It’s important to understand that a “Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion” essay is an opinion question. This means that you need to clearly state your own opinion on the topic and explain why you hold that opinion. However, before you do that, you need to discuss both sides of the argument.
‘Discuss both views and give your opinion’ is the most popular IELTS essay type. At the same time, it is the most confusing essay type as well.
In Which Section I Write My Opinion?
Often, students are in doubt about whether the opinion should be provided in the introduction or a dedicated paragraph should be written on your opinion, or it should just be written at the end of the second body paragraph. Let’s see what the official sources have discussed about it.
As you can see, the suggested style is to provide your opinion at the beginning of the essay i.e. in the introduction part. ‘Come back to your own opinion’ implies that you have to extend your opinion with underlying reasons and justifications. It is better if you write a dedicated third body paragraph, so it is clear and logically sequenced. Again, you might be thinking, “Why a separate paragraph?” It would make 5 paragraphs of the essay. The following guidelines are the answer.
As you can see, the official website of the IELTS suggests having a separate section to discuss your own opinion. So it is absolutely fine to have 5 paragraphs in your essay, including the introduction and the conclusion.
Now we are clear about the biggest confusion of the essay types: discuss both views and give your opinion essay type. The second problem most students face while discussing these views is perspective. Many students are not clear about whether they have to write about their opinions or other people’s opinions. Often the question provides statements like “some people think,” Hence, you have to step into the shoes of people and write possible reasons why they might think so or do so. It could contradict your opinion, but that is totally fine. You will be given a chance to state your opinion as well.
Another mistake I have seen students making is that they merge their opinions with other people’s opinions. They use words like, ‘others including me’. There may be no issues in terms of grammar, but as per writing best practices, this is not a recommended style to merge two opinions. If you do so, you also lose the opportunity to show the grammatical range and lexical resources because you are going to write fewer sentences in the absence of a dedicated paragraph for your opinion.
Now you are aware of all the possible pitfalls of this essay type. Let’s quickly summarise how to write and discuss both views essay:
Step 1: Paraphrase the given statement. Do not use two or more consecutive words from the prompt. Effective paraphrasing skills are the opportunity to have a first impression of the examiner.
Step 2: Write your opinion in short. There is no need to elaborate on it with the reasons here.
Step 3: Write the first body paragraph. Write from people’s perspectives.
Step 4: Write the second body paragraph. Again, write from other people’s perspectives.
Step 5: Write your opinion and also describe a bit why you think so. Your opinion could be either the first view or second view or a completely new view.
Step 6: Write the concluding remarks along with any futuristic statements if possible. Not all topics have the possibility to have a futuristic statement. So, you would need to analyse it based on the particular topic.