IELTS Writing Task 2: how to write an agree-disagree essay; with methods and example answer from Cambridge 13 Test 1

This IELTS Writing Task 2 post focuses on how to write an agree-disagree essay. You will find a detailed discussion on an example essay taken from Cambridge IELTS Series 13 Test 1 which is on language barriers in foreign countries. You will also get a formula, a short plan and a model answer for this essay.  10 examples questions are also given at the end of the post.

IELTS Writing Task 2: how to write an agree-disagree essay; with methods and example answer from Cambridge 13 Test 1

Let’s take a look at the question from Cambridge 13 Test 1:

Living in a country where you have to speak a foreign language can cause serious social problems, as well as practical problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Writing answer to an agree-disagree topic can be tricky because it is not similar to advantage-disadvantage topic, problem-solution topic or both-view topic. So, to write such essays, we need to follow a method of writing that can ensure a great band score. Here is a simple formula/structure that you can follow to write an agree-disagree topic:

Writing formula:

Agree/disagree essay – 4-paragraph method

First paragraph – Introduction

First sentence: Paraphrase the given statement to state the ground that your essay will discuss about

Second sentence: Express your opinion (whether you agree or disagree with the statement)

Third sentence: Briefly outline what the next paragraphs will be about to support your opinion.

Second paragraph – Body 1/ Supporting paragraph 1

First sentence: This is often known as topic sentence. Introduce the readers with the first point that you are going to describe in this paragraph.

Second sentence: Explain the point. (Write in a way that your readers did not know clearly about it  and reading this line they now have a better understanding.)

Third sentence: Present a real life or made-up example that clarifies and supports this point.

Fourth sentence: This is the tricky part. You have to state an opposing position to this point, but redirect the readers to your point.

Third paragraph – Body 2/ Supporting paragraph 2 – Repeat the previous paragraph with another point

First sentence: This is often known as topic sentence. Introduce the readers with the first point that you are going to describe in this paragraph.

Second sentence: Explain the point. (Write in a way that your readers did not know clearly about it and reading this line they now have a better understanding.)

Third sentence: Present a real life or made-up example that clarifies and supports this point.

Fourth sentence: This is the tricky part. You have to state an opposing position to this point, but redirect the readers to your point.

Fourth paragraph – Conclusion

First sentence: Restate your view and sum up your two supporting points.

Second sentence: Here you can make a prediction or a suggestion based on your writing.

As we have the basic diagram of how our essay will look like, we can try to generate some ideas which will help us to write the body paragraphs.

Here are few ideas:

  • Practical problem: communication gap
  • Result: confusion/poor service
  • Example: English word – pitch; Turkish meaning – illegitimate child
  • Social problem: misunderstanding
  • Result: relationship problem
  • Example: English word – gift; German word – poison

Here is an example essay based on the method discussed above:

At present, people who live in foreign countries, mostly for study, job or migration purpose, face language barrier which may lead to some severe problems, both social and practical. Personally, I agree with the view that the issue can cause some practical pitfalls as well as communal difficulties. This essay focuses on concrete problems like communication gap leading to poor service or confusion and social problems like misunderstanding that may cause mayhem.

Living abroad where people speak a different tongue can raise the concern of communication gap. Numerous examples of this can be found around us which ends in poor service or confusion. A Turkish word that we know in English as ‘pitch’ has reportedly caused a big muddle in a supermarket in Ankara recently because it means ‘illegitimate child’ in the native tongue. Many people may argue with this point by stating that we should not use any unknown word but this is not a workable solution as these are very common words to use in day-to-day life.

As far as the social problems, personal relations can be at stake due to misapprehension of simple words. One of my English friends residing in Germany has recently confused his German friend with the word ‘gift’ which means ‘poison’ in German. It resulted in breaking the sweet friendship between the two which is quite disheartening. Again, arguments can rise over the issue yet I believe it can happen due to the variations of the same word which is not possible to learn always.

In summary, any language of the world has some magical features and one of them is the variety of meanings it can produce which often leads to confusion or misunderstanding for people speaking other languages and cause problems. The best way, though challenging, is to learn some common words where foreign people live for their study, job or migration purpose. It will take time; nonetheless, it is the best way to take.

(324 words)

Here are some other agree-disagree topics for you to practice:

  1. Obesity is now a growing concern in many countries of the world and some suggest that the best way to tackle this problem is to make people aware about junk foods and their negative impacts on human health. How far do you agree or disagree with this statement?
  1. Medical research and treatment of many diseases are more expensive these days and so it would be better to invest money on different preventive methods. Do you agree or disagree?
  1. International aids should be stopped to make poor countries self-sufficient. Do you agree or disagree with the statement?
  1. Unpaid community service should be made compulsory in every education institution. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. At present the crime rate is in increase due to the development of technology and communication. Do you agree or disagree?
  3. Modern lifestyle is the main reason behind different health problems. Do you agree or disagree?
  4. The society is becoming more and more ferocious due to violence promoted in media. How far do you agree or disagree with this view?
  5. Celebrities and famous sports persons should be paid a large sum of money as it is justified. Do you agree or disagree?
  6. A good many people say that invention of newer technology is the leading cause of isolation and lack of social skills among young generation. Do you agree with this view?
  7. People should adapt with new customs and cultures whenever they travel to new places. Do you agree or disagree?

You can post your answer on any of these topics and they will be checked and graded eventually.

Click here for a model answer to Cambridge 14 Test 4 Writing Task 2

Click here for a model answer to agree-disagree topic: elderly or young people as company leaders

Click here for a model answer to advantage-disadvantage topic: online shopping

Click here for a model answer to opinion essay: urbanization in countryside/ problem of housing

Click here for a model answer to opinion essay: qualities of a good supervisor/boss

 

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