I will tell you how to write an IELTS essay using my own example. The text below is rated about 8-8.5 by two people – my colleague, an IELTS examiner, and a teacher with a total IELTS score of 8.5. The first one I occasionally pull questions from, the second one I was taking lessons in writing and speaking when I got the nerve to become an IELTS examiner as well. I left this idea because of lack of time and strength, but everything I learned I can apply and supplement.
I will leave aside the stories about time and 250-270 words in the essay. You can read about it in my general review of IELTS. Here I write about the necessary steps, some of which the teacher takes care of.
IELTS Essay Types and Examples
These are a must-have as a sample. The blogs I’ve found have good examples, but they’re mostly for 5-7 points. There are few texts for 8-9 points in Cambridge IELTS Practice Tests 7-14. Rely on them – they are a reliable source.
There are five types of essays. The most common of them is an opinion essay – express your point of view, agree or disagree with the statement completely or only partly. The main thing is to say it already in the introduction, defend your position as best you can in two or three paragraphs of the main part, and insist on it again in the conclusion.
This is exactly the kind of assignment I chose from the Complete IELTS textbook. It’s best to start with your favorite topics on which you already have something to say. On topics that you do not like, but need for IELTS, you will have to get ideas from people, from books, magazines, and blogs.
IELTS essay criteria for a high score and the text itself
All four criteria are considered equivalent. Here is a brief and more detailed description of them for a score of eight.
Task response – no water and no deviations from the topic. Options such as “this is such a pressing issue right now,” “everyone’s talking about it,” and so on are chased by a reduced score. The idea of the first sentence in the paragraph is clearly and fully revealed by the subsequent ones.
Coherence and Cohesion – paragraphs with a clearly traceable idea, to-the-point beautiful word-links placed, no repeated words. When the text reads effortlessly, it is top-notch.
Lexical resource. The text should not be easy to read just because of all sorts of “connectors. You need natural collocations. There are no rules, they need to know by heart – tackle a problem, solution to a problem, dreadfully / slightly worried, worried sick and other things that you can not learn in one day or even a month. Neutral phrasal verbs and idioms are also useful – be into pop music, the project took off the ground. You also need synonyms for “hackneyed” words: problem, very, like, hate, interesting, boring, love, interest, etc.
Grammatical range and accuracy. All the arsenal of advanced grammar should go to use – inversion, fronting, gerunds, infinitives, prepositional phrases. There should be no mistakes in usage. You can accidentally miss a letter, but it’s better not to be fussy.
Keeping in mind the criteria and the high bar of examples, I wrote such an essay for an 8-8.5. For a nine, I should have included more advanced structures and produced a more natural text.
Having gone through all of these steps, I understand students’ fears – what to write, how to write, suddenly wrong. Besides, writing isn’t particularly glorious in the native language, either. It’s a skill that needs to be practiced just as much as speaking. You can write an essay to a high score, or any score for that matter, if you keep simple things in mind.
The first is ideas of what to write about. Good English won’t help, you have to broaden your general outlook. You can combine options or use just one. The easiest way is to read essay assignments, and then ask your teacher, friends, and acquaintances what they think about it. A more time-consuming process is to find books with essay topics and examples for any IELTS, TOEFL, USE, FCE, CAE exam. You need thoughts, not structure and language. The hardest part is reading a lot by yourself. It is impossible, but doable.
The second thing is to work on your English. Most important are the words, of course. Grammar for essays is much easier to select, and words depend on ideas. So books on words and dictionaries on advanced general vocabulary are a help. It is also advisable to use what is called Academic Vocabulary. You will definitely find it in ‘Longman Exams Dictionary’, ‘Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English’, ‘Academic Vocabulary in Use’ and ‘Achieve IELTS. Grammar and Vocabulary.
The third one is quite trivial. Ideas, words and structures should be practiced with IELTS criteria in mind. At first it’s better to forget about time and pile up ideas, words and structures for the time being. When the task ceases to drive you in a daze, you can time it for 40 minutes.
A little later I will write in detail about other types of essays and peculiarities of evaluation.
|Books I Love||
Harry Potter (all books)
|My Kind of Music||
Jazz, Classic, Rock
|TV & Movies||
Friends, How I Met Your Mother
Professional Opinion Essay Writer