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Agree-Disagree / Opinion Essay: A Band 9 Simple Technique

Are you gearing up to tackle the IELTS Writing test? If so, you know that one of the task types you'll encounter is the Opinion Essay / Agree-Disagree essay. This task requires you to take a stand on a given topic and support it with reasons and examples.

 

It may sound straightforward, but writing a strong Agree-Disagree essay can be challenging. However, don't let that discourage you - with the right approach, you can master this task type and impress the IELTS examiners.

In this article, we'll provide you with tips and strategies to help you craft an effective Agree-Disagree essay. We understand that writing can be a daunting task, which is why we'll break down the process into manageable steps. You'll learn how to structure a high band IELTS essay.

But before we dive into the details, we want to remind you that practice and feedback are crucial to improving your writing skills. That's why we offer a range of resources to help you prepare for the IELTS Writing test, including our downloadable IELTS Writing eBooks and IELTS Essay Correction Service.

The eBooks are not just any study materials, they are the result of the collective expertise of our team of highly experienced IELTS examiners. Packed with insider tips and secrets on how to produce impressive writing, providing comprehensive coverage of all the task types you'll encounter on the exam.

And if you're looking for personalized feedback to take your writing to the next level, our Essay Correction Service is exactly what you need. Our team of examiners will provide you with detailed guidance towards your desired band score, so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on improving them. You should not settle for mediocre writing when you can achieve excellence with our eBooks and Essay Correction Service.

Now, let's get started with an effective strategy for writing a high band IELTS Agree-Disagree essay / opinion essay.

IELTS Opinion / Agree-Disagree Essay

An Opinion Essay or Agree-Disagree Essay in IELTS is a type of Task 2 essay where you will be asked to present you opinion on a specific topic.

The question will begin with a statement. After that, you'll be invited to share your own perspective on the statement. Here is an example of typical language that might be used in this question type:

  • What is your opinion?

  • Do you agree or disagree?

  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?

 

Here's a question from a past exam.

Group or team activities can teach more important skills for life than those activities which are done alone. Do you agree or disagree?

 

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

We are going to use this question to show how to organize and write an IELTS opinion/Agree-Disagree essay.

3 Common Mistakes

These three errors are common in IELTS opinion/agree-disagree essays.

  1. Not stating an opinion clearly is the most common mistake that test takers make in an IELTS Opinion essay. The question will clearly state that you need to choose one side of the argument and present your opinion on it. If you fail to do this, you will receive a low score in the Task Achievement criterion.

  2. The second common mistake is giving arguments for both views. If you do so, the essay will fail to show a clear stance on the issue. Remember, it is important to take a clear position and stick to it throughout the essay.

  3. The third common mistake is not supporting your opinion with clear reasons. It's important to provide specific examples and reasons to back up your opinion, this will help you to score higher marks in 'coherence and cohesion'.

Remember, a well-structured essay that is well-supported with clear reasons and examples is key to getting a good score in IELTS Task 2 opinion essay. You should also be mindful of the word count (at least 250 words) and time (about 40 minutes in total) management during the test.

Let's give you a simple structure that you can use to write opinion/agree-disagree essays.

 

1) Introduction

  • Paraphrasing the question

  • Thesis statement (your opinion and the discussion points)

 

2) Main body paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence – outline 1st reason for supporting this view

  • Explanation – explain this idea

  • Example – give an example or expand the idea

 

3) Main body paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence – outline 2nd reason for supporting this view

  • Explanation – explain this idea

  • Example – give an example or expand the idea

 

4) Conclusion

  • Summary sentence

 

Well, this is not the only structure that can be used, you can use different structures if you are comfortable with. Any structure is good if it can convey the answer properly.

However. we recommend for using the structure that we are giving in this eBook, because these structures are proven effective, easy to understand, and they are designed to help you rapidly organize and write a quality essay.

Introduction

Paraphrasing the Question

Start your introduction by paraphrasing the question.

 

Actual Question

“Group or team activities can teach more important skills for life than those activities which are done alone.

Do you agree or disagree?”

 

Paraphrased question

"The notion that group or team activities are superior to solitary pursuits for imparting valuable life skills is a matter of debate."

We have used some of the synonyms that we listed above, however it’s fine to repeat one or two words if you need to. Just make sure your language sounds natural and paraphrased at your level best.

Thesis statement

"However, this essay firmly opposes this idea because working alone can actually help us develop better self-reliance and self-discipline, which are indispensable life skills that cannot be acquired through group work."

Notice, we have written a comprehensive thesis statement, covering our straightforward opinion and the key discussion points. This part is crucial because the quality of your entire essay depends largely on how well you craft the language in the thesis statement. By following the strategy detailed in the eBook, we have written this sentence and handpicked the two points (self-reliance and self-discipline) to explore in this essay.

Remember, if you want to write an impressive essay, you should start by selecting a couple of key discussion points or ideas. The eBook provides a comprehensive guide on how to do this perfectly. Not only for this part, for your high band Writing preparation, you must walk through so many areas which is simply beyond the scope of some blog posts.

 

That’s why, we felt obliged to give you the eBook with step-by-step detailed demonstration how to craft top-notch any IELTS essay from scratch. Our team of former IELTS examiners has shared their powerful tips and strategies in the eBook to help you ace the exam.

 

Introduction

"The notion that group or team activities are superior to solitary pursuits for imparting valuable life skills is a matter of debate. However, this essay firmly opposes this idea because working alone can actually help us develop better self-reliance and self-discipline, which are indispensable life skills that cannot be acquired through group work."

Body Paragraph 1

Having an effective topic sentence can greatly improve the overall coherence and cohesiveness of your essay, leading to better grades for task achievement and organization.

Let's use our first main idea to craft the topic sentence of the first body paragraph.

Applying the strategy illustrated in the eBook, we have selected these two points to explain in this essay:

Main point 1: Working alone teaches us self-reliance.

Main point 2: Solitary job teaches us self-discipline.

The main point 1 will be the topic sentence of the first body paragraph, and the main point 2 will be the topic sentence of the second body paragraph. Let's get started with the the first body paragraph.

Topic sentence: "When working in solitude, individuals are solely accountable for their own work."

Next, we need to explain the topic sentence with supporting logic and example. Let’s do this.

Explanation: "They do not have the support or direction of a team, and must rely solely on their own abilities to accomplish the task at hand. This can foster self-reliance, as they learn to have confidence in their own capabilities and take responsibility for their work. Conversely, in a group setting, individuals may depend on others to complete the job and may not cultivate the same level of self-reliance."

Example: "For instance, a writer who opts to work from an isolated cabin in the forest without access to the internet or phone. This absence of technology and diversions enables the writer to completely focus on their work and enhance their productivity."

That’s the 3-part structure of the first body paragraph.

 

Here’s the finished paragraph

"When working in solitude, individuals are solely accountable for their own work. They do not have the support or direction of a team, and must rely solely on their own abilities to accomplish the task at hand. This can foster self-reliance, as they learn to have confidence in their own capabilities and take responsibility for their work. Conversely, in a group setting, individuals may depend on others to complete the job and may not cultivate the same level of self-reliance. For instance, a writer who opts to work from an isolated cabin in the forest without access to the internet or phone. This absence of technology and diversions enables the writer to completely focus on their work and enhance their productivity."

We now follow the same process for our second main body paragraph.

Body Paragraph 2

Main point 2: Solitary work teaches us self-discipline.

 

First, we write the topic sentence to summarise the main idea.

 

Topic sentence: "In addition, during self-directed work, individuals have the freedom to set their own pace and schedule, which can help them develop self-discipline by adhering to their plan and avoiding distractions."

 

Now we must explain the idea stated in the topic sentence.

Explanation: "When there are no interruptions, individuals can easily resist the urge to procrastinate, which can aid in enhancing their self-discipline and ability to concentrate on their goals. In essence, working alone can help individuals cultivate the skill of staying on track and managing their time effectively."

 

Let’s give an example supporting the discussion above.

Example: "For example, a freelance graphic designer who establishes a daily routine for themselves and follows it religiously, even without a boss or colleague to keep them accountable. This self-motivation and time management skills can help them develop self-discipline and improve their work quality."

That’s the 3-part structure of the second body paragraph.

 

Here’s the finished paragraph

"In addition, during self-directed work, individuals have the freedom to set their own pace and schedule, which can help them develop self-discipline by adhering to their plan and avoiding distractions. When there are no interruptions, individuals can easily resist the urge to procrastinate, which can aid in enhancing their self-discipline and ability to concentrate on their goals. In essence, working alone can help individuals cultivate the skill of staying on track and managing their time effectively. For example, a freelance graphic designer who establishes a daily routine for themselves and follows it religiously, even without a boss or colleague to keep them accountable. This self-motivation and time management skills can help them develop self-discipline and improve their work quality."

 

Now we need a conclusion and our IELTS opinion essay is done.

Conclusion

Conclusions to IELTS Opinion/Agree-Disagree essays should do two things:

  • Summarise the main points

  • State your opinion

You can use two sentences for covering these areas, or you can do it in a single sentence. It depends on how you write the summary language.
 

Remember, the conclusion of an essay is often considered the simplest sentence to write, yet it is very important.

When crafting the final paragraph of an IELTS essay, a common and effective way to begin is by using phrases such as "In conclusion" or "To conclude." This signals to the reader that the essay is coming to an end.

To write a strong conclusion, it is essential to concisely summarize the main ideas of the essay in one sentence.

A powerful technique is to re-read the introduction of the essay, because it serves as a summary of the main points that will be discussed in the essay. By paraphrasing the introduction, you can create a cohesive and effective conclusion that wraps up the essay.

Remember this great strategy for conclusion writing. It will save your time and release you from stress.

So, let’s check what we had in the introduction

Introduction:

"The notion that group or team activities are superior to solitary pursuits for imparting valuable life skills is a matter of debate. However, this essay firmly opposes this idea because working alone can actually help us develop better self-reliance and self-discipline, which are indispensable life skills that cannot be acquired through group work."

 

Here is the same information formed into the conclusion:

"To conclude, solitary pursuits offer the freedom to determine one's own pace and schedule, help individuals develop self-discipline, and foster self-motivation. These are all crucial life skills that can only be cultivated through individual efforts."

That’s it. We’ve completed our essay. Here it is with the 4 paragraphs put together.

The Complete Opinion / Agree-Disagree Essay

"The notion that group or team activities are superior to solitary pursuits for imparting valuable life skills is a matter of debate. However, this essay firmly opposes this idea because working alone can actually help us develop better self-reliance and self-discipline, which are indispensable life skills that cannot be acquired through group work.

When working in solitude, individuals are solely accountable for their own work. They do not have the support or direction of a team, and must rely solely on their own abilities to accomplish the task at hand. This can foster self-reliance, as they learn to have confidence in their own capabilities and take responsibility for their work. Conversely, in a group setting, individuals may depend on others to complete the job and may not cultivate the same level of self-reliance. For instance, a writer who opts to work from an isolated cabin in the forest without access to the internet or phone. This absence of technology and diversions enables the writer to completely focus on their work and enhance their productivity.

Moreover, during self-directed work, individuals have the freedom to set their own pace and schedule, which can help them develop self-discipline by adhering to their plan and avoiding distractions. When there are no interruptions, individuals can easily resist the urge to procrastinate, which can aid in enhancing their self-discipline and ability to concentrate on their goals. In essence, working alone can help individuals cultivate the skill of staying on track and managing their time effectively. For example, a freelance graphic designer who establishes a daily routine for themselves and follows it religiously, even without a boss or colleague to keep them accountable. This self-motivation and time management skills can help them develop self-discipline and improve their work quality.

To conclude, solitary pursuits offer the freedom to determine one's own pace and schedule, help individuals develop self-discipline, and foster self-motivation. These are all crucial life skills that can only be cultivated through individual efforts."

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