IELTS Writing: To what extent do you agree or disagree - write about both sides?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,030 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 2016 in IELTS Test

Many students wonder: If you're asked 'to what extent do you agree or disagree' do you have to write about both sides of the argument?

The short answer is: no, you don't.

Here's the long answer: Even though you don't have to discuss both sides, it is a much more difficult task to write about only one side. IELTS chooses topics that lend themselves to discussing both sides of an argument (remember: there is no 'right' or 'wrong' side). Another way to think of the sentence, to what extent do you agree or disagree, is 'how much do you agree or disagree with the statement written?'

For example:

Some people believe that children in schools should learn how advertisements motivate us to buy things. 
To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

If I had to write an essay about this, I would write that I mostly agree with students being made aware of how advertising motivates them to buy things.  But I would also mention that it is not a good idea to teach really young children because, they might not understand some of the concepts and ideas.

In this way, both sides of the argument are covered - I am showing how much I agree or disagree with the statement. Put another way, it would be 80% agree and 20% disagree - and my language would reflect these percentages.

If you would like to know more about how to structure your essay, click here for a suggested approach or enrol at!

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