Developing a Persuasive Argument: Strategies for IELTS Writing Task 2 Opinion Essays 

 April 10, 2024

By  Jonathan

The IELTS Writing Task 2 challenges you to express your opinion on a given topic and present a persuasive argument. This task assesses your ability to analyze an issue, organize your thoughts logically, and support your views with well-reasoned evidence. Developing strong argumentation skills in writing this type of essay will significantly improve your performance and help you achieve a high band score.

Understanding the Task

  • Prompt Focus: Analyze the prompt carefully. Does it ask you to agree, disagree, or discuss both sides of an issue? Identify the key opinion being tested.
  • Target Audience: The audience is the IELTS examiner, but consider the broader context of the issue.
  • Purpose: Persuade the examiner that your opinion is well-founded and supported by evidence.

Developing Your Argument

  1. Brainstorming Ideas
    • List Arguments: Write down all the reasons why you agree/disagree with the prompt.
    • Prioritize: Rank your arguments based on how strong and relevant they are to the prompt.
  2. Structure & Organization
    • Introduction: Paraphrase the prompt in your own words and state your overall opinion clearly.
    • Body Paragraphs (2-3):¬†Each paragraph should focus on one strong argument.
      • Topic Sentence: Briefly introduce the main point of the paragraph.
      • Evidence: Support your point with specific examples, facts, statistics, or anecdotes.
      • Explanation: Explain the relevance of your evidence to your argument.
    • Conclusion: Briefly summarize your key points and restate your opinion in a strong way.

Building a Persuasive Case

  1. Variety in Evidence
    • Examples: Use real-life scenarios or case studies to illustrate your claims.
    • Statistics & Facts: Include relevant data to bolster your arguments (source your information if necessary).
    • Expert Opinions: Cite the views of authorities in the field to add weight to your argument.
  2. Logical Reasoning
    • Connecting Arguments: Ensure a clear flow between your points. Use transitions (e.g., “Furthermore,” “In addition”) to connect ideas smoothly.
    • Anticipating Counterarguments: Briefly acknowledge the opposing viewpoint, but then explain why your arguments are stronger This shows a balanced approach.
  3. Strong Vocabulary
    • Opinion Verbs: “I believe,” “I strongly argue,” “It is evident that…”
    • Argument Connectives: “Therefore,” “Consequently,” “As a result”
    • Concise Language: Avoid repetition and ensure clarity.

Example: Opinion Essay

Prompt: Technology has a negative impact on social interaction.

  • Strong Sentence: While technology offers undeniable benefits, its excessive use can have a detrimental effect on the quality and frequency of face-to-face social interaction.
  • Weak Sentence: Technology is bad because people don’t talk anymore.

Additional Tips

  • Practice Regularly: Source essay prompts and practice writing under timed conditions.
  • Get Feedback: Have a qualified instructor or another test taker review your essays for structure, clarity, and persuasiveness.
  • Stay Objective: Present your opinion as fact. Use phrases like “It is likely that…”

Remember: IELTS Writing Task 2 is about more than stating your opinion. It’s about convincing the examiner that you’ve considered the issue critically, developed a well-structured argument, and can support your views effectively By honing these skills, you’ll be well on your way to conquering the opinion essay and achieving a high band score in your IELTS test.

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.