Short IELTS writing questions – The Stinger

Most IELTS Writing Tasks 2 essay questions ask you to discuss an opinion or a topic. In a lot of cases the question will give you a context to help you answer the question.
An example of a standard Agree or Disagree question is shown below.

Some people think that scientists experimenting with animals in a laboratory is the only way we can guarantee new products will be safe for human use. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

However, in recent years the examiners have started to include more Opinion essay questions. These often don’t clearly show two sides of an issue and require you to think very deeply about a subject without giving you much of a context. I call these questions “The Stinger” because they are small but deadly. An example of a Stinger is shown below.

Some people believe that nowadays we have too many choices.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

These questions are designed to make you go way off topic. However, the same planning techniques still work. When planning, make sure to divide two lists for each side of the argument, detailing ideas of when we have choices and when we don’t and clearly showing examples to explain what you mean.  Although be careful. The question does have a clear position, so always focus on whether you agree with that position or disagree with it.

In my view, students should concentrate on practicing with these Opinion IELTS Task 2 Writing topics as they are increasingly becoming more and more common.