Band 7+ IELTS - Writing tips for Task 2

  • State your point of view very clearly in the writing. One of the strategies for making your view clearly is to mention it right at the beginning of your essay and follow through with it. Of course, there is no rule that requires us to write right in the opening, but it is the easiest and safest way to do it.

  • If you want to express two equally balanced viewpoints - it is also fine, but you must explicitly state that. Many of you are afraid that writing "double opinions" will not get high marks, but that is not the case. You can still write 'A=B' if you explicitly state that. A useful way to say it is to use the word 'equal', for example 'equally important' or 'in equal measure'.

  • Be more specific about topic sentences. Some of you have a habit of writing sentences like “There are some reasons why people prefer using the Internet for medical advice.” However, this sentence has very low value because it is too general. Instead, you should directly summarise your point of view. For example: “The main reasons for people's inclination towards the Internet for medical advice is the fact that it is convenient (idea 1), clear-cut (idea 2), and reliable (idea 3).”

  • Avoid having inconsistent points of view. In other. words, writing A>B in the introduction, but write A=B in the body. Many candidates state very clearly that “I think A is better” in the introduction, but the body of the essay is analysed in a very subjective fashion, with the strength of paragraph A equal to paragraph B. This could be viewed as un-clear position.

  • For a band 7 there should be few, if any, grammatical errors (2% of text with mistakes, which should not be not due to ignorance).

  • Collocations and topical vocabulary are required. You don't have to bombard your writing with 100 difficult words; however, you need about 8 clusters of collocations to have a band 7+. Example of collocations: tantamount to, bring in its wake, self-diagnosis, reliable, pernicious effects etc.

  • Link paragraphs coherently without drawing attention. Avoid using firstly, secondly, on the one hand etc. However, it is very difficult to keep the coherence without using many conjunctions (otherwise, it will fall to band 5 because of lack of coherence)

  • The conclusion should be more than 1 sentence. Many examiners don't like 1-sentence paragraphs, so they may not appreciate the 1-sentence conclusion. You can add 1 more sentence to (1) refer to the future of the problem, or (2) give a final assessment of the problem.

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