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IELTS Direct Question Essays – Structure, Questions, Samples & Tips
Updated On Nov 28, 2023
Limited-Time Offer : Access a FREE 10-Day IELTS Study Plan!
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 Body Paragraph 1
- 1.3 Body Paragraph 2
- 1.4 Conclusion
- 4 Key Pointers for Direct Question Essays
- 5.1 Here are the 10 examples for the Direct question essay
The IELTS Writing Task 2, has an essay type known as the “Direct Question Essay,” which is a crucial component of the IELTS exam. It evaluates your ability to express your ideas, analyze a given topic, and provide a clear, well-structured response.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the structure of IELTS Writing Task 2 : Direct Question Essays, delve into essential pointers, provide ten valuable tips to ace this task and furnish you with five sample questions and answers to boost your preparation.
Structure of a Direct Question Essay
A Direct Question Essay typically follows a specific format:
I agree that schools should place a greater emphasis on practical life skills. While traditional subjects are essential, practical skills like cooking, budgeting, and home repair equip students for real-life challenges. For instance, teaching basic culinary skills can promote healthier eating habits, reducing the prevalence of diet-related health issues.
Furthermore, budgeting knowledge empowers individuals to manage their finances effectively, reducing the risk of falling into debt. The ability to handle basic home repairs fosters independence and self-reliance, which are valuable qualities in adulthood.
By incorporating practical skills into the curriculum, schools prepare students for the responsibilities they will face in their daily lives. While academic knowledge is important, it is equally crucial to equip individuals with the tools they need to thrive in the real world. Thus, I firmly believe that schools should allocate more resources to teach practical life skills alongside traditional subjects, ensuring a holistic education that sets students on the path to success.
Banning smoking in public places offers numerous advantages. Firstly, it significantly improves public health by reducing exposure to harmful secondhand smoke. Non-smokers, including children and those with respiratory conditions, benefit from cleaner air, leading to a lower incidence of smoking-related health issues.
Secondly, such bans encourage individuals to quit smoking or reduce their consumption. When smoking is restricted in public spaces, smokers may be more inclined to quit as the inconvenience of finding a designated smoking area becomes apparent. This, in turn, decreases the overall demand for tobacco products and contributes to public health.
However, banning smoking in public places can lead to potential disadvantages. Businesses reliant on tobacco sales may experience a decline in revenue, potentially leading to layoffs or closures. Additionally, some smokers may resist the bans, leading to enforcement challenges and potential conflicts in public spaces.
In conclusion, the advantages of banning smoking in public places, such as improved public health and reduced smoking rates, outweigh the disadvantages. While businesses may face challenges, the long-term benefits to society as a whole are substantial.
Key Pointers for Direct Question Essays
- Understand the Question: Read the question carefully to grasp its requirements and focus. Identify keywords that dictate the scope of your response.
- Plan Your Essay: Spend a few minutes brainstorming and outlining your essay. Organize your thoughts and main ideas. A well-structured essay flows more naturally.
- Clarity and Coherence: Use clear and concise language. Ensure that your essay is easy to follow and logically organized. Employ appropriate transitions between sentences and paragraphs.
- Stay on Topic: Avoid straying from the main question. Irrelevant information can reduce the clarity of your essay and affect your score.
- Word Count: Adhere to the word count requirement. Going over or under the limit can result in point deductions.
- Vocabulary and Grammar: Showcase a wide vocabulary range and accurate grammar. Simple and complex sentences should be used appropriately to enhance the quality of your writing.
- Examples and Details: Support your ideas with relevant examples, facts, and details. This strengthens your arguments and demonstrates a deep understanding of the topic.
- Counter Arguments: Address counterarguments when relevant. This shows your ability to consider different perspectives and strengthens your position.
- Time Management: Allocate time wisely. Ensure you have enough time to review and edit your essay before submission.
- Revision: Always review and edit your essay. Look for errors in spelling, grammar, and clarity. A well-edited essay leaves a positive impression.
You can practice more Direct Question Essays here .
Direct Question Essay: A Skill to Learn!
In conclusion, mastering the art of writing Direct Question Essays is achievable with practice, a clear understanding of the format, and attention to key pointers. By following the structure, incorporating the tips provided, and analyzing the sample questions and answers, you can significantly enhance your performance in the IELTS Writing Task 2. So, start practicing and make your writing shine on test day. Good luck!
Here are the 10 examples for the Direct question essay
Also, check :
- Tips to Improve IELTS Writing Skills
- IELTS Writing recent actual test
- IELTS Band 9 essays
- Advantage and Disadvantage Essays
- IELTS Writing Task 1 Connectors
Frequently Asked Questions
How will you write an introduction in the IELTS Direct Question Essay?
What are the common errors the examinees make in the IELTS Direct Question Essay?
How can you score high marks for task achievement in the IELTS Direct Question Essay?
Can I use only one body paragraph in my IELTS Direct Question Essay?
Are IELTS Direct Question Essay and IELTS Double Question Essay the same?
Practice IELTS Writing Task 2 based on Essay types
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Posted on Apr 15, 2022
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IELTS Direct Question Essay on Society With Sample Answer
In a Direct Question essay, 2 or 3 direct questions are based on a given statement. Each question should be answered in separate body paragraphs.
Tips to write IELTS Direct question essay:
- IELTS Direct Question Essay Types are also known as two question essays.
- Must spend time planning the answers to the questions
- Put the answer to each question in a separate body paragraph
In many countries, the tradition of families having meals together is disappearing. Why is this happening? What will be the effect of it on the family and society?
The traditional family mealtime is indeed becoming a thing of the past. Reasons like economic pressure can explain this changing pattern of behaviour, and as an impact children’s health is being affected.
There are two obvious reasons why families no longer share mealtimes as they used to do in the past. Firstly, children are often too impatient to eat at the table, and parents sometimes allow them to have their meal in front of the TV or sitting in front of the computer. For example, to make their work easier, parents try to wrap up the meals quickly by allowing their children to watch TV while eating. Secondly, the close-knit family is disappearing in the face of economic pressures. In single-parent households or families with working mothers, it can be almost impossible to arrange regular times for meals when all the family is together.
The consequences for family life and children’s health are dire. From the perspective of the family, meals taken together are a critical feature of a stable family background. This stability of family routine is an essential factor in shaping children’s personality during their formative years. Family mealtimes are a time to share news, give guidance and to make plans together. In terms of children’s health, family meals were an opportunity to provide all the family members with a healthier diet, based on wholesome home-made food. Without this routine, children are sometimes left to have snacks, or eat junk food at fast-food chains. Health consequences such as obesity and hyperactivity often result when youngsters fail to eat a balanced diet, such as what used to be provided at family mealtimes.
In conclusion, some reasons can be identified for the decline in shared family meals, and the impacts are overwhelmingly negative.
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How to Plan & Write IELTS Double Question Essays
IELTS double question essays are also known as ‘direct question’ or ‘two questions’ essays. They are distinguished by two characteristics:
- They have one statement with two different questions after it.
- The questions may or may not be linked.
Here are 3 examples:
1) Fossil fuels are essential for producing electricity, powering industry and fueling transportation. However, one day we will reach a point when all the world’s fossil fuels have been depleted.
How can we conserve these resources?
What are some alternatives to fossil fuels?
2) Some parents buy their children whatever they ask for, and allow their children to do whatever they want.
Is this a good way to raise children?
What consequences could this style of parenting have for children as they get older?
3) The arts, including art, music and theatre are considered to be important in society.
Do you think the arts still have a place amongst our modern lifestyles?
Should the arts be included in the school curriculum?
In this lesson, I’m going to demonstrate step-by-step how to plan and write IELTS double question essays.
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- 3 Common mistakes
- Essay structure
- How to plan
- How to write an introduction
- How to write main body paragraphs
- How to write a conclusion
Want to watch and listen to this lesson?
Click on this video.
Click the links to see lessons on each of these Task 2 essay writing topics.
Once you understand the process, practice on past questions. Take your time at first and gradually speed up until you can plan and write an essay of at least 250 words in the 40 minutes allowed in the exam.
3 Common Mistakes
These three errors are common in IELTS double question essays.
- Not answering both questions fully.
- Not outlining both answers in the introduction.
- Mistaking it for one of the other essay types.
Many students make the mistake of only answering one of the questions, or focusing more on one question than the other which leads to an unbalanced essay. Both these errors will seriously affect your score for task achievement.
You must outline everything you are going to write about in the introduction. This is your blueprint for the whole essay. I’ll show you how to do this and get your essay off to a great start.
It’s easy to mistake IELTS double question essays for one of the other four types of Task 2 essays, especially opinion or discussion essays. Each should be answered in a slightly different way.
Analysing the question properly is essential to avoiding this error. I’ll also show you how to do this and give you a simple 4 part structure for planning your essay.
Let’s look at this essay structure straight away. You can use it to write any IELTS double question essay. It’s easy to learn and will enable you to quickly plan and write a high-level essay.
- Paraphrase the question
- Outline sentence – state your answer to both questions
2) Main body paragraph 1 – Answer question 1
- Topic sentence – state your answer
- Explanation – develop the idea
- Example – give an example
3) Main body paragraph 2 – Answer question 2
4) Conclusion Summarise both questions and answers
This structure will give us a well-balanced essay with 4 paragraphs.
We now need some ideas to add to the structure and we’ll have everything we need for our essay.
How To Plan IELTS Double Question Essays
Here’s the question we’re going to be answering in our model essay followed by the 3 steps of the planning process.
Fossil fuels are essential for producing electricity, powering industry and fueling transportation. However, one day we will reach a point when all the world’s fossil fuels have been depleted.
- Analyse the question
- Generate ideas
- Identify vocabulary
# 1 Analyse the question
This is an essential step in the planning process and will ensure that you answer the question fully. It’s quick and easy to do. You just need to identify 3 different types of words:
- Topic words
- Other keywords
- Instruction words
Topics words are the ones that identify the general subject of the question and will be found in the statement part of the question.
Fossil fuels are essential for producing electricity, powering industry and fueling transportation. However, one day we will reach a point when all the world’s fossil fuels have been depleted.
So, this question is about ‘ fossil fuels ’.
Many people will do this first step of the process and then write about the topic in general. This is a serious mistake and leads to low marks for task achievement.
Now that we know what the general topic is, we need to understand exactly what aspect of fossil fuels we're being asked to write about.
The other keywords in the question tell you the specific things you must write about. For IELTS double question essays, these will often be in the instructions, that is, the actual questions.
How can we conserve these resources?
What are some alternatives to fossil fuels?
By highlighting these words, it’s easy to identify the topics. Your essay must only include ideas relevant to these ideas.
The instruction words are the questions themselves. These tell you exactly what type of information is required and each will become the topic for one of the two main body paragraphs.
The first body paragraph will answer the first question (How?) and the second body paragraph will answer the second question (What?).
# 2 Generate ideas
The next task is to generate some ideas to write about.
There are several different ways to think up ideas. I cover them fully on the IELTS Essay Planning page.
We’re going to use the ‘friends technique’. This is the method I prefer as it allows you to take a step back from the stress of the exam situation and think more calmly.
Here’s how it works. Imagine that you are in a casual conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee and they ask you this question. What are the first thoughts to come into your head? Plan your essay around these ideas.
Doing this will help you to come up with simple answers in everyday language rather than straining your brain to think of amazing ideas using high-level language, which isn’t necessary.
You might want to try this yourself before reading on for my ideas.
Here are my ideas as I thought of them:
How can we conserve these resources?
- Become more energy conscious & more energy efficient
- Use more renewable energy sources – solar panels
- All new homes should be built with solar panels on
- Use car less – walk, cycle, public transport, only travel when really necessary
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- Solar power
- Wave energy
- Tidal energy
- Biomass energy
- Geothermal energy
Don’t spend long on this as you only need one or two ideas.
There is so much to write about this topic that we have to be very careful we don’t try to include too many different ideas and just end up with a list for each question rather than a well-developed essay.
Choose one main idea for each part of the question. My advice on making your selection is to choose ideas that you can quickly think of examples for.
Here are my choices:
- Use car less – walk, cycle, public transport
- Natural forces – solar & wind power, wave & tidal energy
We’re almost ready to start writing our IELTS double question essay but first, we have one other small task to do.
# 3 Vocabulary
During the planning stage, quickly jot down some vocabulary that comes to mind as you decide which ideas you are going to write about, especially synonyms of key words. This will save you having to stop and think of the right language while you’re writing.
For the ideas I’ve chosen, useful words will include:
- renewable energy
With that done, we can focus on the first paragraph of the essay – the introduction.
How To Write an Introduction
The best introductions to IELTS double question essays have a simple 2 part structure:
1) Paraphrase the question
2) Outline sentence – state your answer to both questions
- Have 2-3 sentences
- Be 40-60 words long
- Take 5 minutes to write
1) Paraphrase the question
Start your introduction by paraphrasing the statement part of the question.
The world is currently reliant on oil, coal and natural gas for the majority of its energy requirements but there will come a time when these run out.
We are simply saying the same thing in a different way and using different vocabulary.
2) Outline statement
Now we need to add an outline statement where we outline the two main points that we’ll cover in the rest of the essay, that is, the answers to the two questions.
We need to be very specific about what we are going to write about.
Here's a reminder of the ideas I’ve chosen to answer the two questions:
- Natural forces –solar & wind power, wave & tidal energy
Outl ine statement:
This essay will discuss how we can help to prevent our non-renewable resources from becoming depleted by using our cars less frequently and it will name some natural forces that can be harnessed to generate power.
Note my use of synonyms to replace key words in the question. You don’t have to replace every key word but do so where possible whilst ensuring that your language sounds natural.
So, let’s bring the two elements of our introduction together.
This introduction achieves three important functions:
- It shows the examiner that you understand the question.
- It acts as a guide to the examiner as to what your essay is about.
- It also helps to keep you focused and on track as you write.
The two ideas in your introduction will become your two main body paragraphs.
Main body paragraph 1 – Use car less – walk, cycle, public transport
Main body paragraph 2 – Renewable energy / natural forces – solar & wind power, wave & tidal energy
How To Write Main Body Paragraphs
Main body paragraphs in IELTS double question essays should contain 3 things:
- Explanation – develop the idea
Main Body Paragraph 1 – Answer question 1
The topic sentence summarises the main idea of the paragraph. That’s all it needs to do so it doesn’t have to be complicated.
It plays an important role in ensuring that your ideas flow logically from one to another. It does this by acting as a signpost for what is to come next, that is, what the paragraph will be about.
If you maintain a clear development of ideas throughout your essay, you will get high marks for task achievement and cohesion and coherence.
We’ll now take the idea for our first main body paragraph and create our topic sentence.
Main body paragraph 1 – Use car less – walk, cycle, public transport, only travel when really necessary
Conserving energy is a responsibility of every individual and an important way in which we can all do our bit is to use more energy-efficient means of transport.
Next, we must write an explanation sentence that develops the idea.
The easiest way to do this is to leave the car at home and walk or cycle to our destination if it isn’t too far away, or take public transport for longer journeys. Another way to reduce our fuel consumption is to car share.
Finally, we add an example to support our main point. If you can’t think of a real example, it’s fine to make one up, as long as it’s believable. The examiner isn’t going to check your facts. Alternative, you could add another piece of information to support your idea but an example is better.
Whenever my friends and I get together for coffee, we agree to meet up at a café that we can each get to without having to drive our cars there. We usually go on foot or ride our bikes. If everyone made small decisions like this, it would make a real difference.
That’s the 3 parts of our first main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.
We now follow the same process for our second main body paragraph.
Main Body Paragraph 2 – Answer question 2
Again, we’ll now take the idea I’ve chosen for this paragraph and create our topic sentence.
Main body paragraph 2 – Renewable energy / natural forces – solar & wind power, wave & tidal energy
The most sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels are the generation of power from natural forces such as the sun, wind and oceans.
Now for the explanation where we expand on this idea.
S olar and wind power are already widely used across the world but it is wave power and tidal energy that have the greatest untapped potential to provide for our energy needs in the future.
Finally, an example to support our main point.
A report recently commissioned in the United Kingdom estimates that tidal energy could meet as much as 20% of the UK’s current electricity demands once the technology being developed is operational. Wave energy converters are expected to prove equally successful in the long-term.
That’s the 3 parts of our second main body paragraph complete. Here’s the finished paragraph.
Now we need a conclusion and our IELTS double question essay is done.
How To Write a Conclusion
The conclusion is a summary of the main points in your essay and can often be done in a single sentence. It should never introduce new ideas.
If you're below the minimum 250 words after you’ve written your conclusion, you can add a prediction or recommendation statement.
Our essay is already over the minimum word limit so we don’t need this extra sentence but you can learn more about how to write a prediction or recommendation statement for IELTS double question essays on the Task 2 Conclusions page.
The conclusion is the easiest sentence in the essay to write but one of the most important.
A good conclusion to an IELTS double question essay will:
- Neatly end the essay
- Link all your ideas together
- Sum up your argument or opinion
- Answer the question
If you achieve this, you’ll improve your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together make up 50% of the overall marks. Without a conclusion, you’ll score below band 6 for task achievement.
You can start almost any final paragraph of an IELTS double question essay with the words:
- In conclusion
- To conclude
Now all you need to do is briefly summarise the main ideas into one or two sentences.
Here’s a top tip . Go back and read the introduction to the essay because this is also a summary of the essay. It outlines what you are going to write about.
To create a great conclusion, you simply have to paraphrase the introduction.
Here is the same information formed into a conclusion:
That’s it. We’ve completed our essay. Here it is with the 4 paragraphs put together.
Finished IELTS double question essay.
Go through this lesson as many times as you need to in order to fully understand it and put in lots of practice writing IELTS double question essays from past exam questions. Practice is the only way to improve your skills.
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More help with ielts double question essays & other task 2 essays.
IELTS Writing Task 2 – T he format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.
The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.
Understanding Task 2 Questions – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.
How To Plan a Task 2 Essay – Discover why essay planning is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure & 4 methods of generating ideas.
How To Write a Task 2 Introduction – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid.
How To Write Task 2 Conclusions – Learn the easy way to write the perfect conclusion for a Task 2 essay. Also discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.
Task 2 Marking Criteria – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task 2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes to avoid.
The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:
Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.
Problem Solution Essays
Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
Double Question Essays
Other Related Pages
IELTS Writing Test – Understand the format & marking criteria, know what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic & General writing tests.
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IELTS Direct Question Essay: tips, common mistakes, questions & essays
In this lesson we are going to look at how to answer an IELTS Direct Question essay.
You will learn about this IELTS Writing Task 2 essay, using authentic IELTS essay questions , plus the most common mistakes. And I will finish with an IELTS model essay written by me in response to a sample IELTS essay question . So let’s get started!
What Is Your Task?
In this IELTS question type, you are usually asked 2 questions. Your task is to simply answer these questions!
Often, one or both of the 2 questions come from one of the other 4 question types, so you might be asked to say whether you agree or disagree, or to discuss the disadvantages of something, or to suggest some solutions.
So it’s really important to read the question carefully!
Here is an example direct questions essay task:
Some people spend most of their lives living close to where they were born.
What might be the reasons for this?
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Cambridge IELTS 16 General Training Test 3
As you can see, this task has 2 questions. The 2nd question is about advantages and disadvantages, so the task takes the 2nd question from one of the other essay question types.
How To Plan An IELTS Direct Question Essay
If you are aiming for a high band score (band 7 and above) it is absolutely vital that you plan your essay. A good plan will help you to see if you have answered the question, developed your ideas and organised them BEFORE you start writing.
We’re going to plan an essay using my 4 Step Planning Process .
Step 1: Understand The Task
First, you need to make sure you understand exactly what you need to write about. So you need to read the question carefully, not quickly!
Think about these three questions:
What is the topic about?
What is the topic NOT about?
How should you respond to the topic?
Let’s go back to this essay question, and answer those 3 questions:
- The topic is about people who live near to the village / town of their birth for most of their lives.
- (The word “birthplace” implies the village / town of their birth, NOT the country of their birth.)
- It’s not about people who live ALL their lives near their birthplace.
- Because “birthplace” implies a village / town / city, it’s not about people who rarely go outside their country.
- The two questions, “what might be the reasons for this?” and “what are the advantages and disadvantages” tell you how to respond to the topic. So make sure you answer these questions in your plan.
- Many students might forget to answer the first question, and just write about the advantages and disadvantages. This will limit your band score for Task Response to Band 5.
Step 2: Decide Your Position
Next, you need to decide your position. In other words, you need to decide what you think.
In a direct questions essay, your position is your answers to the two questions .
So in our example above, your position is your answer to the 2 questions:
- what might be the reasons for people spending most of their lives near their birthplace?
- what are the advantages and disadvantages of spending most of your life near your birthplace?
Step 3: Extend Your Ideas
When you decided your position, you may have started thinking about the reasons for your position, the reasons for your answer. In other words, WHY are you taking this view?
Giving reasons for your view is essential in an IELTS essay. In fact, all IELTS questions tell you to “give reasons for your answer”. So in Step 3, you need to think about your reasons a little more.
However, just presenting your reasons is not enough. You need to develop them.
The two best ways of developing your ideas is by:
- giving explanations of what you mean
- giving specific examples which illustrate what you mean
Together, these add more detail to your answer.
You MUST do this to get Band 7. If you fail to develop your ideas in detail, your band score for Task Response may be limited to Band 6.
Read more about how to develop your ideas in an IELTS essay.
Step 4: Structure Your Essay
The final step in the planning process is to structure your essay. This simply means deciding which main ideas to put in which paragraphs.
I would recommend a simple structure like this:
- Paragraph 1: introduce the essay
- Paragraph 2: discuss your answer to the 1st question
- Paragraph 3: discuss your answer to the 2nd question
- Paragraph 4: summarise your ideas.
How To Write Your IELTS Direct Question Essay
Let’s go through how to write the different parts of the essay.
How To Write The Introduction
In the introduction to an IELTS Direct Questions essay, you need to do two things:
- briefly introduce the topic of the essay
- briefly say what you are going to write about
Introduce The Topic
You should begin with a background sentence which introduces your reader to the topic of the essay. The best way to do this is to paraphrase the topic statement.
How To Paraphrase
Think about the meaning of the topic statement, and briefly rewrite it using your own words. Try not to use the same grammatical structures as in the essay question, and try to move language around. In other words, be flexible. This is important if you are aiming for a Band 7 or higher.
In the example essay question above, the topic statement said:
“Some people spend most of their lives living close to where they were born.”
Here is one way of paraphrasing this:
“Despite opportunities to travel widely in the modern world, many people still live most of their lives not far from their birthplace.”
This sentence has a similar meaning as the original sentence, but uses different vocabulary and different grammatical structures.
Say What You Are Going To Write About
In an IELTS Direct Questions essays, it’s a good idea to briefly say what you are going to write about – in other words, say that you are going to answer the two questions.
In our example essay above, we need to answer two questions:
- What might be the reasons for this?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages?
So I could write:
“This essay will consider the reasons for this tendency, along with the possible benefits and drawbacks.”
How To Write The Body Paragraphs
In an IELTS Direct Questions essay, you simply need to answer the questions in the body paragraphs.
Write the answer to each question in a separate paragraph.
Direct questions essays can vary quite a lot, so you need to be flexible in your paragraphing.
In our example essay, the two questions are:
So, the first body paragraphs could contain:
- A reason why people live most of their lives near their birthplace
- A more detailed explanation of this reason
- An example which illustrates this reason
- You can also include a 2nd reason in the same paragraph.
The second body paragraph could contain:
- One advantage of living most of their life near their birthplace
- A more detailed explanation of this advantage
- An example which illustrates this advantage
You could include a disadvantage in the same paragraph, but I would personally write it in a separate paragraph:
- One disadvantage of living most of their life near their birthplace
- A more detailed explanation of this disadvantage
- An example which illustrates this disadvantage
(You probably only have enough time to write one advantage and one disadvantage in this essay, because you also have to write about the reasons for living in one place.)
You can read more about developing your ideas here .
How To Write The Conclusion
In the conclusion to an IELTS Direct Questions essay, you need to do one thing:
- summarise your main points
Do NOT write any new ideas in your conclusion. If you think of new ideas while writing your conclusion, forget them! It’s too late.
Common Mistakes in an IELTS Direct Question Essay
These are the most common mistakes made by Test Takers when writing an IELTS Direct Questions essay:
- not reading the question carefully enough. The questions in these essay types can vary a lot, so don’t read the questions quickly. Read them carefully.
- Writing an overly general statement about the topic in the introduction (e.g. Education is a topic of hot debate.
- Your main ideas are not explained and illustrated enough. You need to develop all of your ideas to get a band 7 and higher.
- Using memorised phrases (e.g. “a hot topic”, “in a nutshell”, “pros and cons”)
- Using “research studies” as examples: examples should illustrate your ideas, not prove them. Read about how to use examples in IELTS essays .
- Trying to use rare or “novel” language: examiners are looking for groups of words used naturally, not rare words.
Sample IELTS Direct Question Essay Questions
In some countries, more and more people are becoming interested in finding out about the history of the house or building they live in. What are the reasons for this? How can people research this?
(Cambridge IELTS 16 Academic Test 1)
In their advertising, businesses nowadays usually emphasise that their products are new in some way. Why is this? Do you think it is a positive or negative development?
(Cambridge IELTS 16 Academic Test 2)
In some countries, owning a home rather than renting one is very important for people. Why might this be the case? Do you think this is a positive or negative situation?
( Cambridge IELTS 15 Academic Test 1 )
In many countries today, crime novels and TV crime dramas are becoming more and more popular. Why do you think these books and TV shows are popular? What is your opinion of crime fiction and TV crime dramas?
(Cambridge IELTS 15 General Training Test 1)
Model IELTS Direct Question Essays
Here is an IELTS Direction Questions Essay that I wrote in response to this task:
In many countries today, crime novels and TV crime dramas are becoming more and more popular.
Why do you think these books and TV shows are popular?
What is your opinion of crime fiction and TV crime dramas?
Stories about criminal activity, both fictional and real-life, have become increasingly popular over the last few decades. There are many possible reasons for this, but the two primary ones that I can think of are the underlying desire of people to see good overcome evil, and a fascination with criminal lifestyles.
Almost all stories about crime, whether in print or on TV, are about good people, such as detectives and law-abiding civilians, triumphing over bad people, namely criminals. We often see this in fictional detective stories, where an otherwise ordinary person uses their intellect and skill to identify evil criminal masterminds. A good example of this is Miss Marple, an elderly woman who always manages to track down and apprehend evil criminals.
A second reason is that people have a fascination with the lives of criminals. Perhaps this is to do with people’s need for escapism. One of the most popular crime dramas in the UK of the last 20 years was ‘Legend’, a dramatisation of the lives of the Kray Twins, two violent London gang leaders of the 1960s. The film, which I watched on TV, portrayed their violent behaviour, along with their opulent and chaotic lifestyles, and I do feel that people find this compelling viewing, despite how it shows evil people succeeding.
Personally, unless it is related to real-life stories, I have little interest in either crime fiction or crime drama. I find their plots too repetitive. With true crime stories, however, I can learn something about social history and psychology. Why, for example, do people turn to lives of crime? Is it simply for money, or are they motivated by power as well? And what causes people to join gangs and follow people like the Krays? These are all interesting questions.
In summary, a desire to see good triumph over evil, along with a fascination with evil, are two reasons I think underlie the popularity of crime stories, but my interest in them is mainly limited to dramatisations of real lives.
Read my full plan and comments for this essay.
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Discover the 7 STEPS to BAND 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2
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IELTS Writing Task 2: Two-Part Questions
Posted by David S. Wills | Jul 18, 2018 | IELTS Tips , Writing | 0
Today we’re going to look at an IELTS writing task 2 question that often makes students a little worried: the two-part question . This is also sometimes referred to as “the direct question” as it is more direct than other types of writing questions, such as advantages and disadvantages or causes and solutions .
In this lesson, I will show you what this question looks like and explain how to answer it.
Table of Contents
What is a two-part question, two-part question examples, analysing the question, structuring a two-part question essay, sample answer.
In IELTS writing task 2, there are different sorts of questions you may be asked. One of them is called the two-part question (or sometimes “the direct question”). It is most commonly called a two-part question because it contains two distinct questions.
Of course, some other questions also contain two parts. For example, a problem and solution essay is two parts. However, what we mean by a “two-part question” is one that contains two questions . The reason this is sometimes called a “direct question” task is that the questions themselves are more direct than other IELTS writing task 2 question types, which instruct candidates to explore an idea. This is rather vague , whereas the two-part question is very specific .
To understand this idea better, let’s look at an example two-part question:
In education and employment, some people work harder than others. Why do some people work harder? Is it always a good thing to work hard?
Ok, the first thing that you may notice is that there are three parts to this question! However, the first part is actually a lead-in statement. It is not particularly important. The parts that you need to address in your essay are the two questions. This is why some people say “two-part question” and others say “direct question”.
Here is another example:
Happiness is often considered difficult to define. Why is this? What factors determine happiness?
Here the first question contains a pronoun, “this”, which refers back to the idea in the first sentence. In other words, the first question is “Why is it often considered difficult to define happiness?”
Finally, here is one more example question:
Success is often measured by wealth and material possessions. Do you think wealth is the best measure of success? What makes a successful person?
As you can see by now, each question has three parts: an introductory statement and two individual (but related) questions. You will see this exact format used with numerous IELTS topics .
Sometimes the lead-in statement will be very long, and sometimes the questions are quite closely linked. Other times the statement may be short or the questions ask quite different things.
How to Answer Two-Part Questions
The first thing to remember is: DON’T PANIC! Two-part questions often make students a bit nervous, but really they are not so bad. They are no more difficult to answer than the other IELTS task 2 question types.
In fact, this type of question may even be the easiest one to answer!
Although the questions themselves are sometimes a bit challenging, they are direct questions . This means that it is less likely you will stray off-topic while writing. In other words, your task is actually more straightforward than it would be with an agree/disagree question, for example.
Let’s look at an example question so we can analyse it. This is the first thing you should do in any IELTS writing task 2 essay, and it’s important to spend a minute or two thinking carefully about it.
Some parents buy their children whatever they ask for, and allow their children to do whatever they want. Is this a good way to raise children? What consequences could this style of parenting have for children as they get older?
We can take three steps to analyse this question.
- Let’s look at the first sentence: What is it about? It is about permissive parents – ie parents who give their children too much (or who give in to their child’s demands) and let them do too many things.
- Next, the first question contains a pronoun (“this”) which refers to the ideas in the first sentence, and asks if it’s good or not.
- The second question talks about the consequences – not for the parents, but for the children.
I have deliberately chosen a slightly difficult question here in order to show you how to answer it. Usually, the questions are a little more direct and obvious, but here you need to consider the three sentences in order, making sure to understand each fully.
In a situation like this, if you make an incorrect assumption about the first or second parts of the sentence, it may cause a serious lack of coherence and cohesion , in addition to poor task achievement .
For example, if you thought it was just about children not being made to study enough, you might write the next paragraph all about a lack of studying and the following one may come back closer to the correct idea because of the more specific question. This would look bad, indicating a lack of unity in your writing.
Thankfully, it is not difficult to create a perfect two-part essay structure. In fact, it is very easy!
Here is a basic essay template:
In a previous article, I talked about whether to use a 4 or 5 paragraph essay . This is one case when you definitely want to use a four-paragraph essay.
Here’s the video, if you want to review it:
I have lots more posts on the topic of IELTS essay structures. Here are a few:
- IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Structures
- Planning IELTS Writing Task 2 Structure
- How to Structure a Paragraph
In this section, I will give you my sample answer to the above question, using the basic four-paragraph structure that I mentioned. Obviously, my ideas will be different to yours, but the structure which I outlined can be used 100% of the time.
In today’s society, some parents are becoming increasingly permissive. They do not impose sufficient discipline on their children, and in some cases buy them too many things. This essay will explore why this is not a good way to raise children and why it will have negative impacts upon them in future. While it is understandable that parents want to give their children expensive toys and let them run freely in the streets, this is actually not really an appropriate method of parenting. Having too many toys encourages children to be materialistic and does not offer them the same change to develop social skills like sharing. Furthermore, when children have asked for the toys, it gives them a sense of entitlement and even power over their parents. As for giving children too much freedom, there are obviously a great many dangers in this world from which they need to be kept safe. Children also need rules and boundaries to encourage them to develop into mature and responsible adults. If parents insist on this permissive style of parenting, their children will grow up with very different values from those of stricter parents. Children who were never forced to study will end up with poorer grades in school, and those who were given everything they wanted as children will expect everything to come easily as adults. In short, they will lead difficult and disappointing lives, in contrast with what their parents hoped. In conclusion, although it is tempting to give children whatever they want, parents ought to set rules and boundaries, and to be careful with how they reward children. If parents fail to impose a basic level of discipline, children may grow up with a poor attitude that will cause them and others to suffer.
There are really no words or phrases that are unique to the two-part question essay. Just use regular academic English as with any other IELTS task 2 question, and of course stick to the topic.
For my essay, I used the word “permissive.” It means allowing too much and not setting enough rules. You could use similar words like “liberal,” “easygoing”, “live and let live”, and so on, although they vary slightly in precise meaning.
Here are some more useful terms that you can use to talk about parents:
As always, remember to avoid IELTS phrases and other cliches. Learn new vocabulary by topic and in collocations rather than isolation.
Tips for Two-Part Questions
Finally, a few tips to remember:
- Practice this question type often before the exam – it’s pretty common!
- Make sure you understand each part of the question before answering.
- Always use the four-paragraph essay structure.
- Work on idea generation at home in order to come up with good, on-topic answers.
I made this article into a short video. Please give it a ‘LIKE’ and subscribe to the channel if you find it useful.
About The Author
David S. Wills
David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.
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