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IELTS Problem Solution Essay - Should you give your opinion?

September 10, 2018

Some IELTS teachers and some IELTS books say that you should NOT include an opinion in a problem/solution essay.     

 

However,  the IELTS public band scores for writing (and some examiners) will tell you that in order to get a 7 or above for task achievement,

you need to include a

CLEAR OPINION THROUGHOUT ANY kind of essay.

 

 

The question is:    How to do this?

One way is right in your INTRODUCTION

Here is a typical Problem/Solution essay question:

 

What are some of the challenges new immigrants may face when going to live in a foreign country and how can those challenges be dealt with?

 

A typical introduction might look like this:

 

At present, an increasing number of people are immigrating to new countries for a wide variety of reasons.   Among the problems they may face is dealing with a new language and culture.   However, these problems can be overcome by taking  language  courses and integrating into the culture.  

 

The above introduction in fairly standard.    However, there is no mention of an opinion.

SOLUTION 1:    the EASY WAY

 

Just add words like 

  • I believe,

  • I strongly feel

  • From my perspective, 

  • In my opinion

 

At present, an increasing number of people are immigrating to new countries for a wide variety of reasons.   In my opinion, two problems they may face are learning a new language and dealing with a new culture.   However, from my perspective, I feel these problems can be overcome by taking language courses and integrating into the culture.  

SOLUTION 2:   Adding descriptive words.

 

This can help show how you FEEL about the problems and solutions.

 

At present, an increasing number of people are immigrating to new countries for a wide variety of reasons.   In my opinion, two of the most challenging problems they may face are learning a new language and dealing with a new culture.   However, from my perspective, I feel  these daunting challenges can be overcome.

 

Note that in this version, I did not actually mention what the solutions are.   This is fine as you will be writing about them in your body paragraphs.

SOLUTION 3:    Make a comment or two

 

You may want to give an evaluation of your proposed solution:   Is it realistic?   Is it feasible?   Are there any factors that might influence this possible solution?

 

At present, an increasing number of people are immigrating to new countries for a wide variety of reasons.   In my opinion, two of the most challenging problems they may face are learning a new language and dealing with a new culture.   However, from my perspective, I feel that if the immigrants are up to the task, they can overcome these daunting challenges and will eventually benefit from all the hard work and the learning processes involved

Note that the final version introduces the problems as the writer's opinion.   Also, the writer gives his or her opinion that the problems indeed CAN be overcome and that facing these problems can actually be a good thing.    

 

If your solution to the problem of obesity is for governments to ban junk food, you might want to comment on how realistic this solution would be and in which cases it could actually work.

 

This is a much more effective way to do an introduction than to just list problems and solutions.     

 

You can also add elements like this in the other parts of your essay.

 

 

To get expert advice in maximizing your IELTS band score

in writing or speaking,

contact me personally:

larry@ielts-pro.com

 

                                            and Best of luck on the exam!

 

 

 

 

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