Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog

Introductions to Essays - varying vocabulary
Many city centres these days have traffic flow problems, causing congestion and pollution. One solution is to build fast ring roads on the outskirts of a city, taking traffic away from the centre. While this is helpful in some ways, it also causes new problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree? You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence. Read the question - identify key words These are the “content” words which relate to the topic of the question. Normally they will be nouns, verbs and adjectives, but they can also include quantifiers like “many” many city centres traffic flow congestion pollution solution build ring roads outskirts traffic helpful causes problems Rephrasing the question One function of the introduction is to identify the question. It is important not to repeat the same wording so you need to rephrase the question. There are a variety of techniques available here: • synonyms • words in the same family • related words

Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog
Look for synonyms The most obvious way to avoid repeating the wording of the question is to find synonyms. Note, however, that synonyms may mean the same thing and that they may be a phrase and not just one word many: several, a number of city centres: urban areas (not an exact synonym) congestion: traffic jams build: construct outskirts: outlying areas, the suburbs (not an exact synonym) traffic: cars causes: leads to, results in problems: difficulties, issues Words in the same family Sometimes there are no very good synonyms. Here you can vary the language by changing the form of the word from verb to noun for example. city centres: the central parts of the city traffic flow: the traffic flows (v) pollution: pollute solution: solve Related words Sometimes it helps to brainstorm words that are related to words in the question to help you rephrase its meaning traffic→roads→streets pollution→exhaust fumes→air pollution→noise pollution Specialist words It is important to note that there are frequently some words in the question that are so specialised that there may be no other natural way to express the idea. In this case it is generally best not to try and change those words. ring roads

Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog
A possible introduction One very common issue in the modern world is the increasing amount of traffic in urban areas and city centres in particular. This has led to demands for ring roads to be constructed to reduce both traffic jams and air pollution. This essay examines whether this would solve the problem or create more difficulties. Note the combination of: • • • • synonyms words from the same family related words unchanged specialist words

Note also the structure of this introduction: • general statement • explanation of the issue expanding on the general statement • identification of the writerʼs purpose

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