Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Recently, a 3 Keys student in our course’s closed Facebook group posted:

Recently I saw YouTube videos from IELTS teachers who are describing how you can structure your opinion essay successfully. They are arguing that I should include the other opinion in the first paragraph, whatever the form of the question, as a sort of respect to the different views, otherwise I will lose marks.

Is that true?

I used to answer opinion essays by giving my personal opinion in both body paragraphs with supportive ideas and related examples.

Great question!

Yes, there are questions which you can answer with an Opinion Essay or an Argument Essay.

However, if there are two opinions stated in the question, you must address both opinions in your essay, or your Task Response score drops to a 5.

Sure, you may still score highly in the other categories, but having that 5 will make an overall 7+ nearly impossible.


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This is why writing an Argument Essay is always the best choice.

What if the question only states one opinion, though?

You can write an Opinion Essay, if it agrees with the stated opinion, and not talk about another side.

Nevertheless, writing an Argument Essay will not cause you to lose points. Thus, why not write that essay, as it’s faster and easier, then you’ll make sure to fulfill requirements for high Task scores no matter the question.

Now, if you do choose to write an Opinion Essay, you should still include a concession in one of the body paragraphs.

A concession is when you admit that the other side has a point.

Concessions are also excellent ways to extend your formal Speaking Part 3 answers.

What IELTS questions do you have for us?

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