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

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Comments

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

  2. 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.

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

  4. Nataliya says:

    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,
    Nataliya

    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. ILFAH MOHAMMED says:

    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.

  7. 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.
    thanks

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

    I am lost really
    Thanks

    • “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: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. hi,
    Liz,

    can i use “in my perspective” word.

    Thank You

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

  14. 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

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

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

  17. kingsley aniagbaoso says:

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

  18. can we use (as per my opinion)

  19. 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

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

    Koichi

    • 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: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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)

  25. 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.

  26. 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.)

    Thanks,

  27. 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.
      Liz

      • 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.
          Liz

      • thankyou, good to know 🙂

  28. 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.
    Thanks

    UMAR

  29. 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
      Liz

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

  31. 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
      Liz

  32. 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.
      Liz

  33. 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
      Liz

  34. Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe all is accessible on net?

  35. Time Traveller says:

    Hi Liz ,
    Hope you are well and enjoying life . I come across this topic through your potential and beneficial blog . This is my model answer . Hope you could have time to comment on it and to score it .Appreciate your help .
    Thanks
    Time Travelers
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In many modern societies , grandchildren rarely spend any quality time with their grandparents . What do you think are the consequences of this ?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Due to new life styles and new gadgets such as computers , televisions and cell phones , grand children no longer spend time with their grandfathers and grandmothers . Instead , they spend most of their time watching movies ,playing games or surfing the web . Personally , I believe that this new switchover in children’s attitude could not only have detrimental effects on families but on communities as well over the long run .

    Regarding families , close contact between ancestors and their offspring being lost or weakened , would seriously result in disintegrated and fragmented families where relationship bonds are torn or distorted . Admittedly , spending much time with grandparents does not only strengthens relationships between generations , but also helps consolidate precious manners , valuable traditions and good morals within children . Two decades ago ,children used to spend their time with their grandparents within an extended family and , therefore , past generations enjoyed a lot of good merits and qualities which they had acquired from their ancestors . On the other hand , New generations are used to spending their time enjoying modern technology rather than with grand parents . This has led to disintegration and fragmentation of families over the long run .

    Regarding communities , cultural identity of a community could be seriously threatened as a result of missing contact between grand parents and grandsons . A society’s cultural scheme is passed from grandparents to sons through direct contact . Therefore , if this contact is disrupted ,human culture will be threatened and even deformed . An instance illustrating this in action is Egyptian youth , they are no longer interested in traditional ceremonies and traditional culture , rather they have become more interested in western ceremonies and culture . Surely , this is ascribes to the fact that Egyptian children have got used to spending much of their time enjoying technology that teem with abundant supply about western culture . Thus , the contact between generations could result in deforming and threatening culture image of communities .

    In conclusion , grand children are no longer interested in spending time with their grandparents . This could damage both families and societies . If children are encouraged to keep close contact with grandparents , old values of the past could be revived and life quality would be better .

    • It’s a very good essay in many ways. You use strong English is a good range of vocabulary. You also have relevant main points and have organised your ideas well. The only problem is the length. This is almost 400 words. By the time you come to writing task 2, you will be tired and feeling the pressure of time. Make sure you start practicing planning and writing essays under a time constraint at home.
      All the best
      Liz

  36. HI Liz,

    I learned to many techniques from your free lesson and from your website. I plan to appear in IELTS on 13th June. Please let us inform when your complete video lesson is available for purchase and approximately what would be the price for it.

    Thanks
    Harshad

  37. Pichkata Deap says:

    Hi, Liz
    You give me a very good explanation. But I still don’t get when we shouldn’t give our opinion. What kind of questions that don’t ask for opinion?

    Thank ^^

  38. Ted katipunan says:

    Hi Liz,
    I would like to ask if in this kind of essay task we need to give our opinion? ” Modern shopping malls provide convenience for customers. However, small local markets are still popular places for people to go to. Discuss what is more advantageous to customers and society?

    Thanks

  39. please can you paste the link you promised to give at the end of the lesson. thanks

  40. Hi Liz,

    While writing an essay, can we support our opinion by giving some examples that prevails in one’s country or in the world ? If yes, at least how many we can give so that the essay looks fine ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Raj

    • It’s fine to give examples to support your ideas in the body paragraph. Usually one example per paragraph is enough.
      Liz

  41. Hi Liz,
    Very nice explanation. I’m writing IELTS on 9th of May and haven’t got much time so going through your site and trying to grab as much as possible.
    Thanks for your incredible support!

    Raj

  42. Hi Liz
    Your site is greatful
    Thanks
    I’m preparing to take ielts on 9/ May
    So could you please write about table of task 1 and muiltple tasks as well

    Thanks again

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