Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Types of essays in IELTS

  • Before writing an essay you need understand what kind of essay you are asked and what shall you include in it or what shall u exclude from it. Herein I have given a brief introduction of three different types of essays generally asked in IELTS writing examination, with some suggested answers to start with.

1) Discussion based essay :-

 Here you are asked to discuss some causes, consequences ( results) or/ and solutions of any social or national or environmental issue.

For example : Traffic has become one of the major problems of every city nowadays. What do you think are the causes for this? what measures can you suggest to solve it?

Here the yellow marked sentence highlights your question and you need to keep it in mind while writing your body passages.

Some other words in this kind of questions can be used like,
  • Why do think this happens?
  • What are the reasons behind this?
  • What will be the effects of this on society?
  • What could be done to fight against this?
  • What steps should be taken to prevent this situation?
  • What solutions can you suggest ?
  • You should keep in mind that this requires a general response, you don't need to write your personal bias your opinion for this. you just need discuss the required causes, consequences or solutions. And in conclusion you can highlight the main reason or solution what you personally think should be taken.
2) Proposal based essay :-
  • Here you will be asked any social or any other kind of issue or phenomena and you are asked whether you agree with that or to what extent do you support it.
For example,

Financial education should be mandatory component of the school program. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

As computers are being used more and more in education, there will be soon no role for teachers in the classroom." Do you agree or disagree?


 Here you need to present your views on either side of the question. You can present some pros and cons of the trend and then give your own opinion in conclusion. But yes, keep in mind here you have to give your clear answer in conclusion , whether you agree, you disagree or up to what extent you support the given proposal.   

  • These kinds of essays can be asked in some other words like,
  • To what extent do you agree with this? 
  • Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • Do you agree with this statement? 
 3) Opinion/ Argument based essay :
Here, you will be given any issue with two sides, and you will be asked to give your opinion on them or choose any one from them and to provide reasons for your choice. 
  • For example, 

Some people say that advertising encourages us to buy things we really do not need. Others say that advertisements tell us about new products that may improve our lives. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age and should spend most of their time on school studies. Others believe that young children should spend most of their time playing. Compare these two views. Which view do you agree with? Why?

  In these types of essays you need to favor either side of the given topic, and have to present your arguments to support your view.


The only key to write a good essay is to understand the title first and then give your response, if you are asked to give personal opinion don't hesitate to state your personal beliefs but if you are asked in general never give your personal opinions. 

Many of my students I have found making mistake in understanding some essays which have some background information, and they lose their task achievement.

For instance,

here is a title like,

When people visit other countries they often find the customs of dressing and behavior are different than in their home country. Some people believe these visitors should always follow the local customs and traditions. Whereas others do not agree with them. What is your opinion? Give reasons to support your view.   

Here the green colored sentence provides only background information and you need not to write your body passages on them. This can be used to write just your introduction and body passages will only talk about the answer of the main question which is in red color here.  

So make a habit to read the title more than two or three times before starting writing your response. Hope this will help.



  1. this was precise and helpful .thanks alot

  2. Your most welcome Mai....Keep visiting...

  3. Being a writer is much more interesting than being a philologist, because writers dont have to worry about all the rules, conjugation of verbs etc.
    But if you are interested in it, or just studying you should visit our site essaydragon.com dedicated to education in general and writing especially


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