IELTS Discussion essay: Model answer and analysis

Below is an IELTS question for writing task 2 and my model answer. It is on the topic of Education. After analysing the question, I can see that it’s about whether homework is a good idea or not in helping kids in their educational development. It asks me to discuss both views and also asks for my opinion.

In this case, you must state your opinion in the introduction, the body and conclusion.

After the model answer, there is an analysis of the structure and some key points about the essay.

In this essay I will need to do 3 things:

  • Write about why some people think school children should not be given homework by their teachers.
  • Write about why other people think homework plays an important role in the education of children.
  • Give my opinion on the issue and explain.

Task Question

‘Some people believe that school children should not be given homework by their teachers, whereas others argue that homework plays an important role in the education of children. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.’

Model Answer

Some people think it is not a good idea for teachers to assign home study tasks to school children, while others say it is an essential part of learning. I believe youngsters need homework to achieve better exam results as it gives them a chance of entering higher education.

On the one hand, some believe that homework is of no benefit and becomes a burden to school children. This is because pupils spend their whole day studying, taking part in after school clubs and feel exhausted after returning home. For instance, in Japan, the majority of youngsters are under pressure to complete vast amounts of homework along with extracurricular activities. If they fail to finish their assignments they may not do well in exams, meaning they would be unable to get into a good high school. I think home assignments are beneficial but children should not be put under this kind of pressure.

Other people would say that homework plays a vital role in the development of knowledge for students and I agree with this. One reason for this is that home study tasks helps pupils understand school subjects better and allows them to attain higher grades. For example, a 2018 study from Tokyo University found that pupils aged between 10 and 16 who were given a lot of mathematics homework did far better in tests than those who were not given any home assignments. I believe that home study tasks improve a child’s chances of entering tertiary education and eventually obtaining a well-paid job.

To conclude, although views differ concerning children being assigned homework, I would argue that home assignments are necessary to help pupils get good grades, which allows them to secure a place at university and improves their career chances.

 


Analysis

Word count is 294 words. I advise aiming for 260 to 290 words as you may not have time to write a long essay in the exam.

The structure is:

  • Introduction: Paraphrased task question with a thesis statement (opinion)
  • Main body 1:  Discussed first view, detail and example, opinion
  • Main body 2:  Discussed second view, detail and example, opinion
  • Conclusion:  Referred to the differing views, opinion rephrased

Make sure to check the task question again before writing your essay. you could lose a band score if it goes off-topic.

Planning time is crucial here, allow 10 minutes to plan an essay and make sure you have some good supporting points to back up your topic sentences.

With a discussion essay, you have to state others views and give supporting sentences with detail and specific examples. Discussion essays often ask your opinion.. Click here to see this lesson about stating an opinion.

When we state others views, especially in IELTS Discussion essays, there is specific language that must be used. For more detail on this, click here to see this lesson.

There is a lot of confusion about whether to use personal pronouns in IELTS essays (I, me, my, our, etc..) but if the question asks to ‘what extent do you agree?’  or ‘give your own opinion’ then you need to write personal pronouns…click here to see a lesson on this.

Note on paraphrasing: I have paraphrased the word ‘homework’ in this essay with the phrases ‘home study tasks ‘ and ‘home assignments’. However, sometimes there is no way to avoid repetition. There are often words that are hard to paraphrase such as ‘people’ or ‘children’. In fact, not every word from the task question needs paraphrasing and you can repeat words as long as you are able to demonstrate a wide range of vocabulary. Be very careful not to over paraphrase.


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