IELTS Writing: Academic Writing Task 1

It is stated in the tasks' requirement that for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you should “summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.” So, all candidates should write a very good overview/summary paragraph in your answer. It’s ok if you put summary either in the end of your report or straight after the introduction.

In your summary, you should select and report the main feature, which means you don’t need give all information in the chart(s) and you also shouldn’t mention any detail, which belongs to the detail paragraphs.

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IELTS Writing: a hackneyed phrase

The phrase “With the development of science and technology, …” that many candidates like to use in IELTS Writing Task 2, and it becomes overused and misused. This phrase is not wrong or bad English and there are topics where it is suitable to use. Here is an example that an ex-examiner encountered – he said: I used to see situations where the topic was something such as, ‘Do you think students have too much homework?’ and the first sentence the essay was, "With the development of science and technology, …". Boring.

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IELTS Writing: Writing Style

What style of writing should an academic essay be? A lot of candidates, even some teachers think that IELTS Writing Task 2 is a very formal essay, but actually it’s not that formal. It's somewhere between normal spoken English, formal English and scientific, analytic English. Although many people know that we should avoid contractions (For example, instead of using “can’t”, you should write “cannot”), this is not a big issue that all candidates should focus on.

Some candidates write in an unsuitably formal style and often this kind of candidate makes many mistakes because he or she is writing above their natural sentence-making ability – that makes your essay sound really “forced”. Task 2 should not be written in the highest level of formality because, after all, candidates are encouraged to include examples from their own experience. This element of "writing personally" cannot be done at a high level of formality because writing at a high level of formality is impersonal in style. Therefore, you should not attempt to write your essay at the very highest level of formality.

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IELTS Writing: examine and consider an IELTS question

When you write an IELTS essay during your exam, you need to read the question(s) very carefully. IELTS Writing questions are always a bit different from one to another. Look at the following question:

In many countries, the proportion of older people is steadily increasing. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this trend?

If you treat this question as “what are the positive and negatives effects that old people bring to us?”, then it would be hard for you to fully respond the task.

Do you notice the difference?

Here are some ideas about negatives effects of increasing number of older people:

 • More senior citizens means that governments have to arrange more money for their pensions.
 • Local governments have to support them, for example, by giving them discounts for electricity bills, water bills and transportation.
 • This assistance comes in the form of welfare payments, which are collected from tax payers.
 • An increasing number of older people will mean more tax must be collected in order to support .
 • Health authorities could face serious challenges if the number of old aged people increases in the future.
 • Hospital admissions might be higher and waiting lists could be longer for some treatments and operations.

IELTS Writing: Introduction

The introduction should be clear and concise. It doesn’t need to be very long and grand since this is a short 250-word essay. Here’s what it should include:

 • a paraphrase (use of different words but same meaning) of the topic and issue presented in the task question
 • your opinion (if you are asked)

It should be 2 -3 sentences. However, if you want to make your introduction more impressive, you should add a brief overview/summary of main points at the end of your introduction. It will help to shoot up your score.

Here is an example:
Many people believe that women make better parents than men and that this is why they have the greater role in raising children in most societies. Others claim that men are just as good as women at parenting. What’s your opinion?

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