5 Writing Tips for the IELTS Essay

IELTS Writing 2

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 Takeaway

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: How to write a good introduction

Three test takers preparing for the IELTS test with the official preparation materials.

Introductions are an important part of a Writing Task 2 essay. They let your examiner know what to expect from your essay. That’s why we have put together a quick list of tips you can use to write an effective introduction for Writing Task 2.

On this page

Tip 1: stop to read and analyse the question, tip 2: begin with a general statement and then focus in on the details of the question, tip 3: use your own words, tip 4: state your position, tip 5: explain how you plan to develop your essay, review your introduction, sample question, sample introduction.

An introduction is important to the essay because it creates an initial impression in terms of the quality of your writing. A clear, well-organised and relevant introduction will most certainly create a positive first impression on the examiner. So, what makes up an effective introduction? Let’s take a look.  

In Writing Task 2, you need to address all the parts of the question or task in a relevant way. Because your introduction is the first step towards achieving this goal, you need to introduce your answer to all the different parts of the question. This is why it is important to take some time to read and analyse the task before you start writing, so you know exactly what you are being asked to write about. 

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Writing Task 2 questions usually begin with a general statement before focusing in on more specific points or questions about the topic. Using a similar model in your own introduction is a great way to start your essay, but make sure that your general statement is clearly related to your topic and is not too broad. 

While it is perfectly acceptable for you to use the task as a guide for your introduction, make sure you do not copy material from the task.  

Copying the task word-for-word shows the examiner that you have a limited range of language, which can affect your band score. Instead, change the order of the information, use synonyms, and explain more complex ideas in your own words.  

It is also important not to use a memorised introduction where you insert words related to the question topic. Examiners read thousands of responses so can recognise memorised scripts.

In Writing Task 2, you will need to develop a position while exploring the different parts of the task. It is then important that you clearly state your position in your introduction. 

Even though this strategy can be considered as optional, briefly explaining how you plan to develop the topic can help you better organise your writing. It is also a good way to let the examiner know what you’ll be covering in the essay. 

Don’t forget to re-read your introduction once you’ve finished writing your essay. It is common for test takers to begin their essays thinking about a specific argument, or a specific way to organise their writing but change their minds as they develop the topic. So, after completing your Writing Task 2, make sure that your final draft still matches your introduction. 

Now that we have gone over some important strategies for writing a good introduction for Writing Task 2, it’s time to look at a sample introduction. Start by reading and analysing the prompt, as mentioned in tip 1. Then, carefully read the sample introduction and notice the different strategies used, which have been highlighted for you.

The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy. 

The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages. 

To what extent do you agree or disagree?  

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. 

Write at least 250 words.

General Statement: 

Nuclear technology has been around for many years.  


Whether this technology is used for weapons of mass destruction or as a source of energy, many are of the belief that the use of nuclear energy has more advantages than disadvantages. 


In my opinion, nuclear technology can indeed be a very efficient energy source. However, nuclear weapons possess such enormous destructive power that any benefits that this technology may offer to humankind are not enough to counter its potential devastating effects. 


This essay will address why the drawbacks of nuclear technology outweigh the benefits and will include relevant examples to support this position.

Just as an effective introduction will let the examiner know what they can expect from your essay, a good conclusion will remind them of the main points presented and will summarise what you want your examiner to remember from your writing. Check our blog for our post on strategies for writing a good conclusion! 

IELTS General Training Writing free practice questions

Ielts writing task 1: how to write a job application letter, grammar 101: elude vs. allude.

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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:

Essay Types

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:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraphs

We will look at each of these in turn, using the essay question above as an example.

1) Introduction

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.

Lets look at the first paragraph for the essay about IT. The essay is about the benefits and drawbacks of IT, so these will need to be discussed in separate paragraphs.

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.

3) Conclusion

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.

(290 Words)

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. ..).

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.

More Task 2 IELTS Lessons:

how to write good essay for ielts

Transitional Phrases for Essays

Learn transitional phrases for essays to get a band 7 or higher in your IELTS writing for coherence and cohesion.

Improving Writing Coherence for IELTS essays

25% of the writing grade is on how you organise your essay so this lesson shows you how to improve your writing coherence.

IELTS Problem Solution Essay Strategies and Tips

In IELTS problem solution essays you have to discuss a particular issue and present ideas to solve that problem.

Requirements for IELTS Band 7 in Writing

Getting to an IELTS Band 7 is a struggle for many candidates. This lesson explains exactly what you have to do to reach this band score.

Thesis Statement Tips for IELTS Essays

Your thesis statement in an IELTS essay should be written quickly and concisely. Use these tips to do that.

Using Pronouns to Improve IELTS Essay Coherency

Find out how to use pronouns to improve your coherency for IELTS task 2 essays.

Tips on How to Score IELTS Band 8 in Writing and Speaking

To score IELTS Band 8 you need to understand exactly what is in the IELTS Band Descriptors for an 8 for writing and speaking first.

IELTS Music Essay: Understanding a Complex Question

An IELTS essay about music is used to show you how to answer a more complex IELTS essay question that does not have a clear 'task' given to you.

The 3 Types of IELTS Opinion Essays in IELTS

IELTS opinion essays in IELTS can be placed into three types. This lesson explains the different types and how to analyse these essay questions.

Writing an IELTS Essay Introduction

Tips on how to write an introduction for an IELTS essay introduction in a quick and easy way.

Can you use Personal Pronouns in Essays for IELTS?

Learn how to use personal pronouns in essays for IELTS correctly. Can you use "I", "we" and "you"?

Using Substitution in IELTS to Improve Writing Coherency

You can use substitution in your IELTS essays in order to improve coherency and coherence.

How to Identify the Topic of an IELTS Essay Question

In IELTS you must identify the topic of your essay as this is a key to making sure your essay is on topic.

How to Identify the Task in an IELTS Essay

Learn how to identify the task in an IELTS task 2 essay question. This is one of the most important steps in responding to an essay question.

How to use brainstorming and planning to generate essay ideas.

Brainstorming and planning is a key step in developing your IELTS essay. This lesson has tips on how to coming up with ideas and organising them.

IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essay Tips and Strategies

An advantage disadvantage essay is one type of essay that you may get in the test. This lesson shows how to write a pros cons essay.

how to write good essay for ielts

IELTS Task Response - 25% of your essay grade

The IELTS Task Response criteria in the scoring makes up 25% of your band score for your essay.

how to write good essay for ielts

Generating ideas for IELTS essays for writing task 2

Generating ideas for IELTS essays for writing task 2 can be difficult but complex ideas are not expected.

Writing an IELTS Essay Conclusion

The IELTS essay conclusion is the final part of your IELTS essay. This lesson guides you on how to write a conclusion quickly but effectively.

Paragraph Writing for IELTS: Building strong arguments

This paragraph writing lesson provides tips on constructing the best paragraphs for your IELTS essay.

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IELTS Essay Writing Tips

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

1. Understand

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.

Manage your time

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

spelling matters

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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  • Academic practice
  • General practice
  • Task 1 Academic
  • Task 1 General
  • Task 2 (essay)

Essay samples with tips and answers

Sample 1 ("Violence in media") Presenting opinion

Sample 2 ("Working students") Suggesting a solution

Sample 3 ("Death penalty") Pros & cons

Sample 4 ("Loss of bio-diversity") Cause/solution

Sample 5 ("Obesity") Causes and effects

Sample 6 ("Salary vs. job satisfaction") Agree/disagree

Sample 7 ("Sedentary lifestyle") Problem/solution

More IELTS Writing task 2 questions >

IELTS Writing task 2 - Essay

Here you can find all the essential information about IELTS Writing essay .

IELTS Writing task 2 (or IELTS essay ) is the same task for Academic and General IELTS . You will be presented with a specific topic and asked to write an 250-word essay about it. You should normally spend 40 minutes on IELTS Writing task 2.

On this page you will see :

IELTS Writing task 2 question sample

  • Types of IELTS essay questions
  • How to answer these questions
  • More IELTS Writing task 2 questions and answers

You can get a lot of different topics for your IELTS Writing task 2. You can be asked to give your opinion, to state solutions to some problem, to describe advantages and disadvantages of something and so on.

Here's an example of how your IELTS Writing task 2 may look like :

Immigration has a major impact on the society.

What are the main reasons of immigration? To what consequences can it lead?

Write at least 250 words.

You can find the band-9 answer here >

More IELTS Writing task 2 questions & topics >

how to write good essay for ielts

How to write IELTS Essay?

1) Determine your opinion on the topic

  • Giving your opinion
  • Agree/disagree
  • Suggesting a solution
  • Pros and cons

Depending on the topic, decide what is your opinion on it and why. Have a clear position, don't hesitate between two opinions! Then find examples you will use for this task. You should spend a few minutes on planning.

2) Write an answer using the following structure:

Note that this description is very general. To learn more specific answering strategies, look at the different question types .

3) Style your essay

Use various words and structures , linking devices and avoid repetition.

Use some words from academic word list .

Do not use informal style and avoid irrelevant information, you will receive less points for your work.

Also, don't forget to write at least 250 words, writing less will affect your mark negatively. You should aim at 260-280 words. You won’t get more points for a longer essay.

Other things that might affect your mark:

  • Fluency : if your handwriting is not illegible for the examiner and he/she can’t read it properly, you are likely to lose points.
  • Unoriginal answer : if you learnt a topic by heart and wrote it, you might get a low score for your essay. IELTS examiner assesses only your own thoughts and opinions.
  • Limited answer : if you only answer half of the question and don’t expand your opinion, you will not get more than a band score 5 for the task.
  • Information about IELTS Writing test
  • Top 10 IELTS Writing tips
  • Writing vocabulary
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IELTS Writing Task 2: ✍️ Everything You Need to Know

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

how to write good essay for ielts

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.

how to write good essay for ielts

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.

how to write good essay for ielts

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 

how to write good essay for ielts

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.

how to write good essay for ielts

Writing Task 2 Common Topics 

how to write good essay for ielts

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 

how to write good essay for ielts

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.

Sample Answers

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

how to write good essay for ielts

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?

Probably not.

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:

  • Introduction
  • 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.

how to write good essay for ielts

  • Ebooks & Courses
  • Practice Tests

How to Plan & Write IELTS Opinion Essays

IELTS opinion essays, also known as ‘agree or disagree’ essays, come up frequently in the writing exam. In this lesson, I’m going to show you how to plan and write them step-by-step.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  • 3 Common mistakes
  • Essay structure
  • How to plan
  • How to write an introduction
  • How to write main body paragraphs
  • How to write a conclusion

Click the links to see lessons on each of these Task 2 essay writing topics. 

Once you understand the process, practice on past questions. Take your time at first and gradually speed up until you can plan and write an essay of at least 250 words in the 40 minutes allowed in the exam.

The Question

The first part of the question for an IELTS opinion essay will be a statement. You will then be asked to give your own opinion about the statement. Here is some typical wording that might be used:

  • What is your opinion?
  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Want  to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

Here's a question from a past test paper.

A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.  

Do you agree or disagree?  

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

I’ll be using this question to guide you through the process of planning and writing an IELTS opinion essay.

3 Common Mistakes

These three errors are common in IELTS opinion essays.

  • Not stating an opinion.
  • Giving arguments for both views.
  • Not supporting your opinion with clear reasons.

The most common mistake that students make is not giving an opinion. The question will clearly state that you must choose one side of the argument. If you fail to do this, you will get a low score for task achievement.

It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even, that you agree with it. Choose the one you can develop the best argument for.

Make sure that you don’t change your opinion part way through the essay, and don’t give reasons for the opposing view.

Essay Structure

Now let’s look at a simple structure you can use to write opinion essays. It’s not the only possible structure but it’s the one I recommend because it’s easy to learn and will enable you to quickly plan and write a high-level essay.

1)  Introduction

  • Paraphrase the question
  • Give your opinion
  • State two supporting reasons

2)  Main body paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence – outline 1st reason for supporting this view
  • Explanation – explain this idea
  • Example – give an example  or expand the idea

3)  Main body paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence – outline 2nd reason for supporting this view
  • Example – give an example or expand the idea

4)  Conclusion

  • Summarise opinion and key reasons

This structure will give us a well-balanced essay with 4 paragraphs.

We now need some ideas to add into the structure and we’ll have everything we need for our essay.

How To Plan IELTS Opinion Essays

# 1  decide on your opinion.

The question I've chosen to work on is quite straightforward and easy to understand so we don’t need to spend time analysing it. The first task, then, is to decide on our opinion.

Here’s the question again:

A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

Do you agree or disagree?  

For this essay, I’m going to disagree with the statement and argue that job satisfaction is more important than a big salary.

# 2  Generate ideas

The second task is to generate some ideas to write about.

Since I‘m going to argue that job satisfaction is more important than a large salary, I need ideas to support this view.

There are several different ways to think up ideas. I cover them fully on the  IELTS Essay Planning  page.

With this particular question, I immediately thought of a couple of examples of situations where job satisfaction did prove to be more important than a high salary, so I’m going to use the ‘example method’ of generating ideas.

Once you’ve thought of an example or two, ideas to include in your essay should come to you easily.

You might want to try this yourself before reading on for my ideas.

Here are my examples and some ideas they generated.

Both the examples are partly true but I've adapted them to better fit the essay. It's fine to do this as the examiner won't check your facts.

  • Uncle Barry – boasted about high salary but hated his job. Nervous breakdown – lost job & can’t work.
  • Me – gave up teaching. Now enjoy my work and am much more relaxed and happy even though I earn much less money.
  • High-salary jobs are generally more stressful
  • Stress leads to ill health, both mental and physical
  • 40 hours a week at work – a third of the day
  • Money doesn’t bring happiness
  • Better quality of life
  • Sense of fulfilment
  • Less stressed – healthier and happier

I’ve got more ideas here than I need so I’m going to pick two to develop in the essay – one for each of the main body paragraphs.

Idea 1 – High-salary jobs are generally more stressful and can lead to ill health.

Idea 2 – Job satisfaction gives a sense of fulfilment.

We’re almost ready to start writing our IELTS opinion essay but first, we have one other small task to do.

# 3  Vocabulary

In an IELTS essay, it’s important to be able to say the same things in different ways, either by paraphrasing and/or using synonyms. During the planning stage, quickly jot down a few synonyms of key words you could use to save you having to stop and think of the right language while you’re writing.

For example:

satisfaction – fulfilment, achievement, sense of accomplishment, content, sense of well-being

salary – income, wages, pay, earnings

important – significant, valued, has more meaning

job – work, employment, position

With that done, we can focus on the first paragraph of the essay – the introduction.

How To Write an Introduction

A good introduction has a simple 3 part structure:

1)  Paraphrased question

2)  Thesis statement

3)  outline statement.

An introduction should:

  • Have 2-3 sentences
  • Be 40-60 words long
  • Take 5 minutes to write

1)  Paraphrase the question

Start your introduction by paraphrasing the question.

     Question:  A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

                       Do you agree or disagree?  

Paraphrased question:  

It is argued that earning lots of money has more significance to people than being content in their work.

Note that I’ve used some of the synonyms I listed, although it’s fine to repeat one or two words if you need to. Above all, your language must sound natural.

In IELTS opinion essays, the thesis statement is where you state your opinion. For example,

    Thesis statement:  

    This essay totally disagrees with that statement.

That’s all you need to say.

If you decided to agree with the statement, you would write:

'This essay completely agrees with that statement.'

Finally in the introduction, you must outline the two main points (ideas 1 and 2 above) that you’ll cover in the rest of the essay. Do it in one sentence, or you can add them onto the end of the thesis statement if appropriate.

Outl ine statement:  

I believe that people are increasingly concerned about the risk of stress-related ill-health frequently experienced by people in highly paid positions and they care more about feeling fulfilled at work.

So, let’s bring the three elements of our introduction together.


how to write good essay for ielts

This introduction achieves three important functions:

  • It shows the examiner that you understand the question.
  • It acts as a guide to the examiner as to what your essay is about.
  • It also helps to keep you focused and on track as you write.

The two ideas in your introduction will become your two main body paragraphs.

Main body paragraph 1  – concerns about the risk of stress-related ill-health

Main body paragraph 2  – a sense of fulfilment at work

How To Write Main Body Paragraphs

The structure of a good main body paragraph has 3 parts:

  • Topic sentence
  • Explanation

If you can’t think of an example, you can add further supporting ideas but we already have our two examples so that’s not an issue here.

A common problem when writing main body paragraphs for IELTS opinion essays is having too many ideas. Again, we have already chosen the two ideas we are going to develop, so we are all set to start writing.

You can see how important the planning stage is and how it makes the actual writing of the essay far quicker and easier.

Main Body Paragraph 1

The  topic sentence  summarises the main idea of the paragraph. That’s all it needs to do so it doesn’t have to be complicated.

It plays an important role in ensuring that your ideas flow logically from one to another. It does this by acting as a signpost for what is to come next, that is, what the paragraph will be about.

If you maintain a clear development of ideas throughout your essay, you will get high marks for task achievement and cohesion and coherence.

We’ll now take the idea for our first main body paragraph and create our topic sentence.

Main idea 1  – concerns about the risk of stress-related ill-health

Topic sentence:  

Employees earning a large income are generally under significant mental and emotional pressure to perform well and achieve targets.

Next, we must write an  explanation sentence . This explains to the examiner what we mean. It expands on our first idea.

Explanation sentence: 

This causes many individuals to suffer high levels of stress which can result in both mental and physical health problems.

Finally, we add an  example  to support our main point. I thought of this in the planning stage so I have it ready to use.

If you can’t think of a real example, it’s fine to make one up, as long as it’s believable. The examiner isn’t going to check your facts.

Example sentence:

This happened to my uncle. He used to boast about his huge salary but the boss kept increasing his sales targets and in the end, the stress became too great and he had a nervous breakdown. Now he regrets being driven by the money.

That’s the 3 parts of our first main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

how to write good essay for ielts

We now follow the same process for our second main body paragraph.

Main Body Paragraph 2

Main idea 2  – Job satisfaction gives a sense of fulfilment.

First, we write the  topic sentence  to summarise the main idea.

Topic sentence:

Having a job that they enjoy doing, and in which they feel valued, is a major concern for most of the modern workforce.

Now for the  explanation sentence  to explain this idea.

Explanation sentence:

A significant number of people are giving up well-paid positions to do jobs which pay less but that they find more enjoyable and less stressful.

Finally, an  example  to support our main point. As before, I thought of this in the planning stage so just need to form it into a couple of sentences.

I am an example of this myself. A year ago I left the teaching profession because the workload had become too great and I am now a gardener. I feel really fulfilled in this work and I am much more relaxed and happy even though I earn far less money.

That’s the 3 parts of our second main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.

how to write good essay for ielts

Now we need a conclusion and our IELTS opinion essay is done.

How To Write a Conclusion

Conclusions to IELTS opinion essays should do two things:

  • Summarise the main points
  • State your opinion

This can generally be done in a single sentence.

If you are below the minimum 250 words after you’ve written your conclusion, you can add an additional prediction or recommendation statement.

Our essay currently has 233 words so we’re on target and don’t need this extra sentence but you can learn more about how to write a prediction or recommendation statement for IELTS opinion essays on the Task 2 Conclusions page.

The conclusion is the easiest sentence in the essay to write but one of the most important.

A good conclusion will:

  • Neatly end the essay
  • Link all your ideas together
  • Sum up your argument or opinion
  • Answer the question

If you achieve this, you’ll improve your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together make up 50% of the overall marks. Without a conclusion, you’ll score below band 6 for task achievement.

You can start almost any final paragraph of an IELTS opinion essay with the words:

  • In conclusion


  • To conclude

Now all you need to do is briefly summarise the main ideas into one sentence.

Here’s a top tip . Go back and read the introduction to the essay because this is also a summary of the essay. It outlines what you are going to write about.

To create a great conclusion, you simply have to paraphrase the introduction. Let’s give it a go.


how to write good essay for ielts

Here is the same information formed into a conclusion:

how to write good essay for ielts

That’s it. We’ve completed our essay. Here it is with the 4 paragraphs put together.


   A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

   Do you agree or disagree?

Finished IELTS opinion essay.

how to write good essay for ielts

Go through this lesson as many times as you need to in order to fully understand it and put in lots of practice writing IELTS opinion essays from past exam questions. Practice is the only way to improve your skills.

5 More Model IELTS Opinion Essays

how to write good essay for ielts

This pack contains another step-by-step lesson and  model essay. P lus 4 additional opinion essay questions with model answers.

Carefully created to help you achieve 7+ in your Writing test.

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More help with ielts opinion essays & other task 2 essays.

IELTS Writing Task 2  – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay   – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.

Understanding Task 2 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay  – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction  – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs  – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

How To Write Task 2 Conclusions  – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Task 2 Marking Criteria  – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

   Opinion Essays

   Discussion Essays

  Problem Solution Essays

  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

  Double Question Essays

Other Related Pages

IELTS Writing Test  – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction

Learn how to write an introduction for IELTS writing task 2 essays. This page explains the content and technique for writing an high score introduction without wasting precious time in the test. The video tutorial takes you through each statement in your introduction paragraph. This lesson is for academic and GT IELTS essays.

This lesson will teach you:

  • The content of an IELTS introduction
  • How to write the background statement
  • How to write the thesis statement
  • How to paraphrase effectively
  • How long your introduction should be

The same technique is used for a band score 6 as for a band score 9. So, this lesson is for students of all band scores. The only difference will be that a band score 9 student will use richer and more complex English language.

What does the Introduction Paragraph Contain?

An introduction paragraph for an IELTS writing task 2 essay requires only two statements. A Background Statement – This is a paraphrase of the essay question. All essays must have this statement. A Thesis Statement – A direct answer to the essay question and task. An IELTS introduction paragraph does not require anything more to fulfil the requirements of the marking criteria for writing task 2.

How to Write the Introduction of an IELTS Essay

This video lesson will take you through both statements to create a time efficient introduction paragraph. It will show you:

  • How to paragraph correctly for the background statement.
  • How to write a clear thesis statement.
  • What information you do not need based on the IELTS marking criteria and band score requirements.

Summary: The Introduction Paragraph

1. analysing the essay question.

Now this is the essay title we’re going to look at. “The best way to improve health is to do regular exercise. To what extent do you agree?” Well let’s first look at the statement. IELTS have given us the best way – it’s a method, it’s a solution and it’s a solution to improving health. So our essay is all about improving health and possible solutions. IELTS suggest that exercise is the best solution – you might agree, not agree or partially agree.

What does this mean “ to what extent “? Well that means how much do you agree. You don’t need to agree or disagree. You need to think about it and think do you agree with all the sentence, is there something that you don’t agree with? Do you agree with most of it? So that’s how you analyse it.

Let’s have a look at what information we need to put in our introduction. Now for many academic essays there are three parts to the introduction: the hook, a background statement and a thesis statement.  We use the hook in many essays but …. do we use the hook for IELTS essays? The answer is no. We don’t need it. A hook is there to create interest, but that is not part of the marking criteria for IELTS. Interest is NOT marked and does not improve your score.

3. Background Statements

The next thing is the background statement. What is the background statement? The function of this statement is to present the issues in the essay question. You do this by paraphrasing the question. This means you rewrite the essay question your way. We do this because these are the issues your whole essay will be addressing. It is the only way that your essay (your answer) will make sense. You can see various ways of paraphrasing a background statement on this page: Introduction Background Statement Practice

4. Thesis Statements

The second and final statement is the thesis statement. This is your answer / your opinion. It provides the reader with a clear answer to the task. Your body paragraphs will then explain your answer by presenting ideas which are developed and supported.You need to learn all the different ways to write this statement depending on the type of essay you will get in your IELTS test.

5. Length of Introduction

Most introductions will be between 45 and 60 words in length. They certainly do not need to be longer. The introduction is a functional paragraph and when you have completed its function, move quickly on to the body paragraphs. The main proportion of your marks come from your body paragraphs.

Recommended Lessons

  • Band Score 9 Model Opinion Essay
  • Opinion Essay Introduction Practice

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Dear Liz thank you so much for your videos and all the materials that you’ve provided for us. I’d like to ask a question in this video you said that the length of the introduction should be 35-50 but here you’ve written 45-60, I ‘d like to know has it changed which one would be better? Thank you

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The advice is general advice, not fixed rules. As your introduction will be most usually 2 sentences, it will probably work out at around 40-50 words. But it might be slightly below or slightly above. The key thing to get right is the content of the introduction, and to remember that the main points for your writing task 2 are in the body paragraphs so a long introduction isn’t necessary. See the model essays on this page to see the variation in introductions: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hi dear Liz. could you please give me some suggestions about my introduction ? the question is: Out of a country’s health budget, a large proportion should be diverted from treatment to spending on health education and preventive measures. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

One of the major parts of any country’s income are invested on health issue expenditures. In recent years, much attention is paid to awareness of the society about the impressive role of preventive activities. I believe that the society is becoming aware, therefore, it’s valuable to spend more money on preventions rather than treatments.

I suggest you watch the video on the page above again so that you produce two statements: a background statement which is a direct paraphrase of the essay statement and a thesis statement which produces an answer. Don’t be indirect. Don’t have a hook.

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Hi mam, this is Surya and I have trouble with the introduction part. please have a look at this introduction part and give me your feedback. question:- Some government are motivating industries and business to move from cities to regional areas. Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages. Answer:- with the pollution and population increasing in cities due to industries and people crowded for employment, I think the government persuading the industries and business to shift from cities to rural areas is a great benefit to the people,environment and economy as well though it has certain negligible demerits.

As explained in the video on the page above, first you paraphrase the question directly and accurately. Then you present your position in the thesis. Two separate statements in one paragraph.

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Hi, Liz how are you. I wanted to ask that can we induce certain conclusion after observing the trends of a pie chart or any graph in writing task 1. For example, in one Cambridge test, the pie chart shows the usage of water across different areas of world for agriculture, industry and household. In America industry uses most water, while in asia agriculture uses most. Can I write in the explanation paragraphs that america is more industrialized so they spend most water in industry and vice versa. Or I should just present the data available on pie chart in my own words without deducing any conclusions from the trends. Thankyou

Your task is to report what is shown on the graph or chart etc – it is a factual report. It is not to give opinions, predictions or evaluations.

Thankyou so much Liz

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Hello Liz , I want to ask something. I recently sat for academic ielts and I did a mistake on writing task 2 . My introduction disagreed but I went on to agree throughout the essay up to the conclusion , will this affect me adversely if other band descriptors are good.

Unfortunately, it will affect your score for task response because you did not maintain a clear position throughout the whole essay. But it won’t affect your score for the other criteria.

Thank you so much .

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All type of writing task 2 questions would have “Thesis Statement” or only certain types of questions.

All introduction paragraphs for all Writing Task 2 essays should have a background statement and a thesis statement.

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Do we need to mentioned like: “This essay will discuss this and that and later on that” in introduction ?

No. That statement is not required. It doesn’t harm your score, but it is not at all necessary and not part of the band score requirements in IELTS Writing Task 2.

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Please tell me the best way to going partially with any statement,can I use structure “even though” if yes that how?

I suggest you get my advanced lessons and learn properly: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Hello Liz, I just paused my video to commend your teaching methodology. It is simple and precise. Thanks.

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Hello Liz. Thanks for all your lessons and video. I wish I had discovered it when I took my first ilets exams , any ways I’m going for a second attempt and I know I,ll do better with your tutelage. You’re the best and God bless.

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How can we write down an essay if we do not know something well?we have to collect information to put in our essay?Am I correct?

As you prepare for IELTS, you should be preparing ideas for topics as well. I also have an e-book called “Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics” which you can purchase in my store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Thank you for all that you do. Much love and appreciation. My test is tomorrow and Please I would like to know if I can type in Capital letters for my Computer based IELTS writing test.

Do you mean “Can I write using all capital letters in my writing test?” The answer to that question is “Don’t do it”. It isn’t a fixed rule, but IELTS is testing your grammar which includes the correct use of capital letters – using capital letters at the start of a sentence or for proper nouns etc. So, please write as normal and use capital letters when it is grammatically correct to do so for the Writing Test. Good luck tomorrow!

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Hi Liz, Would I penalized if I were to introduce my ideas in summary in the introduction paragraph, as part of the thesis statement? Or is it best to leave it for the topic sentences in each body paragraph solely?

For instance, Nowadays more people move away from from their friends and families for work. Does this have more advantages or disadvantages? After paraphrasing the background statement… “…In this essay I will argue why In spite of one having benefits like making new friends and gaining a great employment opportunity that come with moving abroad, the huge disadvantage of separation anxiety from one’s family members outweighs them all.”

It’s a long thesis statement. Take out so much detail: In my opinion, in spite of benefits such as making friends and employment opportunities, the issue of separation anxiety outweighs them all.

That is a clear thesis statement which introduces main points without giving detail. The detail will come in the body paragraphs. Learn to write each sentences in a punchy, focused manner without extra padding. However, your main ideas are not particularly strong. If someone is making new friends, separation anxiety is often lessened. This negates your argument that the disadvantages outweigh. Remember, your ideas must make sense. Therefore, it would be better to have the benefits as – becoming more independent and better work opportunities (such as higher salary or promotion). The disadvantages ought to be lack of support (particularly when sick or if children are involved) and separation anxiety (leading to mental health issues such as depression). You can now argue the case that the disadvantages are more serious.

Also try to avoid “like” instead of “such as”. The word “like” as a linking word is informal and not suitable for Writing Task 2. Hope you found this useful 🙂

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Can you please check the below sample essay written by me and advise whether it is sufficient to serve the purpose or if there is any improvement points you can suggest.

The best way to improve health is to do regular exercise. To what extent you agree or disagree?

Consistent physical training is one of the ideal methods to boost fitness. This essay strongly agrees with this statement because it not only stimulates metabolism but also helps in improving mental health. In today’s modern lifestyle where we spent major portion of our life sitting long hours at office and in home, exercising daily is the necessity to activate our metabolism to prevent variety of lifestyle diseases such as Blood Pressure/Sugar et al. It is considered to be the most effective way to deal obesity which is considered to be mother of all disease. A recently concluded study in UK concluded that by 2025 there will be 48% of the population in UK suffering from obesity which can be prevented by daily physical exercise. In addition to the physical fitness one of the major challenges of the new era is to balance mental health. To achieve maximum output at work as well as to get succeed in life we have to deal with varied amount of physiological pressure. Exercising is the finest way to divert all the negative energy and channelizing them into concentrated productive outcome. A clear example of this is the recent advisory issued by WHO to all the institutions dealing with desk jobs to mandatorily have the gym/fitness centre at the work place to develop the healthy lifestyle and to reduce the risk of various diseases. In conclusion, daily exercise is one of the finest ways to keep health in the best shape because it helps in building the stamina to prevent the deadly disease at bay and balance mental well being to deal with varied life problems. Total Word Count = 271

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Dear Mr.Pell I saw the videos of two Australian teachers stating that when the question says ” what are advantages and disadvantages’ (because they have “s” at the end which means plural) we have to write two double idea paragraphs. I am confused with it. When each body paragraph needs to include one idea and when two ideas? Could you please share a lesson or video that clarifies this point?

Best wishes Dr.Reza

The band score requirements for paragraphs don’t actually say “one idea per paragraph”. They state that each paragraph should have a “central theme”. This means all advantages in one paragraph – logical organisation. However, for opinion essays, each idea is a separate idea and should be written in individual paragraphs. This means your paragraphing should be logical and will depend on the type of essay you get.

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Dear liz, I recently gave my IELTS ACADEMIC test. I do not remember the exact phrasing of the question, but it was along the lines saying “in many parts of the world, children and teenagers are involved in many crimes.” what are the reasons and how they should be punished? I was in hurry and i might have missed “in many parts of the world” to paraphrase (I am not sure if i mentioned it or not) but my rest of the essay is relevant. So basically, my thesis might have missed a part. I wrote ” nowadays, it is seen that many young children and teens are getting involved in crimes” and i added next statement but nowhere it involves the “manu parts of the world” would this affect my score significantly? I am confident about my lexical resources and grammar. But i fear this one mistake might lead to low score. please let me know. 🙂

All fine. That isn’t a vital piece of information for the introduction given that topic. Good luck with your results 🙂

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Hi Liz, I have purchased your advanced lesson of opinion essay and was wondering it is necessary to write a balanced approach essay for a higher band score or we can get a good score with a one-sided approach as well.

The position you take isn’t marked – one sided or balanced view are both good. However, make sure you cover all issues in the question, keep the same stance throughout and have relevant points. I teach both approaches because some essay questions are more suited to one approach than the other. So, don’t decide which approach you will take until you read the question.

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Question:–Many people like to go on holiday abroad, while others believe it is better to visit places within their own country. Discuss both the views and give your opinion. Intro:—A lot of individuals want to go out of country for vacation. However, others argue that it is good to visit their home nation. This essay agrees that go out for holiday is give idea about new culture and learn new language. Can i write in this way in opinion essay type question and also plz tell me 1. Is it is necessary to use background Statment? 2. How to write thesis statement and outline statement.

The instructions ask for your own opinion. This essay agrees” cannot be used. An essay is not a person and it is not you. Give your opinion clearly and directly. For your background statement, try to write it as one sentence, rather than two as you have done.

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Hi Liz, You clearly say that there is no need to add more than the background sentence/s and the thesis statement in the introduction. But, I have found others who suggest to write ‘outline statements’ to make it better. What do you think?

It does not at all affect your score. You won’t get a higher score to have more than a background and thesis statement. The main points in an IELTS essay are in the body paragraphs. While the conclusion and introduction are essential, they serve only a functional purpose.

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Hey liz 🙂 I have a question if you dont mind For the 3rd paragraph of advantage/disadvantage question..I want to check if this sentence is formal or not

However, every coin has two sides and despite all the advantages mentioned above, there are some disadvantages too.

It looks like a memorised sentence and that isn’t going to help your score. Each sentence should be uniquely created by yourself and connect to the specific topic given. That is a general statement which doesn’t connect to any topic. Be specific and don’t memorise whole sentences.

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you said this is a band 9 essay. i am confused as you did not use a gerund in the introduction or even anywhere in it. also, your transition words look quite mechanical. please kindly respond.

I don’t understand your comment. There is no essay on this page. There is a video lesson which explains the techniques and content for an introduction. You do NOT need to write a gerund in the introduction at all – this is not an IELTS rule. Linking words are mainly used in the body paragraphs, not the introduction.

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Thesis statement While it is true that regular physical exercise is key to health, I disagree that this method is the most effective since rational nutrition and avoiding bad habits are equally important.

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Is it compulsory to write the general line in the starting of introduction.

If you watch the video lesson above, you will see the two statements which are required in an IELTS essay for task 2. Nothing else is required.

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Hi Liz, I have just started following you for preparing ILETS and have tried my first writing task 2. I have tried to write an introduction according to your tips. Question: Some people think that the government is wasting money on the arts and that this money could be better spent elsewhere. To what extent do you agree with this view. My Essay While there are people who believe that the government has been venturing most of the monetary funds in developing arts in the country and such act may not prove to be beneficial. Moreover, they think that instead of squandering excess of money on arts and literature, this could be utilized in better ways. In my opinion, I agree that Government should invest money in community services first rather in arts. However, I believe improving arts may also add to a country’s economy and restoring heritage. Primarily, a government functions for the welfare of the citizens of the country. In the view of this, for development of a country, effective strategies must be formulated in the benefit of the countrymen. It is advisable that government should spend on services centering the society’s welfare. Government should use the national funds in improving civic amenities such as building schools, advanced and fully equipped hospitals, community centres and parks. In doing so, the citizen of the country feels proud of their governance and return back with paying taxes further strengthening the economy. However, completely neglecting art and literature may not be desirable. Since, developing arts in the form of music, theatre and artistic infrastructure may invite tourism internationally as well as nationally. Large scale music concerts and plays may attract millions of art lovers from different corners of the world. Moreover, construction of art specific museums and exhibition centres can impress the crowd. This may further boost a country’s economy and allows amalgamation of varied cultures. To conclude, I would agree that taking care of the basic needs of the society and working primarily for their welfare is the need of the hour. However, developing fields like arts may also be essential for strengthening the economy.

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Hi, Can we say/ write ‘to developing’ or shall we say for developing/ to develop? Regards, Amit

– I look forward to seeing you. – I hope to see you. – Only one person is responsible for developing this vaccine. – We are close to developing a vaccine. As you can see, it depends on the structure of the sentence and the way words are used.

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I have been following your page for three months and I have improved a lot. I really Want to ask that can I use word ‘ought to’ in the introduction part of writing task 2 as my instructor here in Baroda has instructed me not to use it instead of should. I am really confuse.

Thanks Anurag patel

Of course you can use “ought to” as a paraphrase the “should”.

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Hi Liz, Can I start with this… In the salad days of millennium, many people believe that doing daily exercise is the most significant method to become healthy is convincing. I think in a reverse manner and strongly agree to the given statement. My inclination is justified in the ensuring paragraphs. And after that BP1, BP2 and conclusion.

Try writing more naturally without filling your writing with inappropriate, descriptive language. Just write normally.

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I think ur giving the best way which can helps all the students thanks for it, i really like ur lesson 🙏😎🥳😍

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Very well done! Thank you for this lesson.

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Would this one be better? Advertising, which is considered to have a strong impact on people’s lives, is virtually everywhere these days. In my opinion, this profusion of commercials has more negative effects than positive ones because it promotes consumerism and causes frustration.

Now you are going in the right direction. This is what IELTS is all about. The introduction serves only two purposes – to paraphrase the essay question because your whole essay will address it and secondly to present your answer.

Hello Liz! Could you have a look at my introduction, please. Thanks The question: People are surrounded by advertising which has an increasing effect on our lives. Do you think the positive effects of this outweigh the negative effects. Introduction: Advertising seems to have occupied our world completely. It is in streets, public transports, at our homes, in our gadgets – virtually everywhere, so it is needless to say that this constant presence affects our lives in one way or the other. But is this impact a positive one or are its drawbacks more significant? This essay aims to a dress this question and reach a concluding view.

Your background statement includes unnecessary information and is not a direct paraphrase of the question. Your thesis statement fails to answer the question. I highly recommend you learn the right way to write an IELTS essay. This isn’t something you can guess at or collect a few tips about. You need to learn what IELTS want. See my Advanced Lessons: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Apologies Liz,thanks for all your good works. Please kindly grade this essay of mine. An assessor graded it 6.5,i dont know what else to do differently. Thank you NEWS ABOUT PROBLEMS AND EMERGENCIES IS HARMFUL TO INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETY. DO YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE?

Many people believe that reporting issues-arising and latest unpalatable events cause unrest and panic to all and sundry. In my opinion, I disagree with this because breaking news keeps us abreast of need-to -know information about our environment and also enable us to avoid falling victims to threats. The main purpose of reporting news is to render information to the public about recent events. Information on the news comes in two forms; good and bad, and the reason why these reports are put out is to educate people about these occurrences so that the society becomes aware of them. We only know what we have heard about. A good example is the recent outbreak of Coronavirus, which was firstly reported in Wuhan, China in November 2019, and by December the whole world had been notified about the outbreak. Without news reporting, we would have been left unaware of and exposed to this deadly disease. Reporting latest events prevents us from falling victims to these problems. People tend to steer clear of harmful situations that pose fatal risks of physical injuries, incapacitations or even death. Take the terrorist groups invasion of certain parts of Nigeria for example, news updates on happenings in these areas enable people to keep away from these locations to avoid being kidnapped or killed. Another example is the recent messages on the news globally on how handwashing and the use of face-masks can help to control infections. Majority of people have adopted these personal hygiene practices because it has been repeated severally on news outlets. To conclude, even though breaking news on outlets like the television, radio and Facebook has had its fair share of creating panicky situations among the public, it is the best way to learn about new events so as to protect us from being victims of these mishaps. However, government should legislate about dissemination of information and individuals of groups should be severely punished if found to have shared false news.

Unfortunately, I don’t offer marking of feedback. But I will say this essay does not conform to the requirements of IELTS based on the marking criteria. For example, you can’t have only one body paragraph in an IELTS essay without it having a negative impact on your score for Coherence and Cohesion. Your conclusion shouldn’t be longer than your introduction – it’s a waste of words and doesn’t help your score. The reason you are struggling to understand what you are doing wrong is because you haven’t learned about IELTS essays. You clearly have great English, but this is all about what IELTS want. See my Advanced Lessons to learn the right techniques based on the official band score requirements. https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ One final tip: don’t use informal language in your essay (all and sundry) – use that language in your speaking test instead.

Thank you for you response Liz, still on the above essay,it has 2 clear body paragraphs not 1.. Please which of your online course will I benefit from the most?Thanks once again

Sorry, I didn’t see that. Leave an empty line between paragraphs to make them clear. If the examiner can’t easily see them , you’ll get a lower mark. Also pay attention to your topic sentences (the first sentence of each body paragraph) – they need to be written more fully and in a more connected way. Don’t use referencing in the topic sentences. My Advanced Lessons each cover one type of essay. You posted an Opinion Essay – start with that one and see what you learn 🙂

Thanks a lot..

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hey liz , thanks for providing us these valuable guidance , however; is the type question like : to what extant do you agree .? is not the same of : to what extant do you agree or disagree ! because i have seen your example and you provide the another reason to get healthy which is diet and if you added to our essay i guess thats mean we do not totally agree! i heard some teachers telling that you have take one position agree or disagree and write you controlling ideas with specific details ,, i really got confused about the question that ask and thanks in advance

Teachers teach that you can only agree with one side because it is a safe approach, particularly with low level English users. However, having a partial agreement is possible with any essay that asks for your opinion, regardless of how the instructions are written. See my Advanced Lessons for different approaches if you want more in-depth training: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Hey Liz, Thanks a bunch for such a helpful content, really appreciated! 😊 Before watching this video,i had written my own version of introductory paragraph’s statements, could you please confirm if it will be okay too? “There is no doubt that exercise,when done regularly, is a method that has excellent effects on health improvement. Perhaps, in my opinion, if combined with a diet that ia full of nutritious elements, it produces the best results.”

It’s fine, but don’t use the word “perhaps”. Either you believe in your own opinion or you don’t.

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Dear Liz, task 2 question on 14-3-20 was: It is argued that parents of children who break laws should also be punished as they are some way responsible. To what extent do you agree or disagree. First two line of my introduction was “In recent years the number of children committing unlawful activities have increased unprecedentedly. Hence, many people opine that parents of children who do not abide by laws ……” But now I feel the first line including the linking word in the second sentence were irrelevant and unnecessary… I don’t know why I wrote…will I get very poor mark for this?

You have made up information that is not part of the question in your first line. This essay is not about the increase in crime at all. So, it will affect your score for Task Response which is 25% of your marks. There are no rules for marking as to how much it will affect your score. As with all errors, they affect the score, but in no particular amount. At least, you know your error and won’t make the same mistake again. You don’t need a hook to start your introduction in IELTS. Just paraphrase the essay question exactly as it is.

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Your website is very much helpful and like the way you teach every minute details about all the aspects in IELTS. I actually have a doubt regarding the use of pen or pencil in the exam? Can we use a pencil or we have to use pen for all the 3 modules?

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-help-faq/

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Hi! I wanted to know if it’s possible to completely agree with the statement or even completely disagree with it. For example, I saw a topic that said the Government should take measures to restrict ownership of mobile phones and asked to what extent do I agree or disagree with it. Personally, I completely disagree with that idea, but I’m wondering if I can actually write my essay in that view.

You can choose to agree, disagree or partial agree/disagree. The choice of opinion is yours and is not marked. What is marked is your ability to present the position and explain it.

So, if I write my entire essay from the perspective of disagreeing without any point of agreeing to the idea, it’s still ok? They wouldn’t state that there’s no balance?

Your whole essay explains your view covering the single issue or two issues raised in the question. If you disagree, how can you write suddenly that you agree? If you disagree, you disagree. It is not a discussion essay. However, not all questions are suited to a one sided view. You should decide your stance after you read the question and think about ideas.

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Hello For the thesis statement can I use “This essay will discuss……” or “In this essay…. will be discussed.”

If the instructions ask for YOUR opinion, those words do not directly give YOUR opinion. So, if you use them as a way to express your own personal opinion, it will mean you failed to give your opinion and that would be a problem for Task Response which is 25% of your marks. So, be careful how you use such a phrase in IELTS.

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Hi Liz, some teachers say that you should also include an outline in your introduction saying what you are planning to do in the essay, for example writing something like: “in this essay, first I will discuss the advantages, and then I will analyze the disadvantages”. I don’t think this is a good idea, but wanted to have your opinion about this? Thanks!

Firstly, it is a learned phrase – a memorised sentence. IELTS do not accept memorised language as an example of your own level of English. Secondly, the examiner has the instructions which are “discuss the advantages and disadvantages” – it is not important for you to repeat that. Lastly, it is actually a sentence that isn’t required in any IELTS essay – it won’t influence your score for the better or for the worse – it has no impact. So, don’t waste your time. Two statements for the introduction and then straight into the body paragraphs which is where the high scores are.

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QQ: Is it ok to write questioning statements in writing task 2 of general module?

Ex:- Topic :- Some people believe that retirement age should not be fixed to 65 years. Do you agree?

Essay:- after writing intro and somewhere in 2nd para , if I want to write “If the age for starting work is not fixed and neither is the work tenure, then why should retirement age be?” Is this ok ?

You should be aiming to write statements that support your main point, not opening up questions.

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Thanks for all the lessons in this blog. I have a doubt in paraphrasing the below question. Could you please take a look and help me out?

Food travels a thousands of miles from farmers to consumers. Some people think that it would be better to our environment and local businesses if we only purchase locally produced products. Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

The question has a general statement and background statement. Do I have to paraphrase everything in the question for my introduction?

Thanks, Suganya

“Due to the distance food travels, it is commonly thought that people should only buy local products from local businesses to protect the environment.” As you see, you can just merge information to create one background statement.

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Hello ma’am can i use “heated debate” in my introduction about any global problem? Thanks in advance

Those are some of the most overused words in IELTS writing task 2 – they won’t impress the examiner.

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Hi Liz, I am writing 100 words of body paragraphs. I am including general idea in the beginning. After this, I write two sub-ideas with one supporting example (for any one idea). At last, I conclude my idea. But by using this approach, my essay becomes too lengthy. Sometimes it’s about of 300 words and sometimes it’s about of 330 words. I am seriously confused. Is it correct way to BP? I need your help.

You are trying to fix a formula for the content of your body paragraphs – don’t do that. You need to show flexibility when it comes to body paragraphs. For example, you do not actually need to conclude a body paragraph. That is not a requirement of IELTS so there is no point fixing that as part of your body paragraph. Just state your main idea and then explain it – you decide how to explain it depending on the idea and the topic – you do not plan this before hand. Start being more flexible in your approach. See my Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons if you need more help: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Hello liz I have a confusion in which essay should i give opinion starting from intro please guide .

Go to the Writing Section of this site for your answer. Use the RED MENU BAR at the top of the site.

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Mam please let me know which one method is correct to use in thesis for giving opinion 1. (This essay will or it is agreed) or 2. ( In my opinion , i believe , i completely agree ). I m really confused about that part. Pls help me.

See the writing section of this website – click on the RED MENU BAR at the top of the website.

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Hello mam. Your lessons are extremely helpful for the students like me to get a good band score. Please answer my doubt regarding introduction paragraph in WT2. I have read a lot of band score 9 and 8.5 essays and almost most of them have included a hook in their introduction but you stated that hook is not necessary. Please solve the dilemma going on in my head as I believe that you will give me correct advice.

I do not know what else to say. A hook does not help your score at all. It is a sentence that does not relate to the band score requirements. If you put it, it is just padding. It doesn’t cause your score to go down, but it is a waste of time. You have a limited amount of time and each sentence should be 100% focused and essential to the essay. A hook is to “hook the reader” – it’s about interest – that isn’t a band score requirement for IELTS. This is explained in the video on the page above.

Thanks a lot mam for replying and giving a helpful advice

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is your GT writing task 2 or 1 available for purchase?

Thanks Anjali

I have Advanced lessons for writing task 2 which are for both GT and Academic writing. I also have an e-book of ideas for topics which is also suitable for both tests. See this page: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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just get to know about your health. Please take care and get well soon :). May God Bless you.

Regards Anjali

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If the topic is not a question like ”The importance of video games for the children”. Should we discuss or give our opinion about that?

If there is no direct question, there will be instructions such as “Discuss both views and give your opinion”. You will always get instructions or a clear question. Use the IELTS Cambridge Test papers to prepare – or my essay questions.

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Hie Liz i would like to be enrolled in your paid up courses,in the four catergories how much is it?

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Hello Liz, You are doing great works for us. Congratulations on your initiatives. Then I have a doubt regarding writing task 2, that is can I use this word “their ” to explain something about a group of people. Is it will reduce my score.

Of course it is fine. I don’t understand your worry about it.

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Respected Mam,

I have a question that is there any word limit in IELTS writing task 1 / 2, as it is written in cambridge books for task 2 (250 words) and for task 1 (150 words).

Thanks a lot.

The instructions tell you to write AT LEAST 250 words for task 2 and AT LEAST 150 words for task 1. The words “at least” mean “not less than”.

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Hie Liz How many body paragraphs can one write

You should have either two or three body paragraphs. See this page for model essays: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hi Elizabeth,I took the subscription for the essays. I just have one doubt,I read somewhere that there are 5 types of essay formats but I can see only three types in your subscription; Adv. & Disadv. , Discussion and Opinion. Can you tell me if there are any other formats?

I haven’t made the other lessons yet. You can use my free lessons and tips for the other two types of essays. Click on the RED BAR at the top of the website and select “writing task 2”.

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Wish you the best!

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Hi, can we use : This essay will … ?

You can use any sentence you want. The question is not “can I use it”. The question is “Will it help my band score?” or “Is it a requirement of IELTS?” or “Can I use this instead of writing my opinion?” – answer to all = No.

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I just love your answers!

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Thank you Liz, You are very kind to share your knowledge with so many of us .

As regards the Essay, how do go about the body… does an Essay just end in 50-60 words?

I suppose we have to discuss in details about what exercises entails and also dieting as have introduced it in your thesis.

I have never sat for the exams and I am just studying in preparation to enrolling

There are over 300 pages of lessons and tips on this site for IELTS preparation – all free. Go to the RED BAR and click “Writing Task 2” to see full essays, lessons, more videos, tips etc.

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I would like to ask about the essay question I have taken before. It is about people eating fast food and healthy foods. In my conclusion, I have not chosen any of these options rather, I have opted to mention that moderation is the key.

The score I received for the essay is quite low and I needed to receive a higher mark. So I would like to check if I would have to agree to one of the statement in order to receive a good score?

Your score is based on a lot more than deciding your opinion. I also cannot judge the opinion you chose without seeing how you presented it, how you explained it, how you linked it to the question, whether you covered all issue in the question and what other issues you covered in your essay. All those points connect to the score for Task Response.

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Hi mam You said in video that this is for Academic essay. So can’t we follow this in general essay?? Reply pls Thanks

All my writing task 2 lessons are for GT and Academic essays – there is no difference between them in how you write your essays.

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Hi Liz, your blog is of immense help in preparation. Small confusion, I learned from you that, you don’t need to discuss both the sides in essay. In the IDP official website the sample task for CBT is this In Britain,when someone gets old they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them, Who do you think should pay for it, the government or the family? Now in my essay I think that the government should pay for it ,so I dont need to write about the consequences where family pays for it, right? https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/ielts-general-writing-task-2.pdf They recommended arguments for both the solution in body paragraph. So now I am little confused.

Your opinion MUST address all issues. You need to look at the essay question and see how many issues it has. If it has one issue (compulsory parent courses), then you choose one side only and write about one side only (if you choose that opinion). You would not write about pros and cons of compulsory parent courses – you don’t have two equal sides to one coin. But if it has two issues (government or family), you can’t ignore 50% of the essay question. If you agree with one side, then your view is “I agree with the government and I do not agree with the family”. Then your essay explains your opinion. This means you are given two coins and your opinion addressed both. So look at the question and address what you are presented with. When you prepare for IELTS avoiding thinking in black and white rules. If you want a high score, adapt your skills and be flexible.

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Woow thank you for this Liz. I have been thinking bout the same concern.

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Physical activities on a daily basis is a necessary step for the betterment of health.

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Writing task 2 essay topic ” companies should provide sports and social facilities for local community to what extent do you agree or disagree??

My background statement companies need to make available for use physical recreation and public amenities for neighbourhood populace. in my opinion I agree with the above statement but they shouldn’t stop at that they should build schools colleges and institution for higher education too.

Did I get it right?

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Hi, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask but I am using a book to improve my writing and one of the advices is to add in the introduction paragraph a sentence explaining your intention such as : ” In this essay, I will discuss some of the reasons why moving abroad is so popular and some of the challenges to overcome” but I have read in some sites that these type of sentences are not really necessary… any comment on this?

Those sentences are common in academic writing, but not needed in I£LTS. The examiner has the instructions – you don’t need to repeat them.

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Thanks a lot, it is very clear

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thanks alot for the for our great efforts

im in a dilemma i have gone through many ielts essays sample book one thing i have figured out from those is they start their introduction with a nice HOOK or BACKGROUND idea and then paraphrasing and thesis statement also my teacher suggested the same though, i prefer your way of writing the introduction but now im worried whivh is the correct way maam please help me out

thank you!!!!!

IELTS is a short essay which is all about focus and relevancy. A hook is used to capture the readers attention -this is 100% irrelevant for IELTS. You are being marked on 1) how relevant (not interesting) your ideas are 2) focus 3) expanding ideas (in the body). The introduction only contains the essay question paraphrased and your answer (the main points you will cover in brief). It has no other purpose in IELTS. You must then get to the body paragraphs where the real points are scored. Having a longer intro will not boost your score. You will not be marked down for a hook, but it is a waste of time and will not help you. I am stating this as someone who has completed the IELTS examiner training – not just as a teacher.

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One quick question.

Is it grammatically correct to write “In my opinion, I agree (or I believe)”? I personally feel that it is a repetitive statement, as, we make an opinion because we agree with the statement, and vice versa.

Please correct me if I am wrong. Thank you.

Best, Shailesh

It is optional. You certainly don’t need to use them both.

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Hi Liz, Thanks for being humble and helping the test takers with your teaching.

I have a question regarding the opinion essay. When the question is “To what extent do you agree?” we can either completely or partly agree/disagree. But when the question is “Do you agree/disagree?”, can we Partly agree/disagree? Thanks

There is no difference between the instructions. Your view can be any view you want. Your position is what you choose it to be.

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Hi First of all, thank you so much for such a platform, its really helful I would like to know that can we use carbon pencil to perform writing task 1,2 in ILETS test ? thanks

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Hi I watch your video today and i think there is a mistake as my teacher told me that “To what extent”? the answer is I totally agree or disagree with the statement. Not just only that I agree or disagree with the statement. please inform me if there is a difference?

There is no such rule in IELTS writing task 2. Your teacher is offering you advice. It is not a rule.

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Human activity has had a negative impact on plants and animals around the world. Some people think that this cannot be changed, while others believe actions can be taken to bring about a change.

People’s deeds have had a deteriorating effect on the ecosystem of this planet, while a segment of the population thinks this damage is permanent the others trust that there are various ways to improve the situation. However, in my opinion, with a positive mind set towards sustainable development this damage caused can be reversed.

Please let me know if this introduction para correct. Thank you

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Please l need your assistant on writing task 2.

Sorry, I do not offer that service.

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Hello Liz, I will like to purchase you advance writing task 2 but i dont have a paypal account. I will like to know if there is any other way that i can have it purchased. Thanks

It is also possible to ask a friend to buy the lessons for you.

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Although, it is sometimes thought that big international companies ought to nuture the economy of these developing countries through the establishment of offices and factories, other people believe that countries should keep large forieign countries away.

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Somebody said 50 words are essential for introduction and now u said only 2 statements .. I am confused because according to me format is 1)general line 2)rephrasing the given statement 3) thesis And plz tell me if this line is correct This essay attempts to elaborate both the views in subsequent fragments.

There is NO rule in IELTS about the length of the introduction. IELTS examiner certainly do NOT count the number of words for each paragraph and mark accordingly. They count the full essay word length and check that it is 250 plus words – that’s all. The higher band scores are mainly based on well developed main ideas which means your focus should be in the body paragraphs. It is your choice if you follow the advice I have given you in this video lessons or not.

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Hi Liz, Thanks for sharing the useful videos. I will be writing the IELTS for the General training module and not the Academic one. So, I wanted to know whether the Introduction part for General training is different from the Academic one? The way in which you described the Introduction part, will it differ ?

All my writing task 2 lessons are for the GT and Academic essays.

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can you guide me with my writing?

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ and also consider purchasing my Advanced Writing Task 2 lessons: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Hello liz I would like to ask you about the idea of adding another idea in the thesis statement which was not given in the statement of the questions. In this lesson you have added applying a diet. Do not you think that we should stick on the essay’s question and we should explain all what is related to exercise and not a diet which is a system of choosing the right food on the right time

This is an Opinion Essay based on a solution to the problem. You can give your opinion of the solution they offer and then offer your preferred solution.

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Hello everybody.

I am writing to ask if for introduction we should avoid phrases like: It is undeniable that ____________ is one of the most challenging issues these days. Or: This increasing _________has been a significant feature of modern life in developed countries. Or: One of the most significant advances in civilization is the development of…. There are a number of reasons for believing that… Some people have predicted….

Some of them sound to me useful for introducing some types of essays, but I am afraid that could be pre-prepared for the examiner in some way, especially if they include things like: “modern life, civilization…

Thanks in advance!

IELTS is an English language test. It is a test to check your level of English – not your memory. Each sentence you use should be uniquely created by yourself in the test room. You can learn linking words, but not phrases or sentences. Memorising chunks of language is NOT accepted by IELTS.

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Hi Liz, Can I write (In my opinion,I partially agree and partially disagree with the statement….)

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Wonderful job done 🙂 for this blog and all videos. I have seen the one with explanation on how to write an introduction and i was shocked to learn new things 😛 I got 7 in academic writing module, back in Nov 2017. However, I need a lot of improvement cause i am scared about my general attempt that is going to happen very soon. I am so happy to have your support freely available, which is terrific !

I need help specifically in longer complex sentence structures. Is there any way to have a piece of advice on just ONE essay, please ?

Thank you !

Sorry, I don’t offer that service. I am working on an e-book which is a list of sentence structures and grammar tenses for writing task 2. Would you be interested in that when it’s ready?

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Hi Liz, Hope you are doing well. I am a bit confused with the structure of introduction, I read on the internet, wherein it is that for a good introduction you “must” include the following: 1 Paraphrase the question 2 Thesis Statement 3 Outline Statement (e.g. The essay will first look at how voluntary work can help students develop soft skills and then discuss how these extracurricular activities are valued by universities and employers) Whereas in your video you don’t talk about an outline statement. could you please clarify the importance of outline statement and really we need to add in the essay or not. I am stuck at 6.5 in writing, consecutively 2 times got 6.5. For the second time, I bought your advanced video also but unfortunately again got 6.5. Please let me know, is this because I have not included an outline statement in my introduction to the essay. Thanks in advance for your reply.

IELTS do not require an outline statement at all for an introduction. Your score is not based only on technique, it is also your English language. To hit band 7, you must produce complex English with few errors – it is probable that your English contains too many errors for band 7. Errors also include unsuitable word choice, paraphrasing at the wrong time, spelling, punctuation. You must also showcase a range of sentence structures which are accurate. Making sure all sentences are 100% relevant and fully connected is also essential. All issues in the essay question must also be fully addressed. Also review your task 1 techniques, this accounts for 33% of your marks in writing. So, there are a numerous reasons for not hitting band 7. You must review your writing and try your best to improve.

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I am interested in your e-book… when do you think it will be ready?

I really have no idea. I hoped to get it done this summer, but my health took a downward turn again. As soon as I have a reasonable prediction on the date, I will post a notice on this website 🙂

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Get well soon Liz!

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I am from India. I have tried purchasing your advanced writing lesson using both master card and visa,however, the site says not able to add the card. Something is not right.

This will be a local problem with Paypal. You can try again OR set up a paypal account OR ask a friend to buy the lessons for you.

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Hi Liz, may I allow to use question in my essay to make it more attractive? e.g. what is the best way to flee?

Why do you want to make it attractive? Do you think it will gain you higher marks? Whether your essay is interesting or not, has NO impact on your score – absolutely zero impact. It is not a marking criteria for IELTS.

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Hi Mrs.Liz . thank you for this wonderful lesson my British teacher have said that to me: I should write what i will write in the full essay in the introduction after background. For example, the most effective etc,,,, This essay will discuss this issue then will set out my personal conclusion. is that true and beneficial ??

This is not an academic essay – it an academic essay for IELTS which is a language test. IELTS do not accept memorised sentences or language. That sentence is a fixed sentences which is memorised and used by many many students – it does not contain examples of your own English and won’t help your score.

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Hlo ma’am , you are doing a great job and deserve to be applauded . My question is , how many typical Vocabulary words should I use in My Writing Task 2 . I have penchant for using vocab . But one thing I’m afraid of is tgat the examiner might not get the exact meaning of yhe message I want to convey or what is my frame of mind . In place of put forward my ideas I write Propound my viwpoint . Similarly , for motive I use Incentive . For harmless I use Innocuous . And so on , there is profusion of words I use to put a better impression on the examiner . And same is in the case of speaking as well . Should I continue doing so or decrease it to some extent .

Your aim should not be to impress. It should be accuracy and clear meaning at all times. Poorly chosen words or even little mistakes all count and will lower your score.

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Hi can u give ssuggestions for my introduction. Question is Children should not be educated at home by their parents.do u agree or not? My intro … Young generations must be restricted to home tuition given by their fathers and mothers.In my opinion ,mentors play vital role for students in gaining good academic scores in latter life however neglegence of parents is considered to be worse towards their kid’s future. Waiting for response

Sorry I don’t actually understand your opinion. What do you mean by “mentors”? Are you referring to teachers? Because a mentor and a teacher are not the same at all. Why are you talking about negligence? Your whole opinion is very confusing. This is about home-schooling or school education. This is a typical example of poor vocabulary choices. Just write your opinion so that it is 100% easy to understand. Your thesis is vital to be fully understood.

Yeah exactly thank you so much ..now is it correct? Young learners should not be taught by their fathers and mothers . In my opinion , I believe that School educations or educational institutions are better for children and home schooling is not ideal for kids to develop abilitis in facing different chalenges.

Yeah exactly thank you so much ..now is it correct? Young learners should not be taught by their fathers and mothers . In my opinion , I believe that School educations or educational institutions are better for children and home schooling is not ideal for kids in developing abilities to face different chalenges. .. I’m really appreciated for giving ur precious time .

Now your opinion is easy to understand, but your vocabulary is still a problem. “fathers and mothers” – do you think it is a great paraphrase – does it improve the sentence? No. Parents are parents – you do not paraphrase that word. Your choice shows a lack of awareness of paraphrasing. Paraphrasing is about which words to change and also which words to keep the same. Also “kids” is informal and unsuitable for essay writing. And “developing abilities to face” – what does this mean? It actually has no meaning and no relation to education and school subjects etc. So, your problems are: a) learning more about the right techniques b) making better choices with your vocabulary. I don’t usually comment so much for students, but this is a lesson that all students can benefit from when they read it.

Thank u so much for ur explanations. The reason for writing this sentence I thought when children get school education they interact with different students so that they face different challenges which make them easy to achieve goals.

Now I can understand you perfectly – you should write this way in your essay. Be clear, be direct, write normally. But this is only one main point, not all your main points. You should plan all your main points before you start writing your introduction. Plan the whole essay first. So, you believe home schooling is bad because: a) children lack interaction with others b) they lack the range of subjects offered by schools c) they lack equipment and facilities offered by schools Get all your main points planned, then write your introduction. So, your thesis statement will say that you think school education is better than home school due to student interaction, subject range and facilities. – now you have a clear introduction!!

Thank u so much liz now I understand . Have a good day

Again school education is not about facing challenges. This is about the range of subjects offered, social interaction, extra curricular activities, professional teaching etc. Also, as I already said, “fathers and mothers” is not a good paraphrase. Parents are parents – don’t change the word. Sorry I won’t be able to offer you further help.

Thank you liz

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Hi Liz, Your video is so helpful and I’m able for doing lots of practices after watching it. Thanks.

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Hii Liz.. Thanks for your valuable support to all.. My exam is on 1st feb. Just want your quick opinion on following introduction.

Topic: Children in some parts of the world have less responsibility compared to children in the past. Some people think this as a positive change, however others think of it as as negative change. What do you think?

Introduction: Children in a few regions of the world don’t have much responsibilities in comparison to little ones in earlier times. It is argued by some to be a positive development while other consider it detrimental for society. In my opinion, it certainly has a negative impact on the world because children with decreased responsibility tend to become more reckless regarding their future.

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Hello Liz! Could you answer my question, please?

The essay question is “Universities should accept equal numbers male and female students in every subject. To what extent do you agree or disagree?”

Do I HAVE TO use the words Agree or Disagree in my thesis?

For example, would the following thesis be wrong or confusing? “In my view, gender should play no role in the decision-making process when university places are allocated and entry to higher education ought to be granted purely on merit.”

Is this thesis statement appropriate when the essay question is worded like that? I would greatly appreciate your response!

Of course, it’s fine 🙂 You do NOT need to use the words “agree” or “disagree”. You need to express your opinion and you did that clearly. Well done 🙂

Thank you very much Liz!

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    части 1 и эссе. Там написан балл за writing и комментарии экзаменатора. Читайте то, где написано this is a good example of an essay (и нет балла).

  11. IELTS Writing task 2

    How to write IELTS Essay? ; Body. Develop your point, giving reasons and supporting them with appropriate examples. Write at least 2 and no more than 5

  12. IELTS Writing Task 2: ✍️ Everything You Need to Know

    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

  13. IELTS Opinion Essays

    Take your time at first and gradually speed up until you can plan and write an essay of at least 250 words in the 40 minutes allowed in the exam. The Question.

  14. IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction

    A Thesis Statement – A direct answer to the essay question and task. An IELTS introduction paragraph does not require anything more to fulfil the requirements