IELTS Discussion Essay – IELTS Writing Task 2 Structure

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IELTS is a standard test used to measure your English proficiency on a global scale. It’s very similar to the TOEFL, which was created by ETS. Cambridge University takes IELTS, and it contains a total of 6 sections – Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking, Grammar and Vocabulary. For the writing section, you have to write an essay based on one of the topics provided in the exam.

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These essays serve a purpose as they need to convince the examiner of your command of the language’s, its understanding, usage and application. An applicant has to spend 40 minutes on the task.

In this blog, we will cover the structure of a good discussion essay for IELTS along with a detailed analysis.

IELTS Discussion Essay Structure

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IELTS Discussion Essay - IELTS Writing Task 2 Structure

The discussion essay IELTS task needs a simple structure that you can follow to score higher. Especially if you are looking to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5, you need to structure the essay well and support your arguments and opinions. 


When you begin your essay, paraphrasing the topic at hand is important. Let your reader understand why exactly you are writing the essay. The next step is to state at least two supporting reasons for arguments that you will be discussing throughout the essay. Also, an introduction to your own opinion on the argument will end the first paragraph and what you may discuss throughout the essay.

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IELTS Discussion Essay - IELTS Writing Task 2 Structure

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Main body 

The main body paragraph of your opinion essay needs to explain different points of view and examples to support both sides of the argument. By the end of the first body paragraph, one of the opinions needs to be established. 

The second body paragraph must emphasise the other side of the argument or second opinion. Here, again you need to give relevant examples and make sure that the opinion is supported by a strong argument. 


The last paragraph of your opinion essay should discuss all the points along with different views. However, the most important part of the conclusions will be your opinion. You need to conclude the essay with your opinion and establish the balance between both opinions.

Tips to Plan IELTS Discussion Essay

You need to spend around 40 minutes on the essay task achievement. However, maximising the time spent and optimising it is important to achieve a higher band score. So, here are some key steps to take for planning your IELTS discussion essay. 

Analyse the topic

It is essential for any applicant looking to ace the essay writing task. Analysing the topic makes you answer the question type and plan the rest of the essay. You need to identify three different types of elements in the topic for planning the essay,

  • Important words related to the topic
  • Instruction words

Take an example of the topic: 

Some people think that zoos are better than forests for wild animals. While others believe that forests are natural habitats for wild animals and zoos are cruel. 

Here, ‘zoos’ and ‘forest’ are the focus keyword, and the other keywords you need to focus on are cruelty, natural habitat, etc. Apart from that, words like analyse, comment or discuss are the instruction words 

Express different perspectives and establish your own view

Right from the introduction to conclusion, establish your viewpoint, counter opinions, and your personal experiences. It is essential to explain your point of view at the end of the entire essay. Avoiding it is a common mistake that many applicants make during the IELTS writing task. Apart from that, your IELTS discussion essay needs coherence and cohesion for a better band score.

Take care of vocabulary

For an IELTS exam, it is essential to explain specific topics in a different set of words. Using similar words repeatedly can hurt your IELTS score, and that is why using synonyms makes more sense. So, plan your vocabulary for the discussion essay for the IELTS exam.

Discussion Essay Sample

Write a discussion essay example for the following topic sentence:

Many believe that a child’s surroundings, friends, and the type of content they consume affect their development. At the same time, others believe that a family’s impact is much more important than its surroundings. 

You need to discuss both the opposing views and give your own opinion on the topic with reasons. Also, include any relevant examples from personal experience or knowledge. 

The essay needs to be at least 250 words. 


When it comes to a child’s development, there is no denying that their parents play a vital role. On the other hand, many people believe that as children grow older, their surroundings affect their overall development. This essay will discuss both sides of this argument on child development. 

As children grow older, their surrounding does have an impact on mental and physical development. For example, in today’s age, every child has access to the internet that provides a multitude of information and content for consumption. Controlling what a child consumes on the internet is not that easy with the ease of access they have due to several smart devices.

Modern-day influencers and peers provide children with a sense of admiration that transforms into a way of life. Learning something skilful and creative from such peers and influencers is a positive aspect, but it can be negative if children adopt their bad habits. 

Though a child’s family contributes the most towards mental and physical development, a child’s parents and their behaviour in the house can have drastic effects on a child’s development. Children always like to imitate their parents in every shape and form. For example, if parents consume negative content with abusive language and violent characteristics, children will have the same impact on their minds. 

So, parents need to behave carefully when their child is around them. While both the arguments are right, in my opinion, there needs to be a balance between internal and external factors that affect child development. 

Parents need to be careful while they are with a child in behaving with other people, consuming content, and more. On the other hand, it is essential to have conversations with children to understand what external factors or surroundings do with their development and help them keep away from harmful environments.


Planning the essay structure and analysing the different questions before writing your IELTS writing test is essential. This is why you need to practice different essay types, sample answers, and thesis statements. You need to ensure that your view comes across organically with the conclusion you draw with the essay writing task. 

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Kanika Singh

Kanika took a detour from academics for the corporate world. Now she works as a senior editor specialising in content creation, marketing, and strategy.

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