Two easily confused essays (problem / causes solutions essay)

What is the difference between a Causes Solutions and a Problem Solutions essay?

Problem solutions and causes solutions essay are very similar but there is a subtle difference,  one type asks about the problems and the other type asks about the causes.

It is very important to spend a couple of minutes analaysing the task question so that you know what to write about in the essay. I have seen many good essays lose marks in Task Response because the writer did not find the issues in the task question, or did not fully understand what to write about.

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Why can’t I get a Band 7?

IELTS adviceI have heard this question so many times.

Why can’t I get a Band 7?

I get so many people who email me asking me why they can’t hit Band 7 or Band 8 or whatever score they need and are stuck at Band 5 or 6. They all seem puzzled as to why they cannot raise their score. Usually it is to do with their writing as this tends to be the hardest part of the test.

Here are 9 reasons why you may not be getting the score you need.

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Handwriting, Paragraphing and the IELTS Answer Sheet

Key things to consider for IELTS writing:

Handwriting, pencils, paragraphs and using the IELTS official answer sheet.

I often get asked questions like: Should I use a pen?  Can I use cursive writing? Should I use the IELTS answer sheet? Do I lose marks for bad handwriting? How do I separate the paragraphs? Do I get a higher band score for a very long essay? ..and so on.

This post should clear up any confusion regarding these questions. Handwriting must be clear to the reader and I highly recommend using the answer sheet to practice. I also recommend using a pencil because it is easier to erase mistakes in the exam. The official IELTS answer sheet for writing task 1 and 2 can be downloaded here…click to download the answer sheet

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Lets clear up the confusion about IELTS

Here are some short quizzes to test your knowledge and clear up IELTS myths.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about IELTS and the best approaches to getting a good band score. Many of my students get different information and when they go online they are even more confused about what to do, so I hope this post can finally clear up the myths! There are 14 questions here but I could add many more because there is a lot of false information surrounding IELTS.

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IELTS Grammar: How to use complex sentences

Writing Complex Sentences in IELTS

It is important to use some complex sentences in IELTS writing task 2 otherwise you are unlikely to get a band 6.5 or above. Remember that grammar accounts for 25% of your marks in the writing tasks, however there is some confusion about the best way to write these kinds of sentences.

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IELTS Bar Graph lesson and Model answer

Lesson on an IELTS Bar Graph, Writing Task 1.

In this lesson we will look at:

1. The structure needed for IELTS Writing task 1.

2. Paraphrasing the introduction.

3. Writing an overview

4. Writing body paragraphs.

5. Example task and model answer.

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Identifying the 5 types of IELTS essays

How to Identify IELTS Task 2 essay questions.

Before you start to think of ideas or 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, you could write a completely different essay. Lets take a look at different types of questions. Don’t worry too much about the topic here, we are just going to identify what type of essays they are. I have underlined the key action words 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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IELTS Writing Task 1: Grammar for describing trends

Vocabulary and grammar for line graphs and describing trends.

Writing task 1 asks you to write a report about a bar chart, a line graph, a pie chart or a process diagram. In this case we are going to look at describing a line graph in IELTS writing task 1 and the kind of grammar and vocabulary that is needed for this task.

We are going to look at:

1. Vocabulary for describing a line graph
2. Useful grammar for this task
3. Example of a line graph
4. Gap fill exercise

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IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essays

3 Types of Advantage Disadvantage Essays

Not only are there 5 types of essay questions in academic IELTS but there are 3 types of Advantage Disadvantage essays, here are some examples below and ideas on how to approach them.

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