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Opinion Essay Introduction: The Thesis Statement

In an IELTS opinion essay for writing task 2, your introduction has a background statement and a thesis statement. You should aim for between 40 to 50 words for the length of your essay introduction. While the background statement introduces the topics, the thesis statement is your answer to the task given by IELTS. It should introduce the main points and show the direction your essay will take. Below are two possible introductions with different thesis statements for the following IELTS task.

IELTS Task 2

The increase in the amount of traffic is responsible for growing problems in many large cities and this has resulted in more traffic congestion, particularly at rush hour. What measures could be taken to deal with this problem?

Essay Introductions

The introductions below have different thesis statements. Which one do you think is the best?

1. The growth in the quantity of traffic in most major cities has led to problems of congestion in the peak travel hours. There are a number of solutions to this issue which I will discuss in this essay.

2. The growth in the quantity of traffic in most major cities has led to problems of congestion in the peak travel hours. This can be solved by having a traffic free zone and improving the public transportation system offered to the public.


Number 2 is the best introduction.

Although the first introduction has academic language in the thesis statement, it is not appropriate for a high score essay in IELTS. IELTS is a test of your ability to use your own language not your ability to learn an academic sentence and use it in your essay. Therefore, introduction number 2 shows the main points and uses language directly relating to the task.


Recommended Lessons

IELTS Opinion Essay Model Band Score 9 , click here
IELTS Writing Task 2 Video: How to write an introduction, click here


  1. http://Hai%20anh says

    Hi Liz
    Could I give specific solutions in the introduction? I think it should be put in the body paragraph

    • http://Liz says

      It is fine to introduce your main ideas in the thesis statement and then put details and examples in the body paragraphs.

  2. http://Lovepreet%20Singh says

    I agree that the second introduction is better. However,I have a question which is what is the difference between an introduction and a conclusion. You said that the second introduction is better because it sums up the main points. But, this is what a conclusion is supposed to do. Please clarify my confusion dear teacher.

    • http://Liz says

      The introduction introduces the reader to the issues in the question and presents your answer. The conclusion summarises your ideas – it restates your opinion.

      • http://Lovepreet%20Singh says

        Exactly, this is what I am trying to say. If we already summarize our main points in the introductory paragraph, what would we write in our conclusion? This is my question.

        • You have introduced your ideas in the introduction and summarised them in the conclusion. They are the same ideas – introduced and concluded.

  3. http://nishi says

    Hi Liz,
    I like your teaching standard and methods. I have written introduction something different, could you please let me know anything is wrong except not included the opinion.

    Many large cities have big problem of growing amount of traffic during a peak travel hours due to hight traffic congestion.

    Thanks in advance

  4. traffic congestion is a serious concern in metropolis, which is due to the increase in traffic flow especially in peak timings. in my opinion, improving public transportation facilities as well as having traffic free zones would eradicate this issue.

  5. http://nagaraju%20khareedu says

    hi MS.liz back ground and thesis statement are only for opinion essay or applicable all types of essay in task 2 ??
    please let me know

    thanks in advance

  6. Liz could you give me some good introduction sentences to start with in the opinion essay

    • http://Liz says

      There are no sentences which you can learn for a high score. Any sentences you learn to put in your essay will lower your score. You should start by paraphrasing the statement given – that’s all. Then add your thesis statement and your introduction is complete. See this page: http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

  7. http://Anna says

    Dear Madam,

    Can I write all advantages in one body paragraph and all disadvantages in one body paragraph.

    • http://Liz says

      Sure you can for an advs/disadvs essay. It’s a logical way to organise ideas into body paragraphs.

  8. http://Anne says

    Anne says:
    April 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Liz I wanna ask a question.
    In this essay question:
    Some people think that the best way to reduce crimes is to apply longer prison sentences, while other people think that there are better methods of doing so.Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

    Can I write :

    Some people believe that the most effective method towards reduction of crime rate is to lengthen prison sentences while others think that mandatory, unpaid community work would be better. In my opinion, capital crimes should attract longer prison sentences while minor offenders should be rehabilitated.

    Now the question did not state what other people think, it just stated” while others think that there are better methods of doing so”.
    Is it OK for me to insert what I think that “other people” thought so that I can use and develop it in the body paragraph. Or should I just leave it and add all my points in my thesis Statement.

    Thanks..looking forward to getting a reply from you.

    • http://Liz says

      Always paraphrase the background directly from the statement given. The actual views of others should be explained in your body paragraph. In your intro just mention “while others do not agree and believe in other solutions”.

  9. http://Iffat%20nafees says

    Liz I am bit confused about advantages and disadvantages essays.do I need to put advantage and disadvantages separately or just like option essay in a paragarph.??????

  10. http://Dr%20Shaheer says

    Hi Liz,
    I have been attempted IELTS more than 6 times.
    Each time I get the required overall score which is 7.5. However I don’t get the required score for the individual modules(which is 7). For instance if I get a score 8 in listening, 7.5 in reading and 7.5 in speaking, i get only 6.5 in writing. At the same time , in the next attempt i get a 7.5 in writing with a reading score of 6.5. this continues to happen in each attempts i make. Any one of the module will be scored 6.5 each time (even I got a 6.5 in listening when i had all my modules markred 7.5. This make me depressed . Please help me .
    thank you

  11. http://Resmi%20nair says

    Some people think that the government spend money on public service rather that wasting money on the arts .to what extend do you agree ? Allocating state funds for arts considered to be unfair for many , so according to them state funds should used used for the betterment of the public services. In my opinion , major share of public funds should necessarily be used for the basic requirement for the people such as health care system and public transport , but minimal support from state would help for the conservation of arts and culture for the future . Firstly, spending huge amount of state revenue on arts adversely affect on service sectors , mainly based on health . Recently , there is a tremendous growth in number of people who rely on hospital for both acute and chronic illness .lf the government fail to cope up with the public needs ,that lead to the deterioration of health of a society as a whole . Consequently , this would worsen the standard of health delivering services of the country. Another point to consider before investing public funds on arts is , it can weaken transportation system of the country . Whether the country developed or developing ,popularity of the public transport always remains the same , most citizen rely on public transport for their daily commuting . In such cases scarcity of enough funding would cause ineffective services . Moreover many solitary agencies will take over from government , which can result service users to pay exorbitant ticket prices . This would certainly become unaffordable and that weaken the infrastructure of the specific country . Finally , role of art and museums on prosperity of country’s culture is undeniable,so that sufficient contribution on conservation of those arts are worthwhile . More precisely , museums and art galleries are valuables that handed over by our ancestors , so it’s our turn to give adequate protection and also hand that over to our future generation . For that, little aid from state would be better off for the protection of those valuables. In conclusion , investing state funds on art is not feasible because government has got various other sectors to consider . However , offering financial aid for art is applicable for its protection and promotion .

  12. http://minhaz says

    Liz your teaching system is very good.

  13. http://BASIT says


  14. http://Sanjay says

    Is “has lead” correct?

  15. http://Dr.Saqib%20Ali says

    hello mam!
    kindly tell me about different discourse markers one can use in speaking?

  16. http://sukhdeep says

    hello mam, is this thesis is right ?
    in the following text , I will ponder upon the entire articulates verdiction on it

  17. http://Dzung%20Tran says

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you for all the stuff you’ve been doing so far because I find them really helpful in order to achieve a great band score on the IELTS test.
    I have a question here. I know that the introduction 2 is way better. But I’m afraid that if I write my introduction in that way which gives the two main solutions then I probably won’t be able to paraphrase these two in the beginnings of each of my body paragraphs and also my conclusion. As a matter of fact, this might lower my score in terms of lexical resource because I run out of vocabulary. Am I right ?

    • http://Liz says

      You can repeat words in IELTS and still get a high score. Paraphrasing skills should be demonstrated but that doesn’t mean you change the words all the time. English has a limited number of words in the language so it is normal that some words are repeated. Aim for accuracy at all times.

  18. http://Wykay says

    Hi Liz,
    Is it necessary to include all my solutions in the introduction part? I’m afraid that I can not expand the two ideas of having a traffic free zone and improving the public transportation system enough, so in order to reach 250 words, I may include more small solutions which take one or two sentences each. But if I include them in the introduction, it seems tedious. How can I do in this case?
    Thank you very much!

    • http://Liz says

      I don’t really understand what you mean. Each body paragraph should contain one solution and each body paragraph should be equally developed. You can’t put one solution in one body paragraph and then two solutions in the next body paragraph. Your paragraphs must be planned properly and your solutions must be explained clearly.
      All the best

      • http://Wykay says

        I get it!
        I was just afraid that I have no enough descriptions for one solution a while back so I hoped to achieve 250 words by adding more solutions which seems not working now. I will try to focus one solution with more actual examples.
        Thanks a lot !!!

    • http://Liz says

      Your task is to answer the question and the question is about language not tourism. Don’t get distracted because there is extra information given by IELTS. You must identify what the issues are that you are responding to. This essay is easy because there’s a direct question for you to answer.
      All the best

  19. http://sita says

    Hi liz
    I find problem in writing please help me to get better score.
    I have tried an essay please correct it so that I can improve.
    The growth in the quantity of traffic tends to increase problem in major cities therefore, it has lead issue of congestion in the peak travel hours. they can be solved by having various traffic zones and improving the public transportation system offered to the public.
    Firstly, places should be divided into different zone, such as traffic free zone, school zone, heavy vehicle zone. Such areas must be traveled in a strict rule so that no misuse can cause traffic problem. Mostly in the main cities where most important work are to be finalized within a short period of time, one has to struggle half of the time in traffic to get to the destination. If provided free traffic zone t these areas, it will positively solve the problem of congestion and help smooth flow of work more easy and conveniently.
    Moreover, people’s improve their health unknowingly doing walking exercise.
    Another measure to control traffic problem is through making public transportation more available to the public. Government transportation should be accessible in different parts of country, mostly in cities in a large number. Frequent travel time and cheaper fare will increase in use of public transport in which people feel more comfortable and convenient in using these transportation rather than their own, undoubtedly, decrease congestion through fewer vehicles. People are motivated in saving money if provided minimal fare in government vehicle. More flow of public transport helps people prefer to use such transport most. thus, the less use of private vehicle will obviously play a vital role in minimizing traffic congestion.
    In a conclusion, traffic problems can be solved easily if different zones are adopted strictly as well as the government implement more flexible travel rate and increase number of transportation to public.

    • http://Liz says

      It’s a good essay but your paragraphs are difficult to see. This will be a problem in the test. Leave an empty line between paragraphs.

      • http://sita says

        Hi liz
        thank you for your reply,I’m really worried with my writing part. I’m aiming band 7 in gt test so could you please help me. is it possible to guess a line to above essay. My vocabulary and grammar are terribly bad.

        • http://Liz says

          You must have very good English to get band score 7. If your vocabulary and grammar are not strong, you will need to improve them.

  20. http://Wendy says

    Hi Liz,
    Just a silly question, what is a traffic free zone?

    • http://Liz says

      It’s a good question. It means an area where traffic can’t enter. Many cities have a traffic free zone in the center which is open to only people not vehicles.

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