Most of the students are scared of ‘Writing task 2’ of the IELTS exam. The test-takers will be given only 40 minutes to complete the 250-word essay. The essays will be opinion-based. In this section, the examiners will assess the fluency and task response.
- 1 Structure of IELTS essay
- 2 FAQs
- 2.1 Is it necessary to state one’s opinion in an essay?
- 2.2 Will my opinion play a role in marking criteria? In controversial topics, is it dangerous to give an opinion which the examiner may not approve?
- 2.3 In case of an opinion essay, can I give my opinion in the introduction and then remain neutral in the body paragraphs?
- 2.4 How do I determine if it is an opinion essay?
- 2.5 In an opinion essay, what is a smart way of choosing which side to support?
- 2.6 Related Posts:
Structure of IELTS essay
Since there are plenty of topics in IELTS writing task 2, it is difficult to predict which topic will appear in the actual IELTS test. You should be a Jack of all trades ( have some knowledge on every topic). If it is an opinion essay then you can follow this structure to write your answer.
The introduction part will be the most important part of the essay, as this paragraph will help you write the rest of the essay. The introduction part should include the topic or the question given in the essay. You can use synonyms and frame sentences. While writing the essay you should decide whether you are for or against the topic. This will make it easy for the examiner to judge your stand. Once you complete paraphrasing the question, give your opinion regarding the topic. Also for opinion essays, you need to include a thesis statement. The thesis statement should indicate what will be discussed in the forthcoming paragraphs.
Body of the essay
The body of the essay is where you explain your opinion in-depth. You have to keep in mind that you do not divert from the topic. There will be two parts of your body paragraph. The first one is important as it involves your opinion about the topic. And the second one will be your opposition to the topic. They are explained in detail below:
Opinion- In favour
In favourable opinion you can use phrases like ‘in my opinion’ or ‘i believe that’ before starting the question so that the examiner knows that you are talking in favour of the topic. The tone used while explaining maybe in the third person. This is usually used while trying to give an example contextual to the topic. While writing the essay if you think positively about the education you can give interesting ideas in favour of education. If you are not aware of the facts you can highlight the main features of the education.
We know that education is undoubtedly important but you should explain the shortcomings also. This is to show that, you understand both the sides of the topic given.
Eg: You can also give your suggestions to improve the education system.
In the end, you can close the essay by giving some small notes with reasons. The opinion given by you must be consistent throughout the essay and make sure you do not have two opinions about the question given. You can also sum up the introduction part as well as the body paragraph part of the essay and conclude the overall essay on a positive note.
Is it necessary to state one’s opinion in an essay?
As a first step you have to identify the type of the essay. If it is an opinion essay, then it is mandatory to provide your opinion. If you fail to state your opinion, you will end up with a poor score for task achievement which is one of the marking criteria.
Will my opinion play a role in marking criteria? In controversial topics, is it dangerous to give an opinion which the examiner may not approve?
The examiner will remain totally indifferent when assessing you. All that the examiner will look for is a clearly stated opinion (whichever side you may take, however controversial it may be) in case of an opinion essay. The examiner will also mark you for the explanation.
In case of an opinion essay, can I give my opinion in the introduction and then remain neutral in the body paragraphs?
Definitely not. In case of opinion essays, you are including a thesis statement in the introduction part which outlines what is going to be explained in the body paragraphs. You have to support your opinion in the body paragraphs. You cannot remain neutral.
How do I determine if it is an opinion essay?
You can look for phrases like “Do you think?” “What is your opinion?” etc in the question.
In an opinion essay, what is a smart way of choosing which side to support?
Choose the side which you can explain with examples. Doesn’t matter even if it is controversial.