IELTS Discussion essay: Model answer and analysis

Updated Feb 18th 2021

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.

Structure

IELTS discussion essays

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.

On the other hand, it is widely believed that homework plays a vital role in the development of knowledge for students and I agree with this. In other words, home study tasks help pupils understand school subjects better which gives them the opportunity to attain higher grades. For example, according to extensive research, pupils aged between 10 and 16 who are given a large amount mathematics homework do far better in tests than those who are not given any home assignments. I believe that home study tasks improve a child’s chances of entering tertiary education which leads to a rewarding career.

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

 

Click this blue button to see an analysis of the model answer.

Word count is 290 words. I advise keeping it under 300 words as you may not have the time to write a long essay in the exam and it is not necessary to write a very long essay.

The structure is:

  • Introduction: Paraphrased task question with a thesis statement (opinion)
  • Main body 1:  Discussed first view explained and gave an example with my opinion.
  • Main body 2:  Discussed second view, agreed,  explained and gave an example.
  • 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 should 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’. Sometimes there is no way to avoid repetition but if you have a good understanding of synonyms and referencing you can avoid too much 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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