double question ielts task 2

A double-question also known as a two-part IELTS essay has low occurrence as compared to other IELTS Task 2 Essay types. However, you must learn to identify this question type and how to deal with it accurately in the real IELTS exam.

We have created this guide to help you produce a high-level response to an IELTS writing task 2 double essay question. Read on for tips, useful language, and a sample double-question essay.

1. Double Question Essay Overview

Double question essays, often referred to as two-part essay questions, are exactly what they say: instead of dealing with one IELTS question, you have to answer two.

Remember, there are five main types of writing task 2 questions:

  • Advantage/disadvantage
  • Discussion
  • Double question
  • Problem/solution
  • Opinion

1.1 Understanding the question

When answering a double question , you still have the same minimum word count (250 words) and the usual time limit for IELTS writing task 2 (40 minutes). You will just have to organise your essay in a slightly different way to other essay types.

It is essential that you address both questions in your introduction and conclusion and you should separate your main body paragraphs logically: focus on the first question in the first body paragraph and the second question in the second body paragraph.

One of the most common mistakes test takers make is that they only answer one question because they have not understood the question type. Make sure you take your time to identify the question type before writing your answer.

1.2 Example Double Question Essay Questions

Take a look at these example IELTS double question essay writing task 2 questions for a range of topics:

The internet is a good source of information and has opened up opportunities for people all over the world.

Is all the information reliable online?

What could be done to control information online?

Many people prefer to watch foreign films rather than locally produced films.

Why could this be?

Should governments give more financial support to local film industries?

IELTS writing correction

Nowadays, many people have easy access to computers and a large number of children play computer games.

What are the negative impacts of playing computer games?

What can be done to minimise these effects?

In spite of the advances in medicine, many people around the world still die from preventable diseases.

Why is this the case?

What can be done about this problem?

2. Essay Structure for Double Question Essays

Here is a clear and simple structure you can follow for any double-question IELTS writing task 2:

Introduction
Main body paragraph 1
  • Topic sentence addressing first question
  • Supporting sentence
  • Example
Main body paragraph 2
  • Topic sentence addressing first question
  • Supporting sentence
  • Example
Conclusion
  • Summarise your main points
  • Restate your opinion

3. Planning your Double Question Essay

Read on for some useful essay planning tips and techniques.

3.1 Identify keywords and phrases

By this point, you should have identified that you have been given a double question by looking at the instruction words in the question (the clue here is there are two sets of questions).

The next step is to identify the topic words in the statement that will tell you the general topic of the essay and any other keywords that give you additional information.

Here is an example for our sample question where we have underlined the topic words and put other keywords in bold:

The internet is a good source of information and has opened up opportunities for people all over the world.

Is all the information reliable online?

What could be done to control information online?

So the general topic here is the internet being a good source of information. Other keywords let us know we need to focus on the reliability of that information and whether controls need to be put in place.

3.2 Organise your ideas

Part of a good essay plan is writing down your ideas. You could do this as we have have done below using the essay structure:

Introduction– Opinion = Some information on the internet can be unreliable/ need some process of control (e.g. fact checking)

Main body paragraph 1– Majority of information is reliable/ can be verified/ media outlets carry out fact checking

Main body paragraph 2– Not all information is trustworthy/ misinformation can influence people/ elections can be swayed

Conclusion– Balanced view/ information can be trusted but organisations should be accountable/ government should intervene too much

Notice how we have not used full sentences to save time. You might also write down ideas that you do not use in your actual essay. Make sure to cross through any notes you make before the end of a paper based exam (so they will not be marked by the examiner).

3.3 Identify vocabulary

While you are creating your plan, take a note of any useful vocabulary that comes to mind. Here is some that we thought of for the model double question answer:

  • Misinformation
  • Fake news
  • Media outlets
  • Accountability
  • Fact checking
  • Autonomy

IELTS writing correction

4. Writing your Double Question Essay

4.1 Introduction

You should start your introduction to a double-question essay in the same way as all other writing task 2 essay types: Paraphrase the given IELTS statement.

Let’s look at the example from our sample essay:

IELTS StatementParaphrased Statement
The internet is a good source of information and has opened up opportunities for people all over the world.

Is all the information reliable online?

What could be done to control information online?

As a result of the development of the internet, people can now access any information they need at the click of a button from anywhere in the world.

Notice that we have mentioned both sides of the argument.

For a double-essay question, you should always include your opinion in the introduction. Here’s our opinion:

In my view, the majority of the information that can be found on the internet is reliable. However, some of this information may be unreliable and therefore, it is important to have some processes in place to carry out fact checking.

And lastly, you can give a brief outline statement that explains what your essay will do, for example:

This essay will explain my opinion in more detail.

4.2 Main body paragraphs

Let’s remind ourselves of the suggested structure for your main body paragraphs:

Main body paragraph 1
  • Topic sentence addressing first question
  • Supporting sentence
  • Example
Main body paragraph 2
  • Topic sentence addressing first question
  • Supporting sentence
  • Example

One way of addressing each question, as well as increasing the grammatical range shown in your essay, is to use noun phrases. Using a noun phrase instead of a more standard verb phrase also makes your writing more academic and interesting. Compare the following sentence:

Verb phrase– One advancement in the internet is that the amount of information available has increased.

Noun phrase– One advancement in recent years is the amount of information available.

You could also noun phrases to describe developments over time. Here is an example:

  • In the last few years there has been (a rise/a fall/ an increase/ a decrease) in _____

Your supporting sentences should provide reasons for the opinions given in your topic sentences. You can also use noun phrases to do this.

Here are some sentence starters:

  • As a consequence of…
  • As a result of…
  • Because of…
  • Due to…

And here’s an example:

As a result of the wide availability of the internet, there has been an increase in the number of fake news stories.

4.3 Conclusion

You must always include a conclusion for any IELTS writing task 2 essay. For a double-question essay conclusion, you should do the following:

  1. Start with a linking phrase such as In conclusion,…,In summary,…or To sum up,…
  2. Mention both question from the IELTS statement/question
  3. Rephrase the opinion given in your introduction

Take a look at our example and try to identify each point:

In conclusion, my view is that although a lot of internet sources can be trusted, there should also be measures put in place to ensure organisations take accountability for spreading misinformation. However, I do not believe that governments should have complete autonomy and control over what adults read on the internet.

5. Example Double Question Essay and Exercise

Time to practise! Here is the discussion essay that we have been using in this guide. We have removed some keywords so you can test your knowledge on discussion essays by selecting the correct missing word.

Good luck!

5.1 Complete the Sample Double Question Essay

The internet is a good source of information and has opened up opportunities for people all over the world.

Is all the information reliable online?

What could be done to control information online?

IELTS Writing Task 2: Double Question Essays Types

Excercise

As a of the development of the internet, people can now access any information they need at the of a button from anywhere in the world. In my view, the of the information that can be found on the internet is . However, some of this information may be unreliable and , it is important to have some processes in place to carry out fact checking. This essay will explain my opinion in more .

One reason why the majority of information on the internet can be reliable is that it can be by various sources and people also have the opportunity to freely contest information they believe is news or untrue. To take one example, large media not only fact sources they find on the internet, but they also show this to the public and will issue a retraction if anything is found to be untrue.

On the other hand, not all information found online is and, as a result, measures need to be put in place to control this misinformation. The biggest downside of this is that it can be easier for groups to unfairly influence people in situations such as political elections. , I believe that there should be certain measures put in place to control internet sites. One to do this is to implement fines to companies consistently spreading untrue information.

In , my view is that a lot of internet sources can be trusted, there should also be measures put in place to ensure organisations take accountability for spreading misinformation. However, I do not believe that governments should have complete and control over what adults read on the internet.

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5.2 Double Question Sample Essay

As a result of the development of the internet, people can now access any information they need at the click of a button from anywhere in the world. In my view, the majority of the information that can be found on the internet is reliable. However, some of this information may be unreliable and therefore, it is important to have some processes in place to carry out fact checking. This essay will explain my opinion in more detail.

One reason why the majority of information on the internet can be deemed reliable is that it can be verified by various sources and people also have the opportunity to freely contest information they believe is fake news or untrue. To take one example, large media outlets not only fact check sources they find on the internet, but they also show this to the public and will issue a retraction if anything is found to be untrue.

On the other hand, not all information found online is trustworthy and, as a result, measures need to be put in place to control this misinformation. The biggest downside of  this misinformation is that it can be easier for groups to unfairly influence people in situations such as political elections. Therefore, I believe that there should be certain measures put in place to control internet sites. One way to do this is to implement fines to companies consistently spreading untrue information.

In conclusion, my view is that although a lot of internet sources can be trusted, there should also be measures put in place to ensure organisations take accountability for spreading misinformation. However, I do not believe that governments should have complete autonomy and control over what adults read on the internet.

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