I've worked with students and teachers from all around the world, and I am glad that I've helped thousands of students get their desired band score by guiding them in their IELTS Preparation. Additionally, I've also been able to help teachers teach for the test.
So, the introduction should begin by paraphrasing the statement or title itself. This will also help with that feeling of blankness, the southern panic while looking at the page given to write.
So first, you're going to analyze the topic, the subtopic, and what you're being asked to do. So, begin with the paraphrase; remember, we need a clear position throughout the essay. So, if you are asked to discuss your opinion, you need to know what is right there in the introduction. Some people call this a thesis statement. So, this is where you show what you feel about the topic. Sometimes, your opinion is not required. If your opinion has not been asked, you need to finish your introduction paragraph with an outline sentence or sentences. So, the outline will tell the reader about the rest of your essay.
Okay, now is it possible to write our own opinion in conclusion? Absolutely. However, if you want those higher scores, you need to have a clear position throughout the essay now throughout, meaning from the beginning to the end. So, what you write needs to be supporting your opinion, and the IELTS examiner doesn't just want to know what you're thinking in conclusion. So, clearly state it in the introduction and then in the main body, that is, two or three paragraphs that will support your position so that it will be evident throughout the essay.
IELTS essay structure
Structure of Essay
Two main body paragraphs
Generally, a problem is how to start writing, and students often tell me that their minds are blank the minute they start writing. Now let's see if we can find a solution for that blank notice you get while looking at the blank page.
IELTS Writing Task
First, if it's writing task two, then there must also be task one. Now task one is a letter if you are doing the IELTS general training, and if you are doing the IELTS academic, it is a description of data. Then let's talk about task two. Now task two is a formal essay. This essay will be the same in the general training and the academic. For the whole writing paper, you are given 60 minutes to complete it.
- IELTS writing task 1 is at least 150 words and should be completed in 20 minutes.
- IELTS writing task 1 is at least 150 words and should be completed in 20 minutes.
So, spend two-third of the time working on task two and 20 minutes on task one because you need to write more, and for task two, it is worth two-thirds of your total writing score; therefore, spend longer on task two.
Do not write too much as you haven't got the time. The word limit can be extended to 260 to 270, absolutely ideal words. However, make sure you have at least 250 because your score will be affected if you don't. Word counts on the computer-delivered IELTS will be visible as you write, so don't worry about counting your words.
Additionally, familiarize yourself with writing on the IELTS test paper, which you can get a print off from the MarvelIELTS.com, and practice writing 260 to 270 words on that paper. So, you can recognize what those numbers of words look like!
You don't want to waste time counting words on test day; therefore, stick to the word count, don't go too far over it, and not below the minimum because you will be penalized if instructions are not followed.
The essay is a formal type essay; therefore, the appropriate academic structure is required. Do not start writing right away for those 40 minutes. First, generate ideas, make notes, and plan a little. This will help the structure of your final work. And leave sometime in the end to check your work.
Importance of Structure
These formal essays are called the public band descriptors. The structure of the essay is important because they give a clear idea about the topic. Tey describe the and divide the topic uniformly which in turn enhances the outlook of the essay. A good structure definitely adds to getting a higher band. The combinationation of good structure, appropriate following of instructions and good lexical can fetch you those extra points. The structure give the examiner an idea of your understanding of the task and your command over it.
IELTS Writing Task 2 essay question types
- Agree or Disagree essay
- Advantages and Disadvantages essay
- Discussion essay
- Problem and Solution essay
- Two-part Question essay
Please note that no 'one' type of Task 2 essay structure will get you a high score. Instead, there are many types of structures that can do so.
Now, some of you will know that your writing is assessed on four different criteria.
However, I just like to explain to you the importance of the structure. So good structure is key to writing a coherent, clear piece of writing. There is a simple formula to achieve a high IELTS band. But this formula needs tweaking, tailoring, and slightly modifying to answer the specific questions set.
So, for a band seven and higher, you need to address all parts of the task 2 question, and you need to have a clear vision throughout your essay. So these are the band descriptors. And it says that you present and support the main ideas. So that means how well you have responded to the essay title. Well, here is some cohesion that talks about how easy it is to understand and how well it's structured, though, again, let's look at band seven. And there, you have logically organized information and ideas. And there is a clear progression throughout your essay. The second point tells us that you have used a range of cohesive devices. Now, these are the way that you should link your ideas together.
Let's come back to our cohesion and coherence at band seven. So, using a range of cohesive devices means linking ideas together within a paragraph and throughout the essay. A clear central topic within each paragraph is crucial and must be there. So, if your paragraphs do not have one clear main idea or are not constructed logically, you will not be able to go above band six.
So far, we have talked about the importance of structure and paragraphs with one clear main idea, which will undoubtedly, help you use an excellent broad range of vocabulary. Therefore, your lexical resources must be reasonable and robust, and hopefully, it will also mean that you have used a range of grammar within your paragraphs. Always remember the importance of using a variety of different structures and accurate grammar.
The basic structure for an academic writing task essay
What comes next, then, is the main body. So, in the main body, which generally will be two paragraphs, some of you might be writing three. And your main body should be looking something like the one given in the figure. So, a good paragraph in English begins with a topic sentence, which is a very general sentence that will indicate what the rest of the paragraph is about and has an excellent grammatical range.
Remember, one clear main idea for each paragraph. So, begin with your topic sentence, then explain, give reasons and examples. Then you need to find a transition, a way to move to the next idea, or the following paragraph and can either be called a transition or a link followed by the third paragraph, which is the same. So, begin with the topic sentence, explain, give reasons, give examples, and find the link to the previous topic or the next idea.
You've got the introduction, the main body, now what do you finish the essay with?
You finish it with the conclusion, which you need to paraphrase, again, restate the main ideas in that paragraph finally summarize.
Remember, if asked, don't just give your opinion in the conclusion; it needs to be all the way through. So do paraphrasing, again, demonstrate the use of synonyms or other ways to say the same thing. This is your time that you can shine with your vocabulary. Finally, you need to summarize those main ideas, do not add anything new in your conclusion, and find a way to round off your essay accurately.
You will never be asked to write a story in your IELTS exam, not even in the general training. It is a formal essay and not a story. So not a narrative.
Now, there are questions where you are asked to discuss both views. So, you're going to discuss both. And sometimes you will be asked to discuss both views and give your opinion. So, there you should discuss both views and give your opinion.
So, we're going to start with obviously an agree, disagree title. So, this is an agree/disagree opinion essay. First, read the statement carefully and look at what's being asked for underneath the statement; that is your task. For example, if the statement is about computers or art, firstly identify the topic and subtopic. Next, find the central idea of what the statement is trying to say, and then start writing.
The following are the sample essay question type; for example, let's begin with this agree/ disagree opinion essay question type:
"1. Agree/disagree Opinion essay"
Computers can quickly and accurately translate languages; therefore, it is a waste of time learning a foreign language.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
So now understand that the topic isn't about computers that translate the language. So, it's not necessary to learn. To what extent would you agree or disagree with the statement? So how much do you think that statement is true?
Now, you're not disputing the original statement, neither are you arguing that you're just going to acknowledge what's true. Computers can quickly and accurately translate languages.
Sometimes they do make some interesting errors. But you know, that is a statement. So, computers can quickly and accurately translate languages. So, because of this, it's a waste of time; it's not necessary to learn a foreign language. Do you agree? So, you could turn that really into a direct question? Do you think it is unnecessary to learn a foreign language? Because computers can translate for you? Try approaching the essay with such questions.
Again, if you find it challenging to begin first, analyze the question and then paraphrase. So, imagine the first line of your response. So, work out what the keywords are. Then, think about how to paraphrase. You can use synonyms; you can change word form. You can change the word order. You can go between active and passive. There are different ways you can paraphrase the same information but in your words.
Let's paraphrase, remember do not copy but paraphrase.
Computers can quickly and accurately translate languages; Therefore, it is a waste of time learning foreign languages.
As computer technology is now widely used to translate different languages. It is considered unnecessary to learn a foreign language. And then you'd want to put your opinion sentence there.
As technology progresses, it is no longer worthwhile to learn foreign languages, as considered by some. However, I strongly disagree with this
Translating languages could easily be done by computers nowadays. Hence, it is not essential to learn a foreign language.
It's a waste of time and no longer worthwhile to learn foreign languages. As the computers can quickly and efficiently translate foreign languages.
Also, ideas like "computers cannot express our feelings in translation" would come in your main body rather than the introduction. That's an excellent idea for you to develop later. So, we've done a paraphrase. Now, what about your thesis statement? What about saying how much you agree with this and try not to just start by saying, I believe, or I agree, or I disagree, try to find a more academic way to show your position.
This essay will vehemently debunk the notion without any reservations
Under no circumstances will it acceptable to…
Try to paraphrase the same information in your own language and not copy from the titles. Remember, this one is about how it's not necessary to learn foreign languages because computers can translate for us. The usage of complex sentences tells the IELTS examiner about your grammatical range and the wide lexical resources.
"2. Advantage and disadvantage Essay"
The personal information of many individuals is held by large Internet companies and organizations.
Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
So here you need to discuss the pros and cons and say whether you think there are more advantages or more disadvantages. The basic structure is the same for these essays; you just need to tailor it to respond to the question set. For example, in the advantage and disadvantage essay, your introduction would begin the same, that is, a paraphrase. And then, you would give an outline sentence or an opinion sentence, asking whether you think there are more advantages or more disadvantages.
So, you put your opinion in the introduction. Now, whether you think there are more positives or more negatives, then your position will be clear throughout for your main body; paragraph one of the main body would discuss either the advantages or the disadvantages. Similarly in paragraph two will continuation of the ideas and opinions you have for the article. And then conclude the essay after that.
"3. Discuss both views (/and give your views or opinion)"
There is another example of essay type discuss both views. So remember, sometimes you're just asked to discuss the two opinions. And sometimes you're asked to discuss the two opinions and then say what you believe or give your opinion, like the following.
Some people believe that advances in technology are increasing the gap between rich and poor, while others think that the opposite is happening.
Discuss both views and give your opinion
The statement above talks about people's views on how the gap between the rich and the poor is being affected due to advancements in technology, where you are also asked your view on the same as to which statement you support.
So, your introduction will include paraphrase, a little glimpse of your position with the views that are for or against, or opinion 1 or 2 and that would give the examiner the idea you are inclined toward that is whether you think because of technology, the gap is increasing or decreasing. The examiner would know in the introduction because you would have a clear position throughout supporting the same.
"4. Problem Solution essay "
With the development of technology, children are now living in a world that is completely different from what it was 50 years ago. What problems does this cause for society, and What solutions can you suggest to deal with this problem?
That's a statement. You're not going to argue or dispute that it is not true. Now start the essay with an introduction paragraph for this problem and solution essay. No opinions must be given in the essay, and you must not agree or disagree with the title. You would need an outline sentence at the beginning and the end of your introduction paragraph, then begin by paraphrasing, followed by explaining the rest of the essay, which will discuss the problems caused to the society that has been introduced in the introduction is quite a general term followed by solutions and then conclusion.
"5. Two-part question "
In this question type, you will be given two direct questions to which you have to answer. Remember the plan, the basic outline, introduction, paraphrase, main body topic sentence, examples, the answer to the questions in detail, supporting sentences transition, the same for the second main body paragraph, and your conclusion.
So you might talk about the merits of one of them. And you might talk about the downsides of one of them. Then you might talk about the good things about the other view and bad things about the other view. One doesn't categorically tell you that you need to be putting your opinion; you just need to evaluate. So talk about two other points of view.
You can easily make yourself accustomed to the IELTS task 2 essay no matter what level you are on. We at Marvel guide IELTS candidates towards the best ways of IELTS preparation and give valuable tips that will assist you in your IELTS academic exam, overall as well. We suggest you practice and practice. There are model essays and model answers present on MarvelIELTS.com. You can go through various exercises, including reading passages, reading modules, and other question answers in the IELTS listening test, IELTS writing task, and other tasks on the MarvelIELTS.com website and learn more about these exam sections. You can also visit our institute in Zirakpur, where our best IELTS teacher and other faculty can guide you.