Discussion Essay Questions in IELTS Writing Task 2

Learn how to answer Discussion essay questions in IELTS writing Task 2 with an overview, recommended approach and practice question.

school children using their smartphones in class

Overview

Discussion essay questions are a common question type in IELTS writing Task 2. You’ll be presented with two opposing views on a topic and be asked to discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Here are some key points about Discussion essay questions:

  • You should spend no more than 40 minutes on the task.
  • You should write at least 250 words – you’ll be penalised if your answer is too short.
  • Task 2 is worth two thirds of your total writing mark; Task 1 is worth one third.
  • You must write in full sentences, not bullet points or note form.

Example question

Here’s an example Discussion essay question.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that mobile phones are distracting and should be banned in school classrooms. Others, however, think that they are valuable learning tools that should be allowed.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Practice question

Now it’s your turn to practise. Try the Discussion essay question below using the approach outlined above.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that homework is an important part of children’s education. Others say that children should not be given homework.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

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Feedback

Click below for a sample answer.

Despite homework being a common component of children’s education, not everyone agrees on its value. While some people believe that children should not be required to do homework, I generally side with those who see it as a crucial aspect of learning.

Some people argue that homework is unnecessary and should not be given to children. Children already spend a significant portion of their day in school, they say, and adding more academic work after school hours can prevent them from engaging in extracurricular activities, pursuing hobbies and enjoying essential downtime. They also argue that the effectiveness of many common homework tasks is questionable as they can often involve rote memorisation and completion for the sake of completion. Finally, a common argument against homework is the fact that it can put an unnecessary burden on parents because they have to ensure that their children are actually completing it.

However, I agree with those who see homework as an important part of children’s education. First of all, homework plays a vital role in reinforcing classroom learning. It provides students with an opportunity to practise and apply what they have learnt in the classroom, solidifying their understanding of concepts. For example, if students have learnt about a scientific concept in class, their homework could be to conduct a simple scientific experiment based on that concept at home. Homework also allows parents to be more engaged in their child’s education as they can review assignments and support their child’s learning journey. Finally, homework teaches children discipline, which can prepare them for the demands of higher education and the workforce.

In conclusion, as long as the homework given to children is meaningful and reinforces what they have learnt in class, I believe it should form part of children’s education.