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Writing an effective introduction for IELTS Writing Task 2

July 09, 2019

IELTS Writing Task 2 Introduction

This article will guide you in developing introductions for your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay and also contains certain sentences that I suggest when writing IELTS Wring Task introduction.

The first part your examiner will read is your introduction which will give them a hint on what to expect from the rest of the essay.

And always remember just like in humans, that first impression lasts.

In an IELTS Writing exam, a bad introduction is similar to being rude to an examiner in an speaking section. Irrespective of how brilliant the body of your essay is, your examiner won’t be happy and you will not get an encouraging mark from an unhappy examiner.

In spite of these several warnings, some students still develop introductions accompanied by several errors.

Common Issues

1. Explaining the topic generally.

Majority of this essay begins with “Nowadays……” or “In modern life” which is then followed by general details of the topic. This is the worst method of introducing your essay from my point of view. Don’t forget that your objective is to provide an answer to the question and not developing a general description of the topic.

2. Absence of a thesis statement

This sentence is very essential in an essay. You will lose marks in several ways if this is not added to your essay. More details on this are provided below.

3. Absence of an outline of your task.

Always add a sentence that outlines the details of your essay to inform the examiner of what the remaining part of your essay is all about. You will also lose marks without this. Additional details are provided below.

4. Writing an engaging content

Don’t forget that this is not a university essay but an IELTS exam. You will not be awarded additional points for being engaging and as a matter of fact, boring content might be beneficial. You will be able to stay away from the “flowery” language.

5. Writing informally

The only accepted format or style of writing in the academic style.

Good and Bad Instances.

Question: There is enormous proof that the rise in car use adds to global warming and other unfortunate effects on people’s life and health. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

A Good Introduction

The increase in global temperature and issues with health and fitness have been linked to the extended use of vehicles. This essay agrees that expanded use of vehicles has contributed to the increasing global temperature and specific health problems. Firstly, the production of greenhouse gases by vehicles and secondly, other toxic chemicals that are released by the internal combustion engines will be discussed.

A Bad Introduction

Nowadays, cars are a very popular way of moving around. Many people drive cars around daily but other people feel it results in global warming. Global warming is a very severe issue in modern life. They affect people’s wellbeing and health which is a very serious issue.

The bad introduction stated above talked generally about the topic, made up of copied phrases and words from the questions and do not include an outline or a thesis statement.

However, do not worry if your introduction is similar to this. Majority of students started with this kind of introduction and the format provided below helped them in creating powerful introductions that are absent of any error.

The Structure of a Good Introduction

This format will guarantee you higher mark and help you save a lot of time. After much practice, it would be easy to create excellent introductions within a few minutes, you will also be able to focus on the body of your essay where you can also get additional marks.

Three sentences must be contained in an IELTS Writing Task 2 which are:

  1. Paraphrase question
  2. Thesis Sentence
  3. Outline Sentence.

Now let’s consider each of the statement in details.

1. Paraphrase Question

Paraphrasing is simply stating the question again with different words but the same meaning. This can be achieved by replacing them with synonyms and interchanging the order of the words.

Question: There is enormous proof that shows that increasing car use is instrumental to global warming and accompanied with unfortunate effects on people’s wellbeing and health.

Paraphrase: The rising temperature and human fitness and health issue are often considered as being caused by the expanding use of vehicles.

The synonyms that were used are:

Increasing – expanding

Car use – use of vehicles

Global warming – global temperatures.

People’s health and wellbeing – human’s health and fitness.

The order of the words was also modified.

This will inform the examiner that you can paraphrase and have full control of the vocabulary. These are the two things that must be added that will help you get more marks from the examiner.

Don’t forget to practice more with the IELTS questions.

2. Thesis Sentence

This is the key sentence in your essay. The main point is discussed here and students have been informed that this section carries the sentence of how you feel about the issue. This will point out to the examiner that you fully understand the question and will produce an essay that is direct, clear and consistent.

Thesis sentence: This essay concurs that the rise in the use of vehicles is instrumental to the increasing global temperatures and some specific health problems

It is not more than one sentence long and you need to know how to summarize your point of view in just one sentence. It should not portray the topic generally but also handle the micro-keywords.

Your thesis sentence should begin with the following:

For opinion essays, it should be written as “This essay agrees with………” or “This essay disagrees with………….”

For causes and solution essay, begin with “The main cause of this issue………………”

For essays on advantages and disadvantages, starting with “The primary advantages/benefit(s) is……..” or “The principal disadvantage/drawback(s) is………”

For essays on two points of view, the point of view should both be clearly stated.

Let’s consider other instances.

A few areas of celebrity culture have a negative impact on young people. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

There are two options to keep things very simple.

  1. Agree that a few celebrity cultures have a negative impact on young people.
  2. Disagree that a few celebrity cultures have a negative impact on young people.

I can agree that celebrity culture do have negative implication and the content of my thesis sentence would be:

This essay agrees that popular people’s lifestyle has a negative implication on the youth of today.

I have replaced the question with synonyms and stated my point of view in one sentence. Thesis sentences are well-known but majorly for question requesting for your point of view. Most IELTS questions would not request for your point of view, it can then be avoided.

3. Outline Sentence

The outline sentence contains what will be discussed in the key body paragraphs of your essay which is done after paraphrasing the questions and informing the examiner what you think in your opinion.

For instance:

Several evidence proofs that rising car use is instrumental to global warming and it is associated with many other unwanted consequences on people’s wellbeing and health.

Outline Sentence: Firstly, the production of green gases by automobiles will be discussed in this essay and secondly, it will focus on other harmful chemicals that are discharged by internal combustion engines.

What was carried out here was to check out the main body paragraphs and produce a statement on their content. Every paragraph should have a major opinion. This essay, however, contains two paragraphs, therefore; the outline sentence will only contain two statements.

Main body paragraph 1: the creation of greenhouse gases by automobiles.

Main body paragraph 2: harmful chemicals created by the internal combustion engines.

Also, contained in your main body paragraph should not be more than one main idea that can be easily seen and create a sentence on it.

For essays on advantages and disadvantages, or essays on problem solution, you can develop sentences similar to this:

Advantages and disadvantages:  the benefits will be first discussed in this essay, followed by the evaluation of the (main drawback(s)).

Problem and solution: the main problems are evaluated in this essay and a suitable solution is offered.

Concluding Example

Question: Being able to effectively manage money is vital in the life of an adult. In your view, how can the money be best managed?

Good answer: A vital part of adulthood is having the ability to create a budget for your finances. It is obvious that managing money during childhood is very important in learning this. Firstly, the essay discussed the vital areas where parental involvement during childhood is very important and secondly the essay will provide the significance of getting a part-time job during childhood.

The introduction above clearly follows the format that was provided in this report.


  • Pick a random question here
  • Write great introduction by using the knowledge you have gained
  • Repeat the steps until you can do it perfectly

I hope you found the post useful and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Serhii Baraniuk

IELTS blog by Serhii Baraniuk. Do you have questions or suggestions? Ask my anything on Twitter or Facebook