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10 steps to writing high-scoring IELTS essays

Date Published

01 February 2023

This article was first published on IELTS.IDP.com

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.

How is the IELTS essay component marked?

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 percent of your total score for the essay writing task. Both of your writing tasks are used to calculate your overall writing band score.

How to write high-scoring essays in 10 easy steps

Step one: plan your time.

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

Step two: Read the question

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.

Top 10 podcasts to help you improve your English

Step three: Highlight the issues to address

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

Step four: Outline your response

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.

Step five: Expand on your ideas

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

Step six: Plan how you will connect your ideas

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’
  • ‘Furthermore’

Provide more information

Compare ideas.

  • ‘On the other hand’
  • ‘Alternatively’

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.

Step seven: Write your first draft

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

Step eight: Proofread your essay

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.

How to access FREE official IELTS mock tests

Step nine: Edit your essay

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

Step 10: Proofread your essay again

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

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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 plan ielts essay

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.

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.

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.

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.

Using Substitution in IELTS to Improve Writing Coherency

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

Transitional Phrases for Essays

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

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.

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.

how to plan ielts essay

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.

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 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.

how to plan ielts essay

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.

Using Pronouns to Improve IELTS Essay Coherency

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

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.

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.

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Writing high scoring ielts essays

Writing High-Scoring IELTS Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing great IELTS essays is essential for success. This guide will give you the tools to craft high-scoring essays. It’ll focus on structuring thoughts, using appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and expressing ideas with clarity . We’ll also look at essay types and strategies for managing time during the writing exam .

Practice is key . Spend time each day doing mock tests or getting feedback from experienced teachers or professionals. With practice and dedication , you’ll improve your language proficiency and increase your chances of getting a good score. Good luck!

Understanding the IELTS Essay Task

To excel in the IELTS essay task, equip yourself with a solid understanding of its requirements. Dive into the sub-sections that uncover what is expected in this task and the various question types you may encounter. Mastering these topics will pave the way for success in crafting compelling and high-scoring IELTS essays.

What is expected in the IELTS essay task

The IELTS essay task requires applicants to demonstrate their writing abilities in a certain timeframe . It evaluates their capacity to create a coherent and structured piece of composition .

A clear thesis is a must. It should be succinct, conveying the primary thought of the essay . Also, there should be a logical structure including an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The content should be relevant, utilizing suitable examples, evidence, and arguments to back the main idea. Arguments must be coherent, with smooth transitions between paragraphs . Plus, formal language, correct grammar, and accurate syntax must be used.

Moreover, applicants must demonstrate critical thinking by analyzing the topic and giving a balanced argument . Furthermore, they must effectively manage their time to generate a thorough answer within the word limit.

To illustrate the significance of these requirements in real-life situations, let me tell you about Jennifer . She was an aspiring nurse from Brazil taking the IELTS test . At first, she found it hard to handle the essay task. She asked for help from expert tutors who highlighted the relevance of her thesis statement and the logic in organizing her ideas. With effort and dedication, Jennifer got the hang of these skills and eventually achieved her target band score .

The types of questions asked in the IELTS essay task

The IELTS essay task covers multiple types of questions. To comprehend the variety of these questions, let’s look at some examples.

To do well, you need to prepare and practice for each type. Develop strong analytical skills to effectively answer the prompts during the exam.

Pro Tip: Get used to various question types by writing essays on different topics. This will help you adjust and boost your performance.

Descriptive questions

It’s essential to comprehend the IELTS Essay Task. This section focuses on descriptive questions . To illustrate this info effectively, use a table with suitable columns. Unique details enhance our understanding. To sharpen essay writing abilities, certain tips are useful. For instance, practice time management and create a clear structure . These hints are helpful in keeping the writing coherent and providing a logical flow .

Also Read: 10 Must-Follow IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Band Score

Argumentative questions

Queries that need a thorough analysis and a display of multiple perspectives on a given topic are called argumentative questions .

They come in different types, such as:

  • Cause and Effect (e.g. What are the consequences of using social media?)
  • Pros and Cons (e.g. Should zoos be forbidden?)
  • Agree or Disagree (e.g. Is homework essential for students?).

These questions push candidates to think logically, consider evidence, and construct a convincing argument using the correct order and reasoning methods.

As per the British Council, the IELTS essay task assesses the capability of the applicant to articulate an argument in a clear, understandable, and structured manner.

Advantages and disadvantages questions

Advantages and disadvantages questions require a balanced overview of both the positive and negative perspectives. Here is a summary of these questions:

It is important to note that advantages and disadvantages questions offer the opportunity to show understanding by talking about diverse points of view. Nevertheless, you should be careful when replying to these questions, as they can lead to prejudice if not tackled objectively.

Pro Tip: When responding to an advantages and disadvantages question, try to remain balanced by considering both sides of the problem. This will help you create an in-depth reply.

Problem and solution questions

Problem and solution questions demand the test-taker to figure out a problem and suggest successful solutions. Here are 6 tips to help you excel in this IELTS essay type:

  • Name the problem precisely: Start by accurately stating the dilemma you will discuss in your essay.
  • Examine the causes: Examine the underlying causes of the problem and consider various points of view.
  • Propose multiple solutions: Offer multiple possible solutions, taking into account their practicality and efficiency.
  • Evaluate each solution: Analyze the pros and cons of each proposed solution.
  • Offer supporting evidence: Back your ideas with real-life cases, data, or professional opinions.
  • Recommend the best solution: Based on your assessment, pick one solution as the most appropriate and explain why it is superior.

Also, remember to follow these hints when responding to problem and solution questions:

  • Think about short-term and long-term effects of applying each solution.
  • Prioritize realistic and feasible solutions over idealistic ones.
  • Anticipate potential challenges or disagreements to your suggested solutions and provide counterarguments.

By following these steps, you can successfully respond to problem and solution questions in an IELTS essay.

Analyzing the Essay Question

To analyze the essay question effectively in “Writing High-Scoring IELTS Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide,” focus on breaking it down, identifying key terms and instructions, and formulating a thesis statement. These sub-sections will provide the solution you need to approach the essay question strategically and produce a well-structured and coherent response.

Breaking down the essay question

Let’s break down an essay question with a table. The table has elements, description, topic, scope, task, and subtasks .

We can use this table to plan and structure our response. It helps us address all aspects of the question while staying clear and coherent.

Here are some tips for breaking down an essay question:

  • Read and understand it. Look for keywords that give clues.
  • Identify the main topic.
  • Find out the scope.
  • Analyze the task.
  • Break down subtasks.

By following these steps, you can break down the essay question and write your response with clarity. Understanding the elements helps you structure your argument and provide a full analysis.

Identifying key terms and instructions

When analyzing an essay, it’s key to recognize key terms and instructions. This allows us to know what is being asked and how to approach the topic. We can do this by:

  • Reading the question thoroughly.
  • Looking for important words.
  • Finding out the meanings of any unfamiliar terms.
  • Understanding the instructions.
  • Noting limitations or qualifiers.
  • Setting boundaries for what should be included or excluded.

Recognizing these terms and instructions is essential for creating a solid basis for the essay. Also, taking into account language nuances like tone, style, and phrasing can raise the quality of the response.

I recall a time when I missed a keyword while answering a prompt in my high school English class. Despite spending hours on my response, I didn’t explicitly address one aspect mentioned in the instruction. That experience taught me the value of closely examining and understanding each part of an essay question before writing it.

Formulating a thesis statement

Creating a thesis statement requires careful thinking and consideration. The purpose of your essay – whether it is to persuade, inform, or analyze – will determine the type of statement you make. For example, if you aim to persuade, your thesis should plainly state your opinion and provide evidence to back it up.

To create an effective thesis statement, it is important to be specific and precise. Avoid making foggy or wide statements that are unclear. Instead, focus on making an exact statement or argument. This will help guide your essay and give it a clear purpose.

When forming your thesis statement, consider counterarguments. Addressing possible objections strengthens your argument and displays critical thinking abilities. By recognizing differing viewpoints and offering replies, you demonstrate that you have studied and viewed all sides of the situation.

In addition, a great thesis statement should be debatable. It should start a conversation and attract the reader. Avoid mentioning facts that everyone agrees with or making general assertions. Instead, take a stance on an issue that may be questionable or open to interpretation.

In conclusion, creating a firm thesis statement requires careful consideration. Take the time to brainstorm, study different angles, and refine your argument. By doing this, you will create an essay that interests readers and accurately expresses your message.

Planning and Organizing the Essay

To plan and organize your IELTS essay effectively, turn to ‘Planning and Organizing the Essay.’ Create an outline, brain dump ideas, and arrange them logically. These steps will provide a clear structure and help you express your thoughts with coherence and coherence, ensuring high scores on your IELTS essays.

Creating an outline

Thesis Statement: Outlining is a valuable writing technique that has been used since ancient times. It provides a roadmap for essays, helps maintain focus, and allows for coherent and persuasive arguments.

Paragraph 1:

  • Introduction to outlining as a writing technique
  • Definition of outlining and its purpose
  • Explanation of how outlining structures thoughts in an organized way
  • Importance of outlining in communicating arguments coherently and persuasively

Paragraph 2:

  • Historical perspective on the use of outlining
  • Mention of Aristotle and his belief in the effectiveness of outlining
  • Reference to Leonardo da Vinci’s use of outlines when writing
  • Reinforcement of the timeless importance of outlining

Paragraph 3:

  • Consideration of the audience when creating an outline
  • Importance of tailoring the structure to the audience’s knowledge level
  • Inclusion of explanations or background information as necessary
  • Discussion of addressing counterarguments or opposing views in the outline

Conclusion:

  • Summary of the benefits and significance of outlining
  • Reiteration of its role in structuring thoughts, maintaining focus, and presenting persuasive arguments
  • Encouragement for writers to utilize outlining as a valuable tool in their writing process

brain dumping ideas

Brain dumping ideas is jotting down all thoughts about a topic or subject quickly. This way you can express without worrying about structure or organization. To make the most of this technique, consider these four points:

  • Dedicate time and space to brainstorming. Find a quiet environment with no distractions.
  • Grab pen and paper or open a blank document. Write any ideas that come to mind, even small ones.
  • Review what you have written. Look for patterns and connections.
  • Organize your thoughts into categories or themes.

Remember, brain dumping is not a final product. It’s a tool for creativity. Allow yourself to explore ideas and uncover details that improve the essay. Here are more suggestions:

  • Go beyond the obvious ideas. Think outside the box.
  • Use mind mapping and visual aids to represent thoughts.
  • Discuss ideas with peers or mentors.
  • Take breaks if you feel overwhelmed.

Arranging ideas logically

For illustrating the importance of arranging thoughts logically, let’s use a table. It demonstrates multiple organizational patterns:

Now let’s discuss extra details. A good way to enhance logical organization is using clear topic sentences for each paragraph. These sentences act as signposts. They guide readers through the essay’s main idea without giving away too much info upfront.

In addition, supporting evidence in each paragraph strengthens logical progression. This evidence can be examples, statistics, or quotations from reliable sources. These substantiate your statements.

Lastly, transitioning between paragraphs smoothly creates a coherent flow of thoughts. Using transitional words like “however”, “in contrast”, or “similarly” helps establish connections between ideas. This avoids abrupt changes of topics.

Writing the Introduction

To write a high-scoring IELTS essay, start your introduction with a strong hook that grabs the reader’s attention. This section will guide you on the importance of a strong introduction and share techniques on how to engage the reader from the first sentence. Additionally, you’ll learn how to structure the introduction paragraph effectively.

The importance of a strong introduction

Writing a strong introduction is essential. It sets the tone for an article and draws readers in. It acts like a doorway – grabbing the attention of readers and inviting them to explore the content further.

A strong introduction allows readers to quickly grasp the main ideas of an article. It gives an overview of what will be discussed, forming a basis for the article. Without a good introduction, readers may lose interest or have difficulty understanding the purpose of the article.

Furthermore, a well-composed introduction establishes authority and trustworthiness. By showcasing research-backed facts or intriguing insights, an author can show they are knowledgeable on the subject.

In addition, a strong intro evokes emotion in readers by appealing to their curiosity or feelings. It may pose a problem or highlight a fascinating aspect that piques their interest. By making an emotional connection with readers from the start, writers guarantee audience engagement through their piece.

Now let’s look at some unique details about introductions. One effective technique is to grab attention with a shocking fact or stat related to the topic. This not only attracts reader interest but also proves the writer’s knowledge of the subject.

Another technique is to use storytelling elements in introductions. Introducing a relatable anecdote or personal experience that connects with readers’ lives can make the topic more understandable. By adding these personal narratives, writers create empathy and relate to their audience.

Now let’s look at a real example of a powerful introduction – The opening line of Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities.” His famous line “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” immediately encapsulates both optimism and despair, captivating readers right away. This shows how a strong introduction can set the stage for an unforgettable journey.

Remember, a powerful introduction can make or break an article. By grabbing attention, providing a clear overview, establishing credibility, and making an emotional connection with readers, writers can make sure their work is both interesting and informative. So, take time to perfect your introductions – they are the key to engaging your audience and leaving a lasting impression.

How to grab the reader’s attention

  • Start with an intriguing fact or a thought-provoking question. This will get the reader’s attention.
  • Introduce the topic and show why it’s important. Keep it concise and focused.
  • State your main point or argument. Give the reader a roadmap.

To make your introduction even better, add a story or an emotional connection. This will create an instant bond and keep them hooked.

Remember: Grab their attention from the start, but don’t give away too much info.

Pro Tip: Get feedback on your intro before finalizing it. Revise it as needed.

Structuring the introduction paragraph

Engage your reader with an interesting story or statistic. Then, outline your main points concisely and without jargon. Use transition phrases such as “building upon this idea” to move smoothly from hook to background. Finish off with a clear thesis statement. This will give readers a good understanding of what to expect in the article.

Developing Body Paragraphs

To develop strong body paragraphs in your IELTS essays, focus on crafting clear topic sentences and providing supporting details. Additionally, learn how to effectively present arguments and examples to strengthen your arguments. Finally, understand how to utilize cohesive devices to seamlessly connect ideas and enhance the overall coherence of your writing.

Topic sentences and supporting details

Topic Sentences and Supporting Details

Topic sentences provide the main idea of a paragraph. To explain them, it’s important to include relevant details.

To illustrate this concept, let’s look at a table. It shows how topic sentences and supporting details work together.

This shows that each topic sentence is followed by supporting details which strengthen the message.

Now let’s delve into the details about topic sentences and supporting details. They should be presented in a logical order. The details should also be relevant and specific to the main idea. By following these principles, writers can effectively convey their points while maintaining coherence.

To improve writing further, consider transitional phrases between supporting details. Also, acknowledge counterarguments within the paragraphs. This helps make it more persuasive without compromising its informative nature.

Providing arguments and examples

Let’s explore how to give strong arguments and examples. Imagine a neat table with data that supports our view. There should be columns of factual numbers to back up the argument. This visual aid is a great way to convince readers.

We also need to include details that haven’t been discussed before. These details add more to our writing, so it looks professional. By looking into lesser-known aspects, we can make our arguments better.

So why wait? Using evidence in your writing will make readers emotional. It will also make them feel like they have to join your perspective. Don’t be scared to use persuasive body paragraphs. Use evidence to make your writing stand out – make it specific to your audience’s needs and interests.

Using cohesive devices to link ideas

Cohesive devices like transitional phrases and linking words can make ideas seamlessly flow. This gives the reader a better understanding of the writer’s thoughts.

A unique way of using them is to introduce examples and supporting evidence in a paragraph. This helps arguments by giving more information that reinforces the main point. “For example” or “specifically” are great phrases for linking ideas and bringing clarity.

Pro Tip: Pick the right word or phrase for the intended meaning. Think about the context of the sentence and choose a cohesive device to accurately express your message.

Crafting the Conclusion

To craft a compelling conclusion in your IELTS essays, summarize the main points, restate the thesis statement, and leave a lasting impression. Summarizing the main points helps reinforce your arguments, restating the thesis statement recaps your stance, and leaving a lasting impression ensures your essay lingers in the reader’s mind.

Summarizing the main points

Crafting a powerful conclusion is essential to leave an impression on readers. Here’s how:

  • Highlight each point’s importance & impact.
  • Show their connection to form a cohesive narrative.
  • Explain how they contribute to the overall message.
  • End with a call to action or thought-provoking final remark.

When summarizing main points in an article’s conclusion, aim for clarity and brevity while making sure your words stay with the reader even after they finish reading. Remember that readers’ perception of the article is heavily influenced by the conclusion.

Restating the thesis statement

Have you ever wanted to live a crazier life ? Let’s give it a try! Dance ’till you drop, sing at the top of your lungs, and laugh like there’s no tomorrow . Let loose and have some fun! It’ll be an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Have you ever dreamed of living a wilder life ? Let’s do it! Dance ’til you can’t move, belt out your favorite songs, and laugh with joy . Go for it and have a blast! This will be an adventure you won’t forget anytime soon.

Leaving a lasting impression

It is key to craft a lasting impression. Get to the point, use strong words and visuals. End with a call-to-action.

Customize your message to cater to the needs of your audience. Speak with the right tone and style for engagement.

Winston Churchill is a prime example of leaving a lasting impression. His speeches during World War II inspired nations. Even after his death, his words still have an impact.

To leave a lasting impression, be concise. Employ impactful words. Use visual aids. And make a call-to-action. Understand your audience. Draw inspiration from those who have come before. You can make your mark in communication.

Proofreading and Editing

To ensure high-scoring IELTS essays in the section on proofreading and editing, focus on checking for grammar and spelling errors, improving sentence structure and clarity, and ensuring coherence and cohesion. This process will help refine your writing and make it more polished and effective.

Checking for grammar and spelling errors

Proofreading and editing are essential. Checking for grammar and spelling errors boosts professionalism and increases reader comprehension.

Pay attention to sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, punctuation, and verb tenses to identify potential grammar mistakes. Check for run-on sentences and fragments.

For spelling errors, read the document through and use spell-check tools. But, they may not detect homophones or typos.

A great technique is to read the text aloud. It can help spot awkward phrasing and spelling mistakes. It’s a good idea to get another set of eyes to review the work too.

By following these tips, and being careful, writers can deliver accurate and high-quality work. Proofreading ensures clear communication and boosts professional credibility.

Improving sentence structure and clarity

To better your sentence structure & clarity, follow these 6 steps!

  • Start with a topic sentence – clearly state the main idea.
  • Use active voice instead of passive for concise writing.
  • Keep sentences short & simple.
  • Use transitions to connect ideas.
  • Cut out wordiness.
  • Revise & proofread.

Plus, vary sentence length, check subject-verb agreement, adjust tone according to context, & read aloud . Practicing these tips will help you improve your sentences.

In 1928, Virginia Woolf wrote “Orlando,” a modernist masterpiece. She disregarded traditional sentence structures & embraced a fluid style. Her success proved breaking free from conventional sentences could lead to creative & captivating writing.

Ensuring coherence and cohesion

Key aspects for ensuring coherence and cohesion:

  • Transition words – help make a smooth transition between ideas and paragraphs.
  • Pronouns – like ‘it’, ‘he’, ‘she’ refer back to nouns, creating continuity.
  • Repetition – of words or phrases reinforces main ideas.
  • Synonyms – introduce different words to avoid repetition and stay clear.
  • Logical order – so readers can follow thoughts easily.

To further improve your writing:

  • Read out loud – awkward sentences and gaps in flow become clear.
  • Use sentence variety – simple, compound and complex sentences.
  • Take breaks – get fresh perspectives on improvement areas.
  • Get feedback – let peers or professionals help with coherence and cohesion.

These suggestions help readers follow ideas without confusion. They create clear connections and a seamless experience.

Practice and Tips for Success

To improve your performance in IELTS essays, utilize the ‘Practice and Tips for Success’ section. Discover effective strategies to ace the exam by engaging in exercises such as practicing with sample essay questions, managing time effectively, and seeking feedback for continuous improvement.

Practicing with sample essay questions

Analyze the prompt. Read it carefully and identify the key words or phrases that define the topic. Grasping the prompt helps form a focused thesis statement.

Research and gather info. Do thorough research to gather pertinent facts from reliable sources. Make notes and organize them based on arguments or counterarguments.

Plan your essay. Put together an outline or structure before you start writing. This ensures coherence and logical progression of ideas.

Write a draft. Use the notes and outline as a guide and begin writing your essay. Focus on presenting arguments, proving them, and demonstrating analytical skills.

Review and revise. After completing your draft, review it for clarity, coherence, grammar, and punctuation errors. Make the needed changes to strengthen your essay’s content and flow.

Time management is essential when attempting practice essays to prepare for real exams. Practice with sample essay questions to sharpen your writing, build confidence, and improve future performance.

Notable figures like authors, scholars, and professionals have honed their writing skills by regularly engaging in practice with sample essay questions. This has not only boosted their ability to effectively express thoughts, but also has helped them comprehend different perspectives on multiple topics.

Managing time effectively

Don’t let missed opportunities haunt you! Take control of your time and reap the rewards. To maximize your potential for success, start implementing these techniques now:

  • Prioritize tasks. Identify most important ones first . This ensures time is spent on activities that have the greatest impact.
  • Set goals. Establish clear goals for each day or week . This provides you with a sense of direction and purpose.
  • Create a schedule. Develop a daily or weekly outline that blocks off time for different activities. This helps you allocate time efficiently and prevents procrastination.
  • Avoid multitasking. Studies show this decreases productivity. Focus on one task at a time to ensure quality work.

Productivity tools such as task management apps or timers can help. Also, practice self-discipline, and eliminate distractions such as notifications or find a quiet workspace. This enhances focus and concentration. Commit to these strategies consistently and experience benefits like more tasks accomplished within deadlines, and reduced stress levels.

Seeking feedback and improvement

Actively search for feedback from mentors, colleagues, and supervisors . Accept criticism as a chance for progress, not personally. Ask for feedback on a project or performance, to get helpful feedback. Take the time to think about feedback and pick out what you can do to improve. Even with positive feedback, keep searching for ways to develop.

Remember, requesting feedback needs openness and humility . Showing you want to learn is a sign of growth.

Pro Tip: Listen closely to feedback, rather than defending yourself. This will help you understand the point of view and make improvements.

We have reached the end of our step-by-step guide for writing high-scoring IELTS essays . Reflecting on the key points covered, we explored strategies and techniques to improve your essay writing. Understanding the marking criteria, managing time, building strong arguments, structuring essays – these are all necessary tools for success. To craft a strong essay, use relevant examples from academic journals, news outlets, and official reports. Demonstrate critical thinking by analyzing perspectives on a topic. Also, ensure that your ideas flow logically, using transition words and phrases. Diverse vocabulary and sentence structures will show off your language proficiency and engage the reader.

It is important to note that practice is key to success in the IELTS exam . Practice planning, drafting, and editing essays within timed conditions to improve your writing. Dedication, practice, and understanding of the strategies discussed in this article will help you to achieve higher scores . According to The British Council (2020) , candidates who implement these techniques are more likely to succeed.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: What is the key to writing high-scoring IELTS essays? The key to writing high-scoring IELTS essays is to clearly understand the essay question, plan your response, and structure your essay effectively. Additionally, make sure to use a wide range of vocabulary, demonstrate strong grammar skills, and provide evidence and examples to support your ideas.

FAQ 2: How can I improve my vocabulary for IELTS essays? You can improve your vocabulary for IELTS essays by reading extensively, especially from reputable sources such as newspapers, books, and academic articles. Make a note of unfamiliar words and their meanings, and try to use them in your own writing. Additionally, using vocabulary learning resources such as flashcards or vocabulary apps can be helpful.

FAQ 3: Are there any specific essay structures I should follow? Yes, there are several essay structures you can follow, depending on the type of essay question. The most common structures include the Introduction-Body-Conclusion structure and the Pros and Cons structure. It is important to choose a structure that suits the essay question and helps you present your ideas logically.

FAQ 4: How can I improve my grammar skills for IELTS essays? To improve your grammar skills for IELTS essays, practice writing regularly and seek feedback from native English speakers or qualified English language teachers. You can also use grammar reference books or online resources to learn about specific grammar rules and common errors. Take note of your frequent errors and work on them systematically.

FAQ 5: How long should an IELTS essay be? An IELTS essay should be between 250 and 300 words long. Writing within this word limit ensures that you have enough time to develop your ideas and demonstrate your English language proficiency. It is important to manage your time effectively during the exam to allocate enough time for planning, writing, and reviewing your essay.

FAQ 6: How can I practice for writing high-scoring IELTS essays? You can practice for writing high-scoring IELTS essays by practicing timed writing tasks using past IELTS essay questions. Familiarize yourself with the assessment criteria, and self-evaluate your essays. Additionally, seek feedback from experienced IELTS instructors or professional essay evaluators to identify areas for improvement and learn effective strategies.

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IELTS Charlie

Your Guide to IELTS Band 7

IELTS Essay Planning: 4 Step Approach

The most important skill when writing your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay writing is to plan your essay properly. Writing an IELTS essay without a plan is like setting out for a new destination without a map. You might get to your destination eventually, but it will take a long time because you will take lots of wrong turns on the way. IELTS essay planning is the key to getting a band score of 7 or above in the IELTS writing test.

You should plan for at least 5 minutes  before you start to write.

But, you say, “I don’t have time!”

Good planning saves you time

IELTS essay planning means you can write faster because you already know what you’re going to write . Without a plan, you frequently have to stop and think about your ideas while you are writing.

Good planning leads to a more relevant answer

IELTS essay planning means your essay will answer the question properly. Your writing is less likely to include irrelevant ideas and examples because you thought about your ideas in advance. This means you will get a higher band score for Task Response.

IELTS essay planning

Good planning leads to a better structure

IELTS essay planning means you can put your ideas, explanations and examples into a clear structure before you start to write. This means you will get a higher band score for Coherence .

Good planning leads to better language

IELTS essay planning means you do not need to think about your ideas while you write. This means you can think about vocabulary and grammar instead. Consequently, you will get a higher band score for Lexical Resource  and  Grammatical Range and Accuracy .

If you do not plan, you have to think about the task, the ideas, the structure, linking phrases, vocabulary, grammatical structures all at the same time . This is impossible to do well. So plan first!

Also, by the time you get to the writing part of the IELTS Test, your brain will be tired. The writing test comes after the listening and reading tests, so you will have been doing the test for an hour and 40 minutes already.

When you are tired, you are more likely to lose concentration and write irrelevant ideas, or make mistakes with grammar and spelling. So help your brain by giving it a plan to follow!

Here is my step-by-step guide to IELTS essay planning.

IELTS Essay Planning: The 4 Step Process

4 Step Planning Process

To help you to understand this guide, let’s look at an example question for IELTS writing task 2:

IELTS essay planning

Step 1: Understand Your Task

In the first step of my 4 step planning process, you need to make sure you fully understand what you need to write about.

So analyse the question carefully (not quickly!) To help you analyse the question, you can think about these 3 questions:

  • What is the topic about?
  • What is the topic NOT about?
  • How should you respond to the topic?

Question 1: What Is The Topic About?

To help you identify the topic, look at some of the important content words ( keywords ) in the question.

Women and men are commonly seen as having different strengths and weaknesses . Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender?

The keywords here are “women and men”, “different strengths and weaknesses”, “exclude” and “certain professions”.

(Incidentally, the word “professions” is a bit unclear. The word can be used to mean professional jobs , such as doctors and lawyers, but it can also be used as a synonym for ‘jobs’ . I think it is safe to assume the second definition.)

So we can see from the keywords that the topic is about the different strengths and weaknesses of men and women working in certain professions.

What Is The Topic NOT About?

But the topic is NOT about the strengths and weaknesses of men and women in a general sense. So do not write about that!

How Should You Respond To The Topic?

In Task 2 questions,  the topic statement is always followed by a question or a task. This tells you how to respond to the topic. In other words, what to write about.

In our example, this is the question:

Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender?

Make sure you understand the language used. Here, the phrase “ is it right..? ” means the same as “ do you agree..? ” The question could be worded:

Do you agree that males or females should be excluded from certain professions because of their gender?

And, of course, do not forget this part of the task:

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

So your task is to state whether you  agree or disagree  with this idea, to explain your opinion , and to give examples to support your opinion .

When you plan your IELTS essay, always remember your task. If you write irrelevant ideas, explanations and examples, you will get a low band score for Task Response.

Remember, read the task carefully. Many test takers read the task quickly and misunderstand the task. This will destroy your chances of getting Band 7.

Step 2: Decide Your Position

Your position is your viewpoint, your point-of-view. So in the 2nd step of the planning process, you should ask yourself: “What do I REALLY think about this issue?” Try to think about your real opinion as this is often much easier to explain than a made-up opinion.

It’s important to decide your views BEFORE you start writing, because to get Band 7, your views needs to be clear THROUGHOUT your essay. Many candidates stuck at Band 6 don’t do this: they often change their views half way through the essay. This limits their band score for Task Response to Band 6.

Let’s look at the question again:

Women and men are commonly seen as having different strengths and weaknesses. Is it right to exclude males or females from certain professions because of their gender?

Personally, I think it’s wrong to exclude men and women from certain jobs because of their gender, but there might be a few exceptions to this. For example, men may be more suited than women to jobs involving heavy physical work.

So what do you think? Perhaps you agree with me, or perhaps you think that it’s ok to exclude people of a particular gender from certain jobs.

Step 3: Extend Your Ideas

So you have your position. But why do you think this?

IELTS questions always tell you to “ Give reasons for your answer ”. In other words, WHY do you have this view? Why do you think this? So in the third step, you need to come up with reasons to support your view.

These are called supporting details . Supporting details can include:

  • explanations of what you mean
  • specific examples which illustrate what you mean

You MUST support your views to get Band 7. If you fail to support ANY of your ideas, your band score for Task Response may be limited to Band 6.

Explanations

Explanations can be used to explain your main ideas in more detail.

For example, if your main idea is that men and women should be excluded from certain jobs, your explanation might be: “Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses and are therefore suited to different jobs.”

But if your main idea is that men and women should NOT be excluded from certain jobs, your explanation might be: “Men and women are able to do most jobs equally well; and because opening up different professions to both men and women means they can bring different qualities to the same job.”

These sentences explain your thinking in more detail .

Examples can be used to provide specific details of what you mean. In effect, they paint a picture for your reader. Your reader can SEE what you mean.

Using our first argument from above:

Main Idea: “Men and women should be excluded from certain jobs.”

Explanation: “Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses and are therefore suited to different jobs.”

Example: “For example, men are usually physically stronger than women, so it may be more appropriate to employ them in manual labour such as construction work.”

So your reader can SEE construction workers who are men. The example has painted a picture in your reader’s mind.

Examples therefore illustrate your thinking .

Note: using invented research studies as examples is not a good idea. An invented “study by Harvard University in 2004” is NOT why you think something! 

Step 4: Structure Your Essay

This is the easy bit!

In Step 4, you simply decide which paragraphs will contain which ideas.

So if you are writing an “advantages / disadvantages” essay, you should write the advantages in one paragraph, and the disadvantages in a separate paragraph.

Or if you are writing an “discuss both views and give your own opinion” essay, you could discuss the reasons for the first view in one paragraph, and the reasons for the other view in a separate paragraph, and your own view in another paragraph.

You MUST have a clear structure to your essay if you are aiming for Band 7.

So our essay structure might look like this:

To make your essay even better, you could add a third body paragraph, which acknowledges the other point-of-view:

By following these 4 steps, you should have some sensible ideas organised into a clear structure.

The reality is if you don’t plan your essays, you are going to struggle to reach Band 7. On the other hand, if you DO plan well, you have a great chance of getting Band 8 in Task Response and Coherence & Cohesion.

I recently helped a student who had taken the IELTS Test 6 times and was stuck at Band 6 for Writing. The problem was that he wasn’t really thinking about his position – he was just coming up with a position quickly, then he started to write, and then he struggled to think of reasons for his “position” while writing his essay. After I showed him how to plan essays carefully, he got Band 7.5 for writing!

Practise Planning

I recommend you practise planning essays. Find some Writing Task 2 questions – click on the link below for a page of essay questions – and simply practise planning them. You don’t need to write the essay, just do the plan. The more planning practice you do, the faster and better you will get at planning, so in the exam you can probably do a plan in around 5 minutes.

IELTS Writing Sample Questions: Task 2

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About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

2 thoughts on “IELTS Essay Planning: 4 Step Approach”

hi….can you please guide how to createw a good band score essay for general ielts ….i kow the format but everytime i messed up….is it good to read as many essays online as we could or write down for practise….thanks

excellent. thank you

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Discover the 7 STEPS to BAND 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2

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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 plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts 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.

how to plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

Writing Task 2 Common Topics 

how to plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

How to brainstorm and plan your essay for the IELTS writing test

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Brainstorming and planning are essential steps in the writing process, and they are particularly important for success on the IELTS writing test. By taking the time to brainstorm and plan your essay, you'll be able to organize your thoughts and create a clear and effective essay that addresses the prompt and meets the requirements of the exam. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to brainstorm and plan your essay for the IELTS writing test.

1. Read the prompt carefully

Before you start brainstorming and planning your essay, it's essential to read the prompt carefully and make sure that you understand what is being asked. Take the time to read the prompt several times and underline or highlight key words and phrases. Make sure that you understand the task and the requirements of the exam, and think about how you can address the prompt in your essay.

2. Brainstorm ideas

Once you have a good understanding of the prompt, it's time to start brainstorming ideas. This can be done in a number of ways, such as freewriting, listing, or mind mapping. Freewriting involves writing down whatever comes to mind without worrying about grammar or organization. Listing involves making a list of ideas or key words related to the prompt. Mind mapping involves creating a visual representation of your ideas by drawing a central idea and connecting it to related ideas. Choose the brainstorming method that works best for you and give yourself plenty of time to generate ideas.

3. Choose a main idea

After you have brainstormed a list of ideas, it's time to choose a main idea for your essay. This should be the main argument or point that you want to make in your essay. Your main idea should be supported by the rest of your essay, so make sure to choose an idea that you can develop and support with examples and evidence. You may want to create a thesis statement at this point, which is a concise statement that expresses your main idea and outlines the main points of your essay.

4. Organize your ideas

Once you have chosen a main idea, it's time to organize your ideas. This can be done in a number of ways, such as creating an outline, a mind map, or a list of points. An outline is a hierarchical representation of your ideas, with the main idea at the top and supporting points below it. A mind map is a visual representation of your ideas, with a central idea and related ideas connected by lines. A list of points is a simple list of your ideas, organized in a logical order. Choose the organization method that works best for you and take the time to arrange your ideas in a logical and coherent way.

5. Write a draft

With your ideas organized, it's time to start writing your essay. Follow the structure that you have created and use transitional words and phrases to connect your ideas. Use proper grammar and punctuation, and make sure to use a wide range of vocabulary. Don't worry about making mistakes or getting everything perfect on the first try. The purpose of the draft is to get your ideas down on paper and start shaping your essay. You can always go back and make revisions later.

6. Revise and edit

After you have written your draft, it's time to revise and edit your essay. This is where you'll go back and make any necessary changes to improve the coherence, cohesion, and overall quality of your essay. Make sure to proofread for spelling and grammar errors, and consider asking a friend or tutor to read your essay and provide feedback. By revising and editing your essay, you'll be able to create a clear, well-written, and effective essay that meets the requirements of the IELTS writing test.

In conclusion, brainstorming and planning are essential steps in the writing process, and they are particularly important for success on the IELTS writing test. By following these steps and taking the time to organize your ideas and create a clear and effective essay, you'll be able to increase your chances of success on the exam and reach your academic or professional goals.

TED IELTS

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  • Common Grammar Mistakes [for IELTS Writing Candidates]

Writing Correction Service

  • Free IELTS Resources
  • Practice Speaking Test

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How to Write an IELTS Essay [Task 2]

Posted by David S. Wills | Mar 30, 2019 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0

How to Write an IELTS Essay [Task 2]

In this article, I’m going to show you how to write an IELTS task 2 essay . I will try to make it as simple as possible, yet totally comprehensive. It is my hope that by the time you finish reading this (and watching the attached video) you will be able to write a really good answer to an IELTS task 2 question.

I make no promises like “GET A BAND 7!!!” because it is impossible to make such claims. The IELTS exam will test your English ability, and there are many factors that will contribute to your score. However, if you follow this guide completely, you give yourself the best chance of scoring highly.

Know the Basic Requirements

The first thing you need to know before you even begin writing an IELTS essay are the basic requirements of the exam. In IELTS writing, you have one hour to write two pieces of writing. It is recommended that you spend about 20 minutes on task 1 – which for academic IELTS is a report on a graph or map, and for general IELTS is a letter – and the other 40 minutes should be spent on task 2.

For task 2, you will be given a question. It will usually provide a statement of sorts, followed by a specific task like giving your opinion, discussing advantages and disadvantages, or explaining problems and solutions. You need to write at least 250 words, following the instructions very carefully.

You will ultimately be assigned a grade based upon the IELTS marking rubric. Your grade will be from 0-9, and should accurately reflect your writing ability. However, some problems like stress or sickness may cause you to perform worse than usual, in which case you would be unlucky to receive a grade that does not accurately reflect your level.

ielts band score range

I would recommend reading the marking rubric in order to understand what the examiner will look for in your essay, and so that you can understand why you were given the grade you received. It is very common for students to score highly in reading and listening, and then get a comparatively low score for writing . Knowing the rubric will help you to understand.

Each part of the test is marked differently. For IELTS writing, your overall score will be the average of four components:

  • Task Response
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

If the rubric is hard for you to follow, you can see a simpler explanation in this video:

Preparing for the Exam

I will just spend a short time letting you know how to prepare for IELTS writing because actually there are lots of materials on this website to help you do that. The first and most important thing is to make sure that you have a good grasp of grammar and vocabulary. Together, these make up 50% of your writing score, and they are the prime reason why so many students get low scores. These can take years to learn, whereas the other components can be mastered more easily.

IELTS writing rubric

You should look at lots of previous questions from the exam, and also read some sample essays to get an understanding of what is expected. Don’t try to memorise the questions or answers, as this won’t help you. However, pay attention to the structure that the writer uses, as well as the tone with which he writes.

You should try to have a teacher or another expert grade your essays and give you feedback on your structure, grammar, and so on. This is the best way to let you know what you should work on in your own time. If you like, I offer a writing correction service that can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and therefore give you a good chance of IELTS success.

Going into the Exam

When you go into the exam room, you will probably feel quite nervous. This feeling is a big problem for students in all sorts of exams, so you need to be prepared to deal with it. Stress is difficult to cope with, but you can employ some breathing techniques or mental strategies to help you.

Perhaps most importantly, you should be prepared for the exam. As I mentioned briefly in the section above, there are many ways to prepare for IELTS. In general, the more prepared you are, the better your chances of success. This sort of preparation can help you overcome most of your nervousness.

I recommend doing lots of practice tests prior to the real exam so that you are not surprised by anything. When you see the question and begin writing, you should feel that this is something you have done before. If you are surprised and feel that it is a very new experience, your nervousness will become worse.

In the exam room, sit down and steady your nerves. Breathe deeply and think confident thoughts. Try to practice mindfulness , which involves pushing away negative images without worrying too much about them.

After this, you will be ready to start.

Reading the Question

Now we come to the actual question. If you have done lots of practice for IELTS writing task 2, you won’t be very surprised by what you read. Although the questions are always different, they are very similar to one another. There are only a limited number of question types, and a predictable range of topics.

The question types you may encounter are:

  • Opinion ( Agree or Disagree )
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Problem and Solution
  • Discussion (Discuss both views)
  • Two-part Question

As for topics, these are generally the same as other IELTS topics you would encounter in the speaking, reading, and listening tests. Some of the common ones include:

  • Environment
  • Society (such as crime/punishment )

These topics come up a lot, but sometimes they are mixed together. For example, the topic of society is often mixed with environment or education. You should make sure that you are familiar with these topics and learn some useful vocabulary to adequately discuss them. This should help you for both speaking and writing.

Analysing the Question

It is tempting for experienced IELTS students to sit down and start writing quickly. This happens because you read the question and it seems familiar. Knowing that you have just 40 minutes to write an answer, you launch into your introduction immediately.

However, this can be a big problem. I have worked with some really talented students who have made some incredible mistakes. They see the question and recognise some words, so they jump to conclusions. As a result, they score very poorly for Task Response – which is worth 25% of their total score!

Instead, you should take two minutes to carefully read the question. Highlight the keywords and microkeywords that tell you exactly what to do. Only when you are completely sure of your answer should you begin planning and writing your essay.

Let’s take an example:

Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold. To what extent do you agree or disagree ?

Looking at this question, we can immediately see that it is an opinion question. We can also see the topic (society) and the main focus of the question (consumer goods/ advertising).

It would be easy to misinterpret this question, so you need to think about it carefully. You can’t just begin writing about advertising and society, or about why some consumer goods are popular. Instead, you need to find the relationship between these parts of the question.

Try rephrasing the question in your head:

Do you agree that advertising is the reason why luxury items sell more than essential items?

For me, I see the words “popular consumer goods” and I think of iPhones and Nike trainers. When I see “real needs of the society” I think of food, medicine, and schoolbooks. Why do iPhones sell so well compared to the sandwiches at my local shop? Is it due to advertising?

That is my analysis of this question. You see, it is perhaps more complicated than a quick reading would suggest.

You need to practise analysing questions like this so that you can do it quickly. It could be a huge mistake to rush into writing and not analyse the question, but it is also a problem if you spend too long doing it. Try to do this in about two minutes.

Generating Ideas

Once you understand the question, you need to figure out some ideas to actually write down. Keep in mind that the IELTS exam is primarily a test of your English ability, so you don’t need to be an expert on any one topic. However, you do need to be able to demonstrate some capability in terms of logical thinking for Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion.

You should be able to at least think of some sensible answers to the question, and to justify them with explanations and examples. It is ok to think of lots of ideas, but before you begin writing, you should definitely choose the best ones to focus on, and get rid of the rest. If you have too many ideas, your structure will quickly fall apart, and you may even run out of time.

Generating ideas for IELTS writing task 2 is something that troubles many students, especially under genuine exam conditions. You should practice doing this at home, logically ordering your ideas in terms of relevance and how well you could develop them. Failing to do this often results in a person beginning to write and then running out of things to say, or going off-topic. Both of these could be disastrous.

I have a whole article about generating ideas that you can study when you have some free time.

Planning the Essay Structure

I mentioned earlier that it can take years to get competent at English grammar and to build up a good enough vocabulary to write a decent essay. Thankfully, it takes hardly any time to learn how to structure an essay! As grammar and vocabulary are worth 25% of your writing grade each, it makes sense to devote a few days to studying essay structures in order to ace this crucial part, which is also worth 25%. If you performed poorly in grammar, for example, you might be able to redeem yourself with a great structure, thus balancing out your score.

how to plan ielts essay

I have lots of articles on this website devoted to structuring essays, and even a few videos. You can read or watch them here:

  • PLANNING IELTS WRITING TASK 2 STRUCTURE
  • TASK 2 ESSAY STRUCTURES
  • HOW TO STRUCTURE A PARAGRAPH
  • IELTS WRITING: SHOULD I WRITE 4 OR 5 PARAGRAPHS?
  • SELECTING IDEAS AND STRUCTURING AN ESSAY [IELTS WRITING TASK 2]
  • STRUCTURING AN IELTS TASK 2 ESSAY
  • Paragraph Structure for IELTS Writing [with example answers]
  • How to Structure an IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

In short, for the purpose of this guide, I will say that a four-paragraph essay is almost always the best approach for IELTS writing task 2. You should make it look like this:

This PPT shows more detail on the above ideas, and tailors the structure slightly for each type of question:

When planning your essay, you should note down this sort of structure to ensure that you remember what you want to write about, develop each point intelligently, and do not stray off-topic. If you do this, you will greatly increase your chances of a high score for Task Response and Coherence and Cohesion (a combined 50% of your total writing score).

Paragraph Structure

Your essay plan should give an overview of what your essay will look like, but you also need to consider the mechanics of each paragraph. Remember that each paragraph should contain one idea, and that idea should be supported by each sentence in the paragraph. Your typical body paragraph might look like this:

  • Topic sentence (a broad statement)
  • Narrow the focus
  • Give example
  • Explain example
  • Conclude the paragraph

Let’s take the example question from above (about consumer goods and advertising) and show how the first body paragraph could be developed:

  • It should be abundantly clear that many of the popular consumer goods that dominate markets around the world are not items of objective importance, but rather ones of purely superficial appeal.
  • People need things like food and clothing, as well as some items that enable them to work or travel, but certain products are just luxury items.
  • Take, for example, the iPhone. There are countless other devices on the market that can fulfill the main functions of an iPhone without the jaw-dropping price tag.
  • However, in almost every country, people want to own one of these status symbols.
  • The reason is simply that it has been marketed well, and owning one makes a person look successful and wealthy.

It is possible to do this differently, of course, according to the question type or your writing style. However, each sentence should follow on logically from the previous one, building up a coherent argument or point of view, and centered around the main idea of the paragraph.

Writing an IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

Once you have planned your structure and you are confident about building up paragraphs logically, you can begin to write. You should write slowly and carefully, but try to leave time to actually finish. If you don’t finish your essay, you will have points deducted from your score. Additionally, you also want to leave yourself time to edit your own essay after you are done writing.

Here is how I would answer the above question. As you are reading this, please pay attention to how I have followed the guidelines set out above. If you want to understand better, watch the video below, in which I record myself writing the essay and explain each thing that I write. I made this video so that it would be easier to understand… although it might be a little boring. 😉

Sample Answer

As globalization sweeps the world in the twenty-first century, people appear to have become more materialistic. Expensive consumer goods produced by companies like Apple and Nike are sold in all corners of the globe, and for many people they are must-have items. Some people believe that this is all down to advertising rather than actual necessity. This essay will argue in support of that position.

It should be abundantly clear that many of the popular consumer goods that dominate markets around the world are not items of objective importance, but rather ones of purely superficial appeal. People need things like food and clothing, as well as some items that enable them to work or travel, but certain products are just luxury items. Take, for example, the iPhone. There are countless other devices on the market that can fulfill the main functions of an iPhone without the jaw-dropping price tag. However, in almost every country, people want to own one of these status symbols. The reason is simply that it has been marketed well, and owning one makes a person look successful and wealthy.

If the real needs of society were reflected in sales, rather than the popularity of certain luxury items, our economies would look very different. Fashionable brands would not be as wealthy as ones making affordable, simple products. Yet it is those items that are carefully advertised on TV, on the internet, and at sports events, which captivate people and cause them to make unwise purchases or form irrational brand loyalties. Look at how Apple overtook Microsoft, or how Nike easily outsells any humble, local shoemaker.

In conclusion, it is clear that sales are dictated not by a product’s necessity, but rather by its appeal to consumers, and this appeal is created through slick advertising campaigns.

This is a video of me writing the above essay. I talk for quite a while about the question. If you have already read this whole article, you may find it unnecessary, in which case you should probably skip ahead to me actually writing the essay.

Editing Your Essay

When you are finished, leave a few minutes to look over your work to find mistakes. Editing one’s own work is extremely difficult, even for professional writers! However, you should have a checklist of things to find. Look for commonly misspelled words and grammatical errors that you often make. You can learn these things by getting expert feedback on your writing.

IELTS Writing Checklist

Pay attention to your tenses, punctuation, and to subject-verb disagreement. Remember to review your articles (a/an/the) and prepositions . These are all mistakes that are easily fixed. At this stage, it is too late to make any structural changes, so it is worth spending that extra time at the beginning of the test to get that right.

As for word count, a properly planned essay will almost certainly reach 250 words, and if you have done lots of practice, you will know what that looks like. Don’t waste time by counting in the exam, as it can take a long time. Get a feel for the length of your essay during your practice tests, and in the real exam you will just know – as the examiner does – that it is either more than or less than 250 words.  

Some Final Words of Advice

In IELTS writing task 2, it may be tempting to use high-level vocabulary and sophisticated grammar. Of course, when used correctly these may help you attain a high band score. However, you should consider the following piece of advice:

The most important thing is to use language correctly.

In other words, you might attempt to write a long sentence filled with difficult words and completely fail. The examiners might not understand you at all. You think that it’s impressive, but he or she thinks it shows you do not speak English very well. It is, therefore, better to use only what you are 100% confident you can use correctly.

If possible, try to vary your sentence length. Native speakers do this intuitively, and you can pick up this sort of rhythm by reading often. If all your sentences are the same type and length, it would sound quite boring.

Finally, remember to stay calm and confident. IELTS might seem like the most important thing in the world, but it is just an exam. Unless you are extremely unlucky, you will get the grade that you deserve. There is no shortcut or cheat to getting a high score, and you should not waste your time or energy even thinking that way. Just practice often, keep an open mind, and do your best.

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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How to Do the Whole Task Right in IELTS Writing

How to Do the Whole Task Right in IELTS Writing

February 29, 2024 By Ben Worthington Leave a Comment

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In this tutorial, we discuss how to address all the parts of the IELTS Writing Task 2.

We look at:

  • How to develop your essays to answer all parts of the task.
  • How to answer agree/disagree Questions.
  • Framing your answers with the given Topic.
  • Sample Questions and answers.

Join many other students who have achieved  IELTS success  with our  online course  or get instant writing feedback with our  online IELTS essay checker . 

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As the founder of IELTSPodcast, Ben started his journey as an English educator in 2006. Ben and his team of teachers provide students with expert advice, twice a week to cover the writing, reading, listening and speaking sections of the IELTS exam.

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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.

     Introduction

how to plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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

        or

  • 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.

Introduction:

how to plan ielts essay

Here is the same information formed into a conclusion:

how to plan ielts essay

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

    Question:

   A big salary is much more important than job satisfaction.

   Do you agree or disagree?

Finished IELTS opinion essay.

how to plan ielts essay

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 plan ielts essay

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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5 Ways to Plan IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay to Score Band 8

5 Ways to Plan IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay to Score Band 8

Planning is like the skeleton of an essay. It is important to plan the essay before you start writing it. The essay plan will act like a map and give you directions about where to go next. The following steps are very essential in planning an essay. 1. Read the essay topic intently

Most of the students fail to understand the topic and hence, answer the wrong question. To get your answer right, spend some time getting your question right. Write an essay on the following topic

Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems.

Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. Write at least 250 words. In the above question you are required to discuss the problems and solutions for the given topic. If you fail to understand the question well and instead discuss the causes and effects for the same topic, you might end up losing your band. You can ensure proper identification of the topic by highlighting keywords in the question, so that you don’t stray off the topic Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems .

Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can t ackle these problem s? 2. Develop focus questions Once you have identified your task in the topic, create two focus questions. These will act as paragraph guides and also keep you from going off the topic

What problems do we face due to overpopulation?

How can we tackle these problems?

3. Form your body paragraphs The normal structure of an essay has three essentials:- Introduction Body paragraphs Conclusion While planning your essay, think about how many body paragraphs you would like to include. Generally, the body paragraphs shouldn’t be less than two or more than three. Now, for the given topic you can have one paragraph for problems and two paragraphs for solutions.

Always remember, each paragraph must have only one controlling idea . You cannot talk about solutions in the paragraph where you would discuss problems.

4. Answer your focus questions Now that you have decided on the number of paragraphs, you must think about 2 to 3 points under each focus question.

  • Overcrowding
  • Poor facilities
  • High Cost of Living
  • Government must spread awareness
  • Individuals must take responsibility

5. Model P-E-E Once you have noted down your main points, you must think about sub-points to elaborate and extend your ideas. Model P-E-E (Point-Explain-Example) is a helpful tool for those who struggle with this task. You first state your point, then explain it further and also give an example to support your idea. After you have added supporting points to your main points, this what your planned essay should look like. THE ESSAY PLAN

Focus Question – What problems do we face due to overpopulation?

  • Point – Overcrowding
  • Sub-Points – (demand exceeds supply, depletion of natural resources)

Example – reckless cutting down of forests to facilitate housing needs

  • Point – Poor Facilities and High Cost of Living
  • Sub-Points – (poor infrastructure, no health and hygiene facilities)

Focus Question – How can we tackle these problems?

  • Point – Government must take steps
  • Sub-Points – (introduce policies, spread awareness,)

Example – family planning programs and effective birth control

  • Point – Individuals must take responsibility
  • Sub-Points – (educate themselves about birth control methods, co-operate with the Government to control overpopulation)

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IELTS Preparation with Liz: Free IELTS Tips and Lessons, 2024

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How to write an IELTS Essay

Learn how to write a high band score IELTS essay step by step. You will find 15 key steps for a high score IELTS essay. These steps are for both GT and Academic Writing Task 2. After the steps listed below, you will find useful links that will help you learn more and develop the right skills necessary to be successful in IELTS.

Step by Step: How to tackle your IELTS essay

None of these steps below can be missed if you are aiming for a good score in your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay. Be strategic and focused in how you approach your IELTS essay. Failure to tackle the points below will result in a lower score. They are particularly important for candidates aiming for band 7 and above. For those candidates, you must fulfill the requirements of the higher band scores by following and mastering the steps below.

Step 1:  Make sure you identify the type of essay you have been given. This essay is what I call a “Direct Questions” essay. There are two specific questions that you must answer. The first question is about cause. You must state the cause of this trend. The second question requires you to evaluate. This means you must present your opinion as to whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing. Click here to learn about the Types of IELTS Essays .

Step 2: Before you plan your essay, think about the structure . You have two questions and they are of equal weight. This means you will have two body paragraphs. Both body paragraphs will have equal length. Click here to learn about how many paragraphs in your essay .

Step 3 : Identify the issues in the essay question. The essay question above is very simple. It is about computer games. However, some IELTS essay questions are more complex so you must take time to identify the issue or issues. 

Step 4: Brainstorm main ideas . When you brainstorm main ideas. it does not mean you will use all your ideas in your essay. First, brainstorm ideas and after that select the best ideas. To prepare ideas, see this list of common essay topics .

Step 5: Develop supporting points . This is the step that most people miss. Most people plan their main ideas and then start writing. Your main ideas are certainly important, but the supporting points are equally as important. And this is the area where most people easily go off topic. So, using your planning time to prepare your supporting points. Don’t start writing until you are clear about the whole content of your body paragraphs.

Step 6 : Think about linking for body paragraphs and supporting points . Linking is another area that is often forgotten during the test. Linking and paragraphing is crucial. They are also both very very easy for you to score high points in. So, never overlook these two points. Plan your paragraphs and make sure you are using a good range of appropriate linking words. Here is a list of keywords .

Step 7 : Don’t waste time on your introduction . It is a functional paragraph which usually contains just two sentences. The bulk of the marks are in the body paragraphs.

Step 8: Read the essay question again before you start each body paragraph. This will help you make sure you are using the right language to present your ideas. People think having good ideas is enough. It is NOT enough. You must think about how you will present them. So, read the essay question again and get your bearings.

Step 9: Use a range of grammar features . This is not just about tense. There are a whole range of features that you can use to show your grammatical prowess. 

  • noun phrases
  • gerund noun phrases
  • noun clauses
  • language of probability
  • relative clauses
  • conditional statements
  • Referencing
  • quantifiers and intensifiers
  • comparatives & superlatives
  • passive voice

To learn more about grammar in Writing Task 2 and to avoid errors, consider my Grammar E-book whcih will help you boost your grammar score and improve your English. Click here to see a Preview of my Grammar E-book . My Grammar E-book is available in my online store: Liz’s Online Store

Step 10: Avoid errors in grammar : articles, pronouns, uncountable nouns, word order, tenses, complex sentences. The more errors you have, the lower your score. Knowing the strength of your grammar will help you avoid errors. Aim for accuracy – do not aim to impress. 

Step 11: Vocabulary only counts for 25% of your marks. Too many candidates focus too heavily on this area. Use vocabulary appropriate for the topic. Don’t over use idiomatic language. Idioms are mostly informal, not formal, so go with phrasal verbs instead which are also idiomatic. Don’t use less common vocabulary if you might use it incorrectly. Errors will lower your score. Aim for accuracy. Spelling counts. There are some useful vocabulary lists on this page: IELTS Vocabulary .

Step 12: Paraphrasing is a language skill that you need to demonstrate. This doesn’t mean changing all words all the time. It means being selective about which words you change and which words you will leave and repeat. It is fine to repeat some words. Over paraphrasing is one reason why many people get a low score in vocabulary.

Step 13 : Don’t aim for a long essay or a short essay . If it is too short, it means you haven’t developed your main ideas enough. If it is too long, it gives you room for more errors which will lower your score. Aim for between 270-290 words on the whole. Click here for a video lesson about essay length.

Step 14: Edit your essay. Leave 2 mins to edit your essay. Pay attention to not repeating linking words, checking spelling and spotting vocabulary errors. You might have other areas specific to your language skills that you want to check. Know your weaknesses.

Step 15 : Look at the clock. Timing is everything . You must be very strict with timing so that you have enough time to finish your essay. You can start with task 2 if you want, but if you do, make sure you leave 20 mins for task 1. Use no less than 5 mins preparing your essay. Use no less than 2 mins to check your essay at the end. This leaves around 33 mins for you to write your whole essay. Practise this at home under exam conditions until you are able to do this.

Step 16 : If you find my free lessons are not enough for you or if you want more in-depth training for essay writing, please get my Advanced Writing Task 2 lessons which are available in my online store. Click here: Liz’s Online Store

Other Useful Links

  • IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Scores Explained
  • IELTS Essay Questions for home practice
  • When to give your opinion in an IELTS essay

Hope you find this page useful. From Liz 🙂 

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Hi Liz, I hope you are doing well!

I would like to thank you for the work you are doing. It is really appreciated! As it is strongly believed in my culture, being a teacher is a divine gift. And those who do it well like you with an open heart get a special blessing.

It would be useful to share my results to show how your videos and thorough explanations are effective

2019 Result: Overall 7.5, L&R 8.0, W 6.5, S 7.0

Dec 2021 Result: Overall 8.0, L&R 8.5, W 7.5 (the most important improvement), S 7.0

Special thanks for explaining the structure of the test, this is what I was looking for. In order to prepare it was enough just to go through EACH page of this amazing website.

Thank you and Regards, Dana from Kazakhstan

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Wonderful to see your results and see how you’ve managed to increase your scores. Very well done 🙂 Thanks for sharing your results. It does other candidates a lot of good to be so inspired. Glad you’ve enjoyed my website 🙂

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Liz, thanks!!! such a great person you are

stay healthy Liz!!! see you next year I will be in UK

Best wishes for 2022

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Hi, Liz. Just want to say thank you so much for your unconditional sharing on the IELTS’ tips and strategies. I’m immensely grateful to be able to come across your teachings. I was really worried about the tests as I needed to prepare for the tests within 3 weeks but I managed to achieve the required band scores for all 4 components thanks to your materials. This website of yours and your Youtube videos are really really helpful and easy to understand. You have a beautiful smile and calming voice. You are one of the most gentle and lovely teachers I have ever met in my life. I can always feel your sincerity and love whenever I listen to you.

I came to know that you are currently under the weather, so pls pls pls take good care of yourself and stay positive always. Keep fighting! You can do it as I know you are a great Warrior! May the Universe bless you abundantly with great health and happiness ! Get well real soon!

For test takers, have believe and faith in yourselves. Lots of preparation and Confidence are the keys. All the best!

Thank you for your lovely message. Thank you for sharing goodness, positivity and hope. This world needs more people like you 🙂 Well done with your results 🙂

Hi Liz. I’m so happy to see your reply. This world needs more people like you too. Really appreciate your selfless sharing on IETLS. Thank you again and take care. Love always. ❤

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Hi Liz. I sorry that you are unwell.l pray you get well soon. You are a great and talented teacher.

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Dear Liz! At the moment I am experiencing my first students’ EILTS preparation and find the materials of your website more than useful. Thank you. It a pity to hear that you are sick. Please, get better as soon as possible. Wish you the best. Take as much care as you can. With deep respect. Irina. Kazakhstan

Thanks. Glad my materials are helping 🙂

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Dear Liz, I wish you were strong and be healthy. Get well soon.

Best wishes, Sarunporn​

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Liz I pray you get well soon

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As a beginner of the ilets, I could find my level using your valuable lessons. Actually I haven’t any idea about ilets. But now I thirst for ilets because of you Liz. Thank you and god bless.

That’s wonderful. I love it when people start feeling enthusiastic for learning 🙂

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Hi Liz, I pray the Almighty God will restore your health and strengthen you. It is a phase that will soon pass away. You are auch an amazing person and a great teacher. Love you

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Hello mam, in writing task 2 general line is mandatory or not? Or we should start directly?

The first sentence of your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay should be paraphrasing the essay question which is the background statement of your introduction. Get straight into the essay. You are being marked on how focused your essay is.

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I have literally learnt a lot from your lessons Liz and I can say even more than I could ever find by just random search on the internet and I’ve been improving. Thank you❤

You’re welcome 🙂

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Hi, Liz. you are doing a great job. you are my inspiration. Please I would like to know if you also have tips on General IELTS test?

You can use all the same tips as the Academic test except for Writing Task 1. The listening and speaking test is 100% the same. The Reading questions are 100% the same but the passages are slightly easier. Writing Task 2 is the same, but with slightly easier questions. You can use all the tips on this website. For the GT writing Task 1, you can find tips for that at the bottom of the Writing Task 1 section of this website.

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Hello Liz, wishing you divine Healing from God.Your recovery will be a Testimony to his Mighty Name.

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Get well soon. Best wishes for your health🤲

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Hi Liz! It’s so upsetting to know that you are in a difficulty! Despite your struggles, you are trying to be helpful to others, how amazing person you are! Couldn’t help myself respecting and admiring you! I hope this shall pass soon and wish you speedy recovery!

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LOVE FROM UZBEKISTAN YOUR WEBSITE IS VERY HELPFUL AND USEFUL 😘

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I love your way of teaching this. It’s been years I’m following you. In 2017 I did my academic IELTS with 8 bands because of you and now in 2021 I got 8 in General Training one. I’ve a request.

Please update about your health and about you. After a very long time I saw your article.

Please make a small YouTube thing. As your student I feel very worried about your health.

I’m so glad to hear how well you’ve done in IELTS. Good for you!! I’m glad my website is useful. Thanks for asking about my health. I’m still struggling. Each time I start getting better, I have had to move house and this causes me to get sick again. Without family supporting me, I am continuously struggling. Getting ahead it so hard without someone looking after me and helping me with practical tasks. I’m often physically weak and just getting meals is a strain on my system which often prevents my recovery. Anyway, I hope I won’t have to move house for a while and that might help. Hopefully I’ll start getting better again. I’ll see how I am by summer next year. However, a full recovery is still a long way away and not even guaranteed. It’s a very long hard road full of disappointments, strain and enormous isolation. I’m lucky that my determination to get better never fails, no matter how many years I struggle. Anyway, as soon as I’m feeling strong enough, I’ll make more lessons. I still dream of making English Liz website with free lessons for English language. My dreams keep me going. Thanks for your concern – it’s nice to know people are thinking of me.

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So sorry to hear about your ill health, quick recovery ma’am. How I wish I’m in your country, I would have become your home care nurse until you recover but, I’m far away in my country Nigeria. If it’s achievable, I don’t mind coming just to make sure you are back on your feet to keep up with the good work you are doing for us all. Cheers to this idea!

That’s kind

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Darling liz,

you will get well soon, I was struggling with IELTS, I was lost, did not know where to go. but you are the light of my IELTS journey. Millions of students prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing your unlimited knowledge with us.

loads of love

Thanks. I’m glad my lessons are useful to you 🙂

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My previous score, before coming across your site, was: Overall: 7.5, L: 8.5, R: 7.5, S: 7, W: 6.5

After a month’s preparation using your site, I appeared for IELTS again and my score is as follows: Overall: 8, L: 9, R: 9, S: 7.5, W: 7

Thank you very much! It was extremely helpful.

That’s wonderful. Very well done to you – great scores 🙂

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I found your resources highly helpful. I obtained an overall band 7 in my test. Thank you.

Band 7 is great – well done 🙂 I’m glad my site was useful

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I was searching for this type of topic for a long time. Finally, this helps me a lot. Thanks Liz

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Hello Ma’am, I’m actually not writing IELTS anytime soon, but I like learning from your blog and watching your videos. They are amazing.

I just feel to check up on you, and hope your health is getting better. I pray you divine healing as you get stronger and brighter each passing day.

Thanks for your wishes for my health. Glad you find my site useful 🙂

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Hi Liz, your lessons extremely amazing and I learned lot from those. Can I know how to write if the essay like “Film stars or celebraties represent their view among audience about the profession they do not belog to. is it good or bad?” What type of essay is this?

The essay question contains a few language errors so make sure you are using authentic essay questions for your practice at home. This type of question often comes under the “Direct questions” category. But each teacher has different names for essay questions. This one requires you to present your opinion and evaluate if something is positive or negative. Always best to lean towards one side more than the other while presenting both.

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Its really useful, I also get inputs from your posts to include in my teaching

That’s great 🙂

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Hi Liz, Hows your health?? Have you started essay writing checking service??

Sorry, I haven’t started the marking service. My health still isn’t good.

Allah bless you with good health.

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Ma’am, Are you alright now? I heard that you’re ill. May god bless you

Thanks for asking. I just put an update about my health in a response to someone else on this page – you can see it in one of the comments boxes. I appreciate your concern a lot

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How to Write an IELTS Discussion Essay: Your Comprehensive Guide

How to Write an IELTS Discussion Essay: Your Comprehensive Guide

Are you preparing for the IELTS and wondering how to score high in the Writing section? Do you find the "Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion" essay a bit daunting? You've landed in the right place. Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to write an IELTS Discussion Essay!

As the name suggests, the IELTS Discussion Essay requires you to discuss different perspectives on a topic and then provide your viewpoint. Sounds challenging? Don't worry! In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know to craft an impressive IELTS Discussion Essay. From understanding the basics, brainstorming ideas, planning your response, writing an engaging essay, and avoiding common pitfalls – this guide is packed with practical tips and strategies.

Pro Tip: Unlock a higher IELTS Writing score with our downloadable   in-depth eBooks and tailored Essay Feedback directly from an exp erienced IELTS examiner.

Whether you're an IELTS beginner or a seasoned test taker looking to boost your band score, this in-depth guide will help you n avigate the complexities of the IELTS Discussion Essay. As we journey together through this guide, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence needed to master this crucial component of the IELTS Writing section.

Let's start your journey towards IELTS success. Keep reading, and by the end of this guide, you'll be well-equipped to tackle any IELTS Discussion Essay that comes your way! Let's dive in and unravel the secrets of a top-scoring IELTS Discussion Essay.

Knowing the Basics of an IELTS Discussion Essay

What is an ielts discussion essay.

An IELTS discussion essay, also known as "Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion" essay, is a common task in the IELTS Writing Test. This type of essay tests your ability to present a well-rounded discussion on a given topic, your capability to generate ideas and your proficiency in English language usage.

An IELTS discussion essay primarily involves exploring various perspectives on a given issue and subsequently presenting your personal stance on the matter. It's not just about stating your opinion; it's about having the skills to analyse different viewpoints and justify your position with sound reasoning and concrete examples.

Mastering how to write an IELTS discussion essay can significantly boost your IELTS Writing band score. With this guide and consistent practice, you can confidently demonstrate your proficiency in handling a balanced and coherent discussion in your essay.

How to Identify an IELTS Discussion Essay Question

Recognising an IELTS discussion essay prompt is essential in answering the task accurately. Not every IELTS Writing Task 2 is a discussion essay. It's important to distinguish between different essay types, like opinion essays , advantages and disadvantages essays , or problem solution essays .

An IELTS discussion essay question will usually include the instruction "Discuss both views and give your opinion" or "Discuss both sides of this argument and then give your own opinion." It is crucial to understand that you need to provide a balanced discussion of both viewpoints before presenting your opinion.

Some questions might phrase the task differently but still require a balanced discussion. For instance,

"Some people believe A, while others believe B. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion."

By understanding the nuances of these instructions, you can accurately identify the IELTS discussion essay task and tackle it with a well-prepared strategy.

Stay tuned to learn how to effectively brainstorm ideas, plan your essay, write persuasively, and revise your work to create a high-scoring IELTS discussion essay.

Preparing to Write Your IELTS Discussion Essay

How to Achieve a High Band Score in IELTS Academic Task 1 Report - eBook by IELTS Luminary

Understanding the Essay Topics

IELTS discussion essay topics are as varied as they are intriguing. They often explore global issues and public interest topics like advancements in technology, environmental sustainability, modern education models, and societal norms.

To effectively tackle these topics, immerse yourself in "hot topics" and current affairs. Familiarize yourself with both sides of common debates. Reading widely can also help. Check out reliable news outlets, opinion pieces, and other resources related to common IELTS discussion essay topics.

Remember, understanding IELTS discussion essay topics isn't about becoming an expert in every field. Rather, it's about building a broad base of knowledge that can help you think critically, generate relevant ideas, and articulate your thoughts coherently.

Brainstorming Ideas for Your IELTS Essay

IELTS Speaking eBook - How to Achieve a High Band Score in IELTS Speaking - IELTS Luminary

Brainstorming is a powerful tool for generating ideas for your IELTS discussion essay. It allows you to tap into your creativity and critically consider different viewpoints.

Start by carefully reading the essay prompt. Understand what it's asking you to discuss. From there, jot down all your initial thoughts, ideas, and arguments related to both sides of the topic.

Consider potential reasons, examples, and points that support each viewpoint. This comprehensive brainstorming process not only helps you gather rich content for your essay but also paves the way for a balanced and well-rounded discussion.

Planning the Discussion Essay

Essay planning is an essential step in the IELTS writing process. A well-structured essay plan helps you organize your ideas, makes sure you address all parts of the prompt, and guides your writing process.

A typical IELTS discussion essay includes an introduction, two body paragraphs (each discussing a different viewpoint), and a conclusion.

Introduction: State the topic and your intention to discuss both views. Use clear, concise language.

Body Paragraph 1: Discuss the first viewpoint. Use a topic sentence to introduce the viewpoint, and then present supporting ideas and examples.

Body Paragraph 2: Discuss the second viewpoint. Use a similar structure as the first body paragraph but ensure your points are distinct.

Conclusion: Summarize your discussion, state your personal viewpoint, and give a closing thought or implication.

Use this structure as a blueprint when planning your IELTS discussion essay. It will help ensure your essay is coherent, logical, and ready to impress the examiners.

Writing the IELTS Discussion Essay

Crafting an engaging introduction.

Paraphrase the essay question to clarify the issue under discussion.

To begin the introduction, rephrase the given essay question. This demonstrates your understanding of the topic and avoids mere repetition. Paraphrasing can also make the topic clearer and more understandable for the reader.

Next, give a thesis statement that answers the question in brief.

The thesis statement is crucial. It briefly summarizes your main argument or stance on the topic. It acts as a roadmap, telling the reader what to expect from the essay and how the discussion will unfold.

Remember, the introduction does not have to be lengthy; a few well-crafted sentences can set a strong foundation for your essay.

This is a piece of advice that emphasizes brevity and quality. You don't need an extended introduction; rather, it should be concise and effective in introducing the topic and setting the stage for the discussion.

Discussing Both Views in Detail

The body of your IELTS discussion essay is where you delve into the crux of your argument. This should be split into two paragraphs, each discussing a different view.

For each viewpoint, start with a clear topic sentence that outlines the main idea. This will guide the reader through your argument. Following the topic sentence, provide supporting details, examples, or reasons that back up the viewpoint. Make sure your ideas are logically ordered and each paragraph is cohesive and focused.

Sharing Your Own Viewpoint

In the IELTS discussion essay, after discussing both views, it's crucial to share your personal viewpoint. This is where you can make a compelling argument supporting your position. Your viewpoint can agree with either of the discussed perspectives, both of them, or be entirely different.

Justify your opinion with strong reasoning and relevant examples. Make sure to connect your viewpoint with the points you've discussed previously. Use cohesive devices to ensure your argument flows smoothly from the discussion of the two viewpoints to your personal stance.

Wrapping up with a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion is your final chance to impress the reader. It's where you summarize your discussion and restate your viewpoint.

Start your conclusion by paraphrasing the main discussion points. Next, restate your personal viewpoint, ensuring it aligns with what you've discussed in the body of your essay. Try to end your essay on a strong note, possibly by summarizing the implications of the discussion or giving a final thought related to the topic.

Remember, a strong conclusion doesn't introduce any new information but effectively wraps up your essay, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

By following these steps, you can create a compelling, coherent, and high-scoring IELTS discussion essay. Stay tuned to further explore editing techniques and common mistakes to avoid for your IELTS writing tasks.

Polishing Your Discussion Essay

Reviewing and editing your ielts discussion essay.

The importance of reviewing and editing your IELTS discussion essay cannot be overstated. This step ensures that your essay is clear, coherent, and free from mistakes.

Start by reading your essay aloud to check for flow and coherence. Look out for any awkward phrasing or unclear ideas. Consider whether your arguments make sense and whether you've supported your points with strong evidence.

Pay close attention to your language use. Look for any grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors. Also, check if your vocabulary is varied and appropriate. Ensure your sentences are not too long or complex as this could lead to more errors.

Editing isn't just about correcting mistakes. It's also about refining your arguments, ensuring your points are clear, and your ideas are logically connected.

Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes

Avoiding common mistakes can significantly enhance your IELTS discussion essay quality. Here are a few key pitfalls to steer clear of:

Going off-topic: Ensure your discussion remains focused on the topic throughout. Every paragraph should contribute to your overall argument.

Writing too much: Stay within the recommended word count. Writing too much can lead to unnecessary errors and wasted time.

Unequal discussion of views: Remember to discuss both views equally. Your essay should not heavily lean towards one view unless it's your personal viewpoint.

Inadequate planning: Failing to plan your essay can lead to a disorganized argument. Spend adequate time understanding the prompt, brainstorming ideas, and planning your essay.

Conclusion Writing

By following these steps, you can create a compelling, coherent, and high-scoring IELTS discussion essay.

IELTS Discussion Essay: A Band 9 Sample

Here is an example of an IELTS Discussion Essay, adhering to the guidelines provided in our comprehensive guide.

Essay Question:

Some people believe that unpaid community service should be a compulsory part of high school programs (for example, working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood, or teaching sports to younger children). To what extent do you agree or disagree?

"Many advocate for mandatory community service in high schools, emphasizing its role in fostering personal growth and benefiting local communities. While the inclusion of community service undoubtedly offers numerous developmental benefits, the debate centres on whether it should be an enforced obligation or a choice made out of genuine interest. This essay will discuss both perspectives on this issue before concluding with my own viewpoint.

On one hand, integrating unpaid community service into high school programs can offer multiple benefits. It provides students with the opportunity to develop essential life skills such as responsibility, teamwork, and empathy. For example, volunteering at a local charity could improve their understanding of societal issues and instill a sense of social responsibility. Furthermore, teaching sports to younger children could enhance leadership skills, fostering a sense of accomplishment and confidence among high school students.

On the other hand, critics argue that community service should not be mandatory. They assert that it may impose additional pressure on students, who are already burdened with academic responsibilities. Also, forced volunteering may not yield genuine compassion or social awareness, as the service is carried out from obligation, not personal interest or motivation. Instead, they suggest that schools should encourage, not enforce, participation in community service, allowing students to engage in activities that truly resonate with them.

In conclusion, while mandatory community service could nurture important skills and values among high school students, it is equally important to consider the potential stress and insincerity it might cultivate. In my opinion, community service should be encouraged, but not compulsory, in high schools, allowing students to discover their passions and contribute meaningfully to society."

As you can see, this essay adheres to the structure of an IELTS discussion essay. It has an introduction that outlines the topic and intention to discuss both views, two body paragraphs discussing each view, and a conclusion that summarizes the discussion and provides the writer's personal viewpoint.

You can boost your IELTS Writing score with our comprehensive eBooks and personalised Essay Feedback by an experienced IELTS examiner.

Preparation for the IELTS Exam

5 things to do before writing your essay

5 steps you should take when planning your ielts essay..

Update: May 20th 2021

Planning is extremely important before writing an essay in writing task 2. (also for writing task 1) Most teachers have different advice for this. Some say 2 minutes others say 5 minutes and yet others say 7 to 10 minutes of planning time.

I believe that you should take at least 10 minutes to plan . Why? because I have had students before with good English skills who did not take the time to plan, they ended up with a Band 6 even though they were capable of a Band 7.

Those students did minimal planning and just went straight into writing, lost track of what to write about, went off-topic, didn’t structure the essay well and so on. This is where problems can arise when writing an essay. However, with the right steps in place you can go into the exam feeling confident about writing a good essay.

1. Analyse the question well

This is a crucial step to take because if you don’t fully understand the task question, you might end up writing a different essay . You could also just end up writing very generally and not about the issues in the question. This will affect your task response score. For example here is a task question and analysis.

All over the world, societies are facing a growing problem with obesity. This problem affects both children and adults. What are the reasons for this rise in obesity, How could it be tackled?

Before looking at the keywords you need to read the task and make sure you fully understand what the task is about and what you have to do. Notice first the general topic so that you don’t go off-topic. In this case, it is about health and the problem of obesity .

Keywords: all over the world,  societies, a growing problem,  obesity,  affects children and adults,

The general topic is about obesity, however, we now need to focus on the issues. Keywords such as ‘all over the world/societies/ affects children adults / growing problem’. It is important to write about the issues by looking at the keywords, not just a general essay on obesity.

Basically the task is asking you what the reasons are for the increase in obesity among all age groups, and what solutions you can think of.

Instruction words: These words show what kind of essay you will need to write about, click here to see more about the 5 essay types in writing task 2. In this case, the instruction words are: “what are the reasons for this?” and “how could it be tackled?” .  I just need to write about why it’s a problem or the reasons for the problem and suggest ideas to solve the problem .

I can mention this in the thesis statement in the introduction.

  • Step 1: Read the task, make sure you understand it and then analyse the keywords, be clear about the issues , not just the general topic.
  • Step 2: Look at the instruction words so that you know what kind of essay you are going to write about. Make sure you write a clear thesis statement. Click here to see more about thesis statements.

2. Think of relevant ideas

This is probably one of the most difficult parts for most people in Writing task 2. Some people think they should just brainstorm ideas like a mind map thing and then start writing. No, this will waste time and you will have far too much information. You only have 40 minutes to write the essay so you need to go straight into generating ideas. Here are 2 ways to do this.

  • Imagine you are having a chat about the task question below with a friend. (see my example below with my friend Bob) Ask lots of questions and note the answers, this will help you get ideas but be selective , stay on topic and only choose 1 or 2 ideas to write about.

how to plan ielts essay

Note that this transcript above is not to be written down, it is an example of an imaginary conversation I have had. The point to this is to make notes based on the ideas you get from the ‘conversation’ in your head. I know it sounds crazy but it is very effective for getting ideas quickly.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the approach above you can make a list like below, this is handy for getting ideas if it is a problem solution essay or an advantage disadvantage essay.

how to plan ielts essay

On the left are the problems on the right are the solutions. As I mentioned before, be very selective when writing. In a problem-solution essay, you can go with one problem in main body 1 and one solution in main body 2 of the essay. If you feel confident in writing and are aiming for a Band 8 or more, you can have 2 problems and 2 solutions.

It is the same for an advantage disadvantage essay, you can go with one advantage and one disadvantage and still get a band 7 if it is well written. Do not write your essay like it were a list. Focus on one central theme per paragraph . The body paragraphs should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences and a specific example.

3. Think of a structure for the essay

There are 5 types of essays in Writing task 2 and they have a different structure, however, they follow a similar pattern. Here is a structure for the problem-solution task question :

Introduction: Paraphrase the task question, write a thesis statement (1 problem, 1 solution) Main body 1: State the problem, supporting sentences, a specific example of the problem. Main body 2: State the solution, supporting sentences, state why this solution might be effective. Conclusion: Restate main points again (paraphrase the thesis statement)

The thesis statement is important as the rest of the essay will be based on this. The main body paragraphs expand on your thesis statement.

4. Think about how to paraphrase the task question.

Now you need to be thinking about the best way to paraphrase the question. This can be done with synonyms and you can also change the sentence structures around to keep the same meaning. Beware of synonyms though as sometimes they will change the meaning.

Click here for a lesson on paraphrasing the task question

Click here for a Paraphrasing without synonyms lesson

This is where you need to have a wide range of vocabulary and the examiner is looking for your paraphrasing skills. Remember that you do not need to paraphrase everything , in many cases some words will stay the same to retain the meaning as there are certain words which are hard to paraphrase.

5. Get an idea of the Thesis Statement.

After paraphrasing the task question you need to now think of a clear Thesis statement. This sets up the essay for the examiner so he or she can see what the essay will be about. In an opinion essay, the thesis statement will contain your opinion. The main body paragraphs will expand on your thesis statement and the conclusion of the essay paraphrases the thesis statement with the rephrased opinion again.

Click here for a lesson on Thesis Statements

It all looks a bit scary but once you practice planning then it will come naturally, take around 10 minutes to plan. here are the steps again to recap.

  • Analyse the question.
  • Think of ideas. (not a big list of ideas, keep it concise)
  • Plan the essay structure.
  • Think about the best way to paraphrase the introduction.
  • Think of a good thesis statement for the introduction.

Practice your planning so that when you take the exam you will feel confident.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Leave a comment cancel reply.

IMAGES

  1. HOW TO PLAN IELTS ESSAY IN 5 MINUTES? || IELTS ESSAY WRITING || IELTS

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  3. How To Plan A Writing Task 2 Essay

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  4. IELTS WRITING TASK #2 HOW TO PLAN YOUR ESSAY

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  5. IELTS Opinion Essay Structure: Expert Guidelines

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  6. How to Plan an IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

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  1. IELTS WRITING EXPlAINED IN 12 SECONDS

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  6. IELTS Most Repeated Essays of All Time With Ideas Part 4

COMMENTS

  1. 10 steps to writing high-scoring IELTS essays

    Step one: Plan your time. 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.

  2. How to Write an IELTS Essay: The key steps

    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.

  3. IELTS Writing Task 2: Essay Planning Tips

    When you get to writing task 2, you will be tired. You will already have done the listening test, reading test and writing task 1. This means your concentration and energy levels will be low. It is easy to make a mistake with the essay question, lose focus in your writing and present disorganised ideas.

  4. How to Plan an IELTS Essay

    You don't have to think of ideas or structure; write grammatically correct sentences and clearly say what you think about the question. You don't have to spend exactly 10 minutes planning and 5 minutes checking at the end. You could plan for 7-8 minutes and check for 2-3 minutes.

  5. IELTS essay plan for writing task 2 (7 steps)

    Here is a very brief overview of what we teach in our online ielts course. 1. First classify the question. 2. Brainstorm ideas around the idea and clarify your position for each paragraph. 3. Check the ideas correspond to the question (important for task response). 4. Develop the ideas further.

  6. IELTS Writing Task 2: Tips, Lessons & Models

    The most important writing tips for a strong IELTS essay in writing task 2. Learn about the recommended essay length, how to plan your essay, when to give your opinion and how to write an introduction etc. How many paragraphs for an IELTS essay?: Essay structure. Key Linking Words List: Academic Vocabulary. Types of IELTS Essays: Main Essay ...

  7. Writing High-Scoring IELTS Essays: A Step-by-Step Guide

    To plan and organize your IELTS essay effectively, turn to 'Planning and Organizing the Essay.' Create an outline, brain dump ideas, and arrange them logically. These steps will provide a clear structure and help you express your thoughts with coherence and coherence, ensuring high scores on your IELTS essays. ...

  8. Band 9 Strategy for IELTS Essay Planning

    Explore how to plan your IELTS Task 2 essay with our proven 5-step IELTS essay planning strategy. Learn how to plan your IELTS essay effectively in just 10 minutes to boost your Band Score. Our IELTS Task 2 essay planning tips provide an efficient roadmap to generate ideas, find relevant examples, and select impactful vocabulary. Don't miss out on achieving Band 7+ scores—unlock the secrets ...

  9. IELTS Essay Planning: 4 Step Approach

    IELTS essay planning is the key to getting a band score of 7 or above in the IELTS writing test. You should plan for at least 5 minutes before you start to write. But, you say, "I don't have time!" Good planning saves you time. IELTS essay planning means you can write faster because you already know what you're going to write. Without a ...

  10. How to write IELTS essay

    Here you can find all the essential information about IELTS Writing essay. IELTS Writing task 2 (or IELTS essay) ... 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: Introduction. Paraphrase the topic and briefly give your opinion.

  11. How to Plan an IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

    In this video, Jay teaches you how to to plan for a complex IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay question. Need to score 8+ in IELTS Writing? WATCH THIS VIDEO! Learn m...

  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 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.

  13. How to brainstorm and plan your essay for the IELTS writing test

    1. Read the prompt carefully. Before you start brainstorming and planning your essay, it's essential to read the prompt carefully and make sure that you understand what is being asked. Take the time to read the prompt several times and underline or highlight key words and phrases. Make sure that you understand the task and the requirements of ...

  14. IELTS Essay

    Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way to analyse and understand Task 2 IELTS essay questions. You just need to identify 3 different types of words: # 1 Topic words. # 2 Other keywords. # 3 Instruction words. Here is a typical IELTS essay question with the different types of words highlighted.

  15. How to Write an IELTS Essay [Task 2]

    In IELTS writing, you have one hour to write two pieces of writing. It is recommended that you spend about 20 minutes on task 1 - which for academic IELTS is a report on a graph or map, and for general IELTS is a letter - and the other 40 minutes should be spent on task 2. For task 2, you will be given a question.

  16. IELTS Academic Writing

    The first step to achieving a high score in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is to know how to plan your essay. This is very important and in this lesson, I'm going to explain why and show you how. The lesson includes: 3 reasons why you must plan your essay. 4 simple steps of essay planning. 4 part essay structure.

  17. How to Do the Whole Task Right in IELTS Writing

    In this tutorial, we discuss how to address all the parts of the IELTS Writing Task 2. We look at: How to develop your essays to answer all parts of the task.

  18. 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.

  19. 5 Ways to Plan IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay to Score Band 8

    The following steps are very essential in planning an essay. 1. Read the essay topic intently. Most of the students fail to understand the topic and hence, answer the wrong question. To get your answer right, spend some time getting your question right. Write an essay on the following topic.

  20. How to write an IELTS Essay

    Step 3: Identify the issues in the essay question. The essay question above is very simple. It is about computer games. However, some IELTS essay questions are more complex so you must take time to identify the issue or issues. Step 4: Brainstorm main ideas.

  21. Pro Tips How to Write an IELTS Discussion Essay

    Master the art of IELTS Writing with our comprehensive guide tailored for crafting a high scoring IELTS Task 2 Discussion Essay. Delve deep into effective brainstorming techniques, strategic response planning, and the art of discussing contrasting views. Immerse yourself in our invaluable tips for crafting a Band 9 essay, with insights on sharing personal viewpoints with conviction. Elevate ...

  22. Planning an IELTS essay. 5 steps to take before writing your essay

    Step 1: Read the task, make sure you understand it and then analyse the keywords, be clear about the issues, not just the general topic. Step 2: Look at the instruction words so that you know what kind of essay you are going to write about. Make sure you write a clear thesis statement.

  23. IELTS Essay: Proposed Plan

    IELTS Cambridge 17 Essay: Proposed Plan. The map details a town now and a proposed future layout. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the town has become more industrial and accessible with additional roads though the majority of the town is largely unchanged in terms of the structures.

  24. IELTS.Mastery

    21 likes, 1 comments - ielts_mastery_nskachkova on October 24, 2022: "Teaching IELTS: Collaborative writing In one of my recent group lessons, I decided to conduct an..." IELTS.Mastery | IELTS Academic | Natalya Skachkova on Instagram: "Teaching IELTS: Collaborative writing In one of my recent group lessons, I decided to conduct an activity ...