IELTS Writing: How to Write a Discussion Essay

In an opinion or agree/disagree essay, you needed to take a side and provide logic supporting your side. You were required to show why the other way around was not strong enough. But here in case of a Discussion essay question, your role is different,  Take a look at the example question below:

"Technological improvement is making our life more comfortable. Some people argue that this is a positive trend, while others say it is leading to negative consequences.

Discuss both sides of this argument and then give your own opinion."

Look, you are not asked to take a side, rather you are simply told to discuss both sides of the question statement, and then asked to add your opinion. However, your opinion doesn't have to support any of the stated sides, it could be something in between, or could be a unique point of view. It's all your opinion. Don't shy to express. This question type is called IELTS Task 2 Discussion essay question.

 

Let's go with our step by step strategy to answer this question.

Pick the Key Points

You might have several points to talk about. But you cannot write all of them.  Examiners didn't ask for a list of features, rather they want you to explain only one or two major points. Let's select the following points to discuss in the essay.

Body Paragraph 1

  • Positive: Unprecedented improvement in transfer and communication

  • Negative: Rampant cyber-crime/online-assault

Body Paragraph 2

  • Positive: Automation technology in almost every sphere of daily life

  • Negative: Development of chronic health problems from sedentary lifestyle

 

Your Opinion

  • Despite having some drawbacks, technological improvement is a massive blessing for us.

Addressing the question stated above, we've chosen a few positive and negative  major points to discuss about. We've also noted down our opinion to add afterwards. Therefore, now we're well set to start planning for the essay.

 

Previously we discussed in detail how important it is to have an organized plan before starting the essay. If you haven't gone through that article on planning strategy for a band 9 essay, we suggest you check it now. It will give a big boost to the quality of your essay.

 

Before starting to write the essay, let's take a quick look at our magic structure:

Magic Structure: Discussion Essay

If you can write just 14 sentences spread over 4 paragraphs, your IELTS Task 2 essay is complete. It is that simple. This is our 4/14 essay technique. It's very easy to remember and execute in exam:

  1. Introduction

  2. Body Paragraph 1

  3. Body Paragraph 2

  4. Conclusion

On this page, we are going to show you step by step how to apply this magic strategy for a Discussion essay.

 

However, we've developed a simple paragraphing style that will make your life easiest ever. We call it 3443 Approach. Remember it, practice it, apply it. It will make your IELTS Task 2 writing so easy that you can't even imagine.

What we mean by 3443:

  • 3 Sentences for Introduction Paragraph

  • 4 Sentences for Body Paragraph 1

  • 4 Sentences for Body Paragraph 2

  • 3 Sentences for Conclusion Paragraph

These are the 3+4+4+3 = 14 sentences. Quite simple. Now let's distribute these sentences among the 4 paragraphs.

Introduction 

Sentence 1: Paraphrase the question sentence.

Sentence 2: Write a thesis statement.

Sentence 3: Write an outline sentence.

Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 1

Sentence 2: Explain the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 3: Present logic for the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 4: Give a supportive example for the Topic Sentence 1.

Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 2

Sentence 2: Drawbacks of Topic Sentence 2.

Sentence 3: State your opinion.

Sentence 4: Give an example supporting your opinion.

Conclusion

Sentence 1: Summarize the positive points.

Sentence 2: Summarize the drawbacks.

Sentence 3: Give a final remark summarizing the both body paragraphs.

 

This is pretty simple to remember. Addressing the question stated above, we are going to demonstrate you the beauty of this secret formula. 

Before jumping to the essay, we need to clarify one more thing. Looking at our  structure above, you might be wondering what is Topic Sentence. Let's clarify it: 

Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence is pretty simple. Just state the major points that you want to discuss about. These points are simply the Topic Sentences. In this Discussion essay, we're using the two positive points as the two Topic Sentences for Body Paragraph 1 and 2 respectively. Look at the sentences below: 

  1. Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication.

  2. Automation technology is another revolutionary innovation that has made our life easier and faster.

 

Sentence 1 will be the Topic Sentence for Body Paragraph 1, and the sentence 2 will be the Topic Sentence for Body Paragraph 2. 

Addressing the question stated at the top of this page, let's apply our structure:

Introduction

This paragraph bears an overall picture of the essay, and conveys an impression to the examiner. Therefore, we suggest you write this paragraph such a way that examiners can get a clear preview of the essay. Take a look how we construct this paragraph:

Sentence 1: Paraphrase the question sentence.

Sentence 2: Write a thesis statement.

Sentence 3: Write an outline sentence.

(However, we have a complete guide on how to write a great introduction. We also have a full article regarding how to write a thesis statement. We suggest you check them now, if you haven't already.)

The 1st sentence is the paraphrase of the question statement. By reading this sentence, the examiner will get the perception whether you have properly understood the question or not.

 

Thesis statement is the 2nd sentence. This is the most important sentence in the whole essay. This sentence will demonstrate your reaction regarding the question statement, and it will also provide a concise summary of the essay.

 

Outlining sentence is the 3rd sentence of your introduction paragraph. This sentence will give a hint how the discussion is going to proceed in the following paragraphs.

 

Responding to the question stated above on this page, let's apply our strategy for the introduction paragraph:

Paraphrasing of the Question Sentence

"Argument goes that people are getting more and more dependent on technology."

Thesis Statement

"Though this essay considers it as a huge blessing for human life, there are both sides of logic whether the advancement of technology is doing good or bad for us in the long run."

 

Outline Sentence

"Followed by an opinion of the essay, a detailed discussion on both points of view is given below."

The Complete Introduction

"Argument goes that people are getting more and more dependent on technology. Though this essay considers it as a huge blessing for human life, there are both sides of logic whether the advancement of technology is doing good or bad for us in the long run. Followed by an opinion of the essay, a detailed discussion on both points of view is given below."

Body Paragraph 1

Remember, you are asked to write the essay with at least 250 words. Yes you can  

write a few more like 270 - 300, but you should never exceed 300. 

 

However, you might have a number of points to focus on. This is why you need to make a choice what to discuss, and what not to. Considering the word limit, we suggest you choose only 2 or three major points at most, and divide the points into two body paragraphs. 

(We have a full article on our special strategy for IELTS Writing Task 2 body paragraphs. We suggest you check it now, if you haven't already.)

Addressing the question stated above, look at our body paragraphing strategy below: 

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 1

Sentence 2: Explain the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 3Present logic for the Topic Sentence 1.

Sentence 4: Give an example supporting the logic.

Sentence 1 (Topic Sentence 1)

"Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication."

Sentence 2 (Explain the Topic Sentence 1)

"Regardless the distance in between, they can set up real time online audio-visual contact with their loved ones, can join live programs online, get real time updates of emergency events and take immediate measures.

Sentence 3 (Present logic for the Topic Sentence 1)

"As people can set up efficient communications without any physical movement, they can use more time in other productive jobs to make their life smoother and faster."

Sentence 4 (Give an example supporting the logic)

"For instance, a study on 2000 British adults shows that they save around 7 hours each week using online automation technology like internet banking, voice messaging etc. which means UK population as a whole can save 24 billion hours a year because of using online communication technology."

The Complete Body Paragraph 1

"Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication. Regardless the distance in between, they can set up real time online audio-visual contact with their loved ones, can join live programs online, get real time updates of emergency events and take immediate measures. As people can communicate efficiently without any physical movement, they can use more time in other productive jobs to make their life smoother and faster. For instance, a study on 2000 British adults shows that they save around 7 hours each week using online automation technology like internet banking, voice messaging etc. which means UK population as a whole can save 24 billion hours a year because of using online communication technology."

Body Paragraph 2

If you have two major points, simply discuss one point in Body Paragraph 1, and the another one in Body Paragraph 2. If there are three points, take the Body Paragraph 1 for the most important one, and explain the other two points in Body Paragraph 2.

 

However, we suggest you limit your number of points into two. If there are only 2 points, you can comfortably explain them individually in the two body paragraphs. Let's apply our magic structure for the question stated above:

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence 2

Sentence 2: Drawbacks of Topic Sentence 2

Sentence 3: State your opinion.

Sentence 4: Give an example supporting your opinion.

 

Sentence 1(Topic Sentence 2)

"Automation is another revolutionary branch of technological advancement that made people's daily life easier and faster."

Sentence 2(Drawbacks of Topic Sentence 2)

"However, there are some common arguments against automation such as, making people physically inactive, leading to a sedentary lifestyle, doubling the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and so on."

Sentence 3(State your opinion)

"Despite admitting these drawbacks, this essay argues that automation is giving us huge benefits."

Sentence 4(Give an example supporting your opinion)

"For instance, studies show that over the next three decades, 76 million people will retire and only 46 million new workers will be available tor replace them, automation will be the viable solution to fill this labors' demand-supply gap."

The Complete Body Paragraph 2

"Automation is another revolutionary branch of technological advancement. It made people's daily life easier and faster. Though there are some common arguments against automation such as, making people physically inactive, leading to a sedentary lifestyle, doubling the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and so on. Despite admitting these drawbacks, this essay argues that automation is giving us huge benefits. For instance, studies show that over the next three decades, 76 million people will retire and only 46 million new workers will be available tor replace them, automation will be the viable solution to fill this labors' demand-supply gap."

Conclusion

You must let the examiner know your final say. Though we don't recommend writing a conclusion paragraph for an IELTS Task 1 essay, we strongly suggest you add a conclusion paragraph for a Task 2 essay. Remember, even if you fear running out of time, still you need to write at least one sentence as a conclusion paragraph. A conclusion paragraph is that much important for an IELTS Task 2 essay.

Write the conclusion paragraph in such a way that it answers the question clearly. And remember, the answer has to be completely based on the discussion above. That means never bring any new idea in a conclusion paragraph. Moreover, you should also try to avoid the vocabulary that you have already used in the essay. These are the basic requirements for your conclusion paragraph. 

 

Remember, you will lose marks if you fail to write a conclusion in an IELTS Task 2 essay. To put it simply, it resembles you worked all day together as a team, but at the end of the day, you just left workplace without saying 'bye' to anyone.

(We have a detailed guide on how to write a smart conclusion. We suggest you check this article now, if you haven't already.)

Let's focus on our simple secret of constructing a conclusion paragraph:

Sentence 1: Summarize the positive points.

Sentence 2: Summarize the drawbacks.

Sentence 3: Give a final remark summarizing the both body paragraphs.

Sentence 1 (Summarize the positive points)

"In conclusion, widespread use of automation and advanced communication technology, people are now globally more connected than ever before."

Sentence 2 (Summarize the drawbacks)

"However, this technological revolution is not free from blame as it is accused of facilitating serious cyber crime and some chronic diseases.

Sentence 3 (Give a final remark summarizing the both body paragraphs)

"Apart from a few negative aspects like cyber-bullying and disease prone sedentary lifestyle, this essay overall believes that technological revolution is a massive blessing for human civilization."

The Complete Conclusion

"In conclusion, widespread use of automation and advanced communication technology, people are now globally more connected than ever before. However, this technological revolution is not free from blame as it is accused of facilitating serious cyber crime and some chronic diseases. Apart from a few negative aspects like cyber-bullying and disease prone sedentary lifestyle, this essay overall believes that technological revolution is a massive blessing for human civilization."

A Complete Response to the IELTS Task 2 Discussion Essay Question

"Argument goes that people are getting more and more dependent on technology. Though this essay considers it as a huge blessing for human life, there are both sides of logic whether the advancement of technology is doing good or bad for us in the long run. Followed by an opinion of the essay, a detailed discussion on both points of view is given below.

Currently, people across the world are at the best of enjoying the benefits of super fast communication. Regardless the distance in between, they can set up real time online audio-visual contact with their loved ones, can join live programs online, get real time updates of emergency events and take immediate measures. As people can communicate efficiently without any physical movement, they can use more time in other productive jobs to make their life smoother and faster. For instance, a study on 2000 British adults shows that they save around 7 hours each week using online automation technology like internet banking, voice messaging etc. which means UK population as a whole can save 24 billion hours a year because of using online communication technology.

Automation is another revolutionary branch of technological advancement. It made people's daily life easier and faster. Though there are some common arguments against automation such as, making people physically inactive, leading to a sedentary lifestyle, doubling the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and so on. Despite admitting these drawbacks, this essay argues that automation is giving us huge benefits. For instance, studies show that over the next three decades, 76 million people will retire and only 46 million new workers will be available tor replace them, automation will be the viable solution to fill this labors' demand-supply gap.

In conclusion, widespread use of automation and advanced communication technology, people are now globally more connected than ever before. However, this technological revolution is not free from blame as it is accused of facilitating serious cyber crime and some chronic diseases. Apart from a few negative aspects like cyber-bullying and disease  prone sedentary lifestyle, this essay overall believes that technological revolution is a massive blessing for human civilization."

However, if you need our help with a guarantee of 7+ band score in IELTS Writing, please check our IELTS Writing Assistance.

Review the detailed discussion on all the types of IELTS Task 2 essays:

Don't forget to check the following resources as well: