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IELTS Writing Task 2: Argument Essay with Sample Answer

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  • Post date July 25, 2012
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IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

Try this argument essay question about access to a university education. It’s very important that you write a balanced argument before giving your opinion.

It is sometimes argued that too many students go to university, while others claim that a university education should be a universal right. Discuss both sides of the argument and give your own opinion.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

In some advanced countries, it is not unusual for more than 50% of young adults to attend college or university. Critics, however, claim that many university courses are worthless and young people would be better off gaining skills in the workplace. In this essay, I will examine both sides of this argument and try to reach a conclusion.

There are several reasons why young people today believe they have the right to a university education. First, growing prosperity in many parts of the world has increased the number of families with money to invest in their children’s future. At the same time, falling birthrates mean that one- or two-child families have become common, increasing the level of investment in each child. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that young people are willing to let their families support them until the age of 21 or 22. Furthermore, millions of new jobs have been created in knowledge industries, and these jobs are typically open only to university graduates.

However, it often appears that graduates end up in occupations unrelated to their university studies. It is not uncommon for an English literature major to end up working in sales, or an engineering graduate to retrain as a teacher, for example. Some critics have suggested that young people are just delaying their entry into the workplace, rather than developing professional skills. A more serious problem is that the high cost of a university education will mean that many families are reluctant to have more than one child, exacerbating the falling birthrates in certain countries.

In conclusion, while it can be argued that too much emphasis is placed on a university education, my own opinion is that the university years are a crucial time for personal development. If people enter the workplace aged 18, their future options may be severely restricted. Attending university allows them time to learn more about themselves and make a more appropriate choice of career.

(320 words. IELTS 9.0)

Why does this Task 2 answer get an IELTS Band 9 score?

Task response: The model answer fully answers the question by stating several arguments both for and against the expansion of higher education. The candidate’s position is clearly expressed in the conclusion. The style is appropriate to academic writing and the answer is at least 250 words in length.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer has an introduction and conclusion. Each body paragraph deals with a different side of the argument and begins with a clear topic sentence. Arguments are developed with logical connectives such as therefore and furthermore .

Lexical resource:  There is a good range of vocabulary suited to an argument essay, including reporting verbs like claim and suggest , and hedging verbs like can and appear . There is native-like collocation throughout, including growing prosperity, enter the workplace and  severely restricted .

Grammatical range and accuracy: The model answer uses a wide range of grammatical devices appropriate to academic writing. These include conditionals ( If… ), participle clauses ( …, increasing the… ), concessive clauses ( while it can… ) and passive constructions ( …it can be argued that… ). There are no grammatical errors.

Teacher’s Notes

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IELTS Argumentative Essay Structure

IELTS Argumentative Essay Structure: Here’s the Step by Step Guide You should Know

When you write a convincing article, you need more than an argument to make your voice felt. Even the best position would not be convincing if it is not well formulated and reinforced by sound logic and proof. Learn what elements each argumentative essay should contain and how to present the essay in a clean and attractive manner in this simple step-by-step tutorial. Read the article below to get a clear view of IELTS argumentative essay structure

What is an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay is a form of essay writing that takes a stand on the matter. In a strong argumentative article, the writer tries to convince readers to consider and accept their point of view on the matter by outlining their reasoning and presenting facts to back it up.

Argumentative essay writing is a common task for high school students as well as IELTS aspirants Normally, argumentative essay subjects are linked to science, technologies, economics and medical care.

Argument Essay IELTS Structure: IELTS Essay Format

Argumentative essays should have a clear structure such that they are convenient for readers to understand. The purpose of the argumentative essay is to explicitly outline the perspective, the logic and the proof. Follow the IELTS argumentative essay structure below, to write a perfect essay for your IELTS writing task

Introductory Paragraph: IELTS Essay Structure Task 2

The first section of your essay should outline the subject, include the context details required to explain your case, outline the facts that you will be presenting, and state your topic.

The Topic Statement: IELTS Essay Structure Task 2

This is part of the first line of your order. This is a succinct, one-sentence description of your key argument and assertion.

Body Paragraphs: IELTS Essay Structure Task 2

A standard argumentative essay consists of three or four paragraphs that clarify why you endorse your topic. Each topic sentence should cover a different theory or bit of proof and contain a theme sentence that simply and concisely demonstrates why the examiner should agree with your argument. Body paragraphs are where you support up your arguments with examples, analysis, statistics, tests, and text quotes. Discuss and disprove contrary points of view or justify that you disagree with them. Presenting facts and considering a subject from both perspectives adds integrity and can help you win the confidence of the examiner

Conclusion: IELTS Essay Structure Task 2

One section that reiterates the topic and outlines all the points set forth in the sections in your body. Instead of adding additional evidence or further claims, a successful conclusion would cater to the feelings of the reader. In certain cases, authors will use a subjective opinion to illustrate how the topic affects them directly.

Also Read: Art is Considered an Essential Part of All Cultures: A Topic of IELTS Essay

IELTS Writing Task Sample Topic

It is often argued that not many students go to university, while others claim that college education should be a fundamental right. Discuss all sides of the debate and express your own view.

In certain developing nations, it is not uncommon for more than 50% of young people to attend university or college. Reviewers, though, contend that certain undergraduate programmes are useless and that young people will be best off learning expertise at the workplace. In this article, I’m going to discuss all sides of this debate and attempt to draw a conclusion.

Break the Paragraph: IELTS Argumentative Essay Structure

There are many reasons why students now feel that they have the right to higher education. Second, increasing growth in many parts of the world has expanded the number of families with resources to build for the future of their children. Around the same time, declining birth rates mean that one or two kids’ families have become normal, raising the amount of spending for each child. It is not shocking, however, that young people are able to let their families sustain them until they are 21 or 22 years of age. In addition, millions of new positions have been generated in the information industries, and these jobs are normally only available to university graduates.

Nevertheless, it also seems that graduates end up in jobs that are not relevant to their university studies. It is not rare for major English literature to end up employed in sales, or for an engineering graduate to retrain as an instructor, for example. Any commentators have indicated that young people are avoiding their entrance into the workplace rather than learning technical skills. The more important concern is that the higher cost of higher education would ensure that many families are hesitant to have more than one child, alleviating the declining birth rate in some countries.

In summary, while it can be claimed that so much focus is placed on higher education, my own view is that university years are a critical period for personal growth. When individuals enter the workplace at the age of 18, their career opportunities can be heavily limited. Attending a university gives them opportunities to think more about themselves and make a more fitting career decision.

Also Read: Is there a Fact Check in Essay Writing in IELTS? Here’s a List of Do’s and Don’ts

IELTS Argumentative Essay Structure Key Points

Make a question and answer it.

Set a major question that was asked of your essay or in the first few words. Then, accumulate your short paragraph to address the question. For illustration, in your title or introduction, you may ask, “What is the best kind of sandwich? ” And then respond with your sentence fragment: “The best type of sandwich is sour cream and jam.” This approach is successful since interesting questions pull readers in and inspire them to keep reading to find answers.

Make an Argument and Clarify It

Implement a concept that conflicts with your view, and clarify explicitly why you disagree with it. “While some people think that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are too easy, they are flexible. Transform the subject into a question and answer it. Set a major question in the title of your essay or in the first few words. Then, accumulate your short paragraph to address the question. For instance, in your title or introduction, you may ask, “What is the best kind of sandwich? “And then respond with your sentence fragment: ‘The best form of sandwich is sour cream and jam.’ This approach is successful because interesting questions attract readers and inspire them to continue to read to figure out the answer.

Outline the Crucial Points

Introduce the key argument and clarify how you are going to back that up. For instance, “You can turn whipped cream and jam sandwich into a fine meal by using hand-made bread, toasting bread, and creating extra ingredients.” This approach is useful because it gives readers a good picture about what you’re about to cover in your article. It also acts as a route map to help you remain focused and on schedule.

Also Read: IELTS Writing Task 2 Samples: Exam Questions & Answers to Target Minimum Band 8

5 Argument Types: IELTS Argumentative Essay Structure

When you decide what you’re speaking about and know your conclusion point, imagine how you’re going to make your case. There are five forms of statement statements that can be used to guide your essay:

  • Idea: whether the argument is valid or not.
  • Description: a dictionary definition of what you argue, and your own personal understanding of it.
  • Value: The value of what you’re talking for.
  • Cause and consequence: what triggers the dilemma in your article and what effect it has on it.
  • Strategy: why the examiner should take care of it and what they should do with it after reading it.

We hope we have given you a perfect article regarding the IELTS argumentative essay structure. To write a perfect argumentative essay you must practice daily. Opt for a lot of mock tests to get better.

Want to become perfect in the IELTS argumentative essay? Follow similar blogs from IELTS Ninja

Also Read: IELTS Essay in Writing Task 2: Here’s How to Organize it Well

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[Advanced IELTS Writing] How to Craft a Convincing Argument

Posted by David S. Wills | Feb 9, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 4

[Advanced IELTS Writing] How to Craft a Convincing Argument

Today, I would like to show you how to write a strong essay for IELTS writing task 2. In this case, the question will be “ agree or disagree ” and I am going to strongly disagree. If you want to know about providing a balanced answer, you can read this article .

In order to provide a convincing argument, I am going to do several things that are important:

  • Show my position clearly and consistently
  • Avoid clichés, memorised phrases, and falsehoods
  • Acknowledge and refute the opposing ideas
  • Present details explanation and examples

This is not easy to do and thus I would call this an “Advanced IELTS technique.” However, you don’t need to be at a very high level to begin employing these ideas in your work. You can start now and – as you improve your vocabulary and grammar skills – you will see your IELTS essays dramatically improve.

Analysing the Question

First of all, let’s pick a sample IELTS question to analyse today. This will be the question that we look at throughout the article and I will give my own band 9 sample answer at the bottom.

Some people say that all popular TV entertainment programmes should aim to educate viewers about important social issues. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

In order to write a good IELTS essay, you must first understand the question . I cannot overstate the importance of this. Thankfully, this question is quite easy to understand. You should make sure that you don’t just understand the main ideas, but think about all parts of the question. Here, you should make note of the words “all” and “important.” It is not just some TV shows and not all social issues.

Picking Ideas to Write About

Once you have done that, you should look at crafting your answer. This begins with brainstorming ideas. I have written about how to generate ideas for IELTS essays and basically there are different approaches but you should focus on picking a few of the very best ideas. Don’t try to incorporate too much or one of the following will happen:

  • You may have too many ideas with not enough development.
  • You might write too much and run out of time.

Both of these are serious problems to be avoided. Thankfully, by writing many essays you can practise the brainstorming process and avoid these problems.

For the above question, you could either agree or disagree. I am going to disagree, and my initial ideas could be listed as such:

  • Educational shows are boring.
  • It is hard to say what should be included.
  • This will result in propaganda.
  • TV is meant to be exciting.
  • Who could force directors to do this?

Are all of these ideas strong? Not really. Numbers 1 and 4 are a bit weak, but they contain some truth. I could perhaps roll these into one bigger idea, which is that people enjoy TV shows as an escape from dull reality. That is much more convincing, but it would still need to presented in an intelligent way to avoid it being a shallow and unconvincing argument.

Ideas 2, 3, and 5 are clearly related. It would be better to roll them into one single idea as well, which is that the concept of “important social issues” is amorphous and hard to implement for a range of reasons. I will make this my second idea, using examples and careful explanation to make it clear to the reader.

You can see that the five ideas listed above have now been adapted into two ideas, which is much easier to incorporate into an IELTS essay:

  • People need TV as an entertaining escape from reality and forcing educational material into them might ruin this.
  • It is hard to say what an important social value is and even harder to force directors into including these.

Structuring an Intelligent and Convincing Essay

Now that we have our two ideas, we can look at creating a structure. Although I strongly recommend avoiding formulae and memorisation for IELTS, one exception to this is the use of a basic essay template, which looks like this:

  • Introduction
  • Main body paragraph 1
  • Main body paragraph 2

Of course, this needs to be adapted to fit the type of essay and its content, but overall you can almost always rely upon this four-paragraph structure. ( Five paragraphs are sometimes preferable, but not often.)

It is worth planning your essay in advance so that you can stay on-topic and present convincing ideas. My essay plan would look like this:

You may wonder why I have included two examples. I would not normally do this, but I feel that here there are two major issues that need to be addressed in regards so-called “important social issues”:

  • In places like China, governments spread propaganda about social harmony that is merely an attempt to stymy criticism.
  • In more liberal countries, major social divides exist that raise the question of who decided what is important.

Although this makes the essay more complex, it shows an ability to look at a serious issue in a nuanced way. In other words, it checks all the boxes required for a high score in Task Achievement .

In addition, I typically do not recommend rhetorical questions because they can be pointless or annoying, seeming only to add unnecessary words. However, when used carefully they can add great value. In this case, my aim is to show uncertainty regarding the supposed wisdom of the idea I am rejecting. As such, a rhetorical question can call this into question effectively. (You can see this in the sample answer at the bottom of the page.)

Avoiding Common Problems in IELTS Essays

I often write about common problems in IELTS and most of these come from bad teachers and bad websites . Whilst some problems are hard to avoid (e.g. grammatical errors), others are easier to avoid. Here are a few:

1. Don’t Paraphrase the Question

It is sometimes said that IELTS candidates should paraphrase the question. Indeed, I have taught this myself to a number of students, but really I suggest it for task 1 and for lower-level students. If you want to score band 7 in task 2, you really should not try to paraphrase the question.

Let’s look at it in this way. The above question contained the statement:

Some people say that all popular TV entertainment programmes should aim to educate viewers about important social issues.

One of my students recently responded with this opening line:

It is often argued that the subject related with prominent social issues should be included into famous broadcast entertainment shows for the educational purpose to viewers.

There are many problems here, but fundamentally they all stem from the fact that she had tried to paraphrase the question. It is very easy for an IELTS tutor or examiner to notice this. In this case, her determination to repeat the question but in different words has resulted in a number of mistakes with vocabulary and grammar. I have corrected them thusly:

example of poor paraphrasing

Instead of doing this, I strongly recommend that you read the question, analyse it, and then write your own version of the issue as a first sentence. For example, I will begin my essay like this:

  • A small number of people argue that TV shows should all be required to present their viewers with educational material or material that otherwise discusses social issues.

2. Not Everything is a Controversy…

Another reason not to paraphrase is the fact that it results in clichéd and inaccurate claims like “It is often argued that…” Notice that in my first line, I said “A small number of people argue…” This is an important distinction. Do people really argue about whether educational material should be inserted into all TV shows? I had never heard this outrageous suggestion until today! It is certainly not controversial.

argument essay in ielts

Unfortunately, most IELTS candidates go to rubbish websites and teachers for advice, leading them to memorise phrases and regurgitate them in their essays. I recently read a collection of several thousand essays and a staggering number began in almost the same way:

  • It cannot be denied that…
  • There is a hot controversy…
  • ____ is a controversial issue…
  • As we all know…

If you hear a teacher telling you to use these phrases, you need to leave their class and find someone else. If you find these recommended on a website, you need to stop using it. This is terrible advice.

IELTS is a test of your English skills and your thinking skills. If you just blindly repeat inaccurate phrases like these, you will surely get a bad score. It tells the examiner two main things:

  • You are not using your own language to convey ideas.
  • You are not capable of logical thinking.

Instead, read the question carefully and respond to it directly. This is not easy, but even if you make some mistakes you will do better than the people who use act like parrots.

3. Be Consistent in your Ideas

It is ok to agree with this position or disagree but be consistent . You will notice that I often show the opposing view in my essays, usually with the purpose of refuting it. This is a great way of showing the ability to engage with both sides of the debate and not only present your own opinion but reject the opposing one.

However, do not fall into the trap of either changing your opinion halfway through or else seeming to change your opinion. The former is a major mistake that few people make but the latter is pretty common.

An example is that people often say “I totally agree…” but then try to show the other side of the argument in order to present balance. This is fine, but you must show that you do not really believe what you are saying; otherwise, it is appears that you have switched positions. You can do this by saying “Whilst [opposing idea] seems reasonable, in fact is not realistic.” Or: “Some people believe that [opposing idea]; however, it is wrong because…”

Doing this again shows the ability to think logical, consider multiple viewpoints, and use language carefully. If you can do this, you will improve your chances of a good score for Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion .

Sample Band 9 Answer

Below you will see my sample answer. You can read an annotated version here that explains the purpose of each sentence. This answer adheres to the structure listed above.

A small number of people argue that TV shows should all be required to present their viewers with educational material or material that otherwise discusses social issues. This essay will strongly disagree with that notion. Although it may seem reasonable to suggest that TV shows be required to provide some redeeming social value through deliberately educational content, it is a naïve proposal. Humans have always enjoyed entertainment of different sorts, and whilst much of this imparts implicit messages, its primary function has been for the enjoyment of the viewer, listener, or reader. Life can be difficult or exhausting and people need entertainment as a form of release. To suggest that this is taken away from them through the deliberate insertion of educational material is misguided. Additionally, one might well ask who or what is to decide the definition of “important social issue” and what sort of message should be taught. In authoritarian states like China, this would surely be values related to keeping the peace at all costs and obeying the government, which is of course problematic under brutal regimes like theirs. In Western nations, there is presently a “culture war” on-going that bitterly divides the population, with hysterical attitudes displayed on both the right and left of the political spectrum. Which side would have their views forcefully inserted into TV programmes, and who would force writers, producers, and directors to incorporate views that may be anathema to their personal perspectives into their artistic works? These are difficult questions and ones with no good answers, suggesting that it would be nearly impossible to achieve this in some countries. In conclusion, it is a terrible idea to force educational material about social issues into TV shows for several reasons, including the difficulty of choosing what to include and the fact that people would more than likely cease enjoying the programmes they used to watch.

Feel free to post your ideas and essays in the comments below. I will give feedback if I see your comment.

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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With the advent of booming television industry, there has been a suggestion to incorporate important social issues in all famous TV entertainment shows. I strongly disagree with this notion due to a few reasons which are stated below.

First of all, as the name suggests, TV entertainment programmes are meant to entertain and amuse people. As such, these shows are created as platforms for audience to release their stress and escape from dull reality. If they are really keen to learn about social issues, there are such channels available such as National Geographic or History channel. Popular entertainment shows certainly do not have the social obligation to do so. Furthermore, TV viewers might lose interest and stop subscribing to some channels if they continue to feature educational elements which might not appeal to them. Consequently, the TV industry may fail to achieve their goals and thus, crumble.

Beyond that, fundamental social issues is a debatable topic as it might differ from one country to another. For instance, in China, obeying the leaders blindly is a norm for them but the same might not be true in western countries. On the whole, there is a gray area as to what social issues really matter in our society nowadays. In addition, it is not feasible to force all the show directors or producers to include social issues into their shows. Essentially, they have their own freedom to decide what to portray in their shows.

To conclude, it is a terrible idea to force educational materials into these popular TV shows because it might defeat the true purpose of entertainment and also due to the ambiguity of the definition of pertinent social issues.


Hi David, thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving great advice on writing an argumentative IELTS essay. Regarding the above sample essay, the second paragraph with the sentence “….through deliberately educational content”, was the word “deliberately” grammatically correct?

David S. Wills

Yes, it is. It is an adverb modifying an adjective (“educational”). In other words, it says HOW it is educational.

Ohh got it! Thank you so much!

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IELTS Task 2 Essays Understand the 5 Different Types

There are 5 main types of IELTS Task 2 essays:

1)    Opinion Essays  

2)    Discussion Essays

3)    Problem Solution Essays

4)    Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

5)    Double Question Essays

Most questions fit one of these categories. However, questions can be written in many different ways, which can make it difficult to determine which type they are.

On this page, I want to give you an overview of all 5 IELTS Task 2 essay types, with samples questions to help you recognise some of the different wording often used. I’ve also included a basic structure for each that you can use to as a guide for essay planning, a vital step in the writing process.

I go into each type of question in more detail on its own page.  Click the links above or at the bottom of this page to see these. 

First, here’s the basic 4 part structure I recommend that you use for Task 2 essays:

1)  Introduction

2)  Main Body Paragraph 1 

3)  Main Body Paragraph 2 

4)  Conclusion

Want  to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

The sort of information you include in each of the 4 sections will vary depending on the question type and that’s what I’m now going to outline for you.

These easy to learn structures will enable you to quickly plan and write any IELTS Task 2 essay.

The structures below are not the only ones you could use but they are the ones I recommend because they’re simple and give proven results.

1) Opinion Essays

These are sometimes called ‘agree or disagree’ or ‘argumentative’ essays and are one of the most common types of IELTS Task 2 question.

The first part of the question will be a statement. You will then be asked to give your own opinion about the statement. Here is some typical wording that might be used:

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

Here is an example of each:

argument essay in ielts

  • Choose one side of the argument.
  • State your opinion clearly in the introduction.
  • Keep the same opinion throughout the essay.
  • Give reasons why you hold this view.

It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even that you agree with it. Choose the one you can develop the best argument for.

Don’t change your opinion part way through the essay and don’t give reasons for the opposing idea.

Essay Structure

1) Introduction

  • Paraphrase the question
  • Give your opinion
  • State two supporting reasons

2) Main body paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence – outline 1st reason for supporting this view
  • Explanation – explain this idea
  • Example – give an example

3)  Main body paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence – outline 2nd reason for supporting this view
  • Summarise opinion and key reasons

2) Discussion Essays

In discussion essays, you have to discuss both sides of an argument. Usually, you will be asked for your own opinion as well.

The easiest way to approach this type of IELTS Task 2 question is to choose one point of view to agree with and one side to disagree with.

Here are 3 examples of discussion essay questions:

argument essay in ielts

  • Develop both sides of the argument.
  • Talk about the view you don’t agree with first.

A big mistake many students make is to fully develop only one point of view. This leads to an unbalanced essay and a low score for task achievement. 

It is easier to begin by discussing the opinion you don’t agree with and then present the reasons for your opposing view.

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Negative Viewpoint

  • Topic sentence – outline the view you don’t agree with
  • Explanation – explain why this view is held by some people

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Positive Viewpoint

  • Topic sentence – outline the view you do agree with
  • Summarise the key points and state your opinion

3)  Problem Essays  

These are sometimes called ‘causes and solutions’ or ‘problems and solutions’ essays. This type of IELTS Task 2 question starts with a statement, then asks you to discuss the problems or causes and the solutions.

  • Don’t list lots of causes and solutions.
  • Choose just one or two and develop them fully.
  • Be sure to link each problem/cause and its solution.

A common mistake is for candidates to list all the problems/causes and solutions they can think of, not necessarily linking them together.  They also fail to explain any of them in detail and don’t include any examples.

The wording of this type of essay question can vary considerably.  Here are 3 examples of problem essay questions:

argument essay in ielts

  • State 1 key problem/cause and related solution

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Problem or Cause

  • Topic sentence – state the problem or cause
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the problem or cause

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Solution

  • Topic sentence – state the solution
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the solution

4)  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

The first part of the question will be a statement. You will be asked to write about both the advantages and disadvantages of the idea stated.

Here is some typical wording that might be used:

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

Here are 3 examples of advantages and disadvantages essay questions:

argument essay in ielts

Each of these different types of questions fits into one of two slightly different essay structures. We’ll look at these in detail on the main IELTS Task 2 Advantages & Disadvantages Essays page. For now, I’ll give you the basic structure.

  • Outline the view or views stated the statement

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Advantage

  • Topic sentence – state 1 advantage
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the advantage
  • Result – state the result

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Disadvantage

  • Topic sentence – state 1 disadvantage
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the disadvantage
  • Summarise the key points
  • State your opinion if required

5)  Double Question Essays

This type of IELTS Task 2 question is sometimes called a ‘direct question’ or ‘two questions’ essay. It has one statement with two different questions after it. The questions may or may not be linked.

  • You must answer both questions fully.
  • Don’t confuse it with an opinion or a discussion essay.
  • Be careful that you don’t end up with too many ideas to write about.

Here are 3 examples of double question essay questions:

argument essay in ielts

  • Outline sentence – state your answer to both questions

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Answer question 1

  • Topic sentence – state your answer
  • Explanation – explain why you think this

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Answer question 2

  • Summarise both questions and answers

I hope you’ve found this information useful. You can learn lots more about writing the 5 different types of IELTS Task 2 essay and see sample answers on these pages:

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

   Opinion Essays

   Discussion Essays

  Problem Solution Essays

  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

  Double Question Essays

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More help with ielts task 2.

IELTS Writing Task 2  – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

Understanding Task 2 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay  – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction  – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs  – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

How To Write Task 2 Conclusions  – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Task 2 Marking Criteria  – Find out how to meet the marking criteria for IELTS Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.

Other related pages:

IELTS Writing Test  – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Argumentative Essay Topic: People should follow the customs and traditions


Updated On Sep 18, 2023

IELTS Writing Task 2 Argumentative Essay Topic: People should follow the customs and traditions

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  • 0.1 Get Evaluated for FREE:
  • 1.1 Essay Type
  • 1.2 Introduction
  • 1.4 Conclusion
  • 2 Sample Essay
  • 3 Band 9 Sample Essay

The Essay Writing section of the IELTS Writing Module can be a difficult task for many IELTS Aspirants. Thus, it is vital that you polish your essay writing skills before attempting the IELTS.

Below is a sample IELTS Essay for the IELTS Essay topic:

People should follow the customs and traditions when people start to live in a new country. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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Opinion Essay


  • Paraphrase the topic of the essay.
  • Mention the view on the topic.
  • Paragraph 1 – Newcomers will certainly face difficulties if they do not conform to the norms of social behaviour in the host country. Firstly, it will become almost impossible for them to blend into their new environment.
  • Paragraph 2 – There are also many benefits for foreigners when they do adopt the customs and traditions of their new country of residence. One advantage is that local people will be more welcoming when they feel that the newcomers are showing respect for the local way of life.
  • Conclude the essay by stating the final view in brief.

Sample Essay

Many people argue that foreigners should adapt to the local customs and traditions when they come to reside in a new country. I completely agree with this view.

Newcomers will certainly face difficulties if they do not conform to the norms of social behaviour in the host country. Firstly, it will become almost impossible for them to blend into their new environment. For example, an entrepreneur who comes to live in a new country and starts up a business must be aware of the business practices of that country. There are bound to be many pitfalls, not only legal ones but also simply in terms of winning and keeping customers. Secondly, recent immigrants might fall foul of the law if they do not respect the behaviour and customs of locals. In Singapore, for instance, residents will consider newcomers dirty and ill-mannered if they litter the street or spit gum in public places.

There are also many benefits for foreigners when they do adopt the customs and traditions of their new country of residence. One advantage is that local people will be more welcoming when they feel that the newcomers are showing respect for the local way of life. The establishment of closer links with the host community might lead to greater integration and mutual understanding. Another benefit is the richness of the experience which newcomers will gain from enjoying aspects of local customs and traditions, enabling them to participate in community life and avoid social isolation. During festivals and national holidays, especially, they will feel like they ‘belong’ in their new country.

In conclusion, I would argue that it is essential for new residents to follow the traditions and habits of locals in the host community in order to integrate fully into society.

Band 9 Sample Essay

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The process of immigration, although an exciting journey, can give rise to a multitude of complications. The ambience of a foreign environment can be daunting and sometimes even unwelcoming. It is considered by many that an individual should completely transform themselves to the standards of their locale to make the exercise of settling in easier. I disagree with this perspective and will elaborate on my views in the following paragraphs.

It is a well-known fact that the world is comprised of innumerable cultures that are unique in their own right. That being said, it is also vital to recognize the differences between these communities and accept these nuances. Therefore, when a foreigner is expected to shed the traditions of their birthplace and adopt the conventions of a completely new place, it poses a threat to their individuality. Thus, the expectation of an absolute change in the lifestyle of a person can be considered biased and even intolerant.

Moreover, the practices of a particular culture might vary from another and sometimes the principles of one might contradict the other. For instance, several cultures around the globe follow vegetarianism as a cardinal rule whereas the daily diet of many societies is predominantly comprised of non-vegetarian food items. Thereby, in such circumstances, altering such intrinsic practices just for the sake of merging with a different community is unjustified.

However, in the process of amalgamating with new people, one must respect the pre-established norms of the region. The regard for the standards of a different locality is not dependent on the nature of a person and such actions can be undertaken without reshaping one’s identity.

Finally, I would like to mention that the world has become a smaller place and our societies have become more diverse lately. On that account, practising tolerance and acceptance is key to a harmonious way of life.

More Writing Task 2 Essay Topics

  • Some People Believe That Excessive Use Of Modern Technologies
  • Technology Can Bring Many Benefits But It Can Also Cause Social And Environmental Problems
  • Advertising Discourages People From Being Different Individuals
  • Some People Say Government Should Give Health Care The First Priorities
  • Some Believe That More Action Should Be Taken To Prevent Crime
  • Tips to write introduction in IELTS Writing Task 2
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  • IELTS Sample essays
  • IELTS Writing task 2 Preparation Tips
  • IELTS Writing tips
  • How to get band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2
  • IELTS Writing recent actual test
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Janet had been an IELTS Trainer before she dived into the field of Content Writing. During her days of being a Trainer, Janet had written essays and sample answers which got her students an 8+ band in the IELTS Test. Her contributions to our articles have been engaging and simple to help the students understand and grasp the information with ease. Janet, born and brought up in California, had no idea about the IELTS until she moved to study in Canada. Her peers leaned to her for help as her first language was English.

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