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 need to clearly state your opinion, back it up with details and give examples. 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 a concessions, this 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 few 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, they think they are wasting time and want to get straight into writing the essay. As a result, they often end up losing a band score. The examiner must know that you have understood the question and that you are on topic.

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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: Lesson 1 and practice

IELTS paraphrasingIELTS Paraphrasing lesson and practice.

One of the most important skills in IELTS writing is the ability to paraphrase. In IELTS Task 1 and Task 2 you are marked on your ability to paraphrase. Paraphrasing means changing the words so they have the same or similar 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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Academic writing: Softening language and hedging

IELTS writing focusUsing hedging and softening language

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. It is also useful to soften your language so that you don’t generalise too much, it shows that you have a wide range of vocabulary.

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Discussion Essays: expressing others opinions

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

When writing a discussion essay in IELTS writing task 2,  you have to give the public opinion or others opinions as well as giving your own opinion (if the task asks for your opinion). To do this you will need to use special phrases to show others views. If you do not refer to why people hold a particular opinion, then you will lose marks in task response. You must mention others views and why they hold those 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. In this case I 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

5 types of IELTS essaysGet familiar with the different kinds 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. This is a crucial step because if you do not analyse the question, or if you are unclear about anything,  you could write a completely different essay.

You can see what type of essay it is by the ‘instruction words’.  I have underlined the instruction words below that indicate what type of question it is. Click on the links below for lessons on thinking of ideas, paraphrasing and thesis statements.

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