas, you have written them fully or connected them sufficiently.
      3. You have three body paragraphs – one side, other side and your opinion – don’t state your opinion in two body paragraphs. You can either remove your opinion paragraph or remove your opinion from the second paragraph – just choose.
      Anyway, you’re doing well. You just need to write in a more focused way, connect to the issues more directly and limit the length.
      All the best

  72. Vivek Sharma Dhakal says:

    Dear Mam, I humbly request you to evaluate my essay with feedbacks for improvement and provide expected band score. I would appreciate and thank you for your help.

    Some people think that exercise is the key to health while others feel that having a balanced diet is more important. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

    It is considered by some that doing exercise is important to improve health while some believe that a balanced diet is more vital. However, in my opinion, both exercise and balanced diet, are essential to stay healthy, as they both benefit body in different ways.

    On the one hand, exercise keeps different body organs active and energetic. One has to move different parts of a body while doing exercise which makes body flexible, fresh, and rejuvenated, all the time. If for example running, jogging, and skipping makes our body move constantly, and, as a result, metabolism rate increases, blood flows easily through nerves, controls blood pressure, sugar level, and other kinds of physical ailments caused due to ailments.

    On the other hand, balanced diet is, too, vital to provide nutrition needed by the body. If our body lacks different vitamins, for example, vitamin A, we may suffer from different problems regarding eyesight.Similarly, different body organs need variety of nutrients and minerals that we get from various vegetables, fruits, and other sources. Thus, balanced diet is equally important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    In conclusion, to keep our body healthy, disease free, one must do exercise regularly, and also include a balanced while taking meals, everyday, to provide all the essential nutrients and minerals required by the body to function well. As, exercise and balanced diet aid in improving our health in different manner we must not ignore one over the other.

    • Hi,

      This would probably get about band 6 or 6.5. Here are some tips:

      1. Your opinion is equally important as the discussion. So, only writing a one sentence in your introduction is not enough. You should have a third body paragraph to explain why they must both be used to gain full health. Alternatively, you can have a longer conclusion which explains your opinion. You must have more details.
      2. Grammar – this is your weakness. You need to be able to produce more controlled, accurate sentences. This is one sentence you wrote: “If for example running, jogging, and skipping makes our body move constantly, and, as a result, metabolism rate increases, blood flows easily through nerves, controls blood pressure, sugar level, and other kinds of physical ailments caused due to ailments.” It is too long and needs to be divided. “For example, some exercises such as jogging or running are very active and energetic. As a result, their metabolism rate increases and blood flows more easily. These health benefits will help reduce physical ailments and thus promote health.“. Don’t give a long list of health benefits – just state one or two to illustrate your point and move on.

      I recommend that you seriously pay attention to your grammar and make sure you produce accurate sentences. This will be the only way to increase your score.
      All the best

      • Vivek Sharma Dhakal says:

        Thank you mam for your priceless advice. Your lessons have been of immense help. I now understand that we need to have a separate paragraph to explain our opinion. Than you a lot.

        • Either a separate paragraph for the opinion, or just re-state it in the body paragraph on the side you agree with.

      • Nihareeca says:

        Hi Liz,
        It should be either – ” jogging or running is” or “jogging and running are” right?
        Also, “the metabolic rate increases” instead of “their metabolism rate increases”

        Please correct me if I am wrong


        • For your first question, both are correct. For your second question, it should be “the metabolic rate increases”.
          All the best

  73. Vivek Sharma Dhakal says:

    Thank you, mam, so much for your lessons.

    I am a bit confused about graduates shows or graduate shows or graduates show, which will be the correct.

    In the answer above, in second paragraph, it is written as graduates shows.

    • Hi,

      It’s a good question and one that is relevant for task 1 as well as task 2. Here is the part of the sentence you are referring to “…the increasing number of graduates shows…”. You will see that the noun is actually “the increasing number of …” which is singular. You can have “the number of car sales increases each day …” or “the growing number of people causes a problem for …”.
      All the best

  74. Dear Liz
    Thank you for your helping.
    Please Liz Can I write balance thesis sentence like that

    ( in my opinion,while I believe that such development is mainly beneficial in some aspect , I agree that It has had negative sequences if exploited for ruin purposes)
    In 1st body paragraph I will talk about positive aspects of such development for example the using of nuclear energy in stead of fossil fuel to decrease pollution ,this will help the world as a whole .

    2nd body paragraph I will talk about negative sequences if exploited for ruin purposes( such as using of nuclear energy as weapon )

    Conclusion : summary ,restate my opinion , recommendation

    • Hi,

      I need to essay the full essay question in order to give you any advice. Can you post the full essay question for me?

    • Hi,

      Taking a look at the essay question “The science and technology nowadays makes people more similar everywhere. Is this negative or positive development?”, it is about people becoming more similar due to technology. So, it’s not possible to write an essay about nuclear energy or weapons. Do you think it is a good that people are becoming more similar or do you think it is bad that people are becoming more similar? You need to write an introduction which answers the question. Try again with a balanced approach which answers the essay question directly.
      All the best

  75. The science and technology nowadays make people are similar every where .
    Is this negative or positive developement ?

    This is a writing task2 that i did in last week
    Pleases LIZ , is it discussion or argument ?

    some time I cant decided which type the test is, particularly when the question is indirect ( there is no usual expression of question like in what extent you agree, or what your opinion )

    • Hi,

      It is asking you to choose so that means it’s your opinion. It’s a direct question to you to know what you think. It isn’t asking you to give both positive and negative but to express that you think.

      For this you can decide it is a completely positive development or you can decide it is a completely negative development. Alternatively, you can decide that people becoming more similar is useful for trade and understanding but on the whole negative because the world will lose too much in the way of culture, languages etc. This last option does not mean that you think it is both positive and negative equally, it means that you can see some positive points but you mainly think it is not a good development – it’s a clear position.
      All the best

  76. Hello Liz
    I noticed that in this essay it seems like the writer didn’t take a side from any of the arguments. Is this alright? Would it be okay to be at the middle?

    • Hi,

      This opinion is not in the middle. It does not say that to get a good job you need university education and soft skills. In stead it presents a specific opinion. It says that university education is needed for academic jobs but that if someone goes into business it is better to have soft skills.

      You need to be very careful when you use this approach. You can’t agree with both sides. But you can give a specific approach by offering a division – this is good in X situation but that is good in Y situation. We call this a balanced approach but it does require a very specific opinion.
      All the best

  77. i was took exam but i got 5band now i am going t give my exam on 28 feb so what i do madm plz suggest me I am egerly waiting for you feed

    • Hi,

      There is no magic fix for IELTS. It is possible that you got band score 5 because of your level of English. If you make frequent errors in grammar and vocabulary your score will be low. If you post a sample of your writing or some sample speaking answers I will let you know if your level of English is the problem. Make sure you remind me who you are when you post the samples.

      However, if you want specific tips on IELTS, you must ask specific questions so I can help.
      All the best

  78. Do I have to create a separate paragraph to give my opinion? Isn`t my opinion in the introduction and conclusion enough?

    • Hi,

      It is possible to state your opinion in the introduction, mention it again in one of the body paragraphs (the side which you agree with) and then put it in the conclusion. Or you have a third body paragraph to explain it more fully. It is your choice – both are fine.

  79. hello liz! please i would want yo to have a review of passage 1 test 4 of the academic module ielts 10. i found out that some answers of the passage were quite unfathomable while marking the exercise.i will be glad if you can do a review of this passage.

  80. Thanks for sharing this wonderful essay with us. I noticed you gave us your opinion in the introduction and re-echoed it in the conclusion. Is it always the case? or you should always state your opinion after you have discussed both views. Thanks once again

    Ps: Your blog has been of immense help

    • Hi,

      You should always give your opinion after you have discussed both sides when the instructions ask you. In this essay, the instructions were “Discuss both sides and give your opinion”. The examiner will assess you on your ability to complete the task – to follow the instructions and do what you are asked to do. If you need to give your opinion, always give it in the introduction and always re-state it in the conclusion. Again, this is about presenting a position and keeping it throughout your essay – an important point if you are aiming for band score 7 or above.
      I hope that helps
      All the best

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