IELTS Essay Writing: Choosing your opinion

An IELTS opinion essay requires you to give your opinion. Is it better to choose one side or have a balanced view? Many students are not sure which opinion will give them a higher score.

The instructions can vary for an opinion essay (agree/disagree essay):

  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • What is your view?
  • To what extent do you agree?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  • Do you agree?

All these instructions are for the same essay. You can answer them in the same way. IELTS sometimes likes to paraphrase instructions but the aim of the essay is the same. There is no difference between them.

IELTS Opinion Essay Question

This question was given in the IELTS test 2 weeks ago.

It is more important for children to learn about local history than world history.

Do you agree or disagree?

Questions for You:

  1. Do you think it is better to choose one side?
  2. Will you get a higher score if you partially agree?
  3. Can you write a discussion essay instead giving both sided without an opinion?
  4. Can you use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay?


You can see the answers and tips for choosing sides in an opinion essay on this page: IELTS Opinion Essay: Choosing Sides


  1. Hi Liz
    I paid for the IELTS Discussion Essay Lesson, but I don’t know how to get access to it, and what is the problem? 😓😓

  2. I will prefer to be one-sided
    I will prefer to use my

  3. Njoku Nnedinma says


  4. Simran jeet says

    Hii Liz

  5. amninder dhillon says


  6. I think its better to choose one side.Writing about both side may make it appear like a discussion essay

  7. Eman Elshekh says

    Hi Liz,
    1- No
    2- No
    3- No
    4- Yes
    Thanks for your precious time.

  8. Hi Liz
    Which one is correct?
    the/a increasing number of vehicles…. is/are, has/have
    the/a increasing numbers of vehicles… is/are, has/have
    I know that sentence start with gerund is singular but confuse when sentence contain ‘number’
    Thank you Liz

  9. I want to get 7 score in the IELTS Exm. Pls give me suggestions & advice.


  10. Hi Liz,
    My exam is on 9th sept could please suggest do and Don’t brefore exam and during exam.

  11. Md. Jahidul Islam says

    1. No. Because everyone needs to learn their local history first then world history.

    2. No chance here for particularly/fully agree. Its depends on topic and needs to abbreviate discussion with main idea.

    3. It’s quite impossible. In discussion need to discuss both side. Otherwise essay can’t be complete. A good essay that time will be complete when used by negative/positive both approaches.

    4. Its not necessary to use I or my.

  12. Narinder Rai says


  13. 1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. I can use I.

    • Kuljeet kaur says

      My exam is tommorrow and speaking was on 6th september. My topic was
      Talk about a person who gave you solution in a clever way.

  14. 1yes

  15. Yes; it is an opinion essay, no room for sitting on the fence.

  16. 1.Yes, it is better to choose one side but you should have points for not choosing other part.
    2. Yes, possibilities are there to get higher score even if you partially agree to the statement.
    3. No, you can not write discussion essay without an opinion rather you can discuss both the views and state your opinion in introduction and conclusion.
    4. Yes ,you must use “I ” or “My” to sate opinion. For example, I personally believe that, in my opinion, from my point of view, according to me….

  17. 1. It’s not necessarily better, but I do think that choosing a side makes your stance clearer and it’s easier to not stray from the question.
    2. No. It all comes down to the execution of your essay. If you partially agree but have poor arguments and structure, you’ll still get a lower score.
    3. No! The question specifically asks if you agree or disagree, it does not do to ignore it…
    4. Yes, why not?

  18. I think it’s better to select one part so that we can add our own opinion to support the answer with example.2.Absolutely,no,there will not be any score difference whether we agree or disagree with a given question.(3) I believe we have to include our opinion also to support both parts.(4) Definitely we can use In my opinion or I believe that while giving our opinion in the conclusion para ,without repetitions.

  19. test 1.2.3.

  20. I think it is better to choose sometimes neutral and other times one side . It varies alc to the question if we have lots of knowledge or supporting opinions on neutral side than it is better to take neutral .And if not or we have better supporting points on one side then we must give our opinion on one side on our essay .

  21. If ones have more ideas on one side than it is preferable to write brighter side by contradict other side express your view point

  22. Osunsanmi opeyemi says

    Liz, have found your site, very helpful…. But am still struggling with my ielts academic results have attempted twice using basically your tips but my results has not been too fantastic…. My first attempt was in July 2017 ukvi L6.5 R7 w7 S 7.5……..and my last attempt was in August 12 2017 with results as follow L7 R 6.5 W 7.5 S 7.5……and I hope to apply for another exam by November…. Anyways my two previous results we’re so because I had issues during the exam especially skipping a question and already filling the answer space with another only to realise late into the test this happened for the listening test in my first attempt and reading test in my second attempt….. I hope it won’t happen again in November.

    • It seems both your reading and listening tests are the problem. Both reading and listening rely on certain key things:
      1. paraphrasing – are you making a list of common paraphrases? Every time you practice at home, you make a list of the paraphrases that IELTS or other authors have used.
      2. key words – you are spotting all key words. Again, after each practice at home, you don’t just review your answers. You also go through each question and write a list of the words that helped you locate the information and also decide the answer. There are key words in the question as well in the answers.
      3. knowing question types – having a clear strategy is essential.
      4. for reading – develop both skimming (reading for layout and gist) and scanning (locating information)
      These are just a few things that you might know but haven’t actually spent time focusing on. Understanding needs to be much deeper.
      Does that help at all?

  23. Yes, because if you choose to discuss both sided view than there is always been the case that you might deviate from you own opinion.
    Yes, I think in such situations it can also work nicely.
    I do not think that you can mold this type of essay into a discussion one because in doing so you will lose marks in task completion.
    I think using “I” in such scenario is better than “my” for example,
    “I belong to that school of thought, who are in favour of encouraging children to study ….”
    “in my opinion …..” this sentence is not looking as rich as the above one.

  24. I think it’s better to choose one side. But my question is, sometimes you get a question like that and you only have small points if you choose one side. In such case what should you do? Coz if you choose both side it end up being a discussion essay and not an opinion essay.

    • Sunil kumar Guduru says

      Yaa it’s true, if I think one side I will definitely choose world history than local. I think that one is sufficient.
      This is my opinion only please better suggest to me

  25. Osunsanmi opeyemi says

    Yes. I think it’s better to choose one side and discuss extensively on your point in both body paragraphs.. Your introduction is key to making the examiner understand your view which should also reflect in the concluding paragraph….. If you ask me I will say it’s better to be on a side.
    However if you partially agree or disagree, you need to give good reasons why it’s a weak point, again this will further show that you are not diviating from your original view.
    And for opinion essay.. Thesis statement can be started with ‘ in my opinion I agree or disagree. ‘ whichever way you choose.

  26. I think is better to choose one side discuss more on it ,and maybe in later paragraph you can discuss the other side briefly.

  27. 1. I think it’s much easier to keep one side
    2. You may earn the higher score if you show that you’re capable to prove it.
    3. No
    4. You can use I or me when you express your opinion.

  28. Abdelrahman says

    I will select one side, not mandatory to be the side which i really believe in but it would be the side which i can put more ideas and construct better essay with.

  29. Answers
    1. Yes, it is better to choose one side.
    2. No, will not get higher score.
    3. No, can not be
    4. Yes, we can.

  30. NO.

  31. Mariyamhaider says

    Balance both sides.

  32. it is better to choose one side to show clarity in your opinions and ideas.
    No, balanced view is not the indictor of high score , Just give a CLEAR opinion, agree, disagree or balanced it does not matter.
    No, we will lose a lot of marks if we change the opinion to discussion essay.
    Yes, we can use I and my in the introduction and the conclusion.

  33. Samia karamalla says

    I think that I have to write two paragraphs one about local history and the other one about the international one without judgement or giving an opinion both of them affect each other . I could use I think it is better than in my opinion that’s what I think

  34. Both sides can be supported coz both go hand in hand… we the denizens of a particular area ultimately belong to the world so it is beneficial to favour both histories in 2 different paragraphs

  35. Raksha Patel says

    I think it is better to choose one side and can give the opinion why the one side is more important than other

    • I think u can start with ur introduction then tell what u agree with
      discuss both sides each in a paragraph then in the first paragraph should be the one u don’t agree with and also include the reasons why u don’t agree then the one u agree with should be the last paragraph which should also include your reasons and possible examples
      Then ur conclusion should state the extent to which u agree example :I ,therefore strongly agree that

  36. All 1 need to the is discuss why you agreed in paragraph 1 and discusse my I disagreed in paragraph 2. Each with examples and opinions

  37. 1. Yes
    2. No
    3. No
    4. Yes

  38. vishwas jog krishna says

    1. Yes! It is better to chose one side because, if we go other way of choosing a balanced side we might end up in messy answers
    2. There is no such rule. English is the matter.
    3. No, again it depends on task which is been asked. If you asked to discuss both views then we give both side, if they ask us to give our opinion then it is mandate to take a stand.
    4. Yes, if such words mentioned in essay.
    I hope these are right answers. correct me if i am wrong.

  39. I agree…

  40. Chanuka fernando says

    I think it is better to talk about both sides and I prefer to use “my”.

  41. Jayashree Pathak says

    It is better to choose one side, both can score equaly according to me, I think choosibg one side is important, I can use ‘I’ or ‘my’ since it is an opinion essay

  42. 1) yes
    2) yes
    3) no
    4) yes

  43. Hi ,

    I think it’s better to choose one side and write about two benefits as two different paragraphs with proper examples.

  44. I think it is better to discuss the matter to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both sides then you give your opinion if you preferred one of them.

  45. I think it is better to choose on side to talk about
    Then add a concession paragraph at the end of the essay
    And in stead of using personal language by using I
    I prefer to be more academic by using
    It seems to be….
    It appears to be….
    We would ….

    • Sunil kumar Guduru says

      Yaa This is Sunil
      In my point of view both are mandatory but better to learn world history than local history because if we learn local history, it sticks to local areas only. If we learn about world we can get knowledge on both local and world.

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