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Different Types of IELTS Essays

The table below summarises the three different types of essays you will likely encounter in the IELTS exam. In order to understand each one more fully you should go to the page for each type of essay which are: Opinion [argument] Essay, Both Sides + Opinion Essay, Two Question Essay

Opinion (Argument) Essay:

Many people believe that alcohol causes many problems and there have been frequent calls for the government to ban it. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

model answer 1 totally agree

model answer 2 somewhat agree

Both Sides and Opinion Essay

Some people believe that there should be fixed punishments for each type of crime. Others, however, argue that the circumstances of an individual crime, and the motivation for committing it, should always be taken into account when deciding on the punishment.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

model answer

student answer

Two Question Essay

The use of illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, are becoming more and more common in many countries.

What are some of the problems associated with drug abuse, and what are some of the possible solutions?

model answer

Structuring the three types of essays

Introduction

introduction 3 types of essays

Body

body 3 types of essays

Conclusion

conclusion 3 types of essays

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Writing Templates:

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18 Responses

  1. Mohamad Mostafa

    Dear Mike ,
    Could you please point out what task type is (is this negative or positive development) ? and what structure should be followed in response to that kind of questions?
    Thanks

      1. Sara Ibrahim

        Hi Mr. Mike,
        Could you please tell me what is the type of those questions because I am confused
        1) do you think this is more advantageous or more disadvantageous ?
        2)do you think it has more positive or negative effects?
        is this an opinion essay or discussion+ opinion

        1. Mike Wattie

          Sara, I suggest you
          1. write using an opinion format
          2. write in 3rd person and not 1st “I believe the merits outweigh the drawbacks” = “the merits outweigh the drawbacks”

  2. KARIMI

    Dear Mike

    I am student from Afghanistan , I would really like to take IELTS .
    I need your kindness help . Please give me a hand for passing this exams.
    I will appreciate respectfully.
    Karimi.

  3. Rajendra

    Hi Mike,
    For the below two questions do we need to take one side completely or can we take partial stand. In other words how are these different from the essay type ‘to what extant do you agree or disagree?’

    1. It is better for children if the whole families are involved in the children’s upbringing, rather than
    their fathers and mothers only. Give your opinion?

    2. Some people believe that unpaid community service should be compulsory part of high school programs.
    Do you agree or disagree?

    Thanks,
    Rajendra

    1. MikeAdmin

      All three questions are essentially asking the same thing.
      the only real difference is that “to what extent do you agree or disagree”
      requires that you not only say whether you agree or disagree but also how much.
      With the other two questions, you don’t necessarily have to say how much you agree or disagree,
      but I would still recommend it because it makes for a clearer opinion.
      You can see how I write this type of essay here: https://www.ieltsanswers.com/ielts-opinion-essay.html

  4. Rajendra

    Hi Mike,
    Can you suggest of which type below essays are?

    In some countries, secondary schools aim to provide a general education across a range of subjects. In others, children focus on a narrow range of subjects related to a particular career. For today’s world, which system is appropriate?

    Many newspapers and magazines feature stories about the private lives of famous people. We know what they eat, where they buy their clothes and who they love. We also often see pictures of them in private situations. Is it appropriate for a magazine or newspaper to give this kind of private information about people?

  5. Jamie

    Hi Mike,

    I love your work!

    For questions such as “Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages” what question type is this? I felt lost when I stumbled on this question type in my last IELST for which I had a 6 in writing but 8+ in other sections, quite a bummer! Thank you!

  6. Gulzada

    Hi Mike, I am really suffering with variety of vocabulary for writing essay, can you guide which exact sourse i can use for essays.

  7. In IELTS essays when we have an opinion like “somewhat agree” … When we go on to the reasons why we disagree… We are making a concession.
    Essentially we are conceding that there is another side to the argument. 
    So this occurs in your 3rd paragraph of task 7 when you start to mention the value of technology.

    I’m not a big fan of concessions… On the whole most people don’t write them well and it lowers their score. So on the whole against concessions for this reason… But let me now make a concession against this. However,  If someone is able to write them well it could result in a higher score and it could be something that help someone get to 8 or 9 for task response.

    If you must get to 8 you can consider writing them. You can also consider writing them for practice. But for someone who only need 7 I would only be writing a concession if I could not think of 2 reasons to totally agree or disagree… In this situation you might have to have one reason to agree ond one reason to disagree

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