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IELTS essay writing tips for successful results

There is no need to persuade Latin American students in the importance of writing a quality IELTS essay.

Ted Wilson

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Every student willing to continue education in English knows how crucial a good IELTS score is. That is why let's get straight to business. One of the most common myths about IELTS is the belief that to successfully pass the IELTS exam. You need to do as many pre-tests as possible. In the same way, some people think that in order to write an essay for a good score, you must first write many essays or memorize examples of essays.

In fact, if you want to get a high score for the IELTS essay, then before you start writing, you should learn:

  • Types of essays. The structure of the essay should differ depending on the assignment.

  • The sequence of actions on the exam. Effective allocation of exam time and writing ideas/suggestions.

  • Requirements for an essay in IELTS. Linking words, verbal turns, grammatical constructions that will increase your score. Words and phrases to avoid. Writing style.

  • Evaluation criteria for IELTS writing.

Let's start with the types of essays that are found in IELTS. There are four of them:

  • Expressing opinions

  • Advantages/Disadvantages

  • Providing Solutions

  • Discursive Essay

Of course, the introduction and conclusion must be present in each of these types of compositions, but they will be different. Here is how to build your essay, depending on its type. Professional academic writers from SmartWritingService, an essay writing service, offer brief and simple explanations of each type of essay you can face when dealing with IELTS tests in Latin America or the USA. If you need legitimate samples from an online academic company that will help you to understand how to write your own paper, feel free to order some. And for now, let's focus on essays you need to write on your own. 

Opinion essay

If, at the end of the essay task, you see an inquiry, whether you agree or disagree with something, it means that the key idea of this task is to state your opinion. It is time to get a little personal. Normally the questions are: Do you agree or disagree? To what extent do you agree? To what extent do you disagree? Remember that normally no one is actually interested in your opinion. Your audience is interested in whether you know how to express your opinion correctly, within the scope of the task.

It is a good idea to add the extent of your agreement or disagreement, even if not directly ask. Write, "I completely agree," or "I disagree partially." In the body part, you need to prove that your opinion is valid and is based not on a random choice, but some logical reasoning. In the conclusion part, you need to paraphrase the introduction part. In short, you need to state the same idea, but in different words. 

  • Intro. Paraphrase the task. State your opinion.

  • Body. Provide readers with at least two arguments to support your opinion.

  • Conclusions. Restate your opinion using different words. Make sure that it still sounds like the same opinion. 

Advantages/Disadvantages essay

The character of this essay is very neutral. Your opinion doesn't matter, even if you have one and it is strong. Focus on being somewhere in the middle. This way, both the advantages and disadvantages you mention will be adequately expressed. Here, you just need to list Pros and Cons of something, for example, having a side job while in college, living in a big city, moving to another country for work, etc. It is important to state the topic in your first sentence, but it is even more important not to use the same words used in the task.

Of course, 2-3 words can be the same, but not more. Use two body paragraphs to explain what you think about the advantages and disadvantages of some process, decision, choice, etc. Be neutral. Write in brief and concise sentences. The same goes for conclusions — you can express your opinion regarding whether advantages or disadvantages are more convincing to you, but you should not use any strong words like "love," "hate," "can't stand," etc. In general, such expressions are seen as premature.

  • Intro. State the topic.

  • Body. Advantages and arguments to support the advantages. Disadvantages and arguments to support the disadvantages. Remember that advantages and disadvantages should be in separate paragraphs. 

  • Conclusions. Provide a balanced consideration of your opinion. Don't use personal words. It is not an opinion essay.

Providing solutions

In this essay, you face the stated problem and have to offer your solution. In the introduction, you should explain the problem, and also mention the consequences of not solving it. Consequences confirm that the problem exists, and you are not just trying to solve an imaginary issue. Again, state the problem in your own words. Don't just rewrite it from the assignment. Give two alternative solutions and explain why you think that choosing either of them will work.

The reasoning for every offered solution should follow this solution, be in the same paragraph with it. A common mistake made by students both from Latin America and other countries with another logic of essay writing is two-state all the solutions first, and then give explanations of why these solutions can work. 

  • Intro. State/paraphrase the problem. 

  • Body. Give two suggestions for solving the problem in two separate paragraphs, and give reasons why you think your suggestions will actually work. 

  • Conclusions. Give a summary or pick the best suggestion among the given ones and explain why you think it should be chosen. 

Discursive essay

It is the most "balanced" type of essay, which requires both your opinion and knowledge in some sphere. Be very careful with the points of view you choose. Stay neutral in your words, don't use too strong expressions, but feel free to "take sides," as you need to choose the opinion to support in the conclusions. 

  • Intro. State the topic. As an option — explain the controversy.  

  • Body. In two separate paragraphs, give at least two points of view. For example, political and social, economic, and psychological. Obviously, these points of view should differ. 

  • Conclusions. Express your own opinion based on the opinions you've described. 

You don't need to write 100 essays to learn how to do it to pass IELTS. First, you need to understand the logic and learn how not to mix these types of essays in one. Good luck!

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