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IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

Posted by David S. Wills | Jun 14, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0

IELTS Discussion Essays [Discuss Both Views/Sides]

In this lesson, I’m going to explain what an IELTS discussion essay is and how you can write a good one. I will talk about structure and content, as well as looking briefly at discussion essay thesis statements, which many people find tricky. I’ve also written a sample essay, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

What is a Discussion Essay?

As the name suggests, a discussion essay is an essay that discusses things! More specifically, it is a type of IELTS writing task 2 essay that requires you to look at two different points of view . You can easily recognise these essays by the following phrase:

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Sometimes it is phrased a little differently. It might say:

Discuss both sides and give your opinion
Discuss both points view and give your opinion

The important thing is that these all mean the same. When you see any of these, you know that you need to write a discussion essay. Importantly, this instruction tells you that you need to do two things:

  • Discuss both views (there will have been 2 views mentioned in the previous sentence(s))
  • Give your opinion (i.e. state which view you agree with)

If you failed to do either of these things, you would not have satisfied the basic criteria for Task Achievement .

Example Discussion Essay Questions

Here is a list of 5 discussion essay questions either from the IELTS exam, reportedly from the IELTS exam, or from reputable publications that have copied the IELTS question style. (Not that you absolutely should avoid fake IELTS questions when practising.)

Some people say that parents should encourage their children to take part in organised group activities in their free time. Others say that is important for children to learn how to occupy themselves on their own. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change. Others, however, think that change is always a good thing. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Some people feel that manufacturers and supermarkets have the responsibility to reduce the amount of packaging of goods. Others argue that customers should avoid buying goods with a lot of packaging. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Some people believe that higher education should be funded by the government. Others, however, argue that it is the responsibility of individuals to fund their higher education. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Some people believe that it is important for children to attend extra classes outside school, while others believe that they should be allowed to play after school. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

You can see in these questions that there is a similar pattern. In each case, the question phrase (“Discuss both views and give your own opinion”) is the same and in the previous sentence or sentences, there are two opposing views. This, then, makes “discuss both views” questions a sort of opinion essay .

How to Answer IELTS Discussion Questions

First of all, it is important when answering any IELTS task 2 question that you read the question carefully so that you understand it, then provide an answer that directly responds to the question, following its instructions carefully.

As discussed above, you are required to do two things: 1) Discuss both views, and 2) Give your own opinion. You absolutely must do both of those. It doesn’t really matter what your opinion is or whether you give equal weighting to both sides of the argument. Instead, you must cover both sides and also give some sort of opinion. (It is important, though, according to the marking rubric , that you are consistent in your opinion.)

Your answer of course should be structured carefully so as to present your ideas in a thoroughly logical way that is easy for your reader to interpret. I almost always use a four-paragraph structure in my essays, but some people prefer to use five paragraphs in this sort of essay. The difference would look like this:

You might be wondering why I have given my opinion in the body of the five-paragraph essay but not in the four-paragraph essay. Well, actually I would give my opinion in the body of both. However, my opinion would be more subtly woven into the text of the four-paragraph essay. I personally find this to be a better method, but it is equally possible that you could write an amazing five-paragraph essay. That issue is discussed further in this video:

Discussion Essay Thesis Statement

In academic writing, a thesis statement (sometimes called an essay outline ) is the part of the essay where you insert your opinion. It typically comes at the end of the introduction and guides the reader by explaining your opinion on the issues that have been introduced.

But do you really need to provide one in such a short essay? Well, a 2018 study into successful IELTS essays concluded that thesis statements were “obligatory” – i.e. you absolutely do need one. In fact, that study found that thesis statements appeared in 100% of successful IELTS discussion essays! Therefore, we can conclude they are very important.

Because a discussion essay will tell you to “Discuss both views and give your opinion,” you must introduce the two views and then give your opinion in the introduction. Here is an example:

Introductory paragraph:

In some parts of the world, children are forced to go to cram schools and other facilities of extracurricular learning, but many people believe that this is unfair and that they should be allowed to enjoy their free time instead. This essay will look at both perspectives and then conclude that it is indeed unfair.

My first sentence clearly introduces two different ideas:

  • Children should do extra classes
  • Children should not do extra classes

Note how I have successfully used synonyms to avoid repeating anything from the question. I have also framed the issue in a new way so that I am not just paraphrasing. (You can learn why paraphrasing is not always helpful here .)

My second sentence is the thesis statement. In this sentence, I outline what the essay will do (“look at both perspectives”) and then give my opinion (“it is unfair”). This is a simple but effective thesis statement.

Thesis Statement Advice

Your IELTS discussion essay thesis statement should do two things:

  • Tell the reader what the essay will do
  • Present your opinion

Because this is a formal essay, it is best not to be too personal. Instead of saying “I will…” or “I think…” it is better to say “This essay will…” Here are some simple templates that you can follow most of the time:

  • This essay will look at both sides and then argue that…
  • This essay will discuss both views but ultimately side with…

Just make sure to avoid being overly vague. You are required to give your opinion consistently throughout the essay, so don’t say “This essay will look at both sides and then give my opinion .” It is not really the best approach because the examiner wants to see that you can be consistent in presenting an opinion. That is clearly stated in the marking rubric. For band 7, it says:

  • presents a clear position throughout the response

It could be concluded, then, that your opinion is not clear from the start and so you have not done enough to warrant a band 7 for Task Achievement.

Body Paragraphs

As I mentioned above, there are really two main approaches you could take to the body paragraphs:

  • Discuss one view per paragraph and incorporate your opinion into each.
  • Discuss one view per paragraph and then have another for your opinion.

I suppose there is also a third option:

  • Compare and contrast the two viewpoints in each paragraph.

This last one may be a little harder to do successfully without jeopardising your score for Task Achievement or Coherence and Cohesion , but advanced candidates may find it useful.

Remember that there is no single perfect formula for an IELTS essay. That’s not how languages work and that’s not how IELTS works. Different people could come up with different ways to present a successful essay. The most common essay structures are mere guidelines for particularly useful methods of approaching an essay.

essay discussion model

Does a Discussion Essay Have to be Balanced?

Because the question says “Discuss both views,” it is quite logical to think that you must provide some degree of balance, but you certainly don’t need to give equal weighting to both sides. Remember that you are also going to give your opinion, so if you come down strongly on one side of the issue, it might be odd to give equal attention to both.

If you do feel very strongly about one side, you might want to present your discussion of the other side as quite negative. However, IELTS is a thinking exam as well as an English exam and an intelligent person can always look at both sides of an issue and explain – at the very least – why someone might believe a thing that is different to his own view. This seems quite important, but there is nothing explicitly mentioned in the marking rubric.

I would suggest that if you think a two-sided issue is basically one-sided (i.e. you strongly disagree with the other view), you should still write one or two sentences about why people believe that and then devote the rest of your essay to disputing their view.

Another approach is to write BP1 as a very short paragraph that explains why people might think one thing, but then have BP2 as a very long paragraph that debunks the opposing view and then explains why the other is correct.

(You can read more about IELTS essays and balance here .)

Sample Answer

Here is my full sample answer to the above question about whether or not children should be made to do extracurricular activities:

In some parts of the world, children are forced to go to cram schools and other facilities of extracurricular learning, but many people believe that this is unfair and that they should be allowed to enjoy their free time instead. This essay will look at both perspectives and then conclude that it is indeed unfair. In countries like South Korea, most children are made to go to an array of cram schools outside of regular school hours. Their parents do this in order to give their child a better future because it helps the child to learn more and thus gives them the academic advantages needed to apply to the best universities or jobs in future. These schools often provide children with an advantage over their peers because they improve their foreign language or math skills more quickly, and thus the children who do not attend these schools might have comparatively poor grades. However, whilst this attitude may result in better academic performance, it is certainly not good for the mental health of these children. It is no coincidence that places like South Korea have the highest rates of suicide among their young populations. The fact is that children are not equipped to spend fourteen or sixteen hours per day in classrooms, memorising facts and figures. In a sense, it is a form of child abuse. Children should be allowed to go home and spend time with friends and family to build social skills. They should be allowed to occupy themselves in order to become more creative and learn how to understand their own mind instead of being trained to repeat what they are told. In conclusion, it is understandable that some parents want their children to go to extra classes, but this is damaging to children and they should be given the freedom to play and socialise outside of regular school hours.

In BP1, I have looked at the topic of cram schools (ie the side of the argument in favour of extra lessons). I explored why parents might want their kids to do this and show the supposed benefits. Note that I never embraced any of these benefits. I was careful to use language that distanced these ideas from my own opinion, which was the opposite, so I said “Their parents do this in order to…”

In BP2, I looked at the opposite side. I was careful to make sure that my first sentence linked to the previous paragraph, highlighting that the benefits are quite minor compared to the drawbacks. All of my sentences here justify my position, which is that it is cruel to force these extra lessons on children.

My conclusion ties all of this together. The first clause references BP1 and the second summarises the main argument in BP2.

You can find two more sample essays here:

  • A discussion essay about sports facilities
  • A discussion essay about sports abilities

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

Published on August 21, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 18, 2023.

Discussion section flow chart

The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results .

It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review and paper or dissertation topic , and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion. It should not be a second results section.

There are different ways to write this section, but you can focus your writing around these key elements:

  • Summary : A brief recap of your key results
  • Interpretations: What do your results mean?
  • Implications: Why do your results matter?
  • Limitations: What can’t your results tell us?
  • Recommendations: Avenues for further studies or analyses

Table of contents

What not to include in your discussion section, step 1: summarize your key findings, step 2: give your interpretations, step 3: discuss the implications, step 4: acknowledge the limitations, step 5: share your recommendations, discussion section example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about discussion sections.

There are a few common mistakes to avoid when writing the discussion section of your paper.

  • Don’t introduce new results: You should only discuss the data that you have already reported in your results section .
  • Don’t make inflated claims: Avoid overinterpretation and speculation that isn’t directly supported by your data.
  • Don’t undermine your research: The discussion of limitations should aim to strengthen your credibility, not emphasize weaknesses or failures.

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essay discussion model

Start this section by reiterating your research problem and concisely summarizing your major findings. To speed up the process you can use a summarizer to quickly get an overview of all important findings. Don’t just repeat all the data you have already reported—aim for a clear statement of the overall result that directly answers your main research question . This should be no more than one paragraph.

Many students struggle with the differences between a discussion section and a results section . The crux of the matter is that your results sections should present your results, and your discussion section should subjectively evaluate them. Try not to blend elements of these two sections, in order to keep your paper sharp.

  • The results indicate that…
  • The study demonstrates a correlation between…
  • This analysis supports the theory that…
  • The data suggest that…

The meaning of your results may seem obvious to you, but it’s important to spell out their significance for your reader, showing exactly how they answer your research question.

The form of your interpretations will depend on the type of research, but some typical approaches to interpreting the data include:

  • Identifying correlations , patterns, and relationships among the data
  • Discussing whether the results met your expectations or supported your hypotheses
  • Contextualizing your findings within previous research and theory
  • Explaining unexpected results and evaluating their significance
  • Considering possible alternative explanations and making an argument for your position

You can organize your discussion around key themes, hypotheses, or research questions, following the same structure as your results section. Alternatively, you can also begin by highlighting the most significant or unexpected results.

  • In line with the hypothesis…
  • Contrary to the hypothesized association…
  • The results contradict the claims of Smith (2022) that…
  • The results might suggest that x . However, based on the findings of similar studies, a more plausible explanation is y .

As well as giving your own interpretations, make sure to relate your results back to the scholarly work that you surveyed in the literature review . The discussion should show how your findings fit with existing knowledge, what new insights they contribute, and what consequences they have for theory or practice.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your results support or challenge existing theories? If they support existing theories, what new information do they contribute? If they challenge existing theories, why do you think that is?
  • Are there any practical implications?

Your overall aim is to show the reader exactly what your research has contributed, and why they should care.

  • These results build on existing evidence of…
  • The results do not fit with the theory that…
  • The experiment provides a new insight into the relationship between…
  • These results should be taken into account when considering how to…
  • The data contribute a clearer understanding of…
  • While previous research has focused on  x , these results demonstrate that y .

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Even the best research has its limitations. Acknowledging these is important to demonstrate your credibility. Limitations aren’t about listing your errors, but about providing an accurate picture of what can and cannot be concluded from your study.

Limitations might be due to your overall research design, specific methodological choices , or unanticipated obstacles that emerged during your research process.

Here are a few common possibilities:

  • If your sample size was small or limited to a specific group of people, explain how generalizability is limited.
  • If you encountered problems when gathering or analyzing data, explain how these influenced the results.
  • If there are potential confounding variables that you were unable to control, acknowledge the effect these may have had.

After noting the limitations, you can reiterate why the results are nonetheless valid for the purpose of answering your research question.

  • The generalizability of the results is limited by…
  • The reliability of these data is impacted by…
  • Due to the lack of data on x , the results cannot confirm…
  • The methodological choices were constrained by…
  • It is beyond the scope of this study to…

Based on the discussion of your results, you can make recommendations for practical implementation or further research. Sometimes, the recommendations are saved for the conclusion .

Suggestions for further research can lead directly from the limitations. Don’t just state that more studies should be done—give concrete ideas for how future work can build on areas that your own research was unable to address.

  • Further research is needed to establish…
  • Future studies should take into account…
  • Avenues for future research include…

Discussion section example

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:

  • Your  interpretations : what do the results tell us?
  • The  implications : why do the results matter?
  • The  limitation s : what can’t the results tell us?

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

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McCombes, S. (2023, July 18). How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 16, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/discussion/

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Discussion essays Considering both sides of the argument

Discussion essays are a common form of academic writing. This page gives information on what a discussion essay is and how to structure this type of essay. Some vocabulary for discussion essays is also given, and there is an example discussion essay on the topic of studying overseas.

What are discussion essays?

Many essay titles require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour. These are known as discussion or for and against essays. In this sense, the academic meaning of the word discuss is similar to its everyday meaning, of two people talking about a topic from different sides. For a discussion essay, a balanced view is normally essential. This makes discussion essays distinct from persuasion essays , for which only one side of the argument is given. When writing a discussion essay, it is important to ensure that facts and opinions are clearly separated. Often you will examine what other people have already said on the same subject and include this information using paraphrasing and summarising skills, as well as correct citations .

The following are examples of discussion essay topics.

  • Examine the arguments for and against capital punishment.
  • Schools should teach children not only academic subjects but also important life skills. Discuss.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the classroom?

Although the structure of a discussion essay may vary according to length and subject, there are several components which most discussion essays have in common. In addition to general statements and thesis statement which all good essay introductions contain, the position of the writer will often be stated, along with relevant definitions . The main body will examine arguments for (in one or more paragraphs) and arguments against (also in one or more paragraphs). The conclusion will contain a summary of the main points, and will often conclude with recommendations , based on what you think are the most important ideas in the essay. The conclusion may also contain your opinion on the topic, also based on the preceding evidence.

An overview of this structure is given in the diagram below.

Discussion vocabulary

When summarising the stages in a discussion or in presenting your arguments, it can be useful to mark the order of the items or degrees of importance. The following words and phrases can be used.

  • First..., First of all..., The most important...
  • Second..., In the second place...
  • Finally..., Lastly...

The following can be used when introducing your opinion.

  • There is no doubt that...
  • I believe that...
  • One of the main arguments in favour of/against X is that...

It is important in English writing, including academic writing, to use synonyms rather than repeating the same word. The following are useful synonyms for 'advantage' and 'disadvantage'.

  • advantage: benefit, a positive aspect/feature, pro (informal)
  • disadvantage: drawback, a negative aspect/feature, con (informal)

Example essay

Below is an example discussion essay. Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay.

Title: An increasing number of students are going overseas for tertiary education. To what extent does this overseas study benefit the students?

Most people spend around fifteen years of their life in education, from primary school to university study. In the past, students only had the opportunity to study in their own country. Nowadays, however, it is increasingly easy to study overseas, especially at tertiary level. Tertiary education, also called post-secondary education, is the period of study spent at university. As the final aspect of schooling before a person begins their working life, it is arguably the most important stage of their education. While there are some undoubted benefits of this trend, such as the language environment and improved employment prospects , there is also a significant disadvantage, namely the high cost . The first and most important advantage of overseas study is the language learning environment. Students studying overseas will not only have to cope with the local language for their study, but will also have to use it outside the classroom for their everyday life. These factors should make it relatively easy for such students to advance their language abilities. Another important benefit is employability. Increasing globalisation means that there are more multinational companies setting up offices in all major countries. These companies will need employees who have a variety of skills, including the fluency in more than one language. Students who have studied abroad should find it much easier to obtain a job in this kind of company. There are, however, some disadvantages to overseas study which must be considered, the most notable of which is the expense. In addition to the cost of travel, which in itself is not inconsiderable, overseas students are required to pay tuition fees which are usually much higher than those of local students. Added to this is the cost of living, which is often much higher than in the students' own country. Although scholarships may be available for overseas students, there are usually very few of these, most of which will only cover a fraction of the cost. Overseas study therefore constitutes a considerable expense. In summary, studying abroad has some clear advantages, including the language environment and increased chances of employment , in addition to the main drawback, the heavy financial burden . I believe that this experience is worthwhile for those students whose families can readily afford the expense. Students without such strong financial support should consider carefully whether the high cost outweighs the benefits to be gained.

Academic Writing Genres


Like the website? Try the books. Enter your email to receive a free sample from Academic Writing Genres .

Below is a checklist for discussion essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

Bailey, S. (2000). Academic Writing. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer

Cox, K. and D. Hill (2004). EAP now! Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia

Jordan, R.R. (1999). Academic Writing Course. Cambridge: CUP

Roberts R., J. Gokanda, & A. Preshous (2004). IELTS Foundation. Oxford: Macmillian

Next section

Find out how to write persuasion essays in the next section.

Previous section

Go back to the previous section about different essay types .


Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 16 January 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

The Magoosh logo is the word Magoosh spelled with each letter o replaced with a check mark in a circle.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Discussion Sample Essay

2 people discussing IELTS task 2 essay

Today we’re going to look at a discussion essay IELTS sample that’s considered Band 9. This Band 9 scored essay matched the pattern for the “discussion” type of Writing Task 2 question. Discussion essays are sometimes also called “discuss both sides” essays. In this kind of essay, you will be presented with two statements of opinion that oppose each other. You will then be asked to “discuss both sides” of the debate, and to give your own opinion. For more information on this and other question types, including tips, tricks, and general advice for the discussion essay question type, see Magoosh’s full guide to IELTS Writing Task 2 question types .

Discussion Essay IELTS Sample: Band 9

The essay below is a band 9 model IELTS essay, patterned after Magoosh’s IELTS Writing Task 2 Template .

IELTS Writing Discussion Essay Practice Question

Some people seek a lot of advice from family and friends when choosing their career. Others feel it is better to choose a career more independently. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Get a higher IELTS score? Start your online IELTS prep today with Magoosh.

Write at least 250 words.

Discussion Essay IELTS Sample Band 9 Response

Choosing a career can be a challenging process. It can be difficult to say whether this decision should be made alone, or made with input from loved ones. In my opinion, it is best to find one’s career independently, with no more than a small amount of advice from family or friends. Below, I will explain why I feel that we must ultimately face career decisions on our own.

Getting career guidance input from loved ones can be confusing rather than useful. Family and friends likely have different careers, and thus give different, conflicting advice. Suppose, for instance, that your father is a teacher, your mother is an accountant, and your best friend is a nurse. They have all made very different career decisions, and only have knowledge on their respective careers. Different people will likely only steer you to their careers, without giving good advice on your own best path.

In contrast, focusing on one’s own preferences and skills provides a clearer path to the right career. After all, individuals have the best knowledge of their own abilities and interests. As an example, if someone has gone to university to study biology, they will know more about biology careers than a family member or friend who does not have that same kind of training. Ultimately, your career must be built on your own training and experience, not the training and experience of others.

For the reasons I’ve outlined above, I really do believe that career decisions are a matter of personal knowledge. Other people, even trusted family and friends, simply cannot understand your career the way you can. To select your field of work wisely, you must face this important decision alone.

Scorer Commentary (Discussion IELTS Essay Sample, Band 9)

The score report below is based on the official IELTS Writing Task 2 rubric . This report also looks very similar to the Magoosh IELTS essay scoring service .

Overall Band Score: 9

What was done well in the essay:

  • At 283 words, this essay exceeded the 250 word minimum. (This is very important for getting full points!)
  • Each part of the task was fully addressed. Both sides of the issue were discussed in the first and second body paragraphs. Moreover, reasons and relevant examples were included.
  • Each paragraph had its own clear topic sentence and supporting details, with explanations of the details, and summarization of the most important ideas.
  • Transitional language was used to clearly tie in all paragraphs to clear main ideas from the introduction and conclusion.
  • Vocabulary and grammar were used clearly and fluently. There were no serious errors in grammar or word use; word choice and sentence structure varied and avoided significant repetition.

More Model Essays for IELTS Writing Task 2

Would you like the see model essays for the other common IELTS Writing Task 2 question types as well? Magoosh has you covered! Just click the links below.

  • Advantage/Disadvantage Essay
  • Two-Part Question Essay
  • Causes/Solutions Essay
  • Agree/Disagree Essay

David Recine

David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he’s helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles , his Master’s Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he’s presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube , Facebook , and Instagram , or connect with him via LinkedIn !

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5 responses to “IELTS Writing Task 2: Discussion Sample Essay”

Jinil Bhavsar Avatar

Contractions must be avoided because they are a sign of informal writing style. Whereas essay’s should be written in formal way.

Magoosh Expert

You are correct that contractions shouldn’t be used in the formal Task 2 essay. However, note that they can be used at times, such as in IELTS Speaking or in Task 1 if you are asked to write an informal letter.

Happy studying!

Ore Avatar

Greetings, and thank you for this model essay. I wanted to ask a question relating to the discussion essay’s addressing of the task. Since the two views are 1) Some people think it is beneficial to ask for advice from friends/loved ones, and 2) others think that it is better to do so alone, why isn’t the 2nd paragraph addressing the benefits but instead talks about how it can be confusing? Isn’t a discussion essay’s structure supposed to be something like this:

2nd paragraph: Reasons people believe asking for help to decide for a career is good 3rd paragraph: Reasons people believe doing it on your own is good Conclusion: Giving your own opinion

Thank you for your time!

Good question! The short answer is that both approaches work! The directions are simply to “discuss both views,” but you don’t have to provide support for both sides. You can also discuss the problems or issues with one side, as this essay has done. Does that make sense? I’d suggest reviewing more sample essays to get a better sense of this.

Hope this helps, and best of luck to you!

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essay discussion model

How To Write A Discussion Essay

In writing task 2 you will be asked to write a discursive essay ( 250 words minimum ). You will be given a question asking you to give your opinion, discuss a problem or issue. You could also be asked to provide solutions, evaluate a problem, compare and contrast different ideas or challenge an idea. In this post, we will be focussing on how to   write a discuss both views and give your opinion essay .

One of the first things you should do is read the marking criteria  to see what the examiners expect. This is really important, as you need to know what they are looking for in the band 7+ boxes. 

You should be able to give the examiners exactly what they want, in order to get a 7+ band score. 

If you would like to purchase a 34  page PDF download that is easy to read and print out please take a look at the bookshop >

WRITING TASK 2 Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion Essay STRUCTURE

The structure that I advise my students to use, will be sure to get you a band score of 7+. You need to practice using this structure, with as many questions as you can, before sitting your IELTS test. This writing task 2 structure has been proven to be successful for my students and when perfected, can easily help you to achieve a high band score. 

TIP >>  Before you start writing, plan your ideas so that you can organise the information clearly. You must decide how much you agree or disagree with and why. Take 5 minutes and plan out your ideas, opinions and examples. 

TIP >>  It is very important that spend a full 40 minutes on this task as the score you get for writing task 2 is two-thirds of your total writing score. You also need to write a minimum of 250 words and use your own ideas. 

TIP >>  Remember to write in a formal tone, this is an academic essay, therefore your writing should be formal. 


Paragraph 1 – The Introduction

This is the introduction to the essay and where you should start off by paraphrasing the question. 

Do you understand what I mean, when I say ‘paraphrase’ the question?

This means that you rewrite the question in your own words using synonyms. You can’t just copy the question again or use the same words in the question. Paraphrase and show off your vocabulary knowledge by using synonyms. When practising your essay writing, use an online thesaurus  to help you. This is a great tool and can help you to learn many new words.

After that, give your view/opinion on the issue. A good way to say this is to start with… ‘In my opinion, I believe that……..’ 

The last sentence in the introduction should outline for the examiner exactly what you will discuss in the main body paragraphs. For example, ‘ this essay will discuss both views and state my own position’.

There are three sentences you need in the introduction >>

  • Paraphrase the question / State both views
  • Give your view/opinion
  • Outline what is going to be discussed in the essay

Paragraph 2 – Main Body Paragraph 1

In this paragraph, you should write about the first argument/viewpoint, discuss it, then give an example. You should give specific information and only write about one main idea in each main body paragraph. 

Start the paragraph by introducing the first view (View A). This is where you need to have a topic sentence. The next sentence(s) should discuss the view, going into detail. The third sentence should give an example that supports the view.

The example you give could be something from your own experience or made up – it is ok to make up something as the examiners will not fact check your information. They want to see your ability to use English at a certain level. You could make up an example from a report, journal, newspaper or University study to support your view. 

This is how the paragraph should look >>

  • Introduce the view (View A – topic sentence)
  • Discuss/give detail

Paragraph 3 –  Main Body Paragraph 2

In this paragraph, you should write about your second view (View B). You should give specific information and only write about one main idea in each main body paragraph. 

Start the paragraph by introducing the view (View B). This is where you need to have a topic sentence. The next sentence(s) should discuss the view, going into detail. The third sentence should give an example that supports the view.

The example you give could be something from your own experience or made up – it is ok to make up something as the examiners will not fact check your information. They want to see your ability to use English at a certain level. You could make up an example from a report, journal, newspaper or University study to support your view. 

This is how the paragraph should look >>

  • Introduce the view (View B – topic sentence)

Paragraph 4 – Your Opinion

In this paragraph, you should write your opinion. You should give specific information and only write about one main idea in each main body paragraph. 

Start the paragraph by introducing your opinion. This is where you need to have a topic sentence. The next sentence(s) should explain your opinion, going into detail. The third sentence should give an example that supports your opinion.

  • Introduce your opinion (topic sentence)
  • Explain your opinion

Paragraph 5 – The Conclusion

In the final paragraph, you write the conclusion giving a summary of your main points and state which view is more important.   You should not enter any new information or ideas in this paragraph. 

  • Summary of the main points
  • State which view is more important


To get a high score in IELTS academic writing task 2, you should use as many different structures, collocations and idioms as you can.  


You can use phrases like these to make statements, for example; On the one hand sunbathing can give your body vitamin D, on the other hand, it can also be very dangerous for your health.

SAMPLE Discuss Both Points of View and Give your own opinion ESSAY >>

**All questions have been reported by students who have taken the IELTS exam.**

It is undeniable that modern technology has a huge influence on people’s lives. The use of the internet, for example, has become more common and some claim that it has been able to connect people who are far apart, while others argue that its use can lead to social isolation or confinement. This essay will discuss both views and state my own position.

Firstly, during the last two decades, there have been many tech developments and advancements, bringing convenience to all. One significant attribute of this modernization is the internet, while this technology has made our lives more convenient in many aspects, including our approach to communication. In the past, we only used mail or the telephone to send our messages across the globe, whereas today, the internet allows us to reach out to almost everyone in just a few seconds. The inconvenience of long distances is eliminated as we can talk and even see distant friends or relatives for an unlimited time. For example, the internet connects people whose relatives or families are abroad, through Facebook, Twitter or Skype anytime and anywhere.

Secondly, this technological development has its drawbacks, as it has been observed that some individuals tend to spend a lot of their time surfing the internet or on different social networking sites. Communities meet online via private Facebook groups, instead of in a community hall to discuss matters, since this does not allow them to socialise physically with people, they isolate themselves in this virtual world. Both teenagers and adults use much of their time online and this does not allow them to develop their interpersonal skills. For instance, a study from 2015 by The Social Media Explorer saw that over 93% of teenagers aged 16-19 have a social media presence, with more than three social accounts per person.  

Thirdly, in my opinion, I believe that the internet can bring people closer together, as it can make both socialising and work much easier for those who travel. Communities can speak freely at any time, in groups, asking for help or advice, though it is up to the individuals to acknowledge how much time they are spending online and whether this is a cause for concern. Isolation cannot be blamed on the internet, as it is just a tool to use, the individual must be in charge of their own time. For example, a person who works from home online for many hours in the day should make sure they have adequate breaks and make time for socialising, as to not feel isolated or removed from their own community.   

In conclusion, it is a fact that the internet has brought more convenience into society and allowed many people to be closer. However, people should take responsibility to balance the use of the internet so that other aspects of their lives will not become neglected.

(Word Count – 476 / Band Score 9)


  • Task Achievement  – The answer discusses both sides of the argument and ends with a clear opinion. the main body paragraphs are supported with relevant examples. The essay exceeds the word count, but all sentences are relevant and focussed. 
  • Coherence and Cohesion  – The answer has been divided into clear logical paragraphs and each main body paragraph only has one main idea. There are cohesive links between the main body paragraphs ( Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, In conclusion ).    
  • Lexical Resource  – There is evidence of a wide range of vocabulary, with no errors in the text.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy  – The answer has no grammatical errors. The sentences have a wide range of structures including relative clauses ( in which.. .). 

TIP >>  Use each of the main body paragraphs (paragraphs 2 and 3) to discuss both views, giving examples that are relevant. Remember to give your opinion, state your opinion in the fourth paragraph. In the conclusion (paragraph 5), summarise your main points and state which view is more important. 


If you would like to view more high band score discussion   essay examples please click the button below >

We hope you found this post useful in helping you to study for the IELTS Test . If you have any questions please let us know in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

The best way to keep up to date with posts like this is to like us on Facebook , then follow us on Instagram and Pinterest . If you need help preparing for the IELTS Test, join the IELTS Achieve Academy and see how we can assist you to achieve your desired band score. We offer an essay correction service, mock exams and online courses.

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How to Write a Discussion Essay

Last Updated: June 27, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 432,545 times.

Jake Adams

Discussion Essay Outline and Example

essay discussion model

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Work through the...

  • For instance, maybe the question is, "Immigration has been a heated topic on the national level for many years. With issues like the DREAM Act and President Trump's stances on policy, it's likely to remain a central issue. Using authoritative resources to back up your argument, take a stance on immigration policy, establishing whether you think it should be more or less strict and why."
  • You can establish that the main topic is immigration policy from the sentence, "Take a stance on immigration policy."
  • If you're having trouble understanding the question, don't be afraid to talk to the professor. They can help you better understand what they're asking for.

Step 2 Perform initial research to understand the issue.

  • If your essay will be based off a discussion had in class, ask your instructor if you can use class notes as a primary source.
  • Look for respected news sources, as well as websites with ".edu" and ".gov" extensions.
  • You may need to look up information on the DREAM Act or President Trump's policies to help you understand the question, for example. For this part, you don't need to take extensive notes, as you're just trying to get a feel for the subject.

Step 3 Take a side on the issue to begin outlining your essay.

  • If you were given a text to base your essay on, make sure that text has enough evidence to support your chosen position.

Step 4 Add the main points you'd like to cover to your outline.

  • Use Roman numerals on your page to mark your main ideas. Write a main point by each Roman numeral. You should only cover 3 to 4 main points in a relatively short essay, such as one that's 3 to 5 pages.

Step 5 Find research to support your points.

  • Your main sources should be books or ebooks, journal articles from academic journals, and credible websites. You can also use high quality news articles if they're applicable to your topic.

Step 6 Take notes that include citations.

  • For a book, you should include the author's name, the editor's name (if applicable), the title of the book, the publication year, the publication city, the edition, and the title of the book chapter in an anthology by multiple authors.
  • For a journal, include the author's name, the journal title, the article title, the digital object identifier (DOI), the ISSN, the publication date, the volume (if applicable), the issue (if applicable), and the page numbers for the journal article.
  • If you're searching in a database, you can often ask the database to save this information for you, but you should include identifiers on your notes.

Step 7 Fill in your outline to finish planning your essay.

  • For example, if one of your main points is "Immigration increases diversity," some of your points underneath might be "Brings in new cuisines," and "Brings in new art."
  • Find examples from your research, and add notes to each point to fill them in.

Writing the Introduction

Step 1 Begin with a hook such as a quotation or anecdote to engage readers.

  • For an example or anecdote, start by telling a short story about something relevant to your topic. For instance, you might write the following for an essay on immigration, "When I was 4-years-old, my parents told me we were going on a long trip. After a bus ride, we spent nights walking, my dad carrying me most of the way. One day, we crossed a river. That day marked our first day in our new country."

Step 2 Introduce your topic in your transition sentences.

  • For example, you might write, "Immigration is a highly-debated issue. It is controversial because some people fear how it affects the resources of the country the people are immigrating to, while others believe the improved quality of life for immigrants is what’s most important."

Step 3 Work on a thesis statement to establish your argument.

  • For instance, your thesis statement might be, "Immigration is good for the country because it increases diversity, infuses the country with new talent, and broadens the population's perspective, and it should be encouraged with a few basic safeguards in place."

Composing the Body of Your Essay

Step 1 Limit each paragraph to 1 idea.

  • For instance, if you're writing a short research paper, one paragraph might be your main point "Immigration increases diversity," where you cover all your bullet points in that paragraph.
  • If you're digging deeper, you might create a section about diversity, and then use a paragraph to cover "brings in new cuisines," another to cover "brings in new art," and so on.

Step 2 Acknowledge the other side of the issue.

  • Try not to set up a "straw man" argument, where you don't give the other side a fair chance. You should be able to support your position without purposefully creating a weak position on the other side.

Step 3 Keep your whole argument in mind as you write.

  • For instance, maybe you want to transition between a section about increasing diversity to one about bringing in new talent. You might write a sentence like, "Increasing diversity in our country doesn't just bring in new cuisines and art, it also brings in hard workers that have fresh perspectives on old problems in the workforce."

Step 4 Support your ideas with research.

  • You can paraphrase other ideas or use direct quotes, but only use a direct quote if the author said something in a unique way. Otherwise, put it in your own words.
  • You may want to begin body paragraphs with a quote from a relevant source. Then, explain or provide commentary on the quote and show how it supports your position.
  • You can also use statistics to back up your research. For instance, if one of your arguments is that immigration doesn't increase crime, use statistics to back that up.

Concluding Your Essay

Step 1 Synthesize the information from your essay.

  • For instance, you might write, "A truly great country is one that celebrates differences and welcomes new ideas and perspectives. While immigration has some negative effects on a country, overall, allowing people from other countries to come in helps to spark new ideas and make the country a better and more interesting place to live. Rather than being a drain on society, immigrants are motivated to work hard and our citizens can only benefit from listening to their perspectives."

Step 2 Avoid restating your introduction.

  • Once you have the flow down, read it again to check for grammatical mistakes and typos. It can help to read it aloud, as it slows you down and forces you to read every word.

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

  • Remember you can't research forever. Often, the research stage absorbs a student so fully that the upcoming submission date seems unimportant. Make sure to leave yourself at least a few days to write your essay. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Write a Reflection Paper

  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/answering-assignment-questions
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/essay-and-assignment-planning
  • ↑ https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/chapter/chapter-11-developing-a-convincing-argument/
  • ↑ https://student.unsw.edu.au/organising-your-ideas
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/introductions/
  • ↑ https://www.umgc.edu/current-students/learning-resources/writing-center/writing-resources/parts-of-an-essay/essay-introductions
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html
  • ↑ https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/writing-your-essay
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/establishing_arguments/organizing_your_argument.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/establishing_arguments/research_and_evidence.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/conclusion
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a discussion essay, start by taking a side on the issue you're writing about, like "Immigration is good for the country." Then, outline the main points that made you decide to take that position and do research to find evidence that backs them up. Look for credible sources that can help you make your argument, and don't forget to cite them. Then, when you're writing your essay, devote 1 paragraph to each main point and include your evidence. For help writing the introduction and conclusion to your essay, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write an Effective Discussion Essay Paper-Full Guide

May 25, 2022 | 0 comments

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May 25, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Discussion essay papers are an effective way to explore complex topics. They’re also a great way to practice writing in a concise, scholarly way, similar to what you’ll be expected to do when writing a literary analysis or other school assignments. Below, we’ve included everything you need to know about discussion essay papers, from what makes one different from any other type of essay to how you can most effectively write one for school or publication. Let’s get started!

Read also: How to Write a Consulting Proposal Paper

What is a discussion essay?

A discussion paper is a paper that presents the pros and cons of an issue. It is a type of essay , which means it has a thesis statement that presents its argument in one sentence.

However, unlike other types of essays (like research papers), the goal of writing a discussion essay paper is not to prove your opinion as factually correct or incorrect. Instead, the goal is to present different viewpoints on an issue and allow the reader to develop their own opinion on what they think about said topic.

The Ultimate Guide to Discussion Essay Writing 

To make sure you don’t lose sight of this distinction, keep these things in mind:

Step 1. How to Get the Discussion Essay Plan

The first step is to formulate an idea and get an overall structure for your essay. In other words, you need to decide on a topic and write an introduction that will lead into the body of your paper. The most common argumentative essay outline format is:

  • Introduction (why you should care about this issue)
  • Arguments & Evidence (evidence that supports your argument)
  • Counterarguments (how others could argue against your view)
  • Conclusion (what you learned).

Decide What’s the Idea

The first step in writing an effective discussion essay paper is to decide what’s the idea. This is a task that requires you to choose a topic that interests you, something that you can write about, and it should be:

  • Current and relatable. The topic must be relevant at this time in history. If the argument is outdated or has been done before, people will not be interested in reading it. Also, make sure it isn’t too narrow because only a few people will know of it. At the same time, others may not have any knowledge at all, which means they won’t have any basis for discussion when writing their papers on similar topics later on down the line so try not to be too narrow!
  • Debatable and arguable. Your paper should discuss something controversial within its field; otherwise, there wouldn’t be anything worth arguing about.
  • It’s researchable. You want something that has enough evidence to support your argument or at least something where there is enough controversy surrounding the issue so that there’s plenty of room for interpretation and new ideas to develop.
  • It’s controversial (but not too controversial). We all know what happens when someone tries to make a point with an offensive or inflammatory statement—the audience immediately shuts down, refusing to engage in any discussion because they’re too busy feeling uncomfortable and angry at the speaker’s insensitivity/ignorance/stupidity (whichever failing they attribute it to). Even if you manage to get through the initial resistance (and trust me, it will be difficult), people will remember how horrible the presentation was for weeks after, decreasing its usefulness as a discussion starter in other classes or papers later on; down the line.”

Good Examples of Discussion Essay Topics IELTS

Take the time now to browse through these good discussion essay topics and find one that sparks your interest:

  • Why do we need public libraries?
  • Is there such thing as too much technology?
  • How has social media impacted our lives for better or worse?
  • Do religious movements cause war?
  • Everyone should study at least two languages at school.
  • There should be censorship online.
  • Coronavirus is beneficial for nature.
  • Why are US citizens rapidly becoming more obese?
  • Communism and capitalism have a lot in common.

Choose the Model of Argument

The first step in writing an effective discussion essay paper is to choose the model of the argument you will use. There are three main models:

  • The Aristotelian or classical approach to argumentation
  • Rogerian method of argumentation
  • Toulmin Argument Model

1. The Aristotelian or Classical Approach to Argumentation

This approach is based on the Aristotelian theory of argumentation, which suggests that three different types of premises can be used to support an argument. The first type of premise is the major premise, which is the claim you are trying to prove.

The second type of premise is a minor premise or premiss, and it supports and strengthens your main point (the major premise). For example: “All cats are mammals” would be a major premise; “All dogs are mammals ” would be a minor premise supporting this statement because it supports our original claim about cats being mammals by saying that dogs are also mammals.

The third type of premises used in classical argumentation is called intermediate conclusions or inferences; these statements help us reach our conclusion but do not have as much weight as major or minor premises.

2. Rogerian Method of Argumentation

The Rogerian argument is a method of argumentation based on the idea that people have different perspectives and that these perspectives are not necessarily right or wrong but are simply different. This method aims to understand how someone came to their conclusion and why they hold this belief.

You can use this approach for any discussion essay paper; however, it is particularly useful when you want your reader to understand your perspective rather than agree with it outright (e.g., if you’re writing an essay about why you like one movie over another).

3. Toulmin Argument Model

Toulmin’s argument model is a framework for developing and evaluating arguments. Toulmin developed this model to evaluate the quality of arguments, but philosophers and historians have also used it to study how people argue.

Toulmin’s argument model is useful for evaluating arguments in various contexts and situations, including academic contexts.

Step 2. How to Write the Introduction

The introduction is where you hook your reader, lay out your thesis, and give them a clear idea of what they will read. It would be best to keep it short, interesting, and engaging. The best way to get all of these things right is by following this formula:

The hook is that ‘aha’ moment that makes you want to keep reading. It’s why readers will stop scrolling through their Facebook feed and click on an article in their newsfeed instead—it’s why they’ll pick up your paper instead of another one on their desk or laptop. Make sure that hook is engaging enough for people to want more!

Hooks are an important part of any essay. Hooks are used to grab your reader’s attention, introduce them to the topic and thesis, and set up your main points. A good hook will make it more likely that they will read the whole paper.

It is important not to overuse hooks in your paper. You want the reader to feel like they can trust you as a writer because you don’t waste their time with unnecessary fluff or filler sentences. You don’t want them thinking that you didn’t take enough time editing out all of those things before submitting it for review by someone else or getting published somewhere else (like here).

Discussion essay thesis statement

This is what you’re arguing about in your paper; it’s the point at which we can begin building our argument and adding additional evidence later on in our paper/discussion board post/etc… This should also be stated very clearly because if someone doesn’t understand what we’re trying to say, there won’t be any meaningful discussion about our topic whatsoever! A good rule-of-thumb here would be: “If I could tell someone my entire argument without mentioning any sources, my thesis needs some work.”

It’s important to start by laying out your topic’s background. This will include what you know about the topic, its history, context, scope, and problem. You can also include some information about the solution if you’d like to discuss that before moving on to analyzing it.

The core of any paper is its claim. A claim is what you believe to be true and want your reader to believe. Your paper’s central argument should be supported by evidence from cited sources. Still, it’s also important that you provide enough details so that readers can understand why you believe what you do and how those beliefs were formed in the first place. This way, even if someone disagrees with your central idea or interpretation, they’ll still be able to appreciate how your thinking process led up to it.

A counter-claim is when someone takes issue with another person’s assertion—in this case, yours! This might seem like a bad thing at first (and sometimes it is), but if done correctly, writing a strong counter-claim can help strengthen both sides’ arguments and help everyone learn more about the subject matter at hand!

Step 3. How to Write the Body of Your Essay

Next, you’ll need to explain the topic of your essay in detail. This is the body of your paper, and it will be where you make all of your arguments.

It would be best if you also clearly explain your thesis statement in this section. Your thesis is like a summary of what you’re saying: it should be clear and concise while still accurately reflecting the rest of your paper (it’s okay if it’s not 100% accurate).

Now that you’ve introduced yourself and explained why writing this paper is important to you, it’s time for some details! Provide examples from both stories or articles that support or refute your thesis statement. A great way to make sure these examples are relevant is by connecting them with other points being made in class discussions or lectures – this way, readers know exactly how they relate together again later on when it comes out as evidence towards proving/disproving another point brought up during class discussion time.”

Tips for crafting a good discussion section

The discussion section of your paper is the most important part. It’s where you can show off your critical thinking skills and make a meaningful contribution to the topic at hand. But if you don’t know how to write an effective discussion, it can be hard to get this part right!

Here are some tips for crafting a good discussion section:

  • Use direct quotes from sources when possible. This will help you avoid making unsupported statements about what other people think or believe; instead, you can use the author’s own words as evidence of how they think on their grounds.
  • Use examples from history and current events to illustrate your ideas about culture and society. You don’t want all of your examples coming from one source—this will make things seem too biased towards that source’s perspective—but don’t forget that there are many different perspectives out there in the world, so try not having any of them underrepresented in what gets included in your paper!
  • Employ effective transitions between paragraphs when transitioning between ideas within each paragraph itself; these should appear at least once per paragraph while reading through it, so readers know where they’re going next before continuing further down below into those same topics later on down this list here today with us now!”
  • Use clear language. Don’t use complicated jargon or unfamiliar concepts that your reader may not be familiar with.
  • Use a logical structure. Organize your ideas in an orderly fashion so that your reader can follow along easily and structure them logically (for example, using an introduction followed by body paragraphs and ending with a conclusion).
  • Use a variety of sentence structures and lengths. Long sentences aren’t necessarily better than short ones; neither are complex sentences better than simple ones. Make sure each sentence conveys one idea clearly, without unnecessary words or phrases that don’t add anything to the message you’re trying to get across.
  • Limit each paragraph to one idea–this will help keep things organized for readers! It’s also good practice because it’ll be harder for people to read if you try adding multiple ideas into one paragraph (or even worse: just cramming everything into one sentence).
  • Get your facts straight. You have to be 100% sure that what you write is correct because if it’s wrong, then it will undermine your credibility and make your reader doubt everything else in the paper. So check every fact with multiple sources before writing it down (and then double-check again).
  • Check your sources. It’s important to give credit where credit is due—but don’t just copy other people’s work verbatim! Be honest about where you got your information from so that readers can follow up on any questions or ideas they might have. Also, make sure that all of the information in the discussion section was cited properly, using APA style or MLA style formatting guidelines and citations (if necessary).

Step 4. How to Write the Discussion Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the last thing you’ll write, so you need to make sure it’s strong. Like your thesis and introduction, it should be concise. It should also summarize what you’ve said in the paper and why it’s important:

  • Restate your argument in different terms, then restate it again.
  • Summarize each of the points you’ve made in order of importance (the most important first). If several arguments were equally significant but not all mentioned at length, then mention them here.
  • State how readers can apply the information they’ve received from reading this paper. Make a call to action! Say something like “These findings highlight how better X and Y would benefit everyone” or “If we continue doing things A through Z for another 100 years then we will achieve our goal of becoming an effective organization.” Then give some suggestions about how people could go about achieving these goals (e.g., starting with step 1).
  • Use a strong closing statement that leaves readers feeling confident about their ability when faced with similar situations in the future: “We hope this article has given insight into what makes for an effective discussion essay paper format.”

Bonus Step. How to Finalize Your Discussion Essay Paper

  • Finalize your research paper. You’re done with the hard part! Now it’s time to take a breather and review what you’ve done. This can be a great time to reread your introduction and summary and any other sections that may have been difficult to write because they required so much research or thought.
  • Submit your research paper. Once you feel confident in your draft, make sure that you submit it on time—late submissions are not acceptable! If possible (depending on the class), try submitting earlier than necessary. If there are any issues with formatting or editing, you’ll have ample time to fix them before the deadline arrives.
  • Receive feedback on your research paper from an expert in your field (your professor). Wait patiently for feedback from an expert in your field who will offer insight into how successful or unsuccessful this project has been thus far based on their years of knowledge and expertise! Consider any suggestions given by this individual carefully before revising accordingly if necessary; there could be some valuable information about writing style or presentation structure here, which will help improve future projects even further down the line…
  • Revise again based on feedback from an expert in one’s field (the professor). This step shouldn’t need much explanation—you get it now, right?

Final Thoughts

You’ve done it! You’re now ready to write your discussion essay paper. Remember that your goal is to get people talking and thinking critically about a topic, so use our tips and tricks above to achieve that. Good luck!

Get Help from our Experts with your Discussion Paper

Our team of writers is the best in the business. They have a lot of experience, and they’re qualified to help you with your discussion essay paper. Our experts can help you:

  • Think through your ideas and make them stronger
  • Find appropriate sources to back up your points
  • Proofread and edit for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a discussion essay in english.

1. Choose your discussion essay topic. 2. Outline your discussion essay using paper and a pen. 3. Write your introduction. 4. Write the body of your discussion essay, using any research sources that you have collected. 5. Write your discussion essay conclusion.

What is a discussion essay called?

No one really likes to argue, maybe that’s why so many people feel down when they have to write a discussion essay, also known as an argumentative essay.

How do you write a discussion?

Step 1. Get the Discussion Essay Plan Step 2. Write the Introduction Step 3. Write the Body of Your Essay Step 4. Write the Conclusion Step 5. Finalize Your Discussion Essay Paper

How do you introduce a discussion essay?

The introduction is where you hook your reader, lay out your thesis, and give them a clear idea of what they will read. It would be best to keep it short, interesting, and engaging. Include a hook and a thesis statement

When should I give my opinion in an IELTS discussion essay?

First, you must offer your opinion in an IELTS essay only when it is asked. There are two types of IELTS essay tasks: Discussion-based and Opinion-based essays. You must offer your opinion only in the latter type of essay question. Second, you must offer your opinion in the introduction as well as in the END paragraph.

How do you discuss both views and give your opinion?

State the first viewpoint, discuss it, state whether you agree or disagree and give an example to support your view


Elaina Ferrell

With a deep understanding of the student experience, I craft blog content that resonates with young learners. My articles offer practical advice and actionable strategies to help students achieve a healthy and successful academic life.

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  • Essay Task 2

IELTS Writing Task 2: Discussion Essays- Benchmark IELTS

  • Essay Types
  • Double Question
  • Advantage Disadvantage
  • Problem Solution
  • Essay Length

discuss ielts essay type

Discussion essays are a common type of IELTS writing task 2 essay question where you are given two sides of an argument to discuss and give your opinion. This guide is full of writing tips, useful language and a sample essay to help you produce a high-level IELTS writing task 2 discussion essay. Read on to learn more!

Table of Contents

1.1 understanding the question, 1.2 example discussion essay questions, 2.1 essay structure 1.

  • 2.2 Essay structure 2
  • 3.1 Identify key words and phrases

3.2 Organise your ideas

3.3 identify vocabulary, 4.1 introduction, 4.2 main body paragraphs, 4.3 conclusion.

  • 5.1 Complete the sample Discussion essay

5.2 Discussion Sample Essay

1. discussion essay overview.

As with all IELTS writing task 2 essay  questions, you will have  40 minutes to produce a formal essay ( at least 250 words in length).

With a discussion essay, you will be presented with two sides of an argument and then asked to give your opinion .

Remember, there are five main types of writing task 2 questions:

  • Advantage/disadvantage
  • Double question
  • Problem/solution

A discussion question should be easy to identify: You will first be given an IELTS statement and then a question that will usually be worded something like:

  • Discuss both sides and give your opinion
  • Discuss both sides

With this type of essay question, you can choose to either take a thesis-led approach where you give your opinion in the i ntroduction and conclusion , or an evidence-led approach where you give your opinion in the conclusion .

We will show you both structures later in this guide and a sample essay that takes an evidence-led approach.

Here are some example discussion essay questions. Pay attention to the question words so you quickly identify a discussion essay question:

Some people say that governments are responsible for dealing with environmental issues. Other people believe that it is the individual’s responsibility to take action to protect the environment.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Some people think that environmental problems should be solved on a global scale while others believe it is better to deal with them nationally.

There seems to be an increasing number of serious crimes committed each year. While some think the best way is to use the death penalty as a deterrent, many people believe that other measures will be needed.

Discuss both sides.

Some people feel that it is better to live in a city while others believe that life is better in the countryside.

Also, read the following IELTS Essay Writing Guides

  • Double Question IELTS Essay Topics
  • Opinion-based Task 2 IELTS Guide
  • IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essay Type
  • Problem Solution IELTS Writing Task Statement

Many people think governments should fund art, while others believe that artists should be responsible for funding their work.

Discuss both views.

IELTS writing correction

2. Essay Structure for Opinion Essays

2.1 essay structure 2.


Note that we have suggested giving two topic sentences per body paragraph . However, it is perfectly fine to spend more time writing one topic sentence and developing that idea fully .

The best way to see what structure works best is to complete an essay under timed conditions.

3. Planning your Discussion Essay

Planning your essay should only take 5 minutes but could make a real difference to your overall score.

We’ve put together some useful tips to plan a discussion essay.

3.1 Identify keywords and phrases

You should always make sure you understand exactly what topic you have been asked to write about by locating the topic words in the IELTS statement.

Take a look at the statement for our model answer. We’ve underlined the topic words for you:

Some people think that environmental problems should be solved on a global scale while others believe it is better to deal with them nationally .

The topic of this essay is environmental problems . We have also put some other keywords in bold that give more information about the topic, in this case, the question is not just about environmental problems but about dealing with these problems on a global scale or nationally .

If you want to score well in Coherence and Cohesion, then you need to create a logical and well organised essay. You could organise your ideas using notes, bullet points, columns, or whatever method you like. For a discussion essay, you could consider arranging your ideas by argument and supporting examples:

Argument 1:

  • Environmental issues should be addressed at global level/ richer nations = financial ability
  • International cooperation is necessary worldwide
  • World leaders can make laws to promote the use of renewable energy and reduce the use of finite resources
  • Resources to develop and invest in green technology / drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Different nations need to reduce carbon emissions

Argument 2:

  • National laws that impose rules
  • Regional and community action is more effective than global efforts
  • Recycling quotas and waste reduction
  • Communities can coordinate direct action
  • Litter picking campaigns

Although it is not essential, it is a great idea to note down any unusual or useful vocabulary during the planning process to increase your score in Lexical resource .

Here are some ideas we came up with for our sample essay linked to the topic of environmental problems :

  • Finite resources
  • Greenhouse emissions
  • Enact meaningful change
  • Recycling quotas
  • Green technology

4. Writing your Discussion Essay

The first thing you need to do is rewrite the given IELTS statement in your own words. This is called paraphrasing and it is a key skill needed for the writing section of the IELTS exam.

Look at the example of our paraphrase statement, can you see what’s changed?

Notice that we have taken an evidence-led approach where we do not give our opinion in the introduction and instead put this in the conclusion.

We suggest also adding an outline sentence to briefly explain what our easy will do:

This essay will examine both points of view .

For both of your main body paragraphs, you will need language to introduce the two discussion points given in the statement.

Each body paragraph should focus on one side of the argument .

Here’s a reminder of our recommended essay structure for the body paragraphs (remember, you do not have to write about two points in each paragraph, you can stick to one ):

Impersonal Passive: The impersonal passive is useful for this type of essay when introducing ideas. Here are some example sentence starters:

  • People often say that…
  • A common argument is that…
  • People often claim that…
  • Some people say that…
  • People generally think that…
  • People often put forward the argument that…

Here is another example taken from our sample essay:

It is often argued that these environmental issues should be tackled globally.

Relative clauses: Relative clauses are an efficient way of providing more information about the main idea of your sentence as well as a way of increasing your Grammatical range and accuracy .

Here is a reminder of the relative pronouns needed to form a relative clause:

And here are some example relative clauses linked to the topic of our sample essay:

  • On the other hand, there are many people who believe that environmental change is only possible at a more local level and that only individual nations can make the biggest difference.
  • It is believed that there should be national laws that impose rules such as recycling quotas and waste reduction.

Your conclusion is an essential part of your writing tasks 2 essay and you will find it difficult to score over a band score 6.0 in Task achievement if you do not include one .

There are two main things you need to do for a successful conclusion:

  • Restate both sides of the argument (using different words than you did in your introduction)
  • Give your opinion/ restate your opinion on which side of the argument you think is the most important (this will depend on whether you have taken a thesis-led or evidence-led approach)

Take a look at our conclusion for the sample answer and identify the opinion:

In conclusion, although it is clear that environmental issues need to be addressed at a global level, it is my view that national efforts can make the biggest difference.  Communities can work together to implement policies quickly and effectively and enact meaningful environmental change.

5. Example Discussion Essay and Exercise

Here is the discussion essay that we have been using in this guide.

We have removed some keywords so you can test your knowledge on discussion essays by selecting the correct missing word.

5.1 Complete the Sample Discussion Essay

There is no doubt that the modern world is facing many serious environmental problems, such as climate change, an increase in natural disasters and air pollution. It is often argued that these environmental issues should be tackled globally. However, there are also those that argue that these problems can only be dealt with at a regional level. This essay will examine both points of view.

One reason that people believe environmental issues should be addressed at a global level is that richer, more developed nations have the financial ability and power to do so. World leaders can make laws to promote the use of renewable energy and reduce the use of finite resources. Furthermore, they also have the resources to develop and invest in green technology that could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another argument that can be put forward is that, to make major environmental changes, international cooperation is necessary worldwide. For instance, different nations need to work in unison to agree on their reduction in carbon emissions.

On the other hand, there are many people who believe that environmental change is only possible at a more local level and that only individual nations can make the biggest difference. It is believed that there should be national laws that impose rules such as recycling quotas and waste reduction. Additionally, it is argued that regional and community action is more effective than global efforts. For example, communities can coordinate direct action such as litter picking campaigns.

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How To Plan & Write IELTS Discussion Essays

Students can find it difficult to identify IELTS discussion essays and often confuse them with either opinion essays or advantage and disadvantage essays.

This is one of the issues I’ll be covering in this lesson. I’m also going to show you how to plan and write discussion essays step-by-step.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  • Identifying IELTS discussion essays 
  • 3 Common mistakes
  • Essay structure
  • How to plan
  • How to write an introduction
  • How to write main body paragraphs
  • How to write a conclusion

Want to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

Click the links to see lessons on each of these Task 2 essay writing topics. 

Once you understand the process, practice on past questions. Take your time at first and gradually speed up until you can plan and write an essay of at least 250 words in the 40 minutes allowed in the exam.

The Question

The first part of the question for an IELTS discussion essay will be a statement containing two opposing views.

You will then be asked to discuss both sides of the argument and give your own opinion. Here is some typical wording that might 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.

I’ll be using this question to guide you through the process of planning and writing an IELTS discussion essay.

The key to identifying this type of question is the fact that you are required to discuss BOTH views. This is different to opinion questions where you must decide between two opposing views and make an argument to support your own opinion.

Opinion essays , also known as ‘agree or disagree’ essays, a generally worded in one of these ways:

What is your opinion? / Do you agree or disagree? / To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The other essay type that students mistake for discussion essays is advantages and disadvantages essays . With these, the statement will contain just one view and the question will typically be written as shown in this sample question.

School children are using computers in school more than ever.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion.

The consequence of incorrectly identifying the question type is that you will use the wrong structure for your essay. This is a major reason why people make the mistakes we’ll now look at.

3 Common Mistakes

These three errors are common in IELTS discussion essays.

  • Not stating your opinion.
  • Not giving arguments for both views.
  • Not developing both sides of the argument equally.

The most common mistake that students make is not giving their opinion. The question will clearly state that you must choose one side of the argument to agree with. If you fail to do this, you will get a low score for task achievement.

It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even, that you actually agree with it.

However, you must give equal attention to both sides. A common error is to provide a stronger argument for the view you favour. This leads to an unbalanced essay and a low score for task achievement. 

Essay Structure

Now let’s look at a simple structure you can use to write IELTS discussion essays. It’s not the only possible structure but it’s the one I recommend because it’s easy to learn and will enable you to quickly plan and write a high-level essay.

1)  Introduction

  • Paraphrase the question
  • State two supporting reasons
  • Give your opinion

  2)  Main body paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence – outline the view you don’t agree with
  • Explanation – explain why this view is held by some people
  • Example – give an example

 3 )  Main body paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence – outline the view you do agree with

  4)  Conclusion

  • Summarise the key points and state your opinion

This structure will give us a well-balanced essay with 4 paragraphs.

We now need some ideas to add into the structure and we’ll have everything we need for our essay.

How To Plan IELTS Discussion Essays

# 1  analyse the question.

This is an essential step in the planning process and will ensure that you answer the question fully. It’s quick and easy to do. You just need to identify 3 different types of words:

1. Topic words

2.  Other keywords

3.  Instruction words

We’ve already considered the instruction words (the actual question) so we’ll focus on the first two.

Topics words are the ones that identify the general subject of the question.

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, this question is about ‘ zoos ’.

Many people do this first step of the process and then write about the topic in general. This is a serious mistake and leads to low marks for task achievement.

What we need to do now that we know the general topic, is to understand exactly what aspect of zoos we're being asked to write about.

The other keywords in the question tell you the specific topic you must write about. They define the opinions stated in the statement.

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

By highlighting these words, it’s easy to see that you are being asked to write about the opposing views that zoos are cruel and should be closed down and that zoos can be useful in protecting wild animals. Your essay must only include ideas relevant to these ideas.

# 2  Decide on your opinion

As already mentioned, it doesn’t matter if you genuinely agree with the view you take in your essay or not. IELTS discussion essays are about your ability to write a well-structured essay in the English language and you will not be assessed on any opinion you might hold.

So, choose one view and make sure that your opinion is clear throughout the essay.

For this model essay, I’m going to agree with the statement that zoos are cruel and should be closed down.

# 3  Generate ideas

The next task is to generate some ideas to write about.

There are several different ways to think up ideas. I cover them fully on the  IELTS Essay Planning  page.

We’re going to use the ‘friends technique’. This is my preferred method as it allows you to take a step back from the stress of the exam situation and think more calmly.

Here’s how it works. Imagine you are chatting with a friend and they ask you the question in a casual conversation. What answers would you give them off the top of your head? Plan your essay around these ideas.

Doing this will help you to come up with simple answers in everyday language rather than straining your brain to think of amazing ideas using high level-language, which isn’t necessary.

You might want to try this yourself before reading on for my ideas.

Here are my ideas:

Cruel  – closed down:

  • Cramped cages – animals distressed
  • Unnatural environments
  • Most animals not endangered
  • Animals become a public spectacle for entertainment

Useful – protect wild animals:

  • Research work to learn more about wild animals
  • Breeding programmes for endangered species
  • Some species saved from extinction
  • Seeing wild animals close up inspires people to want to help protect them

I’ve got more ideas here than I need so I’m going to pick two to develop in the essay – one for each of the main body paragraphs.

Idea 1  –  Cramped cages & unnatural environments, animals distressed.

Idea 2  –  Breeding programmes for endangered species, some species saved from extinction.

We’re almost ready to start writing our IELTS discussion essay but first, we have one other small task to do.

# 4  Vocabulary

In an IELTS essay, it’s important to be able to say the same things in different ways, either by paraphrasing and/or using synonyms. During the planning stage, quickly jot down a few synonyms of key words you could use to save you having to stop and think of the right language while you’re writing.

For example:

zoos  – animals in captivity, collections of wild animals, menagerie, wildlife park

cruel  – to cause suffering, inhumane

protect  – safeguard, preserve

animals  – creatures, species

With that done, we can focus on the first paragraph of the essay – the introduction.

How To Write an Introduction

Good introductions to IELTS discussion essays have a simple 3 part structure:

1)  Paraphrase the question

2)  State two supporting reasons (outline statement)

3)  Give your opinion (thesis statement)

  • Have 2-3 sentences
  • Be 40-60 words long
  • Take 5 minutes to write

Start your introduction by paraphrasing the question.

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

There are various phrases you can use to do this. Here are three examples. They all say the same thing using different language.

  • Some people argue that… while others say that…
  • It is considered by some…. while there are others who think….
  • It is often argued that... whilst others disagree and think...

Choose one and add the details in the question statement in a paraphrased form. I recommend putting the view you don’t agree with first.

Paraphrased question:  

Some people argue that zoos help to preserve wild creatures, while others say that they are inhumane and should be abolished.

Note my use of synonyms. You don’t have to replace every key word but do so where possible whilst ensuring that your language sounds natural. There aren’t any suitable synonyms of ‘zoo’ that I can think of, so I've repeated this word from the statement.

2)  Thesis and outline statements

Now we need to add an  outline statement  where you outline the two main points that you’ll cover in the rest of the essay (ideas 1 and 2 above) and a  thesis statement  where you state your opinion.

Outline & thesis statements:

While the development of breeding programmes contributes to the preservation of endangered species, I believe that the poor conditions that many animals held in captivity are kept in make the existence of zoos unacceptable. 

So, let’s bring the three elements of our introduction together.


essay discussion model

This introduction achieves three important functions:

  • It shows the examiner that you understand the question.
  • It acts as a guide to the examiner as to what your essay is about.
  • It also helps to keep you focused and on track as you write.

The two ideas in your introduction will become your two main body paragraphs.

Main body paragraph 1  – Breeding programmes for endangered species, some species saved from extinction.

Main body paragraph 2  – Cramped cages & unnatural environments, animals distressed.

How To Write Main Body Paragraphs

Main body paragraphs in IELTS discussion essays should contain 3 things:

It is easier to begin by discussing the opinion you don’t agree with and then present the reasons for the opposing view that you support. So, we’ll start with idea 1.

Main Body Paragraph 1

The  topic sentence  summarises the main idea of the paragraph. That’s all it needs to do so it doesn’t have to be complicated.

It plays an important role in ensuring that your ideas flow logically from one to another. It does this by acting as a signpost for what is to come next, that is, what the paragraph will be about.

If you maintain a clear development of ideas throughout your essay, you will get high marks for task achievement and cohesion and coherence.

We’ll now take the idea for our first main body paragraph and create our topic sentence.

Topic sentence:  

On the one hand, there are many projects in existence in zoological parks around the world where species facing extinction have been successfully bred in captivity and their numbers increased substantially.

Next, we must write an  explanation sentence that expands on the idea. This explains to the examiner what we mean or why this is the case.

Explanation sentence: 

This is important for ensuring the survival of animals under threat from poaching and the destruction of their natural environments.

Finally, we add an  example  to support our main point. If you can’t think of a real example, it’s fine to make one up, as long as it’s believable. The examiner isn’t going to check your facts.

Example sentence:

A good example of this is the golden lion tamarin from Brazil which nearly died out because of logging and mining activities which are destroying its habitat. Today, a third of wild golden lion tamarins were raised in captivity.

That’s the 3 parts of our first main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

essay discussion model

We now follow the same process for our second main body paragraph.

Main Body Paragraph 2

Main idea 2  – Cramped cages & unnatural environments, animals distressed.

First, we write the  topic sentence  to summarise the main idea. I started main body paragraph 1 with the phrase ‘On the one hand...’, so main body paragraph 2 will naturally begin, ‘On the other hand... .

These are great cohesive devices to use when making a direct contrast between two opposing views and they link the ideas together well. They can be used in most IELTS discussion essays and will help to earn you a good score for cohesion and coherence.

Topic sentence:

On the other hand, a significant percentage of zoos house their animals in cramped cages with very little space to move around or behave naturally.

Now for the  explanation sentence  where we expand on this idea.

Explanation sentence:

This can lead to them becoming distressed and depressed as well as suffering physically through lack of exercise.

Finally, an  example  to support this point.

A friend of mine recently visited a wildlife park while on holiday abroad and was very upset to see the lions pacing up and down in a narrow, bare pen and eagles in enclosures so small that they were unable to fly.

That’s the 3 parts of our second main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

essay discussion model

Now we need a conclusion and our IELTS discussion essay is done.

How To Write a Conclusion

Conclusions to IELTS discussion essays should do two things:

  • Summarise the main points
  • State your opinion

This can generally be done in a single sentence.

If you're below the minimum 250 words after you’ve written your conclusion, you can add a prediction or recommendation statement.

Our essay currently has 231 words so we’re on target and don’t need this extra sentence but you can learn more about how to write a prediction or recommendation statement for IELTS discussion essays on the Task 2 Conclusions page.

The conclusion is the easiest sentence in the essay to write but one of the most important.

A good conclusion will:

  • Neatly end the essay
  • Link all your ideas together
  • Sum up your argument or opinion
  • Answer the question

If you achieve this, you’ll improve your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together make up 50% of the overall marks. Without a conclusion, you’ll score below band 6 for task achievement.

You can start almost any final paragraph of an IELTS discussion essay with the words:

  • In conclusion


  • To conclude

Now all you need to do is briefly summarise the main ideas into one sentence.

Here’s a top tip . Go back and read the introduction to the essay because this is also a summary of the essay. It outlines what you are going to write about.

To create a great conclusion, you simply have to paraphrase the introduction. Let’s give it a go.


Here is the same information formed into a conclusion:

essay discussion model

That’s it. We’ve completed our essay. Here it is with the 4 paragraphs put together.

Finished IELTS discussion essay.

essay discussion model

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.

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More help with ielts discussion essays & other task 2 essays.

IELTS Writing Task 2  – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay   – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.

Understanding Task 2 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay  – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction  – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs  – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

How To Write Task 2 Conclusions  – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Task 2 Marking Criteria  – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

   Opinion Essays

   Discussion Essays

  Problem Solution Essays

  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

  Double Question Essays

Other Related Pages

IELTS Writing Test  – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.

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Preparation for the IELTS Exam

7 model answers: IELTS writing task 2

ielts model answers writing task 2

Updated: June 2023

An IELTS essay is a ‘discursive essay’ where you may have to discuss an issue, give an opinion, explain the advantages or disadvantages, write about problems or causes of problems, and give solutions. There are 5 variations to an IELTS discursive essay. In this blog post, there are 7 model answers for IELTS writing task 2. These are based on essays my students have written with help from me to correct them and make them more concise and clear.

First, let’s look at these important points.

In a problem-solution essay or an advantage-disadvantage essay, the instruction words will ask something like:

  • What problem s does this cause, what solution s can you suggest?
  • Do the advantage s outweigh the disadvantage s ?
  • What are the advantage s and disadvantage s of this?

Notice the plural form here, advantage s and disadvantage s . Many students (and IELTS teachers) think they have to write more than one advantage and disadvantage or more than one problem and solution. Yes, you can certainly do this but you can also make it much simpler by writing about one advantage and one disadvantage. The same goes for a problem solution essay.

Another point to consider is that you may run out of time if you write 2 of each. You will have only 40 minutes for the essay. Planning time is around 10 minutes so that means 30 minutes of writing. Another danger of writing about 2 of each is that your word count will go well over 300 words.

What does the marking criteria say?

  • Band 8 Task Response states-> ‘presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas…’  

There is nothing mentioned in the marking criteria about having more than one advantage or disadvantage only that it needs to be well-developed, relevant, and supported. So you can take one advantage and one disadvantage, explain them well, and support them with a specific example within an essay of between 260 to 300 words. Same for a problem solution essay, one problem one solution.

  •  Band 7 coherence and cohesion  it states-> ‘presents a clear central topic within each paragraph…’

So you can run with one central idea or one main advantage and disadvantage, or problem/solution, as long as you can explain it well and give a clear relevant example. You will see this technique in the model answers below.  

In the first causes solution model answer below there are 2 problems and 2 solutions . The only issue though is that it tends to end up as a very long essay at way over 300 words. Realistically, you will not have the time in the exam to write an essay over 300 words and you will have more chance of making mistakes.

You do not get a higher band score with a very long essay, for example, a 380-word essay. I have often been sent these kinds of essays to mark and it is frustrating, just keep it concise between 260 to 300 words.

Causes solution essay (long version)

Task question.

All over the world, societies are facing a growing problem with obesity. This problem affects both children and adults. What are the reasons for this rise in obesity, How could it be tackled?

Model Answer

Nations worldwide are dealing with the increasing issue of obesity which is a cause for concern for all age groups. There are two main causes, over-consumption of fast food and lack of exercise. Possible solutions would be a government tax on fast food and special incentives for gym membership to get people to exercise.

One of the reasons that people are becoming overweight these days is that they are eating more junk food, ready meals, and convenience food rather than cooking healthy meals at home. This is because many people tend to lead a busy life, so after a long day at work, it is easier to just buy convenience food or get a takeaway. For instance, research by the UK government found that sales of these types of foods have risen considerably in the past two decades. To tackle this issue the government should take steps to increase taxes on trans fats, high sugar, or unhealthy foods. Therefore, people would think twice about the foods they consume which could lead to them losing weight.

Another problem that needs to be considered is a lack of exercise. As a result of leading a hectic life with work commitments, many people are just too tired to go to the gym or join a sports club. For example, after work, the vast majority of people prefer to come home and sit in front of the TV. Furthermore, when people have time off they tend to relax rather than go to a gym. One possible solution is for employers to consider the well-being of their employees and offer in-house company gyms or special incentives, such as discounts to join sports or fitness clubs. If this is implemented it would have a positive effect on people’s health and a reduction in weight gain.

In conclusion, being overweight is an increasing issue because of the consumption of fast food, convenience foods, and not enough exercise due to work commitments. The government needs to look at taxing fast food and companies should set up incentives for gyms, sports, or fitness clubs.

The word count here is very high at around 345 words. This is because I chose to include 2 problems and 2 solutions. You can just take one problem and one solution as long as it is well-developed and explained. There is a shorter version below this.

Causes solution essay (shorter version)

Nations worldwide are dealing with the increasing issue of obesity which is a cause for concern among all age groups. One main cause of this issue is the overconsumption of fast food and convenience foods. A possible solution would be a government tax on these foods with lower costs for fresh produce.

One reason that people are becoming overweight these days is that they are eating more junk food and convenience food rather than cooking healthy meals at home. This is because many people tend to lead a busy life so it is easier to just buy ready meals or get a takeaway rather than cook at home. For instance, studies by the UK government have found that sales of these types of foods have risen considerably in the past two decades. If the issue is not addressed soon there will most likely be an epidemic of obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes shortly.

To tackle this issue governments need to increase the tax on high-sugar or unhealthy foods, especially those that contain trans fats. This would mean that consumers would think twice about the food they consume, so in the long run, this could lead to them losing weight and leading a much healthier life. To illustrate this, recently Norway implemented tough regulations and higher taxes on food containing high levels of sodium and saturated fats. They also fixed a lower price for organic vegetables to attract more consumers of fresh produce in supermarkets. This had a dramatic effect on reducing the consumption of junk foods.

In conclusion, being overweight is an increasing issue for children and adults globally because of the consumption of fast food and convenience foods. Authorities need to look at taxing these foods and make healthier options more available.

This essay is 297 words long. It takes one cause of the problem and explains it, then in main body 2, the solution is given. Notice the conclusion just rephrases the introduction. I paraphrased the word ‘governments’ to ‘authorities’.  Yes, there is some repetition of words such as fast food, etc…  you can repeat words as long as this is done sparingly.

You can write about one problem and one solution and still get band 7 as long as it is well-supported . The issue with a two problems two solutions essay is that you will run out of time as it will be a very long essay. Aim for under 300 words in writing task 2.

Discussion essay with opinion.

Some people believe that schoolchildren 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.

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.

Other people would say that homework plays a vital role in the development of knowledge for students and I agree with this. One reason for this is that home study tasks help pupils understand school subjects better and allow them to attain higher grades. For example, according to extensive research, pupils aged between 10 and 16 who are given a large amount of 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 and eventually obtaining a well-paid job.

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

Word count is 294 words, this is long enough for an IELTS essay. Notice the way I have used specific language to mention people’s views.. ‘ On the one hand, some believe that…’  / ‘ Other people would say that …… One reason for this is….’   This is needed in a discussion essay. I also stated my views in every paragraph, my position is very clear as I agree with the side that says homework is necessary for children.

Opinion essay.

Students today can easily access information online, so libraries are no longer necessary. Do you agree or disagree?

It is argued that libraries are unnecessary these days because students have easy access to information via the internet. I disagree with this because libraries allow people to attain specialised types of information and are important for students to study in a quiet environment.

Even though it is true that students find it much easier to get specific academic information connected to their studies on the internet, I think that libraries are still essential in schools and universities as well as public library facilities. One reason for this is that some types of specialised information cannot be found on the internet. For instance, most well-known academic authors do not immediately publish their recent work online, instead, they publish books explaining their analyses and results. Therefore these books are usually found in university or school libraries before they appear on the world wide web.

Another reason why I believe that they are necessary is that students need places to concentrate and focus. Libraries are perfect environments for this as they are very quiet and everyone there is motivated to investigate and study. As a result, they create an academic environment that encourages deep concentration. To illustrate this, there is some evidence to suggest that more and more students are spending a larger proportion of their time in the library researching and writing. This is because a silent academic atmosphere helps them to study harder which leads to better results in exams.

In conclusion, although the internet is of great benefit to students, I believe that libraries are still necessary as they grant access to specialised sources of information and their facilities provide better conditions for studying.

Word count is 282 words here, long enough. I have disagreed with the opinion presented in the task question . In main body one is the first reason why I disagree , in main body two is the second reason why I disagree . The conclusion rephrases my views. My opinion and examples do not have to be true (actually I think academic authors first publish online rather than in books) but this doesn’t matter as I have taken the main idea and developed it. The examiner wants to see how you use language.

‘Outweigh’ Advantage Disadvantage essay.

Traffic and accommodation problems are increasing and the government should encourage businesses to move from cities to rural areas. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

Housing and traffic congestion is a growing issue in metropolitan areas, and it is argued that the government ought to persuade companies to relocate to the countryside. I think that the advantages of this outweigh the downsides because housing and business overheads are more affordable and there are fewer traffic problems.

Admittedly, there are disadvantages to relocating businesses and companies to rural areas. One particular downside is that many employees have settled with their families and own their own homes, so moving to a rural area would uproot them and their families. Besides this, they may not be suited to life in the country, which could cause stress and motivation issues. To illustrate this, research has shown that many people who are transferred to new offices in small towns and rural locations feel bored, and lonely, and have trouble settling down.  

Despite the downsides, I believe that the advantages of moving out of big cities far outweigh the disadvantages. This is because housing is larger and much more affordable in rural areas. That is to say, a small apartment in London costs three times that of a large apartment in Wiltshire which is in a very rural location. Company overheads are also far more cost-effective outside of cities. For instance, an office space 20 miles out of London tends to be much bigger, and overall rental costs are considerably lower than that of central London. Another obvious benefit is that traffic congestion is no longer an issue in rural areas or villages.  

In conclusion, although there may be downsides to companies moving out of cities, I think that relocating to the countryside carries more advantages because of cost-effective housing, less traffic, and business rents are lower.

Word count is 285 words here. This is a special type of essay as you need to state your opinion, the question ‘ Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? ‘means which side do you think is stronger? the advantages or the disadvantages? In this essay, my position is that ‘ the advantages of businesses moving to the countryside is stronger than the disadvantages.’ You must also cover the disadvantages too, as I have done in main body one.

Advantage Disadvantage essay.

Some parents buy their children a large number of toys to play with. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a child having a large number of toys?

Some parents purchase many toys for their children to play with. One particular advantage of this is that these toys help to develop a child’s cognitive abilities and motor skills, however, the disadvantage is that children may take too many toys for granted and lose focus and concentration.

One benefit of giving children many toys is that they can develop their cognitive functions and coordination faster. This means that if a young child has access to building blocks they learn about balance and coordination. Additionally, when a child plays with educational games, such as alphabet soup or toy cash registers, they will develop their thought processes and overall brain function. For instance, there is evidence to suggest that children under the age of seven, who play with various kinds of handheld puzzle toys, play doctor kits, and coding kits, had better hand-eye movement and improve their basic math and phonics skills rapidly.

However, the downside to having too many toys is that it is easy for children to become bored and restless with so many choices. This is because they lose interest quickly and their focus tends to become scattered as they flit from one toy to another. For example, compared to when I was a child, youngsters nowadays tend to have a huge collection of toys. After they get a new present for Christmas they become bored with it, and within a few days, they ignore it. As a result, many youngsters become impatient and their attention span becomes much shorter. This can lead to a lack of focus particularly with studying and homework.

In conclusion, although a child’s cognitive processes improve with having a wide choice of toys, the downside is that this can lead to boredom, poor concentration, and impatience.

This type of advantage disadvantage essay does not ask for a direct opinion, so I just clearly stated what the advantage and disadvantage are in both main body paragraphs and explained it well. My position is clear throughout the essay even though I do not state ‘I think…’ or ‘In my view…’

I have taken one advantage and one disadvantage here. This is ok and can still get you a Band 7 as long as it is well-explained, relevant, and supported.

Two-part question essay.

Most people agree that money cannot buy happiness. Why is happiness difficult to define? How can people achieve happiness?

Many people agree with the idea that happiness cannot be bought. This is difficult to define because everyone has a different concept of happiness. I believe that people can become happier by developing an optimistic mindset and pursuing interesting hobbies.  

One of the reasons why the definition of happiness is hard to grasp is that views differ on what contributes to being happy. Some people feel that money and career are important, while others would say that close family is the main factor, and yet others believe that freedom and self-expression create a happy existence. To illustrate this, studies carried out by leading psychologists in the USA showed that opinions varied greatly. Participants in these studies said that having freedom and few commitments were important, while the majority stated that a high salary and career status were crucial to being happy.  

In my view, people can become happier by developing a positive mentality. In other words, when someone tries to see things optimistically, it leads to emotional maturity and contentment. Moreover, I believe that by having engaging hobbies and pastimes people can achieve far greater contentment than focusing on material success, such as making a lot of money or pursuing job promotions. For example, there is evidence to suggest that people who have work pressures and earn high salaries, such as doctors or lawyers, have the highest rates of depression. However, those that have a positive attitude and spend their free time doing fulfilling activities are the least depressed.

To sum up, although happiness is hard to categorise due to differing opinions, I think that through positivity and taking up fascinating hobbies an individual can develop a greater sense of well-being.

Word count is 287 words. It is pretty straightforward here, just answer the first question in main body one: Why is happiness difficult to define?  then answer the second question in main body 2: How can people achieve happiness?

The second question asks for my opinion as it says ‘How?’. The thesis statement answers the 2 questions concisely. My whole introduction is simple and concise at 43 words.

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essay discussion model

Essay – examples & model answers | C1 Advanced (CAE)

essay discussion model

CAE Essay Example & Model Answer:  Younger people

Example exam task:.

Write an  essay  discussing only  two points . You should  explain which point is more important , giving reasons in support of your answer.

CAE Essay: Example Answer (Grade: 3-4)

Example answer:.

Adults can influence younger people in a good way, but also in a bad way. There are various possibilities how this can happen.

On the one hand, setting a good example is a quite useful way, because younger people will be able to see the adult’s behaviours and ways of thinking. They will see and feel the adult’s values and lives and may decide to become like them someday or at least to try to behave and think like adults.

On the other hand, offering advices seems to be the better way for me, how adults can influence younger people. Because, setting a good example to follow can be useful, but it also is pretty exhausting for adults and they may have some pressure as well. In addition, it’s just an opportunity for younger people, because they’ll decide rather they want to become like these adults or not.

In my opinion, younger people should try to learn how life works on their own. This will lead to more failures, but in my opinion, failing is normal and necessary. Of course this way of influencing is more exhausting for younger people, but I guess they’ll figure out how to do things on their own.

Failures are crucial for learning and for success, therefore I think that adults just should offer advices and show them, that they believe in them. That’s going to encourage younger people and they will try to learn and believe in themselves. That’s why I think, that offering advices is the better way how adults can influence younger people.


Practice, write & improve, examiners comments & grade:, cae essay: model answer (grade: 4-5).

Many parents, struggle with bringing up their child into be responsible adults and are unsure how to influence them. There are of course, many ways of influencing young adults, and I want to present and discuss two of them: giving rules to obey and offering your children advice.

First of all, it has to be said that advice is easy to ignore, and that children especially in their adolescent years, don’t even want advice, and will tell you so, too: ‘I don’t need your help’, they will say to you or even shout at you. Kids often feel misunderstood they think their parents can’t understand them, because they are ‘too old’. If your son or daughter has a problem, it is important to make him or her feel that you do understand and only want their best and are, therefore, offering some advice, hoping it will help them.

Then again, there are rules. Rules can be placed differently, they don’t need to be a stone-hard barrier to your child’s freedom. Adolescents will often bend rules or utterly break them all because they need this certain feeling of rebellion and freedom. Rules also help the maturing of the conscience. If a child doesn’t need to follow rules, it’s conscience will never mature and it will not know wrong from right. If, however you place rules, and punishments should they not be followed, your son or daughter will learn not to steal, to be home on time simply because he or she doesn’t want to be punished. Don’t overdo it, though. Placing too hard punishments could also lead to destruction of the conscience your child never being able to make it’s own decisions.

I think that giving rules to obey is the best way of influencing young people. Wherever you go, you find certain rules. Not every rule is absolutely sensible, but while growing older, your child will learn by itself which rules should be followed and will follow them of free choice.

CAE Essay Model Answer: Crimes

The documentary investigated what makes young people commit crimes. It seems to me that the most important reason is lack of appropriate control by parents.

To put the blame for youth crime on parents may seem rather unfair, but a lot of the interviews and information in the documentary backed up this belief. There is more than one reason why many parents fail to control their children. Some parents believe that it is wrong to discipline children in any way, and think that children should be free to do whatever they want. Some parents are simply too lazy and selfish to control their children, preferring to let them behave badly so that they can continue doing what they want. Another reason is that some parents did not grow up being disciplined by their parents and so they do not do that with their own children.

Factors such as economic position and influence from peers can of course play a major role in causing young people to turn to crime. However, it is my view that how children am brought up is more important than either of those. They need firm rules to be given to them by parents who they respect, and if they are not given firm guidance by parents, some of them are bound to behave badly. Some of this bad behaviour will be criminal. If you do something wrong and you get away with it, you will do it again or do worse things.

CAE Essay Model Aswer: Talent Shows

The discussion focused on various issues connected with TV shows that feature members of the public. They have been a worldwide phenomenon for some time and views on them vary greatly.

One of the main aspects of these shows is the entertainment they provide for viewers. Obviously, they would not be watched by so many people if audiences didn’t find them entertaining. During the discussion. It was said that the shows are enjoyable to watch and do no harm. People enjoy watching ordinary members of the public living their lives, doing their jobs or taking part In talent competitions because they can relate to those people. I think that this 15 true. Although I don’t personally find them interesting and therefore seldom watch them, I agree that many people find them very entertaining.

However, a morn serious aspect was discussed and that Is the Influence these shows can have on people. especially young people. This, I think, Is the most Important aspect. Many young people are Influenced by these shows and the people on then They too want to appear on TV, to be ‘famousjust like the people they see. Rather than thinking realistically about their futures and about getting jobs and careers. they get the Impression that anyone can be famous. Instead of focusing on building a life in a practical way, they dream of being like those people on the shows. I think this 15 the most important consequence of these shows and It is a harmful one.

CAE Essay Example & Model Aswer: Facilities

Facilities in need of funds

Having listened to today’s radio programme about facilities that need financial help, I realised that sports centers and public gardens have been neglected over the years by the local authorities.

There are few sports centers out there that meet the right characteristics that a good sports center must have. This is one of the many reasons that people avoid sport. We see lots of kids nowadays suffering from obesity and other health problems caused by the simple fact that they don’t do sport.

Another reason for this is that people have nowhere to go out for a walk or to run in a nice place. Public gardens, parks for example are also lacking in numbers. The ones that are already there are not very nice and they don’t look very good. I think that by improving this two facilities the population can benefit from this. By creating more sports centers, there will be some more jobs offered, and some kids might even follow a sports career. By making more public gardens people can get out more often and spend some good quality time relaxing.

I think that local authorities should invest money in both facilities because, this is a good way to increase the populations health.

Example Answer:

In regard of a recent discussion about the facilities, which are financially supported by local authorities, I would like to write a few of my personal thoughts. Whether we are talking about sports centres or public gardens, there is no doubt that they are both a good thing to have in the city and should both be supported somehow. The only question then is which one of these is more important, what are the pros and cons of each one?

Let me start with the sport centres as I think these are a bit more problematic. Obviously, in our times where lots of people spend days sitting in their office staring at a computer, some sort of physical training is very important. We have to balance that shift in our lifestyles. The problem I see with supporting the sports centres is the number of activities that you can do at these days. There is almost countless list of either individual or team sports that we can think of, and each centre is usually designed for a specific type or at least a group of sports similar in its nature. Therefore I think that it is too difficult to support them equally and we can’t say which activity is better than the others either. Another reason for not financing sports as much as green parks is their commercial use. What I mean by that is that we usually pay for everything the centre offers us to do and therefore they are more able to last from their own money than gardens.

Regarding of the green spaces, the situation is much clearer I think. Every city needs gardens where people can sit and relax, but nobody is going to pay a tax for just walking around.

These factors lead me to my conclusion, that the public gardens are definitely a facility which should be financed from public money, whereas in the case of sports centres, the situation is questionable.

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101+ Unique Discussion Essay Topics, Questions and Ideas

In an academic setting, the meaning of a discussion is similar to its day-to-day use, i.e., two or more people talking about a particular subject with differing perspectives. However, in the case of a discussion essay, a balanced view and presentation of ideas and opinions are advisable. It aims to test for your writing, learning, critical analysis and researching skills.

A discussion essay is a task that aims to test your ability to present and deliberate upon issues surrounding a certain debatable topic. You will be expected to present both sides of the discussion while still presenting your position on the same. Therefore, you have to ensure you have access to appropriate and up to date research material.

Discussion assignments are among the most common tasks offered to college students and can be based on various disciplines, and the concepts learnt in class. When presented with such an assignment it is totally understandable that you feel overwhelmed with the workload. However, you should take your time to deliver a high-quality discussion essay that meets all the requirements presented by your teacher. You should start with:

  • Select an appropriate discussion title;
  • Choose a side;
  • Conduct research on the topic;
  • Outline and structure the elements of your document;
  • Come up with your thesis statement;
  • Start writing your essay (introduction, body, and conclusion).

How to Select the Best Discussion Essay Topic? An Informative and Detailed Guide

This guide will focus on helping you select an appropriate essay title for your discussion assignment. Once you have been given a discussion essay assignment, start by reading the instruction to understand what is expected of you. The next step would be to deliberate on which topics and ideas would best fit the requirements of the essay.

Narrow down your thoughts to a few subjects that you are comfortable with and choose one topic that suits the assignment.  A good essay must contain a valid analysis and fair criticism of the subject; thus, the title you select must be debatable. That is, it must be logical and supported by factual information and substantial evidence.

It takes some time and effort to identify the right title to fulfill your assignment. Above all the topic should be relevant and informative to the reader. Here are characteristics of a suitable discussion essay topic that you should look for:

  • Covers a specific subject;
  • Clear and well-defined;
  • Has significant importance;
  • Interesting and relatable;
  • Should be unique and original.

List of Discussion Essay Topics to Use within Your Assignment

You might think that it is better when you are assigned a specific essay title to write about. Yes, it is understandable why you would think that; however, many students claim that it is better to have the opportunity to select your discussion essay topic. Below are 50 common examples of discussion topics for your paper:

  • Effect of greenhouse gasses on the environment
  • The cause and impact of obesity on US citizens
  • The impact of civil wars on women and children
  • Social implications of continued social media dependency
  • Online computer game addiction
  • A comparison of the adverse effects of both natural calamities
  • Contraceptives and their impact on teenage pregnancies
  • The integration of music and dance into the school curricula
  • Impact of excessive marijuana use by the youth
  • The complexity of the American systems of learning
  • The impact of Internet connectivity on modern education systems
  • Advantages and disadvantages of learning a secondary language
  • Pros and cons of international student exchange programs in the US
  • Advantages and disadvantages of concealed carry firearm regulation in the US
  • The negative effects of anorexia on pregnant women
  • The positive and negative impact on the Vietnam war on the American economy
  • The significance of Richard Nixon’s role in the Watergate scandal
  • The negative effects of gun violence in US high schools
  • The challenges faced by environmental conservationists
  • The positive and negative influence of advertisements on customer tastes and preferences
  • Prolonged drug use – a medical condition or a crime
  • Global climate change as a result of human behavior
  • The introduction of sporting activities in schools
  • The benefits and drawbacks of the storage and distribution of personal information by social media companies
  • Positive and negative effects of cloning and gene editing technologies
  • Drawbacks of human and wild animal interaction
  • The influence of social media on people’s social interaction
  • The importance of artificial intelligence in the health sector
  • The use of technology in war and how it has influenced modern warfare
  • The widespread use of social media by cyber terrorists
  • The pros and cons of the industrial revolution in people’s jobs
  • Benefits and drawbacks of government control on the use of technology
  • Benefits and risks of nuclear power production
  • Advantages and disadvantages of post graduate programs in developing nations
  • Positive and negative implications of a free education
  • The underutilization and wastage of taxpayer’s resources
  • The trade war and its negative effect on the global economy
  • The great recession, its causes, and effects on the American economy
  • E-commerce and how it is changing the way people conduct business
  • A detailed comparison of capitalism and socialism
  • Measures to reduce unemployment in African countries
  • Advantages and disadvantages of forming trade unions
  • Importance of technology in the delivery of goods and services worldwide
  • Significant Differences between bilateral and multilateral trade
  • The health risks associated with the distribution of cigarettes worldwide
  • Advantages and disadvantages of globalization
  • Social media and its contribution to business
  • Benefits and drawbacks of having an export-based economy
  • Pros and cons of first world countries helping the poor in third world nations
  • The positive and negative implications of the use of CCTV cameras on user privacy

Discussion Topics About Society

Below are a few more discussion essay titles on the subject of family and society that could interest you:

  • The positive and negative impact of the ‘me-too’ movement on the society
  • Gender equality pros and cons of international business relations
  • The simplicity or complexity the process LGBT families follow to adopt children
  • Positive and negative ethical considerations of the prostitution legalization
  • The benefits and drawbacks of distribution of contraceptives in schools
  • The portrayal of violence and sexual behavior online
  • Advantages and disadvantages of maternity leave for both parents
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the death penalty
  • The contribution of the church in the society
  • The positive and negative effects of an increase in the school workload
  • Juvenile detention centers and the positive and negative impact on offenders
  • The rehabilitation processes in US maximum security prisons
  • Corporal punishment and why it is still in use in some African countries
  • The pro and cons of homeschooling today
  • The physiological effect a foster home has on children
  • Abortion and the adverse effects on the mother
  • The safety in public and private learning institutions
  • Chinese government support of birth control technologies
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the family decision being left solely to men
  • Lessons about sex education and at what age should they be offered
  • The positive and undesirable results of family relations
  • Noticeable differences in the various branches of Christianity
  • School uniforms and why they should be a necessary part of the US education system
  • The negative effects of pornography on the youth
  • Positive and negative outcomes of abortion

Discussion Topics on Politics

Below are some unique essay topics on various up to date political subjects that you should definitely take into consideration:

  • The increase in gun violence in the US
  • The role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  • Industrialization and global trade in China
  • Illegal immigration into the US via the Mexican border
  • The purpose of tax-payers to the development of their nations
  • United States citizenship laws and how they have contributed to its growth
  • Extradition laws for convicted criminals in the US
  • The prospect of the first US female president
  • The positive and negative impact of conspiracy in a political environment
  • The effectiveness of international trade laws
  • The similarities of the American and French revolutions
  • Similarities that exist between infamous dictators and school bullies
  • Pros and cons of Russia’s interference with the United States electoral process
  • Positive and negative implications on the exit of the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change
  • A comparison of the leadership styles of the US and North Korean presidents
  • The American presidency and why it is a global symbol of power
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the north Korean nuclear disarmament program
  • Positive and negative implications of the appointment of supreme court judges in the US
  • The likely triggers for a third world war

Sports Discussion Topics

Common discussion essay tittles used in sports:

  • The adverse effect of doping in sports
  • The negative impact of corruption within sports governing bodies
  • The prevalence of soccer over American football worldwide
  • Hunting as a sport and why it should be controlled
  • The adoption of successful sports personalities from developing nations
  • Advantages and disadvantages of the interaction among people with different religious beliefs
  • How has technology improved sports worldwide
  • The political nature of major sporting events
  • The benefits of using technology to identify cheats
  • Popular games enjoyed worldwide that are dangerous
  • Video refereeing as a game changer on sports
  • The development of sports activities
  • The effect of early childhood fame on their adult lives

Popular List of Discussion Essay Questions for your Assignments

Below is a list of discussion questions you should have a look at before you start your assignment:

  • What are the adverse effects of cyber terrorism?
  • What is the difference between privacy and confidentiality concerning internet usage?
  • How does parental censorship help prevent children from accessing unwanted or harmful content on the internet?
  • Is gaming affecting the mental health of children?
  • Is there a need to add even more restrictions on Internet content in schools?
  • What is the impact of Internet use on a person’s level of creativity?
  • How does the Internet contribute to making the world a digital village?
  • Discuss the benefits and shortfalls of using mobile phones in class for student
  • Is digitalization a threat to the human workforce?
  • Will the continued development of AI platforms render human labor irrelevant?

Unique Discussion Essay Ideas to Pick for Your Assignment

Below are 6 unique discussion ideas for your essays:

  • No one owns the internet. According to the statement, you can discuss the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of security features over the internet.
  • Both online and offline gaming is a multimillion-dollar industry. You can write about how the psychological risk of online gaming is overshadowed by the financial benefits to be had.
  • Technology is rapidly changing; every so often new and more advanced devices are developed making previous models obsolete. You can write about the negative impact of e-waste and how it can be properly disposed of.
  • The slow development of most third world countries is often attributed to a lack of quality education. Write about the positive and negative impact of education on a nation’s development.
  • When it comes to the idea of socialization, write about the pros and cons of using social media to beat the idea of loneliness.
  • Online shopping has in recent years gained overwhelming popularity. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping.

What You Could Do If Struggle Finishing Assignments

By using the list that we have compiled for you, you will have a variety of topics and ideas to choose from. However, you may also be stuck and don’t know where to start or how to format your paper. If for any reason you are unable to do your assignment within the provided deadline you can request for a deadline extension from your instructor.

Alternatively, you can seek professional assistance from a qualified writer. At our company, we have competent and expert writers to help write the assignment for you. Do not hesitate to contact our customer support team for any guidance or inquiry about writing your paper. Place an order with our world-class writers, and we will deliver your assignment before the deadline. Order now and you will be happy.

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What Is a Transformer Model?

If you want to ride the next big wave in AI, grab a transformer.

They’re not the shape-shifting toy robots on TV or the trash-can-sized tubs on telephone poles.

So, What’s a Transformer Model?

A transformer model is a neural network that learns context and thus meaning by tracking relationships in sequential data like the words in this sentence.

Transformer models apply an evolving set of mathematical techniques, called attention or self-attention, to detect subtle ways even distant data elements in a series influence and depend on each other.

First described in a 2017 paper from Google, transformers are among the newest and one of the most powerful classes of models invented to date. They’re driving a wave of advances in machine learning some have dubbed transformer AI.

Stanford researchers called transformers “foundation models” in an August 2021 paper because they see them driving a paradigm shift in AI. The “sheer scale and scope of foundation models over the last few years have stretched our imagination of what is possible,” they wrote.

What Can Transformer Models Do?

Transformers are translating text and speech in near real-time, opening meetings and classrooms to diverse and hearing-impaired attendees.

They’re helping researchers understand the chains of genes in DNA and amino acids in proteins in ways that can speed drug design.

Transformers models dubbed foundation models in Stanford paper

Transformers can detect trends and anomalies to prevent fraud, streamline manufacturing, make online recommendations or improve healthcare.

People use transformers every time they search on Google or Microsoft Bing.

The Virtuous Cycle of Transformer AI

Any application using sequential text, image or video data is a candidate for transformer models.

That enables these models to ride a virtuous cycle in transformer AI. Created with large datasets, transformers make accurate predictions that drive their wider use, generating more data that can be used to create even better models.

Transformer models herald era of transformer AI, says Stanford paper

“Transformers made self-supervised learning possible, and AI jumped to warp speed,” said NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang in his keynote address this week at GTC.

Transformers Replace CNNs, RNNs

Transformers are in many cases replacing convolutional and recurrent neural networks (CNNs and RNNs), the most popular types of deep learning models just five years ago.

Indeed, 70 percent of arXiv papers on AI posted in the last two years mention transformers. That’s a radical shift from a 2017 IEEE study that reported RNNs and CNNs were the most popular models for pattern recognition.

No Labels, More Performance

Before transformers arrived, users had to train neural networks with large, labeled datasets that were costly and time-consuming to produce. By finding patterns between elements mathematically, transformers eliminate that need, making available the trillions of images and petabytes of text data on the web and in corporate databases.

In addition, the math that transformers use lends itself to parallel processing, so these models can run fast.

Transformers now dominate popular performance leaderboards like SuperGLUE , a benchmark developed in 2019 for language-processing systems.

How Transformers Pay Attention

Like most neural networks, transformer models are basically large encoder/decoder blocks that process data.

Small but strategic additions to these blocks (shown in the diagram below) make transformers uniquely powerful.

Example of a transformer model and self-attention

Transformers use positional encoders to tag data elements coming in and out of the network. Attention units follow these tags, calculating a kind of algebraic map of how each element relates to the others.

Attention queries are typically executed in parallel by calculating a matrix of equations in what’s called multi-headed attention.

With these tools, computers can see the same patterns humans see.

Self-Attention Finds Meaning

For example, in the sentence:

She poured water from the pitcher to the cup until it was full. 

We know “it” refers to the cup, while in the sentence:

She poured water from the pitcher to the cup until it was empty.

We know “it” refers to the pitcher.

“Meaning is a result of relationships between things, and self-attention is a general way of learning relationships,” said Ashish Vaswani, a former senior staff research scientist at Google Brain who led work on the seminal 2017 paper.

“Machine translation was a good vehicle to validate self-attention because you needed short- and long-distance relationships among words,” said Vaswani.

“Now we see self-attention is a powerful, flexible tool for learning,” he added.

How Transformers Got Their Name

Attention is so key to transformers the Google researchers almost used the term as the name for their 2017 model. Almost.

“Attention Net didn’t sound very exciting,” said Vaswani, who started working with neural nets in 2011.

.Jakob Uszkoreit, a senior software engineer on the team, came up with the name Transformer.

“I argued we were transforming representations, but that was just playing semantics,” Vaswani said.

The Birth of Transformers

In the paper for the 2017 NeurIPS conference, the Google team described their transformer and the accuracy records it set for machine translation.

Thanks to a basket of techniques, they trained their model in just 3.5 days on eight NVIDIA GPUs, a small fraction of the time and cost of training prior models. They trained it on datasets with up to a billion pairs of words.

“It was an intense three-month sprint to the paper submission date,” recalled Aidan Gomez, a Google intern in 2017 who contributed to the work.

“The night we were submitting, Ashish and I pulled an all-nighter at Google,” he said. “I caught a couple hours sleep in one of the small conference rooms, and I woke up just in time for the submission when someone coming in early to work opened the door and hit my head.”

It was a wakeup call in more ways than one.

“Ashish told me that night he was convinced this was going to be a huge deal, something game changing. I wasn’t convinced, I thought it would be a modest gain on a benchmark, but it turned out he was very right,” said Gomez, now CEO of startup Cohere that’s providing a language processing service based on transformers.

A Moment for Machine Learning

Vaswani recalls the excitement of seeing the results surpass similar work published by a Facebook team using CNNs.

“I could see this would likely be an important moment in machine learning,” he said.

A year later, another Google team tried processing text sequences both forward and backward with a transformer. That helped capture more relationships among words, improving the model’s ability to understand the meaning of a sentence.

Their Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers ( BERT ) model set 11 new records and became part of the algorithm behind Google search.

Within weeks, researchers around the world were adapting BERT for use cases across many languages and industries “because text is one of the most common data types companies have,” said Anders Arpteg, a 20-year veteran of machine learning research.

Putting Transformers to Work

Soon transformer models were being adapted for science and healthcare.

DeepMind, in London, advanced the understanding of proteins, the building blocks of life, using a transformer called AlphaFold2, described in a recent Nature article . It processed amino acid chains like text strings to set a new watermark for describing how proteins fold, work that could speed drug discovery.

AstraZeneca and NVIDIA developed MegaMolBART , a transformer tailored for drug discovery. It’s a version of the pharmaceutical company’s MolBART transformer, trained on a large, unlabeled database of chemical compounds using the NVIDIA Megatron framework for building large-scale transformer models.

Reading Molecules, Medical Records

“Just as AI language models can learn the relationships between words in a sentence, our aim is that neural networks trained on molecular structure data will be able to learn the relationships between atoms in real-world molecules,” said Ola Engkvist, head of molecular AI, discovery sciences and R&D at AstraZeneca, when the work was announced last year .

Separately, the University of Florida ’s academic health center collaborated with NVIDIA researchers to create GatorTron . The transformer model aims to extract insights from massive volumes of clinical data to accelerate medical research.

Transformers Grow Up

Along the way, researchers found larger transformers performed better.

For example, researchers from the Rostlab at the Technical University of Munich, which helped pioneer work at the intersection of AI and biology, used natural-language processing to understand proteins . In 18 months, they graduated from using RNNs with 90 million parameters to transformer models with 567 million parameters.

Transformer model applied to protein analysis

The OpenAI lab showed bigger is better with its Generative Pretrained Transformer (GPT). The latest version, GPT-3 , has 175 billion parameters, up from 1.5 billion for GPT-2.

With the extra heft, GPT-3 can respond to a user’s query even on tasks it was not specifically trained to handle. It’s already being used by companies including Cisco, IBM and Salesforce.

Tale of a Mega Transformer

NVIDIA and Microsoft hit a high watermark in November, announcing the Megatron-Turing Natural Language Generation model ( MT-NLG ) with 530 billion parameters. It debuted along with a new framework, NVIDIA NeMo Megatron , that aims to let any business create its own billion- or trillion-parameter transformers to power custom chatbots, personal assistants and other AI applications that understand language.

MT-NLG had its public debut as the brain for TJ, the Toy Jensen avatar that gave part of the keynote at NVIDIA’s November 2021 GTC.

“When we saw TJ answer questions — the power of our work demonstrated by our CEO — that was exciting,” said Mostofa Patwary, who led the NVIDIA team that trained the model.

The Toy Jensen avatar aka TJ uses a transformer for a brain.

Creating such models is not for the faint of heart. MT-NLG was trained using hundreds of billions of data elements, a process that required thousands of GPUs running for weeks.

“Training large transformer models is expensive and time-consuming, so if you’re not successful the first or second time, projects might be canceled,” said Patwary.

Trillion-Parameter Transformers

Today, many AI engineers are working on trillion-parameter transformers and applications for them.

“We’re constantly exploring how these big models can deliver better applications. We also investigate in what aspects they fail, so we can build even better and bigger ones,” Patwary said.

To provide the computing muscle those models need, our latest accelerator — the NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPU — packs a Transformer Engine and supports a new FP8 format. That speeds training while preserving accuracy.

With those and other advances, “transformer model training can be reduced from weeks to days” said Huang at GTC.

MoE Means More for Transformers

Last year, Google researchers described the Switch Transformer , one of the first trillion-parameter models. It uses AI sparsity, a complex mixture-of experts (MoE) architecture and other advances to drive performance gains in language processing and up to 7x increases in pre-training speed.

Google's Switch Transformer model

For its part, Microsoft Azure worked with NVIDIA to implement an MoE transformer for its Translator service.

Tackling Transformers’ Challenges

Now some researchers aim to develop simpler transformers with fewer parameters that deliver performance similar to the largest models.

“I see promise in retrieval-based models that I’m super excited about because they could bend the curve,” said Gomez, of Cohere, noting the Retro model from DeepMind as an example.

Retrieval-based models learn by submitting queries to a database. “It’s cool because you can be choosy about what you put in that knowledge base,” he said.

Transformer model size over time

The ultimate goal is to “make these models learn like humans do from context in the real world with very little data,” said Vaswani, now co-founder of a stealth AI startup.

He imagines future models that do more computation upfront so they need less data and sport better ways users can give them feedback.

“Our goal is to build models that will help people in their everyday lives,” he said of his new venture.

Safe, Responsible Models

Other researchers are studying ways to eliminate bias or toxicity if models amplify wrong or harmful language. For example, Stanford created the Center for Research on Foundation Models to explore these issues.

“These are important problems that need to be solved for safe deployment of models,” said Shrimai Prabhumoye, a research scientist at NVIDIA who’s among many across the industry working in the area.

“Today, most models look for certain words or phrases, but in real life these issues may come out subtly, so we have to consider the whole context,” added Prabhumoye.

“That’s a primary concern for Cohere, too,” said Gomez. “No one is going to use these models if they hurt people, so it’s table stakes to make the safest and most responsible models.”

Beyond the Horizon

Vaswani imagines a future where self-learning, attention-powered transformers approach the holy grail of AI.

“We have a chance of achieving some of the goals people talked about when they coined the term ‘general artificial intelligence’ and I find that north star very inspiring,” he said.

“We are in a time where simple methods like neural networks are giving us an explosion of new capabilities.”

NVIDIA H100 GPU speeds inference and training on transformers

Learn more about transformers on the NVIDIA Technical Blog .

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IMF Working Papers

Finex - a new workhorse model for macroeconomic forecasting and policy analysis.


Andrew Berg ; Yaroslav Hul ; Philippe D Karam ; Adam Remo ; Diego Rodriguez Guzman

Publication Date:

November 10, 2023

Electronic Access:

Free Download . Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

This paper presents a semi-structural macroeconomic model aimed at facilitating policy analysis and forecasting, primarily in countries with imperfect capital mobility and hybrid monetary policy regimes. Compared to earlier gap-trend projection models, the Forecasting Model of Internal and External Balance (FINEX) contains three main innovations: it accentuates external and internal balances; explicitly incorporates fiscal policy; and partly endogenizes the main trends. FINEX thus covers a broad set of policy instruments, including foreign exchange interventions (FXI), capital flow management measures (CFM), as well as common fiscal policy instruments. The model incorporates insights from the recent DSGE literature, while maintaining a more accessible gap-trend structure that lends itself to practical policy applications. While the paper refrains from drawing broad policy lessons, it emphasizes the model's ability to interpret recent data in terms of structural shocks and policy responses, thereby aiding policymakers in constructing coherent economic narratives and considering alternative scenarios.

Working Paper No. 2023/235



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November 15, 2023

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