Balancing your opinion in an IELTS essay.

ieltsHow to show the other side of the argument in an opinion essay.

In an opinion essay, you should give 2 reasons for your opinion in the thesis statement then back them up with with an explanation n the main body paragraphs. I usually advise my students to choose one side, either agree or disagree, and stick with that.

You do not actually get a higher band score for a balanced approach, so it is safer to choose one side and stick with that view throughout the essay. Remember that your opinion must be in the introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion.

However, something that will showcase your language ability is to show the other side of the argument or give a concession which helps to balance the essay. This gives the essay good coherence and you can demonstrate your grammar skills if you feel confident with your grammar. However, this should be done carefully because you still have to maintain your own opinion and not contradict yourself.

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Before writing anything, analyse the question

ielts analyse the questionSpend a couple of minutes analysing the question before writing your essay.

One of the most important things to do before planning or writing is to first analyse the essay question so that you know exactly what to write about. Even students who have a higher level of English often have trouble with this as they think they are wasting time and want to get straight into writing the essay. As a result, they often end up losing marks because they missed a key issue from the task.

The examiner needs to see that you have understood the question and that you are on topic. If you do not take the time to analyse the question you could end up writing a completely different essay, or your essay may not have a clear opinion even though the task question has asked for it.

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Are you having trouble thinking of ideas?

IELTS thinking of ideas

How to quickly think of ideas in IELTS writing.

A common problem many of my students have is that they find it hard to think of ideas for their essays, especially when they are under pressure in the exam.

This is because of stress and creativity. If you have trouble thinking for yourself and have gone through an education system where memorisation is the main way of learning, then you will have real trouble getting ideas and you will need to find an approach to developing your imagination.

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IELTS paraphrasing practice

IELTS paraphrasingIELTS Paraphrasing lesson and practice exercise.

One of the most important skills in IELTS writing is the ability to paraphrase. In IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 you are marked on your ability to paraphrase. Paraphrasing means changing the words so they have the same meaning.

It can be done by using synonyms or changing the grammatical structure. For more information on how to paraphrase the introduction in essays check out this link here, Paraphrasing in IELTS writing.

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Forming complex sentences in IELTS

IELTS writing focusUsing ‘tend to’, ‘that’ clauses and modals in IELTS writing and speaking.

A good skill to learn in academic writing is to soften your language or use what is often called ‘hedging’. This is useful in Discussion essays when you write about others opinions and it is also needed to soften your language so that you don’t generalise too much. This shows that you have a wider range of vocabulary and you can form complex sentences.

This is also very useful in the speaking section when you want to display a wider range of vocabulary and it shows that you can talk naturally.

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Discussion Essays: expressing others opinions

How to write the public or general opinion in IELTS Discussion essays.

When writing a discussion essay in IELTS writing task 2,  you have to state other peoples opinions as well as giving your own opinion. Most discussion essays ask you for your opinion so it is important to state your view throughout the whole essay.

To show other peoples views you will need to use special phrases which I have outlined in this post. You will need to mention others views or the whole essay could turn into a problem solution essay or even an advantage disadvantage essay. It is all about the way language is used here.

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IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write a causes solution essay

IELTS problem solution essay

Step by step guide to writing a causes solution essay.

A common type of IELTS task 2 essay is the Problem Solution or Causes Solution essay. Here you will need to write about the causes of the problem in main body one and recommendations or possible solutions that could solve the issue in main body two. I could have a 3rd body paragraph but I prefer the 2 main body approach.

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Identifying the 5 types of IELTS essays

ieltslettersGet familiar with the different types of IELTS essay questions.

There are 5 types of IELTS essays and in this post, we will look at how to spot them.

Before you begin writing your essay the first thing you must do is analyse what type of question it is by looking at the instruction words. I have underlined the instruction words in the tasks below, these indicate what type of question it is. Analysing the task question is a crucial step because if you do not take the time to do this, or if you are unclear about anything, you could write a completely different essay. See more here.

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