In this article, the brief introduction, structure and strategy to successfully write an IELTS Discussion Essay will be mentioned in order for you to have in-depth knowledge of this type of essay.


1. IELTS Discussion Essay Overview


The format of the question for an IELTS discussion essay will be normally 2 parts: 


  • 1st part: a statement of two opposing perspectives


  • 2nd part: requirement to discuss the statement


Depending on different questions, the requirement varies in the way of wording:


  • Discuss both views and give your opinion.


  • Discuss both these views and then give your own opinion. 


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


IELTS discussion questions seem to be similar to IELTS opinion questions in the first place, but there is a key difference between the two types. While IELTS discussion essay (Discuss both views and give your opinion) asks candidates to discuss both views given and/or give your point of view, IELTS opinion essay (Do you agree or disagree?) requires you to choose between two contrasting views and support your choice with arguments.


In terms of IELTS advantages and disadvantages essay, the first part of the question will be a one-view statement only, compared to the two-opposing-view statement in the IELTS discussion essay. 

ielts discussion essay overview

2. IELTS Discussion Essay Structure


It is suggestable to write the IELTS Discussion Essay with three parts in four or five separate paragraphs:


2.1. Introduction


– Paraphrase the statement / State both views 

(e.g. It is often held that teachers, peers and the media have a significant influence on the life of children. While some people argue that these factors are predominant in shaping a child’s future, others believe that parents impact their offspring in more critical ways. )


– Thesis statement with your opinion

(e.g. This essay will discuss both these points of view and argue in favour of the latter.)


2.2. Body


– Body paragraph 1:


  • Topic sentence: state the first view
    (e.g. On the one hand, the books children read and the music they listen to form their belief system.)


  • Explain the topic sentence: elaborate the first view
    (e.g. In other words, children tend to copy the behaviour of their favourite personality or fictional character. Moreover, when little ones work and play in groups, they are influenced by their peers. Finally, other factors, like the media, prompt children to want things regarded as fashionable.)


  • Example: support the first view with an example (optional)
    (e.g. For instance, children demand toys that they see on television.)


  • Brief summary of the first view (optional)


– Body paragraph 2:


  • Topic sentence: state the second view
    (e.g. On the other hand, a child’s personality is malleable at a very young age, and parents are always present in their life at this stage.)


  • Explain the topic sentence: elaborate the second view
    (e.g. On the other hand, a child’s personality is malleable at a very young age, and parents are always present in their life at this stage. Also, very young children love to imitate. An emotionally secure environment at home is critical for the child’s confidence. Moreover, parents also teach children about setting boundaries.)


  • Example: support the second view with an example (optional)
    (e.g. For example, children who come from a dysfunctional family often exhibit behavioural problems at school.)


  • Brief summary of the second view (optional)


– Body paragraph 3:


  • Topic sentence: state your opinion
    (e.g. In my opinion, children’s choice of friends, books or music depends on the values instilled in them by their parents.)


  • Explain the topic sentence: elaborate your opinion
    (e.g. Therefore, parents hold more substantial sway over their offspring than media, pop culture and friends circle.)


  • Example: support your opinion with an example (optional)


  • Brief summary of your opinion (optional)


>>> Practice now: IELTS Writing Practice Test


2.3. Conclusion


– Summarize the main points

(e.g. In conclusion, the outside world influences the intellectual and social development of children.)

– State your point of view

(e.g. However, I believe that it is parents who set the stage for these developments by laying a strong foundation from a very young age.)


3. IELTS Writing Task 2 Discussion Essay Strategy


3.1. Analyse the IELTS Discussion Questions


This step should be prioritized since it decides your understanding of the question. You should analyse the IELTS Discussion question quickly by following these two points:


  • Main topic

(e.g. It is commonly believed that nowadays main factors that affect a child’s development are media, pop culture and friends. A different point of view is that family plays the most significant role.)


  • Instructions

(e.g. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write at least 250 words.)


ielts discussion essay strategy


3.2. Make an outline


The first thing you should take action on is to decide which view you incline to. Then, you should note down what are the main points for your essay by outlining in the form of bullet points, a table, or a mindmap. 


3.3. Write a complete IELTS discussion essay


You should strictly follow the three-part structure and base on the outline prepared to write a complete IELTS discussion essay.


3.4. Check your IELTS discussion essay


Your IELTS discussion essay should be not only cohesive and coherent, but also correct with regards to grammar and spelling, so it is important to check your essay before handing in.


4. IELTS Writing Task 2 Discussion Essay Tips


  • The time limit and word count should be taken into consideration while writing your IELTS Discussion essay. You had better complete the task with the word range from 250 to 290 words in around 40 minutes.


  • You should point out clearly what your opinion is between the two opposing views instead of being in favor of both perspectives. 
  • Give detailed explanation or example to elaborate each view in the Body part. 


  • Do not just list all the reasons without any explanation or example in the body paragraphs.


  • Make use of linking words to clarify the cohesion of your IELTS discussion essay.


In short, IELTS discussion essay will be not much of a difficulty if you gain a well-rounded knowledge and practice regularly. Install our mobile app or visit IELTS Online Test website now to practice with diverse tests.