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IELTS Writing Task 2 – Structure and Advice from Simon

How to write an introduction 1

For IELTS Writing Task 2, keep your introduction short and simple. Don’t waste time writing a long introduction; the main body paragraphs are more important.

A good IELTS Writing introduction needs only 2 things:

  1. A sentence that introduces the topic
  2. A sentence that gives a short, general answer to the question

Here is an example of an IELTS Task 2 question:

As computers are being used more and more in education, there will soon be no role for the teacher in the classroom. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Here is my introduction:

It is true that computers have become an essential tool for teachers and students in all areas of education. However, while computers are extremely useful, I do not agree with the idea that they could soon replace teachers completely.

  • In the first sentence, I introduce the topic of computers in education.
  • In the second sentence, I answer the question and make my opinion clear. Don’t wait until the conclusion to give your opinion.

Remember, do a simple introduction, then you can focus on the main paragraphs.


The main body paragraphs 2

After your introduction, you need to write 2 or 3 main body paragraphs. This is the most important part of your essay.

If you have been following this blog for a while, or if you have bought my ebook, you may have seen today’s paragraph before. However, I’m reusing it for 2 reasons:

  1. It’s a great example of how to write an “advantages” paragraph using a “firstly, secondly, finally” structure.
  2. There are some excellent comments from students below this lesson. If you read them carefully, you will learn a lot.

Main body “advantages” paragraph (band 9):

There are several advantages to using computers in education. Firstly, students learn new skills which will be extremely useful for their future jobs. For example, they learn to write reports or other documents using a word processor, and they can practice doing spoken presentations using PowerPoint slides. Secondly, technology is a powerful tool to engage students. The use of websites or online videos can make lessons much more interesting, and many students are more motivated to do homework or research using online resources. Finally, if each student has a computer to work on, they can study at their own pace.

Advice: Firstly, Secondly, Finally” structure

Is the phrase “First and foremost” better than “Firstly”?
The answer is NO.
Using simple organizing language like “Firstly, Secondly” makes you focus on the REAL CONTENT of what you are writing – topic vocabulary, collocations, examples. This is what the examiner wants to see. Spend your time preparing ideas, opinions, and examples for IELTS topics, not learning alternative ways to write “Firstly”.


Full Essay Example 3

Usually, I suggest writing 4 paragraphs for task 2. However, sometimes it might be better to write 5 paragraphs. The following essay question has three parts, so I’ve written three main body paragraphs (5 paragraphs in total).

Explain some of the ways in which humans are damaging the environment. What can governments do to address these problems? What can individual people do?

Humans are responsible for a variety of environmental problems, but we can also take steps to reduce the damage that we are causing to the planet. This essay will discuss environmental problems and the measures that governments and individuals can take to address these problems.

Two of the biggest threats to the environment are air pollution and waste. Gas emissions from factories and exhaust fumes from vehicles lead to global warming, which may have a devastating effect on the planet in the future. As the human population increases, we are also producing ever greater quantities of waste, which contaminates the earth and pollutes rivers and oceans.

Governments could certainly make more effort to reduce air pollution. They could introduce laws to limit emissions from factories or to force companies to use renewable energy from solar, wind or water power. They could also impose ‘green taxes’ on drivers and airline companies. In this way, people would be encouraged to use public transport and to take fewer flights abroad, therefore reducing emissions.

Individuals should also take responsibility for the impact they have on the environment. They can take public transport rather than driving, choose products with less packaging, and recycle as much as possible. Most supermarkets now provide reusable bags for shoppers as well as ‘banks’ for recycling glass, plastic and paper in their car parks. By reusing and recycling, we can help to reduce waste.

In conclusion, both national governments and individuals must play their part in looking after the environment.

Note: This essay is exactly 250 words long. I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible, but it’s still good enough to get a band 9.

  1. IELTS Writing Task 2: how to write an introduction
  2. IELTS Writing Task 2: main body paragraphs
  3. IELTS Writing Task 2: full essay
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