Today, I am going to introduce some guidance about essay writing for IELTS writing task 2. I will talk about the importance of: Timing, Answering the Question, Planning your Essay, The Introduction, The Body of Your Essay / how you can improve your essay writing skills and the The Conclusion.
I have also produced a lesson for IELTS writing task 1, providing useful vocabulary for describing line graphs and trends but that information is not included here. You should allocate 20 minutes to writing task 1.
You have 40 minutes to answer the task 2 essay question. You may choose to answer task 2 first, because it may be more difficult than task 1 and it carries more weight towards the final writing band score. If you answer task 2 first, make sure you leave enough time to also complete task 1.
Answering the Question
Answering the specific question is crucial. If your writing is very good, but you do not specifically answer all parts of the question, then you will not achieve a good band score. There may be multiple aspects to the question, so you must read the question very carefully and make your answer specific and relevant. Focus on the parts of the question that you feel are the most important and focus less on the parts you think are less important, but do not skip any part of the question.
You have to write a formal English essay. If you write less than the questions tells you to write, which is usually more than 250 words then you fail to answer the question and will not achieve higher than band 5 for your content. It is ok to write more than 250 words but watch the time.
Your content must be persuasive and consistent. It must show: that you can develop logically towards a conclusion; that you can formulate and develop an argument; that you can show a personal response; give your opinions and back them up with evidence and examples.
Planning your Essay
I recommend that you take two minutes to write an essay plan. To be sure that you produce a well-structured essay you should organize your ideas on a piece of scrap paper. Of course you must start with an Introduction and finish with a conclusion. Think of at least 3 or 4 paragraphs for the main body, with linking ideas and present them in a logical order. Remember you only have 40 minutes.
Don’t use phrases from the question in your introduction because that’s not your own work. Create new sentences of your own. If you plagiarize the question within your answer then it will be disregarded from the overall word count. Also, don’t repeat the same phrases over and over again.
If you have a clear understanding of the question and main issues you could state your opinion at the outset, within the introduction. For example, you could say:
‘I am strongly against the view that gun ownership should be legalized, for the reasons outlined below’.
Don’t give detailed reasons for your opinion within the introduction. Save the explanations for the body of your essay. You must demonstrate that you have understood the question. I prefer stating the opinion at the outset and then you can clearly and convincingly explain why in your answer.
If you are not so sure about your stance in response to the question or some parts of the question then you could develop your ideas as you are writing the essay. You could state your position on the issues raised in the question in the conclusion.
The Body of your Essay
You could explain your reasons for and reasons against in separate paragraphs. In Paragraph 2 you could state the reasons in favor. In Paragraph 3 state the reasons against. In Paragraph 4 you could provide some examples from your own personal experience or from what you have seen, heard or read, which strengthen your stance. If you can provide more than one example then you could create another paragraph, to ensure your paragraphs, maintain linking ideas and cohesion.
In the body of your essay I reiterate that you must answer all parts of the question. Make sure you have fully understood the question and you do not leave any part unanswered.
There are always at least two sides to every opinion and argument. Makes sure you clearly demonstrate the different view’s related to each issue whether or not you agree with such viewpoints.
Try to give examples to back up your ideas to make your arguments persuasive. Your examples may come from something that you read or heard on the news, a documentary you watched, or from your own personal experience. You could actually invent some examples but make sure they sound convincing.
Your writing must demonstrate some crucial qualities. Your paragraphs must contain sentences with linking ideas. Explain the most important views first and the less important views and linking ideas can follow on. Write phrases, sentences and paragraphs, using appropriate vocabulary and cohesion (which will ensure you maintain linking ideas and interconnections). Your writing will improve the more practice you have. I will provide ideas about different topics for practicing writing essays later.
The last paragraph will be your own unique conclusion. Write three or four sentences to review and conclude your views. Do not repeat verbatim any of your previously stated ideas and examples. Demonstrate that you can use new phrases and new sentences. You could add an anecdote in the conclusion, only if one comes to mind. Keep an eye on the time so that you can check your work.
I hope this article for IELTS Writing Task 2 is helpful for you.