Are you afraid about writing task 2?
Do you find IELTS Writing task 2 challenging?
Well, don’t worry, you are not alone! Many students find Writing task 2 essays difficult. The reason that many students think essay writing is complicated is that they confuse essay writing with creative writing since both are closely connected.
So, what do IELTS essay writing tasks ask you to do?
IELTS Essay Writing task asks you to write a 250-word essay. It may be an opinion essay, advantages and disadvantages essay, discussion essay, cause and solution essay, or direct question essay. However, please note that this task is time-bound, so try to finish your essay in 40 minutes.
Another factor that makes writing task 2 difficult for students is that they believe they must use advanced vocabulary in their essays. While it is true that using unusual language might help you improve your band score, just cramming the words is not enough; responses must sound fluent.
In order to understand how to write a perfect essay for Writing task 2, let’s first learn how the essays are scored.
Writing task 2 is scored on the basis of 4 parameters. That are:
- Task Response
- Lexical Resources
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
- Coherence and Cohesion
All these 4 parameters listed above contribute 25% each to your overall writing score. Hence, it is vital that you read and understand the importance of these parameters.
Let's get acquainted with the many types of essays of the IELTS Writing exam.
You must discuss both sides of the argument and give your opinion.
You are required to give your opinion in the essay based on the topic.
Cause and Solution Essay
You must explain both the problem/cause and the solution in this essay and provide supporting reasons for both sides. It's also crucial to connect the problem/cause with the solution.
Direction Question Essay
In this essay, you are expected to answer the questions directly. It will usually be two questions.
Advantage and Disadvantage Essay
Similar to a cause and effect essay. In this question, you are expected to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the provided topic and focus on both. Always keep in mind that you must discuss both sides of this essay.
Tips that help you write the perfect IELTS essays
1. Plan your essays
Never give a quick answer to a question; always read the question first and figure out the sort of essay you're being asked to write. Then, spend a minute or two developing your thoughts or opinions in response to the questions. Try to relate the topic with some of your past experiences or knowledge. If not, create an imaginary scenario around the topic.
2. Structure your essay
It is necessary to structure your answer, as structure helps to organise your thoughts. It also demonstrates your ability to communicate your views and ideas logically. Otherwise, your argument or opinion may not be presented effectively. The essay should have a smooth transition from one paragraph to the next.
3. Make use of a logical flow of thoughts
In order to write flawlessly, You must link your ideas and thoughts in writing task 2. It also assists you in moving from one point to another in a logical order.
4. Ensure that you use a variety of sentences
Instead of repeating your sentence patterns, vary the length of your sentences to emphasise significant points and ideas in your essay. Your response may appear monotonous to the examiner if there are too many sentences with the same structure and length. Changing the style and structure of your sentences can help you avoid repetition and add emphasis.
5. Improve your sentence quality
Use numerous sorts of connectors to link your arguments and viewpoints instead of repeating the phrases. However, these connectors should not be used frequently.
For introduction points, use:
- To start with
- Many people claim that
- These days
- … Is often discussed but rarely understood
- On one hand
Presenting or supporting your ideas or thoughts:
- When it comes to
- Some people believe that
- It is commonly understood that
- There are some people who argue that
- Another factor to consider is
- This is due to
Expressing contrasting ideas:
- Despite the fact that
- On the other hand
- From my point of view
- As far as I am concerned
- In my opinion
- I believe that
- Personally speaking
- To sum up
- In conclusion
- Taking everything into consideration
6. Use Synonyms
Replacing widely used phrases with less known ones is one of the most efficient strategies to produce flawless IELTS essay writing tasks. In addition, it helps to exhibit your strong command of the English language to the examiner.
- Instead of using the term 'very sure', use 'certain'.
- Instead of using the term 'help', use 'assist'.
- Instead of using the term 'very mean', use 'cruel'.
- Instead of using the term 'admit', use 'confess'.
- Instead of using the term 'very busy', use 'swamped'.
- Instead of using the term 'huge', use 'enormous'.
- Instead of using the term 'stubborn', use 'obstinate'.
7. Maintain a consistent tone throughout
Do not wait till the end to express your thoughts. Rather, express your point of view throughout the essay. Unfortunately, some students provide facts throughout the essay and include their summarised point of view in the conclusion. This causes the examiner to get confused, and you can lose marks as a result.
8. Elaborate on your ideas and opinion
Simply elaborate your point or provide support to establish your point more clearly. For example, in opinion or discussion essays, describe your opinion and elaborate on it using your personal experience or understanding of the subject. You can also accomplish this by relating your explanation to examples. For example, assume you've been assigned a cause and effect essay. So, depending on your arguments, devote one paragraph to describing the causes and the other to describe the impact. Similarly, in the case of an opinion or discussion essay, discuss your ideas or viewpoints in detail.
9. Write a clear conclusion
Do not add or introduce a new argument in the last paragraph; instead, finish your essay with a clear conclusion. Besides that, the concluding statement should be precise and clearly connected to the arguments or points of view mentioned in the preceding paragraphs.
10. Don't use memorised sentences
You can learn and use terms and phrases to impress the examiner, but using those exact sentences [ from any book or guide] might look mechanical and out of place. Hence, it is preferable to construct your statements using previously learned terms and expressions.
11. Examine your errors
Ensure that you spell each word correctly and don't make any grammatical errors when writing your essay. Moreover, proofread your answers and double-check your grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors once you are through with them. Focus on verbs, pronouns, and tenses first when looking for grammatical problems, as these are the most likely to include errors.
12. Check your word count
Verifying the word count does not imply counting every single word. Rather, it implies making sure you've written more than the recommended number of words. Practice is the only way to determine whether you've written more than the recommended word count. In addition, you'll get more comfortable with the length of information necessary for each IELTS Writing task 2 response as you practise.
Things to avoid while writing an essay.
- Never use a phrase that serves no function. Each sentence in the essay should have a logical meaning. If you don't think it does, leave it out.
- Do not overuse terms like 'moreover', 'also' in every second sentence.
- Avoid using slang or casual abbreviations.
- Do not forget to structure your essays.
- In your essay, never add any irrelevant information.
- Never compose memorised sentences; examiners are well-trained to spot them.
- Always read the question completely. Don't start the essay by reading only the first half.
For example, in a question, you are asked:
Most modern families have both parents working, and as a result, children spend less and less time with their parents. What is the reason for this? What problems can this cause?
So, don't just give a reason and close. Attempt the latter part as well.
- Don't make frequent spelling mistakes.
- Never mix up British and American spelling. Always stick to one.
Defence: The one ending with 'ce' is British
Defense: The one ending with 'se' is American.
- If you're not sure what a word means, don't use it.
Overall, read and practise enough to produce flawless IELTS Writing Task 2 essays. It will assist you in becoming acquainted with numerous sorts of essays. It can also help you improve your writing abilities by keeping you up to date on a variety of topics and vocabulary. Also, keep in mind that the IELTS exam assesses your English language ability rather than your creative writing abilities.
Katherine is an IELTS certified trainer with over 11 years of experience in the educational field. She earned her Master’s in Literature from the University of Brimingham, United Kingdom, and is a British Council-certified trainer. Her in-depth understanding of the test and experience in the subject have aided many students in achieving their desired band score. She joined IELTSMaterial.com
in 2020 and has counselled many students to a band 8.