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How to Write an IELTS Essay

On this page you will find some guidance on how you should write an IELTS essay. There are then model answers on the following pages for different types of essay and different questions, with some brief guidance on each. It is important to analyse model answers for IELTS essays because there are different essay types, and these will require different ways to answer them. However, as you will see from the guidance on this page, they can all follow the same basic structure. These are some of the types of IELTS essay we will look at:

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Agree / disagree Discuss two opinions Advantages & disadvantages Causes (reasons) & solutions Causes (reasons) & effects Problems & solutions Compare & contrast

Not every essay will fit one of these patterns, but many do. You may get some of these tasks mixed up. For example, you could be asked to give your opinion on an issue, and then discuss the advantages or disadvantages of it. The golden rule is to ALWAYS read the question very carefully to see exactly what you are being asked to do. View this lesson for more practice on analyzing essay questions.

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How do I Write an IELTS Essay?
In order to answer this, lets first look at a sample question:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic.
In the last 20 years there have been significant developments in the field of information technology (IT), for example the World Wide Web and communication by email. However, future developments in IT are likely to have more negative effects than positive. To what extent do you agree with this view?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. You should write at least 250 words.
An IELTS essay is structured like any other essay; you just need to make it shorter. There are three key elements: 1. Introduction 2. Body Paragraphs 3. Conclusion We will look at each of these in turn, using the essay question above as an example.

1) Introduction
You should keep your introduction for the IELTS essay short. Remember you only have 40 minutes to write the essay, and some of this time needs to be spent planning. Therefore, you need to be able to write your introduction fairly quickly so you can start writing your body paragraphs. You should do just two things:

State the topic of the essay, using some basic facts (that you may be able to take from the question)
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Say what you are going to write about Here is an example introduction for the above essay question about IT: The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the way people's lives are affected by IT, with many advances in this field. However, while these technological advances have brought many benefits to the world, it can be argued that future IT developments will produce more negative effects than positive ones. As you can see, the first sentence makes sure it refers to the topic (IT) and uses facts about IT taken from the question. Note that these are paraphrased - you must not copy from the rubric! The second part then clearly sets out the what the essay will be about and confirms the writers opinion (some questions may not ask for your opinion, but this one does).

2) Body Paragraphs
For an IELTS essay, you should have 2 or 3 body paragraphs - no more, and no less. For your body paragraph, each paragraph should contain one controlling idea, and have sentences to support this. Let’s look at the first paragraph for the essay about IT. The essay is about the ben efits and drawbacks of IT, so these will need to be discussed in separate paragraphs. Here is the first body paragraph: To begin, email has made communication, especially abroad, much simpler and faster, resulting in numerous benefits for commerce and business. Furthermore, the World Wide Webmeans that information on every conceivable subject is now available to us. For example, people can access news, medical advice, online education courses and much more via the internet. It is evident that these improvements have made life far easier and more convenient for large numbers of people and will continue to do so for decades to come. The controlling idea in this first paragraph is the 'benefits of IT', and there are two supporting ideas, which are underlined. No drawbacks are discussed as the paragraph would then lose coherence. Most of the essay will focus on the negative aspects of IT, as the writer says there are more negative effects in the introduction. So the next two paragraphs are about these.

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3) Conclusion The conclusion only needs to be one or two sentences. the effects of this new technology have not all been beneficial. The final body paragraph gives the last negative effect: In addition. people can access news. Unfortunately. with many advances in this field. Furthermore. the World Wide Web means that information on every conceivable subject is now available to us. telephone and face-to-face conversation. 4 . online education courses and much more via the internet. For example. The full IELTS Essay: The last two decades have seen enormous changes in the way people's lives are affected by IT. many people feel that the widespread use of email is destroying traditional forms of communication such as letter writing. especially abroad. the large size of the Web has meant that it is nearly impossible to regulate and control. this kind of problem might even get worse in the future at least until more regulated systems are set up. yet I believe developments relating to new technology in the future are likely to produce many negative effects that must be addressed if we are to avoid damaging impacts to individuals and society. medical advice.The topic sentence in the next paragraph therefore tells us we are changing the focus to the negative points: Nevertheless. and you can do the following:   Re-state what the essay is about (re-write the last sentence of your introduction in different words) Give some thoughts about the future Here is an example: In conclusion. It is evident that these improvements have made life far easier and more convenient for large numbers of people and will continue to do so for decades to come. developments in IT have brought many benefits. while these technological advances have brought many benefits to the world. resulting in numerous benefits for commerce and business. For example. This has led to many concerns regarding children accessing unsuitable websites and viruses. To begin. email has made communication. much simpler and faster. This could result in a decline in people's basic ability to socialize and interact with each other on a day-to-day basis. However. it can be argued that future IT developments will produce more negative effects than positive ones.

. (287 words) Comments The IELTS essay introduction talks in general about the increasing use of IT.. telephone and face-to-face conversation. many people feel that the widespread use of email is destroying traditional forms of communication such as letter writing.. In conclusion. this essay is an agree / disagree essay.. thus introducing the topic well. This one tackles the subject of advertising.. The following paragraph mentions the present benefits of these developments. the effects of this new technology have not all been beneficial. Model Essay for IELTS . Overall. As with model essay 1. This could result in a decline in people's basic ability to socialize and interact with each other on a dayto-day basis.likely to increase. but the opening sentence in the third paragraph is a qualifying statement ( Nevertheless. 5 ... In addition.Advertising A second model essay for IELTS is presented here. not all the effects.) but importantly. it is a well-balanced text that mentions the present situation (. viruses). this has made life. For example. The essay concludes with a clear opinion that agrees with the statement. The fourth paragraph provides two other negative examples (lack of regulation..). This has led to many concerns regarding children accessing unsuitable websites and viruses. this kind of problem might even get worse in the future at least until more regulated systems are set up. Both paragraphs suggest that these problems will continue in the future.. The thesis then clearly sets out the writers opinion..Nevertheless.. might get worse. Unfortunately.. the large size of the Web has meant that it is nearly impossible to regulate and control. developments in IT have brought many benefits.). yet I believe developments relating to new technology in the future are likely to produce many negative effects that must be addressed if we are to avoid damaging impacts to individuals and society.. also refers to the future of IT (. so the writer can now focus on the negative elements.

In other words. you are presented with one opinion: ___________________________________________________ Some of the methods used in advertising are unethical and unacceptable in today’s society. the writer agrees 100% with the opinion. Partly agree In the answer below. Model Essay for IELTS 2 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Some of the methods used in advertising are unethical and unacceptable in today’s society. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. it discusses the negative aspects of advertising. To what extent do you agree with this view? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. 6 . the writers opinion is made clear in the thesis statement (the last sentence of the introduction). Agree 100% 2.In these types of essays. Disagree 100% 3. As you can see. To what extent do you agree with this view? So your options are: 1. All the body paragraphs then explain why the writer disagrees. You should write at least 250 words.

Essay for IELTS Model Answer The world that we live in today is dominated by advertising. Constant images and signs wherever we look can be very intrusive and irritating at times. it now seems that there are very few places we can actually avoid them. With the latest technology mobile companies are now able to send advertising messages via SMS to consumer’s phones whenever they choose. unnecessary or even unhealthy. Take for example advertising on the mobile phone. many of the strategies used to sell a product or service can be considered immoral or unacceptable. In conclusion. yet restrictions have not been placed on this type of advertising in the same way as smoking. It is quite possible that alcohol adverts encourage excessive consumption and underage drinking. in the street and even on our mobile phones. Children and young people in particular are influenced by adverts showing the latest toys. Adverts are on television. the advertising of tobacco products and alcohol has long been a controversial issue. It is certainly true to say that advertising is an everyday feature of our lives. However. clothing or music and this can put enormous pressure on the parents to buy these products. A further aspect of advertising that I would consider unethical is the way that it encourages people to buy products they may not need or cannot afford. (296 words) 7 . the fact that we cannot escape from advertising is a significant cause for complaint. To begin with. but cigarette adverts have only recently been banned in many countries. many aspects of advertising do appear to be morally wrong and are not acceptable in today's society. Although we expect adverts in numerous situations. on the World Wide Web. Therefore. In addition. people are constantly being encouraged to buy products or services that might be too expensive.

many other useful phrases are used. In general.. well expressed.) backed up by reasons (. . each containing ideas that are relevant. Here is the question: Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine.. Linking words are used accurately (However. and related to the topic. Phrases that signal opinions are evident (A further aspect of advertising that I would consider unethical. Focusing on the language and structures in particular.. This shows that you have good academic skills as you are able to see both sides of the issue. .Alternative Medicine This IELTS sample essay tackles the subject of alternative medicine. In addition. IELTS Sample Essay . Many people consider. Therefore).. at best these methods are ineffective. It is certainly true to say..encourages people to buy products they may not need or cannot afford) and examples (Children and young people in particular. To what extent do you agree with this statement? When you are asked whether you agree (or disagree).. indicating a good control of language (It is quite possible. and at worst they may be dangerous. However. are influenced by adverts). 8 . you can look at both sides of the argument if you want. the essay starts with an appropriate introductory sentence. ..).Comments This essay for IELTS is well organized as there are five clear paragraphs.

and at worst they may be dangerous. As you can see. 9 . In other words: Body 1 = the disadvantages of alternative medicine Body 2 = the advantages of alternative medicine It is then a good balanced conclusion as the writer states that they are best used together. in the first body paragraph the writer discusses what those who agree with this opinion think. However. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. at best these methods are ineffective. in the second body paragraph. If you are going to put in an opinion that disagrees with your own. However. In this IELTS sample essay.It can also sometimes be a good idea to look at both sides of the argument because it may be easier for you to brainstorm ideas. IELTS Sample Essay 3 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. the writer gives the reasons why he/she disagrees. you may run out of ideas. the writer disagrees overall with the opinion presented thatalternative medicine is ineffective and possibly dangerous. If you just look at one side. This makes your argument stronger as you can then refute it in the following paragraph. it is common to put this argument first.

In addition. so there is a scarcity of evidence to support the claims of their supporters. far from being dangerous. chronic conditions. On the other hand. Moreover. people often try such treatment because of recommendations from friends. Firstly. so the worst outcome would be no change. I strongly believe that conventional medicine and alternative therapies can and should coexist. it would be surprising if this continued. there has been little scientific research into such medicine.To what extent do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for you answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. and feel that both alternative and conventional medicine can be useful. and can both be used effectively to target particular 10 . they often have few or no side effects. If they were totally unhelpful. IELTS Sample Essay Model Answer Alternative medicine is not new. Acute medical problems. these therapies are usually only useful for long-term. Despite the lack of scientific proof. I am unconvinced that it is dangerous. You should write at least 250 words. and therefore come to the therapist with a very positive attitude. They have different strengths. many people are prepared to pay considerable sums for alternatives. often require more conventional methods. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. There are several reasons why the conventional medical community is often dismissive of alternatives. Furthermore. One of the strongest arguments for the effectiveness of alternative therapies in the West is that. there remain strong arguments for the use of alternatives. which may be part of the reason for the cure. whilst conventional medicine is available without charge. such as accidental injury. there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that these therapies work.

. There is also a good range of grammatical structures (If they were totally unhelpful..and feel....) and puts forward a clear view on the issue (I am unconvinced..few side effects). The first body paragraph expresses some doubt about alternative therapies (. In this essay. The essay has a well-balanced argument looking at both sides of the issue. . in addition.). but in the second body paragraph the writer takes a different view (On the other hand..only useful for long term.. and connectors (despite the fact. This is the first opinion: The aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. IELTS Writing Example .. (280 words) Comments The writer in this IELTS sample essay introduces the topic in the introductory paragraph (Alternative medicine.). This is the second opinion: 11 . The best situation would be for alternative therapies to be used to support and complement conventional medicine.little scientific research..medical problems...).. two opposing opinions need to be discussed....) and sums up the fact that both types of treatment are valid today..University Education This IELTS writing example is on the topic of university education.. The writer's concluding paragraph offers a strong opinion (I strongly believe. it would be..) and examines the benefits(. finally).

The majority of people want to improve their future career prospects and attending university is one of the best ways to do this as it increases a persons marketable skills and attractiveness to potential employers.Model Answer These days. others think that society and the individual benefit in much broader ways. IELTS Writing Example 4 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. In addition. you MUST talk about both sides of the issue and include your opinion. You should write at least 250 words. While some people are of the opinion that the only purpose of a university education is to improve job prospects. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society. It is certainly true that one of the main aims of university is to secure a better job. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. IELTS Writing Example . Write about the following topic: Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs.There are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society. further education is very expensive for 12 . more and more people are making the choice to go to university. Discuss both views and give your opinion. As the prompt suggests.

Connectors (To begin. society will gain from the contribution that the graduates can make to the economy.. Firstly.). so most would not consider it if it would not provide them with a more secure future and a higher standard of living. As a result. there are other benefits for individuals and society. so countries need educated people in order to compete and prosper.) and when the writer is moving onto the next opinion (However. Therefore.As a result.others think that... the topic sentences make it clear when the first opinion is being discussed (It is certainly true that one of the main aims of university is to secure a better job. there are other benefits for individuals and society. If we continue to promote and encourage university attendance.) are used to expand on these ideas. Secondly) are used well to introduce each new supporting idea.. establishing that two sides of this issue will be discussed (While some people are of the opinion.many people.).. We are living in a very competitive world.. live in halls of residence and meet new friends. Looking at the structure. Thus job prospects are very important.... Secondly.. Further connectors (For example. Also. A case in point is that many students will have to leave their families. I believe that although a main aim of university education is to get the best job. However. their maturity and confidence will grow enabling them to live more fulfilling lives... there are clearly further benefits..A case in point is that... the independence of living away from home is a benefit because it helps the students develop better social skills and improve as a person.. Firstly. it will lead to a better future for individuals and society. (279 words) Comments The writer in this IELTS writing example has a clear thesis in the second sentence of the introduction. 13 .

believe there are better alternative ways of reducing crime. the writer has demonstrated that they are able to use complex sentence structures (While.. In this one..Finally. 14 . the writers opinion was given in the conclusion..as. and you must discuss each one and your opinion must also be given. thus ensuring the question has been answered. Model IELTS Essays . IELTS Essays . however. As with the previous essay. a separate body paragraph discusses the writers opinion.in order to. there are two opinions.that.Example 5 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.). Others. Write about the following topic: Some people think that the best way to reduce crime is to give longer prison sentences..Reducing Crime IELTS essays can be on a variety of topics.... andhas discussed both views and combined this with his/her opinion. and this writing sample is about reducing crime. In the previous essay. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.. You should write at least 250 words. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

the government could focus its resources on the causes of crime. someone who has committed a serious offence such as assault will need a long time in prison in order to be sure they can be re-educated not to re-offend. However. That said. Also. there are good arguments for and against long sentences. Firstly. so it is clear that this is not completely effective. so governments must continue to research the various methods of crime reduction to ensure effective policies are in place. For example. which would lead to less crime in the future.IELTS Essays . longer prison sentences will act as a deterrent for someone who is thinking of committing a crime. Many countries have lengthy prison sentences. There are benefits of giving offenders longer prison sentences. In my opinion.Model Answer Crime is a serious and growing problem in most societies. To conclude. In addition to this. others are of the opinion that other measures will be more effective. some people argue that leaving people in prison for a long time means that they will mix with other criminals and so their character will not improve. but crime has continued to increase throughout the world. Although many people believe that the best way to tackle this is to place people in prison for longer periods. and so it may improve their character. One alternative is community service. 15 . This gives an offender the opportunity to give something positive back to society. as justice for the victim and their family should take priority. it is important to look at alternative methods. long prison sentences should remain for those who commit serious crimes such as assault or murder. spending a long time in prison provides an opportunity for the prison services to rehabilitate a prisoner.

..(290 words) Comments The writer of this essay has produced a well balanced and coherent piece of writing.. For example. using variations of this (methods.. . the writer has successfully demonstrated their ability to use a mix of sentence structures.). . including a variety of complex sentences (although. rehabilitate. In addition to this... In my opinion.... 16 .).. and this is evident in this piece of work (re-offend.... Sample IELTS Writing . Also of importance with regards to vocabulary is to vary your word choices and not to repeat the same word.. as the writer has done with the word alternative 'ways'.. ..). Ideas are coherently presented by using transition words (Firstly. deterrent...Arts Spending This sample IELTS writing is on the arts... To conclude.. measures... committing a crime.. This can be done by using synonyms. Very important for IELTS essays..... reeducated.. means that.. They clearly answer the question. However... the writer provides their own opinion on the issue... The first body paragraph is dedicated to discussing the merits of long sentences. each paragraph has a clear central topic which is expanded upon in the supporting sentences. Regarding grammar.. Finally... which would..). someone who. in order to... It is important in IELTS essays to have good topic related vocabulary in order to achieve a higher score. and the second body looks at alternative methods...

So you would need to decide what you think and give reasons to support your decision. needs to explain this. literary arts (books) and the performing arts (music. and so is organized as follows: Body 1: Support for spending most money on public services Body 2: Support for spending some on the arts Sample IELTS Writing 6 17 . dance and film). and it would be better spent on public services. policing etc. theatre. health. You then have to say if you agree or disagree. This is made clear in the thesis statement: Although I agree that it is important to spend money on public services. the visual arts (as you see in art galleries). I do not think spending on the arts is a waste of money.A common topic in IELTS is whether you think it is a good idea for government money to be spent on the arts i. So the writer does not think it is a 'waste of money'. In this question.e. The sample IELTS writing model answer presented here is a balanced argument that partly agrees with this opinion. you are given the opinion that spending money on the arts is a waste of money. therefore. he/she does think the majority of money should go on public services. or whether it should be spent elsewhere. The essay. however. usually on other public services such as education.

if the government does not spend enough money on hospitals. However. so without some help from the 18 . Similarly. Sample IELTS Writing . Also.You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. roads and schools. it will be the poor in our society that will be affected more if we do not spend enough on these things because they are the ones more dependent on such services. Governments must invest this money in public services instead. the government spends a large part of its budget not only on public services. Although I agree that it is important to spend money on public services. You should write at least 250 words. There are several reasons for spending a significant amount of the government budget on public services. and these things determine the quality of life that most of us will have. public services are the things such as hospitals. I do not think spending on the arts is a waste of money. is a waste of money. but also the arts. our children may not be properly educated.Model Answer These days. First and foremost. if not enough money is spent on schools. this does not mean that the arts should be completely neglected. For example. Write about the following topic: Government investment in the arts. it is difficult for many arts institutions to generate much profit. the health of our society may decline. such as music and theatre. To begin.

Moreover. the arts also have an important impact on our quality of life. it is not a waste of money.government. That said. I do not believe spending money on the arts is a waste of money as this too provides important benefits. The second paragraph in this sample IELTS writing then sets out clearly why some money should also go on the arts. This is supported with reasons and examples. but it is if too much is spent on it. To sum up. This makes it clear that the writer partly agrees with the statement i. Sample IELTS Writing . The first paragraph sets out why the writer thinks a significant portion of money should go on public services. there are clear benefits of ensuring a large amount of investment goes into public services as this influences the quality of life for nearly all of us.e. many theaters and other such places may have to close. (299 words) Comments The essay gives a clear thesis at the beginning. The conclusion then restates the authors opinion.Youth Crime 19 . It is also a well-organized essay. Many people get great pleasure in going to see music and theatre performances so it is important that the government assists such institutions so that they can continue to provide entertainment to the public.

20 . What are the reasons for this. Sample IELTS Writing . Be careful to identify what kind of crime is being referred to . You need to give some reasons that it is happening and then give some solutions. you are presented with an issue and asked to discuss the 'reasons' why it is occuring and suggest 'solutions'. Sample IELTS Writing 7 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Crime is a topic that sometimes arises in IELTS essays and in speaking questions.This sample IELTS writing is on the subject of youth crime. Write about the following topic: Levels of youth crime are increasing rapidly in most cities around the world.this is specifically youth crime. This essay will discuss the reasons for this and provide some possible solutions.Model Answer Over the last few decades. many cities around the world have seen alarming increases in the levels of youth crime. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. You should write at least 250 words. In this essay. and suggest some solutions.

Another factor is the increasing levels of poverty around the world. and this inevitably means that those who are poorer will have to resort to illegal means to get what others have. the courts are too lenient. one of the ways to combat the problem is to have stricter punishments. They too should be punished if their children commit crime. with reasons for youth crime discussed in the first body paragraph and solutions in the next. these days. because they are young. but measures are available to tackle this problem. Of course. Each paragraph has two ideas and they are clearly signaled and well supported. this will include the children in the poorer families. it is still important to have severe punishments to deter teenagers from crime. However. it can be outside factors that lead to crime. In order for a child to grow up in a balanced way. (267 words) Comments The topic is clearly stated in the general statement of the introduction. Firstly.The first reason is connected with the family. This may be because of the fact that many parents in cities now both have to work so are often not around to give their children support when needed. Parents also have to take more responsibility for their children’s actions. We have seen with globalization the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. To sum up. several factors have led to increases in youth crime. there are ways to tackle such problems. All too often. it is often the case that children are neglected. as discussed above. 21 . However. It is organized well. it is very important that he or she is nurtured well by his or her parents. Although. and the thesis tells the reader that reasons and solutions will be discussed.

IELTS Traffic Problems Essay This is a traffic problems essay and the specific topic is the taxing of car drivers in order to reduce these problems. severe punishments…. This question is very clear. commit crime…). You just need to look at both sides of the issue. often the case that…. Sample IELTS Writing 8 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. means that…. Write about the following topic: In order to solve traffic problems. governments should tax private car owners heavily and use the money to improve public transportation. You should write at least 250 words. illegal…. neglected…. The logical way to answer it would be to discuss each side in a different paragraph. deter….There are some good complex structures (In order for…. You are asked to discuss the advantages and disavantages of introducing such a policy to tackle the issue. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.) and some good examples of topic related vocabulary (nurtured…. 22 . and it does not specifically ask you for an opinion.

but there are advantages and disadvantages of introducing such a policy. First and foremost. Another benefit would be that much more use would be made of public transport if it was improved. To conclude. (277 words) Comments 23 . this type of tax would likely be set at a fixed amount. High taxes would generate enough money to make the necessary changes. and so further taxes would only mean less money at the end of the month for most people who may have no choice but to drive every day. this would be a heavy burden on the car drivers. This would mean that it would hit those with less money harder. this solution is worth considering to improve the current situation.Traffic Problems Essay . This essay will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of such a measure. This would mean that they would begin to make use of public transport instead. It is often the case that public transport in cities is very poor. Nevertheless. there are drawbacks to such a solution. For example. One possible solution to this problem is to impose heavy taxes on car drivers and use this money to make public transport better. One of the first benefits of such a measure is that the heavy taxes would discourage car owners from using their cars because it would become very expensive to drive. thus reducing traffic problems and pollution as well.Model Answer Traffic congestion in many cities around the world is severe. At present. In addition. whilst the rich could likely afford it. taxes are already high for a lot of people. we often see old buses and trains that people would rather not use. It is therefore not a fair tax.

. Note as well that you must talk about serious problems. write about what both of these can do in order to fully answer the question...e. There are some good uses of tenses to show the writer is discussing the unreal future i. You MUST. and the thesis tells the reader that advantages and disadvantages will be discussed. Each paragraph has two ideas and they are well signaled and supported.The topic is clearly stated in the general statement of the introduction.). therefore.. Note that this question specifically asks you what governments andindividuals can do.. something that has not happened (would discourage car owners. You specifically have to talk about the problems of overpopulation.. with the advantages of such a solution in the first body paragraph and the disadvantages in the next. and suggest some solutions to this problem. IELTS Overpopulation Essay This model essay is about overpopulation in cities. would be a heavy burden. It is organized well. The easiest way to organize a problems and solutions essay is as follows: Body 1: Problems Body 2: Solutions 24 .

IELTS Overpopulation Essay . 25 . resulting in illness. You should write at least 250 words. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. Overpopulation can lead to overcrowding and poor quality housing in many large cities.Sample Answer Many countries of the world are currently experiencing problems caused by rapidly growing populations in urban areas. a separate paragraph has been written about government and individual solutions. and both governments and individuals have a duty to find ways to overcome these problems. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.Government Body 3: Solutions .Individuals Model Essay 9 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. so it is organized as follows: Body 1: Problems Body 2: Solutions . Another serious consequence of overcrowding is a rising crime rate as poor living conditions may lead young people in particular to take desperate measures and turn to crime or drugs. such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems.In this essay. Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems. Poorly heated or damp housing could cause significant health problems.

setting up community projects to help foster more community spirit and help keep young people off the street is a good idea. Firstly. Secondly. (254 words) IELTS Causes and Effects Model Essay This causes and effects model essay is about obesity in children. For example.In terms of solutions. This particular essay is organized as follows: Body 1: Causes Body 2: Effects Of course it is also possible to have a 3 body paragraph essay. youth clubs or evening classes for teenagers would keep them occupied. it is vital that the state provides essential housing and healthcare for all its citizens. more effective policing of inner city areas would also be beneficial. For example: 26 . and the motivation to do this would hopefully arise if the measures described above are put into place by the government. Finally. it is clear that the problems caused by overpopulation in urban areas are very serious. Therefore. You specifically have to talk about the causes (reasons) of the increase in overweight children. Yet if governments and individuals share a collective responsibility. I believe the government should be largely responsible. individuals should also act responsibly to address these problems. then it may well become possible to offer some solutions. and explain the effects (results) of this. This is because it will encourage people to have more pride in their own community and improve the situation. Naturally.

you may then be seen to have not fully answered both parts of the question. each particular cause must relate to that specific effect. remember not to write too little on one part. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from 27 . For example.Body 1: Causes Body 2: Causes Body 3: Effects Or: Body 1: Causes Body 2: Effects Body 3: Effects However. Discuss the causes and effects of this disturbing trend.Effect If you do this though. Example Essay 10 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. The percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by almost 20% in the last ten years. Another possible way of organizing it is to put each cause and its effect within a separate paragraph: Body 1: Cause 1 . if you wrote one very short paragraph about 'causes' with little support and most of your essay on 'effects'.Effect Body 2: Cause 2 .

and much of the advertising is targeted at children. Not only this. Over the last decade there has been a prolific increase in the number of fast food restaurants. and a variety of negative effects.Model Answer Over the last ten years. A lot of food consumed is processed food. However. The main cause of this problem is poor diet. The negative stigma of being overweight may also affect selfesteem. This essay will discuss some reasons why this has occurred and examine the consequences of this worrying trend. For example. western societies have seen close to a 20% rise in the number of children who are overweight. on nearly every high street there is a MacDonald’s. (275 words) IELTS Human Cloning Essay 28 . it is not only due to eating out. thus ensuring that they constitute the bulk of the customers of these establishments. which may affect their mental health. there has been a large increase in health related diseases amongst children. To sum up. You should write at least 250 words. Firstly. but also the type of diet many children have at home. Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. especially with regards to ready-made meals which are a quick and easy option for parents who are working hard. very overweight children often experience bullying from other children. This debilitating illness means a child has to be injected with insulin for the rest of their life. it is evident that there are several causes of obesity amongst children. especially diabetes. Society must ensure steps are taken to prevent this problem from deteriorating further. The food in these places has been proven to be very unhealthy. The effects of this have been and will continue to be very serious. Causes and Effects Essay .your own experience or knowledge.

However. You are specifically being asked to discuss the issue of creating human clones to then use their body parts. To what extent do you agree with such a procedure? Have you any reservations? 29 . You are asked if you agree with human cloning to use their body parts (in other words. As always. Human Cloning Essay . the wording is slightly different from the common 'do you agree or disagree' essay.This is a model answer for a human cloning essay. what are the disadvantages).Sample 11 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. The idea horrifies most people. the idea of cloning human beings in order to provide spare parts is becoming a reality. it is essentially asking the same thing. If you write about other issues to do with human cloning. you may go off topic. As people live longer and longer. If you look at the task. So the best way to answer this human cloning essay is probably to look at both sides of the issue as has been done in the model answer. yet it is no longer mere science fiction. Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic. what are the benefits). you must read the question carefully to make sure you answer it fully and do not go off topic. and what reservations (concerns) you have (in other words.

Due to breakthroughs in medical science and improved diets. Firstly. As people age. Although there are clear benefits to humankind of cloning to provide spare body parts. I do not agree with this procedure due to the ethical issues and dilemmas it would create.Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. Is it then acceptable for people to start cloning relatives or family members who have died? To conclude. their organs can fail so they need replacing. though. many people view this as a worrying development. I believe it raises a number of worrying ethical issues. so cloning humans would overcome the issue as there would then be a ready supply. Furthermore. their organs could then be used to replace those of sick people. people are living much longer than in the past. Cloning animals has been a positive development. It is currently the case that there are often not enough organ donors around to fulfil this need. for good reasons. there are religious arguments against it. which it could be argued is murder. It would involve creating another human and then eventually killing it in order to use its organs. dilemmas would arise over what rights these people have. Model Answer for Human Cloning Essay The cloning of animals has been occurring for a number of years now. as surely they would be humans just like the rest of us. it has to be questioned where this cloning will end. has brought with it problems. This. However. If humans were cloned. 30 . but this is where it should end. This is obviously a sin according to religious texts. if we have the ability to clone humans. Also. and this has now opened up the possibility of cloning humans too. You should write at least 250 words.

The first body paragraph discusses the advantages of cloning humans. people are living much longer than in the past. it has to be questioned where this cloning will end... Furthermore. The candidate demonstrates that they can use a mix of complex structures.. 31 . .if we have the ability to clone humans. And it has a thesis statement that makes it clear exactly how the human cloning essay will be structured and what the candidate's opinion is: Although there are clear benefits to humankind of cloning to provide spare body parts. For example: Due to breakthroughs in medical science and improved diets. with a clear introducion which introduces the topic: The cloning of animals has been occurring for a number of years now... It would involve creating another human and then eventually killing it in order to use its organs.(276 words) Comments The essay is well-organized. which it could be argued is murder. many people view this as a worrying development. I believe it raises a number of worrying ethical issues. IELTS Task 2 . for good reasons.. Also..... Other transition words are used effectively to guide the reader through the ideas in the human cloning essay: Firstly. and this has now opened up the possibility of cloning humans too. The change of direction to look at the other side is clearly marked with a transition word ("however") and a topic sentence: However. and then the second body paragraph looks at the problems associated with this.Animal Rights Essay This IELTS essay is about animal rights.

This is the first opinion: Animals should not be exploited by people and they should have the same rights as humans. One way to organize an essay like this is to consider both opinions. Write about the following topic: A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans. 32 . including uses for food and research. In other words you need to discuss the arguments FOR animal rights and AGAINST. You should write at least 250 words. including uses for food and research. while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs. you must look at both sides. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. then give your opinion in a final paragraph (see model essay 4) or dedicate a whole final paragraph to your opinion (see model essay 5). This is the second opinion: Humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs. You are given two opposing opinions to discuss. In this type of essay. Discuss both views and give your opinion. You must also ensure you give YOUR opinion.You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

I do not believe these arguments stand up to scrutiny. IELTS Writing Example 12 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. including uses for food and research. Write about the following topic: A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans. Second opinion 3. This now means that in two body paragraphs you have covered all three parts of the question from the animal rights essay: 1. Look at the model animal rights essay. Your opinion The advantage of doing it this way rather than having a separate paragraph is that you do not need to come up with new ideas for a new paragraph. but the topic sentence makes it clear that this paragraph is also representing the writers opinion as well: However.Another way to write an essay like this is to also make one of the 'for' or 'against' opinions your opinion as well. If you have a separate paragraph with your opinion you may find you cannot think of any new ideas or you may end up repeating the same things as in your previous paragraphs. while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs. 33 . First opinion 2. The second body paragraph discusses the first opinion.

Finally. With regard to the exploitation of animals. 34 . Furthermore. In addition. Therefore. If this means experimenting on animals so that we can fight and find cures for diseases.Model Answer Some people believe that animals should be treated in the same way humans are and have similar rights.Discuss both views and give your opinion. they think that humans are the most important beings on the planet. Firstly. I do not believe these arguments stand up to scrutiny. Animal Rights Essay . and everything must be done to ensure human survival. it is believed by some that animals do not feel pain or loss as humans do. To begin. so if we have to kill animals for food or other uses. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. then this takes priority over animal suffering. having to kill animals for food is not an adequate argument. a substantial amount of animal research is done for cosmetics. again. so this is unnecessary. then this is morally acceptable. However. whereas others think that it is more important to use them as we desire for food and medical research. This essay will discuss both points of view. You should write at least 250 words. it has also been proven that humans can get all the nutrients and vitamins that they need from green vegetables and fruit. not to find cures for diseases. and they suffer when they are kept in cages for long periods. people believe it is acceptable for several reasons. it has been shown on numerous occasions by secret filming in laboratories via animal rights groups that animals feel as much pain as humans do.

it's very important . so you will need to brainstorm your ideas carefully.Old Buildings This model essay is about old buildings and whether they should be protected or not. steps must be taken to improve the rights of animals. (Words 290) IELTS Essay . I would argue there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this is not the case. IELTS Essay 13 . 1) How important is it to protect old buildings? For the first part you have to decide which opinion you have: Yes. as you have to give your opinion on protecting old buildings. 35 .Old Buildings You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. therefore. It is basically an opinion essay.reasons why 2) Should history stand in the way of progress? In this part.To sum up. It is quite a difficult question. There are two parts to this essay question so you must answer both. you need to give your opinion on whether you think history is so important it should take priority over a country's progress.reasons why No. and. it's unimportant . although some people argue killing animals for research and food is ethical.

However. but on a more practical level. Take for example the many religious buildings such as churches and temples that we see around the world. For example. these structures provide an insight into the history of our countries. and it would undoubtedly be sad if this were the only way to see them. How important is it to maintain old buildings? Should history stand in the way of progress? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. old buildings such as temples. villages and surrounding areas which have historical significance. In my opinion. many of these buildings provide important income to a country as many tourists visit them in great numbers. Firstly. we could only learn by books. in many 36 . churches and houses in their cities. Without them. Model Answer Most nations around the world have at least some. showing us how people many centuries ago lived their lives. this certainly does not mean that modernization should be discouraged. Not only this. You should write at least 250 words. it is very important to maintain these.Write about the following topic: Many old buildings protected by law are part of a nation’s history. Many of these buildings are also very beautiful. Some people think they should be knocked down and replaced by news ones. but this does not mean progress should stop. Preserving certain old buildings is important for several reasons. I believe that old buildings can be protected in tandem with progress. or possibly many.

you need to discuss whether the funding and controlling of scientific research should be the responsibility of the government or private organizations. Also. For this essay. Another way to approach this scientific research essay would be to present ideas for and ideas against. and in fact it is the opposite. and being used for modern purposes. This is a fairly complex topic so you may want to do an internet search and do some reading about it before you attempt to write a practice answer. there are further arguments around the topic in opposition to this. To conclude. You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. I believe that it is very important to protect and preserve old buildings as we can learn about our history as can others from other countries. Words 287 IELTS Scientific Research Essay This is an IELTS scientific research essay. but with 40 minutes to plan and write your answer you will need to choose carefully which ideas you want to present. we understand more about the world we live in. Such knowledge can also help us to understand how to modernize our countries in the best way.circumstances we see old historic buildings being renovated whilst maintaining their original character. and this helps us to build a better future. The model answer below puts forward two ideas against private organizations holding such responsibility. in no way does history hinder progress. However. 37 . By studying and learning about our history.

On balance. This may mean that some research that could be valuable to society may not begin because there is no monetary gain. To what extent do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. there is a strong potential for biased results. Taking drugs companies as an example. On the other hand. It is difficult for a scientist to remain impartial in these circumstances.Model Answer Undertaking scientific research is imperative if countries want to progress and compete in a globalized world. In my opinion. If governments are responsible then they are driven by the need to make advances in knowledge in order to improve people’s lives. You should write at least 250 words. I would argue that although it is not realistic to remove all opportunities for privately funded research. This is because they are accountable to the public and the research is paid for by taxes. private organizations are driven by profit. governments usually require rigorous trials for new drugs that can take many years. However. Another disadvantage related to this is the research process. The companies have large amounts of money invested in such research and the need for positive results is paramount. the government should have the predominant responsibility for this. Scientific Research Essay . When the funding for research comes from the same organization that can be expected to gain from a favorable outcome. However.Write about the following topic: Governments should be responsible for funding and controlling scientific research rather than private organizations. One of the first issues is the knowledge that we gain from research. the funding and controlling of this research remains a contentious issue. if this is controlled and funded by governments. their accountability means that such conflicts of interest are less likely to occur. governments should have the main responsibility for the 38 .

What can governments do about it? 3. "rigorous". Strong checks and balances need to be in place to ensure future research is ethical and productive. There is no repetition of ideas. "contentious"."paramount". phrases and collocations such as "imperative". and "remain impartial". Another disadvantage related to this is the research process. The opinion is clearly presented in the introduction and this opinion is then supported in the body paragraphs and summarized again in the conclusion. "favourable outcome". There are topic sentences which state clearly what each paragraph is about: One of the first issues is the knowledge that we gain from research. What can individuals do about it? This essay has been divided into two paragraphs. (281 Words) Comments The essay is well organized. relative clauses and noun clauses. There is some good use of high level vocabulary. 39 . "monetary gain". You are asked in the question to discuss the causes of global warming and possible solutions for individuals and the government. So you must answer these three things in order to fully answer the question: 1.monitoring and controlling of this. What are the causes of global warming? 2. There is also a good mix of complex sentences with examples of adverbial clauses. The body paragraphs then go on to develop each idea giving reasons and examples. IELTS Global Warming Essay This model answer is for an IELTS global warming essay. "accountable".

You should write at least 250 words. which damages the ozone layer. CO2. 40 .Model Essay 18 You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. This essay will examine the reasons why global warming is occurring and discuss some possible solutions. The predominant factors resulting in the warming of the earth are the emissions of CO2 and deforestation. Take a look at the model answer and examine how it has been organized.Model Answer IELTS Probably the most worrying threat to our planet at the present time is global warming. Also. Global Warming Essay .However. so deforestation is causing larger amounts of CO2 to remain in the atmosphere. What are the causes of global warming and what measures can governments and individuals take to tackle the issue? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge. IELTS Global Warming Essay . Write about the following topic: Global warming is one of the most serious issues that the world is facing today. resulting in an increasing need to transport goods. but the most problematic are those coming from the burning of fossil fuels from power plants. This releases thousands of tones of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. which continues to increase because of our demand for cars and also our increasing worldwide consumption. Another cause of these emissions is the burning of gasoline for transportation. forests store large amounts of carbon. you could write a separate paragraph about each of the above points if you wanted. comes from several sources.

They can also switch to energy companies that use renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. Finally. there are potential ways to solve these problems. Plant-derived plastics. (320 Words) Writing Task 2 .Lesson 1: Identify the Topic In the writing for task 2. Firstly. wind power and solar power are all things that are a step in the right direction. 41 . small things like buying energy efficient light bulbs. it is important that this is treated as a priority for all concerned. So you need to read the question carefully and identify what the issue is. or at least reduce the effects. and only use their car when really necessary. If you write about the wrong topic or go off topic when you write your answer. You will normally only be looking for one or two key words. turning off electricity in the house. governments need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and promote alternatives. To conclude. in IELTS writing. biodiesel. individuals can play a part by making lifestyle changes. there are steps that governments and individuals can take to reduce its effects. How do I identify the topic? Remember. but governments need to enforce the limits on CO2 emissions for the polluting industries in their countries for these to be effective. If we are to save our planet. People should try to buy cars with the best fuel economy. you are usually presented with some issue or problem that is currently affecting society and you need to discuss it. Also. and planting trees in the garden can help. one of the first things you need to do is identify the topic of the essay. this is likely to substantially reduce your band score. although global warming is a serious issue.Nevertheless.

when you identify the topic. Sometimes more than one answer may be possible. Remember. What is the issue? The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries. group of people or place. In this case. How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting? Working from home 42 . choose the most precise.Have a look at the following question. Identify the Topic .Practice Have a look at the following essay questions and choose the best answer to identify the topic. it may require you to talk about a particular area. Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades. this is not a full analysis of the question . 1. What if I identified ‘crime’ as the topic? Your essay would be wrong if you wrote about crime generally. The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries. In this case. 'Telecommuting' refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology.you are just looking for the broad topic area. You should have identified teenage crime as the topic. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions. the question specifically wants you to address the issue of TEENAGE crime. When you have a topic. When you identify the topic. always look carefully to see if it is being narrowed down to a particular area that you need to focus on.

What things will they be used for in the future? Is this dependence on computers a good thing or should we be more suspicious of their benefits? The benefits of computers Computers in businesses. As society develops it is increasingly seen as an uncivilized activity and cruel to the helpless animals that are killed. Computer dependency 4.Telecommuting Computer technology 2. and flying. They are used in businesses. hospitals. We are becoming increasingly dependent on computers. Discuss the main arguments for this statement and give your own opinion. To what extent is the use of animals in scientific research acceptable? Animal research Animals Scientific research 3. Animal cruelty Blood sports Blood sports and uncivilized activity 43 . All blood sports should be banned. crime detection. hospitals. In what ways has information technology changed work and working practices in the past 10 years? Information technology and work Information technology Working practices 5. Blood sports have become a hot topic for debate in recent years. crime detection and even to fly planes.

But while it may offer some advantages. Satisfying human needs Animals and humans Animal rights 7. while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs. Natural environments Alternatives to zoos Keeping animals in zoos 44 . Discuss the arguments in favour of both these positions and state your own position on the issue. Discuss some of the arguments for and/or against keeping animals in zoos.6. To what extent do you agree or disagree? The Earth Deforestation Death of the world 8. The idea of going overseas for university study is an exciting prospect for many people. A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans. Forests are the lungs of the earth. To what extent do you agree or disagree this statement? Studying abroad Studying Living in a different culture 9. Zoos are sometimes seen as necessary but not poor alternatives to a natural environment. Destruction of the world's forests amounts to death of the world we currently know. including uses for food and research. it is probably better to stay home because of the difficulties a student inevitably encounters living and studying in a different culture.

Discuss reasons for this phenomenon and suggest ways to deal with the problem. 45 . If you have only partially answered the question. you need to identify the task. Many countries are currently witnessing an increase in criminal activity among young people. The ‘task’ is the part of the question that tells you what you have to do to answer it. the examiner will be looking to see if you haveanswered the question. How do I identify the task? In order to grade your task response. Let’s look at the same essay question we looked at in lesson 1 when you identified the topic: The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries. this will decrease your grade for this criteria. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions.how you have responded to the task. Youth crime Criminal activity Increases in crime Writing Task 2 Lesson 2: Identify the Task Once you have identified the topic for your essay. This is one of the most important things you will have to do when you analyze the essay question because 25% of your grade for the essay is based on ‘Task Response’ .10.

and not referring to teenage crime (the topic) 4.is usually at the end of the prompt.or ‘what you have to do’ . As you can see. Writing about neither reasons nor solutions This is why it is so important to spend some time at the beginning making sure you identify the task so that you know what you have to write about. Doing any of the following things will reduce your score for task response. For example. we identified the topic for this question as„teenage crime‟.In the previous lesson. Why teenage crime has increased 2. Only writing about reasons or only solutions 2. 46 . The task . Writing about the reasons and solutions for crime in general. and this question is a good example of this: 1. when you have finished identifying the task. It’s very common in task 2 IELTS essay questions to get asked to dotwo things. you are being told to „Discuss some possiblereasons for this increase and suggest solutions‟. Ways to solve this problem You MUST discuss both those things to ensure you have fully answered the question and you must write roughly equal amounts about each part. A Common Mistake It is a common mistake for students to rush at the beginning to start writing as they are worried about not finishing. and hence may reduce your overall score: 1. You may come up with reasons for an increase in crime such as ‘lack of parental supervision’ and ‘boredom’. Writing most of your essay about reasons and only a small part on solutions (or visa versa) 3. you will brainstorm your ideas. and then write about the wrong thing.

To what extent do you agree? Again. automation (machines) taking over from some human’s duties. such as ‘more young people being put in prison' and‘stress for their parents'. Other Question Types The previous question was fairly easy. and the reasons why you disagree. not „problems‟(though being asked to write about 'problems and solutions' is common). The advantages of reducing working hours 2. so to identify the task was hopefully not too difficult.However. working hours should be reduced. I have seen students come up with problems of teenage crime. This particular task asks you to write about „reasons‟. You must also say how much you agree or disagree ("to what extent"). The disadvantages of reducing working hours And of course in the introduction or conclusion you need to make it clear what your opinion is. or. Let’s assume you want to look at both sides of the issue. Here is another example: Advances in technology and automation have reduced the need for manual labour. This comes from rushing and not taking enough time to identify the task properly. So if you do this you will not be answering the question. Some questions. Or put another way: 1. 47 . will take more thought in order to identify what you need to write about. You therefore need to discuss the reasons why you agree. in other words. Therefore. look to the end of the prompt to identify the task. You have to say if you agree or disagree with working hours being reduced. though.

or visa versa. 1. attempts must be made to encourage people to use their cars less and public transport more. then you can write more about this side of the argument. Pick the one that you think best describes what you would write about in order to fully answer all parts of the question. Identify the Task . growing worldwide demand has made this a global problem. Do the benefits of study abroad justify the difficulties? What advice would you offer to a prospective student? (a) A discussion of the benefits versus the challenges of studying abroad (b) Strategies to cope with studying abroad (a) The benefits of study abroad (a) The benefits of study abroad (b) the difficulties of studying abroad 3. Today. In order to reverse this decline in the quality of life in cities. however.Practice Now you can have a practice identifying the task for some IELTS essay questions. If you find more reasons to agree than disagree. Why people have been using cars more and public transport less How to get people to use public transport more The causes of increasing congestion and air pollution.If you do all of these things then you will have answered all parts of the prompt. Discuss possible ways to encourage the use of public transport. 2. Fresh water has always been a limited resource in some parts of the world. What are the causes of the increased demand and what measure could governments and individuals take to respond to this problem? 48 . The rising levels of congestion and air pollution found in most of the world cities can be attributed directly to the rapidly increasing number of private cars in use.

at best these methods are ineffective. (a) The arguments for giving animals rights (b) The arguments against this (a) Arguments for having animal rights (b) The arguments against this (c) Your opinion (a) The reasons why animals are not as equal or intelligent as humans 6.(a) The problems with using too much water (b)Government solutions (c) Individual solutions How (a) Governments and (b) Individuals can solve water shortage problems. and at worst they may be dangerous. but others think they are not as equal or intelligent as us so should not have the same rights. Discuss both opinions and give your opinion. many goods including those we use on a daily basis are produced in other countries and transported long distances. As global trade increases. However. (a) Reasons for increased demand for water (b)Government solutions (c) Individual solutions 4. Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. Do the benefits of the trend outweigh the drawback? (a) The benefits of this (b) The disadvantages of this(c) Your opinion on whether it is more beneficial or not (a) The benefits of this (b) Your opinion on whether is is more beneficial or not (a) The disadvantages of this (b) Your opinion on whether it is more beneficial or not 5. To what extent do you agree with this statement? (a) How alternative medicine differs from Conventional medicine (a) The dangers of alternative medicine 49 . Some people feel that animals should have the same rights as humans.

10. 8. (a) Problems of overpopulation in urban areas (b)Government solutions (c) Individual solutions (a) The problems of overpopulation (b) The solutions (a) How governments can tackle urban overpopulation(b) How individuals can tackle urban overpopulation. Discuss both opinions and give your opinion. Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems. Unemployment has become an increasing problem in the recent past. Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. (a) The reasons why unemployment is increasing. (a) The problems with computers (b) Solutions to these problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (a) The reasons why computers were invented (b) The benefits of computers (c) Your opinion. Some people think that young children should be allowed to do paid work. 50 .(a) The benefits of alternative medicine (b) The drawbacks of alternative medicine (c) Your opinion 7. while others think that this should be illegal. (a) The benefits of computers (b) The drawbacks of computers (c) Your opinion 9. What factors contribute to an increase in unemployment and what steps can be taken to solve the problem? (a) The causes of increasing unemployment (b) How to solve this problem (a) The problems with increasing unemployment (b) How to solve this problem. Computers should never have been invented.

(a) The advantages of allowing children to do paid work(b) Your opinion. Lets look at the same question we looked at in the first two lessons: The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions. Brainstorming is an important part of the planning process. If you look at the IELTS prompt.you need to extend and explain those ideas. So you need to support your ideas using reasons and examples. (a) The advantages of allowing children to do paid work(b) The disadvantages this (c) Your opinion. Lesson 3: Brainstorming and Planning Once you have analysed the question in the IELTS test you need tobrainstorm some ideas to include in your answer. it says this: "Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge". 51 . In order to get a good score it will not be enough just to put a list of ideas . (a) The problems of allowing children to do paid work (b)The benefits of allowing them to do paid work.

Provide better support for families & stricter punishments Individuals – take responsibility [Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children. Extending and Supporting your Ideas However. as opposed to single-parent families]. These are possible focus questions for this essay question: Focus question 1: Why has teenage crime increased? Focus question 2: What can be done about it? You then need to brainstorm answers to these questions: Why has teenage crime increased?   Breakdown in the nuclear family Lack of things to do What can be done about it?   Government . For example: Why has there been a breakdown in the nuclear family? What is the effect of this? What is a good example of it? 52 . In order to make sure you fully answer the question it is a good ideas to develop some focus questions i. In other words. you now need to think about how your are going to extend and support those ideas you have brainstormed.Developing Focus Questions For this question. you need to ask yourself further questions about each of your ideas. questions that will help you focus on what you need to write. you need to write about reasons for the increase in teenage crime and solutions.e.

high divorce rates = no father as ‘role model’ – boys go astray.Answering questions like these will make sure you have fully supported and explained all your points.high divorce rates What is the effect of this? . which has now become the plan for the essay: Essay Plan Why has teenage crime increased? 1) Breakdown in the nuclear family . TV has shown nothing to do – children see crime as entertainment What can be done about it? 1) Govt .e.no male role model. For example: Why has there been a breakdown in the nuclear family? . boys go astray & may commit crime Planning When you have extended your main ideas. drugs & crime 2) Lack of things to do . this then provides the basis for your plan. Here is an example of the brainstormed ideas with further support.Provide better support for families 53 .g.

which is often crime. the onus is on them to ensure their children are brought up in a loving environment which would make them less likely to turn to crime. It is important to establish why this has happened and to look at ways to solve the problem. in the UK.e. more youth centres – guidance and activities. relative as role model The essay can now be written. however. The high divorce rates have meant many children have been brought up in one-parent families with no father to act as a role model which is detrimental to their development. with the main supporting ideas highlighted in bold: Sample Essay Over the last decade there has been a massive rise in the level of crime committed by teenagers in a numbers of countries.g.provide loving environment. When this happens. who without this guidance are easily led astray by bad influences such as drugs and crime. 54 .. Parents should also be encouraged to take more responsibility for their children . invest more into building and staffing youth centers which would provide guidance through the youth workers and also enable teenagers to focus their attention on sport and other activities. Ultimately. There are. ways to tackle these problems. for instance. This is particularly important for boys. They could. sport 2) Parents – take responsibility . many television programs about this issue have shown that teenagers hang around in the evenings with little to do. the boredom means they will find there own entertainment. For example. They could. the government should provide more support for families. Another factor is the lack of things to do for the young. Firstly. Here is an example essay written from the plan. One reason is the break down in the nuclear family. find a male relative to act as a role model. for example.

Lesson 4: Essay Writing Coherence How do I Improve my Writing Coherence? As part of the IELTS grading.Therefore. we may be able to prevent the situation declining further. Words 294 _____________________________________ A common mistake is to have lots of ideas that are not explained properly. you have a fully supported and well organized essay. but solutions are available. it is clear that there are various reasons for this rise in crime. If we begin to tackle the issue now. Here are examples of common transition words that will improve your writing coherence. However. Your work is coherent if it is easy to read and follow your ideas. you are marked on the coherency of your work. One way to improve the coherency of your writing is to usetransition words to guide the reader through what you are saying. and their meanings: 55 . you can see that as a result of brainstorming some key ideas and making sure you have explained each of them.

A case in point. To begin. Furthermore. Thus. For instance. In contrast. On the other hand. Here is an example of them in use in an essay: Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. While some people are of the opinion that the only purpose of a university education is to improve job prospects. Showing an Example: For example. At present. Also. In conclusion. To illustrate. Nowadays. Showing a Result: Therefore. Showing time: (commonly in essay introductions) These days. In brief. Moreover. more and more people are making the choice to go to university. Finally. Showing Contrast: However. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society. Secondly. All in all. First of all.COMMON TRANSITION WORDS Listing Points to Show New Ideas: Firstly. others think that society and the individual benefit in much broader ways. Discuss both views and give your opinion. To introduce concluding comments: To conclude. Consequently. These days. 56 . In addition. As a result.

Firstly. If you have more sophistication in your writing.It is certainly true that one of the main aims of university is to secure a better job. especially developing countries. If we continue to promote and encourage university attendance. will have to leave their families. transition words are used to guide a reader through your writing and to make it more coherent. To begin. it probably means you need to be using them! We'll now go on to look further at how some of them are used. If you are unsure. So it really depends on your ability. 57 . further education is very expensive for many people. there are clearly further benefits. How to use the words in sentences As you now know. However. the independence of living away from home is a benefit because it helps the students develop better social skills and improve as a person. the majority of people want to improve their future career prospects. society will gain from the contribution that the graduates can make to the economy. in Europe. The better your writing coherence. We are living in a very competitive world. Many students. To conclude. As a result. If you are at a lower level of writing. need educated people in order to compete and prosper. it will lead to a better future for everyone. If you over use transitions they can make your writing look slightly mechanical as very good writers will need to use them less as they will have the ability to cleverly guide someone through their writing without them. Secondly. It is quite a high level skill though. One important point though before we go on. They definitely want to ensure that their students are going to get the best jobs as this will affect future funding and university applications. Attending university is one of the best ways to do this as it increases your marketable skills and your attractiveness to potential employers. live in halls of residence and meet new friends. universities have their reputation to consider. so most would not consider it if it would not provide them with a more secure future and a higher standard of living. I believe that although a main aim of university education is to get the best job. For example. the easier it will be to follow your arguments in your essay. for instance. so countries. Also. you should make more use of them as they will make it easy for the examiner to follow your ideas. their maturity and confidence will grow enabling them to live more fulfilling lives. you may not want to use them too much or it could affect your style. there are other benefits for individuals and society.

some cities in The Netherlands have pedestrian only city centres. 1) Full-stop. comma There are many ways to improve congestion. There are many ways to improve congestion. have decreased significantly. small letter. there is now less pollution. Many countries have now reduced their CO2 emissions. you can place contrast or result transitions further down the sentence: Tokyo now has a Sky Train. As a result. as a result. 2) Giving a Contrast or Result Similarly. For example. There are many ways to improve congestion. 58 . comma There are many ways to improve congestion. as a result/therefore/as a consequence. some cities in The Netherlands have pedestrian only city centres. for instance. have pedestrian only city centres. Many countries have now reduced their CO2 emissions. there is now less pollution. Varying Position and Use of Transition Words However.Most of these transition words are used in the same way in sentences and are followed by a subject and verb. OR 2) Semi-colon. capital letter. and don’t repeat the same word too often. Some cities in The Netherlands. pedestrian only city centres. You can vary the position with the following transitions: 1) Giving Examples You can vary your use of ‘for example’ and ‘for instance’ by moving them to after the first phrase of the sentence or to after the subject or verb. for instance. you do not want to use these words too ‘mechanically’ so you should vary their position. for example. Traffic problems. Some cities in The Netherlands have.

For example: Firstly. you must write an IELTS essay introduction. this is a lot to do in 40 minutes! 59 . and.These can also be joined to the previous sentence with the conjunction 'and’: Tokyo now has a Sky Train. Note: you cannot join it to another sentence without ’and’: Tokyo now has a Sky Train. 3) Listing Points These can also be varied. traffic problems have decreased significantly. as a result/therefore/as a consequence. an advantage of a new public transport system is that it will reduce traffic congestion. brainstorm ideas to write about. Even for a native writer of English. They can be changed so they are no longer a transition but become part of the subject: The first advantage of a new public transport system is that it will reduce traffic congestion. but you only have 40 minutes. In this time you need to analyze the question. Again. Make sure you find out more about these transitions so you know how to use them correctly. traffic problems have decreased significantly. you should vary the way you use these. as a result. to improve your writing. this is incorrect. Lesson 5: Writing an IELTS Essay Introduction Writing the Introduction In the writing for task 2. >This lesson has shown how you can use transitions to improve your writing coherence. then practice using them in your writing. formulate an essay plan. and then write your response.

but here is an example: ____________________________________________ Example 1: Question: Blood sports have become a hot topic for debate in recent years. When you write an introduction. The second sentence then gives the writers opinion and tells us that in the essay the writer will be arguing the reasons why it is cruel. As society develops it is increasingly seen as an uncivilized activity and cruel to the helpless animals that are killed. I believe that blood sports are cruel and uncivilized and so should be banned as soon as possible. You therefore need a method to write your IELTS essay introduction fairly quickly. but one thing you do not want to do is spend too long writing it so that you end up rushing your paragraphs. the first sentence consists of the topic plus somebackground facts on the topic which have been taken from the rubric. You need a good IELTS essay introduction. Blood sports should be banned. it remains a contentious issue. Your paragraphs are the most important thing as they contain all your supporting arguments and demonstrate how good you are at organizing your ideas. ____________________________________________ As you can see. 60 . To what extent to you agree or disagree? Sample IELTS essay introduction: Despite the fact that killing animals for sport is popular in modern society. Tell the reader what you are going to be writing about How you do this will vary depending on the question. you should make sure you do two things: 1.So you need to use your time carefully. Write a sentence introducing the topic and giving somebackground facts about it 2.

the more time people use the Internet. are also valuable. Further Examples Example 2: Question: Science and technology have helped the world make many advances. You must always have a thesis. theatre and dance.The topic does not have to be in the first sentence. but don't copy whole phrases. You can see how the question above has been paraphrased. All the information is from the question. Using some of the same words is acceptable. the arts are also very important and provide our world with many things that science and technology cannot. However. the less time they spend with real human beings. What things do the Arts provide to the world that Science and Technology do not? Sample IELTS essay introduction: Societies have developed rapidly over time due to the many advances in science and technology. The Arts. To do this you can use synonyms and move the order of the sentence around. Paraphrasing Another important point . but it has been written in a different way and has not been copied. to name just three examples. Some people say that instead of seeing the Internet 61 . however. such as painting. ____________________________________________ Example 3: Question: According to a recent study. but it should be made clear somewhere in the introduction.don't copy from the question! You must paraphrase (put it in your own words).

they are spending less time with human beings. we should be concerned about the effect this is having on social interaction. ____________________________________________ Example 4: Question: Unemployment has become an increasing problem in the recent past. others believe that this is a waste of students time 62 .as a way of opening up new communication possibilities world wide. Discuss both views and give your own opinion. Others think that this would be a waste of time as there are already too many subjects for children to concentrate on. How far do you agree with this opinion? Sample IELTS essay introduction: A recent study has shown that as people use the Internet more. the level of unemployment has been increasing at an alarming rate in many countries around the world. ____________________________________________ Example 5: Question: Some people think children in secondary school should study international news as part of the curriculum. Sample IELTS essay introduction: While some people are of the opinion that it would be useful to include international news as a subject in the school curriculum. it has also led to negative effects on the day-to-day social interaction of human beings. This essay will discuss the reasons for this increase and consider what practical solutions are available. What factors contribute to an increase in unemployment and what steps can be taken to solve the problem? Sample IELTS essay introduction: Over recent years. I believe that although this has increased the communication around the world in positive ways.

because they are already overloaded with subjects to study. This essay will examine both sides of the issue. ____________________________________________

Lesson 6: Writing a Thesis Statement
In this lesson we will look at what thesis statements are, and how you can vary the way you write it according to the question. They are a crucial part of writing an introduction.

What is a thesis statement?
Very basically, it tells the person reading your essay what will be in it. It may also give your opinion if the question asks you for this. It is the last sentence of your introduction. Don't get it mixed up with thetopic of your essay - this is usually at the beginning of your introduction.

How do I write a thesis statement?
In order to make it effective, you must have first identified the task of the essay. If you are unsure about this, check out this lesson on identifying the task. The task is what you have to do, and is usually at the end of the rubric. For example, look at this IELTS essay question: As global trade increases, many goods including those we use on a daily basis are produced in other countries and transported long distances. Do the benefits of this trend *outweigh the drawbacks? What you have to do (the task) is explain whether you think, overall, an increase in the production of goods in other countries and their subsequent transportation over long distances is more advantageous or disadvantageous.
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So your essay is obviously going to be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this issue, and this is what needs to be made clear in your thesis statement. It is also an opinion essay as it is asking you to make a decision on whether you think there are more advantages or disadvantages. So you need to make this clear as well. Here is an example introduction, with the thesis in bold: Due to the increase in global trade, many of the goods that we consume every day are made in a different country and then transported over a long distance in order to reach us. In my opinion, this trend has more disadvantages than advantages. You would then go on to write about the advantages and disadvantages of global trade (focusing more on the disadvantages as you think there are more of these). *Just a quick note on the word 'outweigh'. This word often confuses students and they end up writing a thesis statement opinion that contradicts what they write in the essay. The simple answer - don't use the word! It is just asking you if there are more advantages than disadvantages. So just state what you think in the thesis without using the word, as in the example.

How does the thesis statement change with different types of question?
We will now look at how thesis statements can vary with different question types. However, you should not try to learn set phrases or sentences to fit certain essays. There are some broad types of essay question that are common to see, but they can all vary slightly. The golden rule is to always read the question very carefully(never rush this as you may not fully answer the question) and work out what you have to do. Your thesis statement will then follow on from this, depending on what you have decided you need to write about in order to answer the question.

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So below are some suggestions of what you could do for certain common kinds of essay question, but this is not to say these are right and other ways are wrong. There are numerous ways to write good thesis statements and these are just possibilities.

1) Writing about Two Opinions
Some questions ask you specifically to discuss two opinions and togive your opinion. Some people think that young children should be allowed to do paid work, while others think that this should be illegal. Discuss both opinions and give your opinion. There are various ways you could choose to write an introduction and thesis for this. Example 1 You could begin by paraphrasing the two opinions, then stating in the thesis what you will do: Some people belive that it is acceptable for young children to undertake jobs that they are paid for, whereas others believe that this is wrong and should be illegal. This essay will discuss both sides of the issue. This is quite simplistic but it makes it very clear what you are going to do. You will obviously need to give your opinion as well in the essay, but stating this in the thesis ("This essay will discuss both sides of the issue and then give my opinion") sounds awkward so it is better without it. Example 2 Another possible way to do it is by having a sentence to introduce the topic first, and then paraphrasing the two opinions to make them your thesis: At present, more and more young children are becoming involved in paid work. Whilst some people are of the opinion that this is an entirely acceptable practice, others believe that this is completely wrong and should be made illegal. This is fine as your thesis will match with your essay - you go on to discuss the first opinion and then the second one.

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more and more young children are becoming involved in paid work. Although you could feasibly do this in the conclusion. I agree that for certain conditions this 66 .Example 3 Or of course you could modify this slighly to include your opinion: At present. Your thesis statement here will depend on whether you agree. However. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. I think it is better to do it first so it is clear to someone reading the essay what your opinion is upfront. A thesis statement that partly agrees with the opinion: Alternative medicine is not new. you need to state what your opinion is in the thesis statement. or partly agree. and feel that both alternative and conventional medicine can be useful. this is fine. However. Whilst some people are of the opinion that this is an entirely acceptable practice. A thesis statement that disagrees with the opinion: Alternative medicine is not new. at best these methods are ineffective. I strongly believe that this form of medicine does not work and is possibly a danger to those using it. I am unconvinced that it is dangerous.this is your choice. Here are some examples of each: A thesis statement that agrees with the opinion: Alternative medicine is not new. 2) Agreeing or Disagreeing Another type of question is when you are asked to agree or disagree with one opinion. and at worst they may be dangerous. disagree. As long as you go on to discuss both sides of the argument. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. It is not wrong though to put it in the conclusion . To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? For this type of question. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. I believe that this is completely wrong and should be made illegal.

Here are some examples: Problems and solutions: Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Sample thesis in bold: Many countries of the world are currently experiencing problems caused by rapidly growing populations in urban areas. but for some illnesses it is a good alternative choice. problems and solutions. Sample thesis in bold: Over the last ten years. Advantages and Disadvantages 67 . Discuss the causes and effects of this disturbing trend.causes and effects. These examples illustrate why it is important to ananlyze the question carefully and brainstorm your ideas first so you have a clear idea of what you will be writing and what your opinion is. advantages and disadvantages. If you are asked to do this. Western societies have seen close to a 20% rise in the number of children who are overweight. Causes and Effects: The percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by almost 20% in the last ten years. then you should just clearly state that you will be discussing these two things in your essay. but may ask you to discuss. for example. 3) Other Essays Some other essays may not ask you for your opinion specifically. Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems. Both governments and individuals have a duty to find ways to overcome these problems.type of medicine is ineffective and could even be dangerous. This essay will discuss some reasons why this has occurred and examine the consequences of this worrying trend.

The frustration is normally for those who are stuck at a band 6 or 6. So the aim of this lesson is to look more generally at what is required to get a band 7 in the writing test.In order to solve traffic problems. If you need a band 7 and you are not getting it. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution? Sample thesis in bold: Traffic congestion in many cities around the world is severe.5 but just don't seem to be able to get that 7! 68 . a thesis statement is just telling the reader what the focus of your essay is and giving your opinion if necessary. governments should tax private car owners heavily and use the money to improve public transportation. Remember. One possible solution to this problem is to impose heavy taxes on car drivers and use this money to make public transport better. It is important to stress again though that questions can vary so you must always analyze if carefully and identify exactly what you need to do and what should therefore be in your thesis statement. This essay will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of such a measure. If you want to know specifically where you are going wrong. it is almost impossible to tell you why without seeing samples of your writing. Lesson 7: IELTS Band 7 Writing A question asked many times is how to score IELTS band 7 writing. This lesson has provided you with some broad guidance on writing a thesis statement for different types of essay. then you will need to discuss your work with an experienced IELTS instructor.

This is not a secret. The Marking Criteria To explain this. Criteria   IELTS Band 7 Descriptors Addresses all parts of the task Presents a clear position throughout the response Presents.5 to a 7. there is a clear progression throughout Uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under-/over-use Presents a clear central topic within each paragraph Uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some flexibility and precision Uses less common lexical items with some awareness of style and collocation May produce occasional errors in word choice.It can be quite a jump to go from a 6. extends and supports main ideas. There is some clarification of some of the differences between the marking of task 1 and 2 at the end. spelling. and the ones in this table in the descriptors column are those that are specifically needed for an IELTS band 7. so this lesson will explain what is required for an IELTS band 7. but the criteria and principals are more or less the same. and/or word formation Task Achievement    Coherence & Cohesion     Lexical Resource 69 . We'll focus on essay writing rather than task 1. but there may be a tendency to overgeneralize and/or supporting ideas may lack focus Logically organizes information and ideas. You are given a band score for each of the criteria. This information is taken from the IELTS public band descriptors and is freely available from a test centre or you will find it if you search on the internet. we'll begin by looking at the IELTS band descriptorsfor a band 7.

To address all parts of the task.5. Uses a variety of complex structures Produces frequent error-free sentences Has good control of grammar and punctuation but may make a few errors Grammatical Range and Accuracy   When you are graded. you will be given a score for each of these.5 As previously stated above. If you find out. look at this question: 70 . and this will then be averaged. We'll now just have a look at each of them in a bit more detail to highlight some common areas where you may possibly be going wrong. For example: Task acheivement = 7 Coherence and Cohesion = 7 Lexical Resource = 7 Grammatical Range and Accuracy = 6 Overall writing band = 6. To take an example. you'd have to show some of your writing to an experienced IELTS teacher to get some advice on which ones you are not achieving in and to find out if it is always the same criteria. Task Achievement Very bascially. that means you must not be meeting the standard required as shown in the table for one or two of them. So if you are getting a 6. you must respond to everything that is asked in the question. you can then work on this to improve your score. this is an assessment of whether you have fully answered the question and provided good support for your ideas.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.fewer ideas are better that are explained properly with reasons and examples. You also need to fully extend and support your ideas. So you will need to know how to organize an essay properly in terms of paragraphing and having ideas that logically and clearly go from one to the next to get an IELTS band 7. Or if you only wrote a small amount on one of the opinions. believe there are better alternative ways of reducing crime. The task is to discuss both the opinions and to give your opinion. You must also have a clear position throughout. and how easy your work is to read. Each paragraph will then have a clear central topic . So it is not enough just to put lots of ideas down . if you only wrote about one of the opinions or did not give your opinion. To take a simple example. Another key point here is that you have to have a clear central topic within each paragraph. this may not be seen as fully answering the question either. this is how you organize and present your ideas. Coherence and Cohesion Very basically. So. if you are writing about the advantages and disadvantages of something. however. for example. then you may want to have one paragraph about each. then this could be a problem for achieving an IELTS band 7 in this criteria.Some people think that the best way to reduce crime is to give longer prison sentences. So if your opinion is not clear and you seem to change it during the essay. Look at some model essays to see how a clear position is presented throughout and how only a few ideas are presented but they are fully explained and supported.either advantages or disadvantages. 71 . you will not have addressed all parts of the question so you can't get an IELTS band 7 for task achievement. Others. There is a lesson here that explains the importance of identifying the task to make sure you fully answer all parts of the question.

and you'll need to be able to use them effectively with some flexibilityrather than mechanically. look at some of the model essays to see how each body paragraph clearly has one central topic. Lexical Resource Your lexis is basically your vocabulary. this one is assessing your level of grammar.transitions such as 'however'. You also need a mix of cohesive devices. Using lots of new words that you don't know how to use properly could make your writing worse. sentences and paragraphs. These are the things that join and link your ideas. you'll need to show that you know some less common words and be able to use them precisely. You will need to show you can use a wide range of sentence structures and have a high level of accuracy.If you mix them up. You can find some useful and less common vocabulary by following this link. As you can see. Again. Grammatical Range and Accuracy As will be clear from the title. Its in the accuracy that is needed for your vocabulary that problems can often occur with regards to getting an IELTS band 7. but you need to learn how to use the words correctly otherwise you may make more mistakes with word forms. 'firstly'. This means the majority need to be correct! This is obviously no easy achievement and so you'll need to be a fairly skilled writer to be making only occasional errors with your lexis. so be careful! Only use words you know how to use properly. You will need a variety and mix of these for an IELTS band 7. For example. and other general linking words within sentences such as 'and' and 'because'. 72 . and as it says in the descriptors. 'moreover'. word formation and spelling. this may not be clear. you can only make occasional errors in your word choice.

. you will need to be a fairly skilled writer. The differences are in the task achievement as obviously you are being given a different task. Finally.. You need to have frequent error-free sentences. Again. this can often be where students struggle to get an IELTS band 7. Again.Just having a few complex sentences with words such as 'because'. like the lexis. so like with the lexis. Some final tips. This lesson then has shown you how to get an IELTS band 7 in your writing. the majority of your sentences can't have grammar errors. See this lesson on writing a task 1 for more information on this. the lesson above will help you with this. 'if' and 'although' may not be enough. The second point means that at some stage in your writing you must clearly give an overview of the main things that are occuring in the graph or diagram. to acheive in the last point you must be able to show that you can notice and write about the important things that are happening in the graph. Task 1 The last three criteria are more or less the same for task 1. and make comparisons between the data. This is not easy. differences or stages Clearly presents and highlights key features/bullet points but could be more fully extended The first point is obviously stating that you must do what you were asked in the question. In other words. This is what the public descriptors have for task 1 (academic):    Covers the requirements of the task Presents a clear overview of trends. 73 . or what is required. You'll need to have an awareness of some more complex structures.

Unfortunately there is no magic bullet that is suddenly going to move you up a band. But again. them Batteries are not bio-degradable. it.5. You will then have more time to be more careful and more time to check your grammar and lexis whilst you write and at the end. But there may be things you can improve on that will help if you think you are making errors in what what is needed in the criteria. we. planning first can help with this because if you plan then you will be able to write quicker. Another way to improve your coherency is with pronouns. Most of my students that I check are failing to get the majority of the sentences error-free or the majority of the lexis correct. So this may well be where you are falling down if you are getting a 6. Or demonstrative pronouns: 74 . are you always spending some time at the beginninganalyzing the question carefully to make sure you are answering all parts of it and writing a plan / outline? If not. You can use personal pronouns: I. you may be making errors by not fully answering the question or by not organizing your essay or ideas well. so people should not dispose of them in normal household waste. they. one. you. For example. If you have a writing teacher obviously this will help as they can check your work. he. Lesson 8: Pronouns & Coherency In Writing Task 2 Lesson 4. she. we looked at improving your coherency with trasition words. In this case you'll need to work on improving your grammar andchecking your work very carefully for mistakes. You should make use of these so that you do not keep repeating nouns or ideas.

those People dispose of batteries in their normal household waste. and the word in brackets in green is the word or idea / phrase it refers to. It will usually be the last one you mentioned. The word in red is the pronoun. This causes enrironmental damage. 75 . these.this. Have a look at how they are used in this essay taken from the 'model essay' pages. that. Always make sure it is clear which noun it refers back to. Pronouns refer back to a noun or noun phrase that you have mentioned before. If another noun comes in between the noun you are referring to and the pronoun it may get confusing.

You should not just mention the noun once at the beginning of the essay. not too much of one or the other. I do not believe these arguments (the previous arguments . Firstly. a substantial amount of animal research is done for cosmetics. it has been shown on numerous occasions by secret filming in laboratories via animal rights groups that animals feel as much pain as humans do. they (people) think that humans are the most important beings on the planet. it has also been proven that humans can get all the nutrients and vitamins thatthey (humans) need from green vegetables and fruit. To begin. therefore. However. This essay will discuss both points of view. having to kill animals for food is not an adequate argument. and everything must be done to ensure human survival. not to find cures for diseases. Therefore. again. In addition.Animal Rights Essay Some people believe that animals should be treated in the same way humans are and have similar rights. Get a balance of nouns and their pronouns. and they (animals) suffer when they (animals) are kept in cages for long periods. people believe it is acceptable for several reasons. then this(experimenting on animals) takes priority over animal suffering. This is just to highlight an important point.though this is made clear by the noun repeated after it in this case) stand up to scrutiny. whereas others think that it is more important to use them (animals) as we desire for food and medical research. Furthermore. Repeating the noun again You will have noticed that two words were in blue. Finally. so this (animal research for cosmetics) is unnecessary. With regard to the exploitation of animals. I would argue there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that this (the arguments that killing animals for research and food is ethical) is not the case. it is believed by some that animals do not feel pain or loss as humans do. steps must be taken to improve the rights of animals. To sum up. then this (killing animals for food or other uses)is morally acceptable. and. 76 . and then not again. If this(ensuring human survival) means experimenting on animals so that we (humans) can fight and find cures for diseases. although some people argue killing animals for research and food is ethical. so if we (humans) have to kill animals for food or other uses.

You should also have a formula for writing the conclusion quickly so you can focus your time on developing your ideas and supporting them in your body paragraphs. As you can see with the words highlighted in blue . It is only a short essay. As society develops it is increasingly seen as an uncivilized activity and cruel to the helpless animals that are killed. so the conclusion does not need to be too long. hopes. Lesson 9: IELTS Essay Conclusion For an IELTS essay conclusion. Blood sports should be banned. And you should always mention the noun again when it is a new paragraph or a new point you are making. many students write too much.nouns should be used here as they represent a new paragraph and new points. Use a concluding phrase 2. fears. To what extent to you agree or disagree? 77 . Give some personal opinions.Have a look at the essay and you'll see that sometimes the noun is used and sometimes the pronoun. or recommendations about the future Take a look at this essay question and introduction. If you used pronouns it may not be clear which noun you are referring to. Restate the thesis statement in different words 3. The thesis statement is in red: Question: Blood sports have become a hot topic for debate in recent years. You should do three things in your conclusion: 1.

hopes. it is clear that blood sports must be prohibited as no civilized society should allow the pain and suffering of animals simply for fun. Further IELTS Essay Conclusion Examples Question: Currently there is a trend towards the use of alternative forms of medicine. (thesis) I believe that blood sports are cruel and uncivilized and so should be banned as soon as possible. it remains a contentious issue. it is clear that blood sports must be prohibited as no civilized society should allow the pain and suffering of animals simply for fun. I am unconvinced that it is dangerous. you can paraphrase your thesis statement . For your final sentence. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Introduction: Alternative medicine is not new. I hope that governments around the world discuss this issue with haste and forbid this inhumane type of sport as soon as possible. or recommendations about the future. is the full IELTS essay conclusion: To conclude. at best these methods are ineffective. you can give some personal opinions.remember to use a phrase to make it clear it is a conclusion: To conclude. 78 . This then.Sample IELTS essay introduction: Despite the fact that killing animals for sport is popular in modern society. fears. It is accepted that it pre-dates conventional medicine and it is still used by many people all over the world. and at worst they may be dangerous. and feel that both alternative and conventional medicine can be useful. However. In order to write the first sentence of the IELTS essay conclusion. I hope that governments around the world discuss this issue with haste and forbid this inhumane type of sport as soon as possible.

While some people are of the opinion that the only purpose of a university education is to improve job prospects. If we continue to promote and encourage university attendance. Discuss both views and give your opinion. They have different strengths. _________________________________________________ Question: Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs.Conclusion: To sum up. and can both be used effectively to target particular medical problems. more and more people are making the choice to go to university. there are clearly further benefits. others think that society and the individual benefit in much broader ways. _________________________________________________ Question: Global warming is one of the most serious issues that the world is facing today. I believe that although a main aim of university education is to get the best job. Conclusion: 79 . I strongly believe that conventional medicine and alternative therapies can and should coexist. This essay will examine the reasons why global warming is occurring and discuss some possible solutions. The best situation would be for alternative therapies to be used to support and complement conventional medicine. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society. What are the causes of global warming and what measures can governments and individuals take to tackle the issue? Introduction: Probably the most worrying threat to our planet at the present time is global warming. Introduction: These days. it will lead to a better future for individuals and society. Conclusion: All in all.

there are steps that governments and individuals can take to reduce its effects. although global warming is a serious issue. so it is fair that they pay for at least some of the cost. In addition. When you write an argumentative essay. it is likely that you will want to present two sides of an argument. This is when you want to make it clear those arguments are NOT your own. Consequently. especially given that the majority of students attending university are from the middle classes. so making university more expensive may encourage people to take up these jobs. If we are to save our planet. 80 . students should be charged because education is becoming more expensive to fund as universities grow in size.To conclude. students benefit from university in terms of higher paid jobs. To what extent do you agree or disagree? The person is presenting the side of the argument about why education should not be free: _______________________________________________ Firstly. there is a shortage of people to do manual jobs such as plumbing and carpentry. in many countries. Take a look at this paragraph from an essay (which was recently posted as a model essay on this site) which is in answer to this question: University education should be free to everyone. This lesson is aimed more at those who are wanting a band 7 or higher as this page will show you a more sophisticated way of presenting arguments. making students pay may maintain standards and ensure the quality of the teaching. Last but not least. it is important that this is treated as a priority for all concerned. Lesson 10: Transitional Phrases for Essays This lesson shows you transitional phrases for essays in order to help you present other people’s arguments in your IELTS writing essays for part 2. regardless of income.

but this would be overdoing it. making students pay may maintain standards and ensure the quality of the teaching. In addition. it is argued that most students benefit from university in terms of higher paid jobs. but those of someone else because you intend to disagree with it in your next paragraph or because you don't want to make it clear which side of the argument you agree with until the end? The paragraph has now got some transitional phrases for essays inred / bold that make it clear that they are not your arguments. you may then want to present yourarguments.. they claim that. So you may begin your paragraph with something like: However. And then you would let the reader know in your conclusion your position on the matter. there is a shortage of people to do manual jobs such as plumbing and carpentry. especially given that the majority of students attending university are from the middle classes. Last but not least. you may want to present another paragraph with other people's ideas. Firstly._______________________________________________ The paragraph is fine but it does look like the opinions being presented are the writers.. _______________________________________________ The last point “Last but not least. Firstly. that shows the opposite side of the argument. Alternatively. What if you want to make it clear that they are not your opinions. Consequently. In your next paragraph. Here are some examples of transitional phrases for essays that can be used: 81 . so it is fair that they pay for at least some of the cost. in many countries. I do not believe these arguments stand up to scrutiny. in many countries…” has not been changed. some people oppose these views.. so making university more expensive may encourage people to take up these jobs. It is clear by this point that all the arguments the writer is presenting are other people’s. but another person's: _______________________________________________ One argument put forward in favour of charging students is that education is becoming more expensive to fund as universities grow in size... So your second paragraph may begin: However.

.. though it may be shorter because of the limited time that you have.. 82 . Good Paragraph Writing This lesson will give you the basic tips on paragraph writing.It has been argued that… Some people claim / argue / believe / think that… An argument commonly put forward is that… Those that support (topic) argue / believe / claim that… Proponents of (topic) argue / believe / claim that… These arguments have been critisized for several reasons. They can't just be stuck in front of an idea and used like a transition such as "Firstly.. Check out the transitional phrases for essays in this model essay:Animal Rights Essay This essay follows the pattern of presenting the first body paragraph as someone elses opinions. You should follow the same structure that you would for writing any paragraph when you write an IELTS paragraph. This limited time and space means that you have to get your ideas across as clearly and succinctly as possible.. and the second body paragraph as your own. I suggested these as band 7 and above as it is a more difficult skill to place them in your essay." in the hope of getting a band 7! They create a certain register or tone that you are writing with so you need to make sure the rest of your essay fits with this style. There will be some other ways. These are just some examples.

they will become more confident in their life and in their relationships with others. Studying Abroad Studying abroad has two main benefits. Another advantage of studying abroad is the independence students can gain. it is clear that studying abroad is a beneficial experience. This is because their qualifications and experience mean that they tend to get jobs that are higher paid. All in all. and it also restricts the topic to one or two main ideas which can be explained fully in the space of one paragraph. students have to cope with the challenges of living alone and meeting new people from different cultures. Read it through and identify why this is. It gives the topic of the paragraph. then you should be well on your way to being able to write your paragraphs quickly and clearly. As a consequence. The Three Parts to Good Paragraph Writing The 'text book' structure for a paragraph is as follows:    Topic sentence Supporting sentences Concluding sentence 1. Topic Sentence The topic sentence states what the paragraph will be about. people who study abroad can get a better job when they return to their home country. For example.If you have planned well before you write. Firstly. and they can also gain promotion quickly. The controlling idea is the specific area that the topic is limited to: topic controlling idea Studying abroad has two main benefits 83 . The following has all the components of a good paragraph.

there must also be unity and coherence.(example) Students will become more confident in their life and relationships (result) 3. All in all. results. statistics. Unity and Coherence For good paragraph writing.2. The supporting sentences that explain the benefits of studying abroad are: People get a better job when they return home (1st supporting idea)   Better qualifications & experience mean better pay and promotion (reason) Now has a high standard of living (result) Students gain independence (2nd supporting idea)   Students have to cope with the challenges of living alone and meeting new people from different cultures. Supporting Sentences Supporting sentences explain and develop the topic sentence. It tells the reader the important points to remember. Concluding Sentence (Optional) A concluding sentence can be used to signal the end of the paragraph. they discuss the topic sentence by explaining the main ideas and discussing those more fully using reasons. You won't get marked down if you do not have a concluding sentence in IELTS. facts. It is often a paraphrase of the topic sentence. Concluding sentences are optional and paragraphs often do not have them. examples. The examiner will assess your IELTS paragraphs on their unity and coherence. but it is a good way to add coherence to your paragraph. Specifically. or anything else that proves your ideas are true. it is clear that studying abroad is a beneficial experience. which is clearly shown in the 84 .

Each of these ideas is discussed. (b) Transition Signals Furthermore. another 85 . This is logical order. there is clear progression throughout uses a range of cohesive devices appropriately presents a clear central topic within each paragraph 1. the relationship between the ideas is clearly shown by using appropriate transition words and phrases such as first of all. Unity Unity means that you discuss only one main (central) topic area in a paragraph. If you did. 2.IELTS public band descriptors under "Coherence and Cohesion" for what is required for a band 7:    logically organises information and ideas. (a) Logical Order For example. and your supporting sentences should only be used to develop that. You could not discuss three benefits. the result of this. the paragraph should still have one central topic area so it retains unity. your paragraph would not have unity. This means your paragraph is easy to understand and read because (a) The supporting sentences are arranged in a logical orderand (b) The ideas are joined by appropriate transition signals. or start discussing the disadvantages of studying abroad. reasons and results to support them. there are two main ideas: People who study abroad can get a better job. you could discuss only two benefits of studying abroad. one after the other. The area that you are going to cover is usually introduced in the topic sentence. For the topic sentence above. in the paragraph about studying abroad. for instance. Even if there is no specific topic sentence (more advanced writers do not always have an obvious topic sentence). Coherence Another element of good paragraph writing is coherency. with examples. and they will become more independent.

advantage, as a consequence, all in all. Using such words and phrases will guide the reader through your paragraph, making it coherent and, therefore, easy to understand.

IELTS Problem Solution Essays
Sometimes in the IELTS task 2 you will be given a problem solution essay. In this type of essay you need to discuss the problems with regards to a particular topic and then suggest possible solutions to these problems. One of the first things you want to make sure that you are able to do is identfy one of these questions when it arises. Here are some examples of this type of question:

Problem Solution Essay Questions: _______________________________________________ Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems. Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and individuals can tackle these problems. _______________________________________________ Nowadays many people have access to computers on a wide basis and a large number of children play computer games. What are the negative impacts of playing computer games and what can be done to minimize the bad effects? _______________________________________________ The internet has transformed the way information is shared and consumed, but it has also created problems that did not exist before. What are the most serious problems associated with the internet and what solutions can you suggest?

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_______________________________________________ In the developed world, average life expectancy is increasing. What problems will this cause for individuals and society? Suggest some measures that could be taken to reduce the impact of ageing populations. _______________________________________________ An important note. Some essays ask for reasons and solutions, not problems and solutions. Writing about a reason (or cause) is not the same as writing about a problem. Check these model essays to see the difference.

Problem Solution Example Essay In order to understand these types of problem solution essays further and how to organize your writing, we'll look at a problem solution example essay: The internet has transformed the way information is shared and consumed, but it has also created problems that did not exist before. What are the most serious problems associated with the internet and what solutions can you suggest? The enormous growth in the use of the internet over the last decade has led to radical changes to the way that people consume and share information. Although serious problems have arisen as a result of this, there are solutions. One of the first problems of the internet is the ease with which children can access potentially dangerous sites. For example, pornography sites are easily accessible to them because they can register with a site and claim to be an adult. There is no doubt that this affects their thoughts and development, which is a negative impact for the children and for society. Another major problem is the growth of online fraud and hacking. These days, there are constant news stories about government and company websites that have been hacked, resulting in sensitive information falling into the hands of criminals.

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It is important that action is taken to combat these problems. Governments should ensure that adequate legislation and controls are in place that will prevent young people from accessing dangerous sites, such as requiring more than simply confirming that you are an adult to view a site. Parents also have a part to play. They need to closely monitor the activities of their children and restrict their access to certain sites, which can now be done through various computer programs. Companies must also improve their onsite IT security systems to make fraud and hacking much more difficult by undertaking thorough reviews of their current systems for weaknesses. To conclude, the internet is an amazing technological innovation that has transformed people‟s lives, but not without negative impacts. However, with the right action by individuals, governments and businesses, it can be made a safe place for everyone. (285 words)

Writing about Problems From the problem solution essay, look at the problems paragraph, and answer the following questions (then click on the link below to see the answers): 1. How many problems are discussed? 2. What are they? 3. What expressions are used to introduce the problems? 4. How are the problems illustrated further? 5. What results are discussed for each problem? Your answers to these questions should tell you a lot about how to plan and organize a problem paragraph. You only need two or three problems as remember you do not have much time and you need to explain the problems. When you brainstorm your ideas for problem solution essays, think about (a) what the problem is (b) how you will explain it (c) and what the effect is. Your paragraph will then follow this pattern.

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Some of these points are now explained further. Writing about Solutions Answer the following questions about the solutions paragraph: 1. pornography sites are easily accessible to them because they can register with a site and claim to be an adult . What three different groups of people does the writer say are responsble for these solutions? 4. 89 .Here is an example of the brainstorming for this paragraph: Problem 1: children can access potentially dangerous sites Explanation / Example: Pornography sites Result: Affects thought & development . What are they? 3. resulting in sensitive information falling into the hands of criminals. How would the solutions be implemented? 5. What three modal verb structures are used to make the suggestions? Show / hide answers Your answers to these questions provides you with some key tips on writing a solutions paragraph. which is a negative impact for the children and for society. These days.negative for children & society Problem 2: growth of online fraud and hacking Explanation / Example: Evident from the constant news stories Result: Criminals get sensitive information Here they are illustrated in the paragraph. Another major problem is the growth of online fraud and hacking. there are constant news stories about government and company websites that have been hacked. with the introductory expressions underlined: One of the first problems of the internet is the ease with which children can access potentially dangerous sites.There is no doubt that this affects their thoughts and development. For example. How many solutions are given? 2.

It's all too easy to make sweeping generalizations about what people can do. If it is violence on TV it could be TV and film producers. These are usually found in solutions paragraphs. It is usually governments and individuals in some way or another. b) Modal Verbs Modal verbs can be used to make suggestions in problem solution essays. try to make sure your solutions are not too simplistic. such as requiring more than simply confirming that you are an adult to view a site. Check out this grammar lesson if you are unsure how to use modal verbs.a) The people involved When you come to brainstorm your solutions. You can then brainstorm your ideas under each 'group' and organize them in the same way. Some specific detail has now been given on how this solution could work. For example. in this case it is companies and parents. b) Developing your solutions Also. There may be another group specifically realted to the topic. think of the key 'actors' who are involved. look at this idea: The government should introduce stricter laws. Give more detail about how or why this would work. For example. It it common to see such statements in IELTS problem solution essays with no further explantion. If you are discussing crime it could be the police. Here again is a plan for the problem solution essay for the solutions paragraph: Solution 1: Governments Idea: Adequate legislation and controls for young people How: More complex website access criteria 90 . For example: Governments should ensure that adequate legislation and controls are in place that will prevent young people from accessing dangerous sites.

The important thing is to analyze each question as you see it andanswer it. which can get quite confusing and it is usually not necessary to know this. Governments should ensure that adequate legislation and controls are in place that will prevent young people from accessing dangerous sites . It can be a bit confusing. 'thesis-led essays'.Solution 2: Parents Idea: Monitor children and restrict access How: Use a computer program Solution 3: Companies Idea: Improve IT security systems How: Review current systems in place Here is the paragraph again. to work out the different types of essay. which can now be done through various computer programs. Some people talk about 'argumentative essays'. They need toclosely monitor the activities of their children and restrict their access to certain sites. Lesson 13: IELTS Opinion Essays IELTS opinion essays are very common in the exam. such as requiring more than simply confirming that you are an adult to view a site. Note how it follows the plan and the clear topic sentence that tells the reader the essay is moving on to discuss solutions (modals verbs are underlined): It is important that action is taken to combat these problems. especially if you are new to IELTS. Parents also have a part to play. Companies mustalso improve their onsite IT security systems to make fraud and hacking much more difficult by undertaking thorough reviews of their current systems for weaknesses. The aim of this lesson is to give you a brief overview of thecommon types of essay that ask for your opinion. 'discussion essays'. 91 .

______________________________________________________ 3. With these essays you have TWO opinions that oppose each other. Your essay will get a lower mark for 'task response' if you don’t discuss both of the opinions or you don’t make your opinion clear. working hours should be reduced. Task 2 IELTS Opinion Essays can broadly be put into three types: ______________________________________________________ 1. You must make it clear whether you agree. and then asked specifically if you agree or disagree with it.Of course not everything will fit this pattern as there are a variety of ways a question can be worded. Advantages and Disadvantages The number of old people around the world is increasing dramatically. or to what extent you agree or disagree. Could this have more positive or negative effects on society? or… Do the advantages of the trend outweigh the disadvantages? or… 92 . but the types below are common ways to be asked about your opinion in the test. Discuss both views and give your opinion. including uses for food and research. ______________________________________________________ 2. Discuss TWO OPPOSING opinions (opinion one) A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans. disagree or partly agree and give your reasons why. You have to discuss BOTH of them and also give your opinion. (opinion) Therefore. (opposing opinion) while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs. To what extent do you agree or disagree? With these essays you are normally given ONE opinion. Discuss ONE opinion Advances in technology and automation have reduced the need for manual labour.

discuss two opinions 3. Look for these types of IELTS opinion essay: 1.Is this a positive development? In these questions you are given a fact or facts and then you have to look at the positive and negative sides of this. ideas and body paragraphs may be similar. They are all asking for your opinion so you must state this. Don't mix this up with a basic advantage and disadvantage essay like this: What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? Although your organization. this one is not asking for your opinion so you don't need to give it. It is simply asking you to present both sides of the issue. advantages and disadvantages 93 . Take a look at the model essays page and you can browse through some examples of these types of essays and how they can be answered by clicking on the links on the right of the page. agree / disagree 2. In the first two you will need to look at both sides as the question is clearly implying there are both positive and negative impacts. ______________________________________________________ This has been a quick and broad overview of some common IELTS opinion essay question types and it should be particularly helpful if you are fairly new to IELTS or if you have been studying for a while but are still unclear about the various types of essay.

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