It is important to be able to structure your IELTS writing task 2 essay, or else you will struggle to get a high band score. However, doing this isn’t necessarily very difficult. You just need to practise planning your essays so that the structuring process becomes quick and easy.

Before we begin, remember to check out my IELTS writing correction service in order to find out your estimated band score and give yourself the best chance of improving. 


Read the following question. Think about what it is asking you to do.

A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans, while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

You need to do three things:

  1. Discuss why animals shouldn’t be exploited
  2. Discuss why they should be exploited
  3. Give your own opinion

If you miss any of those three parts, you will not complete the criteria for a good score in task achievement. Also, don’t forget to include your opinion in the outline sentence. If you omit your opinion here, you will not be able to score band 7 or higher.


Look at the question again and practise making a plan. You need an introduction and a conclusion, and 2-3 paragraphs in the main body. How can you insert those three parts above into that structure?

Let’s look at an example:

Example Plan

The plan below is just an example. It’s not the only correct way. You could either include your opinion as paragraph three or in the conclusion. I would suggest the conclusion, but either is fine. You could also write shorter paragraphs for para 1 & 2, and then have a longer opinion section as para 3. It doesn’t really matter. The key is to keep your structure simple but logical, with one idea per paragraph, and your topic sentences fully developed.

IntroductionIntroduce the topic (perhaps paraphrasing)

Give an overview

State your opinion
Para 1Arguments for equal rights

–          Intelligent/sentient beings


Stop the cruelty/suffering


Para 2Against equal rights

–          Natural to consume animals for foodExamples-          Loyalty to our speciesExplain

Para 3 (optional)—–
ConclusionSummarise without repeating

Opinion-          More rights, but not full rights

Now let’s see how this could be done in more depth.

Sample Introduction

In recent years, there has been a trend towards not only developing and improving human rights, but also animal rights. While many people believe that we should give animals equal rights to humans, others view them as a reasonable source of food, as well as other useful qualities. This essay will argue that they should be treated better but not equally.

Notice how I changed “feel” to “believe” and “employ them…” to “view them as a reasonable source…” I have carefully changed the wording to avoid any more repetition than just a few keywords. I started with a basic, general sentence and then developed it further. It is now ready for the main body paragraphs to explore the ideas expressed above.

Here’s a video guide to writing a full IELTS essay: 

Full Sample Answer

Let’s now see the rest of the essay:

First of all, it seems clear to most intelligent people that animals deserve more rights than they have traditionally been given. This is because they are obviously sentient beings with thoughts and feelings, even if those are not exactly the same as our own. For example, it has been observed that some animals – such as elephants – mourn their dead just like humans do. Most animals display the signs of fear, pain, and loss that we would associate with human suffering. Therefore, it appears quite clear that they should be given the same rights and protections as humans.

Those who argue against equal rights for animals point out that throughout the entirety of human history, our species has hunted animals for food or clothing, and that this sort of behaviour is utterly normal within the natural world. As such, humans should not bestow equal rights upon their animal counterparts because our natural relationship is much the same as that of a wolf and a sheep. We should continue to use these animals for our own benefit because that is the normal way of the world.

In conclusion, there are arguments from both sides of the debate, but personally I feel that animals deserve respect, protection, and some measure of equality.  Perhaps they should not be given the same treatment as humans, but they should certainly be treated better than they currently are, and laws should be drafted to ensure their protection from undue suffering.

Hopefully you can see how this matches the essay structure plan above.