IELTS Agree Disagree Essay Guide

IELTS Agree Disagree Essay Topics With Answer Guide

Struggling with your preparations for the IELTS? Several candidates, just like you, go online to seek help for the writing section as it is considered the toughest module amongst the four sections of IELTS. While going through the format, you must have already come across agree disagree or opinion questions which, we presume, have brought you here.

The writing section of the IELTS exam has varied writing tasks and one of the most popular amongst them is the agree disagree essay IELTS questions. Therefore, you must develop a clear and comprehensive understanding of these questions to achieve a high band score for the writing section.

In this guide, we will discuss in-depth what are the agree disagree questions, their structure, and how to attempt the IELTS agree disagree essay questions to score a band between 7 to 9. Plus, we will also give you some interesting IELTS agree disagree essay topics to practice in your leisure time.

What are Agree Disagree Essay Questions and Where Do They Come in IELTS?

IELTS Writing Section Structure

Exam Type

Academic Writing

General Writing

Paper Format

Two Writing Tasks Two Writing Tasks

Time Allotted

60 minutes 60 minutes

Questions

2 2

Types of Task

Task 1: Describing the given visual information.

Word Count:150

Time: 20 minutes

Task 2: Essay Writing (For Example: Agree-Disagree essay

Word Count: 250

Time: 40 minutes.

Task 1: Writing a personal response in the form of an informal, semi-formal or formal letter

Task 2: Essay Writing (For Example: Agree-Disagree essay

Word Count: 250

Time: 40 minutes.

 

As you can see in the table above, the writing section of both Academic or General Writing IELTS tests comprises Task 1 and Task 2. But, it is the latter that carries more weightage and should be dealt with more carefully. The agree disagree questions are a part of Task 2 in both types of IELTS tests. Under these questions, you will be presented with an idea, opinion, or a problem and you will be asked to justify your opinion or present your arguments lucidly for or against the topic.

You will be given 40 minutes to attempt the agree disagree essay IELTS questions, and present your argument in not less than 250 words. While there is no negative marking for exceeding the word limit, you will be penalised for falling short of 250 words. You can also be penalised for wrong spellings, going off-topic, or not following the English discursive writing conventions. Plus, you will be strictly penalised for plagiarism.

The Writing Task 2 of General Training and Academic IELTS are the same. The essays need to be written in the same way and are also scored similarly. But, the questions for the General Training are a tad simpler. The topics for the agree disagree essay IELTS questions are of general interest that could be related to the following:

  • Society
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Youth
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Consumerism
  • Family and children
  • Government
  • Custom/traditions
  • Crime
  • and, much more…

However, it is important to remember that the aim of these questions is not to test your knowledge of the subjects but to check your proficiency in the English language and how coherently and cohesively you can present your side of the argument using relevant examples and evidence. These examples can include your personal experiences as well, provided that they don’t deviate from the topic.

You will be expected to use a range of vocabulary and grammatical structures to present abstract and complex ideas. And again remember, Task 2 makes for twice as much as Task 1 and contributes to 66% of your total writing marks. Therefore, you must put in more effort in answering this section correctly to improve your prospects of achieving a good band.

Band Scores Corresponding To Writing Task Achievement

Band Score

What It Means

7+

Your opinion is very strong and you are able to support it with strong reasons and clear examples throughout the essay.

6

Your opinion is good enough but you are not always able to support it clearly with reasons or give a concrete conclusion.

5

You have an opinion but your supporting arguments are not clear and there is no evident conclusion.

4

You have an opinion but you cannot explain it clearly.

How Should You Structure Your Agree Disagree Essay Answers?

As mentioned above, the IELTS agree disagree essay questions can be based on absolutely anything. Therefore, a lot of students come to us asking, what is the best structure to answer the IELTS agree disagree essay questions. As you would have seen in the table above that in order to score a 7+ band score you need to have a clear position throughout the response. So if you are planning to memorise a handful of swanky words or well-drafted sentences and plug them into your essay instead of focusing on developing a strong point of view; we are sorry to burst the bubble, but this strategy will not work.

Attempting the IELTS agree disagree essay topics requires a planned and systematic approach to answer the questions, which is the whole point of attempting this writing task. Therefore, the first step is to plan your essay before you begin writing.

Planning Before Writing – Idea Generation

Since IELTS does not give you excess time to think, you must try to take your stand quickly. It may happen that you lack a strong opinion about the topic, but don’t worry, the questions used in Task 2 are kept debatable for a reason, which is, to ensure that there is no right or wrong answer. Another point that you must understand clearly is that IELTS is not expecting you to present your true opinions. Therefore, while finalizing your stand on the given topic, choose a side that you can answer and support more quickly and easily. In reality, these ideas or examples may be quite the opposite to your personal opinion, but IELTS is a test of your language and not your morals or values. The main aim of the planning stage is to figure out the main ideas that you will explain in each paragraph for your IELTS agree disagree essay topics.

While it is ok to give a general introduction on the topic and state your opinion in the following paragraphs, it can be a risky strategy. Firstly, the examiner is not clear about your opinion from the start. Secondly, you may run out of time before you can give your opinion in conclusion. Therefore, it is better to present your opinion in the introduction, support it with one main idea in the following paragraphs, and restate it in conclusion.

Now, let us take a closer look at the best structure that you can follow to answer the IELTS agree disagree essay questions and understand what each paragraph should entail. You can also cross-check the description of each paragraph with the IELTS agree disagree essay sample answer provided immediately below. This will help you put things into perspective.

Paragraph 1 - Introduction

The introduction serves as the most crucial part of your essay, as it will define your take on the given argument. Make sure that you keep your introduction simple and short. Ideally, your introduction should be written in three parts:  Topic statement, thesis statement and outline statement

Topic Presentation

In this part, you just need to rephrase the topic in your own words. To start your sentence, you can use words or phrases such as “It is argued/considered/thought that…” Just remember not to use the same words and sentences used in the question prompt.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement will define your opinion in one statement. This sentence will express the main idea of your essay which will either agree or disagree with the topic presentation. Your sentence can start as “I believe that…” or “I agree that…” A good thesis statement is one that answers the question directly.

Outline Statement

The third and final sentence is an outline sentence that will summarize the main ideas of your body paragraphs.

Paragraph 2- 1st Supporting Paragraph

Topic Sentence The topic sentence will describe what is discussed in the rest of the paragraph. Simply put, it is a summary of your first idea supporting your side of the argument.

Explain Topic Sentence

The second sentence will help to expand on the idea. To frame this sentence, you must assume that the examiner is unaware of the subject so you need to explain the idea to a layman.

Example

You need to support this idea with an example, which can be a news story, a recent study or survey, or an advertisement. If you are not sure of an example, you can make up one, as examiners will not check their authenticity but will focus more on its relevance.

Paragraph 3- 2nd Supporting Paragraph

The process followed for Paragraph 2 will be repeated for paragraph 3 to present your second supporting idea.

  • Topic Sentence
  • Explain Topic Sentence
  • Example
  • Paragraph 4- Conclusion

The concluding paragraph will include one or two sentences restating your thesis statement and the summary of the main points. You should not introduce any new idea at this stage. That’s it! This four-paragraph structure has been approved by the IELTS examiners as it is one of the best approaches to present your opinion clearly. However, students may also score well using other structures. But in our opinion, this one works the best.

IELTS Agree Disagree Essay Sample Answer

Now that you have a structure in place, let us try to put it into practice through this IELTS agree disagree essay sample answer structure.

Sample Question Prompt - “Higher salary is more important than following your passion.” [1]

Idea Generation: Firstly, let’s decide which side are you on!

Now, there could be two or three possible structures that you can follow to answer this agree disagree essay IELTS question:

1. Strongly agree – You think it is always better to have a high-paying job even if it doesn’t appeal to you very much. In your essay, you will discuss only this side of the argument.

2. Strongly disagree - You absolutely disagree with this fact and consider job satisfaction as a priority over a higher wage. With this opinion, you will only present facts that support your disagreement.

3. Partially agree or partially disagree

Introduction: Secondly, decide on the opening statements

  • Sentence 1 – Topic Presentation

It is considered that it is always better to opt for a job that pays more, rather than do what you like doing.

  • Sentence 2 – Thesis Statement

I strongly disagree with this opinion as I feel that following your passion is always more important than money.

  • Sentence 3- Outline Sentence

Firstly, following your passion gives you a sense of fulfillment, and secondly, it keeps you motivated which will be elaborated in further paragraph.

Body Paragraph 1: Continuing further

  • Topic Sentence

First of all, being happy with your job can give a sense of accomplishment that cannot be bought with any amount of money.

  • Explanation

Despite earning a fat paycheck, if you are always tensed at work or compromise with your conscience every day, you will not enjoy your life. On the other hand, following your passion will bring you pleasure and give you a feeling of gratification.

  • Example

For example, Mother Teresa, whom we all know for her great charity work, gave up her job as the headmistress of a convent school and followed her inner calling to serve the destitute.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic Sentence

Secondly, doing what makes you happy keeps you self-motivated and ensures greater success.

  • Explanation

What I mean is that job satisfaction and productivity are directly dependent. People who are happy with their jobs always outperform those who are in it just for the money.

  • Example

For instance, Elen De Generes decided to quit her clerical job in a law firm and ventured into the world of entertainment. After facing her share of struggles, today we know her as one of the most beloved comedians turned talk show host.

Conclusion

To conclude, I strongly believe that following your passion is more beneficial than a high salary because it keeps you happy and motivated for greater success.

Your Final Answer Should Come Out Something Like This

It is considered that it is always better to opt for a job that pays more, rather than do what you like doing. I strongly disagree with this opinion as I feel that following your passion is always more important than money. Firstly, following your passion gives you a sense of fulfilment, and secondly, it keeps you motivated which will be elaborated in further paragraph.

First of all, being happy with your job can give a sense of accomplishment that cannot be bought with any amount of money. Despite earning a fat pay-check, if you are always tensed at work or compromise with your conscience every day, you will not enjoy your life. On the other hand, following your passion will bring you pleasure and give you a feeling of gratification. For example, Mother Teresa, whom we all know for her great charity work, gave up her job as the headmistress of a convent school and followed her inner calling to serve the destitute.

Secondly, doing what makes you happy keeps you self-motivated and ensures greater success. What I mean is that job satisfaction and productivity are directly dependent. People who are happy with their jobs always outperform those who are in it just for the money. For instance, Elen De Generes decided to quit her clerical job in a law firm and ventured into the world of entertainment. After facing her share of struggles, today we know her as one of the most beloved comedians turned talk show host.

To conclude, I strongly believe that following your passion is more beneficial than a high salary because it keeps you happy and motivated for greater success. (270 words)

10 IELTS Agree Disagree Essay Topics

To succeed in writing better essays for agree disagree essay IELTS topics you must inculcate the habit of practicing writing every day. To give you a head start, here a few sample topics:

  1. Many people are of the view that reading books helps develop better imagination and language skills than watching TV. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  2. Nowadays, people are more famous for their wealth and glamorous lifestyles than for their achievements. This sets a bad example for the younger ones. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  3. Many people believe that electronic devices like smartphones and tablets carry more disadvantages than advantages. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  4. It has been observed that people like film actors and company heads are paid more money for the kind of work that they do. However, professionals like nurses, doctors, and teachers are undervalued and should be paid more. How far do you agree or disagree?
  5. To protect the environment, the government should ban companies that produce toxic waste materials without having a waste treatment facility in place. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  6. Some psychologists believe that the reason behind youngsters under 18 committing violent crimes is that they are not getting social and emotional guidance from their parents and teachers. How far do you agree or disagree?
  7. Science and technology are more important than music and arts. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  8. Some people believe that more money should be spent on dealing with poverty than on protecting wildlife. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
  9. Parents should not enforce their will on children for taking up a particular profession. Young people should be allowed to choose a career path that they like. How far do you agree or disagree?
  10. Many people argue that planning for the future is a waste of time. It is more important to focus on your present. How far do you agree or disagree?

Important Points to Remember

  • Spend the initial five minutes analysing each and every word of the question prompt.
  • It is better to completely agree or disagree with the question as it helps prepare a clear argument.
  • Don’t let personal biases misguide you. As mentioned earlier, choose a side that is easier to support.

 

FineGrades wishes you all the best for your IELTS preparations.