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Writing Task 1 GP: Write a Letter Practice 2 (Formal Complaint Letter)

It is important to practice the writing tasks ahead of your IELTS test to ensure that you do well. Read through my top tips for success in IELTS Writing Task 1 and then have a go at the practice test below.

TOP TIPS FOR WRITING TASK 1

  • Spend no more than 20 minutes on this part of the writing test paper
  • Ensure you write over 150 words
  • As you read the task, carefully consider whether you should be writing a formal or informal letter.
  • Remember, informal letters are letters to people you know really well, such as your friends and family, and will include more ‘casual’ language (e.g. Hi! How are you? Speak soon.).
  • Formal letters have a more serious tone and will not contain abbreviations, e.g. I am writing to inform you that…
  • Follow our suggestion for using your time best in this IELTS test:
          • 3 minutes: Planning
          • 14 minutes: Writing
          • 3 minutes : Editing and improving
  • Use the 3 minutes of editing time at the end to carefully read through your writing, checking for spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, capital letter mistakes and ensuring that the letter makes sense and reads well.

QUESTION

You are writing to a restaurant you recently ate at to complain about the food and the service.

Write a letter to complain to the restaurant manager and be sure to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain the problem
  • State the action you hope for from the restaurant

MODEL ANSWER

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Amy Johnson and I visited your restaurant, The Flaming Lion, on the evening of Saturday 27th March. I am writing to express my disappointment with the food and the service received on this visit.

Firstly, I found your waiting staff to be impatient and rude. On several occasions, I attempted to seek the attention of a waiter, but I was completely ignored. When, finally, the waiter responded to my request for assistance, he rolled his eyes as I asked for additional napkins. This made me feel very offended and unwelcome at the establishment.

In addition to this, I was also highly disappointed with the quality of the food. When my dish was served the potato was stone cold. My youngest child ordered chicken nuggets and chips, and I was horrified to discover that the chicken was not fully cooked. Having informed the waiter of this, I received no apology and was simply asked whether we want the nuggets to be cooked some more or cooked again from scratch.

I understand that the waiting staff and kitchen were very busy on that particular evening, but I do not think that our experience was acceptable. I hope you will recognise the negativity of our experience and issue an apology in due course.

Yours faithfully,

M.D. Smith 

Word count: 221 words

Writing Task 1 GP: Write a Letter Practice 1 (Informal Invitation Letter)

It is important to practice the writing tasks ahead of your IELTS test to ensure that you do well. Read through my top tips for success in IELTS Writing Task 1 and then have a go at the practice test below.

TOP TIPS FOR WRITING TASK 1

  • Spend no more than 20 minutes on this part of the writing test paper
  • Ensure you write over 150 words
  • As you read the task, carefully consider whether you should be writing a formal or informal letter.
  • Remember, informal letters are letters to people you know really well, such as your friends and family, and will include more ‘casual’ language (e.g. Hi! How are you? Speak soon.).
  • Formal letters have a more serious tone and will not contain abbreviations, e.g. I am writing to inform you that…
  • Follow our suggestion for using your time best in this IELTS test:
          • 3 minutes: Planning
          • 14 minutes: Writing
          • 3 minutes : Editing and improving
  • Use the 3 minutes of editing time at the end to carefully read through your writing, checking for spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes, capital letter mistakes and ensuring that the letter makes sense and reads well.

QUESTION

You are writing to an old family friend to ask him/her to attend your birthday party.

Write a letter to invite your friend and be sure to:

  • Tell your friend about the party you are having for your birthday
  • Explain how important it is for you that he/she attends
  • Suggest that your friend can stay at the hotel next to the venue during the visit

MODEL ANSWER

Hi Sam,

How is everything with you and the family?

I wanted to drop you a line to let you know about the party I am having next month for my 40th birthday.

As it is a milestone birthday, I decided to do something a bit different. I’m renting out an entire sports hall where we will play bubble football! Have you ever tried it before? I did it once at a work team building event and I thought it’s be so fun doing it with all of my closest friends. There’ll be a selection of food and drinks there too – don’t worry, I’ll make sure we have some of your favourite hamburgers!

There’s a great hotel located next to the sports centre. In fact, its only a five minute walk between there and the party venue, so I’d recommend that you book there. It also has a restaurant that serves a great breakfast. You might be grateful of that the morning after!

It would mean the world to me if you are able to attend. You’re my oldest friend in the world and it really wouldn’t be the same without you there.

Let me know as soon as possible.

Katie

Word count: 202 words

Writing Task 1: General Path: Write a Letter

In the IELTS Writing Task 1 for General Path, you will always be asked to write a letter. You will have approximately 20 minutes to complete this task and it is recommended that you spend no longer than that on this section, otherwise you are compromising valuable marks in Task 2.

You must write a letter of over 150 words for this task. Examiners will be looking for task achievement, coherence and cohesion, vocabulary and grammar when marking the test. Each of these areas contain an equal weighting of 25% of the overall score.

The letter will generally be specified as formal or informal. Therefore, you must carefully consider the style of writing and the type of language required before you start writing.

In the test, you will be given the task and three bullet points that will specify content that must be included in the letter. This will help you to plan and structure the letter. You must ensure you cover these points, otherwise you will lose marks.

It is advised that you take time to both plan and edit you work. Practise structuring your time on this task in the following way:

3 minutes: Planning

14 minutes: Writing

3 minutes: Editing

Planning for Task 1

As mentioned above, there are three main points you will need to cover in this letter. Therefore, I recommend that you plan for a 3 paragraph letter, with each paragraph covering on of these points. When writing the plan, also consider and note down clearly whether it is a formal or informal letter so that you have this in mind from the start.

For example:

Task

You recently visited your friend’s house for dinner one evening. Write a letter to your friend. In your letter you should:

  • Thank your friend for the dinner
  • Tell them what you enjoyed most about the evening
  • Explain that you are sending photos of the evening with the letter

Plan

Style: Informal

Hi Ian,

Paragraph 1: Express thanks

Paragraph 2: Tell Ian I most enjoyed the prawn cocktail starter and the chocolate cheesecake dessert. Also: catching up.

Paragraph 3: Photos are enclosed.

Speak soon.

Katie

Editing in Task 1

Checking through your work after writing is hugely important in any writing tasks. Points will be deducted for mistakes in grammar and vocabulary, including spelling and punctuation mistakes. Once you have finished your letter, take the time to read it though slowly, carefully check for capital letters, correct punctuation and correct spelling. As you read, you also want to ensure that the letter makes sense and that you have included a good range of vocabulary.

Writing Task 2: Direct Questions Essay

General Information

  • Write a formal essay.
  • Write at least 250 words.
  • The task is the same for both the General and the Academic Path. However, the topic of the essay question in the General Path is sometimes more straightforward than in the Academic Path.
  • Depending on the question, you will need to either provide and justify your opinion, discuss a topic, outline problems and provide possible solutions, or summarise key details.
  • The ideas you provide should be supported with clear reasons and examples based on your knowledge and experience.
  • Spend 40 minutes on this task.

Scoring of Writing Task 2

This writing task is worth two-thirds of the total marks for the writing test. There are four areas that you will be marked on in writing task 2, and each area is worth 25% of the overall mark for this task.

  • Task Response: This gives marks for your ideas, how well you address the topic, and the extent to which you develop ideas and form a conclusion.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This gives marks for the effective use of paragraphs, linking paragraphs and ideas, and referencing.
  • Lexical Resource: This gives marks for the range of vocabulary used, the inclusion of collocations, and accurate spelling.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This gives marks for the use of varied sentence structures, accurate tense, and accurate punctuation.

Structure of the Essay

The essay for task 2 must be 4-5 paragraphs long to show enough skill and evidence to score well for coherence and cohesion. The structure we suggest includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body 1
  • Body 2
  • Body 3 (optional)
  • Conclusion

Linking Words for Coherence and Cohesion

A quarter of your overall score depends on your ability to show cohesion across the essay. Linking words will help you to do this. The words in the table below provide a range of linking words with different functions for you to use in the task 2 essay.

To Order To Show Contrast To Provide Examples To Show A Result To Add More
Firstly, However, For example, As a result, In addition,
Lastly, Alternatively, For instance, Consequently, Additionally,
Finally, Nevertheless, such as Hence, Furthermore,
Although, in particular Thus, Moreover,
In contrast, specifically Therefore, Also,
On the other hand, especially so As well as,
In comparison, obviously For this reason, and
but clearly
despite namely

 

To Show Your Opinion To conclude
In my opinion, In conclusion,
I think that To summarise,
I believe that Overall,
I admit that
In my view,
I agree that
I disagree that
because
owing to
due to
since
as

Timings

If you use the first 5 minutes for planning, you will have 35 minutes to complete the writing task. I recommend using approximately 30 minutes of this time to write your essay and the remaining 5 minutes to check your work.

During this time, look specifically for spelling mistakes, misused words, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

Top Tips for Writing a Direct Questions Essay

  • In this essay, you will be asked 2-3 questions in the prompt.
  • You must answer these 2-3 questions in the main body of your essay.
  • For each question, have one main point. Then provide examples and elaborate on this point.
  • Each answer should be written in a separate body paragraph.

Planning for the Direct Questions Essay

You must take the time to plan for writing task 2. You will already have completed two full tests and writing task 1. Your brain is likely to be fatigued at this point, so you need to take a few minutes to ensure you respond correctly to the task, generate some ideas, and sequence the essay logically.

The plan does not need to be complicated. I recommend spending up to 5 minutes on this. You can use space on the question paper to write the plan.

The plan for a direct questions essay will require four to five paragraphs, depending on whether you were asked two or three questions in the prompt. We suggest the following format:

Introduction

Introduce the topic of the essay

Provide your opinion on the topic

Body 1: Answer to Question 1

Point: Introduce a key argument

Example: Provide an example of this

Elaboration: Elaborate on this argument, e.g. what is its impact

Body 2: Answer to Question 2

Point: Introduce a key argument

Example: Provide an example of this

Elaboration: Elaborate on this argument, e.g. what is its impact

Body 3: Answer to Question 3

Point: Introduce a key argument

Example: Provide an example of this

Elaboration: Elaborate on this argument, e.g. what is its impact

Conclusion

State your opinion firmly with key reasons

Sample Question: Direct Questions Essay

The internet is an excellent source of information. More information is now more accessible around the globe.

Is information online always accurate and reliable?

Should the information be more controlled?

Model Plan: Direct Questions Essay

Introduction

Internet is an excellent source of information and is accessible around the globe

My opinion – not enough governance as there are with books to ensure reliability

Body 1: Answer to Question 1: Is information online always accurate and reliable?

Point: Information can be incorrect as anyone can post information as facts

Example: Wikipedia – not a reliable source

Elaboration: Forced to use multiple sources of information to determine the accuracy

Body 2 Answer to Question 2: Should the information be more controlled?

Point: There should be organisations that filter content put onto the internet

Example: This means checking for accuracy before a pending post is published online

Elaboration: Fear of control of ‘free speech’ – ensure a non-governmental organisation is in charge

Conclusion

Information should be better controlled to improve the reliability of sources of information on the internet – to ensure that we retain accurate information about the world moving forward

 Model Answer: Direct Questions Essay

The internet is considered to be a rich source of information. Due to its accessibility to people all around the globe, it heavily relies upon a source of information. However, in my opinion, there needs to be improved governance. Content of the internet should be moderated, as it is with printed materials. In doing so, the reliability of the information provided will increase.

Allowing the information to be uploaded anywhere in the world means that there are millions of people sourcing the information found on the internet. Due to typos and misunderstandings, there are frequent inaccuracies in this information, resulting in people’s lack of confidence in internet sources. Take, for example, the website Wikipedia. Anyone is able to upload to the site, and it is well-known that there are many errors in the information found on the site. For this reason, academic institutions deter students from referencing Wikipedia as a source of information in essays and coursework.

To enhance the reliability of information sources on the internet, there must be improved regulation. It would be of significant benefit to developing an organisation to filter online content. This would involve ‘pending’ posts, during which time they are carefully checked, before being officially published online for universal access when deemed to be accurate. Many people may fear a reduction in ‘free speech’ if such a proposal is implemented. However, ensuring that a company with no government affiliation runs the organisation would ensure that political agendas did not interfere with such a system. This way, if the content is checked before being uploaded, web users will have the assurance that these sources are reliable.

In conclusion, whilst the internet provides a wealth of information, this online information should be filtered. It is imperative to ensure that accurate information about the world is retained for both now and the future.

Key Words and Phrases for the Direct Questions Essay

  • considered to be
  • However, …
  • in my opinion
  • increase/decrease/reduce
  • Due to…
  • resulting in
  • it is well known that
  • For this reason, …
  • benefit/advantage
  • Many/Some people
  • In conclusion, …
  • It is imperative that…
  • This has resulted in…
  • I believe that…
  • If…then…

Practice Test: Direct Questions Essay

Nowadays, many cities around the world are more multicultural than ever.

How can governments ensure that people from different cultures can live together harmoniously?

Should people be able to live in countries other than the country in which they were born?

Practice Test: Model Plan

Introduction

Immigration has increased creating more multicultural cities around the world

My opinion – bringing together cultures in one city

Body 1: Answer to Question 1: How can govts ensure people from diff cultures can live together harmoniously?

Point: Not ‘us’ and ‘them’

Example: Valuing and appreciating the culture brought by immigrants to a city

Elaboration: Seeing all of the people in the city as the community, not the city itself

Body 2 Answer to Question 2: Should people be able to live in other countries?

Point: A whole world to explore – should not be limited by invisible fences around countries – break down the borders

Example: If we can move freely, people will see countries less as ‘mine’ and more of ‘ours’

Elaboration: more harmony between cultures and less wars between countries – live as one

Conclusion

People should be able to migrate around the world anywhere, anytime so that we can enjoy the rich, diverse opportunities the world has to offer

Practice Test: Model Direct Questions Essay

In the past hundred years, with the improvement of transportation, immigration has increased in popularity with many people choosing to live abroad to find new experiences or better opportunities. This has resulted in the sharp rise of multicultural cities; cities in which people of many cultures live together. In my opinion, this has brought much more diversity to many places around the world.

However, many people question how governments can ensure a harmonious living situation between residents of various cultures. I believe that governments must ensure that residents who have migrated to a city or country are fully embraced and seen as equals, so as not to create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture. To do this, the cultures of immigrants must be valued, appreciated and celebrated. In this way, residents should value cities for their community – the people living there at any one time – not treating those born there as more important or entitled.

Due to conflicts that have arisen from migration, such as racist attacks, some people question whether we should be allowed to live in countries other than those in which we were born. However, it appears to be the borders of countries that act as invisible fences that cause such problems. If borders were broken down and people could move freely around the world and explore all that it has to offer, then it is likely that occurrences of these conflicts would significantly reduce, if not disappear completely. People would no longer see a place as belonging to them. This would create more harmonious relationships between cultures and fewer wars between countries.

In conclusion, while immigration currently causes some difficulties amongst people in cities around the world, this can be resolved by breaking down the barriers that exist between people and cultures. Through the governmental promotion of acceptance and respect, we can move towards an open world through which people move freely and live together harmoniously.

Writing Task 2: Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

General Information

  • Write a formal essay.
  • Write at least 250 words.
  • The task is the same for both the General and the Academic Path. However, the topic of the essay question in the General Path is sometimes more straightforward than in the Academic Path.
  • Depending on the question, you will need to either provide and justify your opinion, discuss a topic, outline problems and provide possible solutions, or summarise key details.
  • The ideas you provide should be supported with clear reasons and examples based on your knowledge and experience.
  • Spend 40 minutes on this task.

Scoring of Writing Task 2

This writing task is worth two-thirds of the total marks for the writing test. There are four areas that you will be marked on in writing task 2, and each area is worth 25% of the overall mark for this task.

  • Task Response: This gives marks for your ideas, how well you address the topic, and the extent to which you develop ideas and form a conclusion.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This gives marks for the effective use of paragraphs, linking paragraphs and ideas, and referencing.
  • Lexical Resource: This gives marks for the range of vocabulary used, the inclusion of collocations, and accurate spelling.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This gives marks for the use of varied sentence structures, accurate tense, and accurate punctuation.

Structure of the Essay

The essay for task 2 must be 4-5 paragraphs long to show enough skill and evidence to score well for coherence and cohesion. The structure we suggest includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body 1
  • Body 2
  • Body 3 (optional)
  • Conclusion

Linking Words for Coherence and Cohesion

A quarter of your overall score depends on your ability to show cohesion across the essay. Linking words will help you to do this. The words in the table below provide a range of linking words with different functions for you to use in the task 2 essay.

To Order To Show Contrast To Provide Examples To Show A Result To Add More
Firstly, However, For example, As a result, In addition,
Lastly, Alternatively, For instance, Consequently, Additionally,
Finally, Nevertheless, such as Hence, Furthermore,
Although, in particular Thus, Moreover,
In contrast, specifically Therefore, Also,
On the other hand, especially so As well as,
In comparison, obviously For this reason, and
but clearly
despite namely

 

To Show Your Opinion To conclude
In my opinion, In conclusion,
I think that To summarise,
I believe that Overall,
I admit that
In my view,
I agree that
I disagree that
because
owing to
due to
since
as

Timings

If you use the first 5 minutes for planning, you will have 35 minutes to complete the writing task. I recommend using approximately 30 minutes of this time to write your essay and the remaining 5 minutes to check your work.

During this time, look specifically for spelling mistakes, misused words, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

Top Tips for Writing an Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

  • You must explore both sides of the issue – the advantages (the positives) and the disadvantages (the drawbacks).
  • Separate your arguments; one main body paragraph should focus on the advantages, and a separate main body paragraph should focus on the negatives.
  • Be sure to give clear points to support your arguments

Planning for the Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

You must take the time to plan for writing task 2. You will already have completed two full tests and writing task 1. Your brain is likely to be fatigued at this point, so you need to take a few minutes to ensure you respond correctly to the task, generate some ideas, and sequence the essay logically.

The plan does not need to be complicated. I recommend spending up to 5 minutes on this. You can use space on the question paper to write the plan.

The plan used for an advantages and disadvantages essay requires four paragraphs only; the introduction, main body paragraph (advantages), main body paragraph (disadvantages), and conclusion. We suggest the following format:

Introduction

State the issue of focus in the essay

Introduce that there are both advantages and disadvantages of this

Body 1: Advantages

Point: Introduce an advantage

Example/Elaboration: Provide an example/elaborate on its impact

Point: Introduce another advantage

Example/Elaboration: Provide an example/elaborate on its impact

Body 2

Point: Introduce a disadvantage

Example/Elaboration: Provide an example/elaborate on its impact

Point: Introduce a disadvantage

Example/Elaboration: Provide an example/elaborate on its impact

Conclusion

State whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or vice versa

Sample Question: Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

As China grows in size and economic stature, many people think that Mandarin will one day take over as the only language spoken in the world.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having one world language?

Model Plan: Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

Introduction

Mandarin could become the sole world language

Would help people communicate better across countries but also some drawbacks

Body 1: Advantages

Point: Every person in the world can communicate

Example/Elaboration: Open doors for people to travel more confidently globally

Point: Improved communication could help discussions between countries in conflict

Example/Elaboration: By discussing issues face to face, could see more resolutions

Body 2

Point: Countries will lose part of their unique culture

Example/Elaboration: Language is an integral part of the culture – losing it could take away the individuality of countries

Point: Losing part of our history

Example/Elaboration: Many languages have existed for millions of years

Conclusion

The disadvantages outweigh the advantages – allow countries to have their own identity

Model Answer: Solutions Essay

Many people think that as China becomes an increasingly powerful nation, and Mandarin becomes the predominant language for business activities in the world, other world languages may, one day, cease to exist. Having just one language spoken globally would certainly simplify communication across the globe, but there are some definite disadvantages of this happening.

On the one hand, a world with a single language would certainly simplify communication between people of different nations. It is evident that this would increase global connections and open doors for people to travel more confidently and comfortably globally. In addition, the ability of countries to communicate directly with one another would also be advantageous. Many conflicts exist between countries, and can often be caused by misunderstandings or poor relationships. With all countries speaking the same language, issues can be discussed and resolved face-to-face by world leaders.

On the other hand, there are some clear disadvantages to the use of just one global language. Firstly, there is the risk of countries losing their unique culture and identity. Language is a key component of cultural identity and, by taking it away, countries could lose their individuality. In this case, if all countries became too similar, there would be less desire for people to travel and the tourism industry could collapse. Furthermore, the range of languages spoken across the world has developed over hundreds of thousands of years. Specifying that just one language should be spoken globally eliminates an essential part of world history – the development of language in cultures around the world.

Overall, it is clear that, while there are substantial advantages to having a single world language, the risk of losing cultural identity outweighs this. Ensuring the continued individuality of nations is paramount to maintaining a rich world heritage for years to come.

Key Words and Phrases for the Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

  • Many people think that
  • Some people say that
  • there are clear advantages/disadvantages
  • On the one hand…
  • It is evident that…
  • In addition, …
  • On the other hand…
  • Firstly,
  • there is the risk of
  • benefit
  • risk
  • outweigh
  • Furthermore, …
  • Overall, …
  • it is clear that

Practice Test: Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

Many people are becoming vegans and are eating fewer or no animal products.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Practice Test: Model Plan

Introduction

Veganism is becoming increasingly popular as people better understand its health benefits

Are benefits and drawbacks

Body 1: Advantages

Point: Eating a plant-based diet is proven to be good for human health

Example/Elaboration: Doctors talk of its benefit and many stories of cancer patients overcoming disease

Point: Eating less meat also helps the environment

Example/Elaboration: Eating plant-based products means eating more local produce – fewer air miles

Body 2

Point: Difficult to get enough protein into the diet – animal products high in this

Example/Elaboration: Important to get enough protein for weight management and building muscle

Point: Less demand for meat = difficult for farmers

Example/Elaboration: Could put many farmers out of work

Conclusion

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages – farmers could focus on growing plant-based products to increase revenue

 Practice Test: Model Advantages and Disadvantages Essay

As plant-based diets become increasingly popular, people are consuming fewer animal products than ever before. While this has been proven to have numerous health benefits, there are also some clear disadvantages to this.

On the one hand, plant-based diets are scientifically proven to be beneficial to human health. Many scientists and doctors talk of its positive impact on the wellbeing of the human body, and there are stories of patients with life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, overcoming these through eliminating animal products from their diet. In addition, consuming less meat also helps the environment. Meat from countries such as the UK, Australia and the USA has often flown thousands of miles around the globe to reach consumers. However, plant-based products can be more locally sourced, reducing the carbon footprint of the food we consume.

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to the elimination of meat and other animal products from our diet. Firstly, it is challenging to obtain high levels of protein with little or no meat consumption. The human body requires a higher intake of protein for weight management and to build muscle and meat is naturally very high in protein, while vegetable products are low. Furthermore, a reduction in the demand for meat products will put a significant strain on farmers whose livelihoods rely on the purchase of such products. A continued decline in this demand could put many farmers out of work.

Overall, it is clear that, while there are disadvantages to less consumption of animal products, the advantages outweigh these. The benefits to the health of humans and the environment are key factors for moving towards a vegan diet. Rather than being forced out of work, farmers should focus on the growth and harvesting of the plant-based products that are becoming increasingly high in demand.

Writing Task 2: Opinion Essay

General Information

  • Write a formal essay.
  • Write at least 250 words.
  • The task is the same for both the General and the Academic Path. However, the topic of the essay question in the General Path is sometimes more straightforward than in the Academic Path.
  • Depending on the question, you will need to either provide and justify your opinion, discuss a topic, outline problems and provide possible solutions, or summarise key details.
  • The ideas you provide should be supported with clear reasons and examples based on your knowledge and experience.
  • Spend 40 minutes on this task.

Scoring of Writing Task 2

This writing task is worth two-thirds of the total marks for the writing test. There are four areas that you will be marked on in writing task 2, and each area is worth 25% of the overall mark for this task.

  • Task Response: This gives marks for your ideas, how well you address the topic, and the extent to which you develop ideas and form a conclusion.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This gives marks for the effective use of paragraphs, linking paragraphs and ideas, and referencing.
  • Lexical Resource: This gives marks for the range of vocabulary used, the inclusion of collocations, and accurate spelling.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This gives marks for the use of varied sentence structures, accurate tense, and accurate punctuation.

Structure of the Essay

The essay for task 2 must be 4-5 paragraphs long to show enough skill and evidence to score well for coherence and cohesion. The structure we suggest includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body 1
  • Body 2
  • Body 3 (optional)
  • Conclusion

Linking Words for Coherence and Cohesion

A quarter of your overall score depends on your ability to show cohesion across the essay. Linking words will help you to do this. The words in the table below provide a range of linking words with different functions for you to use in the task 2 essay.

To Order To Show Contrast To Provide Examples To Show A Result To Add More
Firstly, However, For example, As a result, In addition,
Lastly, Alternatively, For instance, Consequently, Additionally,
Finally, Nevertheless, such as Hence, Furthermore,
Although, in particular Thus, Moreover,
In contrast, specifically Therefore, Also,
On the other hand, especially so As well as,
In comparison, obviously For this reason, and
but clearly
despite namely

 

To Show Your Opinion To conclude
In my opinion, In conclusion,
I think that To summarise,
I believe that Overall,
I admit that
In my view,
I agree that
I disagree that
because
owing to
due to
since
as

Timings

If you use the first 5 minutes for planning, you will have 35 minutes to complete the writing task. I recommend using approximately 30 minutes of this time to write your essay and the remaining 5 minutes to check your work.

During this time, look specifically for spelling mistakes, misused words, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

Top Tips for Writing an Opinion Essay

  • The opinion essay question will ask at the end: ‘To what extent do you agree?’. Begin by deciding whether you agree or disagree.
  • Give your opinion and make sure that it is clear to the examiner.
  • Keep to the same opinion throughout the essay – there is no need to explore the ‘other side.’
  • Make sure the essay stays on topic and answers the question.

Planning for the Opinion Essay

You must take the time to plan for writing task 2. You will already have completed two full tests (reading and listening) and writing task 1. Your brain is likely to be fatigued at this point, so you need to take a few minutes to ensure you respond correctly to the task, generate some ideas, and sequence the essay logically.

The plan does not need to be complicated. I recommend spending up to 5 minutes on this. You can use space on the question paper to write the plan. Try using a format like this:

Introduction

State the issue/topic to be discussed in the essay & if you agree or disagree

Body 1

Point: Clearly state the point you are making in this paragraph

Example: Provide an example to support the point

Elaboration: Elaborate on the point, e.g. explaining its impact

Body 2

Point: Clearly state the point you are making in this paragraph

Example: Provide an example to support the point

Elaboration: Elaborate on the point, e.g. explaining its impact

Body 3 (optional)

Point: Clearly state the point you are making in this paragraph

Example: Provide an example to support the point

Elaboration: Elaborate on the point, e.g. explaining its impact

Conclusion

Restate the two/three main points made in the body of the essay

Sample Question: Opinion Essay

In many countries around the world, an increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of eating foods containing high levels of sugar. It is, therefore, necessary for governments to impose a higher tax on this kind of food.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Model Plan: Opinion Essay

Introduction

State the issue/topic to be discussed in the essay & if you agree or disagree

Governments should raise the tax on high sugar food to combat the number of health issues caused by eating sugary foods.

Body 1

Point: Firstly, higher prices, fewer people will buy

Example: fruit and vegetables more expensive than sugary sweets currently

Elaboration: people on a budget can’t afford healthy alternatives – switch taxes

Body 2

Point: Finally, more money from the tax can go to hospitals to help people

Example: by increasing by just a little, that’s millions of more pounds to the hospitals

Elaboration: with more money, hospitals can use the money for initiatives to stop sugar addiction

Conclusion

Restate the two or three main points made in the essay

In conclusion, / To sum up, / Overall, I believe that it is necessary to raise the tax on sugary foods so that:

–          People buy and consume less sweet treats

–          Hospitals receive more money to treat patients

Model Answer: Opinion Essay

In the past few decades, highly processed, sugary foods have become a staple part of the diet of many people around the world. Without a doubt, this has contributed to the rise in cases of diabetes, high cholesterol, heart issues, and respiratory problems. It has been suggested that governments should increase the tax on high-sugar products to combat this, and I agree that this would have a significant impact on improving this situation.

By inflating the price of sugary foods, they will become less accessible to the masses. Currently, cheap, sugary foods are affordable products for those from lower-income families. In fact, statistics show that lower socio-economic groups consume five times the amount of high-sugar foods in comparison to wealthier people. In contrast, healthier produce, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, has a higher price point. If the government increased the tax on sugary treats, then the additional money could be used to subsidise the cost of fruit and vegetables to make healthier foods more accessible to the masses.

In addition, the money made from increased taxes on these unhealthy, processed foods could be allocated to the health system to improve treatment for illnesses caused by these foods and prevent this ‘sugar epidemic’ from worsening. By increasing the tax of sugary products by just 10p, millions of pounds could be invested in further research. Through a focus on preventative measures, such as improved education on the negative effect of these foods on the human body, fewer people would require treatment down the line.

In conclusion, I believe that it is necessary to raise the tax on sugary foods. If the government were to implement this change, fewer people would buy and consume sweet treats, and hospitals would be in a better financial situation to both treat patients and educate society on eating for good health.

 

Key Words and Phrases for the Opinion Essay

  • without a doubt
  • has contributed to
  • rise/increase/incline
  • fall/decrease/decline
  • It has been suggested that
  • significant/insignificant
  • impact on
  • improving/worsening the situation
  • Currently, …
  • In fact…
  • Statistics show that…
  • in comparison to
  • If…then…
  • By increasing/improving/changing…
  • negative effect/positive effect
  • less people/more people
  • I believe that…
  • it is necessary to

Practice Test: Opinion Essay

In many countries around the world, an increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of poor air quality caused by pollution. It is, therefore, necessary for governments to impose a higher tax on vehicles.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Practice Test: Model Plan

Introduction

State the issue/topic to be discussed in the essay

Should governments raise the tax on vehicles to combat the number of health issues caused by air pollution?

Body 1

Point: Firstly, higher prices, fewer people will buy

Example: cheaper to use public transport than buy a car

Elaboration: fewer vehicles on the road = less pollution

Body 2

Point: tax could be used to invest in solutions for the air quality problem

Example: turbines to keep air cleaner in towns and cities

Elaboration: focus on the solution to the lifestyle choice of driving

Conclusion

Restate the two or three main points made in the essay

In conclusion, / To sum up, / Overall, I believe that it is necessary to raise the tax on vehicles so that:

–          There are fewer vehicles creating pollution

–          There are improved systems to keep the air clean in highly populated areas

Practice Test: Model Opinion Essay

In the past 100 years, cars and other vehicles have become increasingly accessible and affordable. As a result of this, the number of vehicles on the roads is increasing year by year. Unfortunately, a key impact of this is the decline in the quality and freshness of the air in highly populated areas, due to increased fumes emitted from cars, lorries, trains, and planes. It has been suggested that governments should increase the tax on vehicles to combat this, and I agree that this would have a significant impact on improving this situation.

By inflating the price of vehicles, there will be a decrease in the number of vehicle sales. Currently, cars are a cheap and affordable product for those from various socio-economic backgrounds due to the range in car ages, models, and prices. If the cost of cars were to increase, those from lower-income families would be less likely to purchase a vehicle and, as a result, would use the public transport options available. Therefore, the number of cars being used and producing deadly fumes would be significantly lowered.

In addition, the money made from increased taxes on these vehicles could be invested in machinery or other solutions to improve the air quality in different regions. For example, turbines to clean the air could be installed in larger towns and cities with air quality issues to recycle and freshen the air. Additionally, this would allow people to retain the right to drive. Instead, it focuses on managing the pollution itself, instead of attempting to alter the mindset and lifestyle preferences of a global society.

In conclusion, I believe that it is necessary to raise the tax on vehicles to improve air pollution in populated areas. If the government were to implement this change, it is likely that fewer vehicles would be purchased and, therefore, less pollution would be emitted. Furthermore, investing additional tax income into technological developments allows the government to take a proactive approach to improve air quality levels.

Writing Task 2: Solutions Essay


General Information

  • Write a formal essay.
  • Write at least 250 words.
  • The task is the same for both the General and the Academic Path. However, the topic of the essay question in the General Path is sometimes more straightforward than in the Academic Path.
  • Depending on the question, you will need to either provide and justify your opinion, discuss a topic, outline problems and provide possible solutions, or summarise key details.
  • The ideas you provide should be supported with clear reasons and examples based on your knowledge and experience.
  • Spend 40 minutes on this task.

Scoring of Writing Task 2

This writing task is worth two-thirds of the total marks for the writing test. There are four areas that you will be marked on in writing task 2, and each area is worth 25% of the overall mark for this task.

  • Task Response: This gives marks for your ideas, how well you address the topic, and the extent to which you develop ideas and form a conclusion.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This gives marks for the effective use of paragraphs, linking paragraphs and ideas, and referencing.
  • Lexical Resource: This gives marks for the range of vocabulary used, the inclusion of collocations, and accurate spelling.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This gives marks for the use of varied sentence structures, accurate tense, and accurate punctuation.

Structure of the Essay

The essay for task 2 must be 4-5 paragraphs long to show enough skill and evidence to score well for coherence and cohesion. The structure we suggest includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body 1
  • Body 2
  • Body 3 (optional)
  • Conclusion

Linking Words for Coherence and Cohesion

A quarter of your overall score depends on your ability to show cohesion across the essay. Linking words will help you to do this. The words in the table below provide a range of linking words with different functions for you to use in the task 2 essay.

To Order To Show Contrast To Provide Examples To Show A Result To Add More
Firstly, However, For example, As a result, In addition,
Lastly, Alternatively, For instance, Consequently, Additionally,
Finally, Nevertheless, such as Hence, Furthermore,
Although, in particular Thus, Moreover,
In contrast, specifically Therefore, Also,
On the other hand, especially so As well as,
In comparison, obviously For this reason, and
but clearly
despite namely

 

To Show Your Opinion To conclude
In my opinion, In conclusion,
I think that To summarise,
I believe that Overall,
I admit that
In my view,
I agree that
I disagree that
because
owing to
due to
since
as

Timings

If you use the first 5 minutes for planning, you will have 35 minutes to complete the writing task. I recommend using approximately 30 minutes of this time to write your essay and the remaining 5 minutes to check your work. During this time, look specifically for spelling mistakes, misused words, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

IELTS Writing Task 2 General & Academic Path: Solutions Essay

Top Tips for Writing a Solutions Essay

  • The solutions essay question will either ask you to provide solutions OR provide both causes and solutions.
  • If you are asked only to provide solutions, plan for 2-3 body paragraphs with each paragraph focusing on a different solution.
  • If you are asked to provide both causes and solutions, plan for one body paragraph to discuss the causes and one body paragraph to discuss the solutions.
  • Use the language of cause and effect (see below)

Language of Cause and Effect

  • for this reason
  • because
  • so
  • as
  • as a result
  • thus
  • hence
  • therefore
  • consequently
  • since
  • because of this
  • unless
  • that being so
  • in that case
  • if…then

Planning for the Solutions Essay

You must take the time to plan for writing task 2. You will already have completed two full tests and writing task 1. Your brain is likely to be fatigued at this point, so you need to take a few minutes to ensure you respond correctly to the task, generate some ideas, and sequence the essay logically.

The plan does not need to be complicated. I recommend spending up to 5 minutes on this. You can use space on the question paper to write the plan.

The plan used for a solutions essay depends on whether you are being asked to write about the solutions only or the causes and solutions. Use one of the two formats below, depending on the type of question.

Solutions only:

Introduction

State the issue for discussion in the essay

Introduce the number of solutions that will be presented

Body 1

Point: Introduce one solution

Example: Provide an example of this solution

Elaboration: Elaborate on the solution, e.g. explain its impact

Body 2

Point: Introduce another solution

Example: Provide an example of this solution

Elaboration: Elaborate on the solution, e.g. explain its impact

Body 3 (optional)

Point: Introduce another solution

Example: Provide an example of this solution

Elaboration: Elaborate on the solution, e.g. explain its impact

Conclusion

Restate the solutions and the main impact of their implementation

Cause and Solutions:

Introduction

State the issue for discussion in the essay

Introduce the two causes and two solutions that will be presented

Body 1

Point: Introduce the main cause of the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Point: Introduce another key cause of the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Body 2

Point: Introduce the main solution to the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Point: Introduce another key solution to the problem

Elaborate: Provide an example or discuss the impact of this

Conclusion

Restate the key solutions and impact of their implementation

Sample Question: Solutions Essay

An increasing number of animals are endangered or becoming extinct. What are the reasons for this? What could be done to solve the problem?

Model Plan: Solutions Essay (Cause and Solutions)

Introduction

A growing number of animals are at risk of extinction or are endangered.

Two causes: the destruction of animal homes & global warming

Two solutions: governments – illegal to destroy animal homes & fewer carbon emissions

Body 1

Point: the destruction of animal homes

Elaborate: rainforests being cut down, less space and food for animals living there

Point: global warming

Elaborate: ice melting in the arctic – affecting polar bears – starving

Body 2

Point: governments make it illegal to destroy animal homes

Elaborate: limit resources that humans are allowed to use

Point: reduce carbon emissions

Elaborate: making electric cars compulsory

Conclusion

Laws to protect animal homes and to enforce rules regarding human behaviour

 Model Answer: Solutions Essay

In today’s world, a growing number of animals are endangered or are at risk of extinction. This is mainly due to the destruction of animal homes and the impact of global warming on the environment. There are two key solutions to the problem that governments could implement to reduce the continued danger to at-risk animal species.

Firstly, the main reason for animals being endangered is due to the destruction of their habitat. The Amazon rainforest, for example, is rapidly decreasing in size due to the cutting down of its trees, known as ‘logging.’ As a result, animals inhabiting the rainforest have less space to live and less food to eat, and many of these animals are starving to death. In addition, global warming also has a significant impact. The high levels of carbon emissions produced by humans have caused global warming to become a serious environmental issue, and this is affecting the animal population. Polar bears in the Arctic, as an example, are starving to death. This is due to the warming of the climate in the region that is melting the polar ice caps.

However, there are two main solutions to the issue of endangered animal species. One way to improve this situation is for governments to make it illegal for companies or individuals to destroy animal homes. This will limit the access of humans to the Earth’s resources and, therefore, support humans and animals to co-exist on Earth more effectively. The responsibility for the second solution also lies with governments. If electric cars are made compulsory in every country around the world and gas-guzzling petrol cars are banned, there will be a notable reduction in carbon emissions. This, in turn, should slow down the effects of global warming in some of the world’s most at-risk regions.

In conclusion, to eradicate the endangerment of animals, laws must be put in place to more strictly control human behaviour. By protecting animal homes and reducing carbon emissions, the negative impact of humans on the survival of animals will significantly reduce.

Key Words and Phrases for the Solutions Essay

  • In today’s world
  • This is mainly due to…
  • the impact of
  • There are … key causes / solutions
  • There are … main causes / solutions
  • the main reason for …
  • due to
  • for example
  • as a result
  • in addition
  • significant impact/effect
  • negative impact/effect
  • has/have caused
  • as an example
  • However, …
  • There are two effective solutions
  • One way to improve the situation is…
  • This will…
  • If…
  • This, in turn, should…

Practice Test: Solutions Essay

Many doctors trained in less developed areas of the world are leaving their home countries to work in more developed countries. What are the reasons for this? What problems could this cause?

Practice Test: Model Plan

Introduction

Many doctors who have trained in less developed countries are leaving once trained to work in more developed areas

Two problems: less trained professionals to treat patients – poorer health & less educated professionals to train future doctors – lack of growth

Two solutions: improved pay & conditions in home countries & exchange programme

Body 1

Point: less trained professionals to treat patients

Elaborate: less access to treatment – poorer health of people in the region

Point: less trained professional to train more doctors

Elaborate: lack of growth in numbers of those available to treat patients

Body 2

Point: improved pay & conditions in home countries

Elaborate: people move for this so give it in the home country

Point: exchange programmes

Elaborate: the agreement between govt

Conclusion

Governments must provide good working conditions and links across countries

 Practice Test: Model Solutions Essay

In today’s world, many trained medical professionals from poorer countries seek to work abroad in more developed nations on completion of their training. This is having a negative impact on the health systems in these doctors’ home countries. However, there are two key solutions to this problem that governments could implement to reduce the difficulties faced.

Firstly, one of the main problems with doctors relocating after their training is that there are less trained professionals available to treat patients in the home country. With reduced access to medical care, health problems in the region are likely to increase. As a result, the health system of that country is put under immense strain. In addition, if there is a lack of medical professionals to treat patients, there will also be a lack of professionals available to provide training for future health professionals. This could result in training programmes becoming unavailable or the provision of inadequate training.

However, there are two main solutions to the issue of a lack of health professionals in developing countries. One way to improve this situation is for the working conditions of doctors in these countries to be improved. Doctors are likely leaving to work in more developed areas due to the increased pay, improved facilities, and opportunities for promotion available. If these conditions are offered in the home country, then it may reduce the number of professionals migrating. Alternatively, developing countries could start an exchange programme with more developed countries. For example, if a doctor left Kenya to work in England for one year, the English government would be required to send an English doctor to work in Kenya for that same amount of time.

In conclusion, to reduce the impact on people in developing countries when trained medical professionals leave to work abroad, the government of developing countries must put in place contingency plans. This could involve providing improved working conditions in the home country of the doctors or building links with more developed countries.

Writing Task 2: Discussion Essay

General Information

  • Write a formal essay.
  • Write at least 250 words.
  • The task is the same for both the General and the Academic Path. However, the topic of the essay question in the General Path is sometimes more straightforward than in the Academic Path.
  • Depending on the question, you will need to either provide and justify your opinion, discuss a topic, outline problems and provide possible solutions, or summarise key details.
  • The ideas you provide should be supported with clear reasons and examples based on your knowledge and experience.
  • Spend 40 minutes on this task.

Scoring of Writing Task 2

This writing task is worth two-thirds of the total marks for the writing test. There are four areas that you will be marked on in writing task 2, and each area is worth 25% of the overall mark for this task.

  • Task Response: This gives marks for your ideas, how well you address the topic, and the extent to which you develop ideas and form a conclusion.
  • Coherence and Cohesion: This gives marks for the effective use of paragraphs, linking paragraphs and ideas, and referencing.
  • Lexical Resource: This gives marks for the range of vocabulary used, the inclusion of collocations, and accurate spelling.
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: This gives marks for the use of varied sentence structures, accurate tense, and accurate punctuation.

Structure of the Essay

The essay for task 2 must be 4-5 paragraphs long to show enough skill and evidence to score well for coherence and cohesion. The structure we suggest includes:

  • Introduction
  • Body 1
  • Body 2
  • Body 3 (optional)
  • Conclusion

Linking Words for Coherence and Cohesion

A quarter of your overall score depends on your ability to show cohesion across the essay. Linking words will help you to do this. The words in the table below provide a range of linking words with different functions for you to use in the task 2 essay.

To Order To Show Contrast To Provide Examples To Show A Result To Add More
Firstly, However, For example, As a result, In addition,
Lastly, Alternatively, For instance, Consequently, Additionally,
Finally, Nevertheless, such as Hence, Furthermore,
Although, in particular Thus, Moreover,
In contrast, specifically Therefore, Also,
On the other hand, especially so As well as,
In comparison, obviously For this reason, and
but clearly
despite namely

 

To Show Your Opinion To conclude
In my opinion, In conclusion,
I think that To summarise,
I believe that Overall,
I admit that
In my view,
I agree that
I disagree that
because
owing to
due to
since
as

Timings

If you use the first 5 minutes for planning, you will have 35 minutes to complete the writing task. I recommend using approximately 30 minutes of this time to write your essay and the remaining 5 minutes to check your work. During this time, look specifically for spelling mistakes, misused words, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes.

 

Top Tips for Writing a Discussion Essay

  • The discussion essay question will likely say at the end: ‘Discuss both sides.’
  • This means you must explore both sides of the argument, giving arguments for and against the topic.
  • Find points to support both sides of the argument.
  • If the task ends saying ‘Discuss both sides and give your own opinion’, you must also state what you think.

Planning for the Discussion Essay

You must take the time to plan for writing task 2. You will already have completed two full tests and writing task 1. Your brain is likely to be fatigued at this point, so you need to take a few minutes to ensure you respond correctly to the task, generate some ideas, and sequence the essay logically.

The plan does not need to be complicated. I recommend spending up to 5 minutes for this. You can use space on the question paper to write the plan. Try using a format like this:

Introduction

Introduce the two sides of the argument.

Introduce your own opinion (only if the task states ‘Discuss both sides and give your own opinion’).

Body 1

Point: Introduce one argument

Example: Provide an example to support this side of the argument

Elaboration: Elaborate on the point, e.g. explaining its impact

Body 2

Point: Introduce the other side of the argument

Example: Provide an example to support this side of the argument

Elaboration: Elaborate on the point, e.g. explaining its impact

Body 3 (only if asked to discuss your opinion)

Point: Clearly state which side you most agree with

Example: Provide an example to support your argument

Elaboration: Elaborate on the point, e.g. explaining its impact

Conclusion

Based on the two sides of the argument (and your opinion if asked), what do you conclude about this issue?

Sample Question: Discussion Essay

Many people believe that it is the responsibility of more developed countries to combat climate change. Other people think that all countries have equal responsibility for the protection of the environment.

Discuss both sides, and give your opinion.

Model Plan: Discussion Essay

Introduction

Three arguments:

1.       Responsibility of developed countries to combat climate change

2.       All countries have an equal responsibility to combat climate change

3.       I believe that developed countries should provide more money and resources, but it is the individual responsibility of all people to combat climate change.

Body 1

Point: Responsibility of developed countries to combat climate change

Example: More money, resources, and technology to help the fight

Elaboration: More modern technology, e.g. electric cars, will help to reduce pollution causing climate change

Body 2

Point: All countries have an equal responsibility to combat climate change

Example: If only some people or countries care about climate change and alter their ways, there will still be ongoing damage to the environment

Elaboration: Small changes by every single person could have a big impact

Body 3 (only if asked to discuss your opinion)

Point: I believe that developed countries should provide more money and resources, but it is the individual responsibility of all people to combat climate change

Example: Developed countries could lead and share with less developed countries, e.g. wind turbine technology – safer energy

Elaboration: By working together, changes can spread across the world

Conclusion

Developed countries should lead and fund initiatives and technology to combat climate change, but it is the responsibility of every person, country, and government to implement changes.

Model Answer: Discussion Essay

It is considered by some to be the responsibility of developed countries to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change, while others believe that the responsibility is shared equally across all nations of the world. In my opinion, I believe that whilst more developed countries should provide additional money and resources to the battle against climate change, it is still the responsibility of every single human being inhabiting Earth.

On the one hand, developed countries tend to have access to additional funds, more advanced technologies, and more opportunities for further research. For those reasons, many people believe that such countries should accept the responsibility for combatting climate change.

In other words, advances in technology, such as the development of the electric-powered car, should be developed by the leading countries of the world and shared with their less-developed counterparts. Thus, the impact of these new technologies would be global.

On the other hand, people have said that it is the responsibility of every country, equally, to reduce its emissions and stop climate change. If only a portion of nations, or people within a country, make changes to impact climate change positively, there will still be countries and people causing ongoing damage to the environment. In fact, small changes made by every person and state could have a significant impact on climate change.

Finally, in my opinion, I believe that whilst developed countries should provide more money and resources to combat climate change, the problem remains the responsibility of every single country in the world.

For example, developed countries should share advanced technology to reduce carbon emissions. The responsibility then lies with the lesser developed countries to implement this technology effectively. As a result of working together in this way, the positive effect on the reduction of emissions will reach a global scale.

In conclusion, reducing climate change is the responsibility of every single country, government, and person. To truly fight against it, developed countries must work alongside lesser developed countries. Through the sharing of resources, technological advances, and money, the positive impact of changes brought about in more developed countries can have a global impact.

IELTS Writing Task 2 General & Academic Path: Discussion Essay

Key Words and Phrases for the Discussion Essay

  • It is considered
  • others believe that
  • In my opinion, …
  • I believe that…
  • people have claimed that
  • For these reasons, …
  • Many people believe that …
  • In other words, …
  • …such as…
  • People have said that …
  • If … then …
  • In fact …
  • …whilst…
  • …while…
  • For example, …
  • As a result of …
  • positively/negatively impact
  • increase
  • decrease/reduce

Practice Test: Discussion Essay

Some people say that the Internet has brought people around the world closer together, while others believe that the Internet has made people more isolated.

Discuss both sides, and give your opinion.

Practice Test: Model Plan

Introduction

Three arguments:

1.       The Internet has brought people around the world closer together.

2.       The Internet has made people more isolated.

3.       I believe that the Internet has provided an opportunity for a global community.

Body 1

Point: The Internet has brought people around the world closer together

Example: Able to speak more easily with anyone, anywhere in the world, e.g. skype, facetime

Elaboration: Living in different countries no longer means separation or distance from family and friends

Body 2

Point: The Internet has made people more isolated.

Example: Advancement in e.g. computer games means some young people spend long periods in isolation

Elaboration: Without such games, these young people would spend more time socialising

Body 3 (only if asked to discuss your opinion)

Point: I believe that the Internet has provided an opportunity for a global community

Example: computer games allow friendships across countries

Elaboration: Maybe better for those less comfortable with face to face interaction

Conclusion

The Internet has created a global community – communicate and build friendships across countries

Practice Test: Model Discussion Essay

The Internet is considered by some people to have brought people in the world closer together, while others believe that it has had the opposite effect, and humans are now more isolated than ever. In my opinion, I believe that whilst the Internet may have isolated a minority of individuals, it has also provided the opportunity for a global community to exist on Earth.

On the one hand, the Internet has certainly brought people around the world closer together. Through the use of global communication tools, such as Skype and Facetime, it is now possible to speak with anyone anywhere in the world where there is internet access. Due to this, families and friends living in different countries, or even continents, can keep well connected, and the separation that they may once have felt is no longer present.

On the other hand, people have claimed that the Internet has made people more isolated. Advancement in certain areas of the Internet may have resulted in some individuals becoming more isolated. For example, young people who become addicted to playing online computer games can spend hours at a time playing in isolation. As a result of this, these teenagers spend less time socialising with their friends and developing their real relationships with other people.

However, it is my opinion that, despite bringing increased isolation to a minority group, the Internet has indeed allowed the world to develop a global community. In fact, even those young people playing computer games often develop close ‘online’ relationships with other players around the world. For some individuals, this lack of face-to-face interaction may make it easier to build and sustain relationships.

In conclusion, it is clear that the Internet has opened doors to communication across the world. It has broken down the barriers of countries and continents to provide a platform for communication and friendships to exist globally.

Writing Task 1 Academic Path: Pie Charts

General Information

  • Respond to a bar chart, pie chart, line graph, table, map or flowchart
  • Write at least 150 words
  • Select and report on the main features
  • For charts/graphs/tables, describe the data and compare it, reporting any significant results or trends that you notice
  • For flowcharts, describe the process of how the thing works/is done
  • Spend no more than 20 minutes on this task

Structure of the Essay

Paragraph 1: Opening (approximately 40-60 words)

Describe what the graph/chart/flowchart is showing or describing without copying the wording in the question.

Paragraph 2: Main Body (approximately 100-130 words)

Highlight the key information. Support points with examples or numbers from the data. There is no need to speculate or provide your own opinion on the data.

Paragraph 3: Conclusion (approximately 30-50 words)

Summarise the most important points from the data.

Sample Question: Pie Charts

The pie charts below show the most common advantages and disadvantages of visiting London, according to a survey of recent visitors.

Summarise the information by deciding on and exploring its main features, and make any relevant comparison.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Path: Pie Charts

Model Answer: Pie Charts

These two pie charts show information regarding the aspects of London that visiting tourists most like and dislike. The advantages include the range of entertainment and cultural options available, the quality of the food and friendliness of the people. In contrast, poor weather, the high costs in London and poor public transport are listed amongst the key disadvantages.

It appears that 50% of visitors are attracted to and impressed by the culture of London. This compares to just 12% of people who visit the capital for its high quality of food. Almost a quarter of all visitors see the range of entertainment options as one of London’s greatest advantages, whilst a small number are attracted to London for the friendliness of its people.

On the other hand, cold weather is a key disadvantage for approximately a quarter of all visitors. A similar number of visitors seemed put off by the high cost of hotels. Surprisingly, a much small number of visitors identified poor public transport as the main disadvantage, with the clear majority identifying high costs incurred as London’s most unimpressive feature.

Overall, it appears that most visitors to London enjoy the vast range of cultural activities available. However, its historical value may play a role in the heightened prices in the city, making it a pricey destination for visitors.

Key Words and Phrases

  • These two pie charts chart shows information regarding…
  • most like/ most dislike
  • It appears that…
  • almost ___% / almost a quarter / almost a half
  • just under ___% / just under a quarter / just under a half
  • over ___% / over a quarter / over a half
  • This compares to…
  • greatest advantage / greatest disadvantage
  • small percentage / small fraction / large percentage / large fraction
  • On the other hand…
  • …make up ___% of the total
  • the other ___%
  • Surprisingly…
  • Interestingly…
  • Overall, it is clear that…
  • Overall, it appears that…
  • However…

Practice Test: Pie Chart

These charts show the results of a survey about what children and adults say makes them most happy.

Summarise the information by deciding on and exploring its main features, and make any relevant comparison.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Path: Pie Charts

Practice Test: Sample Answer

These two pie charts show information regarding things that make adults and children happy. Two groups, one formed of children and the other form of adults, were asked whether eating sweets, being with friends, watching TV and movies or participating in their favourite hobbies made them most happy.

It appears that just under 50% of adults are made happiest by their hobbies. This compares to around just 15% of children. Over a quarter of adults feel happiness when spending time with their friends.

A smaller percentage of children selected being with friends as their top activity for happiness, although this was still chosen by around 25% of the whole group. The activity that made the least number of adults the happiest was eating sweets.

Unsurprisingly, this was the most popular answer for children with over a third of children claiming the eating of sweets made them happiest. One similarity between the two sets of data is for watching TV and movies.

A small number of both adults and children selected this activity represented by similar-sized pieces on the chart.

Overall, it appears that there are some vast differences between what makes children and adults happy. While being with friends is of moderate importance to both groups, adults would prioritise engaging in their hobbies for happiness, whilst children would prioritise a sugar rush.

Writing Task 1 Academic Path: Line Graphs

General Information

  • Respond to a bar chart, pie chart, line graph, table, map or flowchart
  • Write at least 150 words
  • Select and report on the main features
  • For charts/graphs/tables, describe the data and compare it, reporting any significant results or trends that you notice
  • For flowcharts, describe the process of how the thing works/is done
  • Spend no more than 20 minutes on this task

Structure of the Essay

Paragraph 1: Opening (approximately 40-60 words)

Describe what the graph/chart/flowchart is showing or describing without copying the wording in the question.

Paragraph 2: Main Body (approximately 100-170 words)

Highlight the key information. Support points with examples or numbers from the data. There is no need to speculate or provide your own opinion on the data.

Paragraph 3: Conclusion (approximately 30-50 words)

Summarise the most important points from the data.

Sample Question: Line Graphs

The line graph below shows the relative price changes for fruit juice, fruit cordial, and carbonated drinks between 1990 and 2016.

Summarise the information by deciding on and exploring its main features, and make any relevant comparison.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Path: Line Graphs

Model Answer: Line Graphs

This graph shows increases and decreases in the price of fruit juice, fruit cordial, and carbonated drinks in the UK for over 26 years between 1990 and 2016. The graph also shows the consumer price index to show the fluctuation of costs during this time.

While the consumer price index shows a steady rise over the time period, the same cannot be said for the price of any of the drinks represented on the graph.

The cost of fruit juice appears to have increased at a much higher rate than the other drink products and the consumer price index, despite some fluctuations, noticeably the slower increase in price from 2007 to 2012.

The price of fruit cordial initially rose at a similar rate to that of fruit juice, although at a lower cost. A sharp rise in the cost of cordial in 2006 put it at a higher price than fruit juice for the first time, before a dramatic decline brought its price down in 2007. Its price by 2016 sat below that of the consumer price index.

Carbonated drinks, on the other hand, have remained at a much lower price than the consumer price index and the cost of the other beverages throughout the whole 26 year period. Despite some more dramatic price inflation in the early 2000s, its price has been consistently low.

Overall, it is clear that fruit juice has been an expensive choice for consumers since the 1990s, whereas carbonated drink products offer a cheaper alternative to shoppers on a budget.

Key Words and Phrases

  • This graph shows…
  • increase / decrease / reduction
  • sharp rise / incline / increase / decline / decrease / reduction
  • dramatic rise / incline / increase / decline / decrease / reduction
  • steady rise / incline / increase / decline / decrease / reduction
  • faster/ slower than
  • higher / lower than
  • significant / insignificant
  • similar / same / different rate than…
  • on the other hand
  • consistently / inconsistently
  • in contrast
  • Overall it is clear that…
  • whereas/ in contrast to / while

Practice Test: Line Graph

The line graph below shows population figures for France, Germany, and Spain since the year 1900.

Summarise the information by deciding on and exploring its main features, and make any relevant comparison.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic Path: Line Graphs

Practice Test: Sample Answer

This graph shows increases and decreases in the population of three European countries, France, Germany, and Spain, in ten-year intervals between 1900 and 2010.

The graph clearly shows that Germany has the largest population, followed by France and then Spain. At its peak, the population of Germany reached approximately 80 million, whilst the peak for France sits around 63 million, and Spain tops out at about 40 million. Germany experienced its most significant growth between 1900 and 1910 and 1930 to 1940.

The population of all three countries has grown throughout the 110 years. The population of France shows the most steady rise, despite on sharp increase between 1920 and 1930 followed by a sharp decline. France also saw a dramatic increase between 2000 and 2010, a sudden surge in population that was also seen in the Spanish population.

The population of Spain was slow to grow from 1900 to 1950. Since the 1950s, its population has shown significant incline decade upon decade. The sharpest increase in population from 1900 to 2010 has been seen in Spain, with the population rising from a mere 10 million to approximately 40 million.

Overall, it is clear that Germany has maintained the largest population of the course of time between 1900 and 2010. However, the Spanish population is rising at a fast rate and could take over from France and Germany in the years to come.