IELTS Academic Writing Paper

Click to edit Master subtitle style English Language Centre

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Test Format and Tasks
Format and Tasks • Strategies and Examples • Further Help • References Click to edit Master subtitle style • Questions

Test Format

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Writing Module lasts 60 minutes. Two tasks:§

Test Format

Task 1 – 20 minutes, 150 words.

Task 2 – 40 minutes, 250 words. § Words Click to edit are counted by the examiners, so don’t write too many Master subtitle style or too few words. § Tip - learn how many words you usually write on a line, and how many lines = 150 and 250 words, so you don’t waste time counting words in the test.
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Notes are not acceptable as answers. Must be written in full. cannot subtitle style Click Answers . but to edit Master be taken from the test room.Test Format and Tasks .Answers • o o o o Must be written on the answer sheet. Notes may be made on the question paper.

present and possibly compare data § § Describe stages of a procedure or process § e. money people spend on different forms of entertainment.g. § Click §to e. § Organise.g. and present the information in your own words. the stages of human evolution. . edit How the water cycle § Describe on object or event or series of events Explain how something works § e. e.Test Format and Tasks – Task 1 • Task 1: (20 minutes. 150 words) o Interpret a diagram or table.g.g. How a car engine works. Master subtitle style works.

To what extent do you agree? .g. How effective is it to reward good work with extra money? e. § Present and justify an opinion § § § Compare and contrast evidence. Master subtitle style edit ‘Failure shows desire wasn’t strong enough’. opinions and implications Evaluate and challenge ideas. Do you think trial by jury should be used in all criminal cases? § Click §to e.g.g. evidence or an argument e.Test Format and Tasks – Task 2 • Task 2 (40 minutes. 250 words) o presented with a point of view or argument or problem.

e.g. no exclamations. no rhetorical questions. no extreme opinions.Test Format and Tasks: Assessment Criteria • You must respond appropriately in terms of: § General Points Register – formality and politeness. e. no short forms § Organisation – clear and logical § Style – academic. use tentative Click to edit Master subtitle style expressions such as ‘this appears to be…’ ‘this is probably due to…’ § Content – relevant and complete .g.

Topics • Example Task Topics: Issues in English CD-ROM Time.Test Format and Tasks . Newsweek and The Economist magazines (also on the Internet) Click to edit Master subtitle style • Recommended Materials in CILL o o .

g. Secondly. ‘it’. Finally o Cohesion – e.Test Format and Tasks – Task 1 Task Fulfillment – answering the question completely o Coherence – e. ‘and’. ‘but’ and synonyms subtitle style Click to edit Master o Vocabulary – good range. ‘he’. o Considerations for Task 1 include: . correct use of relative clauses.g. ‘this’. e. Firstly.g. appropriate o Sentence Structure – concise but not simplistic.

city in 1950. 1970 and . You should write at least 150 words.Writing Task 1 You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.Example of Task 1 Academic Writing . The graph Click to shows belowedit Master subtitle style the different modes of transport used to travel to and from work in one European Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown.

Example of Task 1 Academic Writing .Writing Task 1 With a partner: • • • • • Identify the main trends for each mode. Are there any clear and Click to edit consistent Master subtitle style directions? Does anything seem surprising? Are there any clear relationships between modes or percentages? . Identify any large increases or decreases.

bike and foot to commute to and from work in the years 1950. the amount of people using bikes decreased. The graph indicates the growing use of cars for commuting and the corresponding fall in the popularity of other modes of transport since 1950. rising from just over 5% in 1950 to 25% in 1970. but had Click to edit Master subtitle style dropped to about 17% by 1990. 1970 and 1990. the amount of people who walked to work fell from more than a third in 1950 to about 10% in 1990. but this had fallen to less than 10% by 1990. However. and then climbing to almost 40% by 1990. The amount of people using buses initially rose in 1970 to about 30%. Similarly. . Over 25% of commuters cycled in 1950. car.Possible Answer for Task 1 Full Answer The graph shows the percentage of travellers in a European city who used bus. The amount of people using cars grew considerably.

. car. 1970 and 1990. 1970 and 1990. bike and foot to commute to and from work in the years 1950.Possible Answer for Task 1 Introduction Instructions: The graph below shows the different modes of transport used to travel to and from work in one European city in 1950. Answer: to edit Master subtitle style Click The graph shows the percentage of travellers in a European city who used bus.

Possible Answer for Task 1 . and then climbing to almost 40% by 1990.Cars Answer: The amount of people using cars grew considerably. . rising from just over 5% in 1950 Click to edit Master subtitle style to 25% in 1970.

the amount of people using bikes decreased. . the amount of people who walked to work fell from more than a third in 1950 to about 10% in 1990.Possible Answer for Task 1 – Bikes and Walkers Answer: However. Similarly. but this had fallen to less than 10% by 1990. Over 25% of Click to commuters edit Master subtitle style cycled in 1950.

Buses Answer: The amount of people using buses initially rose in 1970Click toabout subtitle style to edit Master 30%.Possible Answer for Task 1 . . but had dropped to about 17% by 1990.

.Possible Answer for Task 1 Conclusion Answer: The graph indicates the growing use of cars for commuting and the Click to edit Master subtitle style corresponding fall in the popularity of other modes of transport since 1950.

Test Format and Tasks – Task 2 Task 2 is assessed on: o o o o Quality of Arguments – logical. well-considered Ideas and Evidence – support your points Communicative Quality Vocabulary and Sentence Structure Click to edit Master subtitle style .

Some governments have banned smoking in all public places. . a good idea but style Do you agree or disagree?’ • • Decide what the task requires you do. This isClick to edit Master subtitleit takes away some of our freedom. the focus of the essay and the question come after. For example: ‘Some businesses now say that no one can smoke cigarettes in any of their offices. Decide what the focus of the task is? The first sentence is sometimes background information.Example of Task 2 Read the question carefully and read it several times.

§ Do not produce a list of ideas without development. How many ideas can Click to you cover instyle or 250 words? edit Master subtitle 150 § Select some supporting points for each key idea in your list. § Decide on the key ideas. .Organisation • Organisation § After you have produced your ideas. § Think about your own experience – do you have any further points to add. you need to organise them.Strategies .

e. Make sure you do not: § Respond to each point mentioned in the task.Strategies – Content • o o Your answer must be complete.g. . misunderstand the question.g. smoking in Government offices § write Click to editabout something not required in the question. Master subtitle style e. but don’t write about freedom. banning smoking completely § answer only half of the topic. you write about is it a good idea. e.g.

. pleasure of smokers Pressure groups – smokers. limitations on smoking in public places Click §to Good idea? edit Master subtitle style Costs to society .Passive smoking.Strategies . has the right to regulate citizens’ activities Will citizens support regulation? § Conclusion § Allow some time to think about the question. . tobacco companies. litter. health care Benefits to society – tax revenue. sponsors § Takes away freedom? Govt. freedom? § Smoking in businesses § Good idea? Smokers may work better if they can smoke Passive smoking – objections from other staff § Takes away freedom? Businesses have the right to limit staff activities § Govt. For example: Intro – smoking in businesses & Govt.good idea.Planning • o o note down clear and relevant ideas make a brief plan of the organisation and content of your answer.

Introduction The Introduction Important: gives first impression. § Preface the main points. § Define what you understand by the task § Show how you intend Click to edit Master subtitle styleto approach the task. § . § Introduce the topic. § A few sentences.Strategies – Content .

. they may also interfere with people’s freedom. although they may be a good idea.Strategies – Introduction . but smokers naturally may not. Non-smokers are likely to think that banning smoking is a good idea. Different cultures may have Click attitudes to whether businesses or varying to edit Master subtitle style governments have the right to ban smoking in certain places.Example Limitations on smoking in businesses and public places are a controversial topic as.

However. in many cultures the government has the right to regulate citizens’ activities. As for freedom. It is also increasingly possible that citizens would support such bans. businesses are widely seen as having the right to regulate staff activities. This may be a good idea due to the costs to society of smoking such as litter and health care. Also.Strategies – Body . smoking in public may also benefit society. pressure groups such as Click to edit Master subtitle style tobacco companies may discourage limitations on smoking. Governments may also ban smoking in public. Although such bans may reduce freedom.Example Banning smoking in businesses may not be a good idea because smokers may work better if they can smoke. However. passive smoking can cause objections from colleagues. for example in tax revenue and the pleasure of smokers. .

§ If appropriate. a final decision. statement.Strategies – Content . or recommendation. § Summarises your key ideas and your main Click to edit Master subtitle style ideas.Conclusion The Conclusion Important: Opportunity to leave a good impression. § A few sentences. § .

but as smoking affects the health of others. If the effects of smoking were limited to smokers I would oppose bans. .Example As a non-smoker I believe that limiting smoking in workplaces and in public is a good idea.Strategies – Conclusion . I support them. I can also understand the opinion of smokers that banning smoking in such places limits theirstyle Click to edit Master subtitle freedom.

Further Help .hk/wap/ o WAP – Writing Assistance Programme Core A 3/F . They will not proofread.WAP • One-to-one help from an ELC teacher with your writing o WAP teachers will give you suggestions for improving your style Click to edit Master subtitle writing.polyu. o More information at http://elc.edu.

polyu.CILL • Help from an ELC teacher with your writing.edu. speaking and listening o CILL teachers can give you suggestions for improving your style Click to edit Master subtitle writing. They will not proofread o More information at http://elc.hk/cill/ielts/ o CILL – Centre for Independent Language Learning Core A 3/F . reading.Further Help .

References You can find these books in CILL. Books 1. 2 & 3 (with CD-ROM for listening tests) Click to edit Master subtitle style • Insight into IELTS .an IELTS preparation course • Presenting Facts and Figures • Great Essays . Room AG305: • Cambridge Practice Tests for the IELTS.

Useful websites • UGC Introductory site http://www.com IELTS homepage http://www.ielts.edu.ugccepa.htm Click to edit Master subtitle style • • ELC homepage http://elc.org/index.hk .polyu.

Questions • • Please do not ask us (or any ELC teacher) to predict what grade you will get. as these are not organised by the ELC. as such prediction is forbidden by the IELTS organisation. . Please do not ask about test dates and Click to edit Master subtitle style venues.

4. when they have so many other important issues and concerns? What are the problems of living with a roommate in college? Is it better than living alone? When should people be made to retire? 55? 65? Should there be a compulsory retirement age? Are women are better parents than men? Should children be taught sex education in schools? Foreign language instruction should begin in kindergarten. Discuss. 8. 13. 2. . 7. 16. 10. 3. 9. 14. Click to edit Master subtitle style Family planning shouldn’t impose the birth rate to the intellectual. Why is this and how can the problem be solved? Should rich countries help the poorer ones? Should smoking be banned completely? Should dangerous sports such as boxing or motor-racing be banned? Should parents pay if their children end up in trouble with the law? Should parents use corporal punishment to discipline children? Should governments spend money on art. the young often display their affection in public places. 5. 12. What is your opinion? 1. Many students do not finish school. What are five things that cause pollution? What can be done to eliminate pollution? A young couple should divorce as early as possible if they do not get a long with each other. The youth should cohabit before marriage. 6. At present. 15. 11.writing 1.Task 2 .

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