IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips, Strategies and Lessons

Task 2, either Academic or General, will require you to write a formal essay. Common questions are advantage/disadvantage, opinion essays, direct questions, and point of view discussions. The assessment of Task 2 carries more weight in marking than Task 1. These IELTS writing task 2 tips will help you to achieve high in your test.

ielts writing task 2 tips lessons guide

Writing Task 2 Tips

Your IELTS Writing Task 2 is based on 4 scoring criteria namely 1) Task achievement 2) Cohesion and Coherence 3) Lexical Resources 4) Grammatical Range and Accuracy. So, any IELTS writing task 2 tips that are suggested to you should be a step forward to score high in either of these four criteria.

Below you’ll find important IELTS writing tips to help you with task 2 of the IELTS writing module.

NB:- Remember that a detail and organised lessons are offered for each tip in the IELTS Writing Task 2 lessons part.

Tips for Task Achievement
  1. Task achievement in your introduction should be composed of two parts:- 1. General Statement(2 sentence max) 2. Thesis Statement(1 sentence)
General StatementIt is often said that children benefit from caring for domestic animals, especially in today’s technology focused world. However, the issue is not entirely straightforward, and arguments can also be made against the idea.
Thesis StatementThis essay will discuss the debate, and give a concluding view.
  1. Present your arguments, ideas and evidence by the use of appropriate language. For which you will be using two sentence tools 1) modal verbs to express ideas 2) quantifiers (words and phrases showing quantity)
There are also some advantages to cloning. Many couples are desperate to have children but are unable to have children naturally. Cloning may solve this problem. Cloning could also be used to create spare organs for surgery. Therefore, if you needed a heart transplant, you could be given a spare heart which has been cloned in an organ bank.
  1. In any IELTS essay, the main body paragraphs must be carefully organised. The classic pattern is to have a topic sentence which signposts the content of that paragraph followed by two or three ideas in each paragraph.
  2.  Try to summarize the main ideas from the main body, but also paraphrase(= use words which mean the same) so that you do not repeat vocabulary. When writing your conclusion, remember that you should not include any new ideas or evidence.
  3. Aim for at least 275 words so that you don’t fall below the minimum words required.
Tips for cohesion and coherence
  1. Use four paragraphed standard essay format for paragraphing your essay.
  2. If you use pronoun referencing, you improve the cohesion and coherence of your writing because you connect sentences smoothly with each other by not repeating the subject, thereby improving the flow too.

Notice the bold letters in the given examples:-

An increasing older population would cause many problems for society. It would place a lot of pressure on the social welfare system. On the other hand, it could also provide great benefits to society by making more experienced workers available for a much longer time.
  1. Signposts can be used to link your ideas between sentences and paragraphs and within sentences. Signposts that link ideas within a sentence are usually called conjunctions.

Table 1 Signposts usually found at the beginning of the sentence

FunctionSignpost
Introduce a new subjectRegarding
With regard to
As regards
Concerning
Turning to
  1. A further way of achieving cohesion and coherence in your Task 2 essay is the use of academic phrases. An academic phrase is a group of words that is used to draw the reader’s attention to your personnel ideas making your arguments and ideas clear.
Give your opinion
I think I feel I believe I am of the opinion that It is my belief that It seems advisable that (more formal) It would appear thatsmoking should be banned in all restaurants.
Tips for lexical resource
  1. Apart from the need to use a variety of sentence structures in your Task 2 essay, it is important you use a wide range of vocabulary in your writing. To improve your vocabulary range, you need to use modifiers and synonyms.

Compare the two paragraphs below and decide which paragraph uses a better range of vocabulary.

Paragraph 1Paragraph 2
Teenagers are vulnerable to feelings of isolation, as they have not developed peer groups and lack strength. Use of the Internet could lead to the inability to communicate with other people and comes at the expense of activities such as meeting with friends.Teenagers are especially vulnerable to feelings of isolation as they have not developed strong peer groups and often lack emotional strength. Excessive use of the Internet could lead to the inability to communicate effectively with other people in face-to-face situations and often comes at the expense of more social activities such as meeting with friends.
  1. By using colocations, the writer shows that he/she can write in the formal, academic style used in business, colleges and universities.
  2. Use topic related vocabulary according to your essay topics.
Tips for grammatical range and accuracy
  1. In your essay, examiner will be looking for sentence variation when they grade you for your ‘grammatical range’. Hence you must know how to use simple, compound, and complex sentence correctly.
  2. Use conditional structures to talk about a condition, especially in result/consequence/problem/solution essay. Conditionals are complex sentences, which consist of an if-clause with main clause.
  3. In Academic English, the use of passive structures is extremely important. The examiner will look for passives in your essay, and you will not be able to achieve over Band 7 unless you show it.
  4. You should know the effective language to talk about the probability of something or the timescales in which things happen. Do this by including some of the qualifiers in your ideas.
  5. Adverbs are words which modify or give extra information about verbs, adjectives, other words or whole clauses. Use adverbs in IELTS to modify or give extra information.
  6. Use adjectives are used to describe either the nature or number of noun.
  7. Sometime to emphasize, and sometime, perhaps to contradict what someone else has said or for dramatic effect, we use emphatic sentence structure. We do this either by splitting one sentence into two parts.
  8. Since IELTS papers are checked and marked by university people, you are supposed to make your style purely academic. To achieve this we will choose formal style and formal vocabulary.

Useful websites with IELTS writing task 2 tips


IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons and Strategies.

These IELTS lessons are a collection of over a decade of teaching experience amalgamated with hundreds of most popular IELTS books and websites. No matter which book you read, and website you visit, you will find these perfectly arranged IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons above others.

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Lesson 1: Introduction to Task 2 Writing
The IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 asks you to write a short essay of a minimum of 250 words. The essay is usually a discussion of a subject of general interest.


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Lesson 3: Focus on Task Achievement
To score well for task achievement, you must do 3 things; answer the actual question asked (i.e. don’t just write generally about the topic), answer all parts of the question, clearly express your opinion and support it with well-developed ideas and, ideally, examples.

Achievement through expression
Achievement through introduction
Achievement through body
Achievement through conclusion
Lesson 2: Scoring Task 2 Essay
The IELTS Academic Tasks 1 and 2 Writing will be marked in four areas. You will get a mark from 1 to 9 on Task Achievement, Coherence & Cohesion, Lexical Resource and Grammatical Range and Accuracy.

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Lesson 4: Focus on Cohesion & Coherence
While coherence involves organizing information logically and in paragraphs making it is easy for the reader to follow, cohesion involves connecting sentences and ideas using techniques such as pronoun referencing, signposts and academic phrases.

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Lesson 5: Focus on Lexical Resources
Lexical Resource means vocabulary so refers to the words and phrases you use in your essay. To score well for Lexical Resource you must use a wide range of vocabulary. We do this by:-

Using Vocabulary Modifiers
Using Collocation
Using Topic Specific Vocabulary
Lesson 6: Focus on Grammatical Range & Accuracy
For a score more than 7, you should be able to prove the examiner that you can use wide range of grammatical structures that are very common in standard English.


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Writing Task 2 Lesson Bonus: Band 7+ Samples
Most often, IELTS Essay is taken from any of the 20 topics and here is the collection of more than 500 band 7+ scored essays divided under such topic.

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Useful websites to learn IELTS Writing Task 2

Frequently Asked Questions:-

The Academic module is ideal if you want to study at undergraduate/postgraduate level or for professional registration. The General Training module is normally taken by those who want to migrate to an English-speaking country or study at below degree level. If you’re still unsure, we advise you to check with the institution you’re applying to. Irrespective of the test you are taking your writing task 2 module is same.

A wide range of topics are covered and they are relevant and accessible to those wanting to study at university level. No specialist knowledge is required. Click Here to have a general idea.

IELTS Papers are marked by University people, hence it is always a wise choice to pick the academic style. Click here to know about formal/academic style.

There is no separate assessment for paragraphing. However, if you do not write a clear introduction followed by well organised body paragraph and a conclusion, you may be penalized under ‘Task response’ and/or ‘Coherence and cohesion’. Click here to know more.

For Task 1, three or four paragraphs totalling 150 words is sufficient, In Task 2, you should write four to six paragraphs (depending on the number of ideas you have) and at least 250 words.

Before taking the test, you should practice the Writing module enough times to be able to know when you have written a long enough answer without actually counting the words. In Task 1, this would be a short introduction plus two substantial body paragraphs and perhaps a short conclusion. In Task 2, you should aim to write an introduction of several sentences, two to four substantial body paragraphs, and a conclusion of several sentences.

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    44 Comments

    1. Hello from IELTS tutor. I love your website very much and recommend my students to visit this. I love the way you put things straight forward in a very simple way.

    2. Brilliantly explained lessons with video guides. Thanks ashish for your effort. I scored bad 7.5 in writing which was a dream for me. Thanks a lot.

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