There are 5
main types of IELTS Task 2 essays:
questions fit one of these categories. However, questions can be written in
many different ways, which can make it difficult to determine which type they
On this page,
I want to give you an overview of all 5 IELTS Task 2 essay types, with samples
questions to help you recognise some of the different wording often used. I’ve
also included a basic structure for each that you can use to as a guide for
essay planning, a vital step in the writing process.
I go into each type of question in more detail
on its own page. Click
the links above or at the bottom of this page to see these.
the basic 4 part structure I recommend that you use for Task 2 essays:
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Want to watch and listen to this lesson?
Click on this video.
The sort of
information you include in each of the 4 sections will
vary depending on the question type and that’s what I’m now going to outline
These easy to
learn structures will enable you to quickly plan and write any IELTS Task 2
below are not the only ones you could use but they are the ones I recommend
because they’re simple and give proven results.
1) Opinion Essays
sometimes called ‘agree or disagree’ or ‘argumentative’ essays and are one of
the most common types of IELTS Task 2 question.
part of the question will be a statement. You will then be asked to give your
own opinion about the statement. Here is some typical wording that might be
- Do you agree or
- To what extent
do you agree or disagree?
Here is an
example of each:
- Choose one
side of the argument.
- State your
opinion clearly in the introduction.
- Keep the same
opinion throughout the essay.
- Give reasons
why you hold this view.
It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or
even that you agree with it. Choose the one you can develop the best argument
Don’t change your opinion part way through the essay and
don’t give reasons for the opposing idea.
2) Discussion Essays
essays, you have to discuss both sides of an argument. Usually, you will be
asked for your own opinion as well.
way to approach this type of IELTS Task 2 question is to choose one point of
view to agree with and one side to disagree with.
Here are 3 examples
of discussion essay questions:
- Develop both sides of the argument.
- Talk about
the view you don’t agree with first.
A big mistake many students make is
to fully develop only one point of view. This leads to an unbalanced essay and
a low score for task achievement.
It is easier
to begin by discussing the opinion you don’t agree with and then present the
reasons for your opposing view.
3) Problem Essays
sometimes called ‘causes and solutions’ or ‘problems and solutions’ essays.
This type of IELTS Task 2 question starts with a statement, then asks you to
discuss the problems or causes and the solutions.
- Don’t list
lots of causes and solutions.
- Choose just
one or two and develop them fully.
- Be sure to
link each problem/cause and its solution.
mistake is for candidates to list all the problems/causes and solutions they can
think of, not necessarily linking them together. They also fail to explain any of them in
detail and don’t include any examples.
of this type of essay question can vary considerably. Here are 3 examples
of problem essay questions:
4) Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
part of the question will be a statement. You will be asked to write about both the advantages and disadvantages of the idea stated.
Here is some
typical wording that might be used:
- What are the advantages and
- Do you think the advantages outweigh
- Discuss the advantages and
disadvantages and give your opinion.
Here are 3
examples of advantages and disadvantages essay questions:
Each of these
different types of questions fits into one of two slightly different essay structures. We’ll
look at these in detail on the main IELTS
Task 2 Advantages & Disadvantages Essays page. For now, I’ll give you
the basic structure.
5) Double Question Essays
This type of IELTS Task 2
question is sometimes called a ‘direct question’ or ‘two questions’ essay. It has
one statement with two different questions after it. The questions may or may
not be linked.
- You must answer
both questions fully.
- Don’t confuse it with an
opinion or a discussion essay.
- Be careful that you don’t
end up with too many ideas to write about.
Here are 3
examples of double question essay questions:
I hope you’ve found this information
useful. You can learn lots more about writing the 5 different types of IELTS
Task 2 essay and see sample answers on these pages:
The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:
Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.
Problem Solution Essays
Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
Double Question Essays
More Help With IELTS Task 2
Writing Task 2 – The format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing
strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Marking Criteria – Find out how to meet the marking criteria for IELTS Task
2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes
Other related pages:
Writing Test – Understand the format & marking criteria, know
what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic &
General writing tests.
Task 2 Essay Types
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