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May 08, 2013


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goodmorning! In discussion/opinion questions it's better to mention our opinion in conclusion or in whole essay? I usually give my opinion in cunclusion.

Thank for you . Your website is really helpful.I usually give my opinion in introduction by a statement sentence and in conclusion again but by paraphrase. Do you agree with me ?

1. our opinion
2. - discuss
3. in conclusion, we must add our opinion
4. our opinion why the advantages outweigh ...
5. our opinion
6. - discuss

As conclusion, we have to identify, understand and analyse what to do based on the given question.

1. DISCUSS both sides and don't give opinion for these kind of question; Discuss the advantages and disadvantages, and What are the benefits and drawbacks?

2. Give our own OPINION with supporting information either both sides or just one side only. Example on To what extent do you agree or disagree?, and Is this a positive or negative development?

3. DISCUSS and give our OPINION in such question; Discuss both views and give your opinion, and Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Dear Simon,

Thank you for all you have done for us!
Could you possibly tell if there are only two types of essays in IELTS: argument (discussion) and account (opinion). Is it correct?

Dear Simon,

I did my exam a month ago and I haven't received my results yet. The Britsh Council told me that I'm under investigation and because of that my results would be withheld. The woman who is in charge of my case told me that Cambridge took my exam ramdomly, only to check procedures. Have you ever seen something like that? I'm from Brazil.

Congratulations for your blog, it's really nice.

Dear Simon,
This website is very useful and I have succeeded in getting 7 in writing section. However, I still have to achieve 7 in speaking which I think is very difficult. Do you have any suggestion? Thanks a lot.
By the way, I am very sad and disappointed with Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

i wanna know how to write a conclusion for 2 and 6
I usually write the one side outweigh another..
but you mentioned that we dont need to give our opinion so please someone tell me what conclusion of these essays should write:)
Thanks alot

Congratulation Ryan
it is really hard to get 7 in writing to me
would you mind share your experience?

Hi Simon,

I want to thank you for your helpful instruction on writing tasks. I followed your instruction to fulfill my writing test in IELTS 5 months ago, and I've got 7.0 for writing. It's a little bit late but I still want to express my thanks.

Hi Simon,
What is the typical conclusion of discussiontopic without giving your own opinion.could you give an example? Thanks a million.

hi Simon,
when we will be asked "Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages" type of question then how many paras should we write. if we will still follow 4 para technique or it had better write 5 paras.

P.S- should we always write 4 para essay for any type of question.

Hi simon,
Lisa again! I have a sily question that i am confused about the differences beween the words of opinion , idea and argument when writing an ielts essay. Hope not to bother you with this. I am looking forward to your reply. Thanks a lot

Hi Simon,

Could you please clarify this.

When writing an argument essay should we discuss on the both the +ve and -ve of an argument and conclude it with our support or is it okay to take up a side and then discuss on that through out the essay.

For eg. Technology replacing teachers.
In this should we discuss on the +ve of computerized teaching and also +ve of manual teacher and then conclude


Can we just discuss on the +ve of teacher and show that technology can never replace a teacher.

Please let me know your thoughts on this

Thanks in advance

Dear Simon:
There is a question that puzzle me much and I am looking forward to your reply.

When making a point in the task2, do we need to avoid talking about a situation that only occur in my own country(I am from China), in case that examiner from other country would feel this point not tenable?

for example, when talking about the drawbacks of working far away from home, i made a point that people who work far away from home always leave their children to their old parents, resulting in children lack of supervise as well as better guidance which should be given by their parents.

How about :" do you agree with this opinion?"

Hello, Mr. Simon. I am writing you from Azerbaijan :) I am crazy about your site and one of your fans and followers. First of all, thanks a bundle for all you are doing for us, you really help us. I have a question about writing task 2 structure. You write it in the following structure: reason, example, reason,reason. Then: reason,reason,reason. But today I have bought Cambridge 9 book and read some expert essays and I didn't catch the structure. In my way of view, they are not written in this structure, they gave just 2 reasons but describing them more widely. And I want to know, what is the latest structure? please, respond me if you could, because I have problem with task 2 and rely only on structure, but if the structure is also wrong, I will not be able to get 6.5-7 from writing :( thanks in advance, will be waiting for your answer

Hi Simon,

I'm wondering the differences between these two questions:
"Do you agree or disagree?" and "To what extend do you agree or disagree?"

It is said that you must pick one side to stand when answering the former question, while you can be neutral for the latter. Is it true? as far as you are concerned.

Hello Simon,
I am so happy that I can find this site

my question is about this writing(I want to know this essay is compare-conrsat or cause-eefect?? COULD YOU PLEASE HELP ME
essay: It is generally believed that some people are born with certain talents,for instance for sport or music,and others, are not.However,it is sometimes claimed that any child can be taught to become a good sports person or musician.
Discuuss both these views and give your opinion. AND 5 PARAGRAPH OR 4 PARAGH?

Dear Simon

I participated ielts exam on 25/5/13, General training writing 2 asked the question:

In many countries, students spend a lot of free time doing homeworkd. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for them?

I consider this to be No.5. Is that correct?

I don't agree that this question "Is this a positive or negative development?" is about our own opinion. It's more likely discussion question because there can be many arguments as in the question about "advantages and disadvantages".

7 Types of Task 2 questions for IELTS
Here are the different kinds of questions:

1. Agree or Disagree

Ex. Some people think that scientists experimenting with animals in a laboratory is the only way we can guarantee new products will be safe for human use. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

2. Advantages/Benefits outweigh Disadvantages/Drawbacks

Ex. In some countries, governments are encouraging industries and businesses to move to regional areas outside the big cities. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?

3. Discuss two views plus your opinion

Ex. Some people say children no longer need to develop handwriting skills. Others believe that handwriting is still important. Discuss both these views and give your opinion.

4. Discuss two views only (no opinion)

Ex. Many people believe that an effective public transport system is a key component of a modern city. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public transport.

5. Causes/Problem and Solution

Ex. Crime rates tend to be higher in cities than in smaller towns. Explain some possible reasons for this problem and suggest some solutions.

6. Two questions/ two-part questions

Ex. To some people studying the past has little value in the modern world. Why do you think it is important to do so? What will be the effect if children are not taught history?

7. Opinion

Ex. Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than other experiences we may have in life. Which do you consider to be the major influence?

Nice collection Sue!

it's very clear. thanks simon.

Very good. I love your lessons Simon! Many thanks.

hieee 25thoct my ielts xam .... im fully tensed in writting and speaking so kindly help me and suggest me

Hi Simon

Could you please show us to how to open for these types of questions? Examples make us clear

Many thanks

I can't understand the difference between theses two types of questions:

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Is this a positive or negative development?

it is useful things.

What about problem-solution/Cause-effect/double questions, do we have to give our opinion??

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