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How to Write the IELTS Discussion Essay: Sample Band 8 Answer

IELTS discussion essays can be hard for students to recognise, and they frequently get mixed up with opinion essays or benefit and disadvantage essays. The blog will serve as a compact, ready-to-go study material, on how to write the IELTS Discussion Essay. At the end of the post, you will also find a sample Band 8 answer for the IELTS Discussion Essay.

Identifying the Question:

An IELTS discussion essay question will begin with a statement that presents two competing viewpoints. Then, you’ll be required to discuss both arguments and offer your own viewpoint. Here is an example of typical language that could be used:

  • Discuss both views and give your opinion.
  • Discuss both these views and then give your own opinion.
  • Discuss both sides of this argument and give your own opinion.

Here’s a question from a past test paper:

Some people think that zoos are cruel and should be closed down. Others, however, believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

The need that you present BOTH points of view make this type of question easy to spot. This differs from opinion questions in which you must choose between two conflicting viewpoints and provide evidence to support your choice. Advantages and disadvantages essays are another essay type that students mistake for discussion essays. With them, the question will often be written as it is in this sample question and the statement will only present one point of view. Incorrectly identifying the question type will result in you using the incorrect essay format. This is a key factor in why people commit the errors we’ll now examine.

How can I recognise and avoid common mistakes in IELTS Writing?

IELTS discussion essays commonly make these three mistakes.

  • not expressing a viewpoint.
  • lacking justifications for both sides of the argument
  • not equally advancing either side of the issue.

The biggest error that students make is not expressing their opinions. You will be required to select a side of the debate to support in the question. You will receive a low task achievement score if you don’t follow these instructions. It makes no difference whether side of the debate you support or even if you concur with it. You must, however, give each side equal consideration. A common mistake is to make a stronger case for the point of view you favour. As a result, the essay is out of balance, and the task achievement score is low.

How to write the IELTS Discussion Essay:

In an IELTS discussion essay, you are asked to write about both sides of an argument or issue and give your own opinion. Here’s a basic structure you can follow:

  • Introduction: State the topic and give a brief overview of the different sides of the argument.
  • Paraphrase the question
  • State two supporting reasons
  • Give your opinion
  • Body Paragraph 1: Discuss one side of the argument, including supporting evidence and examples.
  • Body Paragraph 2: Discuss the other side of the argument, including supporting evidence and examples.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points, restate your opinion and provide a final thought on the issue.

It’s important to use a clear and concise writing style, and to make sure you fully address the prompt. Additionally, don’t forget to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation to ensure that you receive the highest score possible.

How To Plan IELTS Discussion Essays

  • Examine the question.

This is a crucial phase in the planning process that will make sure you adequately address the query. The process is quick and simple. Simply recognise the following three categories of words:

  1. Key phrases
  2. Additional keywords
  3. Words of instruction

The instruction words (the actual inquiry) have already been taken into consideration, so we’ll concentrate on the first two. The terms that identify the broad subject of the query are known as topics.

Some people think that zoos are cruel and should be closed down. Others, however, believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals.

So, the topic of this question is “zoos.”

The first part of the procedure is usually completed before writing a general essay on the subject. This is a major error that results in poor task achievement ratings. Now that we are aware of the broad subject, we must determine just which feature of zoos we are expected to write about. You may determine the precise subject you must write about from the other keywords in the question. The statements’ opinions are defined by them.

Some people think that zoos are cruel and should be closed down. Others, however, believe that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals.

The fact that these lines are highlighted makes it clear that you are expected to write on the competing ideas that zoos are cruel and ought to be shut down and that they can actually be beneficial in saving wild animals. Your essay must only include ideas relevant to these ideas.

  • Choose a position.

As was already said, it is irrelevant if you sincerely share the point of view you express in your essay. IELTS discussion essays are not evaluated on the basis of any opinions you may have; rather, they measure your ability to compose an essay in the English language with a clear framework. Decide on one perspective, and make sure it is evident throughout the essay.

We’re going to agree with the stance that zoos are terrible and ought to be abolished for the purposes of this sample essay.

  • Think of ideas

The next step is to come up with some topics for your writing. We’ll apply the “friends strategy.” This approach is our top choice since it enables you to detach from the pressure of the exam environment and think more clearly. This is how it goes. Imagine that your friend is casually speaking with you when they ask you the question. Off the top of your head, what responses would you provide them? Center your essay around these concepts.

By doing this, you’ll be able to generate straightforward solutions in simple terms rather than exerting unnecessary mental effort to generate brilliant concepts in high-level language.

  • Vocabulary

It’s crucial to be able to express the same ideas in many ways in an IELTS essay, whether through paraphrasing or the use of synonyms. Make a quick list of a few synonyms for the important terms you could use during the preparation stage to avoid having to stop and consider the appropriate terminology while you write.

For instance:

  • zoos – animals in captivity, collections of wild animals, menagerie, wildlife park
  • cruel – to cause suffering, inhumane
  • protect – safeguard, preserve
  • animals – creatures, species

For the Body Paragraphs this is what you have to remember:

The primary idea of the first paragraph should be summarised in the topic sentence. It doesn’t need to be difficult because all that has to be done is summarisation.  It is crucial in ensuring that your ideas build on one another rationally. It accomplishes this by serving as a guide for what will come next, i.e., the topic of the paragraph. For task accomplishment, cohesiveness, and coherence, you will receive excellent scores if you maintain a clear development of ideas throughout your essay.

Using the thought from the first major body paragraph, we will now develop our topic phrase.

To summarise the key idea within the second paragraph, we start by writing the topic sentence. These are excellent ways to bring ideas together and create a clear contrast between two opposing points of view. They are applicable to the majority of IELTS discussion essays and will raise your cohesion and coherence score.

Now, the conclusion should bring the entire essay together!

IELTS discussion essay conclusions should accomplish two goals:

  • Briefly state the main points
  • Share your thoughts.

Usually, this can be said in a single statement. After writing your conclusion, if your essay is less than 250 words, you can include a prediction or a recommendation. The conclusion is one of the easiest sentences to write in the essay but also one of the most crucial.

An effective conclusion will:

  • Put an end to the essay.
  • Connect all of your thoughts.
  • Summarise your position or argument.
  • Respond to the question

If you succeed, you’ll raise your task achievement and cohesion and coherence scores, which together account for 50% of the final grade. You won’t achieve a task achievement score of band 6 without a conclusion.

Go through this lesson as many times as you need to in order to fully understand it and put in lots of practice writing IELTS discussion essays from past exam questions. Practice is the only way to improve your skills.

IELTS Discussion Essay: Sample Band 8 Answer

Some people think that modern technology is making people more sociable, while others think it is making them less sociable. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some suggest that contemporary technological developments promote social interactions, while a few others that the contrary is true. In my opinion, personal characteristics impact one’s ability to be outgoing.

According to a few, today’s scientific applications make people’s ability to interact better as the former have the capability to create a huge network of like-minded people. A mobile application, Bumble, prompts users to interact with strangers by showcasing profiles having similar attributes. Such an intuitive feature would enable individuals to overcome the awkwardness to mingle. However, these triggers are still not sufficient for someone who is inherently submissive.

Some others feel technology has negative correlation with one’s sociability. Automated points of sale and internet banking services minimise any social interactions that an individual has, including even the basic greetings. An average human spends at least 1 hour each day to purchase commodities, which without the use of technology, would allow interactions with a minimum of 2 unknown people. Psychologists believe that this can eventually change the way a person behaves altogether as he or she would be habituated to being in social isolation. This too cannot necessarily inhibit an outgoing person to interact with strangers.

In my view, it is a person’s characteristics that influence his or her sociability the most. If the individual is introvert, who is someone who requires firm encouragement, the ability to socialize will not be affected by any tool. Similarly, any automation cannot hamper the innate tendency to stop making social interactions. Modern software tools can only change the way a human interacts temporarily, based on what the situation demands.

To conclude, a few people think that social networking is impacted by modern technology, whereas others believe that it is boosted by the latter. I believe that no amount of intuitive technology and automation can surpass the effect that a person’s in-born traits have on sociability.

Did you notice how we have elaborated upon both the views and then have stated our opinion? Watch this video to understand in detail about the above essay. Try this out for other essay types, or simply just post your questions on the comments and we will answer them!

One response to “How to Write the IELTS Discussion Essay: Sample Band 8 Answer”

  1. […] Also read: Discussion Essay Structure […]

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