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 would argue that it is not a good idea for teachers to assign home study tasks to school children. Others say it is an essential part of a child’s educational development. I agree with this because home study tasks help pupils achieve better exam results, which gives them a good chance at entering higher education.

On the one hand, some people hold the view that too many home assignments are not beneficial and become a burden to school children. This is because pupils spend their whole day studying at school and they feel tired after returning home, then they have the added stress of finishing their homework. To illustrate this, in Japan the majority of 12 to 15-year-olds are under huge pressure to complete lots of homework. If they fail to finish their home assignments they will not be able to pass their high school entrance exams. I think that pupils ought to be given home assignments but should not be put under this kind of pressure.

On the other hand, others hold the opinion that homework plays a vital role in the development of knowledge for children. They believe this because it helps pupils understand the topic better, which then helps them get higher grades. For example, if a pupil regularly does mathematics exercise at home they will definitely expand on their knowledge, which could not be gained from solely studying at school. I agree with this view as it improves youngsters chances of getting into college or tertiary education, therefore benefiting their job prospects.

To conclude, although views differ about whether homework should be given to youngsters, I believe that these assignments are necessary to help pupils get good grades, which allows them to secure a place at university and improves their career prospects.


Word count is 298 words. It is a little long but I wanted to demonstrate the structure.. 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 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 given again

When writing the body paragraphs you need to use a good linking device which is:  on the one hand / on the other hand. The topic sentence must also reflect what the issue is in the task question. Make sure to check the task question again before writing your topic sentence. 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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