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Tips on September 9th 2013

Always check your work!

Remember IELTS is an English test, not a test of your knowledge. If you have not finished writing and you only have 2 minutes left in your exam. STOP!!! and check your work!

When practicing at home, practice under timed conditions

You may be able to write 2 excellent essays in 1 day that would get you a band 8. But can you write two in 1 hour? It’s a lot harder and you need to practice your time management (check out our writing page for some sample questions).

Structure of Task 1 (A diagram)

Introduction – (approx 30 words)

You should start by writing what the diagram represents.  You can do this by paraphrasing the title(s).

Follow this by stating what the overall General Trend of the diagram is – this means looking at the big picture, i.e. overall what is the data showing you.

The next paragraph should be a description of the data that supports your general trend (approx 100 words).  You must include data in this section.  The paragraph can be split into shorter sections if appropriate.

The third paragraph could be a short paragraph (if appropriate) to show data which does not support your general trend.  You can begin – ‘It is interesting to note that………………

The last paragraph should be the conclusion.  This should be a short paragraph which restates the general tre

Structure of Task 2

Introduction – (approx 30-50 words)

You should start with a general statement about the topic.  For example:

A lot of people feel very strongly about smoking, so the question of where we can or cannot smoke cause emotions to run high.

This could be followed by your Thesis statement (personal opinion)

In my opinion smoking should be prohibited in public places for a number of reasons.

The supporting paragraph should be approximately 100 words in length and in this paragraph you have to state your arguments which support your thesis statement.  Use connectors/linkers to join your ideas and sentences together.

The third paragraph is a non supporting paragraph and should be roughly 100 words in length.  In this paragraph you have to state your points for the other side of the argument i.e. points which do not support your thesis statement, or contradict it.  Use connectors/linkers to join your ideas and sentences together.

The conclusion is a short paragraph which summarises your opinions and/or restates your major point.

As you can see, I am in favour of nobody smoking, but I really don’t think it is possible to force this on everybody.

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7 Comments

  1. Silk says:

    Is it suitable to use ‘I’? In essay writing I have always been taught not to.

  2. admin says:

    This is a really good question. Traditionally you would never use ‘I’ when writing an essay, as it is considered informal. In the IELTS academic writing you should avoid using I in writing task 1, as you do not need to give your opinion. However in Writing Task 2, you are often asked to give your opinion, so it is acceptable to use ‘I’.

  3. Dear silk

    I agree with admin, that in Task 1 you are not asked for your opinion, but you are always free to support your explanation with logical reasoning. for example Lets suppose the given graph is showing a rapid increase ( 50 million tonnes to 90 million tonnes) in the ‘ production of rice’ in the year 1990 in India, then you can write- ‘The production of rice soared rapidly by 40 million tonnes in just one year may be because of the reason that the monsoons in that particular year were very good and on time .’ Here you have given your opinion without using the word ‘ I ‘. So you can give the logical but don’t forget to use the phrase ” It may be because of the reason “.
    Similarly if the the graph is showing increase in the admissions in a university in Management stream in the last five years. you can write that ” The interest of the students in management stream has rocketed up in the last five years may because of more opportunities and easy availability of jobs after doing the same.”

  4. Nirupma says:

    Thanks you have cleared my doubt about using first person in

  5. Rubina Zaidi says:

    Please check my first draft as I am writing it for the first time. Please suggest how many bands I can get.
    “A single person can do almost nothing to change society. Therefore any new changes can only be implemented by governments”.
    To what extent do you agree.

    This has been said and we all have experienced in our lives that “union is strength”. This famous proverb applies in almost all major areas of our life, right from home to our work places. Bringing change is not an easy task whether it is your habit or over all society. Change is a slow, time consuming and painful process. It needs a lot of energy and effort to put in. In order to bring any change a single person can take an initiative but for sure its a team work and requires whole society to work together and the final responsibility goes to government to implement new changes in the society.

    Change implementation is a process.This process work like a cycle where many parameters work simultaneously. Any government is a sole body to first analyse the contextual needs of the society and than plan the changes. Of course all this requires human resource to get involved and utilized at their best. A single person may work as an initiator to point out the needs of the society, he or she might work as a steering body of any community to implement a successful plan to bring any change but without the government interventions all plans would go wasted.

    Our daily life activities are full of such examples where many people talk about bringing change to the society in term of work conditions, money distribution, working opportunities, educational standards, provision of healthy environment and many more. But how many do really implement these changes without having some authority in governmental body.

    Therefore, I strongly agree with the topic that new changes require government interventions and support. Bringing change to any society needs single person contribution as it is essential but for analysing, utilizing and planning, only government authorities can play vital role.

    • admin says:

      This essay would probably receive between a 7.5 & 8.
      Some good vocabulary and complex sentences.
      But, some collocations of words are not common and there are some problems with word choice, see comments below. I would also suggest spending less time on your introduction.

      This has been said and we all have experienced (experience) in our lives that “union is strength”. This famous proverb applies in almost all major areas of our life, right from home to our work places. Bringing change is not an easy task whether it is your habit or over all society. Change is a slow, time consuming and painful process. It needs a lot of energy and effort to put in. In order to bring any change a single person can take an initiative but for sure its a team work and requires whole society to work together and the final responsibility goes to government to implement new changes in the society.
      Change implementation (Implementing change) is a process.This process work(s) like a cycle where many parameters work simultaneously. Any government is a sole body to first analyse the contextual needs of the society and than (then) plan the changes. Of course(,) all this requires human resource to get involved and utilized at their best. A single person may work as an initiator to point out the needs of the society, he or she might work as a steering body of any community to implement a successful plan to bring any change but without the government interventions all plans would go(be) wasted.
      Our daily life activities are full of such examples where many people talk about bringing change to the society in term(s) of work conditions, money distribution, working opportunities, educational standards, provision of healthy environment and many more. But how many do really implement these changes without having some authority in governmental body.(?)
      Therefore, I strongly agree with the topic that new changes require government interventions and support. Bringing change to any society needs single person contribution as it is essential but for analysing, utilizing and planning, only government authorities can play vital role.

  6. Rubina Zaidi says:

    Thanks a lot, Its’ really helpful.

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