Writing Task 2 | Essay Structure Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

​Let’s look at some tips for how to achieve a good band score for Academic Writing Task 2. If you have any questions or any good tips you want to share please write them in the comments section below.
Below is a typical IELTS task 2 essay question. Read it, then look at our tips.
A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.


Write at least 250 words.
Now look at the tips and answer the questions below.
  1. Of course the number one tip is to practice writing IELTS academic task 2 as much as you can. Use our writing resources to help you improve. Also, get feedback from a qualified native English speaking teacher and use the feedback to help you improve your essay writing. Practice makes perfect!
  2. Before writing anything make sure you understand the question. Think about the following points: What is the topic? How many parts does the question have? Do you just have to give your opinion, do you have to give two opinions, or do you have to talk about cause and effect or problems and solutions?
  3. Make sure you answer the question. If the question has two parts, write equally about them both to make sure your Task Achievement (TA) band score is high.
  4. Paraphrase the information given in the question for your first introduction sentence. Make sure you paraphrase, don’t copy anything directly or it won’t be counted by the examiner.
  5. Write in paragraphs, 4 should be enough. A short introduction2 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  6. The introduction and conclusion should be short, just a few sentences, whereas the main body paragraphs should be longer.
  7. You must include a thesis statement, a sentence at the end of the introduction which presents your opinion, in order to receive a good band score for Task Achievement (TA).
  8. Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence which tells the reader what the paragraph is about. The topic sentence should be connected to your opinion from the introduction. The rest of the body paragraph should be supporting ideas and examples relating to the topic sentence. Doing this will boost your score for Coherence and Cohesion (CC).
  9. Make sure you use academic vocabulary from the academic word list in your writing. Also, try and use some specialized vocabulary about the topic as it will boost your band score for Lexical Resource (LR).
  10. Take a few minutes at the end to double check your writing for any errors. Pay attention to spelling and simple grammar errors such as ‘third person s’ for verbs when you do this.
  11. Make sure you write at least 250 words. When you do practice tasks always count how many words you write so you get an idea about how much writing you have to do in the test.
  12. Don’t take longer than 40 minutes to do Task 2. When you practice, be strict with yourself. The best practice is timed practice under exam conditions. It may be difficult at first, but it will help you to achieve your IELTS goals.
How much do you remember? Answer the questions below.
1. I should practice essay writing as much as possible before the test.
True
False
2. You need to spend some time analyzing the question before you can plan and write your essay.
True
False
3. You can still achieve a high band for task achievement if you don’t answer the question.
True
False
4. Don’t copy more than a few words from the question or the examiner will cross them out.
True
False
5. You should write 6 paragraphs.
True
False
6. The introduction and conclusion paragraphs should be short. 2 or 3 sentences is adequate. Body paragraphs should be longer.
True
False
7. If the question asks you to give your opinion, you must provide it in the introduction.
True
False
8. You do not need to provide examples and supporting information to explain your opinion in the body paragraphs.
True
False
9. You must use academic vocabulary in your writing.
True
False
10. Make sure you save some time at the end of the writing exam to check your writing for spelling and grammar mistakes.
True
False
11. I must write more than 300 words.
True
False
12. The most effective practice for IELTS academic task 2 is to do timed practice in exam conditions.
True
False



​There we go, 12 tips from IELTSTutors.org to help you improve your writing for Academic Task 2. What do you think? Any tips you want to share with us? Please leave a comment below.
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