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Writing, Writing Task 2

Is writing task 2 in the academic IELTS really an academic essay?

If you have studied academic writing or composition at university, you are probably going to answer ‘no’ to this question.

The type of essay that you write in task 2 of the IELTS is not a typical academic essay.

  • You will NOT collect information to support your main points from different sources.
  • You will NOT evaluate, analyse or reflect on information that you have read or heard.
  • You will NOT synthesize information from different sources.
  • You will NOT use quotes or paraphrases; there will be no citations or references.
  • You will NOT lose marks if you use ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’.

But there are many things that you have learned in academic writing classes that will be useful for you in the IELTS.

  • Analyze the prompt. Do you need to provide a solution to a problem, express an opinion or discuss ideas or arguments?
  • Decide what your position is in relation to the prompt and state this as your thesis.
  • Provide main ideas to support your thesis and write a strong conclusion.
  • Organize your writing into clear, cohesive paragraphs.
  • Use topic sentences to clearly identify the main topics of each paragraph.
  • Include relevant examples, evidence and reasons to support each point.
  • Pay attention to the vocabulary you use. Include a variety of vocabulary which is appropriate to the topic.
  • Write in full sentences to show that you can use a range of grammatically accurate sentences.
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