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IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Structures

The four most common IELTS writing Task 2 questions are: Opinion, Advantages and Disadvantages, Problem and Solution Discussion

IELTS Task 2 Essay Structures

Knowing how to structure your IELTS Writing Task 2 essay is an essential skill that can make the difference between getting and not getting the band score you deserve. With that in mind, we have outlined the most common IELTS Writing Task 2 structures below.

ielts academic writing essay structure

The five most common IELTS Writing Task 2 questions are:

  • Opinion (Agree or Disagree)
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Problem and Solution
  • Discussion (Discuss both views)
  • Two-part Question

Below I will outline examples and a structure approved by experienced IELTS teachers and examiners for each type of question. This will help you write a clear, coherent answer and hopefully boost your IELTS band score. I also include an example answer for each type of question so you can see the structure in a real essay.

Please note that these are general structures and may vary slightly depending on the question.

Please also note that no ‘one’ Task 2 essay structure will get you a high score. There are many types of structures that can get you a high score. These are just some I think are effective and easy to learn. 

Please visit the lessons below for more detailed guidance on each type of question. I have provided a link at the end of each section.

ielts academic writing essay structure

Opinion Questions (Agree or Disagree) 

Typical Question Words –

What is your opinion?

Do you agree or disagree?

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Direct question.

Example Question –

Some people believe that unpaid community service should be compulsory in high school programmes (for example, working for a charity, improving the neighbourhood or teaching sports to younger children).

Essay Structure 


1- Paraphrase Question

2- Give your opinion and outline the main ideas.

Main Body Paragraph 1 

1- Topic Sentence

2- Explain Topic Sentence

Main Body Paragraph 2


1- Summary of main points and opinion

Student Sample Answer

It is argued that volunteering should be made part of the school curriculum. This essay agrees with that suggestion completely because it help pupils develop soft skills and helps them gain much-needed work experience.

Education should not be limited to strictly academic pursuits, and those in education should also develop life skills, such as teamwork, empathy and self-discipline, and one of the best ways to hone these aptitudes is through community service. Serving those less fortunate than ourselves teaches us many lessons, including how to work with people from other backgrounds and the value of hard work, thus enabling us to hone these skills before becoming an adult. For example, many young people from wealthier countries take a gap year and help those less fortunate than themselves to increase their gratitude for what they have and improve their work ethic.

Many colleges and companies are also increasingly looking for this type of experience. Most school leavers have the same grades, and charitable work can help set you apart from other students when making college applications. For example, Cambridge and Oxford receive thousands of applications from straight-A students yearly and can only accept a small percentage of applicants. What you have done outside the classroom often differentiates you from everyone else and gets you that coveted spot.

In conclusion, teenagers should be made to partake in unpaid work as part of their schooling because it will help them learn things they wouldn’t ordinarily learn from their teachers, and it will also boost their chances of getting into third-level education.

For more detail on how to answer agree or disagree questions, please visit our opinion essay lesson . 

Need help writing essays like this? Check out our ESSAY CORRECTION SERVICE .

Advantages and Disadvantages Questions

Typical Question Words 

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Example Question

Technology is being used more and more in education.

Essay Structure

2- Outline Main Points

Main Body Paragraph 1

1- State Two Advantages

2- Expand/Explain First Advantage

3- Expand/Explain Second Advantage

1- State Two Disadvantages

2- Expand/Explain First Disadvantage

3- Expand/Explain Second Disadvantage

1- Summary of Main Points

Student Sample Answer 

It is argued that technology plays an ever-increasing role in schools and universities. Increased access to information and student freedom are the main advantages, whereas dependency on technology and decreasing levels of face-to-face contact are the main disadvantages.

Access to more information and student autonomy are the principal advantages of increasing the use of electronic devices in education. With the internet, students can access all the information available about any topic, regardless of what books and other resources are available in the school. Furthermore, students can focus on whatever topic or subject they want and study it in depth. A prime example of this is the number of online university courses available to students, covering a myriad of subjects that, up until recently, were unavailable to most learners. This has resulted in more people studying third-level degrees than ever before at a pace and schedule that suits them.

The main disadvantages associated with the increasing use of technology in education are the dependency on this technology and the decrease in face-to-face interaction between students. With many students now using the internet as their primary source of information, they often struggle to use other academic resources to find what they’re looking for. As well as this, students spend more time looking at computer screens by themselves than interacting with each other, which is thought to lead to lower levels of emotional intelligence. For instance, the recent explosion in smartphone use has been at the expense of genuine human interaction. This results in soft skills, such as verbal communication and empathy, being affected.

In conclusion, the benefits technology brings to education, such as unrestricted access to information and student autonomy, must be weighed against the drawbacks, such as dependency on this technology and the negative effects on human interaction.

For more detail on how to answer advantage and disadvantage questions, please visit our  advantage and disadvantage lesson . 

Discuss Both Views Question (Discussion Essay)  

ielts academic writing essay structure

Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

Example Question 

Technology is being used more and more in education. Some people say that this is a positive trend, while others argue that it is leading to negative consequences.

Discuss both sides of this argument and then give your own opinion.

1- Paraphrase Question and/or state both viewpoints.

2- Thesis Statement

3- Outline Sentence

1- State first viewpoint

2- Discuss first viewpoint

3- Reason why you agree or disagree with viewpoint

4- Example to support your view

1- State second viewpoint

2- Discuss second viewpoint

Sentence 1- Summary

Sentence 2- State which one is better or more important

There is an ever-increasing use of technology, such as tablets and laptops, in the classroom. It is often argued that this is a positive development, whilst others disagree and think it will lead to adverse ramifications. This essay agrees that an increase in technology is beneficial to students and teachers.

The Internet has provided students with access to more information than ever before. This has allowed learners to research and learn about any subject at the touch of a button. It is therefore agreed that technology is a very worthwhile tool for education. Wikipedia is a prime example, where students can type in any keyword and gain access to in-depth knowledge quickly and easily.

However, many disagree and feel that technology deprives people of real human interaction. Human interaction teaches people valuable skills such as discourse, debate and empathy. Without these soft skills, many people find it difficult to become successful in work and their personal lives. Despite this, human interaction is still possible through the internet, and this essay disagrees that technology should be dismissed for this reason. For instance, Skype and Facebook allow people to interact in ways that were never before possible.

While the benefits of technology, particularly the internet, allow students to tap into limitless sources of information, some still feel that people should be wary of this new phenomenon and not allow it to curb face-to-face interaction. However, as long as we carefully consider the importance of human interaction in education, the educational benefits are clearly positive.

For more detail on how to answer discussion questions please visit our  discussion essay lesson . 

Problem and Solution Questions

ielts academic writing essay structure

Problem and solution.

Cause and solution.

Students are becoming more and more reliant on technology.

What are some of the problems associated with reliance on computers, and what are some of the possible solutions?

2- Outline Sentence

1- State Problems

2- Explain First Problem

3- Explain Second Problem

4- Example of Second Problem

1- State Solutions

2- Explain First Solution

3- Explain Second Solution

4- Example of Second Solution

Learners are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, such as the Internet and mobile devices. This essay believes the main problems associated with dependence on computers are the lack of original thought and copying original work from others and suggests critical thinking classes and writing analysis software as the most viable solutions.

The principal problems with over-reliance on technology are people being unable to think for themselves and plagiarism. With access to so much information, students often rely on other people’s opinions instead of forming their own. As well as this, they often use search engines to answer a question and copy the text from a website rather than thinking about the question. This practice is prohibited in schools and universities and stunts students’ intellectual development because they will never truly think for themselves, which is what university is supposed to be for. For example, many teachers complain that students copy web pages straight from Wikipedia word for word rather than giving a reasoned answer to their questions.

Solutions to these worrying problems are special classes to focus on critical thinking and teachers using anti-plagiarism software to detect copying. If teachers create situations where students have to infer meaning and express opinions based on a small amount of information, this will ensure that students have an opportunity to develop these skills. Also, if students know that their assignments are being checked for plagiarism, this will be enough to deter them from doing so. For instance, many universities already use this kind of software to scan coursework for plagiarism, and it could be extended to include all homework by learners in both secondary and tertiary education.

In conclusion, the main problems with the overuse of technology in education are the lack of original thought and plagiarism. These can be solved through special classes that teach students analytical skills and plagiarism detection software.

For more detail on how to answer problem and solution questions please visit our  problem and solution lesson . 

Two-Part Questions

ielts academic writing essay structure

There will normally be a statement, and they will then ask you to answer separate questions.

As most people spend a major part of their adult life at work, job satisfaction is an important element of individual wellbeing.

What factor contributes to job satisfaction?

How realistic is the expectation of job satisfaction for all workers?

2- Outline Sentence (mention both questions)

1- Answer first question directly

2- Explain why

3- Further explain

1- Answer second question directly

As most adults spend most of their time at work, being content with your career is a crucial part of a person’s health and happiness. This essay will first suggest fair pay as a key element leading to job satisfaction, and it will then state that it is not very likely that everyone can be happy with their job.

The most important thing that satisfies someone at work is being compensated fairly. If those more senior than you respect you as a person and the job you are doing, then you feel like you are valued. A fair salary and benefits are important marks of respect, and if you feel you are being underpaid, you will either resent your bosses or look for another job. These two factors came top of a recent job satisfaction survey conducted by Monster.com, which found that 72% of people were pleased with their current role if their superiors regularly told them they were appreciated.

With regard to the question of happiness for all workers, I think this is and always will be highly unlikely. The vast majority of people fail to reach their goals and end up working in a post they don’t really care about in return for a salary. This money is just enough to pay their living expenses which often means they are trapped in a cycle of disenchantment. For example, The Times recently reported that 89% of office workers would leave their jobs if they did not need the money.

In conclusion, being satisfied with your trade or profession is an important part of one’s well-being, and respect from one’s colleagues and fair pay can improve your level of happiness; however, job satisfaction for all workers is an unrealistic prospect.

Can I get a band 8 or 9 following these structures? 

Nobody can give you a Task 2 IELTS structure that guarantees high scores. Your score is dependent on how good your grammar and vocabulary are and how well you answer the question. A good structure will help you answer the question to some extent and boost your score for coherence and cohesion, but you must use relevant ideas and use these ideas well to answer the question.

You can see how my student scored a Band 8.5 in IELTS Writing here:

ielts academic writing essay structure

Next Steps 

We hope you found those IELTS Writing Task 2 structures useful. Looking for some more sample questions? Here are over 100 sample questions from past exam papers.

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IELTS Task 2 Essays Understand the 5 Different Types

There are 5 main types of IELTS Task 2 essays:

1)    Opinion Essays  

2)    Discussion Essays

3)    Problem Solution Essays

4)    Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

5)    Double Question Essays

Most questions fit one of these categories. However, questions can be written in many different ways, which can make it difficult to determine which type they are.

On this page, I want to give you an overview of all 5 IELTS Task 2 essay types, with samples questions to help you recognise some of the different wording often used. I’ve also included a basic structure for each that you can use to as a guide for essay planning, a vital step in the writing process.

I go into each type of question in more detail on its own page.  Click the links above or at the bottom of this page to see these. 

First, here’s the basic 4 part structure I recommend that you use for Task 2 essays:

1)  Introduction

2)  Main Body Paragraph 1 

3)  Main Body Paragraph 2 

4)  Conclusion

Want  to watch and listen to this lesson?

Click on this video.

The sort of information you include in each of the 4 sections will vary depending on the question type and that’s what I’m now going to outline for you.

These easy to learn structures will enable you to quickly plan and write any IELTS Task 2 essay.

The structures below are not the only ones you could use but they are the ones I recommend because they’re simple and give proven results.

1) Opinion Essays

These are sometimes called ‘agree or disagree’ or ‘argumentative’ essays and are one of the most common types of IELTS Task 2 question.

The first part of the question will be a statement. You will then be asked to give your own opinion about the statement. Here is some typical wording that might be used:

  • What is your opinion?
  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Here is an example of each:

ielts academic writing essay structure

  • Choose one side of the argument.
  • State your opinion clearly in the introduction.
  • Keep the same opinion throughout the essay.
  • Give reasons why you hold this view.

It doesn’t matter which side of the argument you take or even that you agree with it. Choose the one you can develop the best argument for.

Don’t change your opinion part way through the essay and don’t give reasons for the opposing idea.

Essay Structure

1) Introduction

  • Paraphrase the question
  • Give your opinion
  • State two supporting reasons

2) Main body paragraph 1

  • Topic sentence – outline 1st reason for supporting this view
  • Explanation – explain this idea
  • Example – give an example

3)  Main body paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence – outline 2nd reason for supporting this view
  • Summarise opinion and key reasons

2) Discussion Essays

In discussion essays, you have to discuss both sides of an argument. Usually, you will be asked for your own opinion as well.

The easiest way to approach this type of IELTS Task 2 question is to choose one point of view to agree with and one side to disagree with.

Here are 3 examples of discussion essay questions:

ielts academic writing essay structure

  • Develop both sides of the argument.
  • Talk about the view you don’t agree with first.

A big mistake many students make is to fully develop only one point of view. This leads to an unbalanced essay and a low score for task achievement. 

It is easier to begin by discussing the opinion you don’t agree with and then present the reasons for your opposing view.

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Negative Viewpoint

  • Topic sentence – outline the view you don’t agree with
  • Explanation – explain why this view is held by some people

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Positive Viewpoint

  • Topic sentence – outline the view you do agree with
  • Summarise the key points and state your opinion

3)  Problem Essays  

These are sometimes called ‘causes and solutions’ or ‘problems and solutions’ essays. This type of IELTS Task 2 question starts with a statement, then asks you to discuss the problems or causes and the solutions.

  • Don’t list lots of causes and solutions.
  • Choose just one or two and develop them fully.
  • Be sure to link each problem/cause and its solution.

A common mistake is for candidates to list all the problems/causes and solutions they can think of, not necessarily linking them together.  They also fail to explain any of them in detail and don’t include any examples.

The wording of this type of essay question can vary considerably.  Here are 3 examples of problem essay questions:

ielts academic writing essay structure

  • State 1 key problem/cause and related solution

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Problem or Cause

  • Topic sentence – state the problem or cause
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the problem or cause

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Solution

  • Topic sentence – state the solution
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the solution

4)  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

The first part of the question will be a statement. You will be asked to write about both the advantages and disadvantages of the idea stated.

Here is some typical wording that might be used:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of….?
  • Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your opinion.

Here are 3 examples of advantages and disadvantages essay questions:

ielts academic writing essay structure

Each of these different types of questions fits into one of two slightly different essay structures. We’ll look at these in detail on the main IELTS Task 2 Advantages & Disadvantages Essays page. For now, I’ll give you the basic structure.

  • Outline the view or views stated the statement

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Advantage

  • Topic sentence – state 1 advantage
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the advantage
  • Result – state the result

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Disadvantage

  • Topic sentence – state 1 disadvantage
  • Explanation – give detail explaining the disadvantage
  • Summarise the key points
  • State your opinion if required

5)  Double Question Essays

This type of IELTS Task 2 question is sometimes called a ‘direct question’ or ‘two questions’ essay. It has one statement with two different questions after it. The questions may or may not be linked.

  • You must answer both questions fully.
  • Don’t confuse it with an opinion or a discussion essay.
  • Be careful that you don’t end up with too many ideas to write about.

Here are 3 examples of double question essay questions:

ielts academic writing essay structure

  • Outline sentence – state your answer to both questions

2)  Main body paragraph 1 – Answer question 1

  • Topic sentence – state your answer
  • Explanation – explain why you think this

3)  Main body paragraph 2 – Answer question 2

  • Summarise both questions and answers

I hope you’ve found this information useful. You can learn lots more about writing the 5 different types of IELTS Task 2 essay and see sample answers on these pages:

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

   Opinion Essays

   Discussion Essays

  Problem Solution Essays

  Advantages & Disadvantages Essays

  Double Question Essays

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More help with ielts task 2.

IELTS Writing Task 2  – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

Understanding Task 2 Questions  – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay  – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction  – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs  – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

How To Write Task 2 Conclusions  – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

Task 2 Marking Criteria  – Find out how to meet the marking criteria for IELTS Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.

Other related pages:

IELTS Writing Test  – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.

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Easy ways to structure your IELTS Academic writing tasks

Easy ways to structure your IELTS Academic writing tasks - person w/ pen in their hand looking at a book in front of a window

When you prepare for IELTS you will need to complete two writing tasks

On this page

Essay outline, introduction, what are paragraphs, how important are paragraphs to your score on the ielts exam, what is similar and different about how the ielts academic writing tasks are organized, writing task 1, report outline, how does a task 2 essay compare to this task 1 report, introductory paragraph, first body paragraph, second body paragraph.

If you are preparing for the IELTS academic exam, you know that you will have to complete two writing tasks: a report and an essay. Understanding the similarities and differences in paragraphing frameworks for these two separate tasks will go a long way in saving you time and improving your score.

If you are confused about how to use paragraphs effectively, you are not alone. Many people struggle when it comes to organizing their ideas effectively in their writing. This article will hopefully clarify how paragraphs are used to help make your IELTS Task 1 and 2 writing easy to read.

Paragraphs are groups of sentences that usually deal with a single theme or have an expected purpose such as an introduction or conclusion when combined together. 

Each one begins with the first line indented or is separated from the next one with a blank line. 

Paragraphs break a longer text into manageable units so that the reader can follow how thoughts and ideas unfold with a logical beginning, middle and end. 

Paragraphing is very important in the Task 2 essay because it is a more formal composition, but if you want to score higher overall, you have to show that you can use them skillfully in both tasks. Knowing basic formulas for these IELTS writing tasks will help improve your score. 

Let’s look at basic paragraphing in sample questions from the IELTS exam to demonstrate the similarities and differences in their structure.

This first Task 1 example compares the consumption of French fries and poutine.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task. 

* Poutine: a mixture of French fries, cheese curds and gravy.

While you read the response, think about these questions: 

What information is in each paragraph and how is this information different or the same from the ones around it?  

Can you see a clear beginning, middle and end of this response?

What follows is an agree/disagree essay broken down into its beginning middle and end, and then a closer look at how sentences are organized within each paragraph so that the ideas and reasoning are easy to follow. 

Sentence 1 :  State the premise that the essay will address (you can simply rephrase the words in the task).   

Developing and buying medicine is expensive and some believe that money would be better spent on preventing disease from arising in the first place.  

Sentence 2 :  State your opinion in the matter.  

I somewhat disagree with this notion.   

Sentence 3 :  Briefly outline what you are going to write in the next two paragraphs to support your opinion.  

It would be a mistake to focus only on prevention as there will always be diseases to treat and spending money on the research and development of medicines might lead to more effective preventative measures.  

Sentence 1 (topic sentence):   Tell the reader what this paragraph is about by introducing your first point.

Preventative actions do not always stop illness from occurring.

Sentence 2:   Assume that the reader doesn’t know anything about this topic and explain your point clearly.

One glance at the healthy living section of a bookstore shows that there are opposing opinions on what to do to keep illness away.

Sentence 3:   Give a real-life or made-up example that illustrates and supports this point.

For instance, smoking is an identified cause of cancer but choosing not to smoke does not guarantee that you will not develop lung cancer because it still occurs in non-smokers.

Sentence 4:   State an opposing position  but  redirect to yours.

Sentence 1  (topic sentence):  Tell the reader what this paragraph is about by introducing the second point . 

Instead, we need to continue funding the research and development of medicines to better understand the cause as well as the prevention of disease.   

Sentence 2 :  Assume that the reader doesn’t know anything about this topic and explain your point clearly.  

If we keep looking for ways to fight and treat sicknesses, we are more likely to find better ways to stop them from occurring.   

Sentence 3 :  Give a real-life or made-up example that illustrates and supports this point . 

For example, while searching for ways to cure a cold, scientists discovered that an effective way to avoid catching one was frequent hand cleaning but, prior to the science, it was mistakenly believed that avoiding cold air would keep the virus away.  

Sentence 4 :  State an opposing position  but  redirect to yours.  

So, it’s true that it takes a great deal of money to develop new medicines, however, those investments lead to more informed methods for keeping people healthy.  

Sentence 1 :  Rephrase your opinion and sum up your two supporting points.  

Prevention goes far in improving people’s lives and reducing suffering but we still are not certain that these methods work for all, so continued investment into research and treatment is important.  

Sentence 2 :  Make a prediction or a recommendation based on what you have said.  

Investing money in both tactics would be ideal.  

Angela Rutherford is an experienced English teacher who specializes in helping people do their best on the IELTS exam. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their Scottish Terrier named Edgrrr.

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Band 9 Guide: IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Types and Structures + Sample Essays

In the IELTS Writing Task 2, you are required to craft a compelling essay on a given topic. The approach and structure will largely depend on the question type presented. This guide offers a detailed look into the various question types, their structures, and strategies to tackle them effectively.

Here are the essay types that we will cover:

  • Opinion Questions (Agree or Disagree)
  • Advantages and Disadvantages Questions
  • Discussion (Discuss Both Views) Questions
  • Problem and Solution Questions
  • Two-Part Questions
  • Mixed Type (Advantages and Disadvantages + Opinion)
  • Double Question
  • Causes (Reasons) and Effects

At the end, we will provide you with some supplementary tips that you can use to improve your writing band score in the IELTS exam.

1. Opinion Questions (Agree or Disagree)

This question type asks you to express your viewpoints on a given topic or statement.

Question Example:

Is digital technology in schools beneficial for students learning?

Essay Structure:

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and state your opinion, outlining the main ideas.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Begin with a topic sentence, explain this topic sentence, and provide an example.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Follow the same format as the previous paragraph.
  • Conclusion : Recap the main points and reiterate your opinion.

Sample Essay:

Introduction: Digital technology has become an integral part of modern education, transforming the way students learn and interact with the world. In this essay, I will outline why I believe that incorporating digital technology in schools is highly beneficial for students learning.

Main Body Paragraph 1: First and foremost, digital technology enhances engagement and active participation in the learning process. Interactive learning platforms, virtual simulations, and multimedia resources make lessons more captivating and encourage students to explore concepts in depth. For instance, online platforms like Khan Academy offer interactive math lessons that adapt to individual learning paces, ensuring a personalized and effective learning experience. This level of engagement fosters a deeper understanding of subjects.

Main Body Paragraph 2: Furthermore, digital technology equips students with practical skills relevant to the digital age. In today’s interconnected world, proficiency in using digital tools and navigating online resources is essential for success. Integrating technology into education not only prepares students for the future job market but also empowers them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. For instance, coding workshops in schools enable students to develop computational thinking, a skill applicable in a wide range of disciplines.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the integration of digital technology into schools brings numerous advantages to students’ learning experiences. It enhances engagement, promotes practical skills, and cultivates a mindset of adaptability and innovation. While some may argue that excessive screen time can be detrimental, judicious use of technology can mitigate these concerns. By embracing digital technology, schools can provide a holistic and dynamic education that prepares students for the challenges of the modern world.

Advanced Tips:

  • Be clear in your stance and acknowledge counterarguments if necessary.
  • Employ persuasive tools like strong adjectives, rhetorical questions, and emphatic structures to bolster your arguments.

2. Advantages and Disadvantages Questions

You need to evaluate both the benefits and drawbacks of a particular topic or situation.

What are the pros and cons of remote work for professionals?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and outline the main points.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Discuss two advantages, expand on each, and provide an example.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Detail two disadvantages, delve deeper into each, and give an example.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the main pros and cons discussed.

Introduction: The advent of technology has revolutionized the way professionals work, giving rise to the concept of remote work. In this essay, I will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of remote work for professionals.

Main Body Paragraph 1: Remote work offers several compelling advantages for professionals. Firstly, it provides a flexible work environment that allows individuals to balance their personal and professional lives effectively. This flexibility can lead to increased job satisfaction and improved overall well-being. Moreover, remote work eliminates the need for daily commutes, saving valuable time and reducing stress. According to a study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, remote workers report higher levels of productivity due to reduced distractions commonly found in traditional office settings.

Main Body Paragraph 2: However, remote work also presents certain challenges. One notable disadvantage is the potential for isolation and reduced collaboration. In a traditional office environment, spontaneous interactions and face-to-face discussions foster creativity and teamwork. Remote work can lead to feelings of loneliness and hinder effective communication, which is crucial for innovative solutions to complex problems. Additionally, remote work requires a high level of self-discipline, as the absence of direct supervision may lead to procrastination and decreased accountability.

Conclusion: In conclusion, remote work offers professionals a range of benefits such as flexibility and time savings. However, it is not without its drawbacks, including potential isolation and reduced collaboration. To maximize the advantages of remote work while mitigating its disadvantages, professionals must cultivate effective communication skills, establish a dedicated workspace, and maintain a disciplined work routine. Ultimately, the success of remote work hinges on the ability to strike a balance between the convenience it offers and the challenges it poses.

  • Use transitional phrases to ensure smooth transitions between points.
  • Avoid mere antonyms when presenting pros and cons.

3. Discussion (Discuss Both Views) Questions

These questions require you to explore multiple perspectives on a topic.

Should governments prioritize economic growth over environmental conservation?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and provide a thesis statement.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Detail one viewpoint, give reasons for/against it and provide an example.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : State the opposing viewpoint, discuss it, and again offer an example.
  • Conclusion : Sum up the discussion and state your preferred perspective.

Introduction: The delicate balance between economic growth and environmental conservation has become a critical concern in contemporary societies. In this essay, I will delve into both perspectives on whether governments should prioritize economic growth or environmental conservation.

Main Body Paragraph 1: From an economic standpoint, prioritizing growth can lead to numerous benefits. Economic expansion creates job opportunities, boosts national income, and improves living standards for citizens. For instance, countries like China and India have experienced significant economic growth that has lifted millions out of poverty. This growth can fund essential services such as healthcare and education, contributing to overall societal development.

Main Body Paragraph 2: On the other hand, environmental conservation holds paramount importance for the future well-being of our planet. Ecological degradation and resource depletion have dire consequences for ecosystems and humanity alike. Focusing on environmental conservation ensures the preservation of biodiversity, clean air, and freshwater sources. For instance, countries like Sweden have successfully implemented green policies, resulting in cleaner air and sustainable use of natural resources.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the debate over whether governments should prioritize economic growth or environmental conservation is complex and multifaceted. While economic growth brings prosperity and improved living standards, neglecting environmental concerns could lead to irreversible damage to our planet. Striking a balance between these two perspectives is crucial. Governments can implement policies that promote sustainable economic growth while also ensuring responsible resource management and environmental protection. Only through careful consideration and informed decision-making can societies navigate the intricate interplay between economic progress and environmental stewardship.

  • Ensure you give equal weight to both viewpoints.
  • Your conclusion should reflect a balanced understanding of the topic.

Read Also : Cohesive Devices for Band 9 in IELTS Writing: The ultimate guide

4. Problem and Solution Questions

This question type asks you to identify problems related to a situation and suggest solutions.

What challenges does urbanization present and how can cities adapt?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the Question and outline the main ideas.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Identify the problems, discuss them, and offer examples.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Suggest possible solutions, discuss their feasibility, and provide examples.
  • Conclusion : Recap the highlighted problems and proposed solutions.

Introduction: The rapid pace of urbanization has transformed the world’s landscape, bringing with it a host of challenges that demand urgent attention. In this essay, I will explore the problems posed by urbanization and propose viable solutions to address these challenges.

Main Body Paragraph 1: Urbanization has given rise to a range of pressing issues. One significant challenge is the strain on urban infrastructure, including transportation and housing. As rural populations migrate to cities, the demand for housing outpaces supply, leading to slums and inadequate living conditions. Additionally, traffic congestion and limited public transport options undermine efficient mobility. Pollution is another critical concern as increased industrial activity and vehicular emissions degrade air quality, endangering residents’ health.

Main Body Paragraph 2: To counter these challenges, cities can adopt proactive measures. Firstly, urban planning should prioritize affordable housing initiatives and sustainable infrastructure development. By building smart cities that utilize technology to manage resources efficiently, governments can alleviate congestion and enhance the quality of life. Moreover, investing in efficient public transportation systems, such as metro networks and buses, can reduce traffic congestion and pollution. For instance, the Bus Rapid Transit system in Curitiba, Brazil, has improved transportation efficiency and reduced congestion.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the challenges posed by urbanization require multifaceted solutions that span urban planning, infrastructure development, and sustainable policies. By addressing housing shortages, improving transportation, and promoting environmentally conscious practices, cities can harness the potential of urbanization while mitigating its negative consequences. This approach will not only enhance the quality of life for urban residents but also contribute to the overall well-being of society in the face of an increasingly urbanized world.

  • Be specific in identifying problems and avoid vagueness.
  • Solutions should be practical and actionable.

5. Two-Part Questions

You are presented with a statement followed by two distinct queries that must be addressed.

How has digital technology impacted workplaces and what future advancements can be anticipated?

  • Introduction : Paraphrase the statement and outline both questions.
  • Main Body Paragraph 1 : Address the first question with explanations and examples.
  • Main Body Paragraph 2 : Respond to the second question, again with explanations and examples.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the responses to both questions.

Introduction: The integration of digital technology into workplaces has reshaped the dynamics of modern work environments, bringing forth both immediate changes and future possibilities. In this essay, I will delve into the ways digital technology has already transformed workplaces and discuss potential advancements that can be anticipated.

Main Body Paragraph 1: The impact of digital technology on workplaces has been profound. Firstly, it has streamlined communication and collaboration, allowing teams to collaborate across geographical boundaries in real-time. Tools like video conferencing and cloud-based document sharing have revolutionized how projects are managed. Moreover, automation powered by artificial intelligence (AI) has improved efficiency by handling routine tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more complex, creative endeavors. This has been particularly evident in industries like manufacturing, where robots have taken over repetitive and dangerous tasks.

Main Body Paragraph 2: Looking ahead, digital technology is poised to bring even more transformative changes. The rise of remote work is likely to continue, with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies offering immersive virtual workspaces that replicate physical office environments. Furthermore, AI-driven analytics will enable data-driven decision-making, enhancing business strategies and customer interactions. The concept of a “smart office” will likely emerge, with interconnected devices and IoT (Internet of Things) technology optimizing resource utilization and energy efficiency.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the impact of digital technology on workplaces has been substantial, revolutionizing communication, automating tasks, and increasing efficiency. As we move forward, advancements such as AR, VR, AI, and IoT hold the promise of further reshaping work environments. To stay competitive, companies must embrace these innovations while also addressing potential challenges like data security and workforce adaptation. By doing so, they can position themselves to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

  • Maintain a clear division between your answers to both questions.
  • Use predictive techniques when addressing future-related queries.

6. Mixed Type (Advantages and Disadvantages + Opinion)

Here, you should discuss the pros and cons of a topic, followed by expressing a personal opinion.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping and give your own opinion.

  • Introduction : Introduce the topic.
  • Advantages : 1-2 paragraphs detailing the benefits.
  • Disadvantages : 1-2 paragraphs detailing the drawbacks.
  • Opinion : State your viewpoint and provide supporting reasons.
  • Conclusion : Summarize the main points.

Introduction: The proliferation of online shopping has transformed the way consumers engage in commerce, offering convenience and accessibility like never before. This essay will explore the benefits and drawbacks of online shopping, followed by my personal opinion on its overall impact.

Advantages: Online shopping presents several advantages. Firstly, it offers unparalleled convenience, allowing customers to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. This eliminates the need to travel to physical stores, saving time and energy. Moreover, the variety of options available online ensures a wider selection of products, often at competitive prices. Online platforms also offer detailed product information, reviews, and comparison tools, empowering consumers to make informed decisions.

Disadvantages: However, online shopping is not without its disadvantages. One major concern is the inability to physically inspect products before purchase. This can lead to dissatisfaction if the received item doesn’t match expectations. Additionally, online transactions may pose risks to personal data security and privacy. Cases of identity theft and online scams are not uncommon, raising concerns about the safety of online purchases. Furthermore, the lack of face-to-face interaction eliminates the personal touch of traditional shopping experiences.

Opinion: In my opinion, the advantages of online shopping outweigh its drawbacks. The convenience, vast selection, and competitive prices make it a viable option for today’s busy consumers. The potential risks associated with online transactions can be mitigated by adopting secure payment methods and practicing caution when sharing personal information. As technology continues to advance, addressing security concerns will likely become more effective.

Conclusion: In conclusion, online shopping offers undeniable benefits in terms of convenience, variety, and accessibility. While challenges such as product inspection and security issues persist, they can be managed with prudent shopping practices. Embracing online shopping while remaining vigilant about its potential pitfalls can lead to a rewarding and efficient shopping experience.

  • Balance your essay by giving equal importance to advantages, disadvantages, and your opinion.
  • Use rhetorical questions to highlight the significance of your viewpoint.

Read Also : Common grammar mistakes to avoid in the IELTS writing section

7. Double Question

Two distinct questions are presented that must be answered within the essay.

Why do people attend colleges or universities? What are the benefits of higher education?

  • Answer to Question 1 : Provide reasons and examples.
  • Answer to Question 2 : Offer explanations and illustrations.
  • Conclusion : Recap the main points made.

Introduction: The decision to pursue higher education is driven by a multitude of factors, each intertwined with the potential benefits that education beyond high school can offer. This essay will delve into the reasons individuals choose to attend colleges or universities and the advantages that higher education brings.

Answer to Question 1: People seek higher education for various reasons. Firstly, acquiring specialized knowledge and skills is a primary motivation. Colleges and universities offer structured curricula that equip students with expertise in their chosen fields. Furthermore, higher education provides opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. The university environment encourages critical thinking, independent research, and exposure to diverse perspectives, fostering well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the challenges of the modern world.

Answer to Question 2: The benefits of higher education are manifold. Firstly, it significantly enhances career prospects. Graduates with degrees are often more competitive in the job market, commanding higher salaries and better employment opportunities. Additionally, higher education fosters networking and social connections that can open doors to professional opportunities. Moreover, education beyond high school cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are invaluable assets in various aspects of life. For instance, an educated citizenry contributes to informed decision-making in society and drives innovation.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the decision to attend colleges or universities is driven by a desire for specialized knowledge, personal growth, and expanded opportunities. The benefits of higher education are far-reaching, including improved career prospects, enhanced critical thinking abilities, and societal contributions. As higher education continues to evolve and adapt to changing demands, its role in shaping individuals and society remains indispensable.

  • Use connectors like “Firstly” and “Secondly” to distinguish between the two answers.
  • Provide real-life examples to make your answers more credible.

8. Evaluation

You should assess the significance, relevance, or implications of a topic or statement.

How significant is the role of technology in education today?

  • Significance/Relevance : Describe why the topic is essential.
  • Counterarguments : Discuss opposing viewpoints or potential drawbacks.
  • Conclusion : Summarize your evaluation.

Introduction: Technology’s pervasive presence in modern education has sparked debates about its significance and impact on learning. This essay will evaluate the role of technology in education today, examining its importance and potential drawbacks.

Significance/Relevance: The role of technology in education is undeniably significant. It has transformed traditional classrooms into dynamic learning environments, offering interactive tools and resources that engage students. Technology facilitates personalized learning experiences, catering to diverse learning styles and paces. For instance, adaptive learning platforms tailor content to individual students’ progress, optimizing comprehension and retention. Moreover, technology has transcended geographical barriers, enabling distance learning and online courses that make education accessible to a global audience.

Counterarguments: However, there are counterarguments to the unqualified significance of technology in education. Overreliance on technology may lead to reduced face-to-face interactions and diminished social skills. Additionally, some educators argue that technology can be a distraction, diverting students’ attention from essential learning objectives. Moreover, the digital divide, where not all students have equal access to technology, can exacerbate educational inequalities.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the role of technology in education is undoubtedly significant, enhancing engagement, personalization, and accessibility. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge potential drawbacks such as social skill erosion and disparities in access. Technology’s effectiveness in education depends on its thoughtful integration and its alignment with pedagogical goals. Striking a balance between harnessing technology’s benefits and mitigating its downsides is essential to maximize its positive impact on modern education.

  • Maintain objectivity; avoid extreme positions unless strongly backed by evidence.
  • Use qualifiers like “largely”, “often”, or “generally” to avoid making absolute statements.

9. Causes (Reasons) and Effects

This type demands an understanding of the root causes of a situation and its resultant effects.

What are the reasons for increasing obesity rates in children, and what are its consequences?

  • Causes/Reasons : Elaborate on the underlying factors.
  • Effects/Consequences : Detail the outcomes or repercussions.
  • Conclusion : Recap the main causes and effects.

Introduction: The rising prevalence of childhood obesity has emerged as a critical public health concern in many societies. This essay will delve into the underlying causes of increasing obesity rates in children and explore the far-reaching consequences of this alarming trend.

Causes/Reasons: Several factors contribute to the growing obesity rates among children. Firstly, changes in dietary habits have led to increased consumption of processed foods high in sugars and unhealthy fats. Busy lifestyles and convenience-driven choices have shifted diets towards calorie-dense but nutritionally poor options. Sedentary behaviors, fueled by excessive screen time and a decline in physical activity, also play a pivotal role. Reduced outdoor play and an increasing reliance on electronic devices have led to a decline in daily physical activity levels. Furthermore, socioeconomic disparities can impact access to healthy food options and safe play spaces, exacerbating the issue.

Effects/Consequences: The consequences of childhood obesity are multifaceted and far-reaching. In the short term, overweight children often face social and psychological challenges, including low self-esteem and bullying. Moreover, childhood obesity sets the stage for lifelong health problems. Obese children are at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and musculoskeletal issues. The economic burden on healthcare systems is substantial, as treating obesity-related illnesses places a strain on resources.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the rising prevalence of childhood obesity can be attributed to a complex interplay of factors, including dietary changes, sedentary lifestyles, and socioeconomic disparities. The consequences of childhood obesity extend beyond physical health, impacting mental well-being and straining healthcare systems. Addressing this issue requires a comprehensive approach involving education, policy changes, and community initiatives that promote healthy diets and active lifestyles from an early age.

  • Use cause-effect connectors like “due to”, “because of”, “as a result”, and “hence”.
  • Illustrate causes and effects with recent studies or statistical data where possible.

Read Also : How to use Complex Sentences in IELTS writing?

Supplementary Skills and Tips

Advanced Writing Techniques :

  • Use cohesive devices like ‘however’, ‘moreover’, and ‘therefore’ to ensure fluidity.
  • Vary sentence lengths for rhythm and engagement.
  • Incorporate credible statistics where appropriate.

Pitfalls to Avoid :

  • Stay away from broad generalizations and sweeping statements.
  • Use varied vocabulary to prevent monotony.
  • Always revise your essay before submission.

Enhancing Vocabulary :

  • Improve your vocabulary to make your essay more engaging. For instance, instead of “good”, use words like “beneficial” or “advantageous”.

The Importance of Practice and Feedback :

  • Regular practice, coupled with feedback, is key. Take online IELTS mock tests with detailed feedback from certified examiners to improve your writing skills.

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IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Structures

Posted by David S. Wills | Apr 11, 2017 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 2

IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Structures

If you want to write a great essay for IELTS, then it needs to have a good structure. Fortunately, this is quite easy to do. Whilst IELTS writing is notoriously difficult , producing a competent structure is something you can learn in just a few hours.

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about structuring an IELTS essay. If you want an even more in-depth guide, you can refer to my book, How to Write the Perfect Essay for IELTS, which goes into a lot of detail.

ielts academic writing essay structure

The Importance of Essay Structure

Before we look at how to structure a task 2 essay, we should briefly talk about why we need to do it. This may be obvious to some, but to others it is a mystery.

Essentially, for IELTS you are being marked in four different areas. Each has a basic reason associated with it (although there are many complexities to consider). This is what the IELTS writing band descriptors mean:

Today, we are only interested in Coherence and Cohesion, so let’s look at that.

Basically, you need to structure your essay well in order to present your ideas effectively. If you wrote a lot of good ideas with good vocabulary and accurate grammar, you could still get a poor score for Coherence and Cohesion if your ideas were not structured well.

There are some other things to consider for Coherence and Cohesion ( transition words , linking of clauses, referencing) but structure is the most basic one and perhaps the most important if you are aiming to score band 6 or 7.

An essay that is not well structured will be hard to read. It will also be the first thing that any reader notices, for it is quite obvious when someone has failed to use proper paragraphs.

The First and Most Basic Thing…

Ok, let’s start at the beginning. The most basic thing about essay structure is… you need to use paragraphs .

This might be obvious, but actually a large number of people simply don’t know this. They write a huge block of text that has no paragraphs or else they put each sentence as a single paragraph. This is not good and you would not be able to get a good score for your essay if you did this.

ielts essays need paragraphs

At the most basic, you need to divide your essay into about four paragraphs. There are various reasons, but essentially 4-5 paragraphs is optimal . Any more or less would surely have serious problems.

Common IELTS Essay Structures

When it comes to task 2, the vast majority of essays can be adapted to one simple structure:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph #1
  • Body paragraph #2

Of course, these paragraphs will be dictated by the topic and content of the essay, but almost every question could be effectively answered with this structure. I have a writing correction service and for it I write sample band 9 answers. I used this four-paragraph structure for 99% of my answers.

Some people prefer to write 5 paragraphs and this can definitely be useful, but it is a little more difficult to do, and so I recommend that you write four paragraphs for your essays except when you have a very good reason to do otherwise.

Question Types and Essay Structures

The four-paragraph essay structure can essentially be adapted to any IELTS question type:

  • Advantage/disadvantage
  • Problem/solution
  • Discuss both views
  • Agree/disagree
  • Two-part questions

It requires some small changes in terms of internal paragraph structure, but overall you can just use the same basic format.

For example, if you were given this question, you could easily use the four-paragraph structure:

Some people feel that manufacturers and supermarkets have the responsibility to reduce the amount of packaging of goods. Others argue that customers should avoid buying goods with a lot of packaging. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

You would simply structure your essay like this:

For reference, here is my answer to that question:

Sample Band 9 Answer

The problem of pollution is a major one in the modern era, and in the developed world people have been trying to find solutions for several decades. Currently, one of the biggest debates revolves around whether it should be companies or individual people that bear the majority of the responsibility for this improvement. This essay will look at both arguments and conclude that the responsibility should be shared.

To begin with, some people argue that major corporations are responsible for fixing our environmental problems because they have profited from reprehensible crimes against the environment for decades. If these companies suddenly changed to sustainable, eco-friendly products and packaging, consumers could still continue their normal shopping without having so much of a negative effect on the world. This would take away the individual’s choice and thereby ensure that everyone contributes to repairing our planet. However, companies function on profits and generally single-use plastics are cheap, so many of them are reluctant to make the switch.

On the other hand, people can also make a difference. Companies only sell what there is a demand for, and if people start demanding greener products and more responsible corporate actions, then companies will have to comply. If their customers started complaining about or boycotting overly-packaged goods, companies would quickly change to keep the consumer happy. However, sadly not all people care about the environment, and in many parts of the world cost comes first. If we rely entirely upon people to make this choice, there will be no progress. In many parts of the world, people still think it is fine to throw plastic into rivers so they should not be depended upon to make reasonable choices.

In conclusion, both companies and individuals should take an active role in fixing the damage they have done to the world, but neither can be entirely trusted. Everyone should make some positive effort and it would also be helpful for governments to pass laws with serious punishments for offenders who violate environmental regulations.

Structure: Overall and Internal

One important thing to note here is that there are two ways of viewing essay structure for IELTS. The first is to view it as a matter of structuring your overall essay into paragraphs and the second is that there are some finer details, such as linking sentences.

Indeed, both of these are very important. I have written extensively about internal structure here . You really need to think carefully about both aspects if you want to get a high score for Coherence and Cohesion. Internal linking is more difficult and it is what you should do once you have mastered the basics of overall essay structure.

For now, it is enough to know that you need to write a good introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion if you want to score at least band 6. You should also consider that your introduction and conclusion should, in almost all cases, be shorter than your body paragraphs. This ensures that the body paragraphs are sufficiently developed. Remember that the purpose of the introduction and conclusion is simply to give basic guiding detail and state your position (if needed).

This video gives a pretty good summary of the requirements of Coherence and Cohesion:

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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Hey there! Quick question, is it absolutely necessary to use the “outline sentence”? It feels very “I am 10 years old and can’t write a proper thesis statement that actually outlines my essay with the thesis itself.” Is this what you would say is an “official structure”?

David S. Wills

No, nothing is really absolutely necessary. However, I would strongly recommend it for IELTS students. It shows a grasp of structure and language, even if, as you say, it may seem rather simplistic in a native speaker’s academic essay.

In learning English writing, I think it’s important students work within a set structure until they have really quite advanced skills, otherwise it tends to turn into a disaster. Giving guides for each sentence is essential. At a certain point they can then break free and try something more complex.

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IELTS Writing Task 1: Structure & FAQ

  • November 17, 2022

IELTS Writing Task 1: Structure & FAQ

IELTS writing takes 60 minutes and includes two writing tasks. Writing Task 2, which was covered in this blog post , tests your ability to express a subjective opinion. Writing Task 1, on the other hand, is more objective.  

There are two versions of IELTS Writing Task 1: the general version, and the academic version. If you want to use IELTS to enter a college or university, you will be writing the academic version.  

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 Test Format  

Academic Writing Task 1 involves writing about a graph, chart, table, or illustrated process. Regardless of which you choose, the format is essentially the same for all writing tasks. 

Writing Task 1 should be at least 150 words and completed in 20 minutes. Many teachers advocate writing four paragraphs, but it is possible to write only three if you follow our suggested structure. 

Paragraph 1: Introduction & Overview   

Word Count: 50 Words

First Sentence (Introduction Sentence): Introduce the topic of the graph, table, etc. What is being measured? What is the unit of measurement? Are there times and dates that need to be mentioned? 

Do not interpret any of the data. Do not compare any of the data. Instead, it can be useful to complete this sentence: “This graph shows ______________.” 

Second Sentence (Main Features): Write a sentence or two that describes the main features of the graph, chart, or table. Mention the highest points and the lowest points. If there are other interesting features that you would like to explain later, mention them here too.  

Do not explain why these points are interesting. Do not explain why one point is high or one point is low. Don’t interpret the data.  

Some sample sentences that can be useful here: 

“The most interesting trend was ______________.” 

“The biggest change over the given time period was ______________.” 

Paragraph 2: Body Paragraph A 

Word Count: 50 Words  

Pick one of the main features that you mention in the first paragraph. Now, you can explain this feature in detail. You can do this in 3 – 5 sentences.  

Mention all the numbers and measurements that are relevant to this feature. This might feel like you are simply copying down the data that you see in the chart or table. That’s okay! This is exactly what you want to do in Writing Task 1. Again, this is not about forming an opinion or an argument.  

You can also compare features here. Look for opposites or contrasting data points, as they are easiest to describe.  

Paragraph 3: Body Paragraph B 

Just like in the previous paragraph, all you have to do now is describe the main feature. Follow the same method as above. When done, you do not have to write a conclusion. Simply move on to Writing Task 2. 

Need more guidance? Check out the small list of FAQ below.  

FAQ about IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 

Q: How can I improve my writing? 

A: The best advice is the simplest: read a lot and write a lot. Reading will help you develop a natural sense of how words, sentences, and paragraphs fit together. Studying grammar is helpful, but reading will improve your knowledge of collocations, something that is hard to internalize by rote memorization alone. 

Apart from that, receiving feedback from a trained IELTS instructor can help you discover what areas of your writing you need to work on. Consider working with a tutor or taking classes like those offered by The Language Gallery Canada (TLGC).   

Q: How many paragraphs should I write? 

A: As mentioned above, you can write three or four paragraphs. If you decide to do four instead of three, simply separate the first two sentences into separate paragraphs. The first sentence can be an introductory paragraph, and the second can be an overview paragraph. 

Q: Should I write a conclusion for Task 1 Academic? 

A: Unlike in Writing Task 2, a conclusion is not required. 

Q: How many words should I write? 

A: You should write at least 150 words. Many students find that this is too short and feel they need to write more. If you feel this way, aim for 200 words instead.  

However, be careful not to write too much. A longer answer means that you probably spent more time writing it. The time used for Writing Task 1 is time taken away from Writing Task 2. This is because as soon as you finish Task 1, you can begin Task 2.

You only get 60 minutes for both tasks. If you finish Task 1 in 20 minutes, you have 40 minutes for Task 2. If you finish Task 1 in 30 minutes, then you have only 30 minutes for Task 2. This is definitely not enough time for Task 2, so plan accordingly. 

To learn more about language requirements for FCT, visit this page or email [email protected]   

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