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To what extent do you agree or disagree essay structure

This lesson is meant to help you with to what extent do you agree or disagree essay structure. Below I outline some different plans, but the real idea is that you follow an approach that will work for most any IELTS essay. Work from these principles:

  1. understand what the question is asking
  2. decide on your point of view
  3. make your point of view clear in the introduction and conclusion
  4. decide how to use your 2/3 body paragraphs

The only hard bit is deciding what to do with your body paragraphs. See my lesson on IELTS essay structure and this download Structure IELTS essays plan (7499).

Understand the question

You need to answer the question directly and this means that you need to say how much you agree or disagree with the idea. It is not really enough to say “I agree” or “I disagree”. If you do that you haven’t answered the question fully.

Understand the possible answers

The next step is to see that there are 3/4 different possible answers and you need to decide which one you want to use. The answers are

I agree completely

I disagree completely

I disagree/agree either slightly/mostly/a lot

 It’s important that you are clear on your point of view before you start writing. It’s also important that you know how to explain the point of view with reasons and explanations before you start writing. The essay structure you choose depends a lot on what you know and what you think. Do not choose a “model” structure just because you think that’s the right way.

Make your point of view clear – the introduction and conclusion

Make your point of view clear in the introduction and the conclusion. This will be the same no matter what your opinion is.


here is the idea/issue/question

point of view


restate the point of view

For me it’s really important that you get the introduction and conclusion correct. Please use language that makes it clear that you strongly/weakly agree/disagree etc. If you don’t, you might just write another opinion essay that doesn’t answer the question. A crime.

Explain your point of view – body paragraphs

This is where you have choices. Whichever option you choose, you should make sure that the structure of your essay is clear and the examiner can follow your reasons. You must decide how to use each body paragraph. The option you choose will depend on what you think and what you know. Do not rely on one essay model – practise writing different models of essay – you just don’t know what question you will get. 

The AA or BB model

If you strongly agree, you could try this  AA model

A. I agree because [one reason the idea is right]

A. I agree because [another reason the idea is right]

or of course if you disagree

B. I disagree because [one reason why the idea is wrong]

B. I disagree because [another reason why the idea is wrong]

If you choose this approach, make sure that you can write 2 complete paragraphs (with reasons and examples before you start).  This approach sometimes goes wrong because the two reasons are too similar and the essay gets repetitive.

The AB model

If you strongly agree or disagree you can also try this approach when there are two options in the question.

A. Explain why the idea is right/wrong [reasons and examples]

B. Explain why the other option is worse/better [reasons and examples]

This is really just a variation of the AA model, but the difference is that you look at both sides of the argument.

The AB model – weakly agree/disagree

If you have a weaker opinion, then you really need to look at both sides of the argument and use this AB model.

A. Explain that there are some good points [reasons and examples]

B. Explain that there are some problems too [reasons and examples]

This approach can of course go wrong too – often because the point of view is unclear. To get it right make sure that your overall opinion is clear in the introduction and that you start each paragraph with a clear sentence making it obvious that you are either going to write about  reasons why you agree or disagree.

Are there other options?

Yes. The problem with the other options though is that they tend to be more complex and complex is not great in exam circumstances. My very strong advice is to aim for simplicity and clarity in structure. If you need/want to show off, do that with your language not your structure.


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12 Responses to To what extent do you agree or disagree essay structure

  1. zara April 9, 2014 at 2:41 am #

    Hi Dominic!

    I’m not sure is it only or others are facing the same problem. The ads on the page tend to cover the lesson and i can’t access it properly. It’s a bit irritating but i hope you’ll soon organize it in a better way. I know you are working hard on the website but just of letting you know.


    • Dominic Cole April 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

      Hi Zara

      Which browser are you on? It all looks fine for me on Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Are you accessing it on a pad for instance?

      • sonu October 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

        Ielts task 2
        in agree disagree essay which one is the better side to get high band.
        Agree or disagree or partly agree ?

      • sonu October 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

        Ielts task 2
        in agree disagree essay which one is the better side to get high band.
        Agree or disagree or partly agree ?

    • Anonymous July 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm #

      Hi Dominic

      Must I already say I agree, because…. and state a reason….. in the introduction or first write my paragraphs and then in my closure say I agree because…?

      Thank you for all this information, it is a great help!!!

  2. Jane April 9, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Dominic

    Thank you very much for this lesson. I’ve been waiting for it. It really helps me. BTW, your website is very well organised recently and I just want to let you know that I love it a lot

  3. Tracy Nguyen April 22, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    Hi Dominic. I have several questions and I really appreciate your help
    1.I have trouble with this question
    “popular events like the Football World Cup and another international sporting occasions are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way
    To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?” (Cambridge 3)
    Can I disagree with “easing international tensions” and agree with “releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way”?

    2.If the question is “Do you agrer or disagree”, can I take a balanced stand “I partly agree”?

    3. Should I make up some statistics as example? For instance, “According to a survey conducted in the US, 20% of respondants said…”?

    Thanks a lot for your help

  4. Mansoor July 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    I want study how i can write agree and disagree essay bu steps

  5. Shafa July 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    Thank you so much for this website.It’s a buyer for self-study! 🙂

  6. pavan b March 1, 2016 at 5:18 am #

    For Agree/Disagree essay, Can we also provide a solution for each opinion with argument in 2 body paragraphs

    e.g., argument with example
    and solution with example

  7. Esmira June 22, 2016 at 5:30 am #

    To what extent do you agree or disagree essay structure

    Below is a typical outline for some specific essay titles.

    Case 01 Showing total agreement

    Question: The local government wants to raise property taxes to increase funding for schools. To
    what extent would you agree with such an initiative?


    Introduction to the topic Any sort of tax increase has to be carefully examined.

    Showing your personal

    If the tax increase was not too high and was done fairly, I would support it.

    First controlling idea First, I want my children to go to well-funded schools.
    Supporting sentence The education my children get now will help them later in life.
    Second controlling idea Also, it is better to get local funding for schools, rather than from the
    national government.
    Supporting sentence
    Restating your idea

    I would be more supportive of such an initiative if it gave more local
    control over schools.

    Tax increases are a burden, so there must be a really good purpose for
    Therefore, I would only support one if it was effective and if it improved the
    schools my children went to.

  8. gurpreet October 2, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    actually I have a problem in agree or disagree and what extend type essays how m express my ideas. which got good scores in writing .

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