When presenting an opinion, it is important to be aware of how that opinion might be received by the reader. For example, the statement that Football is the most interesting sport of all, is unlikely to cause offence. However, the statement that Only people who can speak English should be allowed to live in an English speaking country. is more controversial. When presenting ideas that others could find sensitive or are likely to cause offence, it is important to be careful with the language you use. In the same way, the opinion that Teenagers spend considerable amounts of time surfing the internet is not a very sensitive opinion and is unlikely to cause much offence, but would be rated slightly higher than the comment about football. Giving the opinion that It is better to live in a developed country has a higher potential for causing offence to people in developing countries. Now let’s look at some of the language we can use when talking about more sensitive opinions.
For these examples, we will use the opinion It is better to live in a developed country Some people believe that / There are arguments to be made for stating that / It could be argued that / There are reasons to suggest / There is a school of thought that believes. Another common mistake in the IELTS test is when candidates present an opinion with vocabulary that makes it dogmatic. For example, in these sentences, the opinion is not particularly sensitive, but the language used is too direct and is dogmatic. It would be more academic to use It takes a considerable amount of time to learn English. and Studying history is not particularly useful. In academic language it is a good idea to use not plus the word to express a negative meaning. Another example of this is lazy, which could be expressed as ‘not hardworking’.