IELTS Writing: A Common Misconception
A common misconception about Writing Task 2 is that you must not state your opinion in the first paragraph.
This is wrong! Whether you state your opinion in the introduction or not depends on the question type.
If the question asks you ‘Do you think…?’, ‘Do you agree…?’, ‘What is your opinion…?’, or anything like this, then STATE YOUR OPINION IN THE INTRODUCTION!
To achieve band 7 and above, you must ‘present a clear position throughout the response’, and this is a lot easier if you can state your position from the beginning. You would then go on to write 2 supporting paragraphs and 1 alternative paragraph, finishing up with a conclusion which summarizes the main points and restates your opinion.
However, if the question asks for a more discussion-based essay, e.g. ‘Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of…’, ‘What are the advantages and disadvantages of…’ or similar, then don’t write your opinion in the introduction. Create a balanced essay body (2 positive paragraphs, 2 negative paragraphs) and only in the conclusion, after summarising your main points, should you state your opinion.