IELTS Preparation with Liz: Free IELTS Tips and Lessons, 2023

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IELTS Discussion Essay Model Answer

This IELTS discussion essay sample answer is estimated at band 9. See comments below the essay for advice and tips.

Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job. On the other hand, other people think that getting experience and developing soft skills is more important. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

It is considered by some that being a university graduate is the key to securing a good job, while there are others who think that it is better to have experience and soft skills. In my opinion, I believe that having university education is essential for academic jobs, while soft skills and experience are more useful in business.

On the one hand, many think it is easier for most people to find a good job if they are university graduates with a good degree. In other words, having tertiary education puts people one step ahead of others who do not and this can be the deciding factor in getting a good job. The competition to get in to universities and the increasing number of graduates show just how significant this level of education is for people’s future work opportunities.

On the other hand, having work experience and soft skills, such as leadership skills and other interpersonal skills, can also throw the balance in favour of the applicant, according to some. For many positions there are an overwhelming number of applicants and, therefore, it is often thought that having relevant experience in that line of work or having acquired useful soft skills that can be valuable to a company, can put one ahead of the game when applying for a position.

Finally, in my opinion, whether needing high level education or skills and experience, depends on the position being applied for. Take for example law, medicine or teaching, it is impossible to be considered for a position without the required educational background. In contrast, in business, it would be more important for a candidate to have soft skills and experience in that line of business so they can step into a position without further training and be of immediate benefit to the company.

In conclusion, getting a good job requires a relevant background either in experience or education depending on the type of work and field. People should make sure they attain the necessary skills or degrees before applying for a job in order to be sure of success.

Comments : This is a a band score 9  essay. It has over 300 words but all sentences are relevant, focused and well written. Band score 8.5 and 9 students can attempt long essays successfully but students from band 8 to band 6, should aim for around 270 to 290 words. Both sides are clearly discussed and the opinion is also clearly given. Linking devices are well used.


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It is believed by some that university education is essential to acquire a good job whereas other thinks that soft skills and relevant experience in that field adds more value. In my opinion, University degree is necessary for academic jobs such as Teacher or Doctor and soft skill and experience is important for business. On the one hand, tertiary education is required to apply for a job in the field of science, research, education, medicine, administrative services. Without a college degree, one can’t do justice to his role as his work will be highly dependent on the education he has received. If we see the large no of students applying for college degree worldwide, is significant which highlight the role of university degree for success in academic jobs. On the other hand, soft skills and experience is highly in demand for business. For instance, if someone has skills and experience for craft, carpenter, mechanic, electrician etc. he can easily apply for these jobs without having a college degree. Also, people working as salesman or cashier in shops like Walmart, Costco may not need higher degree and experience will be sufficient to get the job. This is justified as college education has not practical implementation in these types of job. In conclusion, Students should aim to complete the college degree and acquire experience which will enable them to get high skilled jobs job very easily, however everyone can’t complete the college for any reason, they can train themselves in soft skills of their choice and gain some experience to apply for less skilled jobs.

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Please as a beginning linker for my paragraphs… In place of “on the one hand” can I start the first body paragraph with “to begin with” then the second with “however”. Or can I maintain “on the one hand” for the first paragraph then “however” for the second

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Your method of linking will always depend on your main points. One linking device is not a higher band score than another. As long as they are used appropriately, they are all good.

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Some people thought that the best way for finding a good job is to have a higher education whereas others thought that the best way is to have experience and soft skills. I believe that completing university education is essential for academic positions while experience and soft skills are good for non academic ones.

Academic jobs need qualified people in terms of higher education. People who complete university education dig deeply in their field, thus, they become know the roots of their field and they can deliver the information in a good way. For instance, when teachers in schools and lecturers in universities apply for a job, they are selected depending on their education. Lecturers are chosen if they have a doctorate degree in addition to some research and teachers who have master’s degrees are more qualified to teaching in schools than those with the bachelor’s degrees. Thus, the competition between applicants in the academic jobs depends on their higher education.

On the other hand, non academic jobs like business, don’t require higher education in their fields. Non academic people tend to have more experience and soft skills related to their field rather than taking a master’s or a doctorate degree. This is due to the nature of their job since it just needs knowledge in the basics and then adding the skills to it. For example, people who study the bachelor’s degree in business can improve themselves by attending conferences and have a training in their field. Such experience is going to help them in finding a good job. As time goes on, they will become experts in their field although they don’t have a higher degree. Thus, non academic positions look for the experience and the soft skills of applicants regardless of their university education.

To conclude, the best way to get a good job depends on the nature of the job. If the job is academic, then higher education is a must to find a suitable job because having higher degrees are reflected when people do their job in an interesting way. While if the job is non academic, then experience and soft skills are more important than higher education because people can learn their jobs while they doing them. In general, having both higher education and experience in your field makes you very qualified person and you can find the best job.

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Hello, Liz! Thank you for everythng you ae doing! I have a question regarding the essay! Is it ok to say “in my opinion, I believe…”. Is it not redundancy here? You don’t believe “in your opinion”, do you?

You can use it the way I’ve stated or just use simply “In my opinion” or “I believe that”. You can choose just one definitely.

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Hi Liz It is a discussion essay, is it okay to write “in my opinion” in thesis statement of such type of essay where opinion is not required in question? Also is it okay to us “I” and “my” in introduction paragraph? I m confused.

This is a discussion essay which asks for your opinion: Discuss both sides and give your opinion. You should introduce all in the introduction and that means using I or my.

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It is considered by some that best way to get a job can be done by completing tertiary education , while there are others who think that it is better to have job experience and improving soft skills plays more important. I consider that having university education and having soft skills both plays very important role in getting job.

On the one hand , having a bachelor degree is the crucial in order to get a job. In other words, most employers only choose the candidates who have a higher education because most jobs are required academic studies which only can be learnt in university and it is impossible to do that job without studying in undergraduate such as : medicine , law , engineering . Furthermore, students learn how to compete with their peers in university which makes them more competitive and deal with harsh conditions. For example, many project has to be done in specific date and students has to complete their homework before the deadline.

On the other hand , working in business require candidates to have some specific skills and experience in order to work rather than just a degree because there are so many candidates who has a university degree apply to position and having necessary experience and soft skills put one steps ahead than others. Another reason is that , nowadays, business model always change and requires employees to have experience or soft skills such as leadership , teamwork which can not be learnt in university. So , having these skills are crucial to get a job. Finally, I believe that having university degree and having experience are both crucial for getting a job . Take for example medicine, law. Employees can not handle the job requirement without having either necessary degree and softs skills . In conclusion, having degree or experience and soft skills are very important to get a job nowadays. I believe employee has to fulfill these requirements before applying to job.

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Nowadays landing a dream job is like some achievement in life. For getting a good job it is necessary to have a good experience related to the studies and also soft skills plays a vital role in landing in a good job. Let us discuss this in detail in this essay. Firstly, in today’s competitive world education is the key to success to proceed way forward in our life for getting a good job with decent pay. To achieve an education from the university is not only the key factor but also other factors such as getting a good practical experience while studying and also it is important to develop individual soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, Leadership, and adaptability. Companies are highly in need of people with good technical skills as well as mentioned soft skills so that they can get the job done with good quality. So it is very indeed to develop the soft skills along with university education so the students can tune themselves to land into their dream job. Along with the education, students should have practical knowledge such as applying the theory in labs, and in real life so that creativity and innovation will come up which makes them epic among other students so that chances of getting a job is high when compared to other people. In an organization, it is vital to have good communication and leadership skills to execute the project in a successful manner, and also this will make them successful in their career and to achieve good heights in their job. In a conclusion, I would like to add that both education and practical experience along with soft skills make an individual as successful in their life by getting a good job with a good salary.

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Many believe that the key to getting a great job is completing your tertiary education. However, others assume that it is more advantageous to get your hands dirty by doing real jobs that will make them learn real-world challenges, and will also upgrade their skill sets over time. I believe that finishing academics first, will lead grab the desired job.

Most insist that colleges play a paramount role in shaping students’ futures. Every student has dreamt of a job and certainly, some require specialized or specific certifications, it is mandatory to attend universities. For example, Dream jobs like Doctors, Engineers, or Scientists. Moreover, in colleges students will get hands-on experience under the supervision of their tutors.

Conversely, some assume that it is more advantageous to get hands dirty while working and gaining knowledge. Some jobs like marketing do not require any professional degree because in colleges you gain theoretical knowledge rather practical. A recent study shows that majority of successful people in the field of marketing and sales never attended universities. For instance, Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs never went to college but, still, he brought a whole new dimension in the field of mobiles and laptops.

Consequently, I do agree that certificates or degrees are not the only paths to success, but it is not like everyone is Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, it is just like they were lucky enough to get opportunities which they were able to capitalize. Therefore I believe it is necessary to complete your education rather than directly go to the real world.

In conclusion, it is not like, to be successful a person has to be graduate, Nither not. But I believe that seeing the real-world scenarios, One should first complete their education and then explore jobs.

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It is widely believed that having an academic degree is dramatically valuable in setting up a good career path, while some consider experience and soft skills are more significant. In my perspective, I suppose that either knowledge or experience and skills are essential factors which determine whether a potential applicant can be hired for a great job.

On the one hand, taking tertiary education has been the most classical method to prepare for entering the labor market. It can be seen that since the first university was established, there have been numerous students taking part in this academic institution in order to access a huge range of knowledge. Moreover, college life is considered one of the most crucial times in developing one’s characteristics and mindset. The only downside of university, however, is the opportunity costs that force students to waste several chances to get involved in other activities such as making money or traveling.

On the other hand, being well-qualified for the experiences and skills collected is not only remarkable but also puts the applicant one step ahead of others. Furthermore, if these acts, such as volunteering for a charity or learning leadership skills, are certified by a legit organization, it will be a huge step towards the success of getting a job. For example, nowadays, HR professionals from top-ranking companies have preferred the number of working experiences and related skills rather than just focus on the academic performance when filtering the resumes.

Finally, I strongly believe that the requirements of any job not only ask for these qualifications but also depend on the working conditions and the position that we aim for. For instance, a doctor or lawyer must have appropriate levels of knowledge in specific fields while a businessman needs more practical challenges.

In conclusion, preparing for a career is definitely an inevitable mission for everyone. To climb that career ladder, job-seekers should attempt both qualifications including the GPA and certifications for participating in other activities or acquiring any soft skill. Although it may vary in different companies and fields, illustrating an outstanding and comprehensive background can be significantly advantageous in impressing the recruiters.

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Some of the people believe that University educations plays an essential role for attaining a good job, whereas others anticipate that soft skills and experience are they key factors for find a Job. In my opinion, education and experience together makes a person successful for earning perspective. It is considered by many people to University degree helps them to find work easily. In other words, the competition for enrolling students in institution each year illustrates that university degree helps one to get an easy Job such as doctors, engineers and lawyers. Therefore, many people first part to consider their higher studies after their High school according their desire and Job market. On the other hand, many people had a mind set to make their child in soft skills or get them engage in low Jobs in order to achieve experience. They believe that experience will make them familiar with Market strategy and soft skills will raise their demand in the Job opportunity. In addition, various industries the experiences are listed as mandate requirement for recruitment such as business & sales job offers. However, few cases are due to their financial conditions which opt the education and select job for their family survival. In my opinion, the leading indicators to be successful in earnings one shall possess higher education studies as well experiences. Although, the initial days will be on less wages but with passage of time they will be considered as pioneer of relevant field. For example, the doctor as expert surgeon when he posses hands of experience. To sum up all, it is mandatory one shall achieve higher education and get some experience in order to develop the required skills for performing. For a successful future, it is combination of both necessities University degree and relevant experiences.

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It is considred by some that the best approach to obtain a decent job is through completion of university education, while there are others who thick that achieving the required experience and building up soft skills is more essential. This essay will briefly discuss both views and will draw my personal opinion.

On the one hand, many think that completing graduate and post-graduate studies will help them to obtain the most needed jobs. In their opinion, getting bachelor degree and even master degree will enable them to work in a more professional and academic jobs. In other words, without these degrees, it will be impossible for to be hired professional positions since nowadays there is a high competition to acquire these positions. For example, many jobs require completion of graduate studies including law, medicine, engineering and sciences.

On the other hand, many believe that it is more crucial to develop and enhance the person’s soft skills in addition to build up a good work experience. These people after graduation from high school will start immediately looking for jobs in order to accelerate their work experience and to acquire soft skills such as cummunications, interpersonal and leaderships skills. Moreover, they can work in different fields and expand their knowledge in many areas to meet certain jobs requirements such as multi field consultations, employment supervisions and management.

In conclusion, after a carefull analysis of both sides, the choice whether to continue college studies or to achieve experiences and soft skills is dependent on the person’s targeted job. In my opinion, continuation of graduate studies is necessary and it will open more opportunities in the future.

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Some people believe that a university degree is the most effective way to attain a decent job. In contrast, other people argue that work fields need more experience and soft skills than educational background. In my perspective, university graduates fit the academic career whereas soft skills are more needed in technical jobs. University is the best place for people to develop their way of thinking. In college, students are taught to think scientifically. In order to attain this skill, students need to complete their studies by completing various tasks, such as daily assignments, group work, and final papers. Most of the subjects that are taught in university are theoretical. As a final result, university graduates are expected to not only mastering a particular knowledge but also a critical way of thinking. That is why university education is suitable for those who seek careers that require strong academic backgrounds, such as doctor, lawyer, judge, and teacher. On the other hand, some professions require experience and soft skills more rather than merely an educational background. Experience is needed especially in the work fields that produce utilized products such as business, manufacture, and software industry. In these industries, the works need people who technically master how to produce the product. Therefore, experienced ones with soft skills are more needed in this field. I believe that both educational background and experience with soft skills matter in terms of building our careers. Educational background can build our mindset to be critical and creative. On the other hand, experience and soft skills can support our hard skills to make ourselves more qualified. The thing that we should consider is which one we should emphasize more, which depends on the career path we wish to pursue. In summary, we should decide first what career we would like to seek, therefore we can decide what kind of educational background and other qualifications requirement we should attain.

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Your website is very helpful in preparing for the IELTS writing section, and I really appreciate it. also, there is confusion, that it was told to me by my IELTS trainer and in few youtube videos that whenever we give an example to support the essay we shouldn’t be writing “for example” but here you’ve used that form so is it okay to do so because that’s how I prefer to write.

Of course it’s fine to use “For example”. It is 100% appropriate and suitable for essay writing. However, a good score for Coherence and Cohesion requires that you show flexibility and range – this means don’t repeat the same linking words unless there is no choice. There are many such linking words you can use as a paraphrase: such as, for instance, namely and so on. One linking word is not a higher score that the other. They are all suitable. Here is a link of linking words: and a link to my main writing task 2 page:

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Some people consider having university degrees as the key to employment whereas others think building and developing soft skills and experience is an effective way to get a job. In my opinion, having both degree certificates and relevant skills is essential for getting the targeted position due to the growing competition. On the one hand, Most people strive for earning university credentials to get hired to the workplace of their choice. They consider so because some jobs typically require candidates to have qualifications related to the job position as employers may consider this as an essential tool to gauge applicant’s knowledge about their areas of work. Job postings, for example, doctors, teachers, professors, engineers, etc. require a certain level of knowledge about the concerned field which can only be reflected from the qualification of the job applicant. On the other hand, some people start working for building soft skills and experience rather than joining colleges and universities to crack their target job. Employers of some areas such as business, technical, IT basically look for candidates having relevant experience and soft skills rather than degree certificates for the post they want to hire ensuring low cost of hiring and quick adaptation of the new employees to their workplace. Thus, in response to such hiring trends, candidates get to indulge in training for soft skills development to reserve their position in a job market from their early stage of learning. However, both graduate degree certificates and essential skills are important factors in the competitive job market. Due to the growing number of university graduates and limited job positions, employers nowadays look for the best candidate who can competitively give a good return to the company after getting hired. For this reason, people work for earning both qualifications and skills to assure their future career. To give an example, the employer is more interested to hire a university graduate scholar with the computer, analytical, and organizing skills than the one having either of them. To recapitulate, both qualification and experience are equally crucial in getting a job depending upon the nature of the job people are looking for. Thus candidates should make sure about the emphasizing factor of getting hired before applying for employment. However, Earning both university degrees and relevant soft skills and experience is the best method to secure the demanded job position.

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Your website is very helpful and I love all the lessons you provide. I have a question. In a discussion essay where do we need to keep the sequence in which the opinion is presented in the question. E.g. If I agree with the second opinion should my first body paragraph have the second opinion (and I restate that I agree with it) or should I follow the sequence as the question.

Also, can I use “you” in my essay e.g. “On the one hand, some people think that if a friend differs from some of your actions, he acts as a deterrent to the deeds that might turn out bad and I agree with that”

Is it correct?

The body paragraphs present the two sides in the order that you have written them in your introduction. Keep a logical order at all times so that the reader knows what is coming next. The pronoun “you” is rarely used because we mainly refer to the third person in formal essays. Your example is not written in a way that I can understand. Unfortunately, the meaning is not clear and I can’t help you with it. If you post a clear example, I’ll be able to help.

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Please expert in the house help me vet this

Nowadays, people who move from one country to another for work. Some people think children of these families suffer because of this, while others think it is helpful to them.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

It is recently believed by certain individuals that children whose families travel across the globe due to their nature of job suffer a lot while others think these children enjoy the benefits. In my opinion, such happening has both negative and positive impacts on them, however, it depends on whether the parents travel with their kids or not.

On the one hand, children whose parents move around nation to nation leaving them behind due to their job may be led into waywardness. In other words, the absence of proper guidance would result them into committing crimes and behaviors that are nonchalant. Consequently, they may get into troubles that would affect their entire lives such as being jailed or rusticated from school. Another point is that such kids would lack companionship because the primary people to display love to them are absent. For instance, a female child who is raped would want to discuss the matter with her mother but if she is unavailable, the kid would return to her shell and fight it alone. Thus, resulting to depression and suicidal because of absence of love and care.

On the other hand, exploring other traditions and cultures can also be beneficial to kids that travel with their families. This means that, they would have wide knowledge of what the cultural beliefs are in the other countries which will help them to network globally when they become adults. For example, kids expose to other traditions and beliefs does not usually experience cultural shock and therefore would be able to represent their nation at any point. Another plus side is that it will keep the family bond solid which means that children will not be far from their parents and other siblings.

Finally, in my opinion, whether children are affected negatively or positively when their families travel around the world depends on if they embark on the journey together. Take for example, kids that are around their families every time will not engage in actions that can affect their lives because they would be cautioned. In contrast, those that are far from their relatives can be easily controlled by peer pressure.

In conclusion, the plus side and downsides depend solely on families embarking on these journeys with their children.

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Liz, I simply love your site. Thank you so much!

You’re welcome 🙂

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Hello thank so much now I am using your books and they really help me😊✌️

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Hello Liz, you mentioned before that one shouldn’t be impartial in an opinion essay and that you should agree or disagree but not something in between. i am sensing that this isn’t the case here in the model essay. it simply didn’t take one side.

if you feel it did, would it be possible that you give an example to a “wrong impartial” opinion to this essay topic? Thank you

I think you are confusing the term “impartial”. Being impartial means you are sitting on the fence. This means you are turning an opinion essay into a discussion essay with no clear opinion of what you really think – it’s just 50/50. An opinion essay requires a clear opinion or you will get a low score. This might be a one-sided opinion or it might be a partial agreement/disagreement or a specific opinion. Please see my advanced lessons to learn about this. It is available to purchase in my online store: . It takes me 1 hour to explain this essay in full in that advanced lesson.

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Hi Mam! i hope you are doing good. I want to appreciate your effort for playing a positive role in helping to educate people free of cost in today’s era of materialism. thank you for all the tips and tricks to score high in ielts. Stay blessed. Reagrds

You’re very welcome. Happy 2021 !!

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Dear Liz, Thank you for all your free classes and materials. Your grammar book helped me a lot.

I just had my LRW exam today and these were my questions for Task 1 and 2 Your post is not delivered yet ( forgot the exact wordings. Write a letter to the post office manager. State your details Describe the documents Say what you want them to do

Task 2 People argue that spending a lot of money on marriage parties, birthday parties, and other celebrations is a waste of money. Others, however, believe that these celebrations are important for individuals and society. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

Thanks again Take care

Glad the Grammar E-book is useful. Good luck with your results !!

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Dear Liz, I found your site by chance and it is amazing. Coud you look at my discussion essay and give ypur opinion please? Many thanks in advance!!!!!!!!

It is considered by some people that traditional shopping is the only way for making purchasing properly while there are others who prefer online shopping. In my opinion, it depends on many factors and premises. On the one hand, online shopping is more effortless. With just a click of a mouse or a tap on a screen, people can buy within seconds. Online shopping has become popular due to its convenience, accessibility and speed. With the continued success of e-commerce, many now question the existence of traditional stores. It is so great that you can shop anytime and anywhere. For example, you can easily visit the website, find the product you want to buy and wait for the product being delivered to you. If you need time to reconsider about the products, all you have to do is put the product in the virtual shopping bag or on the virtual wish list. On the other hand, only traditional shopping allows to touch, try and “smell” your purchase and understand whether you need this one or may be it is just an impulse. Besides, only real shopping gives the possibility to assess the quality and features of goods, while online shopping can be misleading in respect of authenticity of products to reality. One more problem of online shopping is the safety of online payments, which also might be an advantage in favor if traditional shopping since the payments are being controlled. In conclusion, both kinds of shopping have merits and shortages. The benefits of both shopping online and shopping in real stores are countless. However, it is true that sometimes merits could become shortages and vice versa, depending on the different perspectives that people hold.

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Some people think doing the university education is the best way to get a good jobs. However, some other people believes that experience and improving the soft skill is more important than education for getting a better job. in today’s labor market both are important, in my opinion education is playing more important role at first to get the better job and carrier development. Education is an ability how to find jobs, learn to earn, as much you learn that much you earn, what a democracy, human can learn as much he or she wish to, this new technology make is very easy to access to the books, journal and all the social media, education is a great advantage teach you how to work, clarifies your favorite carrier path, it guide you how to grow and further develop your future and enjoy your favorite field of interest and so no….. Education and the experience is an interchangeable, whiles experience is to develop future what you have learn in the university, wider your understanding of knowledge, and deep dive on your carrier field, researches, inventions an innovations and so no, to grow to the highest level of the economy and knowledge in the world, in addition soft skill is import as others, but education is the first priority, gives you an opportunity make to you understand well the skills and knowledge. In conclusion, both educations and the experience is an opportunity to find the best job. without proper education cannot find the best jobs and without experience cannot grow and wider the knowledge. however, if we look to the history we have some scholars the touched the ceiling without school educations, now we study their principles in the schools, thy were hard worker and talents.

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Thanks for the good work Liz, we are praying for you to get get back to your feet asap.

Ahead of the game sounds like an idiom, isn’t it?

Yes, “ahead of the game” in an idiom. Some idioms are suitable for writing task 2, but only a few. The idiomatic language that is safe to aim for are phrasal verbs that are clearly not informal.

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Question: In some countries owning a home rather than renting one is very important for people. Why might that be the case? DO you think this is a positive or negative situation?

Answer: Buying your own apartment now becomes more familiar in certain countries than renting an apartment. However, I assume that this trend has positive aspects and it also has several benefits.

One of the lucrative benefits is that people would become owners of permanent accommodation by buying a home. Besides, it can be possible to get huge facilities for instance saving money. People have to pay relatively less money when they will have their own apartment. In addition, it is easy to furnish them according to their own ways as well as their own apartment is secure rather than renting. Because you will have no worries about moving to another renting house when you have your own apartment.

Another issue is there are several countries such as in Finland renting a house is much more costly. Every month people have to pay 800-900 euros per month if they want to rent a private family apartment. I think this is too much to afford. On the other hand, if I have my own apartment, at the same time I can save the rest of the money. In this case owning a home is much better and flexible than renting.

Finally, I would say owning an apartment has other benefits. For example, people can get a spacious living room with a beautiful veranda which provides huge daylight. Moreover, most of the private apartments have 2 bedrooms where rooms are larger than rented houses. It is possible to set up any furniture in the way that people want. Living in an apartment is much more relaxing, comfortable and cosy.

In conclusion, although people have different views about this issue, my opinion supports the positive side of owning an apartment rather than renting.

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Governments give a lot of support to artists, even though some people think it is a waste of money that could have been used elsewhere.Discuss both views and give your opinion? An artist receives too much assistance from local government while some argued that money should be utilized on other neccessary matters rather than wasting on artists . I agree with this statement that government should take notice of important tasks on priority basis for a developed nation . On the one side , artists performs national representation at international level for earning name and fame in field through competition .As we know that not a single task is easy to master whether it is a game or dance, all this demands enthusiasm and dedication towards goal which is impossible for everyone to achieve . Therefore, this is not a big deal if a government is sending funds or prizes to artist because without money capability is nothing in today’s world . On the other side, for a developing nation such as India , discoveries in each and every field has been essential for the growth of a nation .Government should assist scientists for inventing treatment for death causing diseases such as cancer and free of cost treatment for every citizen so that nobody can die because of lack of money.In addition , free education to poor children must be provided so that they could stand on their feet one day . In conclusion, although artists represents a nation but fulfilling basic amenities of citizens in relation of food , education and health has been prioritized by the governments. Please review my essay mam

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If the essay requirement says we need to discuss both sides and give our opinions (like this model essay), can I say that I prefer one option over another? Because in this model essay, the author suggests that both opinions are good and there is no preference. I’m just wondering if we would be marked on this.

Thank you so much

When you give your own opinion, you can choose any opinion you want – either one sided or balanced (partial/specific agreement) approach.

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Hi Liz, I have been posting many essays to get your feedback …Can you please give me your feedback. thanks a lot. 🙂

To being with, many people think that the university education is important to get a decent job. Firstly, at universities, students learn and graduate in a desired specialization which is important to land up in a good job in that area. For example, if someone graduates as Chartered Accountant from a University, then they can get a good job in the Financial sector. Secondly, proponents of this theory believe that academics are important to carry out certain types of jobs which on the other hand cannot be done alone with gaining experience. For instance, doctors cannot perform surgeries without learning basic anatomy of the body which they learn though academics at Universities. Also, many universities offer internships programs in various companies which help the students to gain extra practical knowledge. This improves their chances to get a good job once they get graduated.

On the other hand, others believe that jobs can be a carried out by acquiring experience and soft skills. However, this holds applicable and true in certain types of jobs only. For example, jobs like housekeeping and driving, only relevant experience and some soft skills are required. Also, they believe that more experience they gain, more efficiently they can carry out their jobs and in-turn they can be more productive.

Hence, in conclusion, I believe that University education provides theoretical knowledge as well as hands-on practice through internships which tents to get a better job. I also agree that gaining experience and soft skills are equally important for getting a job in certain professions.

Sorry I do not offer this service. Please read the HOME page to learn more about how to use my site 🙂

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Hi liz, My question is, can we write information that is completely made up to support our ideas? For example, “A recent study done by University of Melbourne shows that men who eat at least 10 grams chocolate a day can run faster than those who do not eat it.”

Why would you choose to do that? It won’t help your score. You never need to state the source of information and you don’t need to present numbers in your task 2 essay. Just explain your idea in your own language.

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Dear mam, In opinion essay , when we give separate opinion on one side . Can we go both side in conclusion or should we have the same position in conclusion and opinion ? I am totally confuse in it. Please guide me. Thank you.

Please get my Advanced Lessons which will give you all your answers and lots of details:

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Also, I tend to have occasional long sentences, is it ok to use a semi-colon? Or do we just stick to comma and full stop for this test?

Thanks a bunch in advance!

Just stick to commas and full stops. To add information using clauses which are considered complex grammar features.

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Thank you for the amazing model answers you provide, your website is really helpful! I finished watching your advanced video on the discussion essays and I have a question regarding writing them, since I want to follow your structure.

If I agree with one side of the argument, I understand from your video that I should state my opinion in the introduction, right? Because a teacher told me that I shouldn’t write my opinion in the introduction (even if the question says give your opinion) but should instead explain it throughout the BP of the essays and the conclusion. So I want to make sure, it is okay if I paraphrase the question (people’s arguments) in a statement then express my opinion in the next statement “In my opinion, I believe that….” and agree with either side?

Also coming to the BPs, I was told by that teacher that if I explain reasons for people’s arguments in BP1 and BP2 (even though I added “I agree” in the BP that I agree with) it will affect my CC and TR. They said that I should explain that I do not agree with one BP and giving reasons for the opinion of people that I don’t agree with would mess up my TR & CC. Is this true? In your video, you explained that it’s okay to explain reasons for both sides then simply add I agree in the BP you agree with. So I’m a little lost here, I wish you can tell me what is right in this point.

Thanks in advance. I really appreciate all your efforts.

Has your teacher completed the IELTS examiner training course? Possibly not. It is 100% fine to put your opinion in the introduction – you are introducing your opinion. It is also 100% ok to state you agree with whichever body paragraph you agree with – in that paragraph you will state that you and other people agree (or disagree) and then give reasons. You only need a separate body paragraph when your opinion does not agree fully with either side (a specific opinion/partial agreement). Is your teacher telling you IELTS rules? No. Your teacher is giving you advice based on their own opinion of IELTS. Always differentiate between rules and advice when it comes to IELTS. Always ask your teacher if they are giving you fixed rules for IELTS or just their own personal advice. There is a lot of conflicting information about IELTS because of exactly that problem.

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Hi Liz thank you for your imformative website. I ‘ve got a question. Is the hook and general statement the same? Thank you

In the following link you will find a video lesson about writing an introduction. That lesson will explain about the hook and background statement:

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Hi Liz, I had Ielts computer based based exam today, in the writing 2 task I had written nearly about 270 words, but in conclusion part when I was writing my last sentences, time is up and the computer shuted down. I could not finish my last senteces and there was some unsense words. Is it a huge problem or not? Also, thank you sharing your information with us.

The most important thing is that you wrote a conclusion, even if you didn’t finish it. Having a conclusion is crucial. An incomplete conclusion will not affect things as much as an absent conclusion. Don’t worry too much about it.

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I am planning to start this essay with “Few people believe that…..” can we paraphrase “some” with “few”

The meaning of “few” is “not many”. It means a small number. “Few people” = a small number of people. This is not the same as “some”.

thank you liz

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Hi Liz, Many thanks to you for the service!

My question is, if I start with one tense form, should I follow the same tense throughout the essay? Or can I use different tenses in the essay?

Thanks in advance!

It isn’t possible to use one tense all the way through. You might need to use a perfect tense or a passive or a conditional statement. The tense will depend on what you want to say. It isn’t something you can decide beforehand. See my model essays and review how many different tenses are used:

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For Discussion Essays: Some books like IELTS Preparation & Practice, Reading & Writing Academic published by Oxfird suggest writing a 4 paragraph essay: intro+ first group+second group+conclusion(which restates the writes opinion). However you suggest a separate paragraph for the writer’s opinion(4th body paragraph). Does that mean that their style is wrong or could lead to a lower score?

It means that there are other options. There is no rule stating you must have 4 paragraphs in total. It is fine to have 5. You can get band 9 with either 4 or 5.

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Hello liz, i have read in many books that the opinion discussive essay, the opinion is only given in the conclusion unlike the opinion personal view point( the agree or disagree type). The books write, this essay will discuss both sides and give a concluding view and rather give the opinion in the conclusion. Can you please clarify that for me, thank you

Unfortunately, I am not able to control what is written in other books. The instructions from IELTS do NOT state to “discuss both sides and conclude your opinion”.

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Hullo Liz, Firstly I would like to thank you to help all of us selflessly…thanx to u. Today I gave my ielts in essay it was a discussion essay wherein I wrote my opinion in introduction as u say then main body paras Discussing both the sides but then I gave the conclusion n did not elaborate on my opinion… Will I lose marks? Plz tell…really worried. Thanx

I don’t understand. You said you gave your opinion in the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. At what point do you feel that you didn’t explain it?

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Everybody told me that examples are not cardinal for essay but in some great ielts experts point of view like you mam and jay sir shows examples are vital. Through this students get more brand. Mam help me to solve my query.

Please mam help me my ielts exam on 17 August .

Please mam🙁🙁

I have never said examples are vital or 100% essential to an IELTS essay. I’m not sure what you are referring to. Examples are one way to support and illustrate a main point – you choose whether to illustrate that way or not. I suggest you review my model essays.

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Hi Liz, From my observation of the given example, I understood that , in the conclusion especially for discussion essays, we have to give a brief of our view on the topic and we should not include anything from the other paragraphs. Is my understanding correct?

Your reply here would be much appreciated.

There is no such rule in IELTS. Your conclusion is a summary of the main points.

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in the salad days of millenium, the society polarised into two groups. first, some people have a say that passing from University provide best to way to grab a good profession while other opinion that it is a bad to acquire proficiency and soft skills the following paragraphs would shed the light on both the approaches before making notes To commence with the first notion, there are Myriad things to be shared in its favour, first and foremost, it is undeniable education is essential part of one’s life. the majority of individuals believe that getting a degree from University Open the doors of word class opportunities and student can obtain a fine occupation for their future. In the other words, tertiary education help the students to understand the various concept which is related to their career which they have chosen by them. with the help of education they enhence their creativity on particular subject which is significant for future work opportunities

shifting towards the second school of thought, having experience of work and soft skills such as communication skills leadership skills and other interpersonal skills act as a boon for people to access a great livelihood. if individuals have a great proficiency in their skill which helps in getting a job as we all know more than half of companies prefer those employees who have a great experience in their work instead of University credentials. for instance if someone want to get a job in insurance company then they must be have a good communication skills for this job

Sorry, I don’t offer marking or comments on writing. However, I will say avoid learning phrases that you think will impress the examiner such as “in the salad days of millenium, the society polarised into two groups”. Such phrases damage your score. This is not creative writing. In a test, each sentence must be created by you in the test room. Also don’t use hook, it isn’t needed for IELTS essays and is a complete waste of time. Go to the main section for writing task 2 on this site and learn how to write an introduction for IELTS = click on the RED BAR at the top of the site. Or get my paid Advanced Lessons to learn more.

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Hi Liz, Thank you so very much for your helpful blogs. I am following only you for my IELTS GT preparation. I have one doubt, I am aiming to score 7.5 or 8 band in writing. Is it fine if I write approx 300 words of essay? Definitely related to demand of question. I always try to write around 270-280 words but I feel that there is still something missing which I should add on to make it more accurate. Kindly suggest.

If you are adding words to your introduction or conclusion, it won’t help your score. If you are adding more to your body paragraphs, think carefully if it is actually 100% vital. More words open you to the possibility of more errors or a less focused essay.

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It is considered by some people that finishing university education is the most effective way to get a decent job, however, have experience and developing soft skills are the keys for finding good jobs still thought by many people. In my opinion, although experience and developing soft skills are important for finding good jobs, I believe the completing university courses can improve the person’s knowledge and other skills in a very effective way as well as the best way for people to prepare their careers.

Attending the university courses can let people gain knowledge effectively, most universities offer high-quality courses both online and offline, students can achieve professional theory knowledge from different aspects through interaction with their professors, once they have questions they can get feedback and answers quickly. On the other hand, universities offer many practical classes which allow students gain experience, students also have plenty opportunities to discuss in their groups and cooperate with other students from other majors which also cultivate their social skills. Both knowledge and practical skills, as well as social skills, are very essential for finding a good job.

There is no doubt that work experience and developing soft skills or social skills are vital for finding jobs, the companies are more likely to employ the person who has job experience which people usually can find on job recruitments’ qualifications. When people find a job, he/she should be a good work player who is not only professional about her/his area but also should know how to communicate with others as well as cooperate with others. A report says that persons who have strong communication skills are much more welcomed in a work environment.

In conclusion, although both experience and developing soft skills are vital factors for finding jobs, I still believe that attending the universities is the best way for people who prepare their careers because people can gain experience and social skills in the campus as well.

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hello ! thanks for your tips . And i have a question , is it okay to write ” in this following essay i will shed light on both views and state my own position” in last sentence ?

Never memorise a sentence to put in your essay. Each sentence should be entirely created by yourself in the test. If the instructions say “discuss both sides and give your opinion”, you do not need to repeat those instructions. The examiner knows what you are going to do – what the examiner doesn’t know is what ideas you will use. Use my model essays to guide you or get my Advanced lessons to learn in depth.

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I just watched your advanced task 2 lesson and have couple questions on it. For the discussion essay, the balanced opinion seems more profound than one-sided opinion. Will I get lower band score if I choose to write one-sided opinion? Or will I get higher band if I choose to write balanced opinion. And can I choose one-sided opinion in any topics?

Thank you! 🙂

The balanced opinion essay means the discussion essay with specific opinion. Sorry for that. 🙂

I taught both options so that you would have a choice. The choice will depend on the question and the ideas you have for it. Sometimes a one-sided approach isn’t always the easiest option. No, you don’t get a higher or lower score for one or the other. Your score is not based on your choice of one-sided or specific view point. It is based on how relevant your ideas are and if you addressed the task with a clear opinion.

Thank you very much Liz!!!!:)

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I am writing to seek your help with double views and opinion statement essay type.

Here is the question prompt I am practicing: Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things that we rarely do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with?

Here is the introductory paragraph I have written with my opinion: Aggressive product promotions are considered to be one of the efficient ways of attracting new customers. While some people believe that advertisements allures the buyers and instigates them to purchase the unnecessary items, the others consider it to be an effective method of promoting awareness about the latest trends – I second this thought.

Please guide, is it write way of supporting an argument in a formal way? If not, please suggest how can I improve.

Thanks Jasmeet Kaur

Paraphrase the statement given and then present your opinion. Two separate statements. Try writing that and post it. See this page if you don’t understand:

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I’m struggling to reach a higher bandscore than 6.0 in writing. Therefore I bought your advanced writing lessons to spot some of my possible mistakes. Beside the fact that I have problems to structure my thoughts quickly, I’m sometimes confused by the question itself. After watching your lessons, I have tried to answer some essay questions and I came across with some I don’t know how I should organise them.

Firstly, for example, the discussion essay about the death penalty on your website. This question only mentions that I have to discuss both side. So, I’m not sure if I have to write a balanced view or can I also write a one-sided view? Moreover, I think I should not give my opinion, however, a one-sided view seems to reflect my personal point of view. How would you organise your essay?

Secondly, I’m really confused with the question “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?” You said, it doesen’t matter whether there is a “do you think” include or not, because I have to make a choice which side outweigh the other…admittedly there are many official Model answer from IELTS books, which don’t give an opinion in terms of this question. Are there any differents I didn’t recognise?

I would be really grateful if you could help me.

Kind regards, Wiebke

In my Advanced lesson for the Discussion Essay there is a model essay for a Discussion without an opinion. Please take a look at it. Any question that is asking you to choose options will require an opinion – there are many ways to voice an opinion.

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Dear Liz. Your advanced lessons are so helpful and clear.

Unfortunately I can’t say the same regarding the Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS which contains 8 full practice tests with sample answers for writing. I have to say that the sample answers for task 1 are very good but the ones for task 2 are so confusing. For instance, a discussion essay was turned into advantage disadvantage one.. the opinion is not mentioned in the introduction or in the BP, it is given in the conclusion… I wish I can send you a picture of it so you can mark it.

Another issue that confuses me; can we use questions in the essay? In one example of adv. Outweigh Disadv. they ended up the introduction with a question: is this a development we should welcome? The opinion is also put in the conclusion only… Thanks in advance

IT is not the task of IELTS to make their test easy. That is the task of teachers and ex-examiners. We provide the easy to follow models, not IELTS. About your second query, you should present supporting points which are statements, not questions. There isn’t enough length in the essay to start creating questions which will then need addressing further. Just stick with statements.

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Hi liz In the introduction can I write “in this essay I will deliberately discuss the both views and formulate my opinion at the end of the essay ” instead answering directly in the introduction

Do not memorise sentences or phrases. You can learn words and linking devices. All sentences and phrases should be created by yourself. See my model essays.

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then what do you recommend? and how do they examine grammar?

Grammar is marked by using a range of tenses that are suitable and appropriate to the essay and the subject. You can’t push a future prefect into your essay because you think it will give you a higher score. All tenses must be used correctly. The examiner will also pay attention to sentence structures, so you need to pay attention to not being too repetitive. Furthermore, the examiner will look at the density of grammar errors, for example band 5 = frequent errors, band 6 = some errors, band 7 = few errors. So, you can see your aim is to produce a range of suitable grammar and also reduce the errors you make. At all times, you only use the grammar you are familiar with to reduce errors. I am currently putting together a grammar e-book which will explain all this in great detail.

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How can I buy your grammar book?

It won’t be available to buy for a few months. It is 90% complete, but it will take me a few months to edit it and get it ready for people to buy.

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Hi Liz, thank you a lot for your useful advice and if it is possible, please give feedback, this is my first essay.

Instruction is simply to discuss not to give opinion.

In last decades, with the impact of growing globalization, it is noticed significant positive affects in the economy of the world, whereas this globe challenges brings some negative aspects with itself. Regarding the advantages of the globalization, a number of leading companies of the world gain more profits, while some affected countries are forced to lose their cultural values.

On the one hand, there is a competition between huge international companies over the world. They compete to produce products in better quality and lower prices. As a result, this overseas rivalry helps to boost world economy, at the same time, people all over the world take advantages in connection with buying more qualitative and less expenses products. For instance, it is obviously seems that the products which are manufactured by Samsung, Apple, Huawei and some other main companies have wide functions and simultaneously they are sold in lower prices.

On the other hand, there are some affected countries that people who live in these countries are obliged to get used to customs and traditions of the hegemon countries. In this manner, impacted society uses international languages, listens to singers who are famous all over the world and eats meals which are popular overseas and so on. To illustrate, McDonalds, KFC, Mado serve to people in more than half of the world countries, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Rihanna are listened by at least one of three people and English, German, Russian languages have been more important than their native languages.

In conclusion, the monosemous acceptance of globalization is not proper approach. When this term is talked over, both sides should be taken into account.

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Mam, why your advanced writing task 2 lessons have only 1) opinion, 2) discussion and 3) adv/disadvantages type essays lessons? What about a) problems/solutions, b) two-part (direct question) and c) positive/negative development type essays? Kindly reply, because I want to learn structure of each type of IELTS (GT) essay. Thank you.

Because I became too sick to make more videos.

First of all, thank you for your prompt reply, Hope you are doing well now. I will pray for your health and speedy recovery. Can I expect video lessons on those missing type essays in near future? Or do you think it is sufficient enough to just go through your sample essays on those type of essays to get an idea of written structure?

The three Advanced lessons available teach you enough skills to be able to apply the same logical. However, you will need to review model essays and other tips. Did you see my free writing task 2 lessons? See this page: . Yesterday I put up a lesson about a mixed task essay with tips: . Just take a look around my site. It is unlikely I will make a new video soon. I’m still too sick for videos. But I post regular lessons on my site and am working on e-books “Ideas for IELTS Essays” and “Grammar for Writing Task 2”.

Yes, I already read the tips mentioned in the first link and just went through the second link now, both were so helpful. You are an indeed a blessing for students who are struggling with their IELTS score. Thank you for your help and tips. I am desperately waiting for your e-books. Best wishes and prayers for your health.

Thanks. I do plan to get back to making videos, but not until my health is completely recovered which might take a long time. As soon as I can, I’ll be making Advanced lessons for every single part of the IELTS test.

Hopefully you’ll be able to make more videos for your students very soon. Lot of respect and prayers for you mam. One of your students from other part of the world 🙂

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Pleaaaase shed some light on the following: in the introduction of Task 2, what is the best waybto phrase that the X will be discussed in the essay. Do you say ‘This essay will discuss/This essay disagrees” or do you make use of pronouns such as ‘I’ “I agree that/ I will discuss X” . So confused as someone (online tutors) would say one thing, someone something different again. So now I don’t know which would be acceptable by an IELTS examiner.

You don’t need to use it at all. It is not required for IELTS. As you see, none of my model essays use that kind of sentence.

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IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

Posted by David S. Wills | Jun 14, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0

IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

In this lesson, I’m going to explain what an IELTS discussion essay is and how you can write a good one. I will talk about structure and content, as well as looking briefly at discussion essay thesis statements, which many people find tricky. I’ve also written a sample essay, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

What is a Discussion Essay?

As the name suggests, a discussion essay is an essay that discusses things! More specifically, it is a type of IELTS writing task 2 essay that requires you to look at two different points of view. You can easily recognise these essays by the following phrase:

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

When you see this, you know that you need to write a discussion essay. Importantly, this instruction tells you that you need to do two things:

If you failed to do either of these things, you would not have satisfied the basic criteria for Task Achievement .

Example Discussion Essay Questions

Here is a list of 5 discussion essay questions either from the IELTS exam, reportedly from the IELTS exam, or from reputable publications that have copied the IELTS question style. (Not that you absolutely should avoid fake IELTS questions when practising.)

Some people say that parents should encourage their children to take part in organised group activities in their free time. Others say that is important for children to learn how to occupy themselves on their own. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change. Others, however, think that change is always a good thing. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Some people feel that manufacturers and supermarkets have the responsibility to reduce the amount of packaging of goods. Others argue that customers should avoid buying goods with a lot of packaging. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Some people believe that higher education should be funded by the government. Others, however, argue that it is the responsibility of individuals to fund their higher education. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Some people believe that it is important for children to attend extra classes outside school, while others believe that they should be allowed to play after school. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

You can see in these questions that there is a similar pattern. In each case, the question phrase (“Discuss both views and give your own opinion”) is the same and that in the previous sentence or sentences, there are two opposing views. This, then, makes “discuss both views” questions a sort of opinion essay .

How to Answer IELTS Discussion Questions

First of all, it is important when answering any IELTS task 2 question that you read the question carefully so that you understand it, then provide an answer that directly responds to the question, following its instructions carefully.

As discussed above, you are required to do two things: 1) Discuss both views, and 2) Give your own opinion. You absolutely must do both of those. It doesn’t really matter what your opinion is or whether you give equal weighting to both sides of the argument. Instead, you must cover both sides and also give some sort of opinion. (It is important, though, according to the marking rubric , that you are consistent in your opinion.)

Your answer of course should be structured carefully so as to present your ideas in a thoroughly logical way that is easy for your reader to interpret. I almost always use a four-paragraph structure in my essays, but some people prefer to use five paragraphs in this sort of essay. The difference would look like this:

You might be wondering why I have given my opinion in the body of the five-paragraph essay but not in the four-paragraph essay. Well, actually I would give my opinion in the body of both. However, my opinion would be more subtly woven into the text of the four-paragraph essay. I personally find this to be a better method, but it is equally possible that you could write an amazing five-paragraph essay. That issue is discussed further in this video:

Discussion Essay Thesis Statement

In academic writing, a thesis statement (sometimes called an essay outline ) is the part of the essay where you insert your opinion. It typically comes at the end of the introduction and guides the reader by explaining your opinion on the issues that have been introduced.

But do you really need to provide one in such a short essay? Well, a 2018 study into successful IELTS essays concluded that thesis statements were “obligatory” – ie you absolutely do need one. In fact, that study found that thesis statements appeared in 100% of successful IELTS discussion essays! Therefore, we can conclude they are very important.

Because a discussion essay will tell you to “Discuss both views and give your opinion,” you must introduce the two views and then give your opinion in the introduction. Here is an example:

Some people believe that it is important for children to attend extra classes outside school, while others believe that they should be allowed to play after school. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Introductory paragraph:

In some parts of the world, children are forced to go to cram schools and other facilities of extracurricular learning, but many people believe that this is unfair and that they should be allowed to enjoy their free time instead. This essay will look at both perspectives and then conclude that it is indeed unfair.

My first sentence clearly introduces two different ideas:

Note how I have successfully used synonyms to avoid repeating anything from the question. I have also framed the issue in a new way so that I am not just paraphrasing. (You can learn why paraphrasing is not always helpful here .)

My second sentence is the thesis statement. In this sentence, I outline what the essay will do (“look at both perspectives”) and then given my opinion (“it is unfair”). This is a simple but effective thesis statement.

Thesis Statement Advice

Your IELTS discussion essay thesis statement should do two things:

Because this is a formal essay, it is best not to be too personal. Instead of saying “I will…” or “I think…” it is better to say “This essay will…” Here are some simple templates that you can follow most of the time:

Just make sure to avoid being overly vague. You are required to give your opinion consistently throughout the essay, so don’t say “This essay will look at both sides and then give my opinion .” It is not really the best approach because the examiner wants to see that you can be consistent in presenting an opinion. That is clearly stated in the marking rubric. For band 7, it says:

It could be concluded, then, that your opinion is not clear from the start and so you have not done enough to warrant a band 7 for Task Achievement.

Body Paragraphs

As I mentioned above, there are really two main approaches you could take to the body paragraphs:

I suppose there is also a third option:

This last one may be a little harder to do successfully without jeopardising your score for Task Achievement or Coherence and Cohesion, but advanced candidates may find it useful.

Remember that there is no single perfect formula for an IELTS essay. That’s not how languages work and that’s not how IELTS works. Different people could come up with different ways to present a successful essay. The most common essay structures are mere guidelines for particularly useful methods of approaching an essay.

Does a Discussion Essay Have to be Balanced?

Because the question says “Discuss both views,” it is quite logical to think that you must provide some degree of balance, but you certainly don’t need to give equal weighting to both sides. Remember that you are also going to give your opinion, so if you come down strongly on one side of the issue, it might be odd to give equal attention to both.

If you do feel very strongly about one side, you might want to present your discussion of the other side as quite negative. However, IELTS is a thinking exam as well as an English exam and an intelligent person can always look at both sides of an issue and explain – at the very least – why someone might believe a thing that is different to his own view. This seems quite important, but there is nothing explicitly mentioned in the marking rubric.

I would suggest that if you think a two-sided issue is basically one-sided (ie you strongly disagree with the other view), you should still write one or two sentences about why people believe that and then devote the rest of your essay to disputing their view.

Another approach is to write BP1 as a very short paragraph that explains why people might think one thing, but then have BP2 as a very long paragraph that debunks the opposing view and then explains why the other is correct.

(You can read more about IELTS essays and balance here .)

Sample Answer

Here is my full sample answer to the above question about whether or not children should be made to do extracurricular activities:

In some parts of the world, children are forced to go to cram schools and other facilities of extracurricular learning, but many people believe that this is unfair and that they should be allowed to enjoy their free time instead. This essay will look at both perspectives and then conclude that it is indeed unfair. In countries like South Korea, most children are made to go to an array of cram schools outside of regular school hours. Their parents do this in order to give their child a better future because it helps the child to learn more and thus gives them the academic advantages needed to apply to the best universities or jobs in future. These schools often provide children with an advantage over their peers because they improve their foreign language or math skills more quickly, and thus the children who do not attend these schools might have comparatively poor grades. However, whilst this attitude may result in better academic performance, it is certainly not good for the mental health of these children. It is no coincidence that places like South Korea have the highest rates of suicide among their young populations. The fact is that children are not equipped to spend fourteen or sixteen hours per day in classrooms, memorising facts and figures. In a sense, it is a form of child abuse. Children should be allowed to go home and spend time with friends and family to build social skills. They should be allowed to occupy themselves in order to become more creative and learn how to understand their own mind instead of being trained to repeat what they are told. In conclusion, it is understandable that some parents want their children to go to extra classes, but this is damaging to children and they should be given the freedom to play and socialise outside of regular school hours.

In BP1, I have looked at the topic of cram schools (ie the side of the argument in favour of extra lessons). I explored why parents might want their kids to do this and show the supposed benefits. Note that I never embraced any of these benefits. I was careful to use language that distanced these ideas from my own opinion, which was the opposite, so I said “Their parents do this in order to…”

In BP2, I looked at the opposite side. I was careful to make sure that my first sentence linked in to the previous paragraph, highlighting that the benefits are quite minor compared to the drawbacks. All of my sentences here justify my position, which is that it is cruel to force these extra lessons on children.

My conclusion ties all of this together. The first clause references BP1 and the second summarises the main argument in BP2.

You can find two more sample essays here:

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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Liz’s Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book


Writing is one of the toughest modules of the IELTS exam. Writing requires a wide range of vocabulary and ideas on different topics that are prevalent in the world. Writing includes task 1 and task 2.

In task 1 you will be given a graph or diagram and you have to write about 150 words in 20 minutes whereas in task 2 you will be provided with a topic and you have to write 250 words in 40 minutes.

Writing Task 1 is easy as compared to Writing task 2, so you have to do more practice for task 2 and this book will help you to learn new ideas.

Liz’s Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book is written by Elizabeth Liz. She is an experienced IELTS teacher and the author of the website she completed her IELTS examiner training in 2008

This IELTS book is about task 2 of IELTS Writing. this book includes ideas on different topics of writing task 2. these ideas are very useful for IELTS students.

This book also includes important Vocabulary with ideas for 150 topics in IELTS Writing Task 2 . this book is comprehensive and covers all important task 2 writing topics.

The third page of this book contains a message from the author and all students should read this message carefully before starting the book.

Apart from that, Liz’s Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book includes ideas on different topics alphabetically. Topics that are included in this book are mentioned below:

If you really want to learn something from this book, then buy a hard copy of this book. Start reading this book from the first page and slowly read all pages and try to use these words in your daily essays and also use these in speaking.

To read this book, I recommend purchasing this book an e-commerce website like Amazon or Flipkart. But you can download a soft copy of this book on our website.

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Cambridge ielts 13 academic [pdf + audio] free, ielts reading practice test 236, ielts writing vocabulary: crime & punishment, the first man to walk on the moon said it was a giant leap for mankind, describe a time when you went to an event and arrived early, ielts listening practice test 120, write a letter to the restaurant applying for the job, describe equipment that is important in your home, some people believe that they should keep all the money they have earned, ielts listening practice test 156.


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Liz’s Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book

Liz’s ideas for ielts essay topics pdf free download.

The e-book covers ideas for over 150 key essay topics that frequently appear in IELTS writing task 2. The ideas are presented as vocabulary exercises. The e-book comes in pdf form and also comes with a free introduction video helping you understand more about using ideas in your essay.

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  1. Pin on IELTS

    discussion essay topics ielts liz

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  1. IELTS Discussion Essay Sample Questions

    Below is a list of IELTS discussion essay sample questions for IELTS writing task 2. These are also known as two sided essays. Discussion Essay Tips identify both sides find supporting points for both side only give your opinion if the task asks for it use discussion essay language follow a safe discussion essay model Discussion Essay Questions

  2. IELTS Discussion Essay Model Answer

    IELTS Discussion Essay Model Answer by Liz 100 Comments This IELTS discussion essay sample answer is estimated at band 9. See comments below the essay for advice and tips. Completing university education is thought by some to be the best way to get a good job.

  3. IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

    As the name suggests, a discussion essay is an essay that discusses things! More specifically, it is a type of IELTS writing task 2 essay that requires you to look at two different points of view. You can easily recognise these essays by the following phrase: Discuss both views and give your opinion.

  4. Liz’s Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book

    Apart from that, Liz’s Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book includes ideas on different topics alphabetically. Topics that are included in this book are mentioned below: Advertising Animals Art Buildings & Housing Business Character and people Crime and Punishments Economy and Money Education Environment Family Food Health Internet and computers

  5. Liz's Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book

    The e-book covers ideas for over 150 key essay topics that frequently appear in IELTS writing task 2. The ideas are presented as vocabulary exercises. The e-book comes in pdf form and also comes with a free introduction video helping you understand more about using ideas in your essay. Practice with Expert IELTS Tutors Online.