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IELTS Writing Tips
MAria Aviles / September 17, 2019

IELTS Writing Tips
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How to structure your essay in task 2

#IELTSMalta: Prepare for #IELTSinMalta with AM Language.

If you follow these steps, the construction of your essay will instantly improve.

The writing part of the IELTS exam is divided into 2 sections. This IELTS blog explains some important steps you can take to automatically improve the construction of your essay, and your overall IELTS band written score. The content in this blog is just a taste of what you can expect to learn on our IELTS Course in Malta.

Step 1: Divide your paragraphs into at least 4 sections

When planning your essay, you should aim to have 4 to 5 paragraphs. You need an opening paragraph that provides a brief introduction to your essay, followed by 2 to 3 paragraphs where you discuss the question before finishing with your final paragraph that needs to be a conclusion. It is important that you develop this technique because it will make a big difference when it comes to your exam. The better you perfect it, the better your time management will be along with ensuring that you answer the question properly.

Step 2: Own the question

IELTS questions in task two tend to present a fairly generic question on a wide range of academic subjects. To ‘own the question’ it is important that you instantly provide a direction by providing examples that you are going to discuss in your essay. Below is an example of how to do this.

IELTS QUESTION: Crime is constantly on the rise. What measures can be taken to reduce crime levels? (Notice that the question is general, and in this case it even makes an assumption.)

Step 1: There are many categories of crime, and not all of them are on the rise. We do not have any data to support an argument, so we need to choose our words carefully when we are forming our arguments.

Step 2: You need to think of 3 types of crime that could be on the rise, and this will help to provide structure to your essay. For example, you might choose to focus on fraud, cyber crime and knife crime in London, as all three are current, meaning they are frequently reported in the news.

Step 3: State what the reader can expect to see in your essay

Following steps one and two, you can state that the discussion on the subject, such as crime levels, will be centred on the number of categories you stated in step two. In the case of crime, it would be fraud, cyber and knife crime.  Below is an example of how your introduction could read:

 IELTS Question: Crime is constantly on the rise. What measures can be taken to reduce crime levels?

 IELTS Introduction:

When assessing the rate of crime, we have to address it based on the type of crime in relation to the geographical location. In some cases, certain types of crime are on the rise for a variety of reasons.  Three such crimes that can be seen to be on the rise, judging by current media reports, are knife crimes in some areas of London, fraud and cybercrime. This essay will explore these three areas in relation to the reasons for these crimes, as well as possible solutions to curb the crime rate.

In the example, you can see that the introduction instantly provides a direction, a specific context within the subject of crime, as well as a clear indication of what is going to be discussed in the essay. The example also shows that the writer is able to provide synonyms for language used in the question, such as curb instead of reduce. I should add that there is more than one correct way to structuring your introduction, which we will explore in a future IELTS blog.

Step 4: Divide your essay into sections that allow you to discuss and to make comparisons

We have established that the first paragraph is to be used as the introduction, and the last is dedicated to your conclusion. The two or three middle paragraphs are where you discuss the topic in relation to the question. If you are making ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments, then it would be quite straightforward to use the second paragraph to state arguments ‘for’ the notion/argument, while using the third paragraph to provide arguments against the notion/argument in question. However, should you be required to provide examples on a subject where you have to explore a topic, then you can provide three examples, such as with the previous example on crime, and separate the following three paragraphs dedicating each paragraph to each of your examples.

Step 5: Don’t over complicate your conclusion

With regard to your conclusion, make sure you do not introduce any new arguments and avoid writing more than necessary. The following example best demonstrates the structure of how to write a good conclusion in relation to the subject of crime rates.

IELTS Conclusion: Taking into consideration the above issues discussed, it would be reasonable to say that one of the main reasons for crime rates of this nature to occur is due to the low probability of being caught. Therefore, to reduce crime rates, measures need to be taken to increase the probability of individuals being caught. This could be a good deterrent if measures are implemented properly.  

For further reading on how to improve your academic writing skills, please follow this link. https://ivypanda.com/blog/best-writing-tools-and-resources/



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