Opinion Essay: Finding Main Points

This lesson shows you how to find ideas for your IELTS opinion essay and organise them into paragraphs. It is important to spend time analysing the statement before you decide your opinion. You should look at the essay question carefully and think about the issues in the statement. Below you will see some questions to help you analyse the opinion essay title.

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Analysing an Opinion Essay

Answer the following questions

  1. Do you think vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat?
  2. Do you think the vegetarian diet is healthy?
  3. Do you think people who eat meat are unhealthy?
  4. Does eating meat always create health problems?
  5. Is there any meat which you think is healthy to eat?
  6. Do you think all people should be vegetarian?
  7. Do you think all people should stop eating meat?
  8. What is another way to say “vegetarian”?
Model Ideas & Structure
  • Body Paragraph A: I agree that eating a vegetarian diet is healthy.
  • Body Paragraph B: However, not all meat is unhealthy
  • Body Paragraph C:  I believe that having a balanced diet containing predominantly vegetables with some healthy meats is best.
Vegetarian = people who do not eat meat / people who do not have meat in their diet / to have a vegetarian diet. You cannot paraphrase “vegetarian” as “vegan”. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use any product that comes from animals.


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  1. Princess Mona Mardhika says:

    Hi Liz.
    I have a question for u

    How to be confident in writing essays on the IELTS exam?

    Wish for your advice & thank you.

    Kind regard from Indonesia,

    • The answer is “you will feel confident when you are fully prepared.” You need to develop ideas for topics, practice using them and applying them. Practice analysing essay questions, practice introductions, full essays, linking etc etc etc.

  2. Hi Liz,

    I just want to confirm, in the “Model Ideas and Structure” part of this page, you’ve used the balanced approach?

    In this vegetarian question, can I use one sided?

    Thank you.


  3. Sajeema Kunhikalanthante Akath says:

    Hi Liz,

    Can you please comment on my introduction in this particular topic.

    It is commonly believed that avoiding consuming meat and becoming full vegetarian will help us to avoid health issues caused by meat consumption. In my opinion, however, eating more red meat without control will definitely effect our health ,but having a balanced diet with lots of green veggies and meat can help us to maintain a healthy body.

  4. Aburakhia says:

    Hi Liz,

    I want to share my introduction I wrote using your wonderful tips.

    It is often thought having a vegetarian diet is recommended to avoid major health issues that can be caused by eating meat. In my opinion, I agree that vegetarian diet can significantly improve human health. However, controlled amount of good quality meat can have a positive impact on human body.

    • Your technique is correct and your opinion clear. Well done! Try connecting both sentences for the thesis into one.

      • Aburakhia says:

        Thank you Liz for you reply. I really appreciate your support and kindness.

        I wanted to write a one sentence thesis from the beginning but it was hard for me. Anyhow, I gave a try and tried to keep it simple and accurate (from you tips):

        In my opinion, I agree that vegetarian diet can significantly improve human health, but having controlled amount of good quality meat added to a vegetarian diet can also benefit human body.

        • Your sentence does have minor grammar mistakes which will limit your score. But it is a complex sentence with a clear opinion.

  5. Hie Liz,
    Your work is excellent. Liz I am a little confuse about essay structure thing.
    Or, shell I write the opposite side of the argument in my 1st body paragraph and my opinion supporting points in 2nd BP ?
    Thanks in advance

  6. Thanku so much Liz mam

  7. Hello. Please check your Gmail .com. I sent message to you.. I am realky waiting for your answer..

  8. mustafa mhawi says:

    hi liz
    i hope to find answer to this question which puzzled me for long time? according to the above statement if my opinion in thesis will be
    (i agree that vegetarian diet is healthy…….)
    am i obligate in body paragraph to only mention the benefit of vegetarian diet? is the task response will be affected if i will mention the advantage of meat also??

  9. y.rakesh goud says:

    some people choose not to eat meat.Does this benefit the world

    • Hi,

      Sorry, I don’t understand your point. This essay is about eating a vegetarian diet for health. It is not about the advantages and disadvantages of a vegetarian diet – it’s relating to health.
      All the best

  10. Dear Liz,

    Thanks a lot for your informative lessons. SUPERB! Tons of likes.

    I would like to ask for your help on a writing task 2 question that I found particularly confusing. Here it goes:

    Some people believe that ALL students would benefit from spending at least a year away from study between secondary school and university. Do you agree or disagree?

    Now, I understand this is a typical opinion essay, but the part confuses me is the word ‘ALL’.
    1. If I want to produce a one-sided response – agree with this statement, should I pay special attention to the ALL part in order to give a full response on TR? Such as: mention every student can gain benefits;

    2. or I can treat it as a normal opinion essay: student can gain benefits for two reasons?

    3. After ‘over-thinking’ on the topic, I feel that a balanced-argument is preferred for it because of the world ‘ALL’. For example, some students would definitely benefit from it but others may not.

    Do I overcomplicate the question? Please advise. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Liz,

      OH MY! Thanks for your BAND 9 answer. Forget about the question, your answer alone is a perfect demonstration of essay writing.

      Simply fantastic and clear!

      Best of luck with the blog and youtube.


      • Hi Liz

        Could please re-post or re-share the response that you had made about the question posted on 01/12/2014 by Dexter – “Some people believe that ALL student would benefit spending at least a year from study between secondary level and university. Do you agree or disagree?”



        • I am not able to keep comments indefinitely due to the ever growing size of my blog.
          All the best

          • Hi Liz

            Thanks for your quick response.

            Anyway, this is one of the best blogs which is really so helpful in IELTS preparation. Appreciate it.

            Once again, lots of thanks.


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