What's Your Question?
10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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11 Simple Tips To Ace IELTS Essay Writing Task
When asked to IELTS aspirants,
"Which is the most difficult task out of the two writing tasks asked in IELTS Academic and General Training Writing test?"
Most of them answered - IELTS Essay Writing Task
Though Task 1 (Letter writing for IELTS General Training & Report writing for IELTS Academic) is easy by no means, many aspirants find Task 2 (Essay Writing) of IELTS Writing module more challenging.
In task 2, you are supposed to answer a particular question. To be more specific, IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write an essay on a given topic in at least 250 words. But, not to forget - the task is time bound. You are given 40 minutes to present the given topic skilfully in your own words and obviously without any mistakes.
You can be asked different types of essays in IELTS Writing Task 2. This includes - Opinion Essay, Argumentative Essay, Advantages/Disadvantages (Pros/Cons) Essay, Problem & Solution Essay and Mixed Essay. You have to identify the type of essay asked and write your response accordingly. You are expected to use your skills, experience and examples while answering.
Now, how is your essay scored? Here are the scoring criteria!
- Task Response
- Coherence & Cohesion
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range & Accuracy
Each criterion contributes 25% of the total Writing Score. If you do not care about these parameters in your writing, you will lose a good portion of your score.
Are you well aware about the IELTS Writing Task 2 now? Then, let's proceed to some tips and strategies to ace this task like a Pro.
IELTS Essay Writing Task - Tips for a Better Score
- Map Out Your Ideas
- Be Familiarized With The Common Topics
- Ask Yourself Questions
- Employ Your Personal Opinion
- Manage Your Time
- Take Care of Lexical Resources
- Make Paragraphs
- Complete Your Answer
- Know Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
- Use Formal Language
Understanding what the question specifies, is overcoming half the problem. It is essential to pay attention to all the issues mentioned in the question. First, look at the question carefully then identify the question type- whether it's a discussion, an opinion, a solution to the problem or a combination. Identify the main keywords and understand precisely what the examiner is expecting in the essay. Avoid writing on a general topic, or you won't score more than a band 5.
2. Map Out Your Ideas
Before you commence writing, take 5 minutes first to brainstorm different ideas. Take a pencil and jot down as many as various aspects and perspectives, related to the particular issue in the essay. The test-taker would score more if he/she plans and organizes out their ideas in a proper paraphrased manner. It will in a way save more time as you have already pictured the essay in your mind and will help you pen your essay better and faster.
3. Be Familiarized With The Common Topics
IELTS tutorials, one of the top institutions for IELTS coaching provides multiple IELTS Writing Practice to familiarize you with the pattern of the test, model questions, etc. This will help in widening your vocabulary to brainstorm more ideas. Also, try to read newspapers more which will increase your vocabulary along with keeping you updated with your surrounding ongoing. Always remember that the IELTS exam doesn't test your knowledge but competency in the English Language. So present your answer with a clear thought process with multiple examples to make your writing piece more enhanced.
4. Ask Yourself Questions
Another way to prompt ideas is to ask yourself questions while reading the essay topic like why/what/where/who/how to generate more ideas. When you ask these questions to yourself then you'll be able to think more evidently and thereby creating more ideas.
5. Employ Your Personal Opinion
The most effective method to write an enhanced essay is to include your personal opinion in the essay. Imagine the topic of the essay is a question asked of you by your friend, and then phrase your piece as if you are conveying what you believe in, your thoughts on it. Also, try to use relevant examples and instances in the essay to make it more clear.
So, in the end, remember that IELTS Writing task won't be another mountain to climb to score band 7+, if you think and understand thoroughly of what the essay topic requires.
6. Manage Your Time
Since the test is time bound, it is important to complete the IELTS Essay Writing task on time i.e. within 40 minutes. So, you must develop proper time management skills before appearing for the IELTS Exam.
Start writing your essay with a proper strategy. Do not spend more than 5 minutes in planning your essay. If possible, try to complete your essay within 36-37 minutes so that you can spend the last 2-3 minutes in proofreading. As you might have written the essay in a hurry, proofreading will help you identify spelling and grammar mistakes, if any. This way, you can complete your task efficiently within the stipulated time.
7. Take Care of Lexical Resources
Lexical Resource is one of the four Writing Assessment Criteria that contributes to your writing score. But, many of the IELTS aspirants are unaware regarding the use of lexical features. Lexical resource refers to the use of sufficient range of Vocabulary , correct usage of Spellings, proper implementation of Collocations and Word Formation.
Those who are unknown to this, use repetitive words in their essay. But, an examiner is looking for a variety of words and phrases in your answer. When he/she does not find any variety of language, it creates a negative impression about your Vocabulary. He/she considers that you have a poor language knowledge and marks you accordingly.
So, avoid repetitive words wherever possible in your essay.
8. Make Paragraphs
Many candidates do not use paragraphs while writing an academic piece or an article. They describe the entire topic clearly in just a single paragraph. But, doing so in IELTS Essay Writing Task will definitely cost your marks.
IELTS Essay Writing Task follows a specific structure. Have a look!
Break down your ideas into different paragraphs. Explain each idea of yours in detail with relevant examples in one paragraph. Then, start another paragraph with a new idea. But remember, your ideas should be logically linked though written in different paragraphs.
An essay with 4 paragraphs is ideal for IELTS Essay Writing Task. You can add paragraphs only and only if needed. Do not put any unwanted information or try to unnecessarily expand the paragraph. This will reduce the chance of achieving high band score.
9. Complete Your Answer
In order to finish the task before the time runs out, many candidates tend to leave the answers incomplete. There are some who choose another way of writing to complete their response i.e. they either write short sentences or put only bullet points. This is absolutely a wrong practice.
IELTS Test is meant to assess your English Language skills. And, if you leave the answers incomplete, the examiner will not be able to judge your skills. As a result, he/she will poorly grade your essay. So, instead of writing bullet points or short sentences, you must formulate each point in a separate paragraph with two to three lines of explanation. This way you can showcase your writing skills and create a good impact on the examiner to score better.
10. Know Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
Using appropriate grammar, writing correct spellings and placing the punctuation marks at right places play a vital role in IELTS Writing Task 2. You need to be extra careful regarding this. Even a minor mistake will directly reduce your score. Thus, a prior practice is worthwhile to ensure success.
11. Use Formal Language
In this times of SMS and other chat applications, it is quite a common issue to use informal expressions and shorthand texts. But, this practice is strictly prohibited for the IELTS Exam. Using inappropriate language or terminologies might offend the examiner and thus, your score will suffer. So, you should use formal language in your writing.
Now that you are acquainted with enough knowledge, it will be easier for you to achieve your desired score in the IELTS Essay Writing task . Committing mistakes will reduce your chance to succeed. So, ensure that you go through these tips thoroughly and put them into regular practice. Be clear and precise in expressing your ideas and add suitable examples to enhance your writing.
To ace the IELTS, practicing alone wouldn't suffice. Here at IELTS tutorials, we have great expertise in giving useful tips, suggestions and proficient feedback, through Online IELTS Writing Practice . IELTS tutorials provides Full Practice Tests, Model Answers, Time-based test Analysis, Expert Guidance, E-booklets, and thereby augmenting the quality of your essay and making your dream of going abroad true.
So, don't take the IELTS exam for granted and practice at the last moment. Sign up now for our IELTS Writing Correction Services which will enable you to learn and understand which areas you should focus more. You will also receive suggestions and corrections for more improvement to write a better Essay, Letter and Report Writing tasks.
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IELTS Writing Task 2: Tips, Lessons & Models
Success in IELTS writing task 2 is based on using the right techniques. These free tips, model essays, lessons, videos and information will help develop the skills for writing task 2. This page will teach you how to maximise your IELTS writing task 2 score.
All lessons are on this page are for both GT and Academic writing task 2.
On this page, you will find for free:
- Test Information for Writing Task 2
- Practice essay questions
- Essential tips for IELTS writing task 2
- Free video lessons
- Model essays
- Practice lessons to improve your IELTS essay writing (paraphrasing, skills, ideas, spelling etc
Although some lessons are dated from years ago, all lessons and tips are 100% relevant to IELTS writing task 2 today.
1. IELTS Writing Task 2 Test Information
Learn about your IELTS writing task 2 test.
- IELTS recommend you spend no more than 40 mins on writing task 2. However, the time is yours to manage as you wish.
- You should write over 250 words. In the lessons below you will learn about word count and essay length.
- Learn how your total writing score is calculated: Total Writing Score Calculations
- Task Response (25%)
- Coherence & Cohesion (25%)
- Vocabulary (25%)
- Grammar (25%)
- For band score tips and details, see this page: IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Scores
- Academic writing task 2 is a formal essay. The common types of essays are: Opinion, Discussion, Advantage/Disadvantage, Direct Questions, Solutions. These categorisations will differ from teacher to teacher depending on how they like to teach. See below for 100 IELTS Essay Questions to practise at home.
- GT writing task 2 is the same as Academic IELTS. The essay is written in the same way and the scoring is the same. The only difference is that GT essay questions are often easier and topics are simpler.
- All words will be counted, even small or repeated words. See this page: How Words are Counted
- COMPUTER DELIVERED IELTS: See the following link to read Pros and Cons of Computer Based IELTS :
- For more information about IELTS test rules and info, see this page: IELTS Test FAQ
2. IELTS Practice Essay Questions
Practice essay questions to help you prepare ideas for topics in IELTS writing task 2. These questions have been written based on questions reported by IELTS students. They are not IELTS tests.
Over 100 IELTS Essay Questions
3. Essential IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips
The most important writing tips for a strong IELTS essay in writing task 2. Learn about the recommended essay length, how to plan your essay, when to give your opinion and how to write an introduction etc.
How many paragraphs for an IELTS essay? : Essay structure
Key Linking Words List : Academic Vocabulary
Types of IELTS Essays : Main Essay Types in Writing Task 2
Video: How to write an introduction paragraph : Complete lesson
Essay Planning Tips : How to plan your IELTS essay
Common Essay Topics : 20 Most Common Essay Topics
Video: Essay Length Advice : How long should your essay be?
Video: Official Writing Answer Sheet Tips : Using the answer sheet
When to give your opinion : Opinion Essay Tips
Video Using the last 5 minutes : Exam technique tips
Video: Paraphrasing Tips
Finding Ideas : Developing ideas for essay topics
4. More Video & Tips for Writing Task 2
- Deleting Words in your Essay
- Should I indent the first word of my paragraphs?
- 10 sentences to avoid in your IELTS essay
- Video: How to add examples to your essay
- Tips: Under Words Penalty
- Do advantages outweigh disadvantages tips?
- Video: How to give your opinion
- Can you use quotes, idioms or proverbs in your essay?
- Handwriting: Using cursive writing or not
- Essay Questions from 2016
- Writing a Long Introduction: Good or Bad?
- Video : Single-sex & Mixed Schools
- Video : Grammar – How to Add a Clause
- Video : Grammar – Connecting Sentences
- Video : Conclusion Linkers
- Video : Discussion Essay Useful Language
- Video : Using the Last 5 Minutes Tips
- Video : Should Ideas be Interesting?
All Free IELTS Writing Task 2 Videos Lessons
5. Model Essays
Sample essays for IELTS writing task 2. These high score model essays will help you understand how to answer the essay questions and how to structure your writing.
- Agree Disagree Opinion Essay: Health
- Advantages & Disadvantages Essay: Language
- Cause Solution Essay: Crime & Punishment
- Direct Questions Essay: Happiness
- Opinion Essay: Social Media
- Discussion Essay: Work
- Direct Questions Essay: Family
- Direct Questions Essay: Art
- Positive or Negative Development: Social Media
- 2 Model Essays about Economy & Money /Buildings
- Model Essay & Question for Topic of Education
6. Practice Lessons for Writing Task 2
Develop your IELTS writing skills and get useful ideas for many essay questions. Lessons are in order of date and new lessons will be added over time.
- IELTS Essay Topics Prediction 2022
- Grammar Test : Using “the” with countries and nationalities
- Paraphrasing Practice 1
- Paraphrasing Practice 2
- Paraphrasing Practice 3
- Essay Questions for 2017 – questions reported in the test this year.
- Using Passive Voice for Giving Opinions
- Essay Ideas: Employment Competition
- Writing Skills: Paraphrasing Practice
- Writing Skills: Improving Sentences (2)
- Essay Ideas: The Importance of History
- Essay Ideas: Housing & Trees
- Essay Ideas: International Aid
- Essay Ideas: City Transport
- Essay Ideas: Salaries
- Essay Ideas: Function of Schools
- Essay Ideas: Female Staff in Senior Positions
- Writing Skills: Punctuation Practice
- Writing Skills: Linking Word Practice
- Essay Ideas: Littering in Cities
- Listen and Write Dictation: Natural Disasters
- Discussion Essay with Feedback: Music Topic
- Writing Skills: Improving Sentences: Ebooks Topic
- Essay Ideas: Banning Mobile Phones
- Two Question Essay with Feedback: Judging Business Success
- Essay Ideas: Tourism and Local Communities
- Essay Ideas: Traffic & Pollution
- Writing Skills: Improving a Thesis Statement
- Writing Skills: Improving Sentences (1)
- Essay Ideas: Handwriting Skills
- Essay Ideas: Promoting to Children
- Essay Ideas: Older or Younger Leaders
- Writing Skills: Introduction Feedback
- Writing Skill: Opinion Essay Introduction Feedback
- Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Body Paragraphs
- Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Introduction
- Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Finding Main Points
- Writing Skills: Thesis Statement
- Essay Ideas: Public Services .
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5 Writing Tips for the IELTS Essay
The IELTS is scored overall from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest). The IELTS Writing Task 2 (AKA the IELTS Essay), is scored similarly, from 0-9. It’s a formal essay, the second part of the writing test, and the one most feared by test takers. You are presented with a POV, argument, or problem, then asked to write a response where you defend a position. Your essay should be at least 250 words in length and should be completed in 40 minutes or less. But there’s nothing to fear. Unlike the other parts of the IELTS exam, there is no right or wrong answer for the essay question. This is your chance to show that you have what it takes to communicate effectively in English. You can show your grasp of language, your experienced use of vocabulary, and your knowledge of the topic to demonstrate that you know and comprehend the task.
Tip 1: Understand the prompt clearly
The prompt, the task, or the question, for which the essay asks for a response, should be clear in your mind. One of the first things you must do is to identify the task. Once you understand what the task is asking, then identify your position as well as the topic or main idea your essay will take. Engage with the prompt throughout your essay–your answer should be relevant to the prompt. For example, if you’re asked about government regulation of the arts, your answer shouldn’t be about science. Your answer should be a thorough and thoughtful direct response to the prompt. Otherwise, you will be marked with a 5, for having an irrelevant answer.
Secondly, you will be asked to defend a position, either to agree or disagree. For example, if you are given a prompt about how technology and the arts are not able to coexist, then the prompt will ask you, “Do you agree or disagree?” You must be clear about your answer–whether you agree or disagree. Then you must back up your stance with your main idea and supporting detail. Doing so will get you at least a 6.
Tip 2: Outline your essay structure
Once you have your position clear, outlining will get you further in answering the prompt/question thoroughly. Once you have your position of agreeing or disagreeing, explain why. This explanation should form your outline, with the main idea or main reason why, and two or three supporting details. For example, your outline might look like this:
I. Introduction II. Main Body 1 III. Main Body 2 IV. Main Body 3 V. Conclusion
This outline would ideally be five paragraphs long, with your introduction, three body paragraphs (your details at length to support your main idea), and your conclusion. However, some writers may opt to make paragraph variations to this outline, such as having only 2 main body paragraphs. It’s just a sample, so feel free to use your own. Just a note here that a concluding paragraph is necessary, as you may be marked down without a concluding paragraph.
Tip 3: Employ good use of vocabulary
Vocabulary choice is particularly important in this essay since they will be noting how you use vocabulary throughout. Here are some ways to use good vocabulary for the IELTS:
- Vary your sentences with vocabulary that you know how to use
- Use synonyms and antonyms that will show your knowledge of English vocabulary
- Use linking words for structural directions throughout your essay, such as despite, although, moreover, since, however
Tip 4: Support your opinion with details
Use relevant examples in your defense. For example, if you’re writing about how you agree with nationwide governmental regulations regarding climate change, you will be tasked with providing evidence to support your claim. One could be the effectiveness of climate change regulation in socialist countries. Another could be the ineffectiveness of countries without climate change regulation. Make sure to know the details surrounding these points, as well as their significance or how they help prove your answer.
Tip 5: Proofread
When you’re in a timed exam, you may think proofreading is not important and you don’t have time for it. This kind of thinking can get you into trouble and may cause a markdown. Remember, the exam is testing your English writing skills, and with that comes right spelling, grammar, verb agreement, as well as clear and polished writing. Take some time to go over what you’ve written, whether you’ve answered as comprehensively as possible, and what other changes you could make to improve it further.
The key to scoring well on the IELTS writing tasks and the overall test is writing well and to do so you should practice, practice, practice. Take practice tests such as this frequently. Browse through encyclopedias and dictionaries for vocabulary practice. Make flashcards. Read anything and everything. And you’re sure to do well on the exam.
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hi, i will get a beat number in ilets i need to help, specially in reading amd Writing, could you help me, i really need,
Within each body paragraph, you should have a general sentence structure of: 1st, a topic sentence that introduces this paragraph by summarizing what will be discussed, 2nd-4th, a detail or evidence that supports the main point, and 5th, a concluding sentence that discusses significance and transitions into the next paragraph.
There are differences between the academic & general modules, but they’re not super significant. One, the general training one is often easier, since the academic one is more specialized. Two, the academic has a wider range of topics. The essay types though remain the same.
Hope this helps!
Kindly tell more about body paragraphs. Is there any differece between academic & general module writing task 2? Regards
Thank you so much,
You have nailed it.
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IELTS Writing Task 2: 8 steps towards a band 8
In IELTS Writing Task 2, you will need to write an essay. Let our IELTS Experts walk you through 8 steps that can help you get a band 8. Take a closer look at the assessment criteria, how to structure your essay and common mistakes to avoid.
On this page
Step 1: answer is relevant to the question, step 2: answer all parts of the question, step 3: organise your essay logically, with clear progression using linking phrases, step 4: organise your essays into paragraphs, step 5: use less common vocabulary and spell it correctly, step 6: don’t use memorised language, phrases or examples, step 7: use a variety of complex sentence structures, step 8: checklist, is ielts writing hard, ielts writing for beginners.
To achieve a band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2 , you will need to produce an essay that contains all the positive features contained in the band 8 writing assessment criteria. Let's take a look at these in the table below.
Using the band descriptors as a guide we are going to go through the 8 steps to get you on your way to a band 8 in Writing Task 2.
We will start with the task response before moving through all the criteria to show you what an examiner will be looking for in your response.
Answer what you have been asked in the question. Don’t produce an essay that is close to a topic you have previously prepared. Make sure your examples and ideas are relevant. If you generalise too much and are not specific enough this will affect how your ideas are presented to the examiner.
Make sure your ideas are directly related to the question
Use ideas and examples that you are familiar with, and that relate directly to the topic
Extend your answer to include a number of ideas that will support the question.
Include irrelevant information
Produce a memorised essay
Present ‘recent’ research or statistics related to the topic “At least 41% of all men…”
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You must read the question carefully and decide how many parts are in it. You must answer all parts of the question to reach a band 6 or higher.
Let’s look at some example IELTS question prompts and see how many parts are in each, if you need to present your opinion. Remember, it is very important to present a clear position when answering the statement to show that you understand the question being asked and to keep that position clear throughout the essay.
Read the question carefully and decide how many parts are in it
Present your opinion and support it throughout the whole essay
If asked to present both views, make sure each view is presented equally (similar paragraph length)
Watch for plurals. If you are asked to give ‘advantages’, you must present a minimum of 2
Watch for ‘and’. You may need to comment on more than one element
Write more than 250 words.
Ignore parts of the question
Assume that your opinion is clear, use the first person to ensure the examiner knows it’s your opinion ‘I think’
Tell the examiner what you are going to say and what you have said
Produce a short essay.
Ideas must be expressed and ordered clearly - starting with an introduction and moving through to a conclusion.
If you are asked to present both views and your opinion, state your opinion at the beginning of the essay and then move on to present both views. You can then come back to your own opinion and then conclude the essay. This is a logical way to present these ideas.
Use a range of linking words and phrases, but don’t overuse them
Use adverbial phrases, rather than single basic linkers
Use referencing and substitution to avoid repetition (this/them/the issue/the problem)
Use punctuation to make your writing coherent
Make sure your ideas are sequenced correctly
Make sure your ideas are logical and easy to follow
Use a separate paragraph for the introduction and the conclusion
Use one paragraph for each idea or topic area.
Overuse basic linking words like firstly (instead, try using ‘The first reason for/ The primary reason for this’)
Start every sentence with a linker (Try to put it in the middle of a sentence. E.g. “Some people believe, however, that individuals must also take responsibility for the environment” or “I believe, on the other hand, that individuals do have a responsibility to…”)
Use numbers, symbols or abbreviations (1, 2, etc, &, +)
Use headings or subheadings
Underline words or phrases
Use one-sentence paragraphs
Start every sentence with a linking device.
Use paragraphs to organise your essay into clear parts. Make sure each paragraph contains a clear and developed topic with a minimum of two sentences.
You can use the acronym “PEEL” when writing your essay:
Point – introduce your topic or topic sentence
Example – an example that supports your point
Explain – why this evidence supports your point
Link – transition to the next topic or paragraph
You must use enough paragraphs to clearly show a structured response. This will show that you can organise and present your thoughts and ideas logically.
Here are some ideas on how many paragraphs you could include in an essay:
Use linkers between and within your paragraphs
Leave a space between each paragraph (a line)
Use a paragraph for each topic
Use an introduction and a conclusion.
Use single-sentence paragraphs
Use very long paragraphs that cover a whole page (IELTS on paper)
You will see in the band descriptors that a band 8 writer skillfully uses uncommon lexical items. When we learn a language, we use common and uncommon terms. Common terms are words and phrases we use every day to refer to personal experience and daily habits. Uncommon terms are used when we discuss specific topics or when we use idiomatic language (phrasal verbs).
Words that are old-fashioned and not used in everyday speech should not be used. If you choose a synonym, the meaning must be the same and must not alter the idea being presented. For example, adolescent/teenager have close meaning and can be used interchangeably, however, toddler/baby have quite different meanings.
Collocation is also mentioned in band 8, and it is assumed that you know which words go together, and which words are suitable to use for different topics.
If you are discussing child crime, you could use the term ‘minor’ as this is a legal term used to describe children under the age of 18.
If you use phrasal verbs, make sure that you are using the correct preposition as it can change the meaning:
throw out/away = discard
throw up = vomit/get sick
Idioms (cultural language) should only be used if you understand them completely and if they fit the topic you are discussing.
Use precise word choices
Use language that we use in everyday speech
Use words that you understand
Use words and phrases that are related to the topic
Use collocation and phrasal verbs (words that go together naturally – environmental pollution | major issue | promising future)
Make spelling mistakes
Mix up American and British spelling (You should use one or the other)
Use a word if you don’t understand it or cannot spell it.
Use imprecise words like ‘stuff/thing’
Use slang like ‘gonna’
Use old-fashioned language [the masses| denizens | myopic view | Hitherto]
Overuse synonyms, one is enough
Use contractions (can’t, doesn’t)
Don’t use any memorised language, phrases or examples throughout your essay. They are easy for examiners to spot and don’t demonstrate your ability to write fluently.
Overused phrases, idioms, proverbs and clichés should also be avoided, again, they are often used when speaking. These include phrases like:
The grass is always greener on the other side
Love is blind
Off the top of my head
Old is gold
A friend in need is a friend indeed
Additionally, the following terms should not be used when writing as they are vague and do not address a task appropriately. You should always be using clear language and make appropriate word choices that will express your ideas clearly.
At band 8 it is expected that you can use a wide range of structures accurately to present your ideas and opinion. Show the examiner that you can use a wide range of structures and make sure your sentences are error-free.
It is important to use a mix of complex and simple sentences. But remember, your complex sentences should not be long and complicated.
Your punctuation needs to be accurate, using capitalisation, commas and full stops correctly.
The most common errors made can be found below:
Use the following checklist to make sure that your writing contains all the positive features at a band 8
If you follow these 8 steps, you will be well on your way to a band 8 in Writing Task 2.
IELTS writing is not so hard if you have a thorough understanding of the test format and are able to organise your thoughts into grammatically-correct, well-structured sentences. Obviously it requires a fair amount of practice. To make it easy, IDP has launched IELTS Prepare where you can access a range of preparation materials: from practice tests, sample answers, videos and articles, all the way to expert assessments, online courses, webinars and more.
Join our free IDP IELTS webinars that are designed to give you a sense of what to expect during the IELTS Writing test and guide you towards reaching a high band score:
Improve your understanding of the writing test format and questions
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8 Steps to help you reach a band 8: IELTS Writing Task 2
Let our IELTS Expert guide you through the 8 steps needed to reach a band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2.
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IELTS Writing Task 2 (In 2023)
When helping students prepare for the IELTS test, one of the biggest fears is how to do well in IELTS Writing Task 2.
IELTS Writing Task 2 is the second part of the writing test, where you are presented with a point of view, argument or problem and asked to write an essay in response. Your essay should be in a formal style, at least 250 words in length and you should aim to complete it in under 40 minutes.
IELTS Writing Task 2: Everything You Need to Know
In this video, I’ll outline exactly what you must do to create an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay that could score a Band 7, 8 or 9.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to IELTS or if you’ve failed the exam before – I’ve broken everything down into a simple 3-step process that anyone can use to improve their scores! Watch the video above to find out what they are.
5 Steps to a Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2
1. Understand the question.
You must understand the question before you attempt to answer it. This way, you’ll know exactly what the examiner is looking for. One of the biggest mistakes students make is not answering the question fully, which stops them from getting a score higher than a Band 5.
To analyse the question , you must first identify the question type, then identify the keywords in the question and finally identify the instructions words. This will help you understand exactly what the examiner wants you to do with the question.
2. Plan your answer.
The students who get the highest marks in Writing Task 2 always plan their answers for up to 10 minutes. Planning helps you organise your ideas and structure your essay before you write it, saving you time and helping you produce a clear and coherent essay.
3. Write an introduction.
The introduction should answer the question directly. This tells the examiner that you know what you are doing straight away and helps you write your main body paragraphs.
4. Write the main body paragraphs.
This is where you give the examiner more detail . You do this by stating your main points and supporting these with explanations and relevant examples.
5. Write a conclusion.
In your conclusion , you should provide a summary of what you already said in the rest of your essay.
4 Ways to Improve your Score in IELTS Writing Task 2
Many people know they need to improve their writing skills but don’t know how to do it. Here are 4 ways you can boost your score in Writing Task 2:
1. Understand the exam.
You must first understand what IELTS Writing Task 2 is, what you are expected to do and how to give the examiners what they want. This is the first stage and one that is often overlooked.
There are many online resources, often with conflicting and poor-quality information, so finding a reliable source of information is key.
2. Identify your weak areas.
If your car breaks down, you would try and identify which part caused the problem. If you get sick, your doctor will run tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.
IELTS Writing Task 2 is the same. We must first identify WHY you are not getting the score you need before we can help you improve.
However, be very careful! You wouldn’t ask the average man on the street for medical advice, so make sure you find someone who knows what they are doing and has the expertise to help you with this.
3. Fix the problems.
Now that we know what the problems are, we must fix them.
If your grammar needs work, fix those issues. If your vocabulary is lacking, work on fixing this issue.
Just as a good doctor can help you fix a medical problem, a good IELTS teacher can help you fix your specific issues.
4. Practice and get feedback.
Practice alone will not help you. It is an essential part of your preparation, but you must also get feedback on your work if you are really going to improve.
You wouldn’t try to teach yourself how to drive without an instructor, would you?
Find someone who will give you accurate and helpful feedback on your work. Otherwise, you will not be able to move to the last stage.
Now that you have understood what you need to do, identified the exact areas you need to work on, improved those areas, and received feedback on your work, you are now ready to get the IELTS Writing Task 2 score you deserve.
Writing Task 2 Structures
I want to warn you about structures because they are not a magic wand that will help you automatically get a higher score. They WILL help you, but please realise that they are just a small part of your overall score.
These structures provide a sentence-by-sentence template for all the main Task 2 question types, making your job much easier on exam day.
- Task 2 Essay Structures
Essential Writing Task 2 Skills
No matter how good your English is, you must still learn IELTS writing skills before taking the Writing Task 2 test. These helpful guides will take you through each of these skills step-by-step:
- How to Plan an Essay
Making a good plan actually saves you time when you write your essay. This guide will show you how to plan and write a clear essay every time.
- How to Think of Relevant Ideas
This guide provides 5 different methods to help you quickly think of relevant ideas that are directly linked to the question.
- How to Write a Complex Sentence
Complex sentences help you boost your score for grammar. They are actually very simple to write and are not complex at all.
- How to Paraphrase
Paraphrasing is one of the essential IELTS skills for all parts of the IELTS test. You should paraphrase the question in the very first sentence of your essay to help boost your vocabulary score in Writing Task 2.
- How to Write a Supporting Paragraph
Supporting paragraphs are the main body paragraphs and are the meat in the sandwich. This is where you provide the detail the examiner is looking for in the form of explanations and examples.
- How to Write a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement tells the examiner your opinion. Many IELTS Writing Task 2 questions specifically ask for your opinion, and if you don’t write it clearly, you have not answered the question properly. This article shows you how, where and when to give your opinion.
How many words should I write?
Around 250 words? Exactly 250 words or over 250 words? How many words over? How do I know how many words I have? Will I lose marks if I write too many words? This article answers all those questions.
- How to Understand and Analyse Any Question
A critical part of answering any question. This article shows you how to break down any Task 2 question and identify the keywords, micro-keywords and instruction words to help you answer the question effectively.
- How to Write a Great Introduction
The introduction is the first thing the examiner reads; therefore, we must give them a good first impression. I share a very specific sentence-by-sentence structure in this article to help you write introductions quickly and effectively.
- Task 2 Marking Criteria
Do you know how Task 2 is marked? What is the difference between a Band 5 and a Band 8 answer? This article breaks down the marking criteria and explains it in simple language so you can give the IELTS examiners exactly what they want.
- How to Write a Conclusion
A good conclusion should be a summary of your main points. The conclusion is the last thing the examiner reads, and if you can write a good one, you will leave them with a very good impression.
- Using Examples
Each of your supporting paragraphs should have a specific example that supports and illustrates your main point. This is an essential skill to learn if you want to get one of the higher band scores.
- Cohesive Devices
Cohesive devices (sometimes called linking words) are one of the most misunderstood and misused elements of writing. Therefore, you must learn how to use them and when to use them.
- The Danger of Synonyms
While synonyms are very important, they can also really reduce your mark if used incorrectly.
- Paragraphing and Editing
This article will show you how to make your writing as clear and as easy to read as possible. It will also advise you on whether to use a pen or pencil.
- IELTS Writing Task 2: 8 Steps to Success
Read this blog now to access our 61-page Task 2 strategy.
- IELTS Writing Tips
I have compiled these tips after years of teaching IELTS, and all of them have been approved by IELTS examiners.
- Coherence and Cohesion
This is a video lesson that shows you in practical terms how to improve your coherence and cohesion score.
Writing Task 2 Common Topics
Knowing the common topics can help you prepare for the test more efficiently. Here are the 10 most common topics over the last few years. Studying hard is great, but don’t forget to study smart.
The article below will show you the top 10 most common IELTS topics.
- Most Common Task 2 Topics
Full IELTS Writing Task 2 Practice Lessons
Here are some lessons that I have used when teaching students about IELTS Writing Task 2. I have changed them so that you can easily learn from home. They are very long but contain all the necessary information combined with the skills above.
- Agree or Disagree (Opinion) Lesson
In this lesson, we look at how to tackle an ‘agree or disagree’ question. Many people worry about whether to take one side of the other or discuss both sides. Additionally, people also worry about how to deal with ‘To what extent’ question types. We allay all of these fears in this lesson.
- Discussion Essay Lesson
‘Discuss both views’ questions often confuse people because you are asked to do many things in one essay. As such, it is very important to remember that the question asks you to discuss BOTH views AND give YOUR opinion.
- Problem and Solution Essay Lesson
These questions are much easier than you think. You probably discuss problems and solutions in your day-to-day life all the time. Keep it simple.
- Advantages and Disadvantages Lesson
There are a couple of different types of advantages and disadvantages questions. This lesson will show you how to answer them.
- Writing Task 2 Exercise with Video
Writing is a skill, and just like any other skill, it is important to practice to improve.
- From Band 6.5 to 8 Demo Lesson
This is my most comprehensive free lesson on IELTS Writing Task 2. We show you how we took one VIP student from Band 6.5 to an amazing 8.
You must have some good examples to compare your writing and see if you are on the right track. Click the link below for lots of sample answers and over 100 questions.
Task 2 Sample Answers
- Agree or Disagree Sample Essays
- Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay
- Latest Real Task 2 Questions
- Official Sample Test Questions
- Cambridge Sample Questions
- Free Practice Test
- How To Use Task 2 Samples
- Recent Confusing Questions
- IELTS Writing Practice Guide
IELTS Writing Task 2 Essential Information
- You must write an essay in response to a question.
- You must write 250 words or more.
- Task 2 is worth 2/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this part of the test.
- General Training and Academic are essentially the same for Task 2. However, they are different for Task 1.
- There are certain types of questions that you will be asked, for example, opinion, discussion etc. See below for more detail on these.
- Task Achievement (25%)
- Coherence and Cohesion (25%)
- Lexical Resource (25%)
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
Grammar and Vocabulary
Grammar is one of the four things you will be marked on in the Writing Task 2 test. Finding out what your common grammar mistakes are and then fixing them is a very powerful way to boost your score in this area. Here are some common grammar mistakes I have found after making hundreds of tests.
- Top 10 Grammar Mistakes
For most IELTS students, the problem is not grammar in general. In fact, it is usually just 1-2 problem areas. Therefore, when you fix these main weaknesses, you’ll be able to improve your grammar and your writing score dramatically.
- Using Personal Pronouns
Hint- They aren’t as big of a deal as you think.
See the interactive tool below for the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive about IELTS Writing Task 2:
IELTS Writing Task 2 FAQs
How can i improve my writing.
You will find all the resources you need on our Writing Task 2 page. Click the link below:
Writing Task 2
We also have two Task 2 courses for those that need to improve their Task 2 skills and strategy. They are both based online and completely free of charge. Learn more about them below:
Task 2 5 Day Challenge
Task 2 Essay Builder
If you need serious help or personalised feedback, you should check out our VIP Course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name here:
How can I get a Band 7, 8 or 9?
The answer to this question is different for every individual IELTS student, as it depends on a number of factors, including your work ethic, English skills and exam strategy. You'll find a guide to answering this question in this article
If you need serious help with improving your IELTS scores, you should check out our online writing course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name by clicking the link below:
Can you correct my writing?
Please click the link below and it will give you all the information you need about our writing correction service:
Writing Correction Service
Do you have any sample answers?
Yes, you will find them at the link below:
Will using 'high level' or 'academic' words help me improve my score?
Read my recent article about IELTS vocabulary here:
5 Things You Need to Know about IELTS Vocabulary
Can I use idioms?
No, you should not write idioms for Task 2.
Can I use personal pronouns?
You should avoid using personal pronouns, but it is fine to use them when giving your personal opinion.
Do you write a conclusion for Task 2?
Yes, it is very difficult to get a good score in Task 2 if you haven't finished your essay with a conclusion. You will find an in-depth lesson on conclusions here:
How to Write an Effective Task 2 Conclusion
How many paragraphs should I write?
Most IELTS task 2 essays follow the same basic four paragraph structure:
- Supporting Paragraph 1
- Supporting Paragraph 2
However, you can find more comprehensive help with structuring your Task 2 essays here:
5 Day Challenge
Do I need to plan my essay?
I would highly recommend planning your essay. A good plan acts like a map that guides you through the essay, ensuring that you give the examiner exactly what they need to award you the score you need. You can find help with planning your essays here: How to Plan an IELTS Essay
You must write at least 250 words in Writing Task 2.
I would suggest that you aim to write around 270-280 words in total. Aiming for 20-30 words more than the required amount makes you more likely to reach the word limit without setting an unrealistic goal.
Will I lose marks if I don't write enough words?
Yes, if you don't write the required number of words, you will lose marks in 'Task Achievement' for not answering the question fully. Read more here .
Can I use contractions?
No, should not use contractions when you are writing an academic essay.
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Nine tips to improve your ielts writing score (plus a seven-day writing challenge), by alina promska, 10 march 2021 - 11:32.
Getting your desired score in IELTS means performing at your best across all four sections. With the writing section often being cited by candidates as being the most challenging section of the test, we’ve asked one of our global IELTS experts to share the best ways to boost your writing score.
Here, Alina Promska outlines her nine top tips for performing at your best on test day. She’s also put together a seven-day writing challenge to help you be as prepared as possible.
What is the IELTS writing section?
Before I get into my tips, it’s worth taking the time to understand everything the IELTS writing section entails.
Firstly, there are two types of the IELTS written section: IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic. Check with the institution you are applying for to see which version you need. Whichever type you are doing, you will need to complete two writing tasks.
- Task one – for IELTS General Training you will be writing a letter; for IELTS Academic you will select, compare and summarise data from a graph, table, chart or diagram.
- Task two – for both test types you will be writing an essay, although the IELTS General Training uses more general topics.
Next, it’s important to understand the assessment criteria. There are four key criteria.
- Task achievement – how effectively you’ve addressed and illustrated the main points in the task.
- Cohesion and coherence – how well you’ve organised and linked your ideas and how you’ve used linking words and cohesive devices (e.g. ‘in addition’, ‘for instance’, ‘furthermore’, ‘however’, ‘moreover’ and ‘nevertheless’).
- Lexical resource – how wide and accurate your range of vocabulary is, and whether you’ve used less common vocabulary (e.g. idiomatic phrases or professional jargon).
- Grammatical range and accuracy – the range and accuracy of grammatical structures (e.g. conditional sentences, who/which/that clauses, modal phrases and inversion) you’ve used.
Top tips to improve your writing score
Now you are familiar with the ins and outs of the writing section, let’s get into my top tips for performing at your best on test day.
1. Use your time wisely
You get 60 minutes to complete the entire section. Task two contributes more to your score, so I recommend spending no more than 20 minutes on task one and 40 minutes on task two. Include time for planning and checking what you’ve written. It’s good to get into the habit of setting 60-minute time limits when doing practice tests.
2. Check the number of words
You need to write a minimum of 150 words for task one and 250 words for task two. Anything less and you will lose marks.
3. Understand the task
Read the instructions carefully, and underline or highlight the keywords. Know what questions you need to cover and what information you need to include.
4. Organise your ideas logically
Spend up to five minutes brainstorming ideas and selecting what information you’re going to include. Organise your ideas logically, and include linking words and cohesive devices between paragraphs, sentences and phrases.
5. Know your approach
Each task requires a specific approach.
Task 1 (Academic) – identify the main trends and features; in the introduction, rewrite the information from the task using synonyms and grammar transformation; organise your main paragraphs logically; don’t describe every piece of data – only what’s relevant to the question; summarise the main trends from your body paragraphs in the conclusion.
Task 1 (General Training) – analyse the question; brainstorm ideas using bullet points; plan the paragraphs, addressing your bullet points; write the letter.
Task 2 – include an introduction, at least two body paragraphs and a conclusion; in the introduction, rephrase the question and form a thesis statement based on your opinion; write topic sentences setting out your main ideas – one topic sentence per idea – and use one topic sentence to start each body paragraph; in the rest of the paragraph, use explanations and examples to support the topic sentence; sum up your ideas in the conclusion.
6. Think about style
Each task type requires an appropriate style (formal, semi-formal or informal), which will determine your choice of grammatical structures and lexical resource.
7. Check your work!
When you’ve finished each task, always do a thorough check. It helps to ask the following questions.
- Did you check the grammar and spelling?
- Did you cover everything required in the task?
- Did you organise the information into paragraphs?
- Did you write a topic sentence for each paragraph?
- Did you summarise your key ideas in your conclusion?
- Did you rephrase the task in the introduction?
- Did you use linking words and discourse markers?
- Did you check for repetitions?
- Did you use any complex sentences?
8. Work on your grammatical range and lexical resource
In the lead-up to test day, spend time reading different resources, such as ads, articles, manuals, magazines, reports and sample models from practice tests, to learn new words in different contexts. Practice creating sentences using complex structures and new words. Revise the grammatical structures that correspond to levels C1 and C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages .
9. Learn from your mistakes
Start a learning journal to record mistakes from your own writing. Learn from these mistakes by correcting them, maybe working with friends or colleagues who are also preparing for IELTS. This way, you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.
Your seven-day writing challenge
As the saying goes: ‘practice makes perfect’. Just like learning to drive a car, IELTS test preparation requires persistent work. The more practice tests you do, the better prepared you are. To help you get more writing practice, we’ve prepared this seven-day IELTS writing challenge. Why not give it a go?
Start writing a blog – it can be about anything: your hobbies, life goals or favourite films or music.
Find a website containing statistical data and write a short description about a table, graph or pie chart (here’s a starter: https://www.statista.com/chartoftheday/ ).
Choose an online article and write an opinion essay about the topic, including some ideas from the original article
Complete the Road to IELTS online course. Do some of the writing activities on the LearnEnglish website .
Extend your range of vocabulary and grammatical structures by completing activities on mobile apps such as IELTS Prep App, Word Power, IELTS tips, BBC 6-minute English and LearnEnglish Podcasts.
Write about any topic for five minutes. Focus on brainstorming and selecting ideas, as well as the speed of your writing, rather than on accuracy.
Assess your progress by doing some sample IELTS test questions on the Take IELTS website .
You should now be fully equipped to boost your IELTS writing score. Good luck with your prep and for your test day!
If you'd like to see the upcoming IELTS test dates or check the pricing of the exam, please visit the IELTS booking page .
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How to Write an IELTS Essay
In this introductory lesson you will find some guidance on how you should write an IELTS essay .
There are then more lessons on the following pages for different types of essay and different questions, with lots of tips and strategies for achieving a high score.
You can also watch a video of this lesson:
It is important to learn about IELTS essays because there are different essay types, and these will require different ways to answer them.
However, as you will see from the guidance on this page, they can all follow the same basic structure.
These are some of the types of IELTS essays you can get in the test:
- Agree / disagree
- Discuss two opinions
- Advantages & disadvantages
- Causes (reasons) & solutions
- Causes (reasons) & effects
- Problems & solutions
Not every essay will fit one of these patterns, but many do.
You may get some of these tasks mixed up. For example, you could be asked to give your opinion on an issue, and then discuss the advantages or disadvantages of it.
The golden rule is to ALWAYS read the question very carefully to see exactly what you are being asked to do.
The second lesson explains more about analysing essay questions.
How do I Write an IELTS Essay?
In order to answer this, lets first look at a sample question:
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In the last 20 years there have been significant developments in the field of information technology (IT), for example the World Wide Web and communication by email. However, these developments in IT are likely to have more negative effects than positive in the future.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Write at least 250 words.
An IELTS essay is structured like any other essay; you just need to make it shorter. There are three key elements:
- Body Paragraphs
We will look at each of these in turn, using the essay question above as an example.
You should keep your introduction for the IELTS essay short. Remember you only have 40 minutes to write the essay, and some of this time needs to be spent planning. Therefore, you need to be able to write your introduction fairly quickly so you can start writing your body paragraphs.
You should do just two things:
- State the topic of the essay, using some basic facts (that you may be able to take from the question)
- Say what you are going to write about
Here is an example introduction for the above essay question about IT:
The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the way people's lives are affected by IT , with many advances in this field. However, while these technological advances have brought many benefits to the world, I strongly believe that these developments in IT will result in more negative impacts than positive.
As you can see, the first sentence makes sure it refers to the topic (IT) and uses facts about IT taken from the question. Note that these are paraphrased - you must not copy from the rubric!
The second part then clearly sets out the what the essay will be about and confirms the writers opinion (some questions may not ask for your opinion, but this one does). The writer clearly agrees as he/she thinks there will be more negative impacts.
View this lesson for more advice on writing IELTS essay introductions.
2) Body Paragraphs
For an IELTS essay, you should have 2 or 3 body paragraphs - no more, and no less.
For your body paragraph, each paragraph should contain one controlling idea, and have sentences to support this.
Here is the first body paragraph:
On the positive side, email has made communication, especially abroad, much simpler and faster. This has resulted in numerous benefits for commerce and business as there is no need to wait weeks for letters or take time sending faxes, which was the case in the past. Furthermore, the World Wide Web means that information on every conceivable subject is now available to us. For example, people can access news, medical advice, online education courses and much more via the internet. These developments have made life far easier and more convenient for many.
The controlling idea in this first paragraph is the ' benefits of IT ', and there are two supporting ideas, which are underlined. No drawbacks are discussed as the paragraph would then lose coherence.
Most of the essay will focus on the negative aspects of IT, as the writer says there are more negative effects in the introduction. So the next two paragraphs are about these.
The topic sentence in the next paragraph therefore tells us we are changing the focus to the negative points:
Nevertheless, the effects of this new technology have not all been beneficial. For example, many people feel that the widespread use of email is destroying traditional forms of communication such as letter writing, telephone and face-to-face conversation. This could result in a decline in people's basic ability to socialize and interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
The final body paragraph gives the last negative effect:
In addition, the large size of the Web has meant that it is nearly impossible to regulate and control. This has led to many concerns regarding children accessing unsuitable websites and the spread of computer viruses. Unfortunately, this kind of problem might even get worse in the future at least until more regulated systems are set up.
The conclusion only needs to be one or two sentences, and you can do the following:
- Re-state what the essay is about (re-write the last sentence of your introduction in different words)
- Give some thoughts about the future
Here is an example:
In conclusion, developments in IT have brought many benefits, yet I believe that these are outweighed by the drawbacks. In the future these will need to be addressed if we are to avoid damaging impacts on individuals and society.
The full IELTS Essay:
The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the way people's lives are affected by IT , with many advances in this field. However, while these technological advances have brought many benefits to the world, I strongly believe that these developments in IT will result in more negative impacts than positive.
Nevertheless, the effects of this new technology have not all been beneficial. For example, many people feel that the widespread use of email is destroying traditional forms of communication such as letter writing, telephone and face-to-face conversation. This could result in a decline in people's basic ability to socialize and interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
The IELTS essay introduction talks in general about the increasing use of IT, thus introducing the topic well. The thesis then clearly sets out the writers opinion.
The following paragraph mentions the present benefits of these developments, but the opening sentence in the third paragraph is a qualifying statement ( Nevertheless, not all the effects. ..), so the writer can now focus on the negative elements.
The fourth paragraph provides two other negative examples ( lack of regulation, viruses ). Both paragraphs suggest that these problems will continue in the future.
The essay concludes with a clear opinion that agrees with the statement.
Overall, it is a well-balanced text that mentions the present situation (... this has made life ...) but importantly, also refers to the future of IT (... likely to increase. .., might get worse ...).
Have you found this page useful?
Then you may be interested in IELTS buddy's Task 2 eBook , full of tips and strategies for quickly achieving a high score in the IELTS test.
Now you know the basics of writing an IELTS Essay, you can go on and look at further sample essays or if you prefer, check out the next lessons for Writing Task 2.
Next IELTS Writing Task 2 Lesson >>>
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6 ways to improve your writing skills for IELTS
Many people struggle with the IELTS exam preparation , it’s well-known for being tough, and will test anyone’s language abilities to the limit. For a lot of people, the writing part of the test can be the most stressful, but don’t worry, we have some top tips for anyone who might be finding it tough. Take a look at some of our insights and advice, and you’re sure to ace the IELTS writing test.
1. Understand the prompt
Whether you’re writing for the Academic or General Test, or you’re on Task 1 or Task 2, make sure you understand exactly what the prompt is asking you to do. If you are writing a letter, make sure you identify the register (formal or informal) and know what salutations and closings are acceptable. If you are writing an opinion essay, make sure you can identify both sides of the issue. If you are describing graphs or processes, first identify what the graphs show, then identify the main trends and useful features to compare. Once you wrap your mind around the task, you can begin the outline for your paper.
2. Always make an outline
Before you start writing, you should make an outline. Students sometimes argue that because it is a timed test, they shouldn’t spend precious minutes making an outline. This is simply not true! An outline will save you time by keeping you focused as you write, so you don’t deviate from the topic. An outline will also help you organise your ideas and put them in the best order before you start writing. Most importantly, having a good outline means you can focus on the language you are using (vocabulary and sentence structure) rather than the ideas you will present.
So how detailed should your outline be? You should start by writing a thesis statement (Writing Task 2) or important points to include in your introduction. Your thesis statement is the driving force behind your entire essay, and every paragraph will relate back to and support it. For Writing Task 1, organise your introduction by writing down the answer to the question: “What information should someone know about these charts/graphs/diagrams?” (Academic Task 1) or “What is the purpose of this letter?” (General Task 1).
For the body paragraphs, your outline only needs to reflect the main topic for the paragraph, the evidence to be used, and, if appropriate (Task 2), how it supports your thesis statement. It is not necessary to write anything in the outline for your conclusion, as the conclusion is a restatement or summary of your argument, and you will not be presenting any new ideas. In the case of letter-writing (General Task 1), a formal conclusion may or may not be necessary.
3. Put your best foot forward
When organising the opinion essay during the outline stage, determine the order in which you will present your ideas. Your strongest body paragraph should come first, as this will create your reader’s first and most important impressions. If you have three body paragraphs, put the best one first, followed by the weakest one in the middle, and lastly the second-strongest. This way your reader will leave your essay with a good impression.
4. Keep it simple (Your idea, that is)
It is important to remember that the IELTS writing tasks are not testing how well you know the subject, or how smart you are. They assess your ability to present ideas clearly and cohesively in English. Therefore, it is important to structure paragraphs and sentences so that they present one idea per sentence and one controlling idea per paragraph. Support your arguments with evidence (an example or explanation), then conclude your paragraph by linking the support to your thesis.
5. Focus on language, not length
IELTS writing does not need to be long, although you do need to aim for the required word count (150 and 250 words). Task 2 essays need only have two strong body paragraphs, although three is certainly a plus if you can manage it. You score points for using complex sentence structure and strong vocabulary accurately and naturally. Rather than worrying about the length of your essay, take the time to include interesting vocabulary and avoid repeating words. As you prepare for the IELTS exam, you should be working to build your vocabulary for a variety of topics. In addition, you may want to group synonyms or related words together on flashcards. This will help you think of synonyms to use while writing.
Also make sure that you are familiar with and comfortable using cohesive words and phrases naturally. Again, avoid repeating the same cohesive devices. You will impress the reader by presenting clear, concise, and cohesive arguments, so this should be your focus while writing.
This can be a challenge for timed tests, but it is essential to reserve a couple of minutes after each writing task to proofread. You should look for small mistakes in spelling and grammar. This is not the time to decide that your argument is not effective and write a new paragraph (that’s what your outline is for!). Read your essay and make sure that it is cohesive, and add sentences or phrases to make stronger connections between ideas if you need to.
If you’re looking for more help with the IELTS exam, it might pay to read our previous blog post focusing on IELTS speaking test tips .
6 Important Ways Of How to Improve Writing Skills for IELTS
Writing is a complex skill and not just for someones who are learning English or doing the IELTS test but also for an inborn English speaker. We don’t often have to write essays or describe graphs in our everyday life. They are more habitual of writing text messages or emails. But there are things you can do to practice and enhance your writing.
For many students, the writing section of the IELTS test can be one of the most challenging parts. Students research ways to improve their English writing skills quickly and look for how to improve writing skills for IELTS and find easy ways to learn them.
Here, we discuss tips for improving writing skills for IELTS and some IELTS writing topics for students.
What is the purpose of IELTS?
The purpose of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is to measure how proficient writing and language are of those who want to study or work in a country where the primary language is English.
6 Ways of how to improve writing skills for IELTS
Understand the statement .
Understanding the statement is necessary for both task 1 and task 2. You should first identify whether it’s formal or informal to write the proper starting and closing. You can only write in the correct method if you know what the question demands.
Make an outline
Before you start writing, you should make an outline. An outline will help you save your time by keeping focused as you write to avoid shifting from the topic. An outline will also help you organize your thoughts and put them in the best order before writing. It is one of the good ways of how to improve writing skills for IELTS.
Put your best foot forward
When organizing an outlook essay during the outline stage, determine the order in which you will present your thoughts. Your strong body paragraph should come first, as this will create your reader’s first and most important impressions.
Keep it simple
IELTS writing tasks judge your ability to write your ideas and views in English, and they don’t see your knowledge about the given topic. It is important to clarify your thoughts and ideas and make a well-structured essay. You should provide relevant supporting points and examples.
Focus on language, not length
IELTS does not need to be lengthy, while you must aim for the required word count (150-250 words). You score points for using complex sentence structure and strong vocabulary correctly and naturally.
Proofreading is one of the main tasks. You should reserve some time to recheck what you have written at the end of the exam. This helps to identify and correct any spelling or grammar mistakes done by you.
Techniques for improving IELTS writing skills-
Know your weakness and strength.
It is to identify where you stand in terms of the English language. It is senseless to learn tips to write the IELTS exam if you do not know where you stand. Take a diagnostic test to identify your weakness and strengths. Take multiple diagnostic tests to learn the pattern of your mistakes.
Learn and improve your vocabulary
It shows how well you can express your thoughts and emotions in different situations. Learn ways to use vocabulary in different situations. Practicing using these words in sentences and phrases.
Improve your English writing skills
Pick a storybook, newspaper or magazine journal, article, and practice reading. As you progress, challenge yourself with tough reading articles and underline all the difficult words you overlook while reading and look for their meaning.
Practice communication in English
Speaking and listening to English will help you improve your vocabulary and enhance your grammar understanding. Also, watching English movies will help you understand how to use words and phrases in a particular context.
Practising writing regularly
Practice writing short essays, letters, reviews, writing about your days and experiences, etc. It will help you enhance your writing skills and as well reduce mistakes. Practice rewriting your sentences and organizing your answer in the word limit.
Tips for How to improve writing skills for IELTS
Use your time wisely .
The one tip for how to improve writing skills for IELTS is to use your time wisely. You get 50 minutes to complete the whole section. Task two contributes more to your score, so I recommend spending no more than 20 minutes on task one and 30 minutes on task two. Involves time for planning and checking what you’ve written.
Check the number of words
You are required to write at least 150 words for the first task and 250 words for the second task. If you write less than the required words, then you will lose marks.
Understand the task
Read the instructions carefully and underline or highlight the keywords. Know what questions you need to cover and what information you need to include.
Organize your ideas
Spend up to five minutes on the imagination of ideas and select what information you’re going to include. Organize your thoughts logically and include linking words and cohesive devices between paragraphs, sentences, and phrases.
Know your approach
Each task requires a specific approach. It analyzes the question, brainstorms ideas using bullet points, plans the paragraph, addresses your bullet points, and writes the letter.
Think about style
Each task type requires an appropriate manner, determining your choice of grammatical structures and verbal resources.
List of IELTS writing topics for students-
- Resolve environmental pollution both on a domestic and international level.
- Global warming and how to tackle it.
- Funding and protecting threatened wild species.
- Noise and air pollution in major global cities.
- Importance of nature for the well being of the earth.
- Support exercise and dieting in maintaining good health.
- Cosmetic surgery.
- Funding of the healthcare system.
- Importance of mental health.
- Looking after the sick and elderly.
- Films and their role in learning foreign culture.
- International music and its significance.
- Fashion and trends and how it influences global spending.
- How social media has changed local cultures worldwide.
- Importance of science, technology, and history in school level education.
- Home-schooling and its pros and cons.
- Online education in the stage of the pandemic.
- Children’s reading books and their importance.
- Learning a foreign language.
- Online security, especially for children and minors.
- Smartphones and their limitations.
- E-books and their impact.
- Internet and its importance.
- The future of social media.
We discussed some techniques and tips for how to improve writing skills for IELTS. We provide many IELTS writing topics on environment, culture, education, health, etc. Do the practice of writing tasks and read newspapers or magazines to improve your writing and reading skills. Writing is the hardest task, and even good writers can make errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
The best thing is that you can speak to an expert who can provide you with feedback to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
For more updates, stay tuned with Iwin blogs!
Is 7 band score good in writing tasks.
Yes, 7 is a good band score. But scoring 7 bands in a writing task is not easy for many IELTS aspirants. The way to achieve this band score is to practice daily.
How can I improve my IELTS writing score from 6.5 to 8?
- Firstly, understand the essay questions.
- Answer the essay question with suitable main points.
- Plan your supporting points, so that you don’t go out of the way.
- Write over 250 words.
IELTS General Writing Task 1 – Effective Way to Write a letter
How to Crack the IELTS Exam in First GO in just 15 Tips
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How to improve your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay (2023)
To improve your writing score in IELTS Writing Task 2 you need to
- answer all parts of the question
- make your opinion clear throughout
- write formal, academic English
- think critically
- argue your point and give relevant examples to defend your argument
- organise your writing logically
- develop and extend your ideas
- write a concise introduction
- write clearly and accurately
Here are my 9 best tips to improve your IELTS Essay-writing techniques.
1. How to answer the question
There is no correct way to answer an IELTS Writing Task 2 question. You can answer the question in many different ways, and they could all achieve a high score.
But there are some things that you can do to get the highest score possible .
- Answer the question very closely and specifically.
For example, if the question is about the benefits of mobile phones, make sure that your arguments relate to mobile phones and not just the internet or computers. The argument that they are useful in emergencies is better than the argument that you can chat with your friends.
- Underline key words and keep looking back at the question to check you’re still answering it as you write.
For every point you make, tell the examiner how it relates to the question, for example by using a ‘so what’ sentence or a PEEL paragraph (Point, Explanation, Example, Link back to the question).
- Give your own opinion strongly and clearly
Don’t ‘sit on the fence’. Make your opinion clear in the introduction (e.g. ‘This essay will argue in favour/against…) and summarise it again in the conclusion.
- It is good to show both sides of the argument, but you must say which side you agree with and why .
- Answer the question with strong and relevant examples to support your main points.
- Avoid using personal examples (e.g. your friends/family) to support your points – choose evidence that is generally applicable
- Show the other points of view if you need to, but argue clearly why you think the othe r point of view is wrong .
This gives you a good opportunity to use linking words of concession and balance (‘Although others might argue that…. I believe that…’)
2. How many words should I write?
IELTS Writing is about quality, not quantity.
The minimum word count guide is 250 words so it is important not to go UNDER this limit.
Don’t be afraid to go over the word limit , especially if you’re a confident writer, aiming for a Band 7 or above.
Even if you’re a strong writer, try not to go over 300-320 otherwise the examiner might not read your final paragraph, and you risk losing focus/going off topic.
Make sure that you leave a full 40 minutes for Task 2, as it is worth more than Task 1.
3. How formal should my language be?
The IELTS exam tests your ability to write Academic English, so it has to be formal. For example, you
should NOT use contractions ( don’t/ isn’t/ won’t ) – always write two words ( do not/ is not/ will not )
should NOT use ‘spoken’ language like ‘I’m gonna/ I wanna’ – always write ‘I am going to/ I want to’ or slang words like ‘kids’ .
should avoid personal stories such as ‘Me and my friend text each other all the time, so mobile phones are really useful’ . It’s better to use more general examples: ‘One of the major benefits of having a mobile phone is the ability to get a message to the recipient without having to disturb them with a phone call’.
I do NOT recommend inventing research articles to make your essay more ‘academic-sounding’.
Here is the best way to refer to research in an IELTS Task 2 essay.
4. Should I use a ‘template’ for IELTS Writing Task 2?
Template essays are very unnatural and almost always fail to answer the question directly.
Memorised sentences are often empty and meaningless, as you can see in the example below:
‘This controversial topic has become a heated debated recently. In my essay I will firstly discuss the advantages and then I will go on to discuss the disadvantages. Finally I will summarise my opinion and conclude that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages’.
(46 words which say almost nothing )
The questions are designed to test your ability to analyse and express your ideas about a topic clearly.
This will not be possible if you try to use ‘template’ essays, as these cannot be made to fit each topic.
It is much better to spend time developing your language so that you can tackle ANY question with confidence.
5. What essay structures should I use for Task 2?
There’s a difference between a template (see point 4) and a structure.
An essay structure is a way of organising your ideas so that they are logical and easy for the examiner to follow.
It is very simple to structure an IELTS essay based on the question types, for example:
- problem – solution
- advantages – disadvantages
- agree – disagree
- for – against
- cause – effect
Structure your essay into 4 clear paragraphs like this:
6. How to write the introduction
Many teachers recommend that you paraphrase the question in the Introduction.
This option is popular because it is an easy option.
It is not difficult to substitute words and follow the structure that the question has already given you.
However, I believe this option is dangerous for two main reasons:
- The easy option is unlikely to get you a Band 7, which requires an ability to write independently without relying on the input
- Many students just replace words with synonyms that are incorrect, which will lose points.
I recommend that you write a General Statement that reflects on the issue, followed by a VERY clear statement of your opinion.
7. How to organise your writing logically
Writing a quick plan, and structuring your essay into 4 or 5 paragraphs will help the reader follow the logic of your argument.
There are a few more things you can do.
- Give each paragraph a topic sentence – tell the reader what that paragraph will be about e.g ‘There are several reasons why people argue in favour of [topic]’
- Use linking words that tell the reader what you’re doing (First of all, On the other hand)
- Extend each point with an explanation or an example so that the reader sees the relevance of your point.
- Organise your paragraphs into ‘PEEL’ paragraphs (Point – Example/Explanation – Link back to the question)
8. How can I make my writing more complex?
Examiners would much prefer to read an essay that is clear and easy to understand, than one where the writer is trying to be complex.
So you should not try to use language that is more complex than you are comfortable with.
But there are some simple changes you can make to improve your writing if you tend to use very simple structures. You can
- link 2 short sentences with ‘and’ or ‘but’ or ‘so’ or ‘because’
- use simple conditionals with ‘if’
- use relative clauses, which will make sentences longer
- make simple contrasts with ‘although’ (‘Although some people argue in favour of this, I disagree’)
9. How to write accurately
According to the Official Band Descriptors , you do NOT need to write perfect English to get a high score.
Having a good teacher and getting regular practice and feedback will obviously help you write accurately, but there are lots of ways you can help yourself too e.g.
- Buy a good grammar book
- Use free grammar checkers
Do you need motivation, high-quality materials, a roadmap, feedback, guidance and an IELTS specialist teacher?
Join the Members Academy today.
Get instant access to all courses, challenges, boot camps, live classes, interactive and engaging classes, 1:1 support, and a friendly tight-knit community of like-minded learners to get you to Band 7+ .
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