Everything you need to know about IELTS essay writing

Everything you need to know about IELTS essay writing
  • Introduction
  • IELTS essay writing format
  • The types of essays
  • IELTS essay writing topics
  • IELTS writing task 2 example

Task 2 on the IELTS writing paper is definitely worth having a deeper dive into. The topics are wide-ranging and you should be applying a specific structure to your writing, regardless of what the subject is. This blog post will specifically look at the opinion model essay. You will be presented with a specific topic and asked to write a 250 word essay. You need to write at least 250 words, writing less will affect your score. Use linking devices, high-level vocabulary and varied sentence structures. Stick to a formal style of writing.

Essay writing format

It is too general to go with; introduction, main points in 2-3 paragraphs, conclusion, as a method of practice and performance
Although better, this is still too general; introduction and paraphrase, give two reasons with examples, sum up what you have written and link back to the beginning.

A better way to think of the format is:


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

Paragraph 1:

  • Topic sentence- outline the first reason of your stance (whether you agree or disagree)
  • Explain why
  • Give an example

Paragraph 2:

  • Topic sentence- outline the second reason of your stance (whether you agree or disagree)
  • Explain why
  • Give an example


Summarise your opinion with your final thoughts and make a cohesive link back to your opening point

The essay types

The essay writing topics are divided into these sections:

IELTS essay writing topics

Before getting onto the topics with examples, it's crucial to remember the following,

Some of the most common mistakes made are when students try to argue for both sides and give differing opinions, or they do not express an opinion at all. You must be clear on what your opinion is and choose one side of the argument that you ultimately agree or disagree with. So whatever the topic is, choose your stance and stick with it.

The topics typically covered:

  • The environment
  • Education
  • Friends and family
  • Government and society
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Science & technology
  • Sport
  • Travel & tourism
  • TV, music, media

IELTS writing task 2 planning

  1. Pick whether you agree or disagree
  2. Come up with a few ideas that will help to form your paragraphs
  3. Structure what ideas will form which paragraphs
  4. Form your conclusion

You are just making notes, so don’t waste time writing full sentences- just get down what you need to and throw in some relevant vocabulary and linking words as extra preparation

Let’s take this question as our example:
Although more and more people read the news on the internet, newspapers will remain the most important source of news for the majority of people. Do you agree or disagree?


  1. Disagree. Traditional newspapers are still considered by some as more prominent than internet news sources, but the convenience of news from one’s phone cannot be replicated from a newspaper.
  2. Ideas: people’s lives are far busier now where news and information needs to be digested in quick short successions. News on phones- people consume the news and media from their phone as its automatic. Growing up with digital news- newspapers are relevant but the way we consume information has changed. More variation of news from your phone.

Paragraph 1 - people’s busy lives don’t align with the sedentary nature of newspapers. People are on the move a lot and media via their phone is more suited to this

Paragraph 2- more variation of news in its digital form, easier to go between different articles and sources, with these options at your finger-tips, as well as more inclusivity with translated languages

Conclusion- although there is still a wide readership of newspapers, digital news is still a more popular in comparison

IELTS essay writing sample

Whilst traditional newspapers are still very much in circuit and are institutions in their own right, I disagree with this statement because newspapers are generally less convenient, and digital news is obtained far easier.

To begin with, the dominant reason for disagreeing with the statement lies in my belief that the habit of reading newspapers is far less convenient in our modern fast-paced working world. The sedentary nature of newspapers; reading through them, creating them, delivering them- is far less expedient than reading news on the internet. Take for example a longstanding, established newspaper. The stories are covered the day before and there needs to be time for proofreading and editing. This results in the content already having a ripeness to them. Whereas news that can be consumed on someone’s phone is instant. Live news can be tracked and you can constantly refresh the latest news. With information needing to be near instant in our society and fundamentally current, newspapers feel dated and less pertinent to our speedy times.

Additionally, by engaging with news in a digital manner, the reader has a more robust menu in terms of what they are able to consume. The infinite possibilities of what the internet can procure is far greater than that of a newspaper. There cannot be more content created from the newspaper, but an article can easily lead to another, to an interview of interest, to literary recommendations- by reading the news online, the individual has more ownership and authority in what they are reading, as well as a wider variety of content. Importantly, online news is also able to be translated and read in any language possible. A newspaper cannot immediately translate itself and suddenly become bilingual. Therefore, online news is comparatively more inclusive and offers a myriad of types of news.

In conclusion, in spite of newspapers having significance and maintaining a readership, I firmly believe that digital news is a more digestible, convenient and stimulating way to absorb news, and will continue to override newspapers.

Word count- 336