IELTS Grammar: How to Use Modals for Opinions and Suggestions

Students who want to achieve band 7+ for their IELTS Writing Task 2 need to use a wide range of grammar structures. In this article I show you how to use a range of modals naturally to express opinions, as well as make suggestions and predictions, which will help improve your grammar band score.

In order to get a high band score for your writing you need to be able to naturally use a wide range of grammar structures. For Task 2 writing, this means correctly using complex structures, but it also means using more basic structures naturally, including modal verbs.

Sample Essay

Below is a sample essay for the following question.

Some people think that all university students should study whatever they like. Others believe that they should only be allowed to study subjects that will be useful in the future, such as those related to science and technology. 

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Look at the phrases that are in bold. For each one, do you think they are expressing (saying) something more certain or less certain?

One question that has caused a great deal of controversy over the years is which subjects students study at University. I believe that students should have the choice to study whatever they like. However we have to overcome the problem of enough graduates in important subjects. In this essay the arguments surrounding this issue will be discussed.  

Many people argue that students should choose their own subjects at university. The principle reason for this is because students will probably be more motivated so they will be more likely to work harder and for longer and therefore achieve more, be more successful and probably more satisfied. A good example is a student who has a passion for art or science. They will be more likely to do extra work to improve their knowledge or develop their skills to a higher level. Another reason is that if students follow their passion it can often lead to more creativity. An example here is Steve Jobs, who followed his passions to become one of the most creative and successful entrepreneurs of modern times.

Other people suggest that students should not be allowed to choose. They argue that if society allowed students to do this, then we might be left with a lack of graduates in some ‘core’ subjects essential for the future. An example here is important subjects such as science or technology, which might not be popular without encouragement. This could result in a less skilled labour force with a negative impact on the economy. However I would suggest that this is not a serious problem as we could deal with this issue by making core subjects more attractive. This could be done through financial policies, for example reduced fees, offering bursaries or guaranteeing jobs for studying the target subjects.

In conclusion, there are clear advantages of allowing students to choose their own subjects both for individuals as well as wider benefits. Nevertheless we must ensure there are enough students who select important subjects. This could be achieved using financial incentives or job guarantees. Regardless, we must always make sure our Universities are flexible enough to meet the challenges that society will face in the future.    

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