How to Write an Essay for the IELTS Academic Writing Test

The IELTS Academic Writing Test is regarded as the toughest test out of the four sections of the IELTS test. In the Writing Test. There are two tasks to do – Task1 and Task2. Candidates should first collect some free study materials from the Internet, and follow the instructions and tips given there about how to write an essay. But this is not a skill to develop without expert help, because apart from writing the essay in the correct format, the candidates need to know how to write error-free complex sentences, using a wide range of vocabulary appropriately. Execution of grammatical skill is a big factor. The essay writing job falls in Task 2, and candidates need to write in minimum 250 words, with hardly any spelling mistakes while chasing for a high Band Score.

  1. A candidate should study at least a ‘High Standard Essay Book’ for gathering adequate knowledge on how to compose a top quality, perfectly structured essay.
  2. The candidates should always follow the basic structures of an essay, which are relevant to the IELTS writing test.
  3. A candidate appearing in the IELTS Test should be well aware of the fact that he would get a maximum time of 40 minutes to write down the essay and to check for errors, as there is no extra time given.
  4. After getting permission to open the question paper, a candidate should first skim the question and take not more than 5 minutes for thinking about the construction of the essay.
  5. The essay is to be written by the candidate keeping in mind that there are three key constituents of an essay, (1) Introduction. (2) The body of the essay. and (3) Conclusion.
  6. A candidate should keep the ‘Introduction’ part short but descriptive, he should present in brief the topic of the essay and narrate what he is going to write about.
  7. The body should not contain more than 2 paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one central idea and a few sentences supporting the idea.
  8. As the topic of the essay is supposed to contain one idea in favor and one in against it. For example, ‘An advantage and a disadvantage’ or ‘A benefit and a drawback.’ A candidate should write ‘advantage or benefit’ in one paragraph and ‘disadvantage or drawback’ in another paragraph. The use of complex sentences should be extremely explicit.
  9. In the ‘Conclusion’ part a candidate must not write more than two or three sentences. The best idea is to state his opinion in the concluding part. Means, according to him the advantages are to be counted, or he thinks the disadvantages are of high concern and nullify the advantages.
  10. Usually, the essay topics are asked in the way: Do you agree or disagree? or State the advantages and disadvantages or cause and effect. The candidate should stay prepared for different types of essays as well.
  11. A candidate should be aware of the fact that his essay would carry marks for him considering the factors: (1) Task Response, (2) Coherence, (3) Cohesion and (4) Range and accuracy of grammatical application. Negligence of paying attention to any of the points above might result in losing 25% marks. At the same time, a candidate should keep in mind that time is a key factor and to be handled with expertise.
  12. Maintaining all the criteria one is asked for writing an essay in a foreign language is not just anybody’s job, it really takes rigorous practice maintaining time and of course the need of expert’s help.
  13. Though a candidate is asked to write in ‘Minimum’ 250 words, there is a hidden point. A candidate is not at liberty to write in as many words as possible for him. The maximum desired length of the essay should be in 270 to 280 words. Writing in too many words (50 words or more) would cause losing marks.
  14. A candidate should keep in mind that he should write exactly what he is asked for. As for example: “Watching TV for long hours might be harmful to the children in a number of ways”. Do you agree or disagree? Here a candidate is asked to write ‘Whether it is harmful to children in a number of ways or not.’ If a candidate discusses ‘Watching TV for long hours is harmful’ as a general point, skipping the actual point ‘Harmful for the children in a number of ways’, he would certainly lose marks.
  15. A candidate is not allowed to copy a full sentence from the question and write it unchanged in his answer.
  16. A candidate would be judged on, how well he can link the sentences and thoughts.
  17. Linking of paragraphs properly matters a lot, and it works as a stumbling block and made candidates lose marks.
  18. While ‘Lexical Resource’ is something to be admired, a candidate need not write ‘bombastic/complicated and rarely used words. It certainly would not impress the examiner at all. For example, if you write the word ‘Ingeminated’ in place of ‘Repeated,’ you won’t expected to earn any extra credit for that, as it is almost an unknown word.
  19. Repeated use of the same word is undesired; instead, a candidate should use synonymous words, this would impress the examiner, from the point of view of ‘Range of vocabulary’.
  20. If a candidate cannot use complete a sentence properly, while ‘Sentence completion is the task,’ he would lose marks.

A lot more little points related to the topic can be discussed. But these are the keys to success in writing a well-composed essay for the IELTS writing test. No need to cram the points. You can make the most of the IELTS writing test if you take your preparation with ultimate seriousness, take an expert’s help or take admission in a reputed IELTS coaching center and practice and following all the do’s and dont’s of the IELTS essays and study good essay book (s). The main purpose of including essay writing is to check the student’s depth in the English language, his range of vocabulary, how expressive he is and how skilful he is in writing a perfectly structured essay with a clear opinion. How good you can write an essay is of high importance for your score. Your ultimate efficiency in writing English would be tested through the essay you write.

Essay Writing – How to Get Scholarships If You Have Trouble Writing

If you have a strong desire to go to college or university you shouldn’t let anything stand in your way. Maybe you think that you’re not a very good writer, and you think that this is holding you back from getting a higher education. Henry Ford said that if you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right. Your belief that your writing is poor may be holding you back from even trying, or may be becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy by you behaving as if you are a bad writer.

First, you should take an objective look at your writing. Maybe it’s not that you’re a bad writer, but that you don’t enjoy writing. Have someone you know look at your writing, and ask for their honest feedback. An even better way to assess your writing is to have an unbiased third-party look at your writing. Make sure that they have a background in writing, and you might even consider hiring an essay editing company to look over your work and tell you honestly how it ranks. These people won’t worry about your feelings, and will be able to deliver the news without a sugar coating.

Once you get your feedback from others, take an inventory as to where you stand in regards to your writing. If it’s true that you’re not a very good writer at this state, that’s OK. But you may be shocked to find that you’re a good writer, but perhaps someone told you a long time ago that you’re not. The thing with writing is that it’s a skill. While it’s true that some people are born with more natural ability, and writing comes easily for them, it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn to write better. Take this setback as an opportunity to learn a valuable skill. Writing is something that, unlike a subject like Algebra, you’ll use every day. It can help you in many aspects of your life, and is worth the time invested in learning how to do it better.

The problem that occurs is that you need the essay written now, because scholarship deadlines are approaching and although you’ve resolved to become a better writer, you need to be able to fill out the applications and win the awards in order to go to college and learn to write better. In this case outsourcing is your friend. There are many places that will help you edit your essay so that it sounds good. Once you get the initial first draft of your essay finished, you can submit the draft and an essay editing company will make corrections to it. There are many companies that offer unlimited edits. Test out that feature and keep resubmitting it until it’s perfect. Best of luck to you in your scholarship hunt!

ESL Writing – Essay Writing Skills For ESL Students – Sample Essays Corrected and Explained

Essay writing has always been a challenge for students of ESL, and indeed there is a lot of instructional material available that teaches essay writing skills. However, there is one very effective method that is often overlooked, and that is learning from the writing mistakes of other students. Learning from mistakes is a powerful way of reinforcing in our minds the correct approach, and learning from the mistakes of others is an age old wisdom that saves us from the frustration and pain of committing our own mistakes. Better still, by examining the written essays of other students, we are constantly reminded of the same kinds of mistakes we are often prone to, and gain new ideas along the way.

What is even more helpful is to study another student’s written essay, corrected and all grammatical mistakes painstakingly explained by the teacher. It is like taking a peek into the written essays of the top students of your class and getting valuable insights into the secrets of their writing success. However, we may not always have opportunities as such, and it is for this reason that we try to make available written essays by ESL students in a way that you will find useful.

There is a methodical approach to how we can get the most out of these essays.

1) Study the original essays and try to spot the mistakes.

2) Compare your findings with our corrected version.

3) Understand the comments and explanations.

4) Try to write your own essays.

These essays are not meant as a substitute for having a good fundamental understanding of grammar and writing structure. These essays are to be considered as supplementary material and should be used as a complement to your existing ESL curriculum at school.

How to Write an A+ Comparison Essay

What is a comparison essay?

A comparison essay (or a Compare and Contrast essay) is used to critically analyze any two subjects, finding and pointing out their similarities and/or dissimilarities.

Depending on your assignment, such essays can be comparative only (looking only at similarities), contrasting only (pointing out the differences) or both comparative and contrasting.

Below you will find specific instructions on how to write a comparison essay on any topic, which is well written and will have a good chance to get a high grade.

A comparison essay can have two patterns: point-by-point (or “alternating”) pattern and subject-by-subject (or “block”) pattern.

Alternating pattern

Alternating pattern is also known as “point-by-point comparison”.

This mode of comparison will result in your essay having 5 paragraphs.

In it, you will need to consecutively compare and contrast each of the similarities and differences in the given subjects:

In the introduction you state your thesis.

Then you discuss both of your subjects together for each point of comparison and contrast.

In the conclusion you restate the thesis and shortly summarize your essay.

Block pattern

Block pattern is also known as “subject-by-subject comparison”.

According to this pattern, you will be required to separate the body of your compare and contrast essay in two parts.

The first part of the body will be dedicated to the first subject, while the other half will be centered around the second subject:

In the introduction you state your thesis.

First you discuss the first subject.

Then you discuss the second subject.

In the conclusion you restate the thesis and shortly summarize your essay.

Writing an A+ comparison essay

Introduction

The introduction is very important. It gives the reader his/her first impression of the comparison essay’s text.

Start from a short background

High school students often find it difficult to view their teachers as anything but “the enemy.” However, after the first few months of a school year, students learn to appreciate their teachers as individuals with different approaches. Some teachers are “cool,” while others are “tough.”

State the thesis

Although Sally Strict & Larry Lax are both respected teachers at our school, their teaching styles and expectations for students differ significantly. While Ms. Strict maintains a highly structured classroom atmosphere to keep her pupils disciplined and motivated, Mr. Lax downplays structure in order to allow his students to push themselves.

Point paragraph

State the point

Finally, Ms. Strict enforces high standards for her students’ written work.

Provide supporting details

She collects homework every day at the beginning of class; to turn it in five minutes late is to turn it in a whole day late. Every piece of writing, whether it is a journal entry or a formal essay, must be typed and stapled. Last but not least, all homework must display a sophisticated level of thinking and writing.

Use appropriate transitions

Transitions are important in comparison / contrast writing to avoid confusion. Without transitions, the points you are comparing / contrasting may blur into one another. Also, a variety of transitions prevent monotony.

For comparison:

Like, compared to, similar to, similarly, by analogy, likewise, in the same way, as well, both, too

For contrast:

Unlike, conversely, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, still, although, while, but, even though, although, despite, yet, regardless, on the one hand… one the other hand

Conclusion

The conclusion of a comparison essay is just as important as the introduction. The conclusion seals the comparison essay and tries to close the issue. Conclusion is the last part of the essay that your reader will experience.

Summarize the similarities and / or difference of the subjects

Thus, Ms. Strict and Mr. Lax both accomplish their goals of motivating their students to do excellent work, though they do so in very different ways: while Ms. Strict emphasizes the high standards she expects everyone can meet, Mr. Lax uses a more personal approach.

Emphasize the thesis and say why this topic is important

Their success demonstrates the importance of diversity in a school community: different students respond to different teaching styles. So rather than viewing their instructors as a monolithic “enemy” intent on making them suffer, students should recognize how they benefit from the variety of ways their teachers inspire them.

Final Word

If you followed the above instructions, you now have an argumentative essay, on any topic, which is well written and has a good chance to get a high grade.

Survival Tips – Grading Essays

Maybe it is just me – Ha, yeah right! – but grading is one of the most difficult parts of this whole teaching thing.

I know I am not the only teacher who feels this way. In fact I had a student tell me that he was thinking of being a teacher until he realized all his teachers complained about the grading. I actually felt bad that I contributed to his negative thinking and apologized to him for complaining about my job. I gave him honest reasons why teaching is amazing and why it can be a challenge.

I then decided to not say a word about grading to my students and simply keep my thoughts to myself, a few close friends, and you.

My aversion to grading is rather new. I never used to mind grading. I actually used to like it. I enjoyed seeing what my students learned and reading their thoughts.

It all changed this year. I know that there are ebbs and flows with everything and that teaching is one of those things. I know there are good years and OK years and years that make you think “Good gracious, when will it all end?” This year is no exception. Overall this has been an OK year for many different reasons. However, when it comes to grading it has been a “Good gracious, when will it all end?”

I have had many times where I question my ability to teach, where I consider going back to school and getting my MBA, or becoming a PE teacher – why didn’t I do this to begin with? I could wear yoga pants every day!

In many ways this year I have adapted some survival tactics so that I can enjoy make it through my piles of essays that I will share with you now.

– Carry stacks of papers from desk to car to home to car to desk to home to car to desk to…

– Grade two papers a day for a month, you might eventually finish.

– Before you grade think of the top 3-5 things you want the essay to do, only read those parts and grade accordingly.

– Take a break every 10 papers or so, but don’t snack, you will gain 10 pounds in a week!

– Stop grading when comments start to become “Did you listen to any of the directions I gave you?!?!”

– Remember that it is their paper, not your paper.

– Stack the deck – I like to student’s who usually produce good work and place their papers strategically though the pile. It is a needed boost when I am considering walking off the job.

– Find the funniest simile, metaphor, personification etc. One of my favorites was “Love is like a pot of wine, just one drink and you are passed out drunk.” So much about this is beautiful. Who drinks wine from a pot? What kinds of wine renders a person drunk after one sip? How did an 18 year old senior know about this wine?

– Run a mile after every 20 papers. It keeps you awake and fresh. Works well when you are stuck grading at home and can run around your neighborhood or have a treadmill.

– Remember that these kids, even though they are not your kids, are some one’s kids. They are daughters and sons and should be treated with worth.

– Assign grades based on how much I like them, how much they gave me in a Starbucks card for Christmas, how many excuses they gave when they turned the paper in, or blindly make piles of papers in a stack for As, Bs, Cs, Ds and Fs. Obviously, I do none of these, but it is fun to think of new ways to grade.

– Instead of getting mad, sad, depressed I now laugh. Just laugh it off and move on. The kids who do care will continue to do well and the ones who do not will change one day or not. You cant fix everyone.

– Pray. I honestly have to pray before I sit down and grade these days, it helps me remember to be kind.

No matter how much you want to throw the paper away or just give them all As there are plenty of ways to make it through that mountain staring you down. Do not get discouraged and do not feel like you are alone. This too shall pass.