IELTS Writing Task 2: Should I give my opinion?

Should I give my opinion in an IELTS writing task 2 essay? This is a common question that many students ask me. To know whether you should put your opinion in your essay or not, you should read the instructions given by IELTS. IELTS very carefully for each task. You need to read them and follow them. Below are some tips to help you understand:

  • read the instructions, follow them and answer the question
  • don’t put your opinion unless you are asked to give it
  • if the question asks what you think, you MUST give your opinion to get a good score

Here are examples of instructions that require you to give your opinion:

  • “….do you agree?” – it means you should give your opinion
  • “…do you think…?” –  it means you should give your opinion
  • “… your opinion…? –  it means you should give your opinion
  • “…what is your view?” – it means you should give your opinion
  • “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” – this is asking for your opinion (your answer) not the opinions of other people
  • “Is this positive or negative?” – this is asking for you to choose and explain your opinion

How to give your opinion. Follow the link to learn if you should use “I” or “my” in your IELTS essay.

Below are some IELTS essay questions. Decide if you think you should give your opinion or not. Then check the answer.

Some people think that rich countries should support poor countries in terms of aid for health care and education. To what extend do you agree?

Yes, this task requires your opinion.


While some people think that the problem with education in poor countries is the teaching methodology used, others believe it is the lack of resources that is the real issue. Discuss both sides.

No, this task does not ask for your opinion. You are only required to discuss the two sides impartially.


With the development of modern transportation comes environmental problems. What possible solutions are there to these problems?

No, this task does not ask for your opinion. You are only required to offer possible solutions.


Some people believe that schools should not assess a student’s ability through exams but instead assess them by their course work and project work over the whole academic year. Do you agree?

Yes, this task requires you to give your opinion.


Having a year off before starting universities is becoming increasingly common. Do you think this is a positive or negative trend?

Yes, this task requires your opinion.


Many children no longer read books and instead spend their time using modern technology. While some people think this is a positive trend, others think it is a problem. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Yes, this task requires your opinion. You will need to discuss both sides impartially and also give your opinion.


Due to the low cost of flights, many people are choosing to holiday abroad rather than have holidays in their own country. What are the advantages and disadvantages to this?

No, this task does not ask for your opinion. You only need to state the advantages and the disadvantages.


IELTS Teachers or students can download a worksheet for these questions to use in their classroom: ielts-writing-task-2-giving-your-opinion

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  1. While writing an essay on Contacting alien life-forms, to illustrate the dangers, I wrote, “If Hollywood’s imagination is anything to go by, these species might be extremely hostile…”, among other things.
    This had me debating for a long time. On the one hand Hollywood is the source of our information about aliens, and on the other, this allusion to movies feels inappropriate in a formal essay.
    Would this sentence be considered inappropriate in the IELTS exam?

    • The only issue I have is with the informal tone and the unnecessary reference to Hollywood. You can easily just state “It is entirely possible that any alien race might be hostile …”

  2. Sanish Pantha says


  3. I’m a bit confused with regards to the opinion statement. You have said in the introduction lesson that it should always be composed of 2 parts: paraphrasing the IELTS statement and give our opinion about this statement, you said this structure is valid for all types of essays. So i understood that we should always express our opinion in the introduction (for all types of essays). Here you’re saying it is not the case?

    • You need to listen more carefully. I said an introduction always contains a background statement and a thesis statement. The thesis will always contain the main points. That is what I said. Any essay that asks for your opinion will have an opinion as a thesis.

  4. Hi Liz,
    I went to an IELTS tutor who told me to answer discuss and provide your opinion essay this way:
    (Background statement)… Both views will be discussed/ need to be discussed before forming aana opinion.

    She says I must make sure not to provide my opinion in the intro paragraph.
    Also, in all types of essays she insisted that I do not highlight my main points in the intro, just present both sides or opinion in agree/disagree

    Lastly, in advantage disadvantage essay she said “this development has both merits and demerits” or other words for the same, but no main points to be mentioned.
    My exam is on Saturday please guide me. I realized every other video or website has something different.

    • Your tutor is giving you advice. Your tutor is not explaining rules. There are no such rules in IELTS about not putting your opinion in the introduction. Of course, no such rules exist. Your tutor has not helped you understand which rules are fixed and which things are just pieces of advice from her own perspective. This is the reason you are confused. You should not be learned phrases or sentences for your essay – each sentence should be uniquely created by yourself.

  5. Liz, if you please could comment on my question:

    1) task 2 (essay) “Some people think that government should invest money in…while others… Discuss both views and give your opinion”. So, is it ok if I write “This essay will analyze both opinions before a reasoned conclusion is reached” in the INTRODUCTION part?? Without using “In my opinion or I believe” elsewhere in my essay. And my CONCLUSION part is begun with “The above discussion illustrates how…” which after all gives an idea that all governments should decide according to the specific needs what to spend money for.
    Is my opinion shown wrong in this case?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Do you believe that your own personal opinion is answered with the words “this essay”? Do you think a personal opinion can be given without I or my? Do you think you should be memorising sentences and phrases when IELTS do not accept memorised language? Have you ever seen my use those phrases in my model essays?

      • Hi liz, plz clear this confusion. If the question asks do you agree or disagree? And if I am agreeing with the topic should I write about agreeing or should I include the disagreeing part also?? I’m really confused here so plz answer

        • I’m not sure how you can agree and disagree about the same thing. If it asks “Fast food should be banned. Do you agree?” – you can’t agree and disagree. Can you give me an example of a question and an example of your agreeing and disagreeing?? This way I can explain more clearly.

          • Thank u liz for your reply. If the question is ‘it is important for children to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early age. Punishment is necessary to help them learn this distinction. To what extent do you agree or disagree.’
            In regard to this question if I am not entirely disagreeing with the statement for example I want punishment but of certain types so how should I form my body paragraphs? Should I write one paragraph about disagreeing and other agreeing r just stick with disagreeing. I’m confused because my teacher told me to write one paragraph about disagreeing and other about agreeing and then state your opinion. Kindly answer I’m confused because when I read your model essays you were either agreeing or disagreeing

            • In this case, you are not agreeing and disagreeing. You are presenting a specific view point (a partial agreement/balanced view). All you need to do is write your view in the thesis and explain it fully in the body paragraphs: “In my opinion, some types of punishment can be instrumental in helping children learn, but other forms of punishment are cruel and do not facilitate learning.”
              See my Advanced lessons to get proper training – they are at 50% discount this week:

          • Hi Liz,

            I faced a tricky question. “Artificial Intelligence will soon replace teachers in the classroom. Do you agree with the statement ?. What is an alternative to traditional face to face reading”

            So the difficulty i faced in this question is, As the question asks for my opinion(Do you agree) i wrote my essay saying yes AI will replace but the twist is in the second question what is an alternative to traditional method. SO i have to write a conclusion that though AI can replace mentors, only traditional method can help in the growth of a student’s career.

            So the conclusion contradicts my whole essay right ? That AI will replace but still traditional teaching is the best. Please clarify

            • I think you got confused. IELTS essays are logical and straight forward. You have two questions and this means two answers – one in each body paragraph.the conclusion summarises those two paragraphs.

  6. Obafemi Fayomi says

    Hi Liz, I am really gutted about my lat IELTS result. I have 8.5 in Listening, 8.0 in Speaking, 8.0 in Reading and 6.0 in writing. This really makes the result useless because I need at least 7. 0 in all the bands. I am contemplating on requesting a remark of the writing module. Will you suggest I do so? I have put in for another exam this week anyways.

  7. Hi Liz!

    Thank you very much for your help. I have purchased all your videos and they are extremely useful. However, every time I write essay opinion with :”In my opinion, I agree/I disagree…..”, my teacher keeps telling me that it is redundant and it is actually a cacophony. Similarly, I have browsed through different sites about this matter and everyone says that it unnecessary. Moreover, it is considered as being a mistake. Could you please clarify this dilemma of mine?
    Thank you for considering my request.
    I look forward to your response and explanation about this matter.

  8. Lê Hà Anh says

    Where should I write my opinion (in the conclusion or in a separate paragraph)?
    Please answer me as soon as possible. Thank you very much.

  9. Hi Liz,
    I am so thankful to you. Your way of explaining the topics are just stunning. I have a query, instead of people, citizens or civilians can be used? Is it appropriate to use? Please reply.

    • Each word is different and has different limitations. You need to be careful using paraphrases in IELTS writing. A poor choice of paraphrase counts as a vocabulary mistake and can lower your score. The word “civilians” can only be used in certain circumstances, as with “citizens”. If you are not sure, not use the words.

  10. Tarryn Buchanan says

    Hi Liz,
    Cambridge essay question : There are many different types of music today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the International music that is heard everywhere nowadays?

    For this question I would paraphrase / make a statement there are different types of music in the world today. (Today’s diversity of cultures, religions and people bring many different types of music into the world)

    Then explain the importance of music. (Music is an essential component of daily living and dates back to ancient traditional times ).

    Now, to answer the question of international and traditional music importance I presume it is requesting my opinion? Do I state, In my opinion ……… or do I answer it in a passive voice? ( From this time, traditional music has grown considerably and a new type of International music has been incorporated, both of which are equally important.) or (…. and in my opinion both are equally important)

    I really would appreciate your answer. Many thanks.

  11. CHINENYENWA says

    Hello Liz, I will be writing my Ielts test tomorrow and I need a clarification please. If am asked in writing task two opinion essay “Do you agree” or “To what extent do you agree” only without adding disagree to the question. Could I disagree with the statement although or I was not asked “To what extent do you agree or disagree”?
    Thank you.

    • Regardless of how the instructions are written, you can choose any side you want. You can agree, you can disagree or you might have your own unique view point where you partially agree.

  12. Dear Liz , you really are the best , literally one of the sweetest people on earth , i did learn this lesson from you that Sharing is Caring , thank you for everything

  13. essay writing format for academic and general would be same ???

  14. Haleh Mirmiri says

    Dear Liz
    Can I ask you a question? I faced a topic in cambridge IELTS number 11 which I will be appreciated if you answer what type of essay should be written.
    Government should spend money on railways rather than roads. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
    According to your video, we should not be agree with both side if we want to write a balanced opinion essay. My question is that should I make a comparison between railways and roads? Or can I write about my reasons why I agree that government should spend money on railways?
    I will be appreciated if you answer this question

    • Here are the choices you have for you opinion:
      1. You think the government should invest in railways more than roads
      2. You think the government should invest in roads more than railways
      3. You think it depends on the country – the choice will depend on the cost and the necessity.

      The first two are one sided and the last is a balanced approach. Personally I would take either option 1 or 2.

  15. Elizabeth Suzuma says

    ….to what extent do you agree?
    With questions like this, rather than to agree wholeheartedly, is it better to state in the introduction that you mainly agree (if you do), but that you have some reservations, and then perhaps state these reservations in a second or third body paragraph?

    • There is no one way which is better than the other. You decide your opinion when you read the essay question. Some issues are better to have a one sided view and some are better with a partial agreement (a balanced approach).

  16. Hi Liz,
    Is it ok to write like this

    Introduction paragraph
    ” This essay will discuss …………………”

    Conclusion paragrah.
    This essay discussed both part

  17. Jacob Ahmad says

    Hi Liz, I have a question regarding advantages & disadvantages essays (since it’s not an option to purchase your advanced lessons in my country) ,, is it possible to write: ( In this essay I will look at both sides and try to draw some conclusions) , or (Let’s begin at looking at the advantages of…) or ( What I mean by this is that…) ,, WAITING FOR YOUR ANSWER,, THANKS

    • There is no right or wrong. There are only recommendations. “this essay will …” is a learn phrase which is not suitable for a language test. Each sentence needs to be unique to yourself – it is about testing your English – not your ability to memorise sentences. Do NOT memorise phrases.

  18. Manu Kapoor says

    Hi Liz,

    Your Advanced Writing Task 2 essay techniques are immensely helpful and unparalleled.
    I want to know whether using the word ‘that’ is grammatically mandatory or optional after ‘I believe / consider / think’


    • It is not necessary. You can write “I consider rehabilitation to be more effective than …” or “I consider that rehabilitation is more effective than …”. You can see the grammar is different depending on whether you use “that” or not.

  19. Hi Liz, I’d like to ask you about the discussion essay.
    I saw this question the other day on IELTS Cambridge 5, Test 2, WT2
    “Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide this”
    but there is no sentence such as “and give your opinion”

    Based on your tips, I concluded that we don’t need to add an opinion. Then, after Intro, BP1, BP2, what should I fill as the concluding(4th) paragraph?

    To add salt to my injury, The model answer from Cambridge IELTS 5 is taking a side on the advantage point which in my view is an opinion paragraph. Can you explain this?thank you

    • These essays do not require you to choose a side or express an opinion of each side. You are simple required to present information on both sides. IELTS are unlikely to present model answers that provide an easy template for their own test!! Do you think they want to make their test easier?

      • Manu Kapoor says

        Hi Liz, your blog is indeed an ocean of knowledge to improve the score dramatically.
        I also came across a situation similar to Ricky’s. In one of the Cambridge Official IELTS book, after giving a statement, it is asked – To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion ?
        Now, as per your guidelines, it’s an opinion essay where one should write opinion in ‘Active Voice’. But, to my surprise, any such expression; I believe / In my opinion etc. is nowhere used. However, the conclusion is stated like this – “In conclusion, imposing a higher tax on the fast food items does not seem to be the answer”

        Is this “does not seem” right or wrong ?

        Thanks Liz

        • Opinions can be expressed in many ways. I would not use that essay as a template. It is not something recommended to avoid an active voice in an opinion essay. Again, IELTS are not likely to produce easy to use templates for their own test.

  20. Hi Liz,
    I am following your blog since a long time. But my writing score lies between 6.5 to 7.0.
    I need to work for 7.5. How can i improve my score to this?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Review all your techniques. Develop your skills of analysing the issue(s) in the question. Improve your English language to avoid errors. Make sure you are not using learned expressions.

  21. Hi Liz,

    I always thank you for your useful materials.
    Anyway, I have a question that makes me confused.

    From your video below, when we say opinion in writing, we can write ” In my opinion, I agree that ~”. However, some people say it is redundant between “In my opinion” and “I agree”. so, we should one among two of them.

    What do you think about it? Please, give me a clear answer.
    Thanks in advance.

    Video Title: IELTS Writing TASK 2, How to write an introduction.

  22. Hi Liz,

    I have one question regarding “In Discuss both View and given your opinion.”

    In my opinion, can I agree with both views? Please comment.

    Thanks in Advance!

  23. Hello, Liz

    I am not sure for writing task 2 opinion essay, is that better to agree or disagree completely the topic and then use sufficient ideas to support it to enable for me to get higher score, or better to partially agree or disagree then give my extra opinion on the topic to be able to get higher score?

    Please could you kindly give me some advice on which method I use can make me get higher score?

    Thanks a lot.

    • You don’t decide your approach before the test. You wait until you read the question and then you decide which is the best.

      • Thanks, Liz!
        If I completely agree the question statement, and give enough ideas or completely disagree in the same way to write my opinion essay, do you think if the examiner will judge my score and may think I shouldn’t completely agree or disagree for this topic, or examiner wouldn’t care about if I completely agree or disagree, as long as I can give enough supportive points for my opinion?
        Thanks in advance again!

        • You don’t get a higher score because you partially agree or because you choose a one sided approach. You get a higher score because your opinion is clear, it addresses all issues and it is well developed with relevant points.

  24. what is the format of writing agree disagree essay?

  25. HI DEAR
    I want to now about that how much is reduced if you have just wrong grammer?

  26. Dear Liz,

    I saw this IELTS task 2 sample question:
    “Nowadays, most large companies operate multi-nationality. To what extend those companies should have responsibility towards local communities in which they operate? ”

    Actually I am not sure whether this question is opinion type or discussion type. Would you please help me in this case?


  27. Hello;

    I wrote discuss essay instead of opinion. But statemant was opinion essay. What will happen to my band score? If other things are good?? :((

  28. Hi Liz ..
    Can a well constructed essay but less than 300 word score a band of 8?

  29. Traditional writing style or modern writing style. Which one is better?

  30. Good day Lizy, Thanks for this wonderful website. Please in stating your opinion for a partial view on an opinion essay when you are not having enough point to remain on one side. How do you state the partial opinion.My test is tomorrow

  31. Rosangela D'Erchia says

    Hi Liz!

    I am practicing for Writing task 2 in these days, and I am wondering how many writing task 1 and 2 should I do before being fully prepared for the exam. Consider that my level is C1 and I would like to reach band 7.5/8.

    Thank you in advance


    • You should do as many as you can. Some of them you do under exam conditions at home – this means under the same time limit as the exam. Others you will use for practice. But you need to be focus in your practice so that you develop. It doesn’t help to mindlessly do test after test or task after task. You need to evaluate your work and improve.

  32. subodh belbase says

    hi liz iam totally confused in writing task 2 thesis statement . in openion type essay can we write statement link , in this essay we will discuss…….. or we have to write in my opinion………

    can you please say in which type of essay i can write what?

    • Which one explains your opinion? Think about it. Think logically. IELTS isn’t a trick. The instructions ask for your opinion. The examiner will mark you on your ability to present your own opinion. If you write “this essay will …” does that actually express your own opinion? No, it doesn’t. So, be logical and follow the instructions.

  33. hi liz
    I have a question
    Do you think i should spend max 40 minutes on WT 2 when i’m writing at home?
    Or is it okay if ı spend longer time at the beginning ?

    • Of course. Spend as long as you want in the beginning of your learning. Take your time to learn how to write an essay. One you know how, you can speed up the essay writing.

  34. Hello everyone, I just wrote my first discussion essay and I would be very glad if Liz or anyone else could provide me with some feedback, as I prepare on my own and there is no one to comment on my essays. This is the topic: “Some people believe that it is good to share as much information as possible in scientific research, business and the academic world. Others believe that some information is too important or too valuable to be shared freely. Discuss both these views and give your opinion”.

    It is believed by many people that providing a significant amount of information contributes to scientific, business and educational purposes, whereas others consider that worthy information ought not to be distributed at no cost. In my opinion, knowledge should not have a price, no matter its importance, so it can be accessible to whoever needs it.
    On the one side, free knowledge could help everyone complete their tasks. In other words, individuals with low income cannot pay for sources that require money in order to have access to certain information, thus they choose to turn to search engines which will grant them with all the data they need for free. A good example is Google, which contains a huge number of facts regarding nearly every topic, such as details for an academic assignment on the financial effects of globalization. Subsequently, people are treated equally, in terms of acquiring knowledge.
    On the other side, any payments concerning information distribution could prevent copyright issues. Namely, the author can provide a short part of their work freely, and, in case the reader is interested in knowing more about it, they have to pay to continue. For instance, most creators of e-books related to science or business on Scribd publish only a preview of them, which means that the reader will be charged to read the entire document. As a result, the creator’s personal effort cannot be plagiarized, unless one pays for it.
    In my view, no sort of knowledge should be inaccessible due to charge issues. Information needs to be gained easily, in contrast to consumer goods, for example. Gaining profit via information can stop people from achieving their goals, such as completing an academic project, which I find is rather unacceptable, despite the fact that many persons charge information to protect their own work.
    In conclusion, whilst there are understandable reasons why some kind of information is provided through payment, knowledge should be free to use for all.

    Words: 327 (It is too much, I know :/ )

  35. Hello Liz,
    If the question asks: “What is your opinion?”, should I only mention the one side that I support or is it better to also mention the opposite side as well ?

  36. hi Lizz
    i wonder if we should make a conclusion in this task.

  37. Booshra M. says

    Hello Liz,
    I want your expert advice on,

    -Is it good to give opinion in introduction,in thesis statement, in all type of essays(or better to write neutrally like ,THIS ESSAY WILL DISCUSS BOTH VIEWS AND FINALLY COME TO CONCLUSION.)???

    -phrases like uphill task,hard nut to crack and so…( commonly used phrases) are good strategies to use in essay???

    • You will never use a thesis statement which is learned – for example the one you have written above. You put your opinion when the instructions ask for it. If not opinion is asked, you present the main points in your thesis statement.

      Never use idioms such as “hard nut to crack”. This is informal language and IELTS writing is formal. See all my lessons and tips for task 2:

      • Booshra M. says

        Thanks a lot Ma’am.I don’t know how to say thanks to you.I really appreciate your answer which remain gold standard for a lot of candidates like me.Thanks…

  38. hi li
    where i can give my opinion
    just in introduction or just in B1 ou just in B2 or just in conclusion ?

  39. abdulaziz says

    hello miss liz i need know about the writing

  40. Can i use concession on my introduction. Example, Education is the single most important factor in the development of a country

    Answer: Although many would argue that economy is the most important factor in nation-building, I think education has a far greater impact.

  41. Hlo mam I hv a question… If i m askd to discuss both sides nd give my opinion… Can I give opinion by making an extra bp aftr discussing both sides or is it mandatory to give opinion in introduction? Please clear my doubt actually in my exam i gave opinion in bp 3 I did nt give in introduction… Will i lose Marks?

  42. Liz, your work is outstanding, helpful and useful. Thanks a lot. I’ve been studying for IELTS by your videos and site.
    I’ll take the Academic IELTS, and now I’m learning how to do my essay (task2). I found your tips for giving opinion essays, but I wasn’t able to find tips for other kinds of essay (giving solutions, evaluate both sides, arguing, etc..). For example, I guess the introduction doesn’t have a thesis statement as you show in your video.

    Saving the post for one more doubt, do you have any orientation about using British or English convention in IELTS? Ex: practising or practicing ?

    Thank you

  43. Hi Liz,
    can we start a paragraph like “we must acknowledge that…” ? Or is it too informal?

  44. I have joined for an IELTS training program. Unfortunately I had to drop that in between. Your tips gave me a new outlook towards the IELTS. Thank you Liz. You are really helping a lot of IELTS aspirants.

    Great work.

  45. Respected Ma’am,

    For qn like discuss both sides and share your opinion, in opinion part can we point down the merit and demerits of both or we need to stick to one of the solution oly?

    Thanks & regards,

  46. winda prastika says

    hey liz! 🙂
    supposed that the question is ‘do you agree or disagree’, should we choose one of these views? is it allowed for us to write somewhere in between? thankyou 🙂

  47. Anjani Desai says

    Hello Liz,
    I am following your tips and ideas regarding IELTS exam preparation and found it very useful. Now i feel quite confident about my exam.
    I am greatful to you.
    Thank you so much.


  48. Hello, Liz.

    Thank you so much for your blog! It helps me a lot with my ielts study!
    While I was studying writing part 2, I was wondering about providing my opinion in question that ask to wrtie cause and the solution to it.
    For example, if the question is like, nowadays we are producing more rubbish. what are the causes and what can be done to control it?

    In that case, do I just state causes and solution of it?

    Thank you!

  49. Hello liz,
    Your blog is really helpful.i have a question if they ask only discuss both sides ?or advantages and disadvantages?
    then how r we going 2 write thesis statment in introduction.

  50. Probably not until November.

  51. Hello Liz,

    I would like to know if you offer services like checking the writing samples? Thank you

  52. hi liz
    i need 7 each .i got 7 in 3 but 5.5 in writing .in my previous test i scored 6.5 in writing but presently m confused whether to take test again or not.
    i need help.

  53. Hi Mrs. Liz

    Can I look at both sides of the issue even if the question ( agree or disagree )

    To make it clear,
    government should try to reduce air traffic by taxing it heavily. Do you agree or disagree

    Is it OK if I write ( although some people believe that ………………….., I disagree.
    Then in one body paragraph explain the reasons that why others believe it the right solution
    And second paragraph talk about my opinion as I disagree make it clear

  54. Kayalvizhi says

    Hi Liz. Thank you so much for your valuable advices. Just a small question. If the essay asks us to discuss both sides and give your opinion, where should I state my opinion? Do I state it in the introduction paragraph as my thesis statement? or do I have a seperate paragraph for my opinion after discussing both sides impartially?

  55. Elizabeth says

    Hi Liz, thanks for the beautiful site. When a question is asking if I agree or not, can I discuss on both sides first in then conclude with one side?

  56. Hi Liz,
    thank you for your beautiful free lessons and advance lessons too for writing task 2.
    i am confused about Disction essay with opinion, in your example or model eassy explanation, you said: should state opinion in thesis statement ….well, thats clear.
    in my previous IELTS preparation course,the teacher said in this type of question, should state your opinion only in conclusion. not in introduction!!!
    which is right way for IELTS
    Thanks again for your effort and easy way to explain it to us.

    • The instructions state “discuss both sides and give your opinion). Those instructions are for the whole essay. Only putting your opinion in the conclusion is only minimally completing the instructions which is not advisable for a high score.

      • what I does for a discuss both views and give your opinion type question is *opinion in introduction
        *opinion in the argument which I agree
        *a separate opinion paragraph itself
        Is it the right way to approach ??

  57. Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your amazing lessons. For example, if the question says ” Many people spend lots of money when they travel abroad. It would be better to spend this money in local vacations.
    Is this opinion essay?

  58. Hi! If the questions are: “In what ways has technology affected the type pf relationships people make”;”Has this become a positive or negative development?” I have to give an opinion?

    I understand that for first question NO, but I have doubts about the second one…

    Thanks in advance

    • The second one is asking you to choose if it is a positive or negative development so it is an opinion.

  59. hi Liz,
    is it necessary to write opinion in introduction paragraph? can we write it in second last paragraph, before the conclusion?

  60. Nikita bhatia says

    Hello mam,
    Can you please tell me are they asking my opinion in the following essays ? Thank you .
    1) some people consider computers to be more of a hindrance than a help. Others believe that they have greatly increased human potential. How could computers be considered a hindrance?
    2) we are becoming increasingly dependent on computer technology. It is used in business, crime detection and even to fly planes. What will it be used for in future? Is this dependence on technology a good thing or should we be suspicious of its benefits ?

  61. Hi Liz. I found your website and its really helpful. I took ielts last September and unfortunately my scores are very low. I wanted to ask about the essay writing if you have online courses to check my writing so I would know my weakness in writing essay.
    Thank you very much.

  62. hi liz
    i am confused that ..if we are asked to give our option and also to discuss the topic in the same question, what should be written in introduction both or my opinion only and also in body part what should we explain at first opinion or discuss??

  63. What does impartially means in case of discuss both views?

  64. If the question does not ask our opinion explicitly, would my mark be reduced if I use the phrases like”I believe, I think” couple of times in the essay (spesifically in introduction and conclusion) ? While writing introduction after paraphrasing the question I wrote ” In this essay, I will outline the reasons etc…) and I am worried now it will prevent me from getting band 8.

  65. Hlo mam
    if the question is what in your opinion should be …. Function of ….???then we should have to write both views in main body and opinion in 3rd paragraphs or what plz clarify this??

  66. Dr. Syed Iqtidar Ali Raza says

    Dear Liz
    If the ques is
    To what extent disadvantages outweigh the advantages?
    In this, we need to give our opinion?

  67. Hi liz,
    It is about Discuss both sides and give your opinion…after i discussed both side ,do i need to give my opinion in a different paragraph?thanks!

    • If your opinion does not agree with both sides, put it in the separate paragraph. If it agrees with one of the sides, put it with that side. Make sure you give your opinion in the introduction.

  68. Dear Madame,

    Thank you very much for this and I have a quick question.
    In order to support the thesis in your BP for whatever types of essay, once can illustrate some advantages or disadvantages. For instance, if the question states exercise is the effective method to developing and improving health, one can agree and write the benefits of it to support the idea of agreeing.
    Would this be appropriate for IELTS?
    Thank you in advance!!

    • Sorry I don’t understand your question. For an opinion essay, you state your opinion in the thesis statement and explain it in the body paragraphs.

  69. Hi mam,

    What is the meaning of a discursive essay? Give me an example?

    • It means a discussion essay when the instructions are “discuss both sides”. You can see a model essay on the main writing task 2 page.

  70. Nwagor Obinna says

    A very big congrats to you…

  71. hi liz,

    I found your tips and suggestions in this blog very useful. I hope i can score high with your help. please put some light on reading topic too, thanks a lot.


  72. Also, with the explanation of advantages and disadvantages, discussions. Most thesis statements have I. How am I going to construct my thesis statement with these type of question essays.

    • See my model essays to learn how to write the thesis statement for all types. See the main writing task 2 page.

  73. Hi Liz,
    If the question is “What is more appropriate”, it asks for your opinion. Is it right?

    Thank you.

    • Yes, that asks for your opinion.

    • Thank you, Liz for your reply.

      Actually, my writing task 2 on 8 Oct 2015 test is as follows: Some people think that secondary schools should provide a wide range of subjects, while others agree children should focus on a narrow range of job-relating subjects. What is more appropriate in today’s world?

      Please advise whether it is right if I discuss both sides and give my opinion? I appreciate your response.

      • There is only on question. “what is more appropriate?”. You answer that question and nothing more. Which one is more appropriate? Because this is a comparative, you need to explain why one side is more appropriate than the other. So, if you think that more subjects is better, you have one BP to explain that and one BP to explain why a narrow range is not appropriate.

  74. naveen nouman says


    Is it compulsary to use complex sentences in writing task 1 and task 2?
    What are the punctuation marks which are frequently used in writing task? i’m worried about when to use it.
    i have my exam on 08 oct,2015 and so far,i’m preparing well in listening ,reading and writing task 1 wheras, i’m afraid about writing task 2.

    In writing task 2,the introducton and the conclusion is going well but,i’m afraid of body part and examples in it. could you please suggest me?

  75. if the question asks to what extent do u agree or disagree.. should i present both sides of the question or can i just outweigh the opposite side with my opinion?

  76. Hi Liz,
    Could you please elaborate on which kind of questions require you to write on both sides of the topic and in which kind of questions you must only discuss one side.
    On similar lines as should i give my opinion but wethere i should discuss both sides before giving my opinion or not

    Thanks in Advance

    • No question asks you to discuss one side. If you are asks to present both sides, then you write about both sides. If you are asked for your opinion, you state it and explain it – nothing more. See my models to learn which paragraphs show both sides and how that is done.

  77. Hi Liz
    For writing task 1, what if my overview and main features are different from those the examiner expects? I mean different people can see things with different significance!
    Thank you

  78. Hi Liz
    I have a question to ask.
    If the question is to what extent do you agree?
    Do I have to discuss both point of views(agree & disagree) in my body paragraphs ? Or only reasons why I agree on that topic?

  79. Hi Liz

    I have a question, is saying “wildlife poaching” as a synonym or a paraphrase for “illegal animals hunting” is academic?

    thanx 🙂

  80. Hi Liz
    In an agree or disagree essay can I for example say I agree or disagree because there are advantages and disadvantages to the issue? I mean can I combine an opinion with advantages and disadvantages?

    • You can agree OR disagree. It is not possible to both agree and disagree. But you can offer a specific opinion which we call a balanced approach. It does not mean agreeing with both sides. You should only write a balanced approach if you have had professional training or your level of English is excellent. Any mistake with presenting an opinion in line with IELTS rules will lower your score. If you wish to learn about this, see my opinion essay lesson:
      All the best

  81. Muhammed Yunus says

    Hi Liz,
    I enjoy your all videos because your pronounciation and presentation is very easy catch it.

  82. mam i need your help in writing section i cant write paragaraphs of writing task 2 because of your tip i can now write introduction and this is the first time i can understand easily how to write an introduction i m very thankful to you please help me for this section…

  83. thnks

  84. i like ur style of imparting knowledge
    and also ur smile

  85. Thank you mam your every tips is really helpful

  86. sheema rohi says

    hello mam
    i ‘m really thankful to you for providing online classes for students like me who are in search of proper guidance and useful tips . wish i do well in my test . thanks again mam

  87. thank you for all thing
    your courses very easy and interesting
    thank you

  88. rakesh kattel says

    hi mam,
    i am from Nepal..i am also an ielts instructor..i found your materials really helpful.
    And your way of describing complexity into the easiest way that impressed me a lot.
    Thank you.

  89. Santosh Kandel says

    Your Ielts blogs are really helpful. Easy to understand. God bless you.

  90. Hi liz,
    When they expect to give your opinion, is it enough to provide facts that only support your opinion? or do we have to discuss the other view also?
    for example in the question ” Having a year off before starting university is becoming increasingly common. Do you think this is a positive or negative trend?”, if my answer is positive do I have to provide facts for the negative part as well?


    • You must follow the instructions. If it says “discuss both sides” then you to that. If it is just a question “Do you think it is a positive or negative trend”, your whole essay answers that question with what you think, which means your opinion.
      All the best

  91. Hi, Liz!
    I have written a task2 essay recently, using the topic of TEST 1 in BOOK 9.
    The topic is “Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?”
    I paraphrased the statement and gave my own opinion in the introduction. But which confuses me is that the official model answer prepared by an examiner doesn’t have any statement about giving an opinion and doesn’t mention which one is more advantageous. So I wonder whether it’s necessary to give my own opinion in this type of questions.

    By the way, for topics which don’t ask for an opinion, is the content of introduction only including the paraphrase of a given statement?


    • Please read my notice about posting writing:

      • Sorry, I haven’t posted a writing essay.
        I just wonder whether it’s necessary to give my opinion in a question type which is “do the advantages overweigh the disadvantages”(because the official answer for book9 test1 writing task 2 which is the same time doesn’t mention its opinion) and whether the introduction consists of only the paraphrasing sentence when not asked for an opinion.
        Thank you very much!

        • It’s a direct question which you must answer. Your answer should be in the introduction and explained in the body paragraphs. So, if you think the disadvantages are more important than the advantages, you must state that clearly.
          All the best

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