General Writing and Grammar Help/Thi's writing


What is the difference between the discussion question with give your opinion and the opinion question in writing test of IELTS? I򭠳o confused.
Thank Ted very much and enjoy your day! :D

ANSWER: Dear Thi:

I am confused.  I looked at past questions from you, and I cannot find the question you are referring to.

Please send me the question again, and I'll do my best to explain my answer.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

You know that, there are 3  main types of question in writing test of IELTS, like the discussion question, the opinion question( agree or disagree) and the problem/solution question. I mean that I don't know how to structure my essay with the discussion question which is added the request "and give your opinion about that". I think it's not much different from the opinion questions.

Dear Thi:

I understand your question now.

For the first type of question [discussion], you are given or you choose a topic.  What you do in writing the paragraph is give "background information."  That means you write about the topic in general, perhaps saying how important it is OR the history of the topic as it has developed through time.

For the second type of question, you are to choose ONE point that was mentioned in your general paragraph referred to in my explanation above -- about the "discussion" question.
Everything you write in this type of paragraph MUST reflect the point of view you have taken.  If for instance, you are writing about a controversial subject like global warming, you must choose a side. If you choose to defend the point that there is no actual warming of the earth by the actions of man, you must state your opinion [hopefully with facts] about your belief that global warming is a made-up problem that does not really exist.  That is your SIDE or belief.  Under no circumstances should you mention ANY evidence that supports the other point, that global warming is happening and PEOPLE are the reason, not NATURE.

The final type of question requires you to propose a solution to whatever problem it is.
This kind of paragraph is similar to the second one, BUT you must be VERY STRONG in stating your position, because you have reach the END of your assignment.

The basic answer to your question is that the "discussion" is an "overview" of the topic.
The opinion paragraph must clearly state which side you choose, and you must be "specific."  An "overview" is very general; an "opinion" is very specific.

I can send you some examples of these types of writing, except they will not be paragraphs.  They are complete essays.

I think I have your e-mail address, but please send it again.


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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