Understanding IELTS WRITING –
What is IELTS Writing Task 2?
In the IELTS Writing Task 2. you are given a topic which consists of a stated fact or someone’s opinion and a question. You have to write an essay addressing this question based on the given topic. in a minimum of 250 words in around 40 minutes time.
You need to take a clear stand/position regarding the topic and develop appropriate ideas which support your position. You have to do this using the relevant explanation and examples.
A typical Task 2 question looks like this:
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Obesity is a major problem prevailed among modern children. What are its causes and what solution can be offered?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.
It informs you about the time you should devote to this task, the minimum number of words required to be written and most importantly the topic and the question you are needed to answer.
Understanding the question –
Once you have read the instructions, you have to read and understand the question asked of you. It is easy to recognise the question if you are able to understand the relation between the stated fact/opinion and the question. You need to know that you have to answer what is being asked in the question and not write any information or show your knowledge of the topic. You don’t have to cover every aspect of the topic but only answer for the specified area asked in the question.
Understanding Question Types –
Question types for Writing Task 2
There are in general 5 essay question types asked in IELTS.
- Opinion (Agree or Disagree)
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- Problem and Solution
- Discussion (Discuss both views)
- Two-part Question
It is important to identify the question type given in the task in order to develop relevant ideas
Developing Ideas –
Before you begin writing your answer, it is important that you brainstorm the ideas that you are going to include in the essay and also to think of the explanation and examples that you will use to support your ideas. If you don’t plan. there are chances that your ideas will be disorganised and you will lose marks because of it.
To do this, first, decide what stand you will take. Once you have decided on the stand think of the reasons why you hold that opinion and note them. Also. think of how you will explain these ideas. It is important that you do so otherwise your essay may have a lot of ideas but if those ideas are not supported with the relevant explanation then it will not be a well-developed essay.
Also. planning your answer before writing ensures that you are writing in support of your position and that you do not digress from it in between the essay. It helps you to hold your essay together.
After brainstorming on all the ideas that you are going to include in your essay. you should organise these ideas grouping them in different paragraphs on the basis of which idea is most important and should come first and which idea should follow thereafter. Once the planning and organising is done you can write your answer in a logical and coherent manner.
Format of Essay Writing –
An essay consists of an introduction, the body paragraphs and a conclusion. It is important to write your answer using the appropriate format or you will lose marks.
The introduction of an essay informs the reader about the topic of the essay. It gives the reader an idea about what they are going to read. In IELTS too you need to write an introduction in your essay.
This introduction consists of two statements. The first is a general statement which provides some basic idea about the essay topic. For writing the general statement you can simply paraphrase the question statement or write some other statement of your own which introduces the topic. The second statement which is to be written in the introduction is more important. It is called the Thesis statement.
Thesis statement –
One most important element of an essay in IELTS Writing Task 2 is the author’s thesis statement. This statement shows the stand of the writer. You are the writer of the essay and what position you take should be clearly written in your essay. The examiner will look for a statement in either your introduction or the conclusion paragraph which directly states your position.
There are three positions that you can take on any topic; either you can agree with an opinion. or you can disagree. The third way is you can sit on the fence. What sitting on the fence means is that you don’t strongly support any one side. instead. you are neutral and can give ideas supporting both the sides.
Your writing is not judged on what stand you take but on how well you support it. It is suggested that you take one specific stand rather than being neutral as it is difficult to be able to write impartially about both sides. Your answer may get inclined towards one side which will make your thesis statement untrue.
Body Paragraphs –
The body paragraphs are where you write your main ideas supporting the stand that you have taken about the subject. The ideas need to be logically arranged in different paragraphs with relevant explanation and examples. Do not write very long paragraphs instead divide the ideas into two-three short paragraphs.
When writing an essay it is important to conclude your answer. The conclusion is just a restatement of your thesis statement. You need to paraphrase the thesis statement that you wrote in the introduction as rewriting the same will not fetch you any marks. The conclusion should not include any new idea. all the ideas should be discussed in the body paragraphs only.
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