#EngTips: Opinion in IELTS Writing Task 2

Hello, fellas. Are you going to take the IELTS test? In this session we will learn how to answer one kind of questions in IELTS Writing Task 2. The question is about our opinion. Here is a sample question:

Space exploration is much too expensive and the money should be spent on more important things. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

An answer in IELTS Writing Task 2 is generally structured into 4-5 paragraphs. They are introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and a conclusion.

1) Introduction

a. Paraphrasing the question
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “paraphrase” means “to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words”.

Example:
Several people believe that space research is a waste of money and the fund should be allocated on more urgent issues.

(More on paraphrasing: https://englishtips4u.com/2018/05/24/engtips-paraphrasing/)

b. Thesis statement
This statement is used to state whether you agree or disagree with an opinion.

Example: I disagree with the statement for two reasons.

(More on thesis statement: https://englishtips4u.com/2014/09/14/engclass-thesis-statement/)

2) Body Paragraphs
Each body paragraph is written to support your thesis statement. It is comprised of a topic sentence and some supporting sentences.

Example:
First of all, many of the technologies we take for granted today were originated thanks to space research. Take satellite technology, for example, which we depend on for broadcasting and weather forecasting. Without satellites, we would not be able to follow global events as they happen, nor give populations any warning of approaching storms. Space research has also led to the development of new lightweight materials that offer us heat protection and enable food preservation. Therefore, the challenge of sending human beings into space has often driven the development of new technologies that benefit our everyday lives.
Second, we cannot foresee the distant future, so we ought to develop the capability to escape from the earth. Gradually, we are learning how humans can survive for long periods in space and even travel to other planets in the future. If space exploration is halted, this valuable knowledge will never be acquired. It is true that environmental destruction is also a serious issue, but it is also true that we remain dependent on our environment if we never accept the challenge of exploring other worlds.

3) Conclusion
The concluding paragraph restates the thesis statement and summarizes the body paragraphs.

Example:
In conclusion, while we undoubtedly face serious problems on our own planet, it is imperative that we continue to explore space. This will promote further technological advances as well as provide a possible means of escape should earth become uninhabitable in future. Ideally, all nations should cooperate in the advancement of space research.

(More on writing an essay: https://englishtips4u.com/2017/02/05/engtips-tips-on-writing-essay/)

Sources:
IELTS Academic, IELTS Writing Task 2: Opinion Essay with Sample Answer, https://ielts-academic.com/2012/06/24/ielts-writing-task-2-opinion-essay-with-sample-answer/
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Alice Oshima and Ann Hogue, Introduction to Academic Writing: Third Edition

Compiled and written by @fathrahman for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, February 17, 2019

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