Opinion Essay: Finding Main Points

This lesson shows you how to find ideas for your IELTS opinion essay and organise them into paragraphs. It is important to spend time analysing the statement before you decide your opinion. You should look at the essay question carefully and think about the issues in the statement. Below you will see some questions to help you analyse the opinion essay title.

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Analysing an Opinion Essay

Answer the following questions

  1. Do you think vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat?
  2. Do you think the vegetarian diet is healthy?
  3. Do you think people who eat meat are unhealthy?
  4. Does eating meat always create health problems?
  5. Is there any meat which you think is healthy to eat?
  6. Do you think all people should be vegetarian?
  7. Do you think all people should stop eating meat?
  8. What is another way to say “vegetarian”?
Model Ideas & Structure
  • Body Paragraph A: I agree that eating a vegetarian diet is healthy.
  • Body Paragraph B: However, not all meat is unhealthy
  • Body Paragraph C:  I believe that having a balanced diet containing predominantly vegetables with some healthy meats is best.
Vegetarian = people who do not eat meat / people who do not have meat in their diet / to have a vegetarian diet. You cannot paraphrase “vegetarian” as “vegan”. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use any product that comes from animals.


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  1. Trang Le says

    Hi Liz and everybody.I have just bought three lessons from Liz’store and my life has changed a lot.The lessons are really helpful and make writing task 2 a piece of cake for me.I also love the way Liz delivers the lessons because it shows she really cares about students being able to understand the techniques and apply them to get the highest band score.Everybody,I do recommend you buy her books and video lessons.It will be the wisest investment in your English lerning process.Thanks Liz very much.

    • Thanks so much for your recommendation and feedback. I’m very pleased you found the advanced lessons useful. I tried to make them as easy to follow and as effective as possible.

  2. Kashifa Naz says

    Hi Liz,

    I am Kashifa Naz from Pakistan. Today I received my IELTS result and the score was beyond my expectations. I was weak in almost each section of IELTS except speaking. To tell you the truth, I never thought I would ever be able to get the required score. Somehow, I started following your lessons and important tips. Gradually and steadily I felt improvement and Today is the day of my biggest achievement. You’ve been a great help and inspiration throughout my IELTS preparation journey and I recommend all students out there to simply follow the guidelines provided here on ieltsliz.com

    My score is
    L 8.5
    R 7.5
    W 7.0
    S 7.5

    Thanks again Liz

    • Great results! Very well done 🙂 I’m so pleased for you. I hope this is something you will always be proud of. IELTS isn’t easy. It requires not only good language, but a strategic approach and exam skills. You clearly nailed it 🙂

  3. Hi Liz,

    I wanted to ask, if there is an opinion question like ‘to what extent…’, is it necessary to partially agree/disagree with the statement? So, in this case we dedicate one para on agreeing with the opinion, second para with disagreeing with the opinion and the last para in balancing out the opinion.

    Is it possible to completely agree or disagree with the statement and support it with two reasons, especially with the question such as the above essay (or to what extent types questions)?

    • Regardless of how the instructions are written, you can choose any approach for an Opinion Essay.

  4. Mehdi says

    Hi Liz
    could you please tell me why we cannot use “vegan” in this case? They are the same in dictionary!

    • A vegan eats no animal product at all and uses no animal product. This means they eat no fish, no eggs. They drink no milk. They do not wear leather. A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, but may eat fish and will certainly eat cheese and drink milk.
      As you see, they are quite different. You definitely need to get a more comprehensive dictionary.

      • But in dictionary, both have the same meaning?!

        • Get a better dictionary 😉 Also, make sure you are using an English English dictionary rather than a dictionary which translates into your own language.

  5. Hello Liz,

    I hope you are doing good.

    I have been browsing your website for IELTS preparation which is of enormous help. I recently attempted for IELTS exam, below are my scores. Unfortunately, i could not get the desired score of 7 in writing because of which i will have to take this test again. Can i request for some advice specific to my writing skills. I can share some of my essays, let me know how it works.

    Thank you in anticipation.


  6. Kevin Lee says

    Hi Liz:
    Should i also have a paragraph arguing that “it’s impossible to make ‘everyone’ become vegetarians?”
    Cause the opinion is “Every one should become vegetarian because…”

    • This is not bout forcing people to do something “make them do it”. This is about recommending “should”. Pay close attention to the grammar and language in the question so you don’t go off topic.

  7. Erica Eseohe says

    Gud afternon Liz,i appreciate all your lessons. Here is how i answered mine.

    People ought to eat plant based diet,because consuming meat, causes critical health issues. I my opinion, i concede to eating fruits and vegetables,because it can help us live healthier life, free from sickness,diseases and can also help avoid weight gain, that comes from eating animal diet. But i aslo think that we can also bebefit alot by eating meat.

  8. Thank you Liz

  9. Hey liz , I want to ask that in every opinion essay , is it up to me whether I choose one sided approach or balanced approach …

    Will it affect my score if I choose one sided approach ?

    • It is completely up to you if you choose one side or a partial agreement (a balanced approach). It doesn’t affect your score which one you choose. For this reason, I teach both options to students so they can decide which one is easiest when they read the essay question.

  10. Shiva YC says

    Many people believe that eating Vegan will keep you fit and healthy. While others agree with eating non Vegetarian can cause medical issues.
    Eating vegetarian is always been the best and daily choice for most peoples around the globe. As eating grains, wheat floor, rice and other vegetables can be stored for long time and is fresh to eat. In addition, having organic foods nowadays improved the quality of Vegan, also keeps you away from health problems. Also vegetables contains different essential vitamins and minerals which is the essential requirement of our daily health diet; some dietician and food researchers experimented that vegetarian foods keep your health fit and strong. Moreover it provides you better immune system to protect from unwanted diseases spreading around virally.
    On the other hand eating meats may cause health issues . Since, meat if not cooked fresh causes health related problems. Moreover recent study shows that eating red meat causes cancer; some kind of eating fish contain lead and can cause a serious issue to your health. Many peoples love to eat meat, but they are not aware of the health problems related to it. Nevertheless, awareness of disease associated with eating non vegan has to created with certain meats; not all non vegetarian caused problems .
    In conclusion, eating vegan or non vegan depends upon their own choice, but eating vegetarian can keep you fit and healthy at all times free from major disease.

  11. Princess Mona Mardhika says

    Hi Liz.
    I have a question for u

    How to be confident in writing essays on the IELTS exam?

    Wish for your advice & thank you.

    Kind regard from Indonesia,

    • The answer is “you will feel confident when you are fully prepared.” You need to develop ideas for topics, practice using them and applying them. Practice analysing essay questions, practice introductions, full essays, linking etc etc etc.

  12. Hi Liz,

    I just want to confirm, in the “Model Ideas and Structure” part of this page, you’ve used the balanced approach?

    In this vegetarian question, can I use one sided?

    Thank you.


    • Yes, I used a balanced approach which gives a specific opinion. Yes, you can choose one side if you want and agree completely with the statement.

  13. Sajeema Kunhikalanthante Akath says

    Hi Liz,

    Can you please comment on my introduction in this particular topic.

    It is commonly believed that avoiding consuming meat and becoming full vegetarian will help us to avoid health issues caused by meat consumption. In my opinion, however, eating more red meat without control will definitely effect our health ,but having a balanced diet with lots of green veggies and meat can help us to maintain a healthy body.

  14. Aburakhia says

    Hi Liz,

    I want to share my introduction I wrote using your wonderful tips.

    It is often thought having a vegetarian diet is recommended to avoid major health issues that can be caused by eating meat. In my opinion, I agree that vegetarian diet can significantly improve human health. However, controlled amount of good quality meat can have a positive impact on human body.

    • Your technique is correct and your opinion clear. Well done! Try connecting both sentences for the thesis into one.

      • Aburakhia says

        Thank you Liz for you reply. I really appreciate your support and kindness.

        I wanted to write a one sentence thesis from the beginning but it was hard for me. Anyhow, I gave a try and tried to keep it simple and accurate (from you tips):

        In my opinion, I agree that vegetarian diet can significantly improve human health, but having controlled amount of good quality meat added to a vegetarian diet can also benefit human body.

        • Your sentence does have minor grammar mistakes which will limit your score. But it is a complex sentence with a clear opinion.

  15. Hie Liz,
    Your work is excellent. Liz I am a little confuse about essay structure thing.
    Or, shell I write the opposite side of the argument in my 1st body paragraph and my opinion supporting points in 2nd BP ?
    Thanks in advance

  16. Thanku so much Liz mam

  17. KeunYoung says

    Hello. Please check your Gmail .com. I sent message to you.. I am realky waiting for your answer..

    • I have sent your links to the email address you have used to subscribe to this blog.

      • Dear Liz,
        This site is really helpful..you are really doing a great job.your lessons are so informative..

      • I am desperate to have your advanced lessons, But unfortunately, I can’t do the transaction from here in Bangladesh. My required band score is 7.5 overall.

  18. Hi Liz

    Could please re-post or re-share the response that you had made about the question posted on 01/12/2014 by Dexter – “Some people believe that ALL student would benefit spending at least a year from study between secondary level and university. Do you agree or disagree?”



    • I am not able to keep comments indefinitely due to the ever growing size of my blog.
      All the best

      • Hi Liz

        Thanks for your quick response.

        Anyway, this is one of the best blogs which is really so helpful in IELTS preparation. Appreciate it.

        Once again, lots of thanks.


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