Ielts Essay Writing Task 2 Band
The essay for Task 2 of the IELTS writing exam is something that a lot of students are afraid of.
You must write about 250 words and this should be completed in approximately 40 minutes (because you also need to complete Writing Task 1 in the first 20 minutes of the 1 hour writing test).
To write the perfect answer and get the highest IELTS band score possible, you need to write quickly but also keep calm and focussed on writing your answer.
In all parts of the IELTS exam, you should try to show that you have a broad knowledge of English vocabulary, ensure that you write with correct spelling and avoid silly little grammar mistakes.
IELTS WRITING TASK 2 Best answer
The essay type questions for Task 2 are usually asking about some general thing in society. The topic could be education, health, age, gender roles, the youth, the environment... basically anything.
Therefore, you cannot learn an amazing sentence that you can insert into an essay, as it is very unlikely that you will be able to use it in your specific question that you have on the day of your test.
However, there is a system to use that gives you a great balanced structure which will help you get a good mark for answering the question... which is after all the whole point of this task - answer the question! Lots of IELTS candidates do not actually do this, as they are trying to impress the examiner with big posh words and forget to focus on actually giving a point of view and supporting that opinion with good examples and clear thought.
Read and follow these steps to give your best answer (or watch the video below):
STEP 1: INTRODUCTION
Repeat the question in your own words
In the essay introduction, you should start by repeating the question. This does NOT mean that you should COPY the question.
You should say the question again, but using different words that mean the same thing (synonyms).
For example, if your question was something like: Some people believe that capital punishment should never be used. Others believe that it could be used for the most serious crimes. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Then the opening sentence of your introduction should use synonyms to say the question again in your own words. for example: It is a commonly held belief that the death penalty is a Draconian penalty and not appropriate in modern society. However, there is also an argument that the most despicable crimes should have this most severe of punishments.
Now, don't worry about the high level of the example sentences above. I am a native English speaker and I am an English teacher, so the sentences should be good, shouldn't they?
But, from the example, you can see that it is possible to re-write the question using completely different vocabulary and still retain the original meaning and 'flavour' of the original question.
Give your opinion
As soon as you have restated the question, then give your opinion on the subject.
This gives the examiner an overview of what is to come in your essay.
It is important to note that it does not matter what your opinion is! There is no right or wrong answer to an IELTS essay question. You do NOT have to try and think "What will the examiner think is the right answer here". The examiner is only interested in the level of your English. So just give your first instinct opinion and don't try to out-think yourself.
STEP 2: Support your opinion
Now that you have given your opinion, you need to back it up.
The best way to do this is to give examples.
You can begin this paragraph with phrases like:
- Personally, I believe that...
- From my point of view...
- I am convinced that...
- In my opinion...
- In my view...
So, if your opinion was that you are against capital punishment, then as an example you could write about situations where people have been jailed for life for murder and then decades later they have been released as they were proven to be innocent. The relevant vocabulary here is "a miscarriage of justice".
Your argument would be that when a miscarriage of justice occurs, the prisoner would most likely have faced the death penalty and would have been killed even though they were innocent.
Another example could be that many murders are committed in 'hot blood' and often as an 'act of passion'.. This means that the murder was so angry about something that they were not thinking properly
STEP 3: Give the other side of the argument
In your next paragraph, you should look at the question from the opposite viewpoint to yours.
This shows the examiner that you have balance in your writing and it is a sign of a good essay.
You can start this paragraph with phrases such as:
- It can also be argued that...
- Someone who held the opposing view would say that...
- However, there is also another side to this discussion.
- In contrast, some people hold the view that...
STEP 4: Conclusion - Summarise your opinion
To finish off your IELTS task 2 essay, you need to summarise your whole argument as a conclusion.
Essentially, this means that you give your opinion again that you stated in the introduction.
To prove to the IELTS examiner that you have a good command of English vocabulary you should try again to use synonyms and not just copy your previous sentence. Now, you can add your expanded arguments (from step 2) into your opinion.
A conclusion that weighs up the arguments already mentioned is a really good opportunity to use a conditional sentence.
If capital punishment was reintroduced into society, I do not believe that it would act as a deterrent for heinous crimes. It is my strongly held belief that the death penalty would only result in future miscarriages of justice that serve no purpose in civilised society.
IELTS TASK 2 WRITING VIDEO
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IELTS agree or disagree essay - band 9 guide
This is a band 9 guide to writing agree/disagree essays in IELTS Writing. Agree or disagree essay questions are very common for IELTS Writing task 2. This type of questions asks you to say whether you agree or disagree with a given statement and justify your opinion.
In this lesson you will see IELTS writing task 2 sample question + model answer and learn
- how to choose an opinion for agree/disagree question
- how to generate ideas
- how to give a band 9 answer for agree/disagree question
IELTS agree/disagree question sample
Let’s look at an example of IELTS writing task 2:
This is a classic example of agree or disagree question that you may get on IELTS Writing task 2.
You can watch our video tutorial on how to tackle agree/disagree questions in IELTS Writing:
Choose your opinion & generate ideas
Agree or disagree question asks you to clearly determine whether you agree or disagree with the statement. Unlike questions that ask you to what extent do you agree or disagree, this question asks you to have a super-clear opinion. After you’ve decided your opinion, generate 2-3 supporting points for it.
For the task above you have two possible options:
- You fully agree that big salary is more important than job satisfaction
- You completely disagree that big salary is more important than job satisfaction
Now let’s generate supporting points for each of the opinions:
- Big salary is more important
- Having a job with a high salary makes people feel satisfied no matter what kind of job they do
- Money is essential for survival and good living
- Job satisfaction is more important
- Job satisfaction gives you a sense of fulfillment
- Doing what you like keeps you motivated and therefore leads to a career growth
- Money can’t buy happiness and it’s more pleasant to pursue what you’re interested in
For our essay, we’ll choose the second opinion.
Band 9 answer structure
After you’ve decided whether you agree or disagree and generated your supporting points, it’s time to start writing your essay.
There are a lot of ways to structure your essay, but we’ll use a structure that has been approved by many IELTS examiners to be high-scoring and coherent.
Band-9 essay structure:
- Body paragraph 1 - the 1st reason you agree/disagree
- Body paragraph 2 - the 2nd reason you agree/disagree
Let’s take a look at each of these sections in detail.
Write your introduction in two sentences:
- Sentence 1 - paraphrase the statement (you can use ‘it is argued/considered/thought that’ to start):
- Sentence 2 - say whether you agree or disagree with it and extend your opinion:
Body paragraph 1 - the 1st reason you agree/disagree
- Sentence 1 - state the first reason you agree/disagree.
- Sentences 2-3 - explain the reason.
To explain the reason effectively, you can imagine that your examiner has no knowledge of this subject at all and you have to explain every detail:
- Sentence 4 - example.
It’s always good to give examples in your body paragraphs, even if you’re not asked to do it. In our case, the task asks you to provide relevant examples:
- Sentence 5 - a short summary of your ideas in this paragraph:
This sentence should contain the main idea of the whole 1st paragraph. Use words firstly or first of all to introduce the first reason. In our case we’ll use the reason that job satisfaction gives you a sense of fulfillment:
Body paragraph 2 - the 2nd reason you agree/disagree
- Sentence 1 - state the second reason you agree/disagree.
This statement should contain the main idea of the whole 2nd paragraph. Use words secondly or moreover to introduce the second reason:
- Sentences 2-3 - explain the reason (assume that your examiner doesn’t understand the topic at all):
- Sentence 4 - support your idea with an example:
- Sentence 5 - a short summary of your thoughts in the 2nd paragraph.
You can write the conclusion in one sentence that summarizes your opinion + 2 reasons for it:
DO NOT write new ideas in the conclusion!
IELTS agree/disagree model answer
This is a full band-9 answer for IELTS agree or disagree question above:
It is often argued that it is more advantageous to choose a job with high wage, even if it doesn't appeal to you at all. I completely disagree with this opinion and think that job satisfaction is much more important than salary.
First of all, I believe that job satisfaction gives people a sense of fulfillment that no money can guarantee. Even if someone is earning a high salary, but feels tensed and compromises with his conscience, this person won’t enjoy his life. While pursuing one’s interests will always bring pleasure and feeling of satisfaction. For example, a lot of famous researchers made their career choices not because of appealing wages, but because they were passionate about science. That’s why it’s more important to choose the kind of work that makes you happy than to look only at a high salary.
Secondly, doing what you like keeps you motivated and therefore leads to a career growth. In other words, there is a strong relation between job satisfaction and productivity. People who love their jobs can easily excel in their fields of work and achieve better results than those, who put salary on the first place. For instance, Henry Miller decided to leave his everyday job despite a good wage and ventured to become a writer. And after enduring years of ups and downs he became one of the most famous and well-paid authors of the twentieth century. Thus, advantages of jobs that keep you satisfied outweigh the drawback of a low salary in a long-term perspective.
To conclude, I strongly believe that job satisfaction is more beneficial than high salary because it makes people happy and motivated.