IELTS Writing Task 2: Addressing the Task

You will get a lower score in IELTS writing task 2 if you don’t fully address the task in the essay question. This means you need to check your essay plan before you start writing your essay.

Your plan must address all issues in the question.

I hope you find this lesson useful 🙂

IELTS Essay Question

  • The main topic is: how children spend their leisure time
  • The IELTS essay question below has two issues that need addressing: homework and sport

Essay Question:

Some people think that children should spend their free time doing homework, while others believe it would be better for children to participate in sports activities instead. What is your opinion?

One Sided Opinion

If you agree with one side, for example that sport is more important, then you must still address both issues.

Plan 1:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time because it promotes health.

BP2 – I also think sport is good because students can avoid stress and enjoy their free time.

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! If you agree with one side ( that sport is important), you can’t ignore the issue of homework. Your opinion must address both sport and homework – in the body paragraphs as well as the introduction. This essay would get a low score for Task Response, which is 25% of your marks.

Plan 2:

BP1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time.

BP2 – other people think that homework is more important

Comments: This plan is WRONG!!!!! This is an opinion essay, it is not a discussion. This means the instructions are asking for YOUR opinion, not other people’s opinions. Writing a full body paragraph about other people’s opinions is irrelevant to the instructions and will lower your score.

Plan 3:

BP 1 – I believe that sport is the best way for children to spend their leisure time as it promotes health and reduces stress.

BP 2 – I think children should not do homework in their free time because they already spend six hours a day studying and should not do more educational work.

Comments: This is correct. Your opinion has been given on both issues. But personally, I wouldn’t take this approach to this essay question. See below:

Partial Agreement (Balanced View)

For this essay question, I would recommend a balanced view (a partial agreement). This does not mean you agree with both sides equally. It means you present a specific view which is quantified.


Thesis Statement =  In my opinion, while some homework is useful, the amount should be limited and children should spend more time playing sport instead.

BP 1 = children should spend only a small amount of their free time doing homework and the length of time should limited to avoid pressure and stress.

  • homework is an essential part of educational development
  • homework should be limited to avoid stress which has an adverse effect on school performance
  • parents and schools should help children limit this time

BP 2 = the main focus of children’s leisure time should be on sport because ….

  • children need to enjoy life outside their educational studies for their own welbeing
  • children can benefit through improved health
  • having an interest outside school helps reduce stress and encourages them to meet new people

Comments: There is a clear opinion which has been fully explained and addresses all issue.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips & Models

You can find writing task 2 tips and model essays on this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Main Page. All my writing task 2 lessons are for GT and Academic students.


Get my free lessons by email

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


  1. Where was this wonderful link was hiding till now? I did not find this on main page of writing task 2.

  2. Dear Liz,

    In this kind of essays which offer 2 issues , do you mean by ” quantified view” that the view dosn’t agree with both issues evenly but it throws the balance in favour one of them ?

    Thank you very much …

    • Sorry I actually don’t understand what you have written.

      • I am very sorry .

        I just wanted to know that for an essay like the provided above, if I wrote as a thesis statement “in my opinion, I believe that children have to do both sports and homework in their free time ” is this quantified ?

        And if I wrote ” in my opinion, I believe student should not ignore any part of their life, and should allocate specific hours for doing homework and the same for sport”
        Is this quantified ?

        I am sorry if my question doesn’t make sense .

        • No, your opinion is not quantified. A quantified view is that younger children should do less homework and more sport but older children should spend more time focusing on academic studies rather than sport. That is a clear opinion. You shouldn’t sit on the fence.

          • Yes, thanks a lot.💜
            I guess I will go to the one sided opinion as it is a safer strategy.😥

            • It is safer. This is the reason that some teachers only teach the one sided approach. However, I prefer to teach both options so students have more choices.

  3. hi Liz hope you are fine
    actually, I purchased your advanced lessons which are amazing but after this question, I am little bit confused about the one-sided opinion essay I thought that I should only write about one which I agree with, between the advanced opinion lesson and this one how I would differentiate between writing about two opinions or one as in advanced lesson?
    I had taken an exam last month and I got an opinion essay about robot whether it is important in human’s development or has a negative aspect? whether I agree or disagree
    I agreed ONLY with one side and wrote my whole essay about this but, unfortunately, I got 5.5 despite that I have divided the essay into 4 paragraphs with a central topic sentence and used high-level words. thank you very much.

    • I’m struggling to understand your writing. Explain to me what your FULL essay question was and what your essay contained. An one sided opinion is about agreeing 100% or disagreeing 100%. A balanced view is a partial agreement – a specific view. Try to ask me clear questions so I can help you.

      • I apologize for my unclear question, honestly, I don’t remember exactly the full essay question but I’m sure it was an opinion essay as it ended with do you agree or disagree,

        my question is, between the given question above and the one in the advanced lesson WHY we should agree with one and disagree with the other issue (such as sport or doing homework)?

        if we should only write about one side which is sport or doing homework as written in an Opinion Essay: Extra Tips number 10.

        because dear Liz after your advice I am not going to write about balanced or specific opinion at least for now as I’m not so confident with my language.

        Thank you very much and God bless you,

        • I think I understand your question. You want to know about essay questions with two issues. Some essay questions have only one issue: free education (agree or disagree). This means when we agree there is only one issue to write about – free education or not free. Some essay questions have two issues: sport or homework (two completely different things). In this case, you need to write a full opinion which addresses the whole question: I think sport but not homework (that is a one sided opinion) or I agree homework but not sport (that is a one sided view). Or I think homework for one hour and all other free time is sport (this is a balanced view which is quantified. This principle is the same with any question: Do you prefer buses or cars? I prefer buses because and I don’t like cars because… – always use your common sense with IELTS – it will help you.

  4. Good morning Liz,
    Plz I have a question regarding this.

    If the statement given by IELTS was ” It’s better for children to spend their free time participating in sport activities rather than doing their homework . What’s your opinion? ”

    And if I wanted to put one sided opinion that I agree on this.

    Do I still have to put the paragraphs as given in the model above

    Bp1. I believe that sport is the best way for children.
    Bp2. I do not think that children should do their homework in their free time.

    Or is it better to demonstrate it like this ?

    Bp1. I believe that taking part in sports is the best leisure activity because it promotes health.
    Bp2. I think that practicing some kind of sports is better than doing homework because students need to enjoy life outside their educational studies.

    Is it right this way ?
    Or I still have to write a whole paragraph about why “I don’t agree on doing homework in the free time “.

    I hope you can find time to answer my inquiry.
    Thank you very much 🙂

    • Don’t complicate things. Your first option is correct. If you agree with sport, then you also disagree with homework – simple and logical. Don’t forget, your ideas and organisation should be simple and logical, but your English can be more complex.

  5. Amani Flaifl says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your useful tips, but what do you mean by BP1?

  6. Thank you so much Liz. I got a clear understanding about the Opinion essay.

  7. Rizwan Khan says

    Hello Liz, I’m confused. In all “Agree/Disagree” and “Opinion” essays should we give partial agreement or opinion to one side. Can’t we strongly agree or have a strong opinion to one side?

  8. Falak Raj Bedi says

    Hi Liz
    thanx a lot lacking words to express my profound gratitude for whatevr you hav done & u r still doing.
    thanx a million from all the students from India

  9. Jasvinder Kaur says

    hello Liz
    how to attend agree and disagree essay? we should discuss both point or we have to discuss only one.
    need your guidance

  10. I always wonder what shall I do if I do not understand the question or I don’t have any information?

    • I suggest you prepare ideas for all topics both common topics and current topics. You are marked on your ideas in IELTS writing. But ideas (your answer) is only 25% of your marks. You can still get points for organisations, linking, grammar and vocab.

  11. Hello, Liz
    Could you kindly provide me with some writing tips for two parts question type of writing task 2, how to improve the score for this type of question? Shall I plan BP1: Causes, BP2: Suggestions?

    For instance, the subject is:
    There are less and less young people reading the newspapers, or watching the news on TV now. What are the main causes? Solutions and suggestions to solve this problem?



  12. Hi Liz thanks for this paramount information.I appreciate, kindly if i get a question that asks do advantages outweigh disadvantages, is it okay to talk about one side that maybe talk about advantages in both paragraphs.I will appreciate your input since am sitting for my ielts exam next week.thank you in advance

  13. Simranjeet says

    Mam can u plz give me cue cards bcz its my spking on 25 oct.🙏🙏

  14. is this correct?? In my opinion I tink engaging in sport activities is the best way for children to spend their leisure time. on the other hand, children doing Their home work during leisure time should not be neglected.
    BP1: engaging in sport activities promotes health And physical fitness.
    BP2: children doing homework during their leisure gives a child a better understanding though this should be limited as the child already spend more time in school doing class work.

    • Your opinion needs to be clearer:
      “In my opinion, although homework should not be neglected, children should spend most of their free time engaged in sports activities.”

  15. zayyarmyint says

    Is there any other ways to buy advanced writing task2 lessons except for Paypal.

    Thanks Mam

  16. Hello Liz,
    Please send me a link to know about different types of essays and sample for each type.
    Opinion, discussion etc., so that I can easily understand how to answer or plan in exam.
    Lots of love…

  17. Mahmoud Abd Elghany says

    Hi Liz, could you assess my essay
    Thanks in advance
    Increasing numbers of students are going to university instead of working after high school.

    Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who do this.

    The number of students attending universities is becoming larger than those working after graduating high school.Although paid work is thought by some to be a useful experience for secondary school students, other people consider that they are also some drawbacks to be taken into account.

    One the one hand, despite there are some upsides of employing after high school graduation, such as knowing the value for money, learning how to manage money which consequently lowers the financial burden that some students shoulder and helps them to be self-supporting adults, they are also some negative aspects of students paid work. For instance, students who employ after secondary school do not focus on completing their education and achieving their career goals. In addition to that, they become money oriented which has a negative ramifications on their future live. Moreover, they lose the skills and experiences, they could gain in university, to compete in the job market which consequently limit them in minor jobs.

    On the other hand, there are many advantages of getting enrolled into universities and colleges. Firstly, students after higher education can achieve the necessary education and degree they require to get a job or build a career. Secondly, for many students, universities are the best place to learn about knowledge, values, diverse cultures, as by meeting more educated people, students can improve their social skills. Thirdly, in today’s competitive world, technology is the master. Higher education students can cope with the latest technological advances which help them to be the future builders.

    In conclusion, while there are some benefits and drawbacks of working for money after high school, there are tremendous and potential opportunities of continuing tertiary education studies .

  18. Thank you mam for the valuable guidance.

  19. Thank you so much for your dedication,your advice is really helpful!😘

  20. Dear Liz,
    I have watched your lessons, and found that for one sided opinion essays we ought to focus on only one side and there is no need to incorpotare other side! However, it seems that there is still another sort of opinion essay that requires for which we should mention both sides no matter we have planned a one sided opinion, e.g. the topic on the top! Could you please give me more guidance on this matter? This is important to note that the topic I had been given in the actual exam was : government should spend more on art than other important things. Do you agree or disagree?
    According to what I have realized from this webpage I MUST talk about both art and other important things even though if I wanna write down a one sided essay! Would you please correct me if I am wrong?

    • A one sided view means that you agree with one and disagree with the other. So, you would tackle both issues. But if the essay question only has one issue (people think all children should do more exercise at school – do you agree?), then your opinion only tackles this single issue. The key is to check how many issues are in the question and address them all with either one sided or partial agreement.

  21. Hi, Liz.
    Thanks, for all your favour. I’m a little bit mixed in ” agree or disagree “and “give your opinion” essay
    If I agree do I have to support , develop my ideas on both Bp1,Bp2 on that? or do I have to express my disagreement as well in Bp2 ?
    However in Opinion essays(as above) I have to give my opinion for both of views despite I support one.
    Am I write?
    Thanks, before

    • An opinion essay, means your whole essay provides your opinion. Each body paragraph explains a main point to support your view.

  22. Thanks a lot Liz… Always appreciate your help on such tips…

  23. Abul Hossain says

    Thank you very much, it is really helpful

  24. Wooooow
    Amazinf thanks indeed
    God bless you Madam ,Liz

  25. Thank u sooo much for your guidance .you are amazing personality

  26. ADEL AHMAD says

    Thank you so much,
    I’m confused whether we should write 2 body paragraphs or 3 ? Could you please explain the difference between them

    • You choose either two or three body paragraphs depending on the ideas you have for your essay.

      • Duong Socheata says

        Thank you so much for your explanation but i’m so confused that all opinion essays need to state both sides of view or we just choose only one?

        • Your opinion will explain your view on the issue or issues given in the question. That’s all. Some questions have one issue and some have two issues – you give your opinion on the whole question.

  27. Thank you very much for this advise!

    I did not understand that how can I “quantify” in this balanced view. As far as I understood that you have quantified it by ” limiting the homework time to avoid pressure and stress”. Please correct me if I am wrong!

    • Quantifying Example:
      Who should be responsible for teaching young children – teachers or parents
      Non-quantified view: both teachers and parents should be responsible
      Quantified view: parents should be responsible in the early years, teachers as the child grows older.

  28. Mam here is a essay statement:
    Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree with this view.

    According to me:
    The main topic is: use of money by government
    Is this essay also has two Issues : one is art and we can write about art in BP1 and in BP2 can we write about other things on which we think government should have to spend money??

    • You must present a clear position for your opinion. That is the key. You can’t sit on the fence and write about both sides without a clear position. You need to quantify it.

      • Ok mam
        I will practise more

      • Liz,

        Oh yeh, this was the topic I had been given in the last IELTS exam I took! What I did, I soley focused on “other important things”, but clearly mentioned my opinion in the introduction and conclusion. More specifically, I did not mention any thing about art, except in introduction! Please let me know if I have screwed it up!


  29. Thanks a lot..liz….the lesson is really helpful

  30. Thanks,Liz this can really help!

  31. chanchal gaur says

    Thanks mam, your lessons are truly helpful ….I need to know about discussion essay As I m going to take Ielts on 2nd of November for first time …

  32. Thank you vey much for your dedication.
    can we use balanced view for all opinion essays?or it depends upon the question asked?.if we present a balanced view ,will it help us to generate more ideas for the essay?

  33. Thank you so much Liz. This was a great help 🙂


  34. Thank you mam
    It is really useful and clear my doubts also regarding this type of essay.

  35. Yes I do Understand…..😊

Speak Your Mind


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

error: Content is protected !!