• Mai Duc Nguyen

Writing Task 2 Revision – Tips for Structuring Your Essay

Tip #1: Understand the desirable essay length

Keep in mind that you only have 40 minutes for the Task 2 section of the IELTS Writing test. Therefore, the desirable essay length is between 270-290 words. Avoid writing more than 300 words, because you will risk submitting an unfinished essay.

Tip #2: Develop a logical essay structure

The most common essay structure in IELTS Writing Task 2 is an introduction, followed by 2 body paragraphs, and followed by a conclusion. It is a bad idea to write 1 body paragraph, since you normally need to show two sides of an argument or trend. Furthermore, it is a common myth that a conclusion may be omitted in the Task 2 section. In fact, a strong conclusion can significantly boost your overall essay score.

Tip #3: Know your opinion

If the essay topic presents two contrasting views or asks for both advantages and disadvantages of a trend, have your opinion, i.e. which side you support, ready. This knowledge will help you plan the contents and lengths of your paragraphs. For example, if the essay topic demands your opinion on the rise of electric cars and you are a supporter of this trend, you should analyze more advantages than disadvantages.

Tip #4: Balance two sides of an argument

Presenting a clear opinion will strengthen your essay. However, many candidates fall into the trap of defending their arguments at all costs. Show to the IELTS Examiner that you are well-rounded by mentioning the merits of the argument you oppose. Afterwards, you can refute that argument by real-life examples, statistics or the argument you support.

Tip #5: Avoid writing too long or too short paragraphs

Practice many times before sitting the real exam. Time pressure in the exam room can put you in great discomfort and lead you to writing too long or too short paragraphs. Generally, an ideal paragraph should have between 5-6 sentences, and the final length should depend on the amount of content you want to highlight.

Do you have other tips for a well-structured essay? Please share with us and our readers by leaving a comment below!

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