Some simple tips for the IELTS Writing paper

The IELTS writing test is the third module for candidates who want to study or work abroad. There are two tasks in the IELTS writing. The first task requires you to write a letter or report a graph. You have 20 minutes to write a 150 word essay. In Task 2, you are supposed to write a 250 word essay in 40 minutes. You have to express your opinions on different topics such as environment, politics, education, technology, etc. You will be assessed in terms of task achievement, coherence and cohesion, grammatical range and vocabulary.

Here are some tips on how you can get a higher score in writing.

1. Read English books, journals, newspapers and magazines.

Vocabulary is a very important criteria in writing. Good writers are first good readers. You need to expose yourself to different words. Use a dictionary to help you find the meaning of words. Make a list of 10 new words and read them regularly. Try to make sentences using those words. It is also recommended to read newspapers especially the editorial section. This will help you in terms of how you can make good arguments.

2. Organize your essay.

An essay should always have three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Try to use the famous 5-paragraph essay. Why five? So it’s more balanced. Analyze the question because if you write an off-topic essay, the examiner won’t give you the marks that you deserve. Try to find out the type of essay: is it an opinion essay, an advantage-disadvantage task, a problem-solution type?

If it’s an opinion essay, analyze the question and ask yourself if you agree or disagree. If you agree, have two reasons why you agree and one reason why you disagree. Make sure that you state clearly your stand on the issue. Give concrete examples to support your arguments. In the conclusion, summarize your arguments and give your opinion.

3. Use the right vocabulary.

Use academic words for a semi-formal and formal tone in writing. For instance, you “perceive” instead of “see” or “crucial” instead of “important”. But don’t use technical words. Use words that you read in the newspaper. Don’t try too hard to impress the examiner with high-sounding and pompous language.

4. Manage your time well.

Task 2 has a greater weight compared to Task 1. So, don’t take too much time in writing Task 1. A better way is to start with Task 2 since Task 1 requires only 150 words which is quicker to do.

Read model essays to get an idea of the topics and to get some examples of good vocabulary and ideas to help you write your essay. There are many model essays online and you can also visit IDP Australia and British council. They have a lot of books which you can use to practice your essays.