IDENTIFYING THE TYPE OF IELTS ESSAY –
Recognizing the topic is not so difficult but knowing how to approach the essay can be more complicated. Luckily, there are only three main essay types, but it is essential to become familiar with all three and the different ways you are told what to do. Be careful: if the wrong essay is written a lower grade will automatically be given.
The three types are:
- Agree or disagree with a stated opinion
- Present the advantages and disadvantages of a stated situation /issue
- Provide possible effects and solutions to a particular problem
Look at some typical Task 2 instructions seen in the I ELTS test and decide which essay type they are: A, B or C.
- What do you think are the effects of global warming? What solutions can you suggest?
- Many are of the opinion that television is an important medium for imparting useful information. Others, however, disagree and think that more control over what young people see should be imposed. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a gap year?
Notice that some instructions are inferred. That is to say, if the Task 2 statement is an opinion, but no instructions follow, the essay type is Agree/Disagree. For instance:
“Many Western countries are facing a serious decrease in population levels which will seriously affect their economy in the future. Governments should, therefore, offer incentives to encourage couples to have more children.”
This type of essay is sometimes mistaken for a problem/solution essay, but the difference here is that one solution to declining population figures has already been given as an opinion. This opinion becomes the focus of the essay. and you must agree or disagree with it. You are not asked to offer alternative solutions.
It is better to focus on one side of the argument rather than be somewhere in the middle. Even experienced writers can end up arguing against themselves if they decide to sit on the fence. Therefore. 100% agree or 100% disagree and confirm this in the introduction by stating that. for instance. ‘I completely agree that …:
1 – O
2 – A
3 – B
MATCH WITH THE TYPES OF PARAGRAPH
Match the sample sentences below with the introduction. main body or conclusion and decide which type of essay they are probably from. Write:
A if it is Agree / Disagree
B if it is Advantage / Disadvantage.
C if it is a Problem / Solution
- As a result. more attention has been paid to the benefits and drawbacks of developing zoos as a means to protect them. 2.1n conclusion, although there are obvious drawbacks to studying overseas. there are more benefits.
- The government should begin to develop better methods of controlling the damage brought about by large increases in tourism.
- Finally, the chance to learn social skills with both sexes also helps strengthen my conviction that mixed schools are the preferred environment for students.
- Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. many people still feel that capital punishment is an effective way of reducing the number of offenders.
How many sentences do you think you need to write a 250-word essay?
The exact structure of your essay will depend on the instructions given to you. These instructions must be followed closely. or you risk ending with a lower grade than you deserve. Typically you will read:
Agree – Disagree Essay Do you agree or disagree? / Discuss both sides and then give your opinion.
Advantage – Disadvantage Essay Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and then give your own opinion. / Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Problem – Solution Essay What are the problems associated with this. and what are some of the solutions? Answer
- B – INTRODUCTION
- B – CONCLUSION
- C – MAIN BODY OR A – INTRODUCTION
4.A – CONCLUSION 5.A – INTRODUCTION
You should need approximately 12 to 15 sentences for a 250 – word essay.
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