Mastering the Different Types of Essays in IELTS Writing Task 2

Most candidates find it difficult to perform well on writing task 2 but you don’t have to be one of them. IELTS Writing task 2 may be challenging but it’s not impossible to master.

Candidates have difficulty understanding the question properly and that’s why they fail to meet the task response. If task achievement is not met, you can’t get past a band score of 6 even if they met other criteria. Until you understand where you are going wrong and how to answer in order to meet the task response as per the expectation of IELTS, you would face difficulty.

This is what we will be discussing today. By the end of this blog, you’ll know where you’re making mistake and how to get past it. So stay tuned and read on!

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Before we get to the solution part, it is important that we understand where the problem is. So, let us discuss why students fail to achieve their desired scores in this section.

I believe the major issue is that Students do not read the question in full, or they assume the question quickly and are tempted to start writing. There are several other reasons such as:

  • Range of vocabulary
  • Expressing yourself too briefly or too widely.
  • Beating around the bush.
  • Trying to use too much high-level vocabulary in the wrong place.
  • Not focusing on communication.

The quantitative approach instead of the Qualitative approach.

Different Types of Essays in IELTS Writing Task 2

Now, let’s learn about the different types of essays you may come across in IELTS writing task 2. Here’s the list of essays with examples:

  1. Opinion Essay Example: "Should governments invest more in renewable energy?"
  2. Discussion Essay Example: "Are smartphones making people more disconnected?"
  3. Problem Solution Essay Example: "How can we reduce plastic waste in our daily lives?"
  4. Advantage Disadvantage Essay Example: "What are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning?"
  5. Direct Question Essay Example: "Do you agree or disagree with the statement: 'Animal testing is necessary for medical research?'"

Opinion Essay

To begin with, we’ll be talking about an opinion essay.

First, look at this question. This is an example of an opinion essay.

Some people think that keeping pets is good for children while others think it is dangerous and unhealthy. Which opinion do you agree with? Discuss both options and give examples.

In an opinion essay. you must express a clear opinion on a specific issue and back it up with relevant examples. For instance, for the mentioned question, your first paragraph should contain a sentence like this,

 “In this essay, I shall argue that such dangers are overemphasized and that children receive substantive psychological benefits through having pets”.

 It is critical to adopt an organized approach when writing this type of essay. Begin by clearly declaring your position and offering a brief outline of the topic in the introduction. Use paragraphs to present your primary statement and supporting evidence while maintaining coherence and logical progression. It is also critical to evaluate competing points of view and respond to them in a balanced manner. Finally, summarize your point of view and the important arguments in your essay.


Discussion essay

Now let’s move on to the Discussion essay, First look at the following question,

Some people believe that professionals such as doctors and engineers should be required to work in the country where they did their training. Others believe they should be free to work in another country if they wish. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

In order to write a discussion essay, you must analyze both sides of an issue and come to a well-reasoned conclusion. Begin with an introduction that provides a clear summary of the issue and specifies the points to be covered.

Separate paragraphs should be used to present each viewpoint, with supporting information and illustrations. Compare and contrast each side's arguments, pointing out their advantages and disadvantages to ensure a seamless flow.

Finally, provide your balanced and educated opinion, taking into account the material you have presented. Your first paragraph for the mentioned question could look something like is,

“Should professionals with domestic training in fields like engineering and medicine have the option of working abroad, or should they be required to pursue their careers there? In this essay, I shall discuss both sides of this controversial issue before going on to state why I tend to agree with the need for them to remain in their countries at least in the short-term.”

Different Types of Essays in IELTS Writing Task 2

Problem - Solution Essays

Then comes, the Problem - Solution Essays: First read the question below:

Today, the quality of life in large cities is decreasing.  Discuss the causes and solutions.

In a problem-solution essay, you must define a problem, offer various solutions, and assess the viability of each one. For the question mentioned above, first, you need to figure out why the quality of life in large cities is decreasing before offering solutions.

To succeed in this kind of essay, start by outlining the issue in the opening and emphasizing its importance and influence. Present appropriate alternatives and discuss the feasibility and potential effects of each. Addressing possible objections and taking them into account is crucial. In the end, summarize the offered solutions and emphasize their potential for addressing the problem at hand.

Advantage - Disadvantage essay

First look at the question mentioned below:

Is it good for children to start using computers from an early age and spend long hours on them? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

An advantage-disadvantage essay requires a discussion of the positive and negative elements of the subject at hand. To do well in this style of essay, begin with a concise introduction that highlights both the benefits and drawbacks.

Use separate paragraphs to discuss each issue, using examples, proof, and real-life examples as needed. Maintain a balanced approach by addressing both sides of the argument without bias. In conclusion, summarize the benefits and drawbacks and convey your final view based on the information that has been presented.

For the question given, your first sentence could be something like this,

“In recent years, children and adults alike have been exposed to computers more and more. While some child psychologists believe that this is advantageous, others argue that this has a severely detrimental effect on kids.”

Note that this only states the opinion of others and no bias is displayed here. In advantage-disadvantage essays, you’re to present data backed up by research and studies that show both views.

Direct question Essays

Let’s look at an example question,

These days some people spend a lot of money on tickets to go to sporting or events. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

In a direct question essay, you are given a clear question that calls for a direct answer. Examine the question attentively and pinpoint its key elements if you want to succeed in this kind of essay. In the introduction, give a direct response that specifically answers the query.

To ensure a logical and coherent flow, use paragraphs to add supporting details, examples, and explanations. Summarize your response and reaffirm its relevance to the question at hand in the end.

Notice that here, you’ve been directly asked whether it is a negative or positive development. Here you’re free to write whatever you feel is right. However, it is important that your opinion is backed up by relevant data.

To sum it up, it is quite simple to get a good band score in writing task 2 if you write it strategically keeping the scoring criteria in mind. by understanding the distinct qualities of each essay style, you can successfully modify your responses and get higher grades.

Following the provided strategies can help you thrive in each form of essay, whether it's an opinion essay, argumentative essay, problem solution essay, advantage disadvantage essay, or direct question essay.

Remember to practice identifying different essay categories and applying the relevant structure and approaches to improve your IELTS success. You can confidently handle any essay type and succeed in the IELTS Writing Task 2 with dedication and practice. Best wishes!


Anika Afrin