IELTS Writing Task 2 Essays

In the Academic IELTS writing exam task 2, there are 5 types of questions and each of these have a slightly different approach. IELTS essays are discursive essays and not the same type of essay you would have to write at University for instance. There is a minimum word count of 250 words and no more than 5 body paragraphs in these essays. You need to analyse the question first, find the issues in the question, plan and organise ideas, write supporting points and specific examples, paraphrase well, give a good introduction and conclusion. There is a lot to do.

If you don’t use the right approach then it will be very difficult to get from a Band 5 or 6 to a Band 7+. Some people become obsessed with a Band 9, but Band 9 is quite rare in IELTS writing task 2, in fact most universities or companies only require Band 7 or 8.

There is a specific way IELTS essays are marked, if you know what the examiner is looking for, then you have a good chance of getting a good band score. Some students have very good English skills but are not familiar with the way IELTS essays are marked and end up losing a band score becasue of this.

Click here to get the PDF from on the marking criteria for writing task 2 in IELTS.

Here are the 5 types of essay questions for IELTS Writing task 2.

1. Advantages and Disadvantages essay
2. Opinion Essays (Agree or Disagree)
3. Discussion essay (Discuss both views, often asks for your opinion)
4. Two part Question essay (or Direct Question Essay)
5. Problem Solution essay (sometimes called a Causes Solution Essay)

IELTS Essay Structures

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Click on the links below for free lessons in IELTS Writing task 2.

Setting up your own personalised study plan

Differences between a problem solution and causes solution essay

Video Lesson: Analysis of a Causes Solutions essay, structure, model answer, vocabulary

9 things that are stopping you getting a Band 7

Referencing in IELTS: Avoiding repetition with pronouns

Handwriting, Paragraphing and using the official IELTS answer sheet

Key points about learning new vocabulary

Keeping it simple and concise in your writing

The danger of memorising sentences in essays

Why does this essay score Band 5.5?

5 things to do before writing your essay

Balancing your opinion in an IELTS essay

IELTS Discussion essay model answer and analysis

Clearing up confusion in IELTS

IELTS grammar: How to use conjunctions in essays.

When should I write my opinion in an IELTS essay?

Step by Step guide to Paraphrasing in IELTS Writing.

Paraphrasing Lesson 1 and practice exercise

Paraphrasing Lesson 2 and practice for introductions

Paraphrasing without synonyms

Step by step guide to using Cohesive devices in IELTS writing.

How to write effective body paragraphs in IELTS essays

Using personal pronouns in IELTS essays

Step by step guide to writing an effective conclusion

The importance of analysing an IELTS essay question

How to write a Thesis statement in IELTS essays.

Writing complex sentences in IELTS essays

How to think of ideas for your essay

How to write a good introduction to a Problem Solution essay

How to identify the 5 types of IELTS task 2 essays.

3 Types of Advantage Disadvantage essays.

How to write a Causes Solution essay with Model answer

How to express the public or general opinion in IELTS Discussion Essays.

How to soften language and use ‘hedging’ in your writing


IELTS writing common topics

What are the 10 most common mistakes¬†students make¬†with IELTS essays? click here to find out more…

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