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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
owing to
due to


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:


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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