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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. Erica Eseohe says:

    Gud afternon Liz,i appreciate all your lessons. Here is how i answered mine.

    People ought to eat plant based diet,because consuming meat, causes critical health issues. I my opinion, i concede to eating fruits and vegetables,because it can help us live healthier life, free from sickness,diseases and can also help avoid weight gain, that comes from eating animal diet. But i aslo think that we can also bebefit alot by eating meat.

  2. Thank you Liz

  3. Hey liz , I want to ask that in every opinion essay , is it up to me whether I choose one sided approach or balanced approach …

    Will it affect my score if I choose one sided approach ?

    • It is completely up to you if you choose one side or a partial agreement (a balanced approach). It doesn’t affect your score which one you choose. For this reason, I teach both options to students so they can decide which one is easiest when they read the essay question.

  4. Many people believe that eating Vegan will keep you fit and healthy. While others agree with eating non Vegetarian can cause medical issues.
    Eating vegetarian is always been the best and daily choice for most peoples around the globe. As eating grains, wheat floor, rice and other vegetables can be stored for long time and is fresh to eat. In addition, having organic foods nowadays improved the quality of Vegan, also keeps you away from health problems. Also vegetables contains different essential vitamins and minerals which is the essential requirement of our daily health diet; some dietician and food researchers experimented that vegetarian foods keep your health fit and strong. Moreover it provides you better immune system to protect from unwanted diseases spreading around virally.
    On the other hand eating meats may cause health issues . Since, meat if not cooked fresh causes health related problems. Moreover recent study shows that eating red meat causes cancer; some kind of eating fish contain lead and can cause a serious issue to your health. Many peoples love to eat meat, but they are not aware of the health problems related to it. Nevertheless, awareness of disease associated with eating non vegan has to created with certain meats; not all non vegetarian caused problems .
    In conclusion, eating vegan or non vegan depends upon their own choice, but eating vegetarian can keep you fit and healthy at all times free from major disease.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Thanku so much Liz mam

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

  12. 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.


  13. 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??

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