Understanding Different Types of IELTS Essay Questions

by adhikarisunita


How do I answer this question?

I need some reasons for answer, I mean some main ideas.

Today the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold.

What is your opinion?

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Sep 05, 2015
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High sales of popular consumer goods
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

You are asked your opinion so you would need to decide if you agree, disagree, or partly agree and then give your reasons why.

Here are some example ideas:

Agree

If you agree, then you think that people are buying things they do not need because of advertising.

You are best then to just give some examples to support this. For instance, IT products are a good example of this. Explain how people are encouraged by advertising to keep buying the latest mobile phone when their old one still works, thus they don't really need it.

People are also encouraged to buy brand named goods, be they IT products or clothes in order to be fashionable, but do they really need all this?

Disagree

If you disagree, you could look at the same items, but you would argue that people are not buying them just because of advertising.

People are making their own choices to buy these things because it improves their lives in various ways.

You'd need to explain why they do need them. For example, explaining why it is necessary to have the latest mobile phone.

Partly agree

You could look at both sides of course. In this case you would discuss all the points above, then say what you think.

***


These are just some suggestions of course. There are other ideas you could look at.

Dec 12, 2015
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Possible points to include in the essay would be
by: Anonymous

1) research suggests that people are more inclined to purchase items they are familiar with. Manufacturing companies bank on this by ensuring that they brainwash you with their ads so much so that when are at the store you feel very familiar with the product and nine out of ten times will purchase an item depending upon the advertisement that appealed to you.

2) After watching and hearing about a product for several days and several times a day, the brain cannot distinguish the difference between reality (actually knowing the product) and virtual reality (thinking you know the product).

3) Products that are well propagated especially if they include offers/discounts tend to sell even if they are not immediately required by the consumer.

4) A lot of effort is spent in surveying the sensitive areas of humans and advertisements use this information to their advantage by propagating a weak area and convincing the consumer that they require it. Consumers are easily carried away and it results in the purchase of a whole plethora of items wherein even the packaging will not be touched.

Sep 14, 2016
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Confused
by: Anonymous

Hi ieltsbuddy,

Last week I gave my exam. I got a very easy topic.

"some people say members of family are more important whilst others say friends are important. whether you agree/disagree. give your opinion".

In 1st para I introduced the essay.secondly I wrote about supported for family.third para I supported friends and finally I supported family as well as friends.

My concern is that, is the structure correct, I supported both views is it correct?

Last exam I got 6.5 so this exam I am worried about my writing :( someone plz suggest.

Sep 14, 2016
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Confused
by: IELTS buddy

There isn't one 'correct' way of writing an essay as there are various ways you can answer and structure most essays.

Also I think you may have remembered the essay question incorrectly as you wouldn't be asked if you agree or disagree and then asked what is your opinion. You would only have one of those.

But anyway, your answer looks fine as there are two opinions and you discussed them both and you also gave your own opinion.

Of course this does not mean you will get the score you want as you are graded on many things.

Good luck.

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Is this a Positive or Negative Development Questions

by Cams

I recently took the IELTS exam last September 24 and the question was confusing. The question was like:

In many countries, petroleum is still used for power. However, some countries are using renewable sources (solar, wind) as their main source of energy.

To what extent is this a positive or negative development?


How should we answer this kind of question?

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Oct 19, 2016
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Understanding different types of IELTS essay questions
by: IELTS buddy

This is an 'advantages and disadvantages' essay, but it also requires your opinion, as it wants to know whether you think it has more pros or cons.

You could answer it in various ways.

1) Say it is definitely a positive development and write 2-3 paragraphs about the advantages of renewable sources.

2) Say it is definitely a negative development and write 2-3 paragraphs about the disadvantages of renewable sources.

You could make your paragraphs comparative so you are discussing both renewables and petrol. For example, body paragraph one could discuss 'pollution' as a topic and explain why renewable sources reduce it but petroleum increases it.

3) Or you could write one paragraph about the benefits of petroleum and another about the benefits of renewables and then come to a conclusion (with your opinion) in the at the end (or the cons of each).

4) You could write one body paragraph about the benefits of petroleum then the next paragraph about problems of renewables then conclude that it is a negative development (or visa versa).

So as you can see there are quite a few ways to approach it.

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'Positive or Negative' Type Essay Questions

by delvy
(Santo domingo)

Hi guys,

The use of mobiles has become common in many countries.

Is this is a positive or negative development?


- How we should write answer for this essay?
- What is the task here?
- Are they asking for the advantages or disadvantage of mobile phones?

Could someone tell me pls

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Sep 14, 2013
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Positive and Negative Essay Questions
by: IELTS buddy

Yes, this essay is basically asking you about the advantages and disadvantages of mobile phone use being so popular.

You could look at both sides of the issue.

It specifically asks you for your opinion as well:

"Is this a positive or negative development?".

So you can look at both sides but you must explain what your personal opinion is in the introduction and / or conclusion.

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Confused about an essay question

by Yasir

Hello!

I had my ielts test recently. I am confused about my General writing essay 2 response.

The question like:

"In many parts of the world, people live for longer than they used to. What are the resons for that.

Whats are the advantages or disadvantages of that".


Does this question ask about why in some countries people prefer to live for longer (as in Australia, Canada) OR it's asking why people live longer lifes?

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Jul 14, 2015
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Living Longer Essay
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Yasir,

It is the second one. I'm not sure what you mean by your first interpretation as people don't really have a preference to live longer. We can assume most people want to live a long life, and it is difficult to choose anyway.

You would just need to explain why people are living longer now, which has a lot to do with improved health care and lifestyles.

Then given the advantages (e.g. people have longer in the world to enjoy their life) or disadvantages (e.g. pressure on governments to support so many old people) of people living longer.

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How do I answer 'What is your opinion' type IELTS essays questions?

by sunita

Violence in playgrounds is increasing. However, it is important that parents should teach children not to hit back at bullies.

What are your opinions on this?


I'm confused whether this is agree-disagree type of question or not.

The next thing is if the question says to give our opinion without mentioning agree / disagree or advantages / disadvantages, then what will we write....discuss both views? Or give only our one opinion of agreeing or disagreeing?

And in above question how to generate ideas..I didn't know what to write about..

a. whether parents should teach or not
b. is it good that parents should teach
c. how should parents teach
d. or any other methods like teachers teaching at school.


Which could be the answer for above question

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Jul 15, 2015
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What is your opinion essays
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Sunita,

Giving your opinion

If you are given this type of question it leaves it very much up to you how you approach it in terms of organisation, but if you are ever asked your opinion about something, that automatically means you are being asked whether your agree or disagree with what has been said (or partially agree) and giving the advantages and / or disadvantages.

You are trying to separate all these things out but they are all essentially the same thing.

You will need to state whether you think parents should teach children to hit back at bullies or not.

Your opinion could be they SHOULD NOT teach them to hit back (i.e. agree) and you then give reasons why.

Your opinion could be they SHOULD teach them to hit back (i.e. disagree) and you then give reasons why.

In this way you are explaining the advantages of each approach.

You could of course look at both sides (like a 'discuss both opinions' essay) and then give your opinion on the issue. When you give your opinion you would be saying which side you agreed or disagreed with (or maybe you can see both sides).

In this way you are looking at both sides i.e. the advantages and disadvantages of such a method.

Generating ideas

When you are asked your opinion about something your answer should give REASONS.

So you state what your view is e.g.

"I think parents should encourage their children not to hit bullies back".

Then give your reasons why you think this e.g.

a) Children will grow up to think violence is the solution to things
b) Children could get injured more harshly by the bully if they fight them back

Or visa versa if you disagree.

Regarding the points you made about the possible content for your essay:

a. whether parents should teach or not

- This is not an idea for a paragraph, this is your opinion

b. is it good that parents should teach

- You are just repeating the question. This is what you need to answer: yes or no and give reasons

c. how should parents teach

- No. This would be going off topic. It is not about 'how' to teach it but whether it is a good idea or not and why.

d. or any other methods like teachers teaching at school.

- You could possibly offer alternatives i.e. you say you disagree, explain why, then discuss some better ways.

You can check out a model answer for this type of essay question here:

What is your opinion / view model essay

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Agree or disagree question

by Stavros

In an essay about "if mothers have to get salary from government" It was an agree/disagree question. not what extend agree. but i approach the theme as partially agree from both sides. i will loose a lot of grades?

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Dec 09, 2014
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agree disagree question
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Stavros,

Don't worry, that would not really make any difference.

Having a clear opinion is what is important. If you did that, then your score should not be affected.

Jun 03, 2015
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Agree or disagree question
by: Long Vo

to my knowledge, you can convert agree/disagree into discuss both view but make sure that you have a clear thesis. In this case my suggested thesis could be "I believe it is better for mother to receive financial support from both sides". Hope this would help.

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What is the difference between these agree / disagree IELTS prompts?

by Shaon Paul
(Sydney NSW Australia)

Hi,

i would like to know the difference between the questions "do you agree or disagree?" and "to what extent do you agree or disagree?"

Some experts say that i have to just support one aspect in the first one and both aspects in the 2nd question. So i am little confused.

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Apr 22, 2015
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Agree / Disagree IELTS Prompts
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Shaon,

If you read them exactly as they are, you could say that.

But I would not worry about the difference too much and approach them in the same way - agreeing, disagreeing, or partly agreeing/disagreeing and examining both sides.

If someone asked you whether you agreed or disagreed with a point, there is no reason why you could not say - well actually I partly agree.

I think it's doubtful that someone marking it would be pedantic enough to pick up on that if you wrote a good answer that tackled the question.

May 08, 2015
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Difference existed
by: Abbosbek

Yep, of course there is a difference between 'Do you agree or disagree' and 'to what extent do u agree or disagree'. As we know, there are 3 types of essay forms.

First one is called Argumentation and second one is Proposal and last one is Discussion essay.

So argumentation essay is based on arguments and facts which should be based on your points and sides so you must prove your claim with some degree so it means you must stay on your point to some extent!

Extent as we know means degree of your position. So you have to write degree such as 'I partially agree/disagree' and 'i totally agree' and etc.

In proposel essay you have to write your side between two points.

May 13, 2016
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Doubts
by: Anonymous

Can u make it little elaborate?

Because I write all these argumentative or proposal or opinion essays in one format only.

I introduce my clear opinion in the introduction while my body paragraphs support on both views ..

That question types r agree or disagree, to what extent agree or disagree, to what extent u agree with, discuss both views and give your opinion

Is my format correct of do I have to change ??

May 15, 2016
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Doubts
by: IELTS buddy

I'd say it's unlikely you can answer all opinion essays using one essay format but it's really difficult to judge what you may be doing specifically without seeing some examples of your answers to the essay questions.

In theory you could support both sides in an 'agree / disagree' type essay but you would have to make it clear in your introduction when you give your opinion that rather than falling on one side you can see the merits of both.

As I say, it's really difficult to know exactly what you are doing in your essays without seeing some examples.

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Can someone help me to understand this IELTS task 2 essay question on traditional male roles?

by ieltsfish

I have following IELTS Writing Task 2:

-------------


To what extent has the traditional male role changed in the last 20 years?

Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why they have the greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men are just as good as women at parenting.

Write an essay expressing your point of view.


-------------


I am not really sure what I'm expected to answer here.

Am I expected to give my opinion on whether women are better at parenting or do I have to answer the question "To what extent has the traditional male role changed in the last 20 years?" by expressing my point of view and giving reasons?

Or am I expected to answer the question and also give my opinion on who is a better parent?

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Sep 29, 2013
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understanding an IELTS task 2
by: IELTS buddy

Where did you get the question from?

This is two separate questions, not one.

The first is not asking specifically about parenting (though this topic would likely make up a large part of your answer).

You just need to describe how the role of the man has changed in society over the last 20 years. You might talk about the males role in work, parenting, and anything else relevant. It is not asking for any opinion particularly.

The second is specifically about parenting, and you need to give your opinion on whether men or women are best at raising children and explain why.

The questions are very different.

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What can I do if I don't understand the IELTS essay question?

by Dia - Xing HuiShuai
(Wuxi,JiangSu,China)

Hi,

I want to ask a question about IELTS writing test.

If I don't understand the question, what can I do?

Thanks your help.

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Mar 10, 2014
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Not understanding the IELTS Writing question
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

This is an important point because many candidates don't answer the question properly because they have misunderstood it.

Making sure you understand the IELTS essay question is one of the most important things you need to learn.

If you get in the test and you don't understand the question then there is not much you can do! It is too late then.

You need to make sure that you practice analysing IELTS essays questions BEFORE you do the test so that you are not in the situation that you don't understand the question.

There are techniques to understanding the question.

You can get some information here:

Analysing Essay Questions Part 1
Analysing Essay Questions Part 2

I also focus on this quite a lot in my ebook because it is very important:

IELTS buddy ebook


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How do I answer different IELTS essay questions?

by claudia moraga
(santiago, Chile)

Hi, my name is Andrea, and I am very worried about how is the way of writing an essay.

I learned different ways to write it, but I don´t know what to choose.

Maybe the way differs in the structure of the essay depending on the type of questions that are at the end of the problem, for example:

- to what extent...
- which do you believe and why?
- Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

please help me with that.
Sincerely,
Claudia

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Feb 05, 2013
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Reply ;)
by: Anonymous

There is some grammatical mistake in your post. Fix that. You can find some very high quality writing material in this website. Read them carefully and deduce yourself.

Feb 07, 2013
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IELTS essay types
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

It is difficult to answers this question in one post.

One thing I would say to you is don't get bogged down in (confused by) different essay structures and types.

They key thing is studying exactly what the question is asking you and making sure you answer it.

If you also know how to structure a general essay (i.e. introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion) and how to structure a paragraph (topic sentences, supporting ideas, coherency and unity) then you should be ok.

But have a look at the essays on these pages:

Model Essays

Study them and see the various ways you can answer them as that may help.

Good luck


Mar 01, 2013
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copy materials
by: lili

hi, thanks a lot for your best site. I want to know if I can copy these materials available on this site and teach in my class or not? thanks

Mar 04, 2013
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using materials
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

You can certainly copy the materials for use in a class (but not for publication to a website or book obviously).

Thanks

Mar 18, 2013
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GREAT THANKS
by: Khoja

thank u very much it really helped me to imrove my writing essays

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Help to understand an essay question

by Krish

Foreign visitors should pay more than local visitors for cultural and historical attractions. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? ....

Shall i focus on should, shouldn't or both on these types of questions. Help will be greatly appreciated thanx.

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Nov 29, 2013
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Help to understand an IELTS essay question
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

It is up to you how you choose to respond. I'm simplifying things a bit here, but you basically have three options:

1) Agree 100% and argue why they SHOULD pay more throughout your essay

2) Disagree 100% and argue why they SHOULD NOT pay more throughout your essay

3) Examine both sides, looking at why they SHOULD pay and why they SHOULD NOT pay

Have a look at some of the model essays and lessons to see some examples. This should help you.


Aug 27, 2015
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sarwar
by: Anonymous

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Sep 16, 2015
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credit repair
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Nov 04, 2015
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Good
by: Jaunita Keat

That's good one post.

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Agree disagree type IELTS essays questions

by cc

when you are asked to give on to what extent do you agree on statement X, do you have to have to go to either extremes, or can you say I agree to a certain extent...?

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Aug 05, 2015
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IELTS Essay
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

It is up to you. You can choose.

You can completely agree, completely disagree, or agree to a certain extent.

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How do we answer opinion and argument types of IELTS essays?

by doctor

In the opinion and argument type of essays do we need to discuss both the sides or we just stick to our opinion throughout the essay?

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Jan 03, 2016
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Opinion and argument types of IELTS essays
by: IELTS buddy

It depends exactly what you mean by 'opinion' and 'argument' essays.

For this kind of question you have to discuss both sides (other people's opinions) and give your opinion as it clearly says:

--------------------------------------------
"Some people think that the main factors influencing a child’s development these days are things such as television, friends, and music. Others believe that the family still remains more important.

Discuss both opinions and give your opinion".

--------------------------------------------

So you are discussing both sides and giving your opinion.

For this next type of essay, again you obviously have to give your opinion (as you are asked if YOU agree or disagree):

--------------------------------------------
"Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. However, at best these methods are ineffective, and at worst they may be dangerous.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?"

--------------------------------------------

However, although you can just give your side (e.g. you 100% agree/disagree) you may want to partly agree and look at both sides of the argument, or still 100% agree/disagree but discuss the other side just to show other people have a different perspective to you.

It's difficult to explain this without showing model answers.

Check out some examples on these pages and you will see the different ways you could answer:

IELTS Model Essays.

I also discuss this in more details in the IELTS Writing eBook.

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How do I answer an IELTS essay question where I have to discuss my view?

by Medu
(India)

If a question is asked to discuss my view... Is it right to discuss both sides equally and stating my view?

Or some extra weight should be given to my view?

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May 25, 2015
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Discussing your view
by: IELTS buddy

Hi Medu,

I assume you mean questions like this:

Some people think that the best way to reduce crime is to give longer prison sentences. Others, however, believe there are better alternative ways of reducing crime.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Yes you should discuss both sides equally and state your view too.

I'm not sure what you mean by extra weight to your view. There is no strict rule on this.

An IELTS essay is not that long, so it would be fine to put your view in a slightly extended concluding paragraph.

Or you could have a third body paragraph with your view in.

Or another option is to make the view you discuss in the second body paragraph your view too.

Take a look at the Model Essays on these pages and you will see there are various examples of 'discuss two opinion' essays.

Look at those and you'll see some of the options you have for answering those types of question.

Jun 05, 2015
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Thesis statement in intro
by: magg

Maybe you might want to include something like "in this essay i will seek to explore various ways..." into the thesis statement in the introduction.

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will the essay in writing task 2 be repeated?

by rupa

will the essay in writing task 2 be repeated?

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Mar 31, 2014
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Getting the same IELTS task 2 essay question
by: IELTS buddy

Hi,

You mean will the same essay question come up again?

Unlikely it will be exactly the same question, but similar type topics / questions come up again, just worded in a different way.

So a useful skill is to look at past essay questions and model answers. You may then get to recognise similar types of question that are worded differently.

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