IELTS Writing Task 2: Expressing your Opinion

Expressing your opinion for IELTS writing task 2 is often confusing. Students are not sure when to give their opinion or how to give their opinion. This video lesson answers the following questions:

  1. Do I need to give my opinion?
  2. Can I use “I” or “my” in my essay?
  3. How can I express my opinion?

Giving your Opinion: Video Tutorial

Other Useful Lessons for Writing Task 2

Get my free lessons by email

Subscribe for free to get my new IELTS lessons sent to your email inbox.


  1. Hi Liz,

    All the link under the section “Other Useful Lessons for Writing task 2” are asking for a password in a new window and it seems strange. Is this happening only to me or others too?

    • It might have been a glitch with the system. Hopefully it’s all working fine now. Let me know if you have any other problems.

  2. Hi Liz,
    quick question – you say that we need to use ”I” or ”my” to make our opinion known. Can I use other ways such as ”this essay will argue why it is crucial (in case of agreement) …”.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    • “this essay” does not represent your own personal opinion. The examiner does not accept this as an expression of your own views.

  3. hi,there.
    I just want to have teaching materials through my e-mail address.

    • Sorry, all the materials are to be studied online on my site. Use the RED BAR to access over 300 pages of lessons, tips etc.

  4. Pooja venkat Aguru says

    Hi Liz ,

    In an essay which is asking for your opinion , where we have to agree or disagree…is it possible to be ambivalent about the topic . Or would it be considered wrong ?

    Pooja Aguru

  5. Swati Mehra says

    Hi Liz,
    I have the IELTS GT exam this saturday.

    One major concern I had regarding WT2 is what if I am just not aware about the topic/question? In such a scenario, what should the content be? How to tackle this situation?

    P.S.: Your blog is extremely helpful for self-learners. Thank you for your efforts.

    • 25% of your marks is Task Response and this is all about being on topic, having relevant ideas and developing them. It is rare for a completely unknown topic to be given in writing task 2. If you prepare fully, you should have enough ideas for all topics. However, if the worst case happens, you must try your best to be on topic. And remember that you can still get points for all the other marking criteria as well as for developing ideas.

  6. I gives two time exam. I always got 5 band in writing, can you help. How can I get 6 from writing. Thanks…

  7. Good Evening,
    Thank you so much for your videos, they are really helpful.
    I just have a question, if you don’t mind. Where do i put my opinion?
    Should i put it in the conclusion? Or in the body?
    Thank you again.

  8. Nisha Therasa says

    Hi Liz,
    i’m an Ielts trainer in india and i’d stumbled upon your website as well as Simon’s website at about the same time last year…along the way i’ve started paying closer attention to yours. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    Ive a query..could you tell me if the examiners for the ielts test centers are trained to understand the Ielts standards? the reason i ask is because, some of your ideas will be considered radical if i were to tell my students…for example..that the cue prompts can be ignored and as long as fluency is kept, it wouldn’t affect the scoring for fluency. So before i introduce this idea to my students i also need to be sure that all examiners are trained to think the Ielts way rather than the “all prompts are questions which the candidate HAS to answer” way. Please do try to give me a reply over the weekend so that i could be ready to introduce this concept in class on Monday morning! thank you..

    • The idea that the prompts on the cue card do not need to be fulfilled is actually a fact. I can state that as an ex-IELTS examiner – fulfilling tasks is not a marking criterion of speaking. The prompts are there as suggestions which can be used fully, used partially or not used at all. I do not understand why you are confusing fluency with fulfilling a task. Fluency and coherence which are 25% of the speaking marks, do not have any relation to task fulfilment which is not part of IELTS speaking assessment. Don’t confuse the writing criteria with the speaking criteria. I recommend students to use the prompts but add their own prompts as much as possible. This is because the prompts provide the students with a degree of security and comfort but extending the talk beyond the prompts is the only way to a) enhance fluency 2) add additional language features which are needed for a better score. Part 2 is the only part of the test which is under the student’s control. At this point, they can decide to add a second conditional statement because so far they haven’t offered it to the examiner – or to show more flexibility with past or future forms. The IELTS examiner training that I completed is the same world wide. There is only one IELTS examiner training for speaking and there is only one set of marking criteria which have not changed. Try to distinguish between advice and fact. The cue card prompts do not need to be covered – fact. Students should use them – recommendation. Students should stick to the general topic on the card – very strong recommendation. Students should expand and add their own prompts in order to deliver a better range of English – very highly recommended.

  9. Thank you so much for taking quality time to produce these wonderfully recorded videos . They are all really helpful.

  10. Hello Liz,
    I am a little confused about using ”I”,”MY”, and ”WE”. An IELTS teacher says it is wrong to use these pronouns while expressing your opinions in opinion essay.He recommends using” it is agreed/disagreed that” Or ”this essay agrees/disagrees”.

    • If the instructions ask for YOUR OPINION, you must answer MY OPINION or I THINK. If you fail to answer this directly, you will get a lower score according to examiner marking criteria. Using the passive voice is not correct English grammar for directly expressing your own view.

  11. Hi Liz!
    And what about the phrase: As far as I see it?
    Thanks in advance

  12. I can not stop admiring your clarity in explanations and the information you provide us with. Thanks from all the users and me personally)
    My question is: why ‘as far as I am concerned’ is inappropriate?
    Have always thought it is a great phrase to use in essays including academic ones.
    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,

    • It is informal. You should not use informal language in an IELTS essay. It is not about what is acceptable in university essays but what is accepted by an IELTS examiner.

  13. Vishal Agarwal says

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot for your blog with numerous IELTS study materials, references, and tips & tricks. These are really helpful to all the IELTS aspirants.
    I am appearing for IELTS GT exam next month, and have a doubt with the writing 2 section. I recently came across a couple of Writing 2 topics wherein, the “Topic Name’ was given followed by “Discuss”.
    For example – “Appearance isn’t everything.”Discuss.

    How should we proceed with these type of topics. Should we explain the pros and cons OR only express our views OR is there any other approach to write such type of essay. Please advice.


    Dear Liz,
    Thanks four your tremendous help !

    In opinion essay, can i say for example ( This essay agree..) or i have to use something like (in my opinion i do agree..)
    or in causes/solution essay , can i say (this essay suggest that….) instead (i suggest..)
    hope i made my question clear.

    Thanks & regards,

    • The instructions don’t ask what your essay thinks. The instructions ask what YOU think. So, be direct and clear = I think / I agree / In my opinion / I believe.

  15. Thanks for useful tips in your website
    The video is not shown unfortunately it has been blocked by our country.
    I wish you could type some parts of it so I can know about this important issue.

  16. Is that ok to give my opinion using I or We ?
    Many say yes, while others not

    I am lost really

    • “we” does not express your opinion. “I” does express your opinion: I think / I believe.

    • Thank you Liz for your answer. The problem is some people say that we don’t have to say our opinion in a direct way, I mean to say (it is preferable to…) not to use (I belive that..).
      Second in suggetion essay and discussion ones should we put our opinion in the conclusion only ?
      Thanks Liz

      • If the instructions ask for your opinion, you MUST give it clearly. If you write “it is believed” or “it is preferable” this is not clearly your own opinion. Just follow the instructions. You will lose marks if you don’t complete the instructions fully. If the instructions ask for your opinion, you put it in the introduction, body and conclusion. It sounds like you need extra training. Think of getting my advanced lessons:

  17. Thanks a lot dear Liza. Your lessons are very useful…

  18. Hi Liz.
    First of all, thanks this useful website. Your lessons are really greatful.
    I would like to ask,
    How will it effect my score, if I wrote my opinion in my essay although in the statement was not asked my opinion.

    Thanks again

  19. Can I express my opinion in Passive form? For example, It is agreed or other passive form.

    • passive form is not used to express your own opinions, it is used to express the opinions of others. So, the answer is NO you can’t use it in that way.

  20. hi,

    can i use “in my perspective” word.

    Thank You

  21. Hi!
    I would like to ask why is “to my mind” wrong?
    Thanks for your response.

  22. Airin Nithikanlayasak says

    Can I ask? some examiners used to tell that for band 7 up – to express opinion, we should not use , I believe that……
    He said that is band 6 student would use,, I believe that….
    What can we use instead? In my view? or else which you mentioned before.

    Sorry about my question, I was really confused

  23. hi mam., can I use ‘I m going to explain this…….’ in writing task 2 in gt exam in an opinion essay

  24. Hello Liz,
    Is it appropriate to write “the way I see is …..” or “according to my perception…..” whlie giving our opinion?

  25. kingsley aniagbaoso says

    Good day,
    Please, what how many lines are we to leave as spacing for paragraph?

  26. can we use (as per my opinion)

  27. Hi maam liz, your site brings hope to people like me who is aiming to get a higher band score in ielts.. I failed once but i striving hard to do my best and promise myself that on my second take i’ll be able to pull it off. I’m taking it slowly making sure i understand every type of essays. As of now, my focus is opinion base. Wish me luck and thank you for sharing your knowledge.. 🙂

    -from philippines with love

  28. Musasizi Godfrey says

    Is it fine to say In a nut shell instead of in conclusion etc when writing the concluding part of the essay?

  29. I have a question, some say it is better to not to state my opinion in introduction and should mention ONLY in conclusion. Actually he is my writing correction teacher but many people are different view. could you pleas tell me which is better and the reason why?

    Thanks in advance.


    • If you are asked for your opinion, you must give it in the introduction. The conclusion should not contain new main points or new ideas. The conclusion is to restate and summarise what has already been written in the essay. See my advanced writing task 2 lessons to learn exactly how to write an agree disagree essay:

  30. I wana ask you that..sign posting is important in writing task 1 and 2 ? if so, what should we write in sign posting ? thanks

  31. hello madam, Firstly i really want to thank u.

    My question is “If the argument essay(agree or disagree essay) starts with agree then do we have to continue with agree and end with agree? i have seen your sample essay of agree and disagree and found that starting with agree and ending with agree.

    And in the sample essay of opinion essay it is discussed in both favour can we do this?

    please reply soon

    • The instructions ask for your opinion. You give it in the introduction, explain it in the body and conclude it in the conclusion.

  32. Hi, Liz
    In the introduction lesson you say: In my view, I agree that … Is it ok to say so? It seems that it is repetition and in my language it is not recommended. Thank you)

  33. Hey Liz, if I write my opinion as a fact for example, instead of saying I believe or I think just write as a matter of fact like a real article from a newspaper.

  34. Hi Liz,

    Is it appropriate to write ”in my opinion” or ”I believe” in the essay that does not ask for my opinion? for example, what are the problems of xxx? (I mean even thought it does not ask my opinion, it is in fact my idea.)


  35. Hello!

    Thank you very much for this lesson and I have a quick question.
    Could you not use “It is agreed/disagreed” instead of “I believe or In my view”?

    Thank you in advance!

    • “It is agreed” refers to other people, not yourself. The passive voice CANNOT be used to express your own opinion.

      • Thank you very much for your prompt reply!
        Last time I wrote “It is agreed”, perhaps, owing to this I got only 6.5 for writing section.

        • Yes, that will have affected your score. It means that you never gave your opinion which means you didn’t follow the instructions. That would give you a low score for Task REsponse which is 25% of your marks.

      • thankyou, good to know 🙂

  36. Dear liz,
    Should I write background statement in General essay?, and should I write hook statement also ?
    Please clear my query .Your web site is one of the best web site for IELTS prepration.


  37. Hi Mam,

    I have a doubt in writing introductions .For eg in an Opinon Essay “As Computers are being used more and more in education,there i will be soon be no role for teachers.To what extent do u agree or not” .

    In this can i completely disagree like ” However while computers are extremely useful,i dont not agree with the idea that they could soon replace teachers. ” And in the main body part 1 explain about some advantages of computers and in the second main part explain about the role of teachers. Is this pattern is correct?

    • If you don’t agree that computers will replace teachers, all body paragraphs will explain that point. This essay is only about your opinion.
      All the best

  38. can we start the thesis statement with i consider that..

  39. Hi Liz,
    I just wanted to ask if it is alright to use pronouns such as ‘we’ or ‘our’ on writing task 2. Will that affect the way the examiner will mark my essay?
    I am hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    • On the whole, you should avoid using those words and refer to people in the third person plural.
      All the best

  40. HII Liz,
    my concern is using “I” in the introduction what I mean is I belive and I strongly agree/disagree.Would it be considered as informal?

    • You can answer the question “Do you ….” without using “I” or “my”. Failure to provide a direct answer to a direct question about your opinion will result in a low score for Task Response (25%) of your marks.

  41. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your wonderful videos and IELTS tips. I am just worrying about use of first person while giving opinion. I heard that use of third person seems more academic than first person, for instance, it is widely believed that.. or it can be viewed that… this essay is going to in favour/disfavour of….
    could you suggest regarding this please
    thank you

    • Yes, it is academic to use “it is widely believed that..”. It refers to what other people think and what is thought around the world. But it does not show your opinion and what you think. If the essay instructions ask for your opinion, you must give it very very clearly. 25% of your marks is about fulfilling the instructions and explaining ideas, so make sure you give your opinion (In my opinion) if the instructions tell you to.
      All the best

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!