Opinion Essay Introduction Feedback

Below is some feedback to an IELTS opinion essay introduction written by a student in response to the following essay question.

IELTS Essay Question

Due to the development and rapid expansion of supermarkets in some countries, many small, local business are unable to compete. Some people think that the closure of local business will bring about the death of local communities. To what extent do you agree?

Student Introduction Sample

Small business are unable to competition supermarkets, which are rapidly increasing and developing in a number of countries. It is believed that close small business will bring negative impact on local societies. In my opinion modern buildings and comfortable service are important for new societies. However, local business increased the number of job opportunity.

General Feedback

The student introduction does not give a clear answer to the statement and the main points introduced are not completely relevant. It is important to spend time:

  1. to understand the issues in the statement
  2. to find main points which answer the statement.

Below are detailed comments on both the background statement and thesis statement for the student’s introduction.

Background Statement Feedback

Small business are unable to competition supermarkets, which are rapidly increasing and developing in a number of countries. It is believed that close small business will bring negative impact on local societies.

The content of the background statement is fine. The student has paraphrased most of the statement given by IELTS. This means the student is attempting to use the correct technique for IELTS with an academic style. The student has also used a clause in the first sentence which is great to increase the band score for grammar.

Unfortunately, there are also some errors in grammar and vocabulary.

  • to competition = to compete (check the form of the word – don’t use a noun if a verb is needed)
  • to compete supermarkets = compete with supermarkets (check all verbs to see if there needs to be a preposition after them)
  • it is believed that close small business will … = it is believed that the closure of small businesses will … (check the form of the word – it should be a noun not a verb / check the use of plural nouns)
  • will bring negative impact = will have a negative impact (check the use of (a / the etc) articles / check which verb to use)

Here is a model background statement:

Many small, local business are closing, owing to a boom in large supermarkets, and, according to some, this will have dire consequences for local communities.

Thesis statement Feedback

In my opinion modern buildings and comfortable service are important for new societies. However, local business increased the number of job opportunity.

This thesis statement does not address the task or offer a clear answer to the issue. The thesis statement should provide a clear answer to the issue: Do you think the community will die because many small shops close down and people go to do their shopping in large supermarkets instead? Here are some comments on the thesis statement above:

  • The student thesis statement above does not answer this question
  • It gives information about modern buildings which is off topic
  • The thesis contains information about comfortable services which is also off topic
  • It gives information about local business offering jobs – this is also not relevant to the topic

To write the model thesis statement we must understand all aspects of this issue and think more deeply. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Why do people shop in supermarkets rather than small businesses? Answer
    The reason is that it is more convenient to buy everything in one large shop, for example a supermarket, than have to visit different shops to buy the same things. Supermarkets reduce shopping time and people can find what they want more quickly.
  2. What is the result of people shopping in supermarkets rather than small shops? Answer
    People no long need to go into the town center and walk around the shops to buy their goods. Instead, they can drive to a large supermarket, often located on the outskirts of town, to get what they want.
  3. How does this affect the community? Answer
    Local people no long need to go into the town center. This means that the town center no longer is a place to socialise and meet other people while shopping. As small shops close, town centers become empty and local people become more distant to each other.
  4. Is this the death of the community? Answer
    It certainly means that there are negative effects for communities but communities still survive through social events, through clubs, through schools and other institutions in society. Also there are a number of shops which will not be affected by supermarkets because they are not in direct competition for example, supermarkets do not offer top quality products so high end shops will not be affected by supermarkets.

Here is a model thesis statement:

In my opinion, I agree that communities will suffer as some small, local businesses close but it is doubtful that it will cause the death of local communities.


  1. Hello Liz,

    I tried to write the whole essay for the first time. But unfortunately, my thesis statement is like the student sample.

    If the main idea is off the topic like the sample, my score for task achievement will be zero?
    And does the mistake affect other scores such as coherence and cohesion?

    • Task response is about your whole essay, not just the introduction. You might make some relevant points later in your essay which will help. Your score for each criteria is separate. You could write an essay which contains ideas that are off topic and still get band 8 or 9 in Coherence and Cohesion.

  2. hello Liz , hope you are doing well. i was just wondering to know if there are books available done by you on IELTS

  3. Hi Liz, I studies your advanced writing classes. Your structure is very helpful. I struggled with understanding the question and wonder how relevant is my idea. How much flexibility is there. For example, regarding to this easy question”Being a celebrity- such as a famous film star or sports personality brings problems as well as benefits.
    Do you think that being a celebrity brings more benefits or more problems?” Can I talk about advantage and disadvantage that celebrities bring to the society? Or shall I only talk about benefits and issues to themselves? Thank you!

    • This is an “outweigh” essay. Follow the structure and tips I taught for that essay. IELTS sometimes paraphrase the instructions so always be ready for that. These instructions are 100% the same as the “outweigh” essay.

  4. Hi liz
    Do i need to discuss the first sentence of the question on my first body para???

  5. In some nations, the opening and rapid progress of large numbers of supermarkets have led to strict competition for minor and local markets. Such local communities may disappear if there will not be any local business. In my opinion, the heavy discounts and large varieties of products available in supermarkets are giving more options for buyers. However, healthy relations with customers and various selling schemes can help local communities to not get out of the market.

  6. Hello Liz,

    Is it good or bad to use bullets in the essay writing? e.g. For listing the advantages and disadvantages in the beginning of body paragraph and then elaborating them in the body?

    Thanks a lot for this amazing blog!

  7. Hi Liz,
    Could you please explain what is exactly meant by “local communities”?
    Thanks a lot for your help!

  8. hi,

    can you tell me what actually does death of local communities indicates?

    will u check my introduction?

    Small local enterprises are not capable to run their business due to the wide expansion of supermarkets, it is often argued that failure of local business organisation cause the death of local communities. I strongly agree that small business cannot compete with big supermarket but I oppose with the claim that this brings about the extinction of local communities.

  9. There has been a recent trend, restructuring and explosion in extension of supermarket, found in many countries and it is considered by many that this situation will eventually force the extinction of local communities through the closure of local business.

  10. Hi Liz !I really love your site.Thankyou for being kind to share your knowledge,time and patience !More power and keep IELTSLIZing!(:

  11. Hi Liz
    I’m an advanced level student in English. I always get above 7.5 in all modules except writing module. When I submit my writing tasks for correction, sometimes I get 5, sometimes 6, 7, and even 8. I’m not sure why it happens. Why do I get low score sometimes?

  12. Can i write the introduction in this format

    “Owing to the swift growth and extension of super market in some countries, the local shopkeepers are unable to compete. Some people think shutting down of local business will bring local societies to doom. In my opinion, i completely disagree with this.
    A local seller has more chances to sell and acquire better profit than shops in shopping malls”

  13. Hi, Liz!
    I find this topic unfamiliar to me so I try to complete the whole essay and hope for your advices, thank you! If you have no time to see my completing writing, you can take a look at my planning.

    Here’s my body paragraphs’ planning.
    Body Paragraph A: It’s certainly convenient to have a supermarket.
    (1) supermarkets are convenient, providing various goods; (2)small business only have one particular kind of things.
    Body Paragraph B: not all small shops will die out
    (1) branding shops sells high quality products.
    Body Paragraph C: besides small business, communities provides more services
    (1)schools for eduction; clubs for entertainment; (2)take hospitals for example; no doctors will work in supermarket

    It’s considered by some that the local communities will die out because of the disappearance of most small, local business, which is caused by the popularity of supermarkets nowadays. In my opinion, lots of business will disappear because more people prefer supermarkets, however, not the same as communities which provide many other services for local people.
    It’s certainly that supermarkets which contains many kinds of goods are quite easier for people to get what they want. For customers’ convenience, more supermarkets are built and at the same time are bigger and bigger. Customers no longer buy things in small shops because they must go for a lot of shops if they want different kinds of things which is absolutely a waste of time and energy. Instead, supermarkets, providing various goods, can satisfy people at one time.
    Although the popularity of supermarkets is pushing most local business to death which is quite a loss for local communities, it doesn’t mean that communities will die out as well. Not all the local business will disappear because of supermarkets. A large amount of famous companies, selling high quality products such as clothes, watches, phones and computers, have their branches in communities, which are not accessible in a supermarket. Consequently, branding shops will not be affected by supermarkets at all.
    What’s more, besides small shops, local communities contain schools for education, clubs for entertainment and other institutions. For example, local hospitals are predominant for local people since doctors there can take care for patients and guide them to take medicine precisely. However, a supermarket can only sell some normal medicine for little disease but not a doctor who has professional knowledge about diseases.
    To conclude, a supermarket is only a part of a community which contains almost all kinds of social events for local people. It’s possible for the death of some small business because of supermarkets, however, a community is much more important than supermarkets for humans.

    Thanks a lot!!!

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