IELTS Writing Task 2 - Discussion Essay Topics


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Aug 12, 2022 05:21 PM IST

Are you facing trouble crafting your perfect IELTS discussion based essay? Scroll through to find recent IELTS discussion essay topics while we share the best tips and tricks to craft your perfect essay.

IELTS Writing Task 2 - Discussion Essay Topics
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An IELTS discussion essay, as the name suggests, is an essay where you have to look at two different points of view. Simply put, it is where you discuss a given topic in the IELTS Writing Task 2 and is one of the foremost types of essays asked in the IELTS exam. 

The IELTS writing section consists of two tasks and essay writing is in the second part. You will have to complete the IELTS essay within 40 minutes in around 250 words. 

When it comes to discussion based essays, it is important that you adopt a different approach altogether. And having an idea of the structure of an IELTS discussion essay can help you score a high band in IELTS task 2 writing. So, what are discussion essays and how should they be structured?

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What is Discussion Essay IELTS?

IELTS discussion essays are often confused with opinion-based essays or agree/disagree essays. Therefore, it becomes necessary to read the question well. You will have to understand that in the case of IELTS discussion essays, you are not asked to take sides but you are instructed to discuss both aspects and then cite an opinion of your own. 

The opinion that you will be delivering does not necessarily have to be in support of either statement. You can write anything mid-way or present a totally new viewpoint.

Types of Questions Asked in Discussion Essay IELTS

The Discussion essay topics on IELTS contain a statement with two contradictory views followed by an instruction to discuss both sides of the argument and give your opinion. The second part of the question can be written in the following ways:

  • Discuss both of these views and then give your own opinion. 

  • Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

  • Discuss both sides of this argument and give your own opinion.

Structure of Discussion Essay IELTS

A discussion essay can be divided into four to five paragraphs and should be structured carefully as per a logical sequence. It is critical to balance both the opinions in the IELTS discussion essay but it is not mandatory to give equal weighting. 

It is also important to respond to the instructions of the essay and provide an opinion of your own. Now, let us walk you through the format of the discussion essay IELTS and how to deal with each one of them:

How to Write an Introduction 

You will have to write a 40 to 50 introduction to the discussion essay in the following manner:

  • Paraphrase the question given.

  • State two supporting reasons for the same.

  • There should be two to three sentences.

How to Write Main Body Paragraphs

The main body can have two to three paragraphs. The way to draft them is:

  • Main Body Paragraph 1 

    • Write the view you agree with

    • Explain why this view is popular among people

    • Give an example

  • Main Body Paragraph 2

    • Outline the view you do not agree with

    • Explain the reason behind the popularity of this view

    • Provide an example

  • Main Body Paragraph 3

    • Provide your opinion

How to Write a Conclusion

The conclusion in a discussion essay IELTS must include:

  • A summation of all the points by linking them

  • Your opinion in brief

  • Answer the question

Some Phrases to Use to Write Discussion Essays IELTS

There are some set phrases that promise a good score in discussion-based IELTS essays. Here we have listed down a few of them for your reference:

  • Some people say that…while others argue that…

  • Some consider…while others think…

  • Some often argue…while others differ…

  • On one hand…

  • On the other hand…

  • A good example of this is…

  • This can lead to…

  • Currently…

  • In conclusion…

  • To conclude…

How to Plan IELTS Discussion Essay?

With the structure or format of the IELTS discussion essay in front of you, you can now plan your IELTS discussion essay in the following manner:

  • The first step is to analyse the question well and understand what is being asked of you. Identify the topic words, other keywords and instruction words. This will help you identify what you should be writing about.

  • Next, you should decide on your opinion. It is not essential to agree to any of the opinions but for the sake of writing, you will have to take a side and describe it. Choose any one view and stick to it throughout your essay.

  • Think of ideas to discuss the opinions. Think calmly about what can you write in support or in opposition.

  • Decide on the vocabulary that you are going to use as your lexical resource is an important part of the evaluation of the essay. You can either paraphrase or use synonyms to write the essay. 

  • While planning the essay, jot down a few words that can be used in Writing Task 2.

Tips to Write an IELTS Discussion Essay

Some tips to follow while practising or writing a discussion essay on the IELTS exam are:

  • It is essential to identify both sides of the topic correctly.

  • Give personal opinion only if the question requires it.

  • Use fillers, linkers, transition and comparative words.

  • Each body paragraph should contain one central idea.

  • Do not exceed the word count.

Previous Year Discussion Essay IELTS Topics

Here are some of the discussion essay IELTS topics from previous years for you to practice from:

  • Some believe that money for education should mainly be spent on better computers while others believe it would be better spent on teachers. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

  • Some people feel that manufacturers and supermarkets have the responsibility to reduce the amount of packaging of goods. Others argue that customers should avoid buying goods with a lot of packaging. Discuss both views and give your opinion

  • A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans, while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

  • In some countries, there has been an increase in the number of advertisements which try to persuade children to buy snacks, toys, and other goods. Parents often claim that these ads are unfair. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

  • Many people argue that in order to improve educational quality, high school students should be encouraged to question and offer criticism of their teachers. Others think this will lead to a loss of respect and discipline in the classroom. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Discussion essays are one of the easiest types of essays to attempt in IELTS exam. Only it is necessary to be confident and aware to write a band 9 discussion based essay in IELTS. Now that you know how to craft a perfect IELTS discussion essay we hope that you can score a high band following our suggestion. 

If you have doubts about how to write discussion-based essays or the other types of IELTS essays, then write to us at

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What are the common mistakes to avoid in IELTS discussion essays?

The common mistakes to avoid in IELTS discussion essays are:

  • Not writing your opinion in the essay.
  • Not writing arguments for both sides of the views asked in the question.
  • Not developing a balanced argument for both views.

What is the structure of a discussion essay?

The structure of a discussion essay is similar to the structure of other types of essays. It should contain a proper introduction, have main body paragraphs and a conclusion. The words should be equally distributed among the paragraphs and they should be of similar sizes.

How do you start an IELTS discussion essay?

You should start an IELTS discussion essay by writing a paraphrase of the question given, that is, you have to restate the two views in your own words. Apart from that, you will also have to write a little about your own take regarding the issue.

How do you discuss both views in a discussion essay in IELTS?

You can discuss both views in the discussion essay in IELTS by stating them first in the introduction. In the body paragraphs, you can dedicate each paragraph to each viewpoint. You should also give examples in support of the statements. This will solidify the basis of the discussion of both views.

Is it mandatory to give my opinion in an IELTS discussion essay?

Yes, it is mandatory to give your opinion in an IELTS discussion essay, if asked in the question. Otherwise, you can skip it. Having said that, when you write your opinion, you can take sides or have a completely different opinion from the ones mentioned in the question.

How many paragraphs are to be written in an IELTS discussion essay?

There can be four to five paragraphs in an IELTS discussion essay. The introduction and conclusion are fixed. The body paragraphs can be two or three. If you are making two paragraphs, you can write both opinions and add your own opinion at the end of each paragraph. Similarly, if you are opting for three body paragraphs, reserve the last one for your own opinion.

Can I exceed the word limit for an IELTS discussion essay?

No, you should not exceed the word limit for an IELTS discussion essay. Even if you exceed, it should not be more than 10 to 15 words. You should be precise in what you are writing and practice delivering meaningful stuff in fewer words. In case you exceed the word limit, you will be penalised.

Where do I get discussion essay samples?

You can get IELTS discussion essay samples online as well as in books. There are various IELTS essay materials available online in pdf format or as blogs. You can read them to get an idea of how to write a discussion essay. Nonetheless, you should always prepare from authentic sources and popular websites.

Why should you practice IELTS discussion essay samples?

You should practice discussion essay samples to gain an understanding of the essay structure and the way you should address such topics. You also get an idea of the content quality and new vocabulary that you can use while writing the essay. Apart from that, you will know how to create links between paragraphs. 

Are discussion essay topics in IELTS repeated?

There is very less probability of discussion essay topics in IELTS being repeated. The exact language of the question might not come again but they can use the same topic to frame a different type of question. Some of the common discussion essay topics that are repeated are based on health, environment, technology, education and globalisation.

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