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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.

Image: IELTS-Writing-Task-2-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.

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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)  

Image: IELTS-Writing-Structures-Discussion

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

Image: IELTS-Task-2-Structures-4

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

Image: IELTS-Essay-Structures-5

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.

If you would personalised feedback and guidance until you get the score you need, you can join the Waiting List for my VIP Course here.

ielts academic writing essay structure

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I started IELTS Advantage as a simple blog to help 16 students in my class. Several years later, I am very humbled that my VIP Course has been able to help thousands of people around the world to score a Band 7+ in their IELTS tests.

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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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IELTS Writing Task 2: 8 steps towards a band 8

Four students sit on a university lawn and discuss about IELTS

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…”

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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 paragraphs 

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  

Make typos  

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 idioms/clichés  

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

Organize your answers in a more coherent manner

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.

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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 Band 9 sample essay

Band 9 Sample answers are useful as study guides for IELTS preparation for the IELTS Writing Task 2 essay – especially for a band 9 IELTS essay. Having access to previously completed work that you can have confidence in will show you what you are missing!

Take a look at these sample task 2 essay questions to help you prepare for your exam.

Use the following IELTS sample essay and its explanations to see how close you are to a band 9 in your IELTS writing essay!

Evaluation Criteria

Get your IELTS essay evaluated online (free)

Examples of Band 9 Essays

IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Sample Question and Answer(1)

Why is this IELTS Essay a Band 9?

5 Tips for a Band 9 IELTS Essay

Sample IELTS Writing Task 2 Question and Answer(2)

Sample IELTS Writing Task 2 Question and Answer (3)

Useful Definitions of Advanced Vocabulary Used

Video: Band 9 EX-IELTS Examiner Essay Review

Sample 19 IELTS Essays and 240 Task 2 Essay Questions Ebook

Video: Useful IELTS Essay Writing Tip

Audio Resources

Additional IELTS Resources

IELTS essay task 2: evaluation criteria

IELTS writing tests are evaluated across 4 areas when your band score is calculated:

  • Task achievement  – To what extent does the examinee address all parts of the task with a fully developed position, inclusive of fully extended and well supported ideas?
  • Coherence and cohesion  – Does the candidate logically organise the information and ideas? Is the entire essay cohesive with a logical progression of ideas?
  • Lexical resource  – To what extent does the examinee use a wide range of vocabulary with accuracy? Do they demonstrate sophistication regarding the use of lexical items?
  • Grammatical range and accuracy  – Does the examinee use a range of grammatical structures accurately? Examples of these can be the use of complex sentences with sophisticated clauses instead of simple sentences with a repetitive structure:

Example : Students cannot use phones. They affect development > students are not allowed to use mobile phones in class due to possible distractions.

The British Council (the administrator of the IELTS) outlines 9 different bands of performance for each of the above dimensions here. Your scores in each of these dimensions are averaged to determine your overall band for your essay.

Let's take a look at an example essay that scored as band 9 and then we'll dig into each of these four areas to see why it received that score. It's very important to understand what the IELTS examiner is looking for.

These four criteria are used in our new online essay checker that gives you an estimated band score (free).

IELTS essay sample question (1)

Doing an enjoyable activity with a child can develop better skills and more creativity than reading. To what extent do you agree? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.

IELTS sample essay answer (1)

Parents throughout the world place spend time reading with their offspring to prepare them for school where their literacy skills are further developed; however, recent research suggests that focusing on reading at an early age can be detrimental, and participating in fun activities would be far more beneficial. I am a strong advocate of this approach, and the benefits of it will be covered in this essay.

A fundamental reason for this is that there is no biological age for reading, and pushing infants to acquire this skill before they are ready could have repercussions. For example, in the UK, many boys are reluctant readers, possibly because of being forced to read, and this turned them off reading. By focusing on other activities and developing other skills such as creativity and imagination, when they are ready to read, they usually acquire this skill rapidly.

In addition, the importance of encouraging creativity and developing a child's imagination must be acknowledged. Through play, youngsters develop social and cognitive skills, for example, they are more likely to learn vocabulary through context rather than learning it from a book.

Furthermore, play allows youngsters to mature emotionally, and gain self-confidence. There is no scientific research which suggests reading at a young age is essential for a child's development, moreover, evidence suggests the reverse is true. In Finland, early years' education focuses on playing.

Reading is only encouraged if a child shows an interest in developing this skill. This self-directed approach certainly does not result in Finnish school leavers falling behind their foreign counterparts. In fact, Finland was ranked the sixth-best in the world in terms of reading.

Despite being a supporter of this non-reading approach, I strongly recommend incorporating bedtime stories into a child's daily routine. However, reading as a regular daytime activity should be swapped for something which allows the child to develop other skills.

Why is this essay a band 9?

Task achievement.

According to the IELTS Writing Band Descriptors, an essay is Band 9 for Task Achievement if it:

  • Fully addresses  all parts of the task
  • Presents a  fully developed  position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas.

In order to score well on Task Achievement, the most important thing is  to make sure you respond to what is being asked of you . Is the prompt asking for an opinion, a discussion of a problem, a solution to a problem, or some combination of these? If you provide an opinion and not a solution when you're being asked for a solution, you're not going to score well in this area. Read the question carefully!

The prompt for this essay asks:  “To what extent do you agree [with the previous statement]? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.”  It wants an opinion – with support!

This essay addresses all parts of this task. The opinion is included in the introduction to make the writer's position clear, and then the following paragraphs support the writer's position with examples and justifications. Overall, the response is full and relevant and each of the points is detailed and connected to the thesis.

Coherence and cohesion

Think of this as “How well does the essay flow? Is it easy to follow and does it all tie together?” The exact characteristics for a Band 9 C&C score are that an essay:

  • Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention
  • Skilfully manages paragraphing

Note the specific wording “it attracts no attention.” The goal here is for things to sound natural and not forced. How do you connect your ideas (ensure cohesion) without it sounding forced? I think there are 2 possible ways:

  • Explain your ideas in a logical order so that you don't need many linking words . This is probably what you do when writing in your own language.
  • Use easy linking words like and, but, also, firstly, secondly, finally, for example. These are so common that they attract almost no attention.

This IELTS Sample essay does a good job of this – you'll notice that each paragraph naturally (logically) follows the one prior, providing additional support for the original opinion, and some simple linking words –  in addition, furthermore  (both paragraph 2) and  moreover  (paragraph 3) – are used throughout. These are all good discourse markers that show what is coming next adds to the argument and are slightly more sophisticated than firstly, secondly, and thirdly but don't come across as being forced.

The other aspect to scoring high in C&C is ensuring an essay is well-structured. What do I mean by that? A well-structured essay has a good introduction, body paragraphs that are easy to follow and connect with one another, and a good conclusion. Each body paragraph should also have its own topic sentence and support and then smoothly transition to the next paragraph.

Our sample IELTS essay has a “simple but good” introduction in which it shows that the examinee has knowledge of the topic and clearly states the writer's position to set up the rest of the essay. The paragraphs all have topic sentences, which are then supported by examples, and are easy to follow. The main body and conclusion relate back to the thesis in the introduction.

A note on conclusions…  there are two schools of thought when it comes to how to conclude an IELTS essay. One is to conclude with one simple sentence so that you spend more time perfecting your main body paragraphs. The other is to wrap up with two sentences, once which includes a small prediction (ie, how you think things might turn out) as a way to show the examiner that you know how to correctly use another tense (which will help boost your GR&A score – more on that in a minute). Either is fine, just don't forget your conclusion!

Taking time to plan out and organise your response  before  you start writing is an extremely important step in scoring well in Coherence and Cohesion for your IELTS essay – make sure you do so to ensure your essay is well structured and reads cohesively when you're done!

Lexical resource

Scoring well in the  Lexical Resource  dimension is all about (correctly) showing off your vocabulary. The description for a Band 9 here is:

  • Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features, rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips'

Collocations,  topic-specific  vocabulary  and  phrasal  verbs  are the name of the game here. To score well, an examinee needs to show that they have a wide-ranging vocabulary and they know how to use it.

Our sample essay does a solid job of showing off a  range of vocabulary  – you'll notice that while the essay frequently refers to children, the writer employs different vocabulary ( infants, youngsters, offspring, counterparts ) to do so.

Note : it is highly likely that you will need to refer to people/children in your IELTS Writing task 2 , so make sure that you have lots of different words to use to refer to them.

IELTS examiners do not like to see the words  “people,” “children”  over and over again! The same goes for the word “ important ” – make sure you have plenty of alternative phrases ( essential  and  vital  are both used in our sample essay).

Other examples of a  wide-ranging vocabulary  in our essay include using  rapidly  in place of  quickly ,  mature  instead of develop,  repercussions  to indicate a negative result, and  acquire  in place of learn.

Our sample essay also does a good job of using  collocations  – some examples include  “fundamental reason,” “reluctant readers” “social and cognitive skills,” “learn vocabulary through context,”  and  “strongly recommend.”

The correct use of  phrasal  verbs  also demonstrates one's grasp of English – because of the semantics involved, they are sometimes one of the most difficult things for English language learners to master. Our essay writer correctly uses a few of these including “ turned them off”  and  “falling behind .”

One note here: students preparing for the IELTS  often ask if they should use  idioms  (like “you're barking up the wrong tree”) in their essays to further demonstrate their grasp of the language. In my opinion, no, you shouldn't. Idioms are informal by nature and not appropriate for a written essay of this type. Stick with demonstrating your range of vocabulary and your ability to use phrasal  verbs  correctly!

Grammatical range and accuracy

The final scoring dimension is related to grammar and grammatical structures – do you know them and can you correctly use them?

The Band 9 description for grammatical range and accuracy :

  • Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur only as slips

Note that there is nothing in the scoring criteria about including specific tenses or sentence constructions. Your main objective should be to reduce the number of mistakes that you make. An essay that contains no mistakes is likely to get a 9 for grammar, regardless of the types of sentence that it may or may not contain.

If there is a nice mix of long and short sentences in your IELTS essays, you'll meet the grammar requirements. Remember, as soon as you write a “long” sentence you are naturally going to use connectives (linking words), which will make the sentence ‘compound' or ‘complex'. So, don't think too much about the grammar – just aim to reduce the number of mistakes that you make, and try to include a few longer sentences.

Some examples from the sample essay that illustrate the writer's grammatical range and help it easily score as a band 9 include:

  • appropriate uses of modal verbs in the passive voice:  “are further developed,” “will be covered,” “must be acknowledged,” “should be swapped.”
  • “ to focus on ” is correctly followed by an -ing form
  • However  is used correctly with a semicolon before it and a comma after
  • “ because of ,” “rather than,” and are correctly followed by -ing verbs

5 Tips for an IELTS writing task 2 band 9 essay

1. answer what is being asked.

Make sure you read the prompt carefully and answer the essay questions you’re being asked. I can’t emphasise this enough. In order to score well on Task Achievement, you need to appropriately and fully address the task.

2. Plan your work, work your plan.

Plan out your essay before you start writing. What are your main points? What order are you going to make them in? How do they link together? Having a well organised essay is key scoring high marks for Coherence and Cohesion. Many IELTS test-takers will spend up to 10 minutes planning out their essay before they start writing. A few points to keep in mind:

  • Your essay should have 4-5 paragraphs in total and at least 250 words
  • Plan your supporting points so that they don’t go off-topic

3. Write, review, re-write

Write your essay, review it and then “rewrite” it. Don’t focus on getting things perfect upfront – you don’t want to waste 15 minutes trying to come up with the perfect synonym for something and then not have enough time to finish your full essay! Write your essay first (an unwritten essay won’t score well at all!) and then go back through it to see how you can improve it. Some essay questions to ask yourself at this stage:

  • Are there places where you can swap out stronger words for weaker ones in order to improve your Lexical Resource score?
  • Are there places where you can phrase things differently in order to illustrate your Grammatical Range?

4. Where are you falling?

To pass with a Band 9 the reality is you need two sets of skills:

  • Exam skills
  • Language skills

What are exam skills?

Can you plan an effective essay? Quickly? Ideally between 3-5 minutes.

Can you think of enough ideas and examples to put in the essay plan?

Firstly you need to discover which of these skills you need. To do this you get feedback, either from an online IELTS essay checker or for more detailed feedback you can use our IELTS essay correction service .

The main goal is to find out which part of the essay writing process is costing you the most amount of time, points or stress.

Personally, the easiest and fastest way to get these skills is to do an online course specialised in training students with these skills. Here is a good course for that.

5. Better language skills?

A lot of students fail the  IELTS exam or end up with a band in their IELTS writing test that does not meet their requirements. Also, a significant number of students look to Google to search for “IELTS Writing tips” or “Task two tips”. These tips might be helpful but sometimes the real problem might just be in their general language or writing skills.

Writing error-free perfect sentences is probably much more challenging than students think, especially under exam conditions i.e in 40 minutes with immense pressure to pass. These can result in often mixed outcomes with both positive or negative development occurring at one and the same time.

One of the most important ways to improve language skills is to receive feedback. This can be by asking someone to review written work and will expose the positive or negative development mentioned earlier. This is very common and not something that is a negative issue overall.

Have a look at our essay correction service that will review your essays for you and help you improve and pass the IELTS test.

Here is a checklist of what is needed for reaching Band 9, it includes what the examiner wants to see, and what to do to write at a Band 9 level.

Sample IELTS writing task 2 question (2)

Today, the quality of life in large cities is decreasing. Discuss the causes and solutions.

IELTS writing task 2: essay sample answer (2)

The global phenomenon of urbanisation from the beginning of industrialisation to the present day has brought opportunity and prosperity, albeit at a cost in the quality of life. With an increasing city population, the complexity of the challenges also increases for the globe as well as the local community. Therefore, the causes and effects of these on the current generation, as well as possible solutions are outlined below.

The causes for the decrease in the quality of life are paradoxically the prosperity endowed on such metropolitan centres. Their growth is largely due to the increase of opportunities on offer, which in turn increases their attractiveness, essentially they are trapped in a positive self-reinforcing cycle. While such developments have a positive impact on immediate economic objectives, it perpetuates behaviours that can have a negative impact in the long term.

However, this eventually leads to a decrease in the quality of life as the city can experience overcrowding, exorbitant property prices, and increased vulnerability to terrorist attacks. For example, the density of London makes it a more efficient place to attack, when compared to a smaller city such as Bradford.

Therefore, due to continuous growth and prosperity, urban citizens, especially the less well off, often experience a lower standard of living. Even greater than this, are the relevant examples of natural disasters such as recent fires in Australia, which brought about unprecedented weather patterns resulting in the destruction of wild and rare animals. These effects are far from uniform, as they affect different countries in ways unseen by previous generations.

Considering the solutions, greater investment in public transport would ease traffic congestion, as would bike lanes. In theory, this would reduce air pollution, and possibly improve the well-being of the population if they did adopt a more active lifestyle and cycle to work. While these solutions are local, if adopted globally, would affect individuals and many countries alike. A collective effort is needed to use social networks and other media to highlight the negative effect of urbanisation as well as the negative sides of the wider ramifications on the population.

To conclude, while it could be argued that urbanisation advantages outweigh the disadvantages, a wealthy city attracts a large population inflow, which then causes pressure on existing infrastructure and security. Various solutions exist to mitigate such drawbacks, such as social networks being used to raise awareness of such negative impacts on many countries, nevertheless an indefinite solution has yet to be found.

Sample IELTS writing task 2 question (3)

Social media marketing can influence what consumers buy. Do you agree or disagree? To what extent do you agree?

IELTS writing task 2: essay sample answer (3)

Since the introduction of social media applications in the early 2000's the world has become a much smaller place. Social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become information sources for a majority of the global market.

As such, it could be argued that marketing, which happens to be a source of information accessible on these platforms can influence the consumers who use them. This notion is further aided by the rise in online retail stores that conduct the bulk of their transactions online. This makes it easier for the consumer to purchase from anywhere in the world.

As a consumer on social media, you are constantly bombarded with advertisements of various products that are specifically designed to catch your attention. This means that most of the adverts on your news feeds aren't random and will almost always feature something you have previously searched online or something currently popular or trending. Given the fact that most social media users are young consumers who are influenced by current trends and happenings, these adverts will almost always catch their eye.

The habit of sharing, retweeting and liking also ensure that these adverts get around, quite fast. As such, when an advert does reach your news feed you have already probably seen it on your friend's news feed. The truth is, adverts are a form of information and with the age of the internet, information spreads faster than a wildfire.

Therefore, it only makes sense that in the era and age of technology, globalization and the need to be trendy, social media marketing can influence what consumers buy.

Useful definitions of advanced vocabulary used

IELTS Writing Task 2: Useful definition


Equivalent sentences

“For example, it is said, the CCTV in London has foiled many potential attacks, and therefore greatly increased the security of its citizens.” Could also be said as:

“Statistics show that CCTV used in London has scuppered many a terrorist plot, massively contributing to the security of its citizens.”

More Equivalent sentences Various solutions exist to mitigate such drawbacks, nevertheless an indefinite solution has yet to be found.

Could also be said as:

A myriad of partial fixes exist for these issues, yet a permanent solution is still out of reach.

There are many methods employed to quell this flow of people, but still a reliable solution has not been discovered.

IELTS writing task 2: vocabulary booster

The highlighted sections in the following paragraph represent key phrases or words relating to this topic. Study this paragraph to expand your vocabulary knowledge on this topic:

The modern urban environment varies considerably depending on both the city that produces it and the individual who perceives it; Each experiencing a unique blend of at least some economic success, varying degrees of localised or wider deprivation and periods of growth and decline. Environmental factors permitting, a city will provide well for its citizens as long as it can properly manage the execution of social policy.

Globalisation presents many challenges for those responsible for the policy as large inflows of people are to be expected in a place of success and therefore opportunity; The ensuing mixing of cultures has far-reaching social consequences that can affect how the city is both presented and perceived.

Considerably Con·sid·er·a·ble (kən-sĭd′ər-ə-bəl) adj. 1. Large in amount, extent, or degree: a writer of considerable influence. 2. Worthy of consideration; significant: The economy was a considerable issue in the campaign.

Perceive Per·ceive (pər-sēv′) tr.v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives 1a. To become aware of (something) directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing: We could perceive three figures in the fog. 1b. To cause or allow the mind to become aware of (a stimulus): The ear perceives sounds. 2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend: Einstein perceived that energy and matter are equivalent . 3. To regard or consider; deem: an old technology that is still perceived as useful; a politician who is perceived to be untrustworthy.

Deprivation Dep·ri·va·tion (dĕp′rə-vā′shən) n. 1. The/an act or an instance of depriving; Loss . 2. The state of being deprived: social deprivation; a cycle of deprivation and violence.

“The town’s generally miserable appearance led her to perceive it as a place of considerable deprivation.”

IELTS writing task 2: further reading

There are many more writing samples for you to explore.

The BBC has great pages on discursive writing and general writing , also, this video is good for learning how to give examples.

You can even read a sample Harvard essay aimed at preparing students for academic writing.

Remember! Select a text that is appropriate for your level. Choosing the wrong text can result in a loss of confidence and feeling bad never helped anyone to learn anything quickly!

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Video: ielts writing task 2-extremely useful sentences.

Additional IELTS writing task 2 resources

  • The University of Manchester Academic Phrasebook provides guidelines and examples of how to introduce essay topics, discuss findings and write conclusions
  • The University of Birmingham Guide to Academic Writing provides tips on paraphrasing, in addition to how to plan, structure and write an essay
  • Use these useful sentences for IELTS Writing Task 2 .
  • This page is good for sample essay topics and answers, also for Task Two.

IELTS writing essay task 2 Sample Band 8 The writing part of your IELTS exam is a great place to score some extra points, especially if you are looking to score within band 8. Here is a task 2 writing sample to help you do just that.

Vocabulary for IELTS Vocabulary is probably the most important part of preparing successfully for IELTS. It is used for both the speaking and writing part of the exam. Click here to view some essential vocabulary.

General essay topics The IELTS exam has a number of general essay topics that span a number of disciplines ad subject matters. To have an idea of what to expect check out our list of general essay topics.

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IELTS Essays : Five Types of IELTS Essays

by CANAM Group

  • By: CANAM Group
  • Updated On: May 25,2023 05:27 PM IST

The IELTS exam’s writing module’s writing task 2 consists of writing an essay. This blog first discusses a general essay structure, then moves on to present five different types of essays. The blog also gives out how to write each essay type with a sample answer for one of the essay types.

Table of Contents

  • • IELTS Essay – Different Types of Essays
  • • Opinion – Agree/Disagree Type
  • • Advantages/Disadvantages Type
  • • Problem and Solution Type
  • • Discussion Type – Discuss both views
  • • Two-Part Question Type

IELTS Essays : Five Types of IELTS Essays

Understanding the proper essay format for IELTS Writing Task 2 is a crucial ability that might mean the difference between receiving the band score you merit or not. In light of this, we have included below the most typical IELTS Writing Task 2 structures.

Almost all of my Task 2 essays have the following general structure:


Main Body Paragraph 1

Main Body Paragraph 2

Depending on the type of question you are asked, you will use different sentences in each paragraph.

IELTS Essay – Different Types of Essays

The five IELTS Writing Task 2 questions are as follows:

1.Opinion – Agree/Disagree Type

2.Advantages/Disadvantages Type

3.Problem and Solution Type

4.Discussion Type – Discuss both views

5.Two-Part Question Type

I'll provide samples and a format for each type of question that has been endorsed by knowledgeable IELTS tutors and examiners below. Your IELTS band score should increase as a result of your ability to produce a concise, well-organized response. Please be aware that depending on the question, there are broad structures and these may change slightly.

Also read: IELTS Exam type

Opinion – Agree/Disagree Type

Common Question Words:

1.Do you agree or disagree?

2.To what extent do you agree or disagree?

3.What is your opinion?

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

Do you agree or disagree?

IELTS Essay Structure for this Type

1.Paraphrase the question

2.Express your viewpoint and list the main ideas.

1.Topic Sentence

2.Elaborate upon the topic sentence

3.Give a relevant example

Summarize the main ideas and give your opinion

Sample Answer

It is believed that volunteering ought to be taught in schools. This essay wholeheartedly concurs with that recommendation because it aids students in acquiring crucial work experience while also helping them build soft skills.

Education should not only focus on academic subjects; students should also learn life skills like teamwork, empathy, and self-discipline. Community service is one of the finest ways to develop these talents. Serving those less fortunate than ourselves teaches us numerous lessons, like the importance of hard work and how to work with others from different backgrounds, allowing us to develop these qualities before we become adults. To boost their appreciation for what they have and to strengthen their work ethic, many young people from wealthy nations, for instance, take a year off from school to volunteer with those who are less fortunate than themselves.

These kinds of experiences are increasingly sought after by many institutions and employers. Since most graduates have similar grades, volunteering can help you stand out when applying to colleges compared to other students. For instance, Cambridge and Oxford only accept a small portion of the hundreds of applications from straight-A students each year. What you have accomplished outside of the classroom frequently sets you apart from the competition and secures you that desired position.

In conclusion, teens should be required to perform unpaid work as part of their education since doing so would enable them to obtain skills and knowledge that they might not otherwise learn from their teachers and will increase their likelihood of enrolling in third-level institutions.

Also read: IELTS Exam dates

Advantages/Disadvantages Type

Common Essay Words

1.What are the advantages and disadvantages?

2.Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

Sample Question

Technology is being used more and more in education.

2.Write main ideas

Summarize the main ideas

Also read : IELTS Test Centers

Problem and Solution Type

Common question words

1.Cause and Solution

2.Problem 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.Give an outline sentence

3.Write a relevant example

3.Site a relevant example

Summarize the main point

Also read: IELTS Exam fee

Discussion Type – Discuss both views

Discuss both points of view and give your opinion

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 the statement or write both views

2.Write thesis statement

3.Give an outline sentence

4.Main Body Paragraph 1

Write the first viewpoint

1.Discuss this viewpoint

2.Give reasons why you agree or disagree with this first viewpoint

3.Write a relevant example to support this viewpoint

4.Main Body Paragraph 2

Write the second viewpoint

2.Give reasons why you agree or disagree with this viewpoint


Summarize the essay

Write which viewpoint is better or more important

Also read : IELTS Exam Registration

Two-Part Question Type

Typically, they will make a remark and then ask you to respond to specific questions.

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

What factor contributes to job satisfaction?

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

IELTS Essay structure for this Type

2.Give an outline sentence stating both the questions

1.Write an answer to the first question

2.Explain the reason for the first question

3.Elaborate upon the first question further

4.Write an example

1.Write an answer to the second question

2.Explain the reason for your answer

3.Elaborate upon the second question further

4.Write a relevant example

The quality of your language and vocabulary as well as how well you respond to the question will determine your grade for the IELTS essay. Your score for coherence and cohesion will go up if you have a solid framework, but you must use relevant ideas and use them effectively to respond to the question.

Also read : IELTS Exam pattern

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