IELTS both sides and opinion essay Common mistakes

Putting your opinion in the introduction of the essay

For this type of essay, it is best to keep your opinion for the final paragraph. Writing this here makes it seem like this essay is just about your opinion. Instead, you should write: “This essay discusses both sides of this argument and then I will give my own perspective.”

Some people think that spending a lot on holding wedding parties, birthday parties and other celebrations is just a waste of money. Others, however, think that these are necessary for individuals and the society.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

The candidate writes a misleading introduction below:

Today, holding parties or other activities is a common practice for individuals and organisations to celebrate some special events. Some people, however, claim that these celebrations are wasteful, while others argue that they have favourable effects on individuals and the society. Personally, I believe that holding these celebrations does more good than harm.

Putting your opinion in the body of the essay

The question asks for both views and your opinion. Try to have three clear responses. Hold your opinion until the final paragraph. It is extremely dangerous to mix your opinion with one of the sides because some examiners will then feel you have not satisfactorily completed the task of both sides and your opinion. They might think you have only discussed one side and your opinion. It’s very risky to mix your opinion with the discussion of one side of the argument. Taking this risk may mean you will not get to 7 for task response; it will depend on the examiner’s interpretation. To get rid of this risk I suggest you structure the essay the way I have outlined, with your opinion given in the final paragraph only. You can see the previous model essay in this section for examples of this.  

Now, if you really want to put your opinion into the introduction here is how I recommend you do it, in the final sentence of your introduction:
“This essay discusses both sides of this argument and why I believe that [your opinion].”

Not writing enough for your opinion

With a both sides and opinion essay, your opinion is one of the three requirements of the task. You must give more than a sentence for your opinion. In addition, you should not only say what your opinion is but also give the reason. You can see the previous model essay in this section for examples of this. I suggest you say the following:

  1. Start with a signal “In conclusion, I believe…”
  2. State that both sides of the argument are important/have merits
  3. State which one is more important/better
  4.  Say why. Justify your selection. This is the key to reaching 7 and above for task response. Remember that YOUR opinion is one of the three parts of the question and although this paragraph may be briefer than the body paragraphs it is a very important one.
See my model essays!

opps I made an ielts mistake

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