People often ask me how to give a balanced answer for "agree or disagree" questions. Take this question for example:
Many people say that we now live in 'consumer societies' where money and possessions are given too much importance. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
A clear introduction is vital when giving a balanced answer:
It is sometimes argued that we live in a materialistic world and that we value money too highly. In my opinion, some people are extremely money oriented, but many of us place more importance on other values.
The big mistake that students make when trying to give a balanced answer is that they write about what "some people" and "other people" think. This question asks for your views, not the views of other people. Notice how my introduction makes it clear that the essay is about my own views.