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What Is Essay Bot? AIs Writing an Essay for You Might Not Be Safe
Writing essays isn’t many people’s favorite part of studying for a qualification, but it’s necessary. Or is it? If you’ve ever sat in front of a computer and felt like you didn’t know where to start, you might have been tempted to get Essay Bot to do the work for you. Before you search for it, here is what you should be aware of.
What is Essay Bot?
Essay Bot is just one of many AI services which are on the increase. The Essay Bot website claims to have an inbuilt plagiarism checker, so you might think this is a positive aspect. However, the unlimited search database is basically information already available on the internet. The site states that the bot searches millions of websites and provides the most relevant information. This all sounds good, perhaps too good.
Is Essay Bot Safe?
Essay Bot might be okay if you just want to create a piece of writing which isn’t related to college work, or for some offline material that isn’t going to be published online and get you into trouble. However, it’s too risky for college work. The software just seems to rewrite content that is already online, and it doesn’t always do this well.
Of course, you could rewrite the text in a way that makes more sense to your essay and addresses the points you want to make, but there are several downsides to this.
You could spend more time rewriting than you would if you simply wrote the complete essay yourself. You may also end up plagiarizing someone else’s work during the rewrites. It’s likely that the words Essay Bot provides are a rearrangement of content already available, and in an attempt to make more sense, you accidentally rewrite some of the text it was taken from.
You could invest in high-quality plagiarism software to prevent this, but is it really worth the cost and the extra time of tweaking and rewriting until the essay becomes completely unique?
Can You Get in Trouble for Using Essay Bot?
Yes, you could get in trouble for using Essay Bot if your tutor or anyone else at your college found out.
Most colleges will use a plagiarism checker and if your essay fails this, you will put your place at risk. Each college or university will have different rules, but you could fail the essay, be made to redo the module or lose your place on the course. Education is not cheap, so it doesn’t seem worth the risk.
Even if you manage to craft your bot-written essay into something unique that also makes sense, getting someone to write your essay for you is still cheating. The writer being a bot doesn’t change that.
The easy way to determine if something is wrong is if you ask yourself whether you would admit to your tutor how you crafted your essay. If you wouldn’t tell them, you’re probably breaking the rules and could get into serious trouble if found out.
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IELTS Writing Task 2: ✍️ Everything You Need to Know
When helping students prepare for the IELTS test, one of the biggest fears is how to do well in IELTS Writing Task 2.
IELTS Writing Task 2 is the second part of the writing test, where you are presented with a point of view, argument or problem and asked to write an essay in response. Your essay should be in a formal style, at least 250 words in length and you should aim to complete it in under 40 minutes.
IELTS Writing Task 2: Everything You Need to Know
In this video, I’ll outline exactly what you must do to create an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay that could score a Band 7, 8 or 9.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to IELTS or if you’ve failed the exam before – I’ve broken everything down into a simple 3-step process that anyone can use to improve their scores! Watch the video above to find out what they are.
5 Steps to a Band 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2
1. Understand the question.
You must understand the question before you attempt to answer it. This way, you’ll know exactly what the examiner is looking for. One of the biggest mistakes students make is not answering the question fully, which stops them from getting a score higher than a Band 5.
To analyse the question , you must first identify the question type, then identify the keywords in the question and finally identify the instructions words. This will help you understand exactly what the examiner wants you to do with the question.
2. Plan your answer.
The students who get the highest marks in Writing Task 2 always plan their answers for up to 10 minutes. Planning helps you organise your ideas and structure your essay before you write it, saving you time and helping you produce a clear and coherent essay.
3. Write an introduction.
The introduction should answer the question directly. This tells the examiner that you know what you are doing straight away and helps you write your main body paragraphs.
4. Write the main body paragraphs.
This is where you give the examiner more detail . You do this by stating your main points and supporting these with explanations and relevant examples.
5. Write a conclusion.
In your conclusion , you should provide a summary of what you already said in the rest of your essay.
4 Ways to Improve your Score in IELTS Writing Task 2
Many people know they need to improve their writing skills but don’t know how to do it. Here are 4 ways you can boost your score in Writing Task 2:
1. Understand the exam.
You must first understand what IELTS Writing Task 2 is, what you are expected to do and how to give the examiners what they want. This is the first stage and one that is often overlooked.
There are many online resources, often with conflicting and poor-quality information, so finding a reliable source of information is key.
2. Identify your weak areas.
If your car breaks down, you would try and identify which part caused the problem. If you get sick, your doctor will run tests to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.
IELTS Writing Task 2 is the same. We must first identify WHY you are not getting the score you need before we can help you improve.
However, be very careful! You wouldn’t ask the average man on the street for medical advice, so make sure you find someone who knows what they are doing and has the expertise to help you with this.
3. Fix the problems.
Now that we know what the problems are, we must fix them.
If your grammar needs work, fix those issues. If your vocabulary is lacking, work on fixing this issue.
Just as a good doctor can help you fix a medical problem, a good IELTS teacher can help you fix your specific issues.
4. Practice and get feedback.
Practice alone will not help you. It is an essential part of your preparation, but you must also get feedback on your work if you are really going to improve.
You wouldn’t try to teach yourself how to drive without an instructor, would you?
Find someone who will give you accurate and helpful feedback on your work. Otherwise, you will not be able to move to the last stage.
Now that you have understood what you need to do, identified the exact areas you need to work on, improved those areas, and received feedback on your work, you are now ready to get the IELTS Writing Task 2 score you deserve.
Writing Task 2 Structures
I want to warn you about structures because they are not a magic wand that will help you automatically get a higher score. They WILL help you, but please realise that they are just a small part of your overall score.
These structures provide a sentence-by-sentence template for all the main Task 2 question types, making your job much easier on exam day.
- Task 2 Essay Structures
Essential Writing Task 2 Skills
No matter how good your English is, you must still learn IELTS writing skills before taking the Writing Task 2 test. These helpful guides will take you through each of these skills step-by-step:
- How to Plan an Essay
Making a good plan actually saves you time when you write your essay. This guide will show you how to plan and write a clear essay every time.
- How to Think of Relevant Ideas
This guide provides 5 different methods to help you quickly think of relevant ideas that are directly linked to the question.
- How to Write a Complex Sentence
Complex sentences help you boost your score for grammar. They are actually very simple to write and are not complex at all.
- How to Paraphrase
Paraphrasing is one of the essential IELTS skills for all parts of the IELTS test. You should paraphrase the question in the very first sentence of your essay to help boost your vocabulary score in Writing Task 2.
- How to Write a Supporting Paragraph
Supporting paragraphs are the main body paragraphs and are the meat in the sandwich. This is where you provide the detail the examiner is looking for in the form of explanations and examples.
- How to Write a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement tells the examiner your opinion. Many IELTS Writing Task 2 questions specifically ask for your opinion, and if you don’t write it clearly, you have not answered the question properly. This article shows you how, where and when to give your opinion.
How many words should I write?
Around 250 words? Exactly 250 words or over 250 words? How many words over? How do I know how many words I have? Will I lose marks if I write too many words? This article answers all those questions.
- How to Understand and Analyse Any Question
A critical part of answering any question. This article shows you how to break down any Task 2 question and identify the keywords, micro-keywords and instruction words to help you answer the question effectively.
- How to Write a Great Introduction
The introduction is the first thing the examiner reads; therefore, we must give them a good first impression. I share a very specific sentence-by-sentence structure in this article to help you write introductions quickly and effectively.
- Task 2 Marking Criteria
Do you know how Task 2 is marked? What is the difference between a Band 5 and a Band 8 answer? This article breaks down the marking criteria and explains it in simple language so you can give the IELTS examiners exactly what they want.
- How to Write a Conclusion
A good conclusion should be a summary of your main points. The conclusion is the last thing the examiner reads, and if you can write a good one, you will leave them with a very good impression.
- Using Examples
Each of your supporting paragraphs should have a specific example that supports and illustrates your main point. This is an essential skill to learn if you want to get one of the higher band scores.
- Cohesive Devices
Cohesive devices (sometimes called linking words) are one of the most misunderstood and misused elements of writing. Therefore, you must learn how to use them and when to use them.
- The Danger of Synonyms
While synonyms are very important, they can also really reduce your mark if used incorrectly.
- Paragraphing and Editing
This article will show you how to make your writing as clear and as easy to read as possible. It will also advise you on whether to use a pen or pencil.
- IELTS Writing Task 2: 8 Steps to Success
Read this blog now to access our 61-page Task 2 strategy.
- IELTS Writing Tips
I have compiled these tips after years of teaching IELTS, and all of them have been approved by IELTS examiners.
- Coherence and Cohesion
This is a video lesson that shows you in practical terms how to improve your coherence and cohesion score.
Writing Task 2 Common Topics
Knowing the common topics can help you prepare for the test more efficiently. Here are the 10 most common topics over the last few years. Studying hard is great, but don’t forget to study smart.
The article below will show you the top 10 most common IELTS topics.
- Most Common Task 2 Topics
Full IELTS Writing Task 2 Practice Lessons
Here are some lessons that I have used when teaching students about IELTS Writing Task 2. I have changed them so that you can easily learn from home. They are very long but contain all the necessary information combined with the skills above.
- Agree or Disagree (Opinion) Lesson
In this lesson, we look at how to tackle an ‘agree or disagree’ question. Many people worry about whether to take one side of the other or discuss both sides. Additionally, people also worry about how to deal with ‘To what extent’ question types. We allay all of these fears in this lesson.
- Discussion Essay Lesson
‘Discuss both views’ questions often confuse people because you are asked to do many things in one essay. As such, it is very important to remember that the question asks you to discuss BOTH views AND give YOUR opinion.
- Problem and Solution Essay Lesson
These questions are much easier than you think. You probably discuss problems and solutions in your day-to-day life all the time. Keep it simple.
- Advantages and Disadvantages Lesson
There are a couple of different types of advantages and disadvantages questions. This lesson will show you how to answer them.
- Writing Task 2 Exercise with Video
Writing is a skill, and just like any other skill, it is important to practice to improve.
- From Band 6.5 to 8 Demo Lesson
This is my most comprehensive free lesson on IELTS Writing Task 2. We show you how we took one VIP student from Band 6.5 to an amazing 8.
You must have some good examples to compare your writing and see if you are on the right track. Click the link below for lots of sample answers and over 100 questions.
Task 2 Sample Answers
- Agree or Disagree Sample Essays
- Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay
- Latest Real Task 2 Questions
- Official Sample Test Questions
- Cambridge Sample Questions
- Free Practice Test
- How To Use Task 2 Samples
- Recent Confusing Questions
- IELTS Writing Practice Guide
IELTS Writing Task 2 Essential Information
- You must write an essay in response to a question.
- You must write 250 words or more.
- Task 2 is worth 2/3 of your total mark on the Writing test.
- You should spend around 40 minutes on this part of the test.
- General Training and Academic are essentially the same for Task 2. However, they are different for Task 1.
- There are certain types of questions that you will be asked, for example, opinion, discussion etc. See below for more detail on these.
- Task Achievement (25%)
- Coherence and Cohesion (25%)
- Lexical Resource (25%)
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy (25%)
Grammar and Vocabulary
Grammar is one of the four things you will be marked on in the Writing Task 2 test. Finding out what your common grammar mistakes are and then fixing them is a very powerful way to boost your score in this area. Here are some common grammar mistakes I have found after making hundreds of tests.
- Top 10 Grammar Mistakes
For most IELTS students, the problem is not grammar in general. In fact, it is usually just 1-2 problem areas. Therefore, when you fix these main weaknesses, you’ll be able to improve your grammar and your writing score dramatically.
- Using Personal Pronouns
Hint- They aren’t as big of a deal as you think.
See the interactive tool below for the answers to the most commonly asked questions we receive about IELTS Writing Task 2:
IELTS Writing Task 2 FAQs
How can i improve my writing.
You will find all the resources you need on our Writing Task 2 page. Click the link below:
Writing Task 2
We also have two Task 2 courses for those that need to improve their Task 2 skills and strategy. They are both based online and completely free of charge. Learn more about them below:
Task 2 5 Day Challenge
Task 2 Essay Builder
If you need serious help or personalised feedback, you should check out our VIP Course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name here:
How can I get a Band 7, 8 or 9?
The answer to this question is different for every individual IELTS student, as it depends on a number of factors, including your work ethic, English skills and exam strategy. You'll find a guide to answering this question in this article
If you need serious help with improving your IELTS scores, you should check out our online writing course. There is a waiting list, but you can add your name by clicking the link below:
Can you correct my writing?
Please click the link below and it will give you all the information you need about our writing correction service:
Writing Correction Service
Do you have any sample answers?
Yes, you will find them at the link below:
Will using 'high level' or 'academic' words help me improve my score?
Read my recent article about IELTS vocabulary here:
5 Things You Need to Know about IELTS Vocabulary
Can I use idioms?
No, you should not write idioms for Task 2.
Can I use personal pronouns?
You should avoid using personal pronouns, but it is fine to use them when giving your personal opinion.
Do you write a conclusion for Task 2?
Yes, it is very difficult to get a good score in Task 2 if you haven't finished your essay with a conclusion. You will find an in-depth lesson on conclusions here:
How to Write an Effective Task 2 Conclusion
How many paragraphs should I write?
Most IELTS task 2 essays follow the same basic four paragraph structure:
- Supporting Paragraph 1
- Supporting Paragraph 2
However, you can find more comprehensive help with structuring your Task 2 essays here:
5 Day Challenge
Do I need to plan my essay?
I would highly recommend planning your essay. A good plan acts like a map that guides you through the essay, ensuring that you give the examiner exactly what they need to award you the score you need. You can find help with planning your essays here: How to Plan an IELTS Essay
You must write at least 250 words in Writing Task 2.
I would suggest that you aim to write around 270-280 words in total. Aiming for 20-30 words more than the required amount makes you more likely to reach the word limit without setting an unrealistic goal.
Will I lose marks if I don't write enough words?
Yes, if you don't write the required number of words, you will lose marks in 'Task Achievement' for not answering the question fully. Read more here .
Can I use contractions?
No, should not use contractions when you are writing an academic essay.
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IELTS Writing Task 2: 8 steps towards a band 8
In IELTS Writing Task 2, you will need to write an essay. Let our IELTS Experts walk you through 8 steps that can help you get a band 8. Take a closer look at the assessment criteria, how to structure your essay and common mistakes to avoid.
On this page
Step 1: answer is relevant to the question, step 2: answer all parts of the question, step 3: organise your essay logically, with clear progression using linking phrases, step 4: organise your essays into paragraphs, step 5: use less common vocabulary and spell it correctly, step 6: don’t use memorised language, phrases or examples, step 7: use a variety of complex sentence structures, step 8: checklist, is ielts writing hard, ielts writing for beginners.
To achieve a band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2 , you will need to produce an essay that contains all the positive features contained in the band 8 writing assessment criteria. Let's take a look at these in the table below.
Using the band descriptors as a guide we are going to go through the 8 steps to get you on your way to a band 8 in Writing Task 2.
We will start with the task response before moving through all the criteria to show you what an examiner will be looking for in your response.
Answer what you have been asked in the question. Don’t produce an essay that is close to a topic you have previously prepared. Make sure your examples and ideas are relevant. If you generalise too much and are not specific enough this will affect how your ideas are presented to the examiner.
Make sure your ideas are directly related to the question
Use ideas and examples that you are familiar with, and that relate directly to the topic
Extend your answer to include a number of ideas that will support the question.
Include irrelevant information
Produce a memorised essay
Present ‘recent’ research or statistics related to the topic “At least 41% of all men…”
IDP IELTS preparation offer
IDP offers free access to an IELTS preparation course developed by Macquarie University. Prepare better and move towards a high band score!
You must read the question carefully and decide how many parts are in it. You must answer all parts of the question to reach a band 6 or higher.
Let’s look at some example IELTS question prompts and see how many parts are in each, if you need to present your opinion. Remember, it is very important to present a clear position when answering the statement to show that you understand the question being asked and to keep that position clear throughout the essay.
Read the question carefully and decide how many parts are in it
Present your opinion and support it throughout the whole essay
If asked to present both views, make sure each view is presented equally (similar paragraph length)
Watch for plurals. If you are asked to give ‘advantages’, you must present a minimum of 2
Watch for ‘and’. You may need to comment on more than one element
Write more than 250 words.
Ignore parts of the question
Assume that your opinion is clear, use the first person to ensure the examiner knows it’s your opinion ‘I think’
Tell the examiner what you are going to say and what you have said
Produce a short essay.
Ideas must be expressed and ordered clearly - starting with an introduction and moving through to a conclusion.
If you are asked to present both views and your opinion, state your opinion at the beginning of the essay and then move on to present both views. You can then come back to your own opinion and then conclude the essay. This is a logical way to present these ideas.
Use a range of linking words and phrases, but don’t overuse them
Use adverbial phrases, rather than single basic linkers
Use referencing and substitution to avoid repetition (this/them/the issue/the problem)
Use punctuation to make your writing coherent
Make sure your ideas are sequenced correctly
Make sure your ideas are logical and easy to follow
Use a separate paragraph for the introduction and the conclusion
Use one paragraph for each idea or topic area.
Overuse basic linking words like firstly (instead, try using ‘The first reason for/ The primary reason for this’)
Start every sentence with a linker (Try to put it in the middle of a sentence. E.g. “Some people believe, however, that individuals must also take responsibility for the environment” or “I believe, on the other hand, that individuals do have a responsibility to…”)
Use numbers, symbols or abbreviations (1, 2, etc, &, +)
Use headings or subheadings
Underline words or phrases
Use one-sentence paragraphs
Start every sentence with a linking device.
Use paragraphs to organise your essay into clear parts. Make sure each paragraph contains a clear and developed topic with a minimum of two sentences.
You can use the acronym “PEEL” when writing your essay:
Point – introduce your topic or topic sentence
Example – an example that supports your point
Explain – why this evidence supports your point
Link – transition to the next topic or paragraph
You must use enough paragraphs to clearly show a structured response. This will show that you can organise and present your thoughts and ideas logically.
Here are some ideas on how many paragraphs you could include in an essay:
Use linkers between and within your paragraphs
Leave a space between each paragraph (a line)
Use a paragraph for each topic
Use an introduction and a conclusion.
Use single-sentence paragraphs
Use very long paragraphs that cover a whole page (IELTS on paper)
You will see in the band descriptors that a band 8 writer skillfully uses uncommon lexical items. When we learn a language, we use common and uncommon terms. Common terms are words and phrases we use every day to refer to personal experience and daily habits. Uncommon terms are used when we discuss specific topics or when we use idiomatic language (phrasal verbs).
Words that are old-fashioned and not used in everyday speech should not be used. If you choose a synonym, the meaning must be the same and must not alter the idea being presented. For example, adolescent/teenager have close meaning and can be used interchangeably, however, toddler/baby have quite different meanings.
Collocation is also mentioned in band 8, and it is assumed that you know which words go together, and which words are suitable to use for different topics.
If you are discussing child crime, you could use the term ‘minor’ as this is a legal term used to describe children under the age of 18.
If you use phrasal verbs, make sure that you are using the correct preposition as it can change the meaning:
throw out/away = discard
throw up = vomit/get sick
Idioms (cultural language) should only be used if you understand them completely and if they fit the topic you are discussing.
Use precise word choices
Use language that we use in everyday speech
Use words that you understand
Use words and phrases that are related to the topic
Use collocation and phrasal verbs (words that go together naturally – environmental pollution | major issue | promising future)
Make spelling mistakes
Mix up American and British spelling (You should use one or the other)
Use a word if you don’t understand it or cannot spell it.
Use imprecise words like ‘stuff/thing’
Use slang like ‘gonna’
Use old-fashioned language [the masses| denizens | myopic view | Hitherto]
Overuse synonyms, one is enough
Use contractions (can’t, doesn’t)
Don’t use any memorised language, phrases or examples throughout your essay. They are easy for examiners to spot and don’t demonstrate your ability to write fluently.
Overused phrases, idioms, proverbs and clichés should also be avoided, again, they are often used when speaking. These include phrases like:
The grass is always greener on the other side
Love is blind
Off the top of my head
Old is gold
A friend in need is a friend indeed
Additionally, the following terms should not be used when writing as they are vague and do not address a task appropriately. You should always be using clear language and make appropriate word choices that will express your ideas clearly.
At band 8 it is expected that you can use a wide range of structures accurately to present your ideas and opinion. Show the examiner that you can use a wide range of structures and make sure your sentences are error-free.
It is important to use a mix of complex and simple sentences. But remember, your complex sentences should not be long and complicated.
Your punctuation needs to be accurate, using capitalisation, commas and full stops correctly.
The most common errors made can be found below:
Use the following checklist to make sure that your writing contains all the positive features at a band 8
If you follow these 8 steps, you will be well on your way to a band 8 in Writing Task 2.
IELTS writing is not so hard if you have a thorough understanding of the test format and are able to organise your thoughts into grammatically-correct, well-structured sentences. Obviously it requires a fair amount of practice. To make it easy, IDP has launched IELTS Prepare where you can access a range of preparation materials: from practice tests, sample answers, videos and articles, all the way to expert assessments, online courses, webinars and more.
Join our free IDP IELTS webinars that are designed to give you a sense of what to expect during the IELTS Writing test and guide you towards reaching a high band score:
Improve your understanding of the writing test format and questions
Identify key points
Make your answers relevant
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8 Steps to help you reach a band 8: IELTS Writing Task 2
Let our IELTS Expert guide you through the 8 steps needed to reach a band 8 in IELTS Writing Task 2.
IELTS General Training Writing free practice questions
Ielts writing task 1: how to write a job application letter, grammar 101: elude vs. allude.
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How to Write an Essay: Part 2
Hi, it’s Lisa here from Capstone Editing. This video is part two in my series on essay writing. If you haven’t yet watched the first video, called ‘Part 1: How to Begin’, I suggest that you do that now. This video will focus on the second step in the process, which is recording and organising your research.
Often students fail to make the proper connection between their research stage and writing their first draft. They may not have completed a research stage correctly so that when they sit down to write their essay, they feel as if they are starting from scratch.
Or they may not have recorded their research correctly, resulting in them needing to repeat work in order to write or properly reference their essay.
Or they may have conducted and recorded their research but not organised it correctly, which again serves to make the writing stage more difficult than it needs to be.
In this video, I’ll explain how to use a research document to organise your research. This is one Word document in which all of your research is recorded and organised following the structure of your essay plan.
Using this method will ensure that you won’t need to repeat any work unnecessarily, you will be able to easily distinguish between your own notes and direct quotations, and you will have already collected the information needed for your referencing.
Further, this method means that you aren’t just recording what you are reading; you are analysing it and organising it into themes or topics as you go, the way you will discuss it in your essay. This allows you to make all the decisions required in order to write your essay before you begin writing the first draft, making the transition between research and writing easier and smoother, and helping to eliminate feelings of writer’s block.
Ok, so let me explain what a research document is and how to use it.
The basis of your research document is your rough essay plan, which I talked about in the first video. First, turn each section of your plan into a heading under which you can record your research.
For example, in the essay plan, I showed you in the first video, Topic 1 was ‘Disease and demographic impact’. This will be a heading in your research document. As you research on this topic, you will be able to separate the information you gather on ‘Disease and demographic impact’ into additional subheadings, such as ‘Types of diseases’, as in the example on this slide. Subheadings are important for helping you organise your notes and navigate your research document.
This is an example of an entry in a research file.
So you can see that the main topic from the essay plan has been turned into a heading 1. Underneath that, you give a heading 2 to the subject of the notes that you are going to include in that sub-section.
You should record both direct quotations from the sources you read and your own notes in your own words, but you must make it clear which is which. You can do this by putting quotation marks around direct quotations, or putting your own words in brackets, or by using different colours or fonts. This example uses quotation marks for direct quotations and puts the student’s own words in square brackets.
In this slide, you can see an example with the actual information inserted into it, following the draft essay plan we are working with as an example.
So it follows the exact structure of the template example I provided in the previous slide, but this one has actual information filled in, only for the purposes of demonstration, of course.
You should begin compiling your bibliography (or reference list) in your research document as soon as you begin your research. When you start reading a source, add the reference to your list. This way, you’ll have the reference already completed when you use that material in your essay.
Also be sure to include the full reference information, including page numbers, for all the information you record in your research document at every instance where you record it, not just for direct quotations. Using good research practices means there is no such thing as ‘doing your referencing at the end’.
Using a research document is the best way to help you research and write your essay .
The most common (but very ineffective) ways of notetaking while researching an essay are 1) highlighting source documents and taking notes in comment boxes or margins rather than in a Word document, and 2) typing notes into a Word document but arranged by source. (So writing up all your notes from one book or article, then starting the next book or article and typing up all those notes directly underneath and so forth.)
Both of these methods have problems, including not being able to remember where you read a certain piece of information, accidentally thinking that an idea is your own when it is actually from a source, and spending too much time researching one topic at the expense of others. Correctly using a research document overcomes all these problems.
By using the method I’m recommending in this video, and thus critically arranging and organising material in a Word document as you research and adding your own notes (clearly distinguished from the words of others), you will have an easy-to-navigate collection of all of the most important information you gathered during your research, making it quick to find any information you are looking for. You will have clearly marked your own words as distinct from the words of others, reducing the chance of accidental plagiarism. You will also be able to see at a glance which topics you have plenty of information for and which topics you need to do more research on.
Moreover, through the process of compiling a research document, you will be thinking more clearly about the argument you will make in your essay, the most relevant supporting points to make, and the relative importance of those points (which determines how many words you will spend on them, and in turn how much research time you should spend on them).
The advantages of working in this way are:
- You’ll minimise wasted research effort.
- You’ll develop your essay plan as you research.
- And you’ll have all of the information you need to move seamlessly into the essay writing stage.
Using a research document, all decisions about what will go into your essay and in what order will be made during the research stage before you even start writing. A common mistake made by students is to think that the research and writing stage are distinct steps without important and necessary connections.
As you research, you may find that your rough essay plan needs to be adapted to fit the information you are finding. For example, you might find that one topic area is broader and more important than others, perhaps requiring a few subheadings. These subheadings will become paragraphs in your essay. You might find that a topic you think is going to be important isn’t, but that another topic you haven’t thought of is commonly mentioned in the literature. You will therefore decide to discuss this topic rather than the other. You will also be thinking about the relative importance of the topics to supporting your argument. You must order your topics from most to least important.
As the final step in the research stage, you will decide which information from your research document should be included in the essay and what you can leave out.
You will now have a document that shows:
- the topics and subheadings (i.e., the sections and paragraphs) that will comprise your essay, with all information to be included organised under these headings
- the order in which you will write about your topics
- all necessary referencing information to help you write a plagiarism-free essay.
The result will be a clear map, containing all necessary information and referencing details, to writing your essay. Using this method, you will never again start the writing phase feeling you are starting from scratch.
You are now ready to follow the process detailed in the next video in this series, ‘How to Finalise Your Essay Plan’.
I hope you’ve found this video enlightening. Please do like and share it. And I look forward to explaining the next step in the next video!
- IELTS: Writing Part 2 – How To Write A Discursive Essay
- Posted on 05/02/2020
- Categories: Blog
- Tags: IELTS , Writing
When it comes to exams, preparation is the key to success – and the IELTS Writing Paper Part 2 is no exception! It is worth twice as much as Part 1 and is the longest part of the writing paper. So it’s important to perfect your technique before the big day.
We’ve put together some tips, examples, and useful language to help you prepare for Part 2 of the Writing Paper.
IELTS exam requirements
In both the General and the Academic papers, the IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write at least 250 words. You will be presented with a topic and tested on your ability to:
- Respond by discussing it
- Extend the ideas, giving an opinion
- Support that opinion with reasoned arguments
Three tips to get a great mark in Part 2
1. Read the question carefully
Don’t be tempted to rush this part: identifying the topic correctly is a crucial first step.
Remember, you are required to give reasons for your answer and include relevant examples from your own knowledge. That means it’s really important that you make sure you understand the essay question fully.
2. Brainstorm ideas
Organising your ideas is an important step in the process. Before you start writing, take some time to make a short plan of what you are going to write. Think about your response to the question:
- What are your opinions?
- Why do you have this opinion?
- What problems can you foresee ?
- What solutions can you suggest?
3. Don’t write too much
The more you write, the more chances there are that you’ll make mistakes. So don’t be tempted to write a long essay. In fact, structure and coherence are more important than length when it comes to marking. A good length to aim for is around 280 words.
You get an hour to complete the two tasks in the Writing Paper, but try to dedicate at least 40 minutes to Task 2, as it is worth twice as many points as Part 1 and you need to write a longer response.
Structuring your answer
The structure of your essay is important for the development of your ideas. Have a look at how we have answered the sample question, below. As you can see, the answer follows a clear structure. Bear in mind, your essay will need to be at least 250 words long, so try to dedicate at least 40 minutes to this task.
Here’s a sample essay question :
In some countries, it is thought advisable that children begin formal education at four years old, while in others they do not have to start school until they are seven or eight. How far do you agree with either of these views?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Beginning your essay
In the opening paragraphs , the main idea from the question is identified and developed, so the examiner can see that you have fully understood the essay question and can give a detailed summary with examples .
In this essay, the arguments surrounding early education and the best age to start school will be discussed .
One can see that education is different all over the world. In some countries, parents are content for their children to play and explore on their own, without the help of teachers. It’s considered normal for children to learn through play and they might not go to school, formally, until they are 7 or 8 years old.
In other countries, parents focus on academic education at a much earlier age. They put their children in pre-school programmes, try to help them learn songs, write simple things at home, and play educational games with them. This helps prepare them before they start attending their first school.
Writing the essay body
The following paragraph is the main body of the essay. It explains the student’s personal approach to the question and the way that they are qualifying their opinion . It extends their ideas and supports this approach with a relevant example . Finally, it ends with a concluding sentence which leads into the final paragraph.
In my view, I think a combination of the two approaches is the best answer. Learning through play is beneficial because students have fun and don’t ever find learning to be “boring.” Evidence suggests this method can lead to a life-long love of learning too: many students who start learning in this way go on to university and continue educating themselves for their whole lives. Nevertheless, there are drawbacks to this, such as a lack of direction, which might mean some children are unprepared for school. Having a professional teacher, who makes interesting, personalised lessons and follows a syllabus can solve this issue. In this way, through teacher-directed play, students are given equal opportunities to learn together and no child is put at a significant disadvantage.
Concluding your essay
The last paragraph is the conclusion, which presents an opinion and gives final supporting arguments .
To sum up, I would argue that students benefit from having a formal education at an earlier age. However, it seems to me that teachers should make play a priority because that is how children naturally learn.
By following this structure, you’ll produce a coherent and cohesive answer to the essay question, whatever it is.
You can see another sample answer for the question above here .
While it’s not advisable to memorise entire sentences, it is good to have a stock of phrases that you can use to join ideas and make your writing flow more naturally. Here are some examples:
In the introduction:
This essay will outline _____
This essay seeks to ______
In this essay, the arguments surrounding _____ will be discussed.
When giving examples:
As can be seen from _____
Recent studies have shown that _____
One solution proposed by____ is _____
A good example of this is _______
Evidence suggests that _______
When sharing your opinion:
It seems to me _____
In my opinion _____
In my view _____
I would argue that _____
When giving an alternative perspective:
However, there are drawbacks to this, such as _____
Another approach is _____
However, it is important to consider _____
Having said that, _____
In spite of this, _____
In the conclusion:
To sum up, _____
In the end _____
Can you see any of these phrases being used in our sample answer above?
Can you see any of these phrases being used in our sample answer above?
A few final reminders
Take a few moments to plan the structure of your essay before you start writing, it will help your ideas flow.
Avoid contractions: the language of the essay should be academic and formal in tone.
Keep an eye on the clock: it’s always a good idea to leave yourself a few minutes at the end to quickly read over your answer in case of any mistakes.
Are you taking an IELTS exam soon? Feeling nervous about the writing paper? This blogpost has some top tips and useful language to help you with part 1 of the writing paper.
Glossary for Language Learners
Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.
Perfect (v): to make something perfect, to bring to its final form.
Crucial (adj): very important, essential.
Foresee (v): predict, see something before it happens.
Coherence (n): logic, intelligibility.
Fully (adv): completely.
Qualifying your opinion (exp): explaining their position, justifying.
Drawbacks (n): disadvantage.
Advisable (adj): a good idea, prudent.
adj = adjective
pv = phrasal verb
adv = adverb
Leave a reply.
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How to Improve IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay? (5 Tips)
In IELTS Writing Task 2 , you need to write an essay on a given topic. Writing an essay may often seem a difficult and also daunting task. But don't worry, it will become a lot easier and make better sense as you follow along.
We advise you to take time to read the 5 Tips on how you can improve your writing skills for IELTS and achieve a high score.
Prepare smarter, not harder, and writing tasks won't stop you from getting the band score you deserve!
Keep your IELTS Essay structure simple
There is a ton of information available online about different types of IELTS essays, and if you are a self-learner, it is easy to get confused. Especially, when the information is often conflicting as well. Therefore, we recommend that you do not worry about identifying what type of essay you must write or what structure you need to follow. It is all redundant and unnecessary.
Although there are 5 Different Types of IELTS Essays , learning about suggested essay structures one by one just overburdens you and at the end of the day, there is no actual benefit. All that matters is to answer all the questions and stick to that. It is as simple as that! You just need to address all parts of the task . That's it!
Take time to read the essay question and answer it completely and directly. There is no need to overthink whether the essay is this or that type and which structure you need to use. You will do yourself a favour when you skip learning about "the right" essay structures to follow as there are none found. Instead, trust yourself and listen to your gut.
Plan your IELTS essay before you write
Think and plan before you write! It is necessary to brainstorm for at least 2-5 minutes. Write down all the keywords and phrases that come to your mind, and then organise your ideas by making a simple plan for the IELTS essay structure. The more you practice essay writing, the faster you will become at brainstorming.
It is crucial to keep in mind what the task prompt asks you to do. If you fail to address all parts of the writing task prompt, achieving a high score will become unlikely. So, by making the plan make sure you answer all the questions!
For example, if you need to discuss both views, then make sure that you have one body paragraph for one view, another for another view and so forth.
Stick to the plan and use the words, phrases and ideas that have come to your mind while brainstorming.
Show good grammar and vocabulary
To write a high-level IELTS essay and attain a high score, you need to demonstrate that you can use a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary . For example, use different tenses, conditionals, passive voice, wide vocabulary and avoid repeating the same words.
You need to find a good balance between showing your writing skills and feeling comfortable.
Using good language in your essay does not mean that you know some sophisticated sentences by heart that you are desperately trying to use in your essay. It is a bad practice, and we recommend that you should avoid doing that.
If your overall usage of language is consistent throughout the essay and then, all of a sudden, you use a very complex sentence, it looks unnatural. Furthermore, IELTS examiners consider this to be a learned expression and, as a result, it pushes your score downwards.
Write coherently and use cohesive words
Writing coherently will surely give your score an extra boost. Actually, "Coherence and Cohesion" is one of the four band criteria your writing will be evaluated on. Therefore, it is super useful to learn linking words along with IELTS essay vocabulary . You can use these resources all the time while studying.
After writing about 3 IELTS essays, many good phrases and linking words will glue to you. You will find out your favourite ways to start and end the essays, state viewpoints and add arguments.
As a result, the essay becomes easier to write, and you will be a lot quicker too. But do not memorise long phrases or sentences ; these samples are all listed just for inspiration. However, learning words for different topics is highly recommended! It will give you ideas and the ability to express yourself.
Get feedback on your IELTS essay and practice
Finally, it is important to get feedback on each practice essay you write. The key to improving your IELTS essay writing is to get your writing task reviewed by a qualified IELTS professional , so you can learn from feedback and improve your writing skills.
Writing evaluation gives you an idea of what level you are at and what band score your writing would likely get. You will learn about your weak areas, and you will receive tips and suggestions on how to improve them.
If you struggle and want to improve your writing skills, let IELTS experts help you . The last thing you want to happen is to discover your weaknesses on the exam day, especially if the result is unsatisfying for you. After all, taking the exam gives you nothing but a plain band score that carries absolutely no weight regarding feedback: you will not get to know your mistakes and why you failed.
So, instead of risking failure, consider using the IELTS writing correction service to be better prepared, achieve your desired result on the first try and ultimately become better at writing.
"I have 7+ years of IELTS teaching experience . I will correct your grammar and give suggestions for more appropriate word use. I will give you tips on how to answer the question in the way the IELTS examiners expect." — Claudia, IELTS teacher from the UK
MORE ESSAY RESOURCES
IELTS Essay Writing
5 Types of IELTS Essays
How to Improve IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay?
IELTS Discussion Essay Sample
IELTS Agree / Disagree Essay Sample
IELTS Advantage / Disadvantage Essay Sample
IELTS Problem / Solution Essay Sample
IELTS Two-part Question Essay Sample
Vocabulary for IELTS Essay
Linking words for IELTS
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You will find useful information on all the four IELTS test components:
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How to write an agree/disagree essay for IELTS Writing Task 2
01 February 2023
This article was first published on WeLoveIELTS.org (this website is now closed)
Knowing how to write an agree or disagree essay is very important because if you get this type of task question in the test and you don't know how to approach it, you might not get a very high score. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
An agree/disagree question is very similar to the one above. Let’s look at two typical agree/disagree essay questions:
- Some people believe that nowadays we have too many choices. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
- Living in a country where you have to speak a foreign language can cause serious social problems as well as practical problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Can you see how these are similar to my question at the beginning? Both include a statement (= a sentence expressing an opinion) and ask you to what extent (= how much) you agree or disagree with it.
OK, so what are you going to do first? Start writing? Absolutely not .
After you’ve carefully read the task question and understood the topic, the first thing to do is to ask yourself to what extent you agree or disagree with the statement. There are three possible cases:
- You agree completely
- You disagree completely
- You partially agree (which means you also partially disagree)
Next, ask yourself: ‘ Why do I think that?’ This is a very useful question because by answering it you will start generating ideas that you will then include in your essay.
How many ideas should you come up with? In all three cases the secret is that less is more, so I recommend having no more than four in total.
Let’s have a look at an example from Cambridge IELTS 11:
- Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
I’ve read the question and now I’m going to make some notes before I start writing. Here are my notes:
Partially agree - Both needs funding Why?
- Safety reasons
- Taxpayers expect government investment in both
Two main ideas. Now we have some direction and know where we are going with our essay. Should you now start writing? Not yet. You’ll need to develop these ideas, and the best way to do this is to give explanations, details, reasons and examples. Let’s add these to the notes.
- Safety reasons - Both roads and trains are widely used / all ages / need to be kept in good condition / if not, risk of crashes / example: Ponte Morandi collapse 2018 – Italy / lots of casualties / could have been avoided with more funding - maintenance / Trains are crowded at rush hour -> a railroad accident might be a terrible tragedy
- Taxpayers expect government investment in both - governments need to provide good services / citizens pay tax for this / example: train commuters pay to have efficient trains / if not – disruptions - late for work / same is true for road users / example: opening a new highway -> less traffic
Notice that I didn’t write full sentences but notes. Keep your full sentences for the essay! If you don’t do this brainstorming exercise before you start writing, the risk is that you’ll write whatever comes to your mind, and your essay will probably be confusing to read.
Top Tip: Think of how you’re going to structure your text. Keep life simple and always aim at four paragraphs: introduction, two body paragraphs and conclusion.
Two sentences are enough here. In the first sentence you should paraphrase the task question. In the second sentence say if you (partially) agree/disagree so you immediately let the reader know what you think.
Two main paragraphs
Why these paragraphs? A paragraph contains ideas about a single subject and using them will make your essay organised, structured and easy to read. When writing an agree/disagree essay there are, again, three possible options:
- You completely agree - First paragraph: reasons why you agree. 2nd paragraph: other reasons why you agree.
- You completely disagree - First paragraph: reasons why you disagree. 2nd paragraph: other reasons why you disagree.
- You partially agree - First paragraph: reasons why you agree. 2nd paragraph: reasons why you disagree.
Remember: it’s much better to have few well-developed ideas than a lot of poorly developed ones , so when you write the paragraphs make sure to give reasons, examples and details. All these must be relevant to the reason you agree/disagree.
Again, keep life simple and write one or two sentences only. You should briefly repeat and summarise your answer to the question. Don’t introduce information that you didn’t mention in your paragraphs before. We need a conclusion to conclude right? So, don’t introduce other reasons or topics at the end of your text.
- Read the topic of the question and make sure you understand it
- Ask yourself if you agree or not with the statement in the question
- Brainstorm ideas before you start righting
- State your opinion in the introduction
- Use four paragraphs
- Logically organise the main paragraphs (for example, one for reasons why you agree and the other for reasons why you disagree)
- Extend and develop your ideas with reasons, examples and explanations
- Write a short conclusion.
- Start writing immediately
- Include too many different ideas. Less is more!
- Introduce more information in the conclusion.
Hope this helps you with your writing. Good luck!
2023. IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council; IDP IELTS; and Cambridge University Press & Assessment