Hi everyone. I am a bit confused about the balanced opinion essay in IELTS task 2:

1. There will be 2 paragraphs in my balanced opinion essay, one paragraph is for the agreement and the remainder is for the disagreement. However, I do not know how to express that I am more convinced by the disagreement.


2. Could I write a body paragraph with one idea? If I could, please help me in structuring that one-idea paragraph.


3. With 2 body paragraphs in the balanced opinion essay, is that ok if I write the first paragraph (agree with the topic) with 1 idea and the second paragraph (disagree with the topic) with 2 ideas?

Write one paragraph for the agreement and another for the disagreement. In your introductory paragraph and to a greater extent in your conclusion, state your opinion.


Clive

Thu Trà TrầnHowever, I do not know how to express that I am more convinced by the disagreement.

Here is an example. You clearly state your opinion in the first paragraph.


Topic: Governments should put a very high tax on fast food because it is not good for people's health in the long run. To what extent do you agree or disagree?


Here are three opening paragraphs for this topic where you state your opinion: 1) agreement, 2) disagreement and 3) partly agree and disagree.

1. Fast food is so detrimental to people's health that some people are proposing a high tax to curb consumption. I completely agree with them.

2. Fast food restaurants provide good entry level jobs and convenient places to have lunch. Some people are proposing to put a high tax on the so-called "junk food" because it could cause health problems if eaten in excess. I totally disagree with putting a high tax on this food.

3. Fast food restaurants are very popular among people today. But some people are proposing that the food should be taxed at a high rate because of health issues. I agree that a tax might be effective, but overall, I disagree with the statement because there are better solutions for this problem.

Thu Trà Trần3. With 2 body paragraphs in the balanced opinion essay, is that ok if I write the first paragraph (agree with the topic) with 1 idea and the second paragraph (disagree with the topic) with 2 ideas?

Yes. Sometimes there are more points in favor of one side of the argument. You don't have to have the same number of points in the two paragraphs (agree/disagree).

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

Thank you so much, Clive. I once heard that when writing a balanced opinion essay, writers should write some sentences to counter the side that they do not gravitate toward. Is that true or not? Should I follow that advice???

For example:

Topic: Marketing and promotion is the key to a successful business. To what extent do you agree?

Side A: I agree with the statement because marketing could boost the sales of products -> maximize profit

Side B (Assume that I choose this side): I disagree with the statement because there are many other factors that should also be considered as the significant contributors of the company's success such as the quality products and the company's management.

Conclusion: To conclude, while I agree with side A, I am of the opinion of side B as there are many other factors, which have the same importance with marketing including the quality of products, could contribute to the success of businesses, and customers are not always swayed by advertising because of their limited disposable income.

Thank you so much. But I am still afraid that readers could not be convinced by my "stronger side" just by one or two sentences which I use in the introduction and the conclusion to tell people that I am of this side. How could I show people that my "stronger side" is more convincing than the remaining side? Should I write some sentences in the conclusion to counter the side that I do not gravitate toward?

Thu Trà TrầnBut I am still afraid that readers could not be convinced by my "stronger side" just by one or two sentences which I use in the introduction and the conclusion to tell people that I am of this side.

That is the purpose of the body paragraphs, that is to detail your points of argument.

I don't know about the authenticity of this person's advice concerning a "balanced argument", but I do agree with them.

https://ieltsfocus.com/2017/11/07/balancing-your-opinion-in-ielts-essays/

In an opinion essay you need to clearly state your opinion, back it up with details and give examples. I usually advise my students to choose one side, either agree or disagree, and stick with that. You do not actually get a higher band score for a balanced approach so it is safer to choose one side and stick with that view throughout the essay. Remember that your opinion must be in the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.

For writers who have very strong language skills, a balanced approach can be very impressive to the examiners. But for beginners or inexperienced writers, a balanced approach is very risky because it must maintain a coherent argument.

However,  something that will showcase your language ability is to show the other side of the argument, this helps to balance the essay. This can give the essay good coherence and you can demonstrate your grammar skills if you have strong grammar. However, this should be done carefully, because you still have to maintain your own opinion and not contradict yourself.

If you stand in the middle of the road, and neither agree nor disagree, then you can present both sides. But this also is a risky tactic for inexperienced writers.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Thu Trà TrầnTopic: Marketing and promotion is the key to a successful business. To what extent do you agree?

This is not the same question as "Do you agree or disagree?" (Your answer is either yes or no.)

The answers to the question "to what extent do you agree?" can be gradations. For example:

  1. I agree / disagree completely.
  2. I mostly agree.
  3. I partially agree.

Thank you so so so much!