Using Effective Vocabulary for Expressing Other People’s Opinions

When writing a discussion essay for Task 2 of the IELTS writing test, it is important to use effective vocabulary for expressing other people’s opinions.

If you want to get a HIGH SCORE in this kind of essay, get your language ready BEFORE the EXAM.

Here is a typical IELTS question:

A growing number of people feel that animals should have the same rights as humans, while others argue that humans must exploit animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research.  Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

In this kind of essay, each body paragraph should discuss one of the opposing views. 

TOPIC: Animal Rights.

People who support an idea can be called supporters, defenders, or advocates.   People who do not support an idea can be called skeptics or critics.

SIDE 1:     

DEFENDERS / ADVOCATES / SUPPORTERS of animal rights (topic) BELIEVE / FEEL / SAY that …


CRITICS / SKEPTICS of animal rights STATE / CLAIM that …

(Note: use CLAIM when you want to talk about something that someone else may believe but that YOU do not really agree with)



PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT rights for animals often POINT OUT THAT/ usually ARGUE THAT . . .


On the other hand, other people BELIEVE / MAINTAIN / ARE OF THE OPINION that

 Look at the following two paragraphs to view more ways of expressing other people’s opinions.  See how I develop the ideas with EXPLANATIONS AND EXAMPLES.  The words in bold are standard phrases that can be used in any discussion essay.

Supporters of animal rights often base their arguments on the idea that humans are quite similar to animals. Although humans have greater analytical ability, it is widely accepted that we have evolved from animals, and it is undeniable that we share not only the majority of our DNA but also many of the same basic characteristics. For example, both animals and humans live, grow, reproduce and raise families. In addition, it is also argued that animals have feelings.  Dogs, for instance, are known to express feelings, including great loyalty to their masters. In summary, the position is that humans and animals are not so different.

On the other hand, other people defend the need to exploit animals for research or food.  As for research, the argument is that studies on animals are an essential part of the development process for new pharmaceuticals that may be vital in saving human lives. In fact, most people would probably agree that it would be better to test a new HIV treatment on animals before trying it on humans.  Furthermore, it is also pointed out that the consumption of meat is an important part of our traditional diet, and that humans have eaten animals since prehistoric times. 

Written by Larry Fedorowick