IELTS Writing Task 2 Question
Try this opinion essay question about the cost of space exploration. It’s best to state a clear opinion for or against in your introduction.
Space exploration is much too expensive and the money should be spent on more important things.
What is your opinion?
IELTS Writing Task 2 Model Answer
There is an argument that exploring space is a waste of money and that there are more urgent needs to be addressed on earth, such as reducing poverty and preventing environmental destruction. However, I completely disagree with this opinion for two reasons.
First of all, many of the technologies we take for granted today were originated thanks to space research. Take satellite technology, for example, which we depend on for broadcasting and weather forecasting. Without satellites, we would not be able to follow global events as they happen, nor give populations any warning of approaching storms. Space research has also led to the development of new lightweight materials that offer us heat protection and enable food preservation. Therefore, the challenge of sending human beings into space has often driven the development of new technologies that benefit our everyday lives.
Second, we cannot foresee the distant future, so we ought to develop the capability to escape from the earth. Gradually, we are learning how humans can survive for long periods in space and even travel to other planets in the future. If space exploration is halted, this valuable knowledge will never be acquired. It is true that environmental destruction is also a serious issue, but it is also true that we remain dependent on our environment if we never accept the challenge of exploring other worlds.
In conclusion, while we undoubtedly face serious problems on our own planet, it is imperative that we continue to explore space. This will promote further technological advances as well as provide a possible means of escape should earth become uninhabitable in future. Ideally, all nations should cooperate in the advancement of space research.
(278 words, IELTS 8.5)
Why does this Task 2 answer get an IELTS Band 8 score?
Task response: The introduction effectively paraphrases the question and presents a clear opinion. The writer’s opinion is supported in the body of the essay. Concrete examples are given. The conclusion restates the writer’s opinion and ends with a recommendation.
Coherence and cohesion: The model answer is divided into clear paragraphs and each body paragraph contains one main idea. There are cohesive links between all paragraphs and between most sentences.
Lexical resource: The key concept of space exploration is paraphrased several times. There are many words characteristic of academic writing such as originated, imperative, and foresee. Vocabulary is used with a strong awareness of collocation: take for granted, develop the capability, accept the challenge.
Grammatical range and accuracy: The model answer is free from grammatical errors. A good balance of simple and complex sentences is used to develop an argument. Verb tenses vary, and other grammatical devices such as conditionals and modals are used with high accuracy.
This IELTS Writing task simply asks you to give your opinion, which appears to be a very open question. As you have just 40 minutes to write your opinion essay, it is best to state a clear opinion in the first paragraph and stick to it, rather than try to deliver a more complex or nuanced answer. Use each body paragraph to add supporting points and restate your opinion in the final paragraph to provide a satisfying conclusion.
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In an IELTS opinion essay, you can either agree, disagree or take a balanced approach which means to partially agree. However, you need to learn more so that you fulfil the requirements of the higher band scores.
See the answers to the 4 questions below. Also see useful links for writing task 2 below. All tips are for GT and Academic students.
1. Is it better to choose one side?
It won’t alter your score if you choose to support one side or partially agree. As long as you give a clear opinion, the examiner will be happy.
If you don’t understand a partial agreement essay, then choose one side. It’s easier to choose one side for most students and you can still get band score 9 by choosing one side.
Sometimes it might be hard to find enough ideas to support one side. In this case, go for a partial agreement. BUT if you need training to learn how to do this correctly.
2. Will you get a higher score if you partially agree?
No. It’s doesn’t matter what your opinion is – one side or partial. The only thing the examiner wants is a relevant opinion which is fully explained.
3. Can you write a discussion essay instead?
NO. Let me repeat that – NO !!! An opinion essay is only about your opinion. It is not about what other people think. You can’t change the type of essay you have been given. Look at the instructions below:
- Discussion both sides and give your opinion
- You must explain both sides of what other people think and also give your opinion
- To what extent do you agree or disagree?
- You must present your opinion and nothing else. Your opinion must cover all aspects of the essay question.
4. Can you use “I” or “my” in an opinion essay?
Yes. Of course. You MUST use “i” or “my” – it’s the only way to give your own personal opinion. Look at the language below:
- it is believed / it is considered / it seems – This language does not express your own individual opinion. It is perfect for discussion essays but it can’t be used for your own views.
- I think / I agree / I disagree / In my opinion – This is how you clearly express your view. The examiner wants to see this language when you give your opinion.
Useful Links for IELTS Writing Task 2
Click below to open useful links for IELTS writing task 2:
When to give your opinion
How to write an introduction
Using “I” or “my”: Free Video
Using quotes and idioms
All Writing Task 2 Tips & Model Essays