Writing Task 2 | Linking Ideas Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

In this lesson we will look at how to choose relevant ideas for your essay, then look at a model answer and fill in the gaps with linking phrases.
​​Read this Writing Part 2 Question.

Activity 1

​Many students today may study abroad for a part or for all of their course. Although studying abroad has many benefits for the individual student, it also has a number of disadvantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?


​You should write 250 words.
Write down any ideas you have about this topic, then move on to activity 2.

Activity 2

​If the points you make in your task 2 essay are irrelevant then your Task Achievement and Coherence and Cohesion will be reduced.

Are the following points relevant (directly connected) to the question in activity 1?

Select Yes if the point is relevant, No if it’s irrelevant (not directly connected) and Maybe if it could be relevant.
ARE THESE POINTS RELEVANT TO THE TASK?

1. How students benefit from studying in a foreign country.
2. Problems with the education system in the student’s home country.
3. How to study effectively.
4. Problems that students could have when studying abroad.
5. Your experience of studying abroad.
6. If the government should subsidize students to study abroad.
7. What the negatives are for the home country when local academics go to work in foreign universities.
8. How studying abroad can help you to find a job in the future.



Look back at your ideas from Activity 1. Did you plan to write about any irrelevant ideas? If so, think about why they shouldn't be a part of the essay. 

Activity 3

​​Read the band 9 example essay below.
How many of the ideas from task 2 are included?

The linking words have been deleted from the essay. Click on words in the box and then on the relevant gap to complete the text.
because   ·  although   ·  due to  
Click or touch a word above
1. Recently a large increase can be seen in the number of students going abroad to study. This is partly people are better off and partly the diverse range of different grants and scholarships which are available for overseas students. foreign study may not be advisable for some because of personal or financial reasons, the majority of students benefit a great deal from overseas study.
furthermore   ·  on the other hand   ·  which   ·  such as   ·  For example  
Click or touch a word above
2. Studying in a foreign country has a number of benefits. , it could give students access to knowledge and facilities libraries and science labs which are not found in the student’s country of origin. , students may have access to a wider range of courses in foreign countries than they do at home could help them to find one that fits more closely with their individual interests and requirements. , studying abroad can have some drawbacks. These can be categorized into personal and professional.
Moreover   ·  which   ·  Secondly   ·  Firstly   ·  if  
Click or touch a word above
3. , studying abroad obviously requires the student to leave his family and friends for a long period, may make the student lonely he is unused to spending time away from his support network. , studying in a foreign country is almost always more expensive than studying in the student’s home country. , studying in a foreign country means the student will probably be studying in a foreign language, which may limit his performance and make studying and exams more stressful.
since   ·  What is more   ·  who   ·  however  
Click or touch a word above
4. In my opinion, , the drawbacks of studying abroad are usually only temporary the student will return home after a year or two of foreign study. Students study abroad usually become proficient in the language quickly and they have lots of experiences and meet lots of people that they would not encounter at home. , the benefits of the international network of friends and increased knowledge will last the student all his life and is likely to make him more successful in finding a job.
Let's remind ourselves of the task and band 9 model answer that we are studying:
Many students today may study abroad for a part or for all of their course. Although studying abroad has many benefits for the individual student, it also has a number of disadvantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?

You should write 250 words.
​Recently a large increase can be seen in the number of students going abroad to study. This is partly because people are better off and partly due to the diverse range of different grants and scholarships which are available for overseas students. Although foreign study may not be advisable for some because of personal or financial reasons, the majority of students benefit a great deal from overseas study.

Studying in a foreign country has a number of benefits. For example, it could give students access to knowledge and facilities such as libraries and science labs which are not found in the student’s country of origin. Furthermore, students may have access to a wider range of courses in foreign countries than they do at home which could help them to find one that fits more closely with their individual interests and requirements. On the other hand, studying abroad can have some drawbacks. These can be categorized into personal and professional.

Firstly, studying abroad obviously requires the student to leave his family and friends for a long period, which may make the student lonely if he is unused to spending time away from his support network. Secondlystudying in a foreign country is almost always more expensive than studying in the student’s home country. Moreoverstudying in a foreign country means the student will probably be studying in a foreign language, which may limit his performance and make studying and exams more stressful.

In my opinion, however, the drawbacks of studying abroad are usually only temporary since the student will return home after a year or two of foreign study. Students who study abroad usually become proficient in the language quickly and they have lots of experiences and meet lots of people that they would not encounter at home. What is more, the benefits of the international network of friends and increased knowledge will last the student all his life and is likely to make him more successful in finding a job.


​Activity 4

​We are going to think about the meaning of the linking words from the text above.
MATCH THE LINKERS TO THE MEANINGS

1. Furthermore and moreover are used to:
A) Give contrasting ideas
B) Add supporting ideas
C) Give reasons
D) Sequence events or ideas
E) Present examples

2. Firstly, secondly, after that and finally are used to:
A) Give contrasting ideas
B) Add supporting ideas
C) Give reasons
D) Sequence events or ideas
E) Present examples

3. Due to, since and because are used to:
A) Give contrasting ideas
B) Add supporting ideas
C) Give reasons
D) Sequence events or ideas
E) Present examples

4. For example and such as are used to:
A) Give contrasting ideas
B) Add supporting ideas
C) Give reasons
D) Sequence events or ideas
E) Present examples

5. Although, on the other hand and however are used to:
A) Give contrasting ideas
B) Add supporting ideas
C) Give reasons
D) Sequence events or ideas
E) Present examples





Activity 5 - Focus on Vocabulary 

​While you are preparing to take the IELTS test you should be trying to learn around 10 to 15 new words a week. In the box below is some useful vocabulary found in the text we have already read. Can you match the vocabulary with the definition?
Click or touch a word above
1. is a group of people who help and look after you.
2. is a negative result of something.
3. is a transitive verb meaning to give something a category or class.
4. means a wide variety.

​We hope you have found this lesson useful. For more writing task 2 tips, visit our writing task 2 page. 

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