IELTS Writing Discuss Both Sides Essay

IELTS Writing Task 2: Discuss Both Views Essay with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: Question

Try this IELTS Writing question which requires you to discuss both views of an issue. It’s basically the same as an argument essay that we studied previously. The wording of the question is different, that’s all.

The free movement of goods across national borders has long been a controversial issue. Some people argue that it is necessary for economic growth, while others claim that it damages local industries.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion. You should write at least 250 words.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Model Answer

One of the most debatable issues of the last century has been the extent to which international trade benefits or harms national economies. Many arguments have been made for and against free trade between nations. In this essay, I will discuss both views and state my own position.

Those who support the expansion of global free trade claim that economies grow faster when they can specialise in just a few industries in which they have a strong advantage. As a result, each region or country produces something of value to the world economy. For example, East Asia manufactures electronic goods, the Middle East exports energy, and the EU produces luxury items. Free trade proponents claim that dependence on global trade helps to strengthen international cooperation and prevent wars.

Meanwhile, opponents of free trade—sometimes called ‘protectionists’—claim that the unrestricted movement of goods and services causes damage to local communities. This is because jobs are lost when it becomes cheaper to import a product than to produce it domestically. They also argue that the vast distances travelled by food, oil, and consumer goods is harming the environment and making our lives unsustainable. Protectionists are in favour of tighter controls on the movement of goods and services in order to protect jobs and livelihoods.

In conclusion, while there are convincing arguments on both sides of the debate, a return to protectionist policies would surely be a mistake. I believe that global trade is inevitable and should not be restricted. It is no longer realistic for nations to source all of their energy, food, and manufactured goods within their own borders.

(267 words; IELTS 9.0)

Why does this Task 2 answer get a Band 9 score?

Task response: The model answer discusses both sides of the argument in equal measure and ends with a clear opinion. The writer includes background information and examples. The essay meets the word requirement.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer is clearly structured, with each body paragraph discussing a different side of the argument. The relationship between paragraphs is clearly signalled by words like Meanwhile and In conclusion. Ideas are developed further with logical links such as For example, because and also.

Lexical resource: The writer uses higher-level vocabulary relevant to the topic such as opponents, domestically, unsustainable, and interdependence. The core concept of ‘free movement of goods across national borders’ is repeatedly paraphrased. Spelling is correct throughout the model answer.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The writer uses a wide variety of grammatical features including concessive clauses (while…), relative clauses (in which…), and other complex forms (It is no longer realistic for nations to…). There are no grammatical errors in the model essay.

Teacher’s Note

IELTS Teacher‘Discuss both views’ is a common type of IELTS essay question in which the examiner will pay particular attention to paragraphing. Make your essay structure very clear by writing two body paragraphs that each discuss a different view. Try to make these two paragraphs similar in length—three sentences is enough—and save your own opinion for the conclusion. You can score highly on a ‘discuss both views’ question by following these simple rules. If you’d like me to correct and score your answer to this task, please click on the link below to take my IELTS writing practice test online.

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