1. Make a plan before you write your essay:
Even professional and experienced writers make a plan before they write. A Writing Task 2 essay plan should be short, concise, include key points (not sentences) and should not take you more than 5 minutes to complete.
An example of a Writing Task 2 essay plan:
Essay Topic: To justify for a rise in petrol tax, some people claim that this move will reduce air pollution. Others, however, claim that there is no link between the two. Discuss both views and give your own opinions.
Reduce private vehicles growth
Increase public transport use
Cut carbon emissions and air pollution
It depends on a number of factors such as how big the rise is.
2. Write a good introduction:
A Task 2 introduction should introduce the given problem or trend (in your own words), why it is happening and what you will do in your essay.
An example of a good introduction:
Essay topic: With the increasing demand for energy sources such as oil and gas, should people be looking for sources of oil and gas in remote and untouched places? Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages of damaging such areas?
Introduction: As world demand for energy is rising, there is an argument that people should look for new sources of oil and gas in remote areas, which does not affect business activities and ordinary people’s lives. However, this act may put natural health and balance at risk. A negative impact on tourism is also possible. In this essay, I will analysis both points of view and give my opinions.
3. Write a good conclusion:
A conclusion in any Writing Task 2 essay should summarize key analysis in the content paragraphs and state your opinions (if you have not done this).
An example of a good conclusion:
Essay topic: In the age of technology, some people believe that online learning is the best option for learners. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.
Conclusion: In conclusion, I support the trend of online learning as long as government authorities ensure the reliability of resources provided on those sites. Having said that, a combination of online and offline learning is more efficient and comprehensive than online learning by itself.
4. Be critical:
Being critical in writing IELTS essays means that you look at a problem or a trend from different perspectives. For example, when analyse a trend, you should examine its advantages as well as its disadvantages.
An example of being critical:
Essay topic: Living in big cities is bad for people’s health. What is your opinion on this statement?
Although environmental problems in big cities can be severe, they are equipped with high-quality medical services, such as world’s latest medicines. Statistics also clearly demonstrate that the quality of health infrastructure in major cities is much better than small cities. Examples of health infrastructure include hospitals, medical check and information centres, which helps patients deal with their health problems.
5. Introduce examples:
Examples in a Writing Task 2 essay will strengthen your analysis and make them more practical. Please click here to find my video on YouTube explaining how to develop examples in Writing Task 2.
6. Use strong verbs:
As an IELTS teacher, I am surprised to see that many IELTS candidates still use weak verbs in their essays. Examples of these verbs are: have, be, take and get. The English language is becoming more verbal and there are many ways to replace the weak verbs with stronger ones!
Do you know any other tips which are useful for the Writing Task 2 section? Please share them with others by leaving a comment.