IELTS Writing Task 2: Expressing your Opinion

Expressing your opinion for IELTS writing task 2 is often confusing. Students are not sure when to give their opinion or how to give their opinion. This video lesson answers the following questions:

  1. Do I need to give my opinion?
  2. Can I use “I” or “my” in my essay?
  3. How can I express my opinion?

Giving your Opinion: Video Tutorial

Other Useful Lessons for Writing Task 2

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  1. Priyanka says

    Hi Liz, Can u plz evaluate my writing?
    All parents want the best opportunities for their children. There are some people who think that schools should teach children skills but others think having a range of subjects is better for a children’s future.

    Discuss both sides & give your opinion.

    Every parent wish towards achieving maximum avenues for their kids. However, many believe that teaching institutions should be more focused towards building the skills and some consider curriculum with multiple subjects to be advantageous for their kids. This essay will discuss about both the aspects and will share the ultimate opinion.

    To begin with, people would recommend enhancing the skillset which could be ultimately beneficial in the practical world. In today’s corporate world, advanced excel, public speaking and power point presentation skills are of the utmost importance. Rather than concentrating and facing the same as a surprise while entering the outside world, one can be made familiar with the implementation of such skills. Secondly, schools may put their efforts towards situational decision making. These efforts, beginning at the time of their primary education will not only enable the students to get acquainted with the challenged faced in the real corporate but also would boost their self-confidence.

    Whereas, other set of people would prefer educational institutes to come up with a plethora of subjects to choose from. In a traditional educational system, there are fixed number of subjects which a student has to cover. However, introduction of subjects namely coding, hotel management, Political Science and any global language alleviates the probability of opting subject of their interest. There is high possibility that a child might not be interested in the main curriculum subjects, but allowing them to select from the variety of choices might increase their scope of success and performance. For an instance, a student with Science background might be fascinated with studying the various demographic patterns. Along with the additional subjects or courses in place he or she can opt for statistics as an additonal subject and pursue their career in the same.

    To sum up, in today’s scenario presentation skills, public speaking skills and advanced excel are the most crucial tools to reach zenith. As majority of students would not have clarity at such an early age to understand their interest towards a specific subject or field. Therefore, even making available abundance of subjects might not be of immense support to them. Whereas, acquiring extensive presentation skills will definitely be of maximum relevance in their future jobs. Hence, in my opinion schools need to put more efforts towards making a student more skillful and talented rather than burdening them with piled up list of subjects.

  2. Jyothsna says

    Hi Liz,
    i have purchased advantages and disadvantages writing task video, everything was crystal clear to understand, thank you somuch.
    I came across this question but couldn’t understand is it only advantages and disadvantages without opinion or its opinion essay, here is the question..

    In many countries, paying for things using mobile phone(cellphone) apps is becoming increasingly common.
    Does this development has more advantages or disadvantages?

    • This is the adv outweigh dis essay question. It can be written in a number of ways:
      Are there more advantages or more disadvantages?
      Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
      Which are more important, the advantages or the disadvantages?

  3. Anonymous says

    I gave one Mock Test on writing task-2.
    Source Material: Cambridge IELTS 14 – Test 1 – Writing Section-2:

    Q: Some people believe that it is best to accept a bad situation, such as an unsatisfactory job or shortage of money. Others argue that it is better to try and improve such situations. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
    (Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience).

    My Essay:
    Ups and downs are part and parcel of everyone’s life. While some believe in accepting the tough phase of life as it comes, others believe in fighting with it and trying to change it into positive situation. In my opinion, facing the tough situation of life, and trying our level best to change it into good situation is the best possible way to tackle such issues as it not just helps in resolving the problems quickly but also in developing the self confidence in life to face challenges.

    Let me share one of my life experience. When I was 17 years, my family had faced tremendous financial problem due to heavy losses in the business and my grandmother’s illness. We had to eventually sell our family home to generate funds for grandmother’s treatment and repay business liabilities. Those problems of life were like a tsunami flood in our family, however we didn’t accept this situation as it is and decided to improve the situation.

    Each one of us in the family started working and it took us almost a decade to come out of this difficult phase, but life taught us a lot. We again bought our family home which was a proud moment for us. I can proudly say that it helped all of us not just reshape ourselves monetarily but also in other important walks of life. It is rightly said, “No Book can teach us that LIFE teaches us”.

    Hence, I strongly believe to try and change the challenging situations of life. It is not just the end results, but the overall journey of turning around our life situations from bad to good that teaches us a lot, eventually shaping us as a strong individual mentally with wisdom and positive human skills.
    Can you give your comments on above written essay? Both Good and bad.
    And If you can share what kind of Band score this essay will get?

    Looking Forward to hearing from you soon.

  4. Amit says

    Dear Mam,
    I want to know your opinion about the following question on writing task 2.
    Qs: As a result of tourism, many historical buildings and sites are being damaged beyond repair. What could be done to prevent this?
    I think it is a opinion based essay so i prefer to mention “In my opinion” but one of my teacher said it is better not to use it. I am in deep soup what to do next. please clarify.

    Love you mam for everything.

    • Liz says

      It makes no difference at all if you present this as your own opinion or just as an answer. The problem appears when you fail to give an opinion when you are asked for one. This essay question does not require an opinion – you are not asked to choose, you are not asked to evaluate. You are asked to present solutions – not to decide which is best. Just present your solutions and that’s enough. If you use the words “In my opinion” and then give the solutions, it won’t impact your score.

      • Amit says

        Thank you very much mam, you are such a life saver. This thought was sucking my brain for the whole period.
        Words are limited to express your contribution towards your student.

        • Liz says

          I know what you mean. It can all seem so confusing when people tell you things without explaining. This is the problem with many IELTS teachers. They present “rules” when they are actually telling you only their personal advice and recommendation. This causes a lot of stress for people because they think there are hidden rules. There aren’t. Anyway, good luck with your preparation and test 🙂

  5. Shaik Moeez says

    Hey Liz,
    Its been great that your stuff here helped me alot in getting desired band score with ease in first attempt..Alhamdulillah got overall 8 bands.
    Thank you,

  6. What if I say “personally speaking” then I express my opinion? it is academic to use?

  7. I just sat for my IELTS exam. The essay was “Many people believe watching sport is waste of leisure time. Do you agree or disagree?”

    I paraphrased the question and in my thesis statement, I wrote “In my opinion watching sport is extremely important.”

    Is this a clear disagreement since I didn’t use the word “disagree”?

    • Of course it is clear. You don’t need to use the word “disagree” to disagree. Your opinion is clear. However, it is a limited opinion. I do not think it is extremely important for all people to watch sport in their free time. Did you consider this from all people’s perspectives?

  8. Harika says

    Hi Liz,

    All the link under the section “Other Useful Lessons for Writing task 2” are asking for a password in a new window and it seems strange. Is this happening only to me or others too?

    • It might have been a glitch with the system. Hopefully it’s all working fine now. Let me know if you have any other problems.

  9. Jay says

    Hi Liz,
    quick question – you say that we need to use ”I” or ”my” to make our opinion known. Can I use other ways such as ”this essay will argue why it is crucial (in case of agreement) …”.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    • Liz says

      “this essay” does not represent your own personal opinion. The examiner does not accept this as an expression of your own views.

  10. Geremew says

    I just want to have teaching materials through my e-mail address.

    • Sorry, all the materials are to be studied online on my site. Use the RED BAR to access over 300 pages of lessons, tips etc.

  11. Pooja venkat Aguru says

    Hi Liz ,

    In an essay which is asking for your opinion , where we have to agree or disagree…is it possible to be ambivalent about the topic . Or would it be considered wrong ?

    Pooja Aguru

    • You can’t sit on the fence when you are asked for your opinion. You can’t turn an opinion essay into a discussion essay. You MUST give a clear opinion.

      • Please clarify I have heard the latest news is that we cannot use ,I ,my in essay is it true?,

        • There is no such rule at all. In fact, with an Opinion Essay, you MUST use “I” or “my”.

      • Is it okay, if we give our opinion in the concluding part of the essay ?

        • Sure. But it’s usually best to introduce it in the introduction and then explain it in the body paragraphs. It is then summarised in the conclusion.

  12. Swati Mehra says

    Hi Liz,
    I have the IELTS GT exam this saturday.

    One major concern I had regarding WT2 is what if I am just not aware about the topic/question? In such a scenario, what should the content be? How to tackle this situation?

    P.S.: Your blog is extremely helpful for self-learners. Thank you for your efforts.

    • 25% of your marks is Task Response and this is all about being on topic, having relevant ideas and developing them. It is rare for a completely unknown topic to be given in writing task 2. If you prepare fully, you should have enough ideas for all topics. However, if the worst case happens, you must try your best to be on topic. And remember that you can still get points for all the other marking criteria as well as for developing ideas.

  13. I gives two time exam. I always got 5 band in writing, can you help. How can I get 6 from writing. Thanks…

  14. Good Evening,
    Thank you so much for your videos, they are really helpful.
    I just have a question, if you don’t mind. Where do i put my opinion?
    Should i put it in the conclusion? Or in the body?
    Thank you again.

  15. Nisha Therasa says

    Hi Liz,
    i’m an Ielts trainer in india and i’d stumbled upon your website as well as Simon’s website at about the same time last year…along the way i’ve started paying closer attention to yours. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    Ive a query..could you tell me if the examiners for the ielts test centers are trained to understand the Ielts standards? the reason i ask is because, some of your ideas will be considered radical if i were to tell my students…for example..that the cue prompts can be ignored and as long as fluency is kept, it wouldn’t affect the scoring for fluency. So before i introduce this idea to my students i also need to be sure that all examiners are trained to think the Ielts way rather than the “all prompts are questions which the candidate HAS to answer” way. Please do try to give me a reply over the weekend so that i could be ready to introduce this concept in class on Monday morning! thank you..

    • The idea that the prompts on the cue card do not need to be fulfilled is actually a fact. I can state that as an ex-IELTS examiner – fulfilling tasks is not a marking criterion of speaking. The prompts are there as suggestions which can be used fully, used partially or not used at all. I do not understand why you are confusing fluency with fulfilling a task. Fluency and coherence which are 25% of the speaking marks, do not have any relation to task fulfilment which is not part of IELTS speaking assessment. Don’t confuse the writing criteria with the speaking criteria. I recommend students to use the prompts but add their own prompts as much as possible. This is because the prompts provide the students with a degree of security and comfort but extending the talk beyond the prompts is the only way to a) enhance fluency 2) add additional language features which are needed for a better score. Part 2 is the only part of the test which is under the student’s control. At this point, they can decide to add a second conditional statement because so far they haven’t offered it to the examiner – or to show more flexibility with past or future forms. The IELTS examiner training that I completed is the same world wide. There is only one IELTS examiner training for speaking and there is only one set of marking criteria which have not changed. Try to distinguish between advice and fact. The cue card prompts do not need to be covered – fact. Students should use them – recommendation. Students should stick to the general topic on the card – very strong recommendation. Students should expand and add their own prompts in order to deliver a better range of English – very highly recommended.

  16. Thank you so much for taking quality time to produce these wonderfully recorded videos . They are all really helpful.

  17. Mariwan says

    Hello Liz,
    I am a little confused about using ”I”,”MY”, and ”WE”. An IELTS teacher says it is wrong to use these pronouns while expressing your opinions in opinion essay.He recommends using” it is agreed/disagreed that” Or ”this essay agrees/disagrees”.

    • If the instructions ask for YOUR OPINION, you must answer MY OPINION or I THINK. If you fail to answer this directly, you will get a lower score according to examiner marking criteria. Using the passive voice is not correct English grammar for directly expressing your own view.

  18. Hi Liz!
    And what about the phrase: As far as I see it?
    Thanks in advance

  19. Nataliya says

    I can not stop admiring your clarity in explanations and the information you provide us with. Thanks from all the users and me personally)
    My question is: why ‘as far as I am concerned’ is inappropriate?
    Have always thought it is a great phrase to use in essays including academic ones.
    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,

    • It is informal. You should not use informal language in an IELTS essay. It is not about what is acceptable in university essays but what is accepted by an IELTS examiner.

  20. Vishal Agarwal says

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot for your blog with numerous IELTS study materials, references, and tips & tricks. These are really helpful to all the IELTS aspirants.
    I am appearing for IELTS GT exam next month, and have a doubt with the writing 2 section. I recently came across a couple of Writing 2 topics wherein, the “Topic Name’ was given followed by “Discuss”.
    For example – “Appearance isn’t everything.”Discuss.

    How should we proceed with these type of topics. Should we explain the pros and cons OR only express our views OR is there any other approach to write such type of essay. Please advice.


    Dear Liz,
    Thanks four your tremendous help !

    In opinion essay, can i say for example ( This essay agree..) or i have to use something like (in my opinion i do agree..)
    or in causes/solution essay , can i say (this essay suggest that….) instead (i suggest..)
    hope i made my question clear.

    Thanks & regards,

    • The instructions don’t ask what your essay thinks. The instructions ask what YOU think. So, be direct and clear = I think / I agree / In my opinion / I believe.

  22. Thanks for useful tips in your website
    The video is not shown unfortunately it has been blocked by our country.
    I wish you could type some parts of it so I can know about this important issue.

  23. Is that ok to give my opinion using I or We ?
    Many say yes, while others not

    I am lost really

    • “we” does not express your opinion. “I” does express your opinion: I think / I believe.

    • Thank you Liz for your answer. The problem is some people say that we don’t have to say our opinion in a direct way, I mean to say (it is preferable to…) not to use (I belive that..).
      Second in suggetion essay and discussion ones should we put our opinion in the conclusion only ?
      Thanks Liz

      • If the instructions ask for your opinion, you MUST give it clearly. If you write “it is believed” or “it is preferable” this is not clearly your own opinion. Just follow the instructions. You will lose marks if you don’t complete the instructions fully. If the instructions ask for your opinion, you put it in the introduction, body and conclusion. It sounds like you need extra training. Think of getting my advanced lessons:

  24. Mirzo says

    Thanks a lot dear Liza. Your lessons are very useful…

  25. Gulnar says

    Hi Liz.
    First of all, thanks this useful website. Your lessons are really greatful.
    I would like to ask,
    How will it effect my score, if I wrote my opinion in my essay although in the statement was not asked my opinion.

    Thanks again

  26. Can I express my opinion in Passive form? For example, It is agreed or other passive form.

    • passive form is not used to express your own opinions, it is used to express the opinions of others. So, the answer is NO you can’t use it in that way.

  27. MOHAMMED says


    can i use “in my perspective” word.

    Thank You

    • The expression is “from my perspective” but it is informal and not recommended to use in IELTS writing.

  28. Hi!
    I would like to ask why is “to my mind” wrong?
    Thanks for your response.

  29. Airin Nithikanlayasak says

    Can I ask? some examiners used to tell that for band 7 up – to express opinion, we should not use , I believe that……
    He said that is band 6 student would use,, I believe that….
    What can we use instead? In my view? or else which you mentioned before.

    Sorry about my question, I was really confused

  30. hi mam., can I use ‘I m going to explain this…….’ in writing task 2 in gt exam in an opinion essay

  31. Hello Liz,
    Is it appropriate to write “the way I see is …..” or “according to my perception…..” whlie giving our opinion?

  32. kingsley aniagbaoso says

    Good day,
    Please, what how many lines are we to leave as spacing for paragraph?

    • Leave one line between paragraphs.

      • Bright says

        Must one leave a whole line to indicate new paragraph. I mean must there be “a line without anything written on it” between paragraphs.

        • It is not necessary but I do recommend it. The examiner needs to see your paragraphs easily and clearly.

          • Bright says

            Noted. Thank you.
            In starting a paragraph, must I give a space between the margin and my first word. Or can I start just at the margin.
            Thank you.

  33. harmilap says

    can we use (as per my opinion)

  34. glaiza says

    Hi maam liz, your site brings hope to people like me who is aiming to get a higher band score in ielts.. I failed once but i striving hard to do my best and promise myself that on my second take i’ll be able to pull it off. I’m taking it slowly making sure i understand every type of essays. As of now, my focus is opinion base. Wish me luck and thank you for sharing your knowledge.. 🙂

    -from philippines with love

  35. Musasizi Godfrey says

    Is it fine to say In a nut shell instead of in conclusion etc when writing the concluding part of the essay?

  36. I have a question, some say it is better to not to state my opinion in introduction and should mention ONLY in conclusion. Actually he is my writing correction teacher but many people are different view. could you pleas tell me which is better and the reason why?

    Thanks in advance.


    • If you are asked for your opinion, you must give it in the introduction. The conclusion should not contain new main points or new ideas. The conclusion is to restate and summarise what has already been written in the essay. See my advanced writing task 2 lessons to learn exactly how to write an agree disagree essay:

  37. I wana ask you that..sign posting is important in writing task 1 and 2 ? if so, what should we write in sign posting ? thanks

  38. suraj says

    hello madam, Firstly i really want to thank u.

    My question is “If the argument essay(agree or disagree essay) starts with agree then do we have to continue with agree and end with agree? i have seen your sample essay of agree and disagree and found that starting with agree and ending with agree.

    And in the sample essay of opinion essay it is discussed in both favour can we do this?

    please reply soon

    • The instructions ask for your opinion. You give it in the introduction, explain it in the body and conclude it in the conclusion.

  39. Hi, Liz
    In the introduction lesson you say: In my view, I agree that … Is it ok to say so? It seems that it is repetition and in my language it is not recommended. Thank you)

  40. Hey Liz, if I write my opinion as a fact for example, instead of saying I believe or I think just write as a matter of fact like a real article from a newspaper.

  41. Hi Liz,

    Is it appropriate to write ”in my opinion” or ”I believe” in the essay that does not ask for my opinion? for example, what are the problems of xxx? (I mean even thought it does not ask my opinion, it is in fact my idea.)


    • You only follow instructions, nothing more. If no opinion is asked, you don’t give it.

  42. Shrestha says


    Thank you very much for this lesson and I have a quick question.
    Could you not use “It is agreed/disagreed” instead of “I believe or In my view”?

    Thank you in advance!

    • “It is agreed” refers to other people, not yourself. The passive voice CANNOT be used to express your own opinion.

      • Shrestha says

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply!
        Last time I wrote “It is agreed”, perhaps, owing to this I got only 6.5 for writing section.

        • Yes, that will have affected your score. It means that you never gave your opinion which means you didn’t follow the instructions. That would give you a low score for Task REsponse which is 25% of your marks.

      • thankyou, good to know 🙂

  43. Dear liz,
    Should I write background statement in General essay?, and should I write hook statement also ?
    Please clear my query .Your web site is one of the best web site for IELTS prepration.


  44. Priji John says

    Hi Mam,

    I have a doubt in writing introductions .For eg in an Opinon Essay “As Computers are being used more and more in education,there i will be soon be no role for teachers.To what extent do u agree or not” .

    In this can i completely disagree like ” However while computers are extremely useful,i dont not agree with the idea that they could soon replace teachers. ” And in the main body part 1 explain about some advantages of computers and in the second main part explain about the role of teachers. Is this pattern is correct?

    • If you don’t agree that computers will replace teachers, all body paragraphs will explain that point. This essay is only about your opinion.
      All the best

  45. can we start the thesis statement with i consider that..

  46. Hi Liz,
    I just wanted to ask if it is alright to use pronouns such as ‘we’ or ‘our’ on writing task 2. Will that affect the way the examiner will mark my essay?
    I am hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    • On the whole, you should avoid using those words and refer to people in the third person plural.
      All the best

  47. HII Liz,
    my concern is using “I” in the introduction what I mean is I belive and I strongly agree/disagree.Would it be considered as informal?

    • You can answer the question “Do you ….” without using “I” or “my”. Failure to provide a direct answer to a direct question about your opinion will result in a low score for Task Response (25%) of your marks.

  48. Ishwor says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you for your wonderful videos and IELTS tips. I am just worrying about use of first person while giving opinion. I heard that use of third person seems more academic than first person, for instance, it is widely believed that.. or it can be viewed that… this essay is going to in favour/disfavour of….
    could you suggest regarding this please
    thank you

    • Yes, it is academic to use “it is widely believed that..”. It refers to what other people think and what is thought around the world. But it does not show your opinion and what you think. If the essay instructions ask for your opinion, you must give it very very clearly. 25% of your marks is about fulfilling the instructions and explaining ideas, so make sure you give your opinion (In my opinion) if the instructions tell you to.
      All the best

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