Types of IELTS Essays: Everything You Need To Know 

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types of ielts essays

The IELTS Writing Task 2 presents five main essay types: Opinion, Discussion, Advantage/Disadvantage, and Double-question essays. Test takers are given around 40 minutes to complete their chosen essay. Acquiring a thorough understanding of the different essay types will help you score better in the IELTS Writing Task 2, potentially setting you apart from your peers. 

Different Types of Essays in IELTS General Writing Task 2

There are 5 types of essays asked in IELTS General Writing Task 2. These are Opinion, Discussion, Problem-Solution, Advantage-Disadvantage and Double Question Essays. Refer to the data given below to understand the different types of essays in IELTS writing. 

Opinion Essays 

Opinion essays are also known as ‘agree/disagree’/’argumentative’ essays. These essays typically require individuals to express their opinions or arguments on the given topic. Opinion essay questions are predominantly framed as: 

  • What is your opinion? 
  • Do you agree or disagree? 
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

Opinion Essay Question Sample: 

  1. Students should be allowed to use their mobile devices during their classes. To what extent do you agree or disagree? 
  2. Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Tips to Remember: 

  • Indicate which side of the argument you’d like me to elucidate.
  • Highlight your opinion in the introduction clearly and concisely. 
  • Add examples and statements to add weight to your essay. 
  • Give reasons why you hold this view.

Essay Structure

  • Introduction- Paraphrase the question, State your opinion, and Give Two Reasons 
  • Main Body Paragraph 1-  Outline the first reason for supporting this view, Emphasize the idea, and Provide an example
  • Main Body Paragraph 2- Give your second reason supporting your opinion, explain the idea, and provide an example. 
  •  Conclusion- Summarise your essay and give a solid conclusion

Discussion Essays 

These essays require you to analyse both sides of an argument. You’ll be expected to explore arguments for and against a specific statement, and ultimately, express your own opinion. Therefore, it’s best to prepare two distinct perspectives: one in which you find merit in the proposed statement, and another where you hold reservations. This balanced approach will demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of the topic and allow you to form a well-reasoned stance.

Discussion Essay Sample Questions: 

  • Some people think that sports should be a mandatory part of the academic curriculum across schools at the primary level. However, some believe that sports should not be included as a part of the curriculum. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. 
  • Some people believe that AI should be implemented in creative work. However, some believe that one should refrain from using AI in creative works. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. 

Tips to Remember: 

  • Inculcate the ability to perceive arguments from multiple angles. Understanding the reasoning behind differing perspectives fosters informed opinion-forming and facilitates productive arguments. 
  • Talk about both perspectives, i.e., the one with which you agree and the one with which you don’t. 
  • Many test takers make the common mistake of crafting their discussion essays weighing on only one side of the argument. This one-dimensional approach fails to demonstrate critical thinking and neglects the nuance inherent in most complex issues.

Essay Structure

  • Introduction- Paraphrase the question, State your own opinion, and Provide two reasons supporting your argument. 
  • Main body paragraph 1 – State the view you don’t agree with, Provide an explanation with the help of examples
  • Main body paragraph 2 – State the view you do agree with, Provide an explanation with the help of an example
  • Conclusion- Summarise your essay 

Problem Essays 

Problem essays are commonly known as ‘causes and solutions’/ ‘problems and solutions’ essays. Such essays necessitate a focus on the specific problems and solutions outlined in the question. However, simply compiling a list of every conceivable issue and remedy is a fruitless endeavour. Instead, one must emphasize upon identifying problems and solutions that seamlessly intertwine, forming a cohesive narrative that comprehensively addresses the given topic.

Problem Essay Question Samples: 

  • Poverty is a major global issue. What are the primary causes of poverty? How can it be solved? 
  • Cigarette smoking kills more people than bullets. What are the negative effects of smoking cigarettes? How can one stop smoking? 

Tips to Remember

  • You should avoid listing too many causes and solutions. 
  • Pick one or two causes and solutions and work on them. 
  • Make sure that your causes and solutions are interlinked with each other. They must correlate. 

Essay Structure

  • Introduction- Paraphrase the question and highlight the primary problem and solution. 
  • Main Body Paragraph 1- State the primary problem and provide a coherent explanation with the help of examples. 
  • Main Body Paragraph 2- State the solution with the help of explanations and examples.
  • Conclusion- Summarise the key points 

Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

These essays require test takers to write about both the advantages and disadvantages of the given topic. Some questions about advantage/disadvantage essays are framed as: 

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of….?
  • Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your opinion.

Advantages and Disadvantages Sample Question 

  • AI is being implemented in most of the working sectors in the world. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of using AI? 

Essay Structure

  • Introduction- Paraphrase the question and then provide your opinion. 
  • Main body paragraph 1 – State the advantage and explain it in your own words along with some examples. Furthermore, state the result. 
  • Main body paragraph 2 – State the disadvantage and explain along with examples and results. 
  • Conclusion- Summarise the key points and state your opinion. 

Double Question Essays

Such essays are commonly known as direct-question or two-question essays. In these essays, test takers are required to answer two different questions that may or may not be linked. 

Tips to Remember

  • Test takers must answer both questions. 
  • Make sure to not confuse double-question essays with discussion or opinion essays. 
  • Avoid writing about too many ideas. 

Double Question Sample  Essays 

  • In academics and jobs, some people work harder than others. Why do some people work harder? Is it always better to work hard? 
  • Companies use advertisements to make more sales. How can advertising help companies monetarily? Is advertising good or bad for sales? 

Essay Structure

  • Introduction- Paraphrase the question and outline the sentence. 
  • Main body paragraph 1 –State your answer and explain your answer with the help of an example.
  • Main body paragraph 2 – State your answer and explain with the help of an example. 
  • Conclusion- Summarise both questions and answers.

Best Vocabulary for IELTS Essays

Mastery of vocabulary is integral to scoring better in IELTS Writing Task 2. A robust vocabulary not only demonstrates fluency in English but also showcases your ability to articulate complex ideas with ease. Furthermore, employing effective linking words and phrases strengthens the coherence and flow of your writing. To assist you in achieving high scores, here are some valuable vocabulary resources for IELTS essays.

IntroductionsMany/some people claim/opine/believe that…There is no denying that…It is often said that…These days…/ Nowadays…/ In this day and age…That…It is universally accepted that…
End an IntroductionLet us examine both views before reaching a concrete decision. The following paragraphs discuss whether …… or …… and reach a reasonable conclusion. The following essay takes a look at both sides of the argument. My two cents go for…However, I strongly believe that…I oppose the view and my reasons will be explained in the following paragraphs. I will support this view with arguments in the following paragraphs. I believe that…
OpinionIn my opinion…I strongly opine that…I strongly agree with the idea that…I strongly disagree with the given topic…I think…My opinion is that…Personally speaking…In my view…
Body Paragraph 2It is true that…First…First of all…Firstly…First and foremost…Initially…
Body Paragraphs 3,4 and So OnSecond(ly)…  Third(ly)…Then…Next…After that…And…Again…Also…Besides…Likewise
ContrastOn the other hand…On the contrary…However…Nevertheless…/ Nonetheless…But…Nonetheless/ Nevertheless…
Show ExampleAs an example…As an illustration…As an instance…For instance….For example…

So that was all about the types of IELTS Essays. We hope the blog has answered your queries about the topic.


Q1. What are the different types of IELTS Essays? 

Ans. There are five different types of IELTS Essays, namely opinion essays, discussion essays, problem essays, advantage/disadvantage essays and double-question essays. 

Q2. What is the duration of IELTS Writing Task 2? 

Ans. The IELTS Writing Task 2 requires students to complete the task within 40 minutes. 

Q3. What are the best words to show contrast in IELTS Essays? 

Ans. On the other hand, On the contrary, However, Nevertheless, But, and Nonetheless are some of the words that you can use to show contrast in IELTS Essays.

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