Why does this essay score Band 6?

Analysis of a Band 6 essay and a model answer.

Some people doing IELTS have trouble getting above Band 6 in writing. In fact a large percentage of people taking IELTS around the world end up with a Band 5.5 in Writing.

There are a few reasons for this, most notably it is down to poor vocabulary and grammar. However, some students have a good level of English but do not take the time to analyse the question fully and find the issues in the question. Never write too generally about the topic. You must first identify the issues in the task question and base your essay around those. Be very specific and keep referring back to the task question.

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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 give 2 reasons for your opinion back them 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 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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When Should I Write My Opinion?

IELTS Essays: Giving your opinion.

There is some confusion among IELTS students about when you have to give an opinion in an essay and when not to give an opinion. If you are asked for a direct opinion and you don’t write it you could lose marks, so it is very important to understand when your direct opinion needs to be included.

Actually, all IELTS essays ask for your position. Some directly ask an opinion but others may ask something like: ‘What are the problems and what solutions can you suggest?’ this is actually asking for your position on the issue or suggestions for solutions.

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