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How to Write an IELTS Essay
In this introductory lesson you will find some guidance on how you should write an IELTS essay .
There are then more lessons on the following pages for different types of essay and different questions, with lots of tips and strategies for achieving a high score.
You can also watch a video of this lesson:
It is important to learn about IELTS essays because there are different essay types, and these will require different ways to answer them.
However, as you will see from the guidance on this page, they can all follow the same basic structure.
These are some of the types of IELTS essays you can get in the test:
- Agree / disagree
- Discuss two opinions
- Advantages & disadvantages
- Causes (reasons) & solutions
- Causes (reasons) & effects
- Problems & solutions
Not every essay will fit one of these patterns, but many do.
You may get some of these tasks mixed up. For example, you could be asked to give your opinion on an issue, and then discuss the advantages or disadvantages of it.
The golden rule is to ALWAYS read the question very carefully to see exactly what you are being asked to do.
The second lesson explains more about analysing essay questions.
How do I Write an IELTS Essay?
In order to answer this, lets first look at a sample question:
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In the last 20 years there have been significant developments in the field of information technology (IT), for example the World Wide Web and communication by email. However, these developments in IT are likely to have more negative effects than positive in the future.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.
Write at least 250 words.
An IELTS essay is structured like any other essay; you just need to make it shorter. There are three key elements:
- Body Paragraphs
We will look at each of these in turn, using the essay question above as an example.
You should keep your introduction for the IELTS essay short. Remember you only have 40 minutes to write the essay, and some of this time needs to be spent planning. Therefore, you need to be able to write your introduction fairly quickly so you can start writing your body paragraphs.
You should do just two things:
- State the topic of the essay, using some basic facts (that you may be able to take from the question)
- Say what you are going to write about
Here is an example introduction for the above essay question about IT:
The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the way people's lives are affected by IT, with many advances in this field. However, while these technological advances have brought many benefits to the world, I strongly believe that these developments in IT will result in more negative impacts than positive.
As you can see, the first sentence makes sure it refers to the topic (IT) and uses facts about IT taken from the question. Note that these are paraphrased - you must not copy from the rubric!
The second part then clearly sets out the what the essay will be about and confirms the writers opinion (some questions may not ask for your opinion, but this one does). The writer clearly agrees as he/she thinks there will be more negative impacts.
View this lesson for more advice on writing IELTS essay introductions.
2) Body Paragraphs
For an IELTS essay, you should have 2 or 3 body paragraphs - no more, and no less.
For your body paragraph, each paragraph should contain one controlling idea, and have sentences to support this.
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.
The conclusion only needs to be one or two sentences, and you can do the following:
- Re-state what the essay is about (re-write the last sentence of your introduction in different words)
- Give some thoughts about the future
Here is an example:
In conclusion, developments in IT have brought many benefits, yet I believe that these are outweighed by the drawbacks. In the future these will need to be addressed if we are to avoid damaging impacts on individuals and society.
The Full IELTS Essay
The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the way people's lives are affected by IT, with many advances in this field. However, while these technological advances have brought many benefits to the world, I strongly believe that these developments in IT will result in more negative impacts than positive.
Nevertheless, the effects of this new technology have not all been beneficial. For example, many people feel that the widespread use of email is destroying traditional forms of communication such as letter writing, telephone and face-to-face conversation. This could result in a decline in people's basic ability to socialize and interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
The IELTS essay introduction talks in general about the increasing use of IT, thus introducing the topic well. The thesis then clearly sets out the writers opinion.
The following paragraph mentions the present benefits of these developments, but the opening sentence in the third paragraph is a qualifying statement (Nevertheless, not all the effects... ), so the writer can now focus on the negative elements.
The fourth paragraph provides two other negative examples (lack of regulation, viruses). Both paragraphs suggest that these problems will continue in the future.
The essay concludes with a clear opinion that agrees with the statement.
Overall, it is a well-balanced text that mentions the present situation ( ...this has made life.. .) but importantly, also refers to the future of IT (. ..likely to increase..., might get worse. ..).
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paragraph Writing for IELTS: Building strong arguments
This paragraph writing lesson provides tips on constructing the best paragraphs for your IELTS essay.
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.
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"?
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.
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.
Transitional Phrases for Essays
Learn transitional phrases for essays to get a band 7 or higher in your IELTS writing for coherence and cohesion.
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.
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.
Using Substitution in IELTS to Improve Writing Coherency
You can use substitution in your IELTS essays in order to improve coherency and coherence.
Using Pronouns to Improve IELTS Essay Coherency
Find out how to use pronouns to improve your coherency for IELTS task 2 essays.
Writing an IELTS Essay Introduction
Tips on how to write an introduction for an IELTS essay introduction in a quick and easy way.
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Writing Task 2 Sample
IELTS Writing Task 2 ( also known as IELTS Essay Writing ) is the second task of your IELTS Writing test. Here, you will be presented with an essay topic and you will be scored based on your ability to respond to the topic.
You need to write at least 250 words and justify your opinion with arguments, discussion, examples, problem outlining, proposing possible solutions and supporting your position. You will have approximately 40 minutes to finish your Essay Writing. IELTS Writing Task 2 carries more weights than Writing Task 1.
Are you planning to take your IELTS Exam soon? Take an online course and achieve your dream score on your IELTS test.
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- Academic practice
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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 IELTS Essay?
1) Determine your opinion on the topic
- Giving your opinion
- 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
- EXPLORE Random Article
How to Write an IELTS Essay
Last Updated: September 16, 2019 References
This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 6,508 times.
Getting a high score on the IELTS exam can help prove that you are an expert in English. It can be useful for getting jobs, traveling, and teaching. In order to get a high score, you will need to write 2 strong essays. Research what kinds of questions will be asked of you and what the requirements are for your answer. Then, practice writing a few answers so that you know what to focus on when you are studying. On the day of the test, manage your time wisely and follow an outline to do your best.
Studying for the Essay Questions
- There are a few examples on the IELTS website at https://www.ielts.org/-/media/pdfs/113313_ac_sample_scripts.ashx?la=en-us
- There is also an long list of sample essays, categorized by question type at https://www.ieltsbuddy.com/ielts-sample-essays.html
- Sample questions for all tests are available at https://www.ielts.org/en-us/about-the-test/sample-test-questions
- Use a pencil and paper when you are practicing, just like the real test.
- If you don't want to spend money on the book, request it through your library.
- Find a test center by entering your country on this website: https://www.ielts.org/en-us/book-a-test/find-a-test-location
- Fees vary by test center and country, but can be several hundred pounds or dollars.
- If you already have a tutor, bring some practice questions to your next session and ask to work on them together.
- A progress check can be a good idea to see how you are doing in each section. However, if you are only worried about the essays, you might want to just focus on those.
- Purchase a progress check at https://www.ielts.org/en-us/book-a-test/ielts-progress-check
Describing Data for Academic Task 1
- As an example, a bar chart might show enrollment of men and women at universities over the course of 20 years. The question might ask you to describe what changes you see over time.
- Line and bar charts are the most commonly used types.
- Some common types of data include age, gender, dates, and percentages.
- For example, you might see that enrollment for men in university remained steady over the course of 20 years, but enrollment for women increased. You might plan to write one paragraph on the men, and one on the women.
- Aim to write more than 150 words but less than 200 words.
- You don't need to write an introduction or conclusion.
- For example, you might start your essay by explaining that the bar chart shown illustrates the change over time in student enrollment at university, broken down by gender.
- Make sure you use your own words. Using words from the question itself can lose you points.
- If you see a major change, like a jump in enrollment for women, this is a good point to include in the overview.
- Look for things like peaks or lows in the data, significant increases or decreases, or changes from the main trend.
- Pick one piece of data that supports your claim for each paragraph. For example, in one paragraph, you can write about how in 10 years, women's enrollment in university increased by a certain number or percentage. Then, use a second paragraph to talk about how enrollment for men over the same time period remained about the same.
- Keep in mind that you are only describing data, not giving an opinion. Stick with facts you see in front of you, and don't speculate about causes or effects.
- In the example of university enrollment, the bar chart used dates in the past. Therefore, you should use the past tense, as in "women enrolled in university."
- If there are no dates shown, use the present tense.
Writing a Letter for General Training Task 1
- A common example is writing to someone to ask for information. For example, you could write to a school to ask what courses they will be offering in the fall.
- The most important thing the test scorers are looking for is your ability to provide information, express needs and wants, or express an opinion.
- Make sure you understand what all of the components of the question are, and how you will include each part.
- For example, when writing to a school to ask about courses, the question might also ask you to inquire about who will be teaching the courses and how many you are permitted to take.
- If the person is a friend or family member write a personal letter.
- If the person is someone you know but the situation is professional, write a semi-formal letter.
- If the person is someone you don't know, keep the letter formal.
- In the example, if you are writing to a school to ask about course offerings, use a formal tone.
- For a personal letter, you might open the letter by saying that you want to catch up with the person and ask how they are doing.
- For a formal letter, you might open the letter with the phrase, "I am writing with regards to..." and then follow with an explanation of the situation.
- For example, open a letter of inquiry by writing, "To whom it may concern, I am writing with regards to the fall courses on offer this year."
- To make planning easier, try writing one paragraph for each bullet point in the question.
- Continue a letter of inquiry by using one paragraph to explain what kind of student you are and asking what courses are available in that area. Then, use another paragraph to mention a course you took with a teacher that you like. Ask if that teacher will be teaching another course in the fall. Use a third paragraph to ask how many courses you are permitted to take.
- Make sure your sign-off matches the formality of the greeting of your letter. These two lines will help set the tone of your letter and can make it seem either personal or formal.
- Also double-check to make sure you are using punctuation correctly.
Writing an Opinion Essay for Task 2 (Both Tests)
- There are no right and wrong answers for this question. The test scorers are simply looking for your ability to express your opinion using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- As an example, the question might ask if you think the death penalty should be used as a punishment.
- Use this time to brainstorm, but also to make an outline to follow while writing.
- In the question of the death penalty, you might agree that it should be used sometimes, but only in extreme cases. Write down reasons you think it should be used, and reasons you think it should not. Pick 2-3 reasons that support your opinion and make these the main idea of your paragraphs.
- Aim to write more than 250 words but less than 300 words.
- For example, you can write that the death penalty is a controversial form of corporal punishment that is legal in some places, but not all.
- Signposting examples include "In my opinion," "It is my belief that," and "In my view."
- Transition phrases include "In addition," "Firstly/secondly/thirdly..." and "In addition."  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- You don't need to be completely on one side. You can say something along the lines of "I agree somewhat with this position, but it's important to consider certain factors like..."
- For example, you can write, "In my opinion, the death penalty should be reserved for criminals who commit mass murder."
- If the essay prompt has more than one question, you should answer each in a different paragraph.
- In the example of the death penalty, you can use one paragraph to talk about how violent criminals are a danger to society and a second paragraph to talk about how this punishment can deter people from committing a terrible crime.
- For example, if you are somewhat in favor of the death penalty, use a third body paragraph to talk about how societies should focus on rehabilitation for most criminals and reserve the death penalty for extreme cases.
- If you don't have enough time for 3 body paragraphs, you should skip this one.
- Try to restate your arguments as briefly as possible.
- Also watch for any places you might have used slang or abbreviations, as these can also make you lose points.
- Practice your handwriting. You will need to handwrite all of your answers, so make sure the scorers can read what you write! Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.stgeorges.co.uk/blog/academic-english/write-the-perfect-ielts-writing-task-2-essay
- ↑ https://www.ielts.org/en-us/book-a-test/prepare-for-your-ielts-test
- ↑ https://www.ielts.org/en-us/book-a-test/ielts-progress-check
- ↑ https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-1-lessons-and-tips/
- ↑ https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-gt-academic-writing-differences/
- ↑ https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-letter-writing-essential-tips/
- ↑ https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/mechanics/transitions_and_transitional_devices/transitional_devices.html
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How to Prepare for IELTS Writing: Tips and Tricks
Are you having a tough time preparing for the writing part of the IELTS exam? This test may be a great challenge as it requires non-native English speakers to show a high level of language skills. Although the questions differ from year to year, the IELTS academic writing task structure remains the same, so you can quickly get the gist of what to expect.
We prepared an ultimate guide to the exam’s written assignments, presenting the most actionable IELTS tips and tricks for you to achieve the highest results. In our article, you will find instructions on: analyzing the task, outlining your composition, and avoiding common errors. After you’re done reading, head over to our database and check out some free essay samples to get familiar with the format. Let’s make the first step to your 9.0 in the IELTS writing part!
- ✏️ Writing Tasks Overview
- 🔎 IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
- 📌 IELTS Academic Writing Task 2
💡 IELTS: General Writing Tips
📋 how to prepare for ielts at home.
IELTS is one of the common exams for non-native English speakers who want to apply to a university or a long-term visa. Some people admit that it’s hard to prepare for it without a tutor or language courses. We won’t say that it’s wrong, but here is why you should try studying for it on your own:
- You can develop your approach and follow the best IELTS writing practice designed particularly for you.
- You can access diverse resources instead of being limited to a few books.
- There are many free online services and platforms to strengthen your IELTS advantageous writing skills and learn more about the IELTS exam.
Now, let’s take a glance at the test’s key milestones.
Basically, IELTS can be of two types: Academic or General. Because most of our audience is students, it’s more reasonable to start by mentioning the first one and because it is the harder one. Regardless of the exam’s type, it consists of four blocks : Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking so that the inspectors can give your skills a comprehensive assessment.
The Listening section contains four tasks of 10 questions each and is the same for both General and Academic types. Speaking doesn’t differ in both exams and includes various types of questions that you will be asked during a short 10-14-minute interview. They cover such topics as your hobbies, attitude to current events, general preferences, etc. Also, the examiner will ask you to discuss some specific issues.
Both Reading and Writing sections are unique in General and Academic IELTS. For the latter, they are a bit more challenging and science-oriented than the former. The Academic exam test-takers will have to deal with longer yet fewer passages on various subjects from astronomy to biology. You will have the time limit of one hour to answer 40 questions for the Reading section. Finally, the Writing part’s timing is the same, and the difference between IELTS General Writing and Academic is in the complexity of the IELTS essay topics you should discuss.
If you want to succeed in the exam, you need to know what a good IELTS score is and what band do you need. Usually, universities require IELTS Band 7+, and you need Band 8+ to find a job.
Now, it’s time to learn about the Writing Task 1 and 2 in IELTS in more detail.
✏️ IELTS Exam Structure: Writing Tasks Overview
First, let’s see the basic features, time limits, and word count requirements of the IELTS Academic Writing tasks. They are specific for this type of exam, and you should stick to them if you want to score a high mark.
Some general IELTS Writing tips that the instructor will also repeat to you before you start doing this section are:
- Don’t open the task before you’re told to.
- Make sure you leave enough time on copying the answers to the answer booklet.
- Task 2 is twice as valuable as Task 1 in this section, so be sure you do both.
The information above refers to the Academic IELTS training; now, let’s see what IELTS writing tips for General training are. It’s much less complex than the previous one and focuses on your ability to discuss everyday issues. The IELTS general writing tips are also similar to the ones for the Academic section. In the table below, you can see the key information about this section.
🔎 IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: What to Expect
You already know the basics, so we will show you what you can expect from the writing section’s first task. You should be prepared for some obstructions, but we also developed a prompt plan of smashing this part.
So, what are the challenges of IELTS Writing Task 1?
Firstly, you should be able to analyze data and detect which subject it relates to quickly. It might be obvious, but there are also cases when it turns into a guessing game or when you are not familiar with the topic. However, this doesn’t mean you will fail the task because it requires more basic logic than any specific knowledge.
Tip: If you’re concerned about the subject of the diagram, imagine that it is about something you are familiar with.
Remember that you shouldn’t describe anything at a professional level. And there’s excellent news – in many cases, you will already have most of the needed words written in the picture. All you need to do is analyze it and structure the answer. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to learn IELTS writing task 1 vocabulary.
Although you’re not asked to write an essay in this task, your writing piece should follow a basic outline that includes an introduction and main body. There can be a conclusion, too, depending on your question. You can check out IELTS Writing Task 1 sample and templates to understand what it is about better.
This assignment is relatively predictable in terms of the image you will have to discuss. That’s why the best practice to prepare for it is to write descriptions of each type of graphics: a pie chart, bar chart, graph, diagram, and a process scheme. This activity will help you see the slight differences in writing about each type of data visualization. For instance, when writing about a process, you will have a specific chronology. Describing pie charts and graphs may involve predicting future changes in the presented statistics.
Finally, we’ve made a short timing instruction for you to fit in the limitations with zero hassle. Here it is:
📌 IELTS Academic Writing Task 2: Tips
The second task is IELTS essay writing, and it is a bit more complex than the first one. One of the challenges is that by the time you start doing it, you may be already stressed out by the previous assignment and unable to fulfill it properly. However, there’s a trick that will help you out.
Another deal is that this assignment requires an understanding of the IELTS Writing Task 2 structure basics. Not only should you care about the content but also about the outline of your composition. Usually, the task includes a statement and two questions. This is a typical flow that you can get used to quickly so that each time you come to this task, you will know how to compose it.
Ideas for IELTS Topics
Same as with Task 1, you may encounter difficulties here because you are not familiar enough with the topic. Remember that Academic IELTS is a more specific test, requiring understanding such subjects as production, business, science, technology, etc. However, you shouldn’t be too anxious about this. The topics will certainly differ each year, but you may come across similar ones in each field of study. Here is a list of ideas for IELTS topics that might be helpful to explore to prepare for this task: ads, art, business, charity, clothing, communication, construction, ecosystem, education, employment, freedom, gender, globalization, health, history, law, leadership, media, money, population, psychology, salary, science, society, success, technology, traditions.
It will be beneficial to analyze popular issues related to each of the areas mentioned above. Then, you will be 100% ready to encounter any topic on the exam and not feel like you lack knowledge or experience in it. Another useful activity is to check out IELTS essay topics with answers in popular practice books.
IELTS Writing Task 2: Structure
Generally, the questions that you may come across at the exam Writing Task 2 can be grouped as follows:
- Agree / Disagree
- Cause & Solution
- Direct Question
Now, let us remind you some basics of the IELTS essay structure to apply to this task. An average writing piece consists of an introduction, main body, and conclusion. In the introduction, you should present the context your issue relates to and a thesis statement representing your text’s main idea. In conclusion, you should restate the thesis statement, supporting it with new details that you’ve mentioned in the main body. The central part of your composition will speak of different facts and arguments supporting or opposing the thesis statement.
You may be wondering how to make the most use of the topic and questions in your Writing Task 2? Here are our thoughts.
You can paraphrase the first sentence in bold that you will see on your exam booklet into a powerful thesis statement . You can use synonyms and change the word order so that you have a unique, compelling sentence. For instance, you have a topic that sounds like this:
Today, the air is polluted, especially in big cities, which increases the risk of lung cancer among residents.
Let’s paraphrase it into a unique thesis statement, replacing the words with their synonyms:
In the recent years, air contamination in metropolises has become one of the factors impacting on the likelihood of getting lung cancer.
And what about the questions you have in the task? You can use those for the main body section. Answer them in separate paragraphs, and that’s it! The conclusion is also easy to formulate if you managed to write an introduction.
IELTS Writing Task 2: Common Mistakes to Avoid
In this section, you will learn what are the usual grammar and content mistakes in the IELTS essay writing. First of all, let’s speak of the general issues that may reduce your total score points.
- Focusing only on the questions or only on the statement in the task. As a golden rule, you should remember that every word in the exam task is equally valuable, and you can make use of it. Not only will you lose points if you miss anything, but it will be much harder and time-consuming to come up with an excellent writing piece.
- Writing about something unrelated to the topic. When fulfilling this assignment, you may be taken away by inspiration and write too much useless information. To avoid this, highlight the main keywords in the assignment and structure your answer considering them.
- Ignoring composition structure standards. As we mentioned in the previous block, the outline is one of the major aspects of your answer. You will lose almost half of the points if your composition doesn’t follow the structure basics.
- Not supporting your arguments with real facts . One of your aims is to present your perspective and make it sound compelling enough in the second task. Support your words with data or examples from your personal experience to achieve this.
- Writing too many overused words. The last common mistake among all IELTS participants is using clichéd words. Below you can find a table with popular overused words and their more advanced synonyms that you can use in your answer.
Now, it’s time to review some common grammar mistakes. First of all, it’s crucial for you to proofread your writing piece. You can either stop after finishing up a paragraph and do a quick quality check or do that when you complete the entire assignment. Here’s a list of the five most frequent errors that inspectors see in exam-takers answers:
- Correct use of articles
- Use of the commas,
- Verb and noun agreement,
- Confusing Past Simple and Present Perfect,
- Using improper prepositions after nouns and adjectives.
The best practice to avoid these mistakes is to consult official websites such as Cambridge Dictionary .
By now, we have covered almost all specific tips and tricks for the Writing section of the IELTS exam. However, there are some more universal recommendations on boosting your performance that we would like to share with you.
In this article, we reviewed the structure of both tasks and their specific features. Task 1 aims at detecting your skills of describing visual data, while Task 2 asks you to express your opinion on a particular issue. You also received a guide through some popular topics and types of questions in Task 2.
One of the reasons why people fail the Writing section is making too many small mistakes. Also, you can get a lower score because you are too creative about the task. The best practice is to stick to a specific writing routine and properly plan your answers. Then, it will be much easier and less time-consuming to fulfill the tasks.
We hope that our tips will help you boost your writing skills and prepare for the Academic IELTS test. Keep up with our updates to learn more about language competency exams!
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10 steps to writing high-scoring IELTS essays
Whether you take the general training or academic IELTS test, the second writing task is writing an essay in response to a problem or argument. Here are 10 easy steps, with lots of tips, to guide you on how to write high-scoring essays.
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How is the ielts essay component marked, step one: plan your time, step two: read the question, step three: highlight the issues to address, step four: outline your response, step five: expand on your ideas, step six: plan how you will connect your ideas, step seven: write your first draft, step eight: proofread your essay, step nine: edit your essay, step ten: proofread your essay again, why choose ielts.
Fairness and accuracy are critically important when marking IELTS writing tasks . Your essay will be marked by at least two experienced IELTS examiners on the following criteria:
Task response - Whether you answered the question fully and supported your answer well.
Coherence and cohesion - How well you linked your ideas together.
Lexical resource - Whether you used a wide range of vocabulary correctly and appropriately.
Grammatical range and accuracy - How many grammatical structures you used accurately and appropriately.
Each of these criteria is worth 25% of your total score for the essay writing task. Both of your writing tasks are used to calculate your overall writing band score.
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How to write high-scoring essays in 10 easy steps.
The Writing test (consisting of Writing tasks 1 and 2) takes approximately 60 minutes. Plan to spend around 20 minutes on your first task, and 40 minutes on your essay task. A sample plan for your time might be:
5 to 10 minutes reading the essay question and planning your answer
15 to 20 minutes writing your first draft
10 minutes proofreading and editing your essay
How to write a good introduction
While you may be anxious to jump straight into writing, make sure you take the time to carefully read the essay question. If you misunderstand the question, you risk writing an essay that does not address the issues properly which will lower your score.
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There will be multiple issues that you will need to address in your essay. Addressing each issue individually is key to achieving a high essay score. Highlight each individual issue that you will need to address.
The A to Z of IELTS: E is for Essays
Create an outline of how you will respond to the issues in your essay. This will serve as your ‘blueprint’ when you write your first draft. As a general rule your essay should have:
An introduction stating what you will talk about
Two or three body paragraphs , each addressing one issue or idea
A conclusion summing up what was discussed in the essay
Make sure you note which idea or issue you will address in each paragraph. Check that the issues you highlighted are all accounted for in your outline.
Write some notes about any key points or ideas you’d like to include in each paragraph. When you’re writing your first draft, these notes will help to make sure you don’t forget any ideas you want to include.
Mind maps to build your vocabulary resource for IELTS
Connecting your ideas clearly and correctly is critical to achieving a high essay score. Try to use a range of linking words to make your essay easy to read. You can use connecting devices and phrases to:
List connected ideas
‘Firstly, secondly, thirdly’
Provide more information
‘On the other hand’
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to put a linking word in every sentence. Essays will score higher when the writer uses linking words only where necessary and appropriate.
Now that you’ve planned your essay, it’s time to write your first draft. Follow the outline you’ve created and expand on the notes and ideas you included there.
Avoid informal language unless it is appropriate.
Avoid spelling and grammatical errors where possible.
Use a mix of sentence structures such as simple sentences, complex sentences and compound sentences.
How to boost your IELTS Writing score
When you have completed the first draft of your essay, it’s important to proofread it. Read your essay from start to finish.
You can read it silently, but it may help to read it out loud if you can do so without disturbing others. Make a mental note or mark your paper anywhere that you may need to fix an issue.
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Carefully go through the issues you noted while proofreading. Edit or rewrite these until they look and sound correct. Examples of issues and how to edit them may include:
The sentence is too long. A sentence is probably too long if you need to take a breath in the middle of reading it. Try splitting this up into smaller sentences.
A sentence sounds strange when you read it out loud. Try using different words or punctuation until it sounds right. It may need to be connected to another sentence.
The same word appears many times. Think about any other words you could use instead.
There is more than one main idea in each paragraph. Move any unrelated sentences to the correct paragraph. Each paragraph should address one issue only.
IELTS Writing: How to organise your responses
After your edits and before submitting your essay , give it one final proofread. Make sure you have:
Included all the points you highlighted in step three
Followed your outline from step four
Used good connecting words from step six
Fixed any errors or issues in step nine
IELTS Writing: 8 steps towards a band 8
IELTS is widely recognised by businesses and universities globally, and is the only English language competency test approved by all four of the following countries:
With convenient computer and paper based test options, your IELTS test can be completed in a way that you’re most comfortable with. If you’re in a hurry, you could even have your test results back within 2 to 5 days!
Also, the IELTS Familiarisation test is designed to give test takers an idea of what to expect on the actual IELTS test. It includes sample questions from different part of the test, such as Listening, Reading, and Writing. Set yourself up for success and explore our extensive library of preparation materials today.
IRCC changes are now live: Overall band 6.0 accepted for Canada's SDS
Sds canada study permit changes spark excitement among ielts test takers, canadian colleges and universities that accept an ielts academic band score 6 or lower.
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Updated on 13 April, 2023
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The International English Language Testing System ( IELTS ) is an English language proficiency test for those who are seeking international education, a job, or migration. Two types of IELTS examination-IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, are carried out to measure English language proficiency and skills that are important to communicate in English-speaking countries. Writing for IELTS Task 2 includes an essay writing task of 250 words in 40 minutes. The essay writing task is designed to understand the writing skills, grammar, vocabulary, ideas, and reasoning capabilities of applicants. Task 2 contributes twice Task 1 to the writing score. Essay writing tests English proficiency in terms of writing skills, and it is one of the most important and compulsory sections. To write a winning essay in IELTS, applicants must follow the below-mentioned tips and band 8 essay samples. Let’s learn – how to write an essay in IELTS.
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Tips and patterns for writing a band 8 essay
1. Lexical resources should be appropriate while writing the task 2 essay. Applicants should use a broad spectrum of vocabulary with zero errors and complete accuracy. The lexical terms should be used and demonstrated in a sophisticated manner throughout the essay.
2. Stick to the word limit. The word limit for task 2 essay writing is 250 words. Make sure you write a maximum of 260-280 words and not any extra. Quality over quantity will matter in writing a winning essay. Don’t waste time on writing extra; instead, take time to draft a brilliant introduction and conclusion.
3. The essay should be coherent and cohesive. The ideas and information should match with one another throughout the essay. Compose the ideas and details in an organized manner following the instructed format. The essay writing should be cohesive. When the information is cohesive, you will not require too many connectors or linking words to connect sentences.
4. Increase the readability of the essay by organizing the entire 250-word essay into small paragraphs. It will attract attention and increase readability. Avoid writing a 100-word-long paragraph at a stretch. Short paragraphs and sentences are good and crisp.
5. Read the question well, to understand the expectations of the examiner and maintain a unique and ideal write-up. Choose the right words to draft a 250-word length descriptive essay that meets the relevancy and purpose of the question.
6. Use positive words. Even if you don’t support the question and speak against the statement, you cannot use negative words or disrespect the opinion of anyone else. It will be a neutral statement where you just need to talk about your opinion and support your statement with enough ideas, justification and add on some real-life experiences to make it a winning essay.
7. An accurate and rich vocabulary is important to write a winning IELTS essay that can give a band 8. Read and listen to magazines, newspapers, articles, and journals to get some good words that you can use in the write-up. Do not use common and daily used words. The way you talk randomly with your friends is not the way that you draft your IELTS task 2. It needs good words to increase the quality of the essay.
8. Follow the format. The essay has three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction and conclusion are very important. The examiner should be able to figure out the entire content and purpose of the essay by reading the starting lines of the introduction. Effectively close your essay. The conclusion is an important part of the essay.
9. Work on grammar. The essay should be grammatically correct. Don’t make major grammatical mistakes. Read your essay once after completing it. You will be able to scan various minor and major errors that can bring down your band. Always set aside some time to read before submitting the essay.
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Sample IELTS Essay Writing Task 2
Crime is a big problem in the world. Many people think that nothing can be done about crime to prevent it. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give your own opinion. Ever-increasing crime is irrefutably one of the most overarching and major issues every country is facing in recent times. Although many people believe that nothing can be done to prevent crime, I believe that crime can be controlled by treating it as the main issue and executing the measures differently.
While many people believe that common crimes such as robbery, theft, murder, hate crimes, and others cannot be regulated, I think that Government can control it up to a great extent by making strict rules. Making strict rules and compelling citizens to religiously abide by them will instill the fear of punishment in people. Also, severe punishments like longer imprisonment will discourage people to indulge in common crimes and thus it will reduce crime significantly. For instance-lifetime imprisonment for murders or sexual assault will make people think twice before committing such crimes, which will ensure less crime in society.
The second major change the Government of every country needs to ensure is the basic rights of health, housing, and education to reduce the crime rate. Substandard living conditions are the main reason why many people gravitate toward committing various crimes and hence ensuring basic facilities for everyone will reduce the crime considerably.
To conclude, I feel that the only logical solution to preventing criminal activities is through appropriate action taken by the government and society.
The English language is the medium of communication in English-speaking countries. The IELTS Writing section focuses on the skills required for writing, in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and writing style. Writing task 2 is an essay. It is a descriptive essay that evaluates grammar, ideas, opinion, format, fluency, and structure. To write a winning essay, refer to the sample and tips provided above.
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Home >> Take IELTS >> Paper or Computer >> IELTS Writing
IELTS Writing Test
Whether you are preparing for your IELTS test, or want to know more about what’s in the Writing section of the exam, you can find everything you need to know here.
About the Writing section of the IELTS test
The Writing test format is the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, but the question content is slightly different.
For both test types, you are given 60 minutes in total to complete the Writing section of the exam, with two tasks to finish in that time. It is recommended that 20 minutes is spent on Writing task 1, then the final 40 minutes on Writing task 2.
The IELTS Writing test format
Writing Task 1 is slightly different depending on whether you are taking the IELTS Academic or General Training test, but Writing Task 2 is the same format for both tests.
Writing Task 1: IELTS Academic
For task 1 of the IELTS Academic Writing test, you will be shown an image such as a chart, graph or map. You will then be asked a question relating to the image and expected to write around 150 words summarising what you see.
Writing Task 1: IELTS General Training
If you are taking the IELTS General Training test, Task 1 in the Writing section asks you to write a letter in response to a situation presented to you in your exam paper. These situations could be formal, semi-formal or informal and include things such as a letter to your manager or to a friend or family member. You should aim to write around 150 words.
Writing Task 2: IELTS Academic & General Training
Whether you are taking the IELTS Academic or General Training test, the second part of the exam, “Writing task 2” is the same format. During this part of the test, you will be asked to write an informal essay of at least 250 words on a topic provided in your exam paper.
IELTS Writing preparation materials
Free practice tests
You can find free IELTS Writing practice tests here to help you prepare for the types of questions you might be asked in your exam.
We have webinars which are led by language experts and are specific to the Writing part of the exam. They can cover everything from how to tackle specific tasks to how to increase your band score.
Test taker support
See our full range of preparation support for test takers here. From full courses to study packs and online coaches, we have plenty of free resources to help you do well in your IELTS test.
The more time you give yourself to prepare, and the more you take advantage of our free materials, the better you are likely to score in your IELTS test.
Familiarising yourself with the Writing section of the exam means no time wasted on the day, giving you more time to focus on your questions. You’ll also have a better understanding of what the examiners are looking for in order to get the best mark possible.
In the Writing test, you can use a pen or pencil. You can choose to write in capitals or lower case.
You can make notes on the question paper, but anything on the question paper will not be marked. Make sure all your answers are on the answer paper.
- Make notes if you need to and think carefully about each task.
- Underline key words to help understand what you need to do.
- Plan your answers thoroughly before you write them.
- Structure your response by separating each idea into its own paragraph.
- Avoid repeating the same sentence using different words.
- You will not get any marks for copying whole sentences from the question.
- Make sure your answer closely follows the question topic.
- Manage your time carefully and remember that Task 2 is worth twice as much as Task 1. As a guide you should spend around 20 minutes on Task 1 and 40 minutes on Task 2.
- You may not have time to count your words so you should practice by learning roughly how long 150 and 250 words looks in your own handwriting.
- Write your answers in full sentences. You will lose marks for bullet points or short notes.
- Use formal language where possible.
- Allow time to read back through your answers and make changes where needed.
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With over 80 test centres located across Canada, simply use our online tool to find one near you and book online today.
Find your nearest test centre here by following the link and selecting the province you live in.
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Test & practice tips for IELTS Reading
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How can I improve my IELTS writing?
With practice! Try taking some IELTS practice tests before your exam, attend some Writing specific webinars and check out our blog section for even more top tips! For example, here’s some advice on how to write informal letters for the IELTS General Training Writing test.
How do I do IELTS Writing task 2?
IELTS Writing Task 2 involves a writing an informal essay of about 250 words (for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training). It’s recommended you spend around 40 minutes on this task.
Read this blog for some top tips on how to prepare for Writing task 2 . Here are some common topics you can expect to see as part of Writing task 2.
How do I write the opinion essay in IELTS / How do I write the agree/disagree essay?
The opinion essay in the Writing part of the task is also referred to as Writing Task 2. You will be given a topic which you are expected to write an opinion on and provide examples to support your points.
Find out what the examiner will be looking for in this part of the test, and get some top tips on how to write the opinion essay, in our blog .
How do I prepare for IELTS writing?
Firstly, get to know the Writing section test format. There are two tasks for you to complete within the Writing section, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with these and checking how long you will have to complete both. Then, make the most of the free online resources to help you start preparing for the Writing section. There are lots of free resources available here. Once you feel like you’ve practiced and learnt enough, we’d recommend taking an IELTS practice test , which you can access online. Find out more about these here.
What happens if you write less than 250 words in the IELTS writing task?
There will be a penalty if you write less than 250 words in Writing Task 2, so try to make sure you hit the word count in order to get the best marks possible.
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Academic Writing: What is the IELTS Writing test?
The Writing test takes 60 minutes. There are two tasks to complete.
Task 1 : It is suggested that about 20 minutes is spent on Task 1, which requires candidates to write at least 150 words.
Task 2 : This task requires at least 250 words and should take about 40 minutes. Task 2 contributes twice as much as Task 1 to the Writing score.
Responses must be given on the Writing Answer Sheet and must be written in full. Notes are not acceptable as answers. Responses to both tasks must be written in an academic or semi-formal/neutral style.
Test takers may write on the Question Paper but this cannot be taken from the test room and will not be seen by the examiner.
In Task 1, test takers are asked to describe some information (graph/ table/ chart/ diagram) and to present a summary of this information in their own words.
Depending on the type of input and the task suggested, test takers are assessed on their ability to:
- organise, present and possibly compare data
- describe the stages of a process or procedure
- describe an object or event or sequence of events
- explain how something works.
In Task 2, test takers are presented with a point of view or argument or problem. Test takers are assessed on their ability to:
- present the solution to a problem
- present and justify an opinion
- compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications
- evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or an argument.
Topics are of general interest and suitable for test takers entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies or seeking professional registration.
Test takers should support their ideas with evidence based on their own knowledge or experience.
In both tasks, test takers are assessed on their ability to write a response which is appropriate in terms of content, the organisation of ideas, and the accuracy and range of vocabulary and grammar.
Each task is assessed independently.
Assessment of writing performance is carried out by examiners trained and certified by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia or IELTS USA.
Scores are reported as a whole band or half band. Detailed assessment criteria have been developed, which describe written performance at the nine IELTS bands.
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IELTS Sample Essays
- Updated on
- Jul 20, 2022
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is amongst the commonly accepted English language proficiency test for admissions into top universities in US, UK, Canada, amongst others. IELTS exam is classified into two types, i.e. IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic . Further, it aims to evaluate candidates on their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills in English. Through this blog, we aim to IELTS sample essays and a detailed guide on their structure and format you should adhere to ace this exam with a higher band score.
This Blog Includes:
Agree or disagree type, discuss two opinions type, cause and effect type, problems & solutions type, advantage & disadvantages type, how to write an ielts essay, ielts sample essays writig topics, writing tasks sample papers.
These IELTS sample essays have been organised so that it is simple for you to observe how specific essay question types call for specific solutions to be given in order to ensure the question is completely addressed. Particularly, these are:
- Agree / Disagree
- Discuss Two Opinions
- Problems and Solutions
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- Other Types
IELTS Sample Essays: Types of Essay Questions
Listed below are the popular type of IELTS essay questions-
The agree and disagree type of Essays are the ones where you are given are given one opinion and you have to tell if you agree or disagree to that opinion by stating some valid points. Check out some sample topics:
- Alternative Medicine
- Spending on the Arts
- Human Cloning
- Social Interaction & the Internet
- Airline Tax
- Free University Education
- Scientific Research
- Banning Smoking
- Employing Older People
- Paying Taxes
- Examinations or Formal Assessment
- Multinational Organisations and Culture
- Internet vs Newspapers
- Technology Development
- Dying of Languages
This type of essay question is given with two opinions, and you have to discuss both the opinions and then present your own view. Check out some sample topics:
- University Education
- Reducing Crime
- Animal Rights
- Child Development
- Diet & Health
- Donating Money to Charity
- Closing Zoos
- Becoming Independent
- Formal and Informal Education
- Influence of Scientists and Politicians
- Sources for Stories
There are different types of ’cause type’ essay questions. Such essays are addressed by first giving reasons or causes, then discuss the entirely different aspect of it, such as the effects, solutions or the extent to whether it is a positive or negative development. Have a look at the sample topics:
Causes & Effects:
- Child Obesity
- Skin Whitening Creams
- Family Size
- Having Children Later in Life
- Time Away from Family
Causes and Solutions:
- Youth Crime
- Global Warming
- Paying Attention in Class
- International Travel & Prejudice
- Museums & Historical Places
Causes, Pros & Cons:
- Family Closeness
- Living Alone
- Rural to Urban Migration
The problems and solutions type of questions look at the problems related to the cause instead of discussing the causes of a problem. A particular issue in society, and then suggest what can be to solve these problems. Have a look at the sample topics:
- Competing for Jobs
- Professionals Immigrating
The advantage & disadvantage type of essays are to discuss the positive and negative sides of the given topic. Have a look at the samples:
- Traffic Problems
- Food Additives
- Computer Games
- Age Discrimination at Work
- Children using Tablets and Computers
- Cell Phones, Internet, & Communication
- Working from Home
- Eating Locally grown Produce
- Oil and Gas Essay
There are sometimes questions that don’t fit easily into a particular category as above. Have a look at some sample topics:
- Protecting Old Buildings
- Animal Testing
- Fear of Crime
- Communication Technology
- Influence of Children’s Friends
It is believed the key to improving one’s writing skills is to become a voracious reader. There is immense importance of reading in helping you improve your writing style as well as vocabulary. Moreover, it can also help you write impressive IELTS essays that showcase your flair for writing and familiarisation with grammar rules. Before providing you with some helpful IELTS sample essays, take a look at the format you must adhere to while writing one.
IELTS Essay Sample 1
IELTS Essay Sample 2
While going through the IELTS Sample Essays, you must also check out IELTS Essay Topics !
- Some people think that illegal Internet downloads are having a negative effect on the music industry. Others feel that they have little or no impact on artists. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
- Doing an enjoyable activity with a child can develop better skills and more creativity than reading. To what extent do you agree? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.
- Some people think that new houses should be built in the same style as the older houses in an area. Others believe that the government should allow people to build houses in the style they want. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a car.
- Some people think that exams are a good way of assessing a student’s level. Other people believe that they put unnecessary pressure on young learners and tell us very little about their actual ability. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
- Compare the advantages and disadvantages of living in the city to living in the country side.
- Some people like to spend their leisure time with their colleagues. Others think it is better to keep their private life separate from their work life. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
- Convenience foods will become increasingly prevalent and eventually replace traditional foods and methods of preparation. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
- Some people today prefer to get advice for medical problems and do not want to visit a doctor. Why is this? Is this a positive or a negative development?
- To succeed in a business, one needs to know maths. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
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Hence, the aforementioned IELTS Sample Essays will certainly help you in acing the writing section of the exam. Needless to say, devising a proper strategy for an exam like IELTS is important to successfully crack it. Book an online demo session with our Leverage Edu experts and we will guide you throughout your IELTS preparations, providing you with useful tips and study materials to ensure that you achieve a higher band score and actualise your dream of studying abroad.
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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
In this video, I’ll outline exactly what you must do to create an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay that could score a Band 7, 8 or 9.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to IELTS or if you’ve failed the exam before – I’ve broken everything down into a simple 3-step process that anyone can use to improve their scores! Watch the video above to find out what they are.
5 Steps to a Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2
1. Understand the question.
You must understand the question before you attempt to answer it. This way, you’ll know exactly what the examiner is looking for. One of the biggest mistakes students make is not answering the question fully, which stops them from getting a score higher than a Band 5.
To analyse the question , you must first identify the question type, then identify the keywords in the question and finally identify the instructions words. This will help you understand exactly what the examiner wants you to do with the question.
2. Plan your answer.
The students who get the highest marks in Writing Task 2 always plan their answers for up to 10 minutes. Planning helps you organise your ideas and structure your essay before you write it, saving you time and helping you produce a clear and coherent essay.
3. Write an introduction.
The introduction should answer the question directly. This tells the examiner that you know what you are doing straight away and helps you write your main body paragraphs.
4. Write the main body paragraphs.
This is where you give the examiner more detail . You do this by stating your main points and supporting these with explanations and relevant examples.
5. Write a conclusion.
In your conclusion , you should provide a summary of what you already said in the rest of your essay.
4 Ways to Improve your Score in IELTS Writing Task 2
Many people know they need to improve their writing skills but don’t know how to do it. Here are 4 ways you can boost your score in Writing Task 2:
1. Understand the exam.
You must first understand what IELTS Writing Task 2 is, what you are expected to do and how to give the examiners what they want. This is the first stage and one that is often overlooked.
There are many online resources, often with conflicting and poor-quality information, so finding a reliable source of information is key.
2. Identify your weak areas.
If your car breaks down, you would try and identify which part caused the problem. If you get sick, your doctor will run tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.
IELTS Writing Task 2 is the same. We must first identify WHY you are not getting the score you need before we can help you improve.
However, be very careful! You wouldn’t ask the average man on the street for medical advice, so make sure you find someone who knows what they are doing and has the expertise to help you with this.
3. Fix the problems.
Now that we know what the problems are, we must fix them.
If your grammar needs work, fix those issues. If your vocabulary is lacking, work on fixing this issue.
Just as a good doctor can help you fix a medical problem, a good IELTS teacher can help you fix your specific issues.
4. Practice and get feedback.
Practice alone will not help you. It is an essential part of your preparation, but you must also get feedback on your work if you are really going to improve.
You wouldn’t try to teach yourself how to drive without an instructor, would you?
Find someone who will give you accurate and helpful feedback on your work. Otherwise, you will not be able to move to the last stage.
Now that you have understood what you need to do, identified the exact areas you need to work on, improved those areas, and received feedback on your work, you are now ready to get the IELTS Writing Task 2 score you deserve.
Writing Task 2 Structures
I want to warn you about structures because they are not a magic wand that will help you automatically get a higher score. They WILL help you, but please realise that they are just a small part of your overall score.
These structures provide a sentence-by-sentence template for all the main Task 2 question types, making your job much easier on exam day.
- Task 2 Essay Structures
Essential Writing Task 2 Skills
No matter how good your English is, you must still learn IELTS writing skills before taking the Writing Task 2 test. These helpful guides will take you through each of these skills step-by-step:
- How to Plan an Essay
Making a good plan actually saves you time when you write your essay. This guide will show you how to plan and write a clear essay every time.
- How to Think of Relevant Ideas
This guide provides 5 different methods to help you quickly think of relevant ideas that are directly linked to the question.
- How to Write a Complex Sentence
Complex sentences help you boost your score for grammar. They are actually very simple to write and are not complex at all.
- How to Paraphrase
Paraphrasing is one of the essential IELTS skills for all parts of the IELTS test. You should paraphrase the question in the very first sentence of your essay to help boost your vocabulary score in Writing Task 2.
- How to Write a Supporting Paragraph
Supporting paragraphs are the main body paragraphs and are the meat in the sandwich. This is where you provide the detail the examiner is looking for in the form of explanations and examples.
- How to Write a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement tells the examiner your opinion. Many IELTS Writing Task 2 questions specifically ask for your opinion, and if you don’t write it clearly, you have not answered the question properly. This article shows you how, where and when to give your opinion.
How many words should I write?
Around 250 words? Exactly 250 words or over 250 words? How many words over? How do I know how many words I have? Will I lose marks if I write too many words? This article answers all those questions.
- How to Understand and Analyse Any Question
A critical part of answering any question. This article shows you how to break down any Task 2 question and identify the keywords, micro-keywords and instruction words to help you answer the question effectively.
- How to Write a Great Introduction
The introduction is the first thing the examiner reads; therefore, we must give them a good first impression. I share a very specific sentence-by-sentence structure in this article to help you write introductions quickly and effectively.
- Task 2 Marking Criteria
Do you know how Task 2 is marked? What is the difference between a Band 5 and a Band 8 answer? This article breaks down the marking criteria and explains it in simple language so you can give the IELTS examiners exactly what they want.
- How to Write a Conclusion
A good conclusion should be a summary of your main points. The conclusion is the last thing the examiner reads, and if you can write a good one, you will leave them with a very good impression.
- Using Examples
Each of your supporting paragraphs should have a specific example that supports and illustrates your main point. This is an essential skill to learn if you want to get one of the higher band scores.
- Cohesive Devices
Cohesive devices (sometimes called linking words) are one of the most misunderstood and misused elements of writing. Therefore, you must learn how to use them and when to use them.
- The Danger of Synonyms
While synonyms are very important, they can also really reduce your mark if used incorrectly.
- Paragraphing and Editing
This article will show you how to make your writing as clear and as easy to read as possible. It will also advise you on whether to use a pen or pencil.
- IELTS Writing Task 2: 8 Steps to Success
Read this blog now to access our 61-page Task 2 strategy.
- IELTS Writing Tips
I have compiled these tips after years of teaching IELTS, and all of them have been approved by IELTS examiners.
- Coherence and Cohesion
This is a video lesson that shows you in practical terms how to improve your coherence and cohesion score.
Writing Task 2 Common Topics
Knowing the common topics can help you prepare for the test more efficiently. Here are the 10 most common topics over the last few years. Studying hard is great, but don’t forget to study smart.
The article below will show you the top 10 most common IELTS topics.
- Most Common Task 2 Topics
Full IELTS Writing Task 2 Practice Lessons
Here are some lessons that I have used when teaching students about IELTS Writing Task 2. I have changed them so that you can easily learn from home. They are very long but contain all the necessary information combined with the skills above.
- Agree or Disagree (Opinion) Lesson
In this lesson, we look at how to tackle an ‘agree or disagree’ question. Many people worry about whether to take one side of the other or discuss both sides. Additionally, people also worry about how to deal with ‘To what extent’ question types. We allay all of these fears in this lesson.
- Discussion Essay Lesson
‘Discuss both views’ questions often confuse people because you are asked to do many things in one essay. As such, it is very important to remember that the question asks you to discuss BOTH views AND give YOUR opinion.
- Problem and Solution Essay Lesson
These questions are much easier than you think. You probably discuss problems and solutions in your day-to-day life all the time. Keep it simple.
- Advantages and Disadvantages Lesson
There are a couple of different types of advantages and disadvantages questions. This lesson will show you how to answer them.
- Writing Task 2 Exercise with Video
Writing is a skill, and just like any other skill, it is important to practice to improve.
- From Band 6.5 to 8 Demo Lesson
This is my most comprehensive free lesson on IELTS Writing Task 2. We show you how we took one VIP student from Band 6.5 to an amazing 8.
You must have some good examples to compare your writing and see if you are on the right track. Click the link below for lots of sample answers and over 100 questions.
Task 2 Sample Answers
- Agree or Disagree Sample Essays
- Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay
- Latest Real Task 2 Questions
- Official Sample Test Questions
- Cambridge Sample Questions
- Free Practice Test
- How To Use Task 2 Samples
- Recent Confusing Questions
- IELTS Writing Practice Guide
IELTS Writing Task 2 Essential Information
- You must write an essay in response to a question.
- You must write 250 words or more.
- Task 2 is worth 2/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this part of the test.
- General Training and Academic are essentially the same for Task 2. However, they are different for Task 1.
- There are certain types of questions that you will be asked, for example, opinion, discussion etc. See below for more detail on these.
- Task Achievement (25%)
- Coherence and Cohesion (25%)
- Lexical Resource (25%)
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
Grammar and Vocabulary
Grammar is one of the four things you will be marked on in the Writing Task 2 test. Finding out what your common grammar mistakes are and then fixing them is a very powerful way to boost your score in this area. Here are some common grammar mistakes I have found after making hundreds of tests.
- Top 10 Grammar Mistakes
For most IELTS students, the problem is not grammar in general. In fact, it is usually just 1-2 problem areas. Therefore, when you fix these main weaknesses, you’ll be able to improve your grammar and your writing score dramatically.
- Using Personal Pronouns
Hint- They aren’t as big of a deal as you think.
See the interactive tool below for the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive about IELTS Writing Task 2:
IELTS Writing Task 2 FAQs
How can i improve my writing.
You will find all the resources you need on our Writing Task 2 page. Click the link below:
Writing Task 2
We also have two Task 2 courses for those that need to improve their Task 2 skills and strategy. They are both based online and completely free of charge. Learn more about them below:
Task 2 5 Day Challenge
Task 2 Essay Builder
If you need serious help or personalised feedback, you should check out our VIP Course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name here:
How can I get a Band 7, 8 or 9?
The answer to this question is different for every individual IELTS student, as it depends on a number of factors, including your work ethic, English skills and exam strategy. You'll find a guide to answering this question in this article
If you need serious help with improving your IELTS scores, you should check out our online writing course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name by clicking the link below:
Can you correct my writing?
Please click the link below and it will give you all the information you need about our writing correction service:
Writing Correction Service
Do you have any sample answers?
Yes, you will find them at the link below:
Will using 'high level' or 'academic' words help me improve my score?
Read my recent article about IELTS vocabulary here:
5 Things You Need to Know about IELTS Vocabulary
Can I use idioms?
No, you should not write idioms for Task 2.
Can I use personal pronouns?
You should avoid using personal pronouns, but it is fine to use them when giving your personal opinion.
Do you write a conclusion for Task 2?
Yes, it is very difficult to get a good score in Task 2 if you haven't finished your essay with a conclusion. You will find an in-depth lesson on conclusions here:
How to Write an Effective Task 2 Conclusion
How many paragraphs should I write?
Most IELTS task 2 essays follow the same basic four paragraph structure:
- Supporting Paragraph 1
- Supporting Paragraph 2
However, you can find more comprehensive help with structuring your Task 2 essays here:
5 Day Challenge
Do I need to plan my essay?
I would highly recommend planning your essay. A good plan acts like a map that guides you through the essay, ensuring that you give the examiner exactly what they need to award you the score you need. You can find help with planning your essays here: How to Plan an IELTS Essay
You must write at least 250 words in Writing Task 2.
I would suggest that you aim to write around 270-280 words in total. Aiming for 20-30 words more than the required amount makes you more likely to reach the word limit without setting an unrealistic goal.
Will I lose marks if I don't write enough words?
Yes, if you don't write the required number of words, you will lose marks in 'Task Achievement' for not answering the question fully. Read more here .
Can I use contractions?
No, should not use contractions when you are writing an academic essay.
- Writing Correction
- Online Prep Platform
- Online Course
- Speaking Assessment
- Ace The IELTS
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- Practice Tests Downloads
- IELTS Success Formula
- Essays Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 2 samples – IELTS Band 9 essays
- Essays Band 8 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS essays of Band 8
- Essays Band 7 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS essays of Band 7
- Essays Band 6 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS essays of Band 6
- Essays Band 5 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS essays of Band 5
- Reports Band 9 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS reports of Band 9 (Academic Writing Task 1)
- Reports Band 8 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS reports of Band 8
- Reports Band 7 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS reports of Band 7
- Letters Band 9 IELTS Writing Task 1 – samples of IELTS letters of Band 9
- Letters Band 8 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS letters of Band 8
- Letters Band 7 IELTS Writing – samples of IELTS letters of Band 7
- Speaking Samples
- Tests Samples
- 2022, 2023 IELTS questions
- 2021 IELTS questions
- 2020 IELTS questions
- High Scorer’s Advice IELTS high achievers share their secrets
- IELTS Results Competition
- IELTS-Blog App
IELTS Speaking test in Canada – August 2023
- Recent IELTS exams
A test taker from Canada (thank you, MK!) remembered the following questions from her very recent Speaking test:
Part 1 (Interview)
– What is your name? – Where are you from? – Do you sometimes forget where you put your belongings, like your keys or phone? – Have you ever forgotten someone’s name? How did you handle the situation? – Do you have a childhood memory that you can easily remember? – Do you find it easy to remember birthdays of your close friends and family? – Have you ever had to write things down to remember them? – Have you ever forgotten to do something really important?
Part 2 (Cue Card)
Describe a piece of good news that you heard about someone you know well. You should say:
– what it was – when you heard it – how you heard it
and explain how you felt about the news.
Part 3 (Discussion)
– Many people share their good news on social media. Can businesses achieve more sales by also sharing good news on social media? – How might small business owners use social media to promote their business? – Do you think word-of-mouth plays a significant role in spreading good news about small businesses? – What are some advantages of starting a small business compared to a large one? – How do you think the challenges faced by small businesses differ from those of larger corporations? – In your opinion, what factors contribute to the success of a small business? – How do small businesses impact local communities and economies? – Do you think government support is crucial for the growth of small businesses? Why or why not?
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- IELTS Speaking test in Bangladesh – August 2023 Our kind friends JS and AP shared the IELTS Speaking...
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