An essay is a statement of thought on a given topic. It should be clear in structure and formal or neutral in style. IELTS Writing provides candidates for reflection on controversial issues that affect our daily lives.
IELTS Essay Structure
- Introduction — 2-3 sentences. The introduction should be short, simple, and contain:
- a sentence that names a topic
- a sentence that answers a question or expresses an overall impression. The introduction of your essay is a paraphrased topic for the assignment. Next, you have to give a generalized short answer to the question from the assignment.
- Paragraphs (2 or 3) — 5-6 sentences each. In this part of the essay, candidates have to express their point of view, prove it reasonably, and give examples. The text should be divided into paragraphs according to the principles of 1 paragraph — 1 thought. The number of paragraphs in the work will depend on the type of IELTS essay.
The topic sentence is the first sentence of your paragraph that generally describes your thought. After that, you should move on to the details and evidence of your point of view. It is generalized, doesn’t convey anything specific, and, at the same time, makes it clear what the paragraph will be about. You should choose three areas for description. This is clear from the connecting words — firstly, secondly, finally. You not only convincingly prove your point of view but also give real examples from life.
In the second paragraph, you should analyze the positive and negative impact with the help of introductory constructions “on the one hand” and “on the other hand”. You describe any influence through a contrasting comparison of the past and the present, which is supported by the word “nowadays”.
- Conclusion — 2-3 sentences. The main rule of writing a quality conclusion is not to enter new information. You need to either rephrase what was said in the introduction or summarize the information in paragraphs
7 Tips for Writing an Excellent IELTS Essay
The company Affordable Papers gives online tips on how to develop your writing skills for the IELTS exam.
1. Read different articles
Careful reading will help you stock up on ideas on unfamiliar topics and also develop your vocabulary and style. For example, if you read the Economist, Forbes, and other similar articles, you will get to know many interesting facts. Also, you can learn many interesting grammatical constructions, phrases, and connections.
2. Learn less common vocabulary
The best way to quickly build up your vocabulary is to copy phrases together with their translation into a separate file and study them. If you check a word color in Macmillan, you will see how common it is. If the words are black, the IELTS examiner may consider them less common and increase the score for the criterion “lexical resource”. If the word is red, then it is included in the 7,500 most common words and will not greatly impress examiners. The dictionary is just a guideline. The auditors are likely to use a different system that is not being disclosed.
3. Find convincing arguments
Reread your essay carefully before planning the paragraphs. This helps avoid the common mistake of students straying from the assignment and writing about other things. Try to find hard-hitting arguments by asking yourself why and using examples to illustrate ideas.
4. Analyze the question
It is important to understand what the task is exactly. You will need to express your opinion or suggest solutions to the problem, describe the advantages and disadvantages of something, Tend to one or another opinion or disagree with it, etc. In any case, for this, you need to carefully read what is required of you.
5. Plan your answer
Writing an essay without a plan is like using a cool gadget without instructions. When it breaks, it will be too late. In the case of writing an essay, even if you write a good introduction, then you will simply get lost and everything ends up with the fact that you may not have enough time to finish it, or you will begin to generalize, or the text of the papers will turn out to be incoherent, devoid of logical sequence, etc., which can’t but affect its assessment.
Imagine that your plan is a map. And you will have to move around the area (the text of the essay). Therefore, each sentence is a step towards its destination and it has its purpose. All sentences in your essay should be thoughtful and related.
6. Remember about grammar
A good IELTS essay has many grammatical structures. So, try to use different types of complex sentences, conditional mood, inversion, and participial expressions. Simple sentences should be used as well as they add variety to the style. After you write your essay, count the number of different constructs you have used and consider how you could increase the variety.
Punctuation is also very important when writing an IELTS essay. You can lose several points if you make a few punctuation mistakes. So, it’s best to repeat the rules carefully and try to check the punctuation.
7. Keep track of the time
Many students note that they spend too much time writing the first essay. It sometimes takes up to four hours. Don’t worry, this is a normal thing. Give yourself as much time as you need for the first few essays. Later, you will learn to write essays faster as soon as you feel more confident. But until you can write an essay on any topic in 30-40 minutes, it’s best not to take the IELTS exam (because it is not so cheap) but to keep practicing.
As you can see, you will have to spend time preparing for writing an essay. Even so, learning how to analyze the assignment and plan an answer will save you time on the exam itself. You should practice regularly and try your best, gradually creating conditions similar to real testing conditions and limiting yourself strictly to 40 minutes.