Writing examples in IELTS essays.
How to write examples in ielts essay body paragraphs..
Updated: January 2023
In IELTS writing task 2 it is very important to be able to extend your ideas and support your main idea in the body paragraphs. This can be done with supporting points and specific examples. This is necessary to get a good band score in task response and helps with the overall cohesion of the essay.
By using examples the examiner can see how you are developing your main idea in the main body paragraphs. However, the examples given must be specific to the task question and your main idea, and they should also be clear, easy to follow, concise, and realistic looking, but never include statistics.
They do not have to be real but they must look plausible. This is different from an essay you would write at University where you need true factual information and citations. IELTS essays are not the same as University essays.
1. What does the marking criteria say?
In the IELTS marking criteria, there is no mention of giving examples but in task response it says:
Band 8 task response: ‘presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended, and supported ideas.’ Band 7 task response: ‘ presents, extends and supports main ideas , but there may be a tendency to overgeneralise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus.’ Band 6 Task response: ‘presents relevant main ideas but some may be inadequately developed/unclear.’
So, if your main idea is not explained and supported then you will end up with a lower band score in task response.
2. Where is the best place to put the example?
When giving examples it is best to put them after your main idea or topic sentence. They can be used in the middle of supporting sentences or they can be used to start a new sentence. There is no rule for where exactly to give examples in essays. Logically they should come just after a supporting sentence. In many of my model answers, they are near the end of the main body paragraph.
For instance here is a paragraph from an essay based on this task question:
Students today can easily access information online, so libraries are no longer necessary. Do you agree or disagree? Even though it is true that students find it much easier to get specific academic information connected to their studies on the internet, I believe that libraries are still essential in schools and universities as well as public library facilities. One reason for this is that some types of specialised information cannot be found on the internet. For instance , most well-known academic authors do not immediately publish their recent work online, instead, they publish books explaining their analyses and results . Therefore these books are usually found in university or school libraries before they appear on the world wide web.
The example is introduced with ‘For instance’. The example supports my main opinion here, although it is not entirely true it looks realistic.
3. What kind of example should it be?
Personal examples should be avoided if possible as they look informal. You can quote a newspaper report, a government report, a survey, a poll, a magazine article, a research project but be careful as this can sometimes make the example look like a cliche. You can make examples up but they must look realistic and should not have percentages or data as the examiner has no way to check this.
The prevention of health problems and illness is more important than treatment and medicine. Government funding should reflect this. To what extent do you agree or disagree? In many nations, there is a desperate need for government investment in healthcare, especially for research into new types of medicine to combat serious conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. If governments around the world had funding for cures and drugs at the top of their agenda, then I believe that many more terrible illnesses could be cured with cutting-edge medicine within the next decade. For example, research has shown that in the USA there have been huge advances in the treatment of Parkinson’s with new types of medicine, which was the result of many years of investment by successive administrations.
In the example above I have not quoted any years or statistics. It looks plausible and most importantly it connects directly to my main idea.
4. Useful language when referring to research
If possible try giving an example that does not use fake research or a government survey as this can look memorised and cliched. However, if you cannot think of a good example you could reference a research project or a study that seems plausible. In that case, it is a good idea to use this kind of language below.
A study carried out showed that…
Research conducted recently indicated that…, there is evidence to suggest that…, according to a recent poll…, according to a recent research project, it emerged that…, an extensive survey conducted by the government proved that….
Example sentences: For instance, there is evidence to suggest that eating fast foods and a high sugar intake causes obesity. For example, according to a recent poll by the government, an increasing number of people are working from home now. To illustrate this, research conducted recently stated that more and more companies are looking at reducing the workforce in favour of Ai and robots.
5. What should be in the example?
In the example, you can use a business name, a university name, a newspaper name, a place (country, city) and a phrase that shows a trend. Do not use statistics and numbers in examples . See two examples below I took from an essay.
1. For instance, a recent report in Business weekly magazine indicated that the number of shoppers making purchases online has risen considerably due to low costs and free delivery. 2. For instance, a recent report in Business weekly magazine indicated that the number of shoppers making purchases online has risen by 61% due to low costs and free delivery.
The first one is much better as it uses language rather than a statistic . In the example I used a magazine name (business weekly) This example is not true but it looks believable.
Here are other examples, which one is better?
1. To illustrate this, a UK government report in April 2017 showed that over 59% of criminals reoffended within 2 years of being released from prison. 2. To illustrate this, a UK government report in April 2017 showed that a large proportion of criminals reoffended within 2 years of being released from prison. 3. To illustrate this, a recent UK government report showed that a large proportion of criminals reoffended soon after being released from prison.
In the third example above I have not used any numbers, years or statistics. I have used language instead. The first two examples should be avoided as the examiner cannot check this data and it looks fake to the examiner.
Using statistics and data in examples is only for when you are writing a university essay/thesis not an IELTS essay.
6. Can you give an example of a “bad example” and a good one?
Take a look at two example body paragraphs below…which one is better?
An increasing number of people are buying what they need online. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this? 1. One main advantage of purchasing online is that it is much cheaper than buying from a high street shop. This means that buying items such as books, clothes and household goods is much more cost-effective if consumers get them on the internet because of the wide range of shopping sites. For instance, transport is expensive as gasoline prices are increasing. Most people do not have cars in my town so we have to take a train 10 kilometres to the nearest department store, so it is better to buy online. 2 . One main advantage of purchasing online is that it is much cheaper than buying from a high street shop. This means that buying items such as books, clothes and household goods is much more cost-effective if consumers get them on the internet because of the wide range of shopping sites. To illustrate this, there is evidence to suggest that the number of shoppers making purchases on Amazon has risen considerably due to low costs and free delivery.
The 2nd paragraph above is better. The first paragraph example is too general and even seems informal. The 2nd paragraph example is much clearer, more specific, and concise while supporting my main idea.
7. What should I do if I have no idea of an example?
In this case, you can make up an example. Invent a government poll, a newspaper report, a university study, or just explain your main idea clearly. There is no rule in the IELTS marking criteria about how to give examples, only that you can explain and support your ideas. Remember the marking criteria state:
presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended, and supported ideas’
Take a look at this paragraph below:
Some people think that violent sports such as martial arts or boxing should be banned from international competitions. To what extent do you agree or disagree? I agree that worldwide martial arts or combat events should be banned is that many competitors in these kinds of sports retire with long-lasting health issues. Boxing, in particular, has many instances of great boxers who became brain damaged and had to stop boxing at a relatively young age. For example, Mohamed Ali, who was an Olympic and world champion, developed brain damage from years of high-profile international fights and developed serious health problems such as Parkinson’s disease. There are many other cases similar to this in world combat sports events.
The example does not include any newspaper report or university study or government poll etc… there are no statistics, no business name, no dates but it still clearly supports my main opinion that combat sports should be banned.
Stick to one main idea in each paragraph and explain it without going off-topic, the main idea must be relevant and specific to the task question. Keep it simple and concise too and avoid statistics or data that the examiner cannot verify.
Any Questions? Leave a comment below…
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How to Put Examples in Your Essay
Learn the best way to add examples to your essay to support your ideas. You need to use a range of linking words in your essay and also use them flexibly in different locations in the sentence. See below for a list of useful linking words with sample sentences:
Linking Words for Giving Examples
- for example
- for instance
- to illustrate
- as an illustration
- to give a clear example
- take, for example,
Video Tutorial: How to Add Examples in an Essay
Sample Sentences with Supporting Examples
Please note that the linking words do not need to be at the start of the sentence. You can use them more flexibly by changing their location.
Global warming should be taken more serious as it can result in a number of disastrous consequences. To give a clear example , the melting polar ice caps have not only caused a loss of habitat for polar bears but are also threatening seas levels worldwide.
More and more women are choosing to start a family later in life. 20% of women giving birth to their first child, for instance , are over the age of 30 in the UK.
Crimes should not have the same punishment. Minor crimes, such as pick pocketing and traffic offences, should not have the same penalty as major crimes, namely murder and manslaughter.
Children often learn behaviour from the adults around them subconsciously. To illustrate , around 50% of children who are brought up by aggressive parents often use aggression to solve their own problems later in life.
Parents should be responsible for teaching their children right and wrong. If, for example , they see their child using bad language, they should spend time explaining to their child the serious consequences that can result from this type of behaviour.
More and more people are leading sedentary life styles due to work conditions. Take for example office workers in the UK who spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week sitting in front of their computers.
All Linking Words for Essay Writing
You can find a list of all linking words that can be used in essay writing: Linking Words for Writing .
IELTS Essay Questions
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Main IELTS Pages Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more. IELTS Listening IELTS Reading IELTS Writing Task 1 IELTS Writing Task 2 IELTS Speaking Vocabulary for IELTS IELTS Test Information (FAQ) Home Page: IELTS Liz
Thank you so much Liz for all the resources on your site. God bless you immensely.
You’re welcome 🙂
Dear Liz, In my example can I lie? For example, “the Times News once reported more than 50% of youths to prefer to use laptops”. This information was not actually written in the news.
You do not need to state the origin of examples in any IELTS essay. It does not help your score to do so. In fact, mentioning data in task 2 will not help your score either. It’s better to use language which will help your score: On average it can be said that around half of all youths prefer to access the internet using a laptop rather than any other kind of device. On average it can be said that an overwhelming majority of all youths use laptops to go online rather than any other device.
Your website is the best for learning IELTS techniques. It’s even better than the British Council courses
Thanks. I’m glad you find it useful 🙂
Thank you so much Liz for all this resources. God bless you immensely.
Hi Liz, is it okay if we make up the statistics in essay ( for we want to provide examples, but we know nothing about the topic).
As you don’t get extra points for stats anyway, there’s no point. It would be much better to boost your vocab score by saying “the overwhelming majority” or “only a mere fraction of” etc etc.
Hi Liz, I hope you are doing fine!
Is it acceptable to use a mix of American English and UK English while writing? I’m asking because there are few words that are spelled differently in both countries.
You should stick to one way of spelling for the writing test.
Alright! Thanks for the quick reply!
Hi Liz! Is it okay if the one main paragraph is bigger than other or should they be balanced? Does this affect my score? Thank you.
Yes, it affects your score. Body paragraphs should be equally developed.
thank you liz.
Thank you you Liz all I have never read a website as helpful as yours . Wishing you more successful feats in all your life endeavors Am Sameer Hassan Saleh
hi liz… I have seen your all paid essay vedios. These all are excellent. Thanks alot for all these lessons. I just want to know can we use personal examples in task 2. For instance, my younger brother eat noodels frequently as he finds it much delicious than conventional healthy food and vegitables. Pleass guide in this regard? Thanks alot..
It is best to continue writing about people in general for examples: “Many younger people prefer eating noodles because …”
Hello Liz Thank you very much for these very useful interesting lessons. I just want to now if the statistics that might be mentioned in the essay have to be generally “correct”; or the examiner may penalize you for giving statistics that are clearly not true and just made up in the exam room?
Putting statistics in your essay does not boost your score. The examiner is marking your English and your ideas, not facts or numbers in task 2.
Hi liz , thank you for you precious blog, it really helped me. I have a question! Is it ok to give false statistics?? I mean to fake one to support my idea????
Why would you want to give false statistics? Do you think examples should contain statistics? Do you think you get a better score because you use statistics? Statistics play no part in your score for writing task 2.
In case we don’t remember exact figures can we guess ie say around 5-6%, it’s not possible that examiner knows all exact statics.
You will not get a higher score because you put statistics in your task 2 essay. You do not need to give any numbers at all.
Hi, Liz, I have some doubt amout ‘your own experience’ 1. what actually does it mean? 2. can I state my own experience or commonly observation experience? 3. My own experience mean any EXAMPLE?
PEASE LET ME KNOW. THNAKS
It means your experience of the world in general. It does not need to be your own personal experience, but rather your experience of the world. As essays are formal, we don’t usually refer to ourselves or our family and friends.
Hi, Thank you for your great lessons. I have a question, in this video you wrote: “an increasing number of people are eating unhealthy food…” you used “increasing number of people” which means you used Gerund. that’s why you put “an” in front of it, however you used “are eating”, shouldn’t have you said “is eating”? Gerund consider as singular, right?
An increasing number = the word “increasing” is used as a adjective, not as a gerund. The noun = number of people Adjective = increasing. Don’t get your grammar confused.
Hello Liz! 🙂 I’m writing an academic research paper involving diabetes. I’m not sure, however, where to place the statistics surrounding the number of people with diabetes in my country in my introduction. Do I put it before my description of diabetes, or after it?
All my advice is for IELTS which is an English language test. It is not for academic writing at uni or college which is not testing language. IELTS has specific requirements which are not the same as any academic research. You will have to find sample research papers and use their structure.
Hi Liz, In General IELTS Task 2 essays, often it is asked that “Give examples from your own knowledge or experience” So my question is can I use “I”, “my”, “me” while quoting an example? Secondly i was reading some where that IELTS essays are persuasive essays so we have to use first person voice and should use “I”, “my”, “me” at least once in each paragraph. Please comment on this. Thanks
Essays are formal, so examples of your experience or knowledge should relate to “the majority of people …”. It is not actually about you or your friends but your experience of the world. GT writing is more marked as strictly as academic essays but even so I recommend you to use formal examples.
Can I use fake examples whic are grammatically correct?
Why – it won’t help your score.
Hi Liz, In your examples above, you have written “To illustrate, around 50% of children who are bought up by aggressive parents often use aggression to solve their own problems later in life” If we were to write such an example, does it have to be factual or just believable?
It is just as good to write “the majority of children..” or “about half of all children …”.
Good day to you madam, I would like to ask how many sentences are recommended to give an example in an essay. I would also like to know if it is okay to not mention the actual source of a statistic in an essay that writes about contemporary issues. Thank you.
1) You don’t need to use examples. So, if you use them, it’s your choice how many. 2) you should NEVER state the source of numbers in an IELTS essay. In fact, most examples are better given without numbers. This is an English language test, not a essay presenting data.
Hi Dear Liz My name’s Ghazale You cannot imagine how incredibly you have changed my world of learning English these few past weeks And i must confess your videos helped me too good What a wonderful teacher you are I keep watching your videos but unfortunately i couldn’t log into your website to be a member Thanks a lot
I have a burning question in mind about examples. Would it be alright to use ither languages in an essay. For example,in an essay about using English as the only language, I pointed out that language often go side by side with culture. My sentences: Japanese add “guzaimasu” after a phrase or “san” after a name to express politeness. In the Philippines, we say “bayanihan” to describe the value we place on our neighbors and community. There are no direct English translations for these words.
I do hope you see this question. I have been learning quite a lot from you. This is, in fact, a question I got from your site. Thank you very much!
Your aim in your essay is to provide clear, relevant main points which are well developed, explained and linked. Your other aim is to provide accurate grammar and vocabulary in English. Those examples might be appropriate to use one example but certainly not more than that. Once you make your point, move on – don’t become repetitive. Your Japanese example is confusing for people who don’t understand Japanese but your example from the Philippines is clearer. Remember this is not about filling your essay will all your ideas – it is about being selective and deciding what to include and what to exclude.
Thank you very much! Will try my very best!
Dear Liz, Is it ok to create statistical data as example for academic writing task 2?
Why? It won’t help your band score at all. It’s better to explain your ideas using English language and focus on accuracy of language.
In IELTS it is said : “Ideas should be supported by evidence, and examples may be drawn from the test takers’ own experience.” In many mock essays answers, there are no examples. Can an essay reach band score 9 without any examples? Thank you very much
The instructions mean that you must expand and explain your ideas – it does not means you must give examples. There are many ways to illustrate and explain ideas.
Is it okay to make up facts to use as examples?
You should not be thinking about memorising facts for your essay. It will not help your score at all. IELTS don’t expect you to do that. When are you asked to support your ideas, it means to explain them or give examples of situations – not figures, statistics or facts.
can i use personal pronoun in essay ?
See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-expressing-your-opinion/
Hi Liz, All your videos are very useful, all those tips and tricks really boosted my confidence, thanks a lot for that:)
I have a doubt regarding the writing task2, when I was doing a sample writing task, I came across this “include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience”. So, does this mean we can give real life examples while writing our essay?
Thank you, Hari, India.
Your writing task 2 essay deals with world issues. You can give examples but I advise you to use examples relating to the world in general: “For example, it is commonly known that ….” or “For example, the majority of people ….”. These are examples of your view of the world. If, however, you write “For example, my friend Dave …” your essay loses style and language content.
Thanks a lot, Liz:) that was a great example. I am taking my exam on 22 of this month, with all your videos and tips hoping to get a great score.
Can we you hypothetical statistics? For example, if I want to make my point strong, can i use any university name or any research journal?? I mean can i state in the essay that, “In a recent article published by ABC university, 70% of the people have found addicted to smartphones” Whereas in fact, there is no such article ever published stating this fact of 70%.
Yes, you can lie about stats but why? It won’t help your score at all. This phrase ““In a recent article published by ..” won’t boost your score. It’s a learn expression which is generic (it can be applied to any topic) and this means the examiner won’t count it towards examples of your natural language.
Thanks Liz for your reply. I have gone through a number of your advises and found them very useful.
But I saw in some of the articles that if you show some reference and support with research data, you will be able to reinforce your argument. Had I rephrased it but still lied about the fact, would it add value then to my task 2?
The examiner does not give you a higher band score because you are presenting statistics. Statistics are irrelevant to your mark. The supporting points being assessed are relating to language, not figures. You can add all the stats you want, it won’t increase your score at all.
That’s really helpful. It relief some of the pressure of knowing statistical data related to the topic.
Thanks once again,
Wow, were you really trying to remember stats for your essay? You are not marked on your knowledge at all. Just think of some relevant main ideas and then explain them – nothing more is needed. It is essentially an English language test. Take a look at my band 9 model essays: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/
I have a question regarding grammar. I am not in what case can we put Verb+ing after the word “to”
I always thought that we have to put the verb whit its original form, but I have noticed two examples and still didn’t understand the rule.
Here are the two examples I saw in your blog:
– resort to buying ( why not resort to buy?) – I am looking forward to hearing from you ( why not looking forward to hear from you soon?)
appreciate your always help.
You can use “to” as a preposition. If you haven’t seen this before, don’t use it. More mistakes will lower your score. Use the grammar you know well.
Hi .. can I add “example” form my own information or not ?
sorry i mean from
You can write anything you want. However, writing about the world in general usually produces a better level of English.
As long as it is in the allotted time, are we allowed to write our essays out in rough first, then transfer them onto the exam papers?
You will not have time. You need to spend at least 5 mins planning your essay which includes main ideas as well as supporting points. This means you can write your essay directly. Try timing yourself and you will see how difficult it is to do both task 1 and task 2 in one hour.
I can not buy your lesson which must be paid by paybal, because in Turkey there is not paybal. How I can bu these lessons? Please inform me.
Hi Liz! Thanks for the amazing tips! And I would like to ask whether I can make up facts as an example in my writing test? Thanks!
Sure, if you want. But it’s better to explain your ideas rather than just make up stats.
Hello Liz! I have to ask that is it possible to get 7 bands in writing? As I have never heard above 7 bands of any student. Why so?
You will find many students hit band 7 and above: https://ieltsliz.com/post-your-ielts-test-results/
Liz, Thanks a lot for your fantastic information. Your work is exceptional and highly recommendable for not only IELTS test takers but also first-year university students who use English as a second language.
I had a question about the use of “resort”. Is it “resort to doing” or “resort to do”?
In the last scene, I was two sentences:
1. This is exemplified by the 70% of working people in the UK, who resort to BUYING ready made meals for convenience. 2. This can be seen by the growing number of working people in the UK who resort to BUY ready made meals for convenience instead of cooking at home.
Is it a typo in the second sentence?
Many thanks for your tutoring videos. They are extremely helpful!
I wonder if it is possible to include false statistics in my writings?
It isn’t necessary. You don’t need to put in statistics at all. It’s best to explain your opinion.
Hi, Juliana. I post the explanation of the resort. “resort to sth to make use of sth, especially something bad, as a means of achieving sth, often because there is no other solution.”
E.g. They felt obliged to resort to violence We may have to resort to using untrained staff.
So, we should put doing after the resort to.
And you are right. there is a typo mistake in the second sentence. I think liz post that in the video.
I need 6 bands in each tasks for IELTS General module.Still I’m worried about Speaking and Listening exam because I don’t get grip on this tasks compared to other tasks.Please suggest me a technique for practice to acquire a good score.I have next exam on 18th February.
Hi Liz, I just started to follow your blogs recently. As I read the topics above, I wonder if we could present or invent statistics in our own just to support our answers in essay 🙂 ? Thanks!
Hi liz ,hope u r doing fine..i would be very grateful if u cud give some advice about the ielts..recently i sat for the it,n i got an overall 6.5band, with 7 listening , 6.5 writing, 6.5 reading and 5.5 speaking.though its not enuf for my professional career,im wondering if i shud give it again and if yes ,will i be able to attain the requirement that is a total of 7.5 with a minimum of 7 in each section….honestly speaking i had only ten days for the exam and during the process i didnt practice at all,just read some sample essay on net n some passage reading..and i came to conclusion that the only way to succeed is practise because your only opponent on the day of exam is time.for instance for my case,i finish my essay just in time,cud not do proofreading and this apply for the reading as well…n it was my first experiece with ielts…is there a chance that i can reach the objective band nxt time?my essay was is should the private life of celebrity be respected by the media,to what extent u agree or disagree..thnk u,,waiting impatiently for ur reply…
You will need to improve your English and also get training for IELTS to get band 7 in each criterion. Liz
Task 2: Some people say that interview is a good way of selecting competent candidates. What are the other ways for selecting a good candidate What do you think is the best way to select a good candidate. How write intro this question and make paragraph
Hi Liz. Thank for this tip. it’s really helpful. But i have a question. How can i explain my idea in writing task 2? I always have a problem with this
The supporting points are only explanations of your ideas. Just more detail. It could be examples, consequences, exceptions, explanation, causes – anything you feel will explain what you mean. If you aim for three body paragraph, you will only need about two supporting sentences which is easier. Liz
what i am looking for is some questions that i need to question myself whenever i have an idea needed to explained. I found your video bout ideas. I have a lot of them now. but dont know how to expand it.
Ask yourself “why”. If you state “Firstly one of the best ways to tackle traffic congestion is to build wider roads.” Then you ask “why is this a good method? What does it do?”. You then add: “By doing this, traffic will be able to flow more easily and congestion will be reduced”. Then you choose your next sentence, either an example or an opposite: “If the roads are not widened, traffic will slowly grind to a halt as traffic is no longer able to flow along the streets because they are too narrow.”.
I strongly advice you to read all model essays online and make a note of what kind of information is given in the supporting points. Then you will have a range of ideas. Liz
This is a great way to illustrate how to expand ideas Liz. Very clear and concise.
Thank you very much.
Hello, Liz Could I write “As an example/illustration of something, …”?
If I’m not mistaken, it is “Cambridge IELTS 9” on the shelf on each video. Do you recommend this book? Thank you in advance! Julia
Yes, you can use those two ways to give examples. I have both Cambridge 9 and 10. They are the two most recent books published by IELTS. They contain 4 practice tests but not tips. They are good for practicing. No students should enter the test without doing a full practice test at least once. All the best Liz
Can we make up our own examples with fake dates and events.??
The examiner will not check factual information so you can use examples as you wish. But it is unnecessary to invest data – just describe it for a higher score. Liz
I will just use supporting examples, which will make sense by different Organization names.I have exam on 8 October, 2015.
I was wondering, it won t be considered ok to write 2 ideas in one paragraph? For instance 1 BP with 2 ideas explained or 2 causes etx. It would be more correct to have only one idea/solution/cause/advantage in each BP?
The organisation of ideas depends on the type of essay you have. You would need full training to understand more deeply: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore All the best Liz
Thanks Dear, I appreciate it.
that is the example, and I guess you are right.And where do you recommend I can write my opinion? computers are becoming an essential part of education. Discuss the advantages and the disadvantages and give your own opinion?
I’ve never seen those instructions before. However, to follow them, you must do exactly what they say: give the advantages, give the disadvantages and give your opinion. If your opinion agrees with one side, then include it in your body paragraph. If your opinion agrees with neither side, put it in a separate body paragraph. There’s no fixed rule. All the best Liz
Hi Liz, Regarding the advantage and disadvantage and giving your opinion question. where is the best place exactly to express my opinion?is it in the conclusion sentence or included in the introduction?
There is no question in IELTS that asks for the advantages, disadvantages and your opinion. Are you talking about the discussion essay? All the best Liz
Hi, For writing task 2, sometimes I don’t have relevant examples ? I start properly with a topic sentence and I explain it in detail, but I, sometimes, find difficulty of giving a clear example?
if there is any other way to state it ? thank you
You do not need to give examples unless you want to. Supporting points are any points which explain your idea further. All the best Liz
Thank you very much for the very useful article. I have some concern about the use of ‘i.e.’ and ‘e.g.’. Do you think they are formal enough to be used in IELTS writing?
Many thanks again,
Never use shortened forms in IELTS writing. All the best Liz
I would be so grateful if you could suggest me the perfect study plan in order to prepare for my second Ielts exam on 12 September. I need to improve each section with 0.5 or 1 score.
Thank you in advance, Genta
Sorry, I don’t provide study plans. Watch my video on my home page about preparing for IELTS and just cover the points mentioned. You know your weaknesses and you know the time you have available – you are the best one to make a study plan. Liz
Hi, Liz I want to use “Example” at the end of my essay. So, which one is correct 1. for example 2. in example 3. at example 4. on example
Examples are usually put in the body paragraphs to support your ideas, not at the end. See this page for correct linking words: https://ieltsliz.com/linking-words-for-writing/ . Then review all tips on the main writing task 2 page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/
Dear Liz, I would be acknowledge by my heartfelt appreciation about your website and merits videos . I’m settling in Tehran and wand passing ielts strictly. In recent years , there has been hard rise in ielts examination . Let’s emphatically endorse to this fact that the band score 7 and upper goals are crucial for us to make the future by proper mentoring , extensive training and practicing . Hence , it’s important to be realistic about apprentices who need the band 6.5 in general training modules . With all this taken into account , I believe that I have some problems in reading to pass this examination . Another thing I should mention is how can I improve myself in listening module because I couldn’t accurately pass this . It has fluctuated on 5 to 6.5 in 3 mock examinations . This is often cited as a reason for practicing more but I can not fix my grade in 6.5 . It will make me feel happy if I solve this problem . Eventually, if you have leisure convenient, please, test us with some sample questions ( talking points ) by writing in both issues and make us as well . Let’s commonly apprentice about this website . I’m looking forward to knowing more from you . With warmest wishes, As ever, Hooman
I will be very direct with you. To get band score 7, you need to have a very strong level of English in which you have good use of English but with few errors. Your message above shows quite a lot of errors when you use vocabulary that is not appropriate. You clearly know a lot of vocabulary but not how to use it and what it really means. For example, “apprentice” is not a synonym for student. For this reason, you are not getting band 7 in your listening or reading etc. Of course, you will need to check your techniques and follow the right tips but at the end of the day, if your English is not band 7, it will be hard to get that score. Spend time developing your English. I don’t mean learning new words (you have a wide enough vocabulary) but learning more about the meaning of the words, collocations, paraphrasing correctly and how to use words appropriately. All the best Liz
Hlo Dear liz.. firstly i would like to you say thanku for your support. second of all, can you plz recommend me books of good authors for preparation of ielts? I am weak in speaking module due to lack of ideas.please help me. Thanks
You could try the Collins IELTS speaking book. That has good ideas and vocabulary for various topics. Liz
Hi Liz , u r ways of study fanatastic,I need ur guidance i live near border problem regarding internet, I can buy ur task 2 any book I need 6 GN plz help me
Unfortunately, I don’t have a book for IELTS at present. Possibly in the future. Liz
Dear Liz , I would like to buy your essay tips, please could you tell me as soon as possible ,I just booked my test for first of August . Beast regards Maria
At present, I have just opened my video course with in-depth lessons and tips for writing: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore I will add more lessons to my course in the coming months. All the best Liz
Hello liz. The linking words you presented to are very helpful. Hope to hear more from your post. Thank you.
I’m glad you find them useful. They are so important to use in your essay. Liz
Hi liz. .I want to seek help from you in doing my essay. I am really having a hard to put my ideas. I need a band score of 7 in all categories. Please help me.
Unfortunately, I don’t offer individual tuition to help you. You should go through topics and research ideas for your essays. You can find some ideas on my blog and others online. Then practice adapting the ideas to suit the essay question and the instructions. Liz
hi liz. .ok. .I will do as you said. .I will read your blog. .thank you for patiently replying my issues. Godbless. .
Im confused with the” to buy and to buying” from your examples
1. for example about 70% of people working in the UK resort to buying ready-made meals for convenience rather than doing home cooking
2. This can be seen by the growing number of working people who resort to buy ready-made meals for convenience instead of cooking at home
Could you please explain to me when should I use to buy and to buying ?
Thank you very much
Thanks for pointing it out. It’s a typo. I’ve put a comment in the video. All the best Liz
Hi Liz. Guys.
I just found this website yesterday when I was looking for some stuff for ielts self preparation. Yes, I would like to take an exam and also like to ask you how long you recommend a prepation before the exam date?
It really depends on a number of factors, one of which is your understanding of the test and requirements of the band scores. If your English is suitable for the band score you are aiming for, you will only need to focus on exam skills to make sure you reach your potential. The skills will help you understand how to approach questions and what the examiner is looking for in your writing and speaking. Once you feel comfortable with all that, you will have a clear idea of how long you want to practice before your test. Whatever you decide, make sure you are frequently getting the band score you want in practice tests. All the best Liz
Thank u for your reply. I need least band 6. What do u think about level B2 communicator. Is possible to get that band and of course with preparation bfr exam. Thanks in advance
See this chart: http://www.ielts.org/researchers/common_european_framework.aspx Liz
Thank you. Looks possibly
How should i start my preparation plz advice and accordlingly i will follow in Reading/Writing/Speaking/Listining
You start in any way you want. I advise you to learn the content and question types of all skills and then start practicing. Then do practice tests to check your level. After that, start planning your development. Liz
Thanks for the useful lesson .
Hi Liz! I got overall 7.5 band score and the credit goes to you as well. Thankyou so much for being my virtual tutor. It’s my pleasure to study with you online. Preparation material and guidelines by you helped me a lot in achieving my target in first attempt. Goodluck to all the students who are preparing for IELTS ,”it’s not that much difficult” Thanks Liz for all your efforts, stay blessed always 🙂
Well done! It is an inspiration to all students 🙂
Too good again, I am going to give my GT on 1st Aug. Thanking you so much. I like those additional examples by using linking devices.
Hii ma’m! I am from Pakistan and I want to tell you that you are indeed a very great teacher. I’m gonna appear in coming IELTS on 1st August. I’m feeling really confident now after going through your very informative lectures here.
Thank you a lot for being so helpful! Need your prayers now 🙂
Good luck !!
I got 5.5 band in first attempt R-4 L-5 W-5.5 S-6.5
Second attaempt R-4 W-4.5 L-4.5 S-5.5 Total band-4.5
Please advice me how i need to follow.I need 6 band in each module immigration.
Regards, Mirza Ehteshamulla Baig Kuwait
The key is probably your level of English. Your results are quite even so you will probably need to develop your English language to get a higher score. All the best Liz
Did you give third attempt? How much u got?
Dear Liz, When writing essays, we usually don’t have statistical data at hand. Is it OK to make up such information to give examples?
Sure, if you want. The examiner won’t know the difference. But you don’t need to give statistics. Examples can just be an example of a situation. Liz
Hello Liz! I also have a question about statistics… Do we have to mention where we got the information from?
You can give examples in any way you wish.
Dear Liz, Thank you so much for your very informative lesson here. It really helped me when I took the exam on 11th of July and I got a total band score of 7.5. You are indeed a blessing. God bless you more.
Great news! Band 7.5 is a strong score. I hope you celebrated 🙂 Liz
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Using Examples In IELTS Essays
In IELTS Writing Task 2 essays, it’s essential to support your ideas. One way of doing this is by using examples, but what makes for good examples in IELTS essays?
In my post about developing your ideas , I said that the 2 best ways to develop your ideas are to:
- EXPLAIN what you mean, then
- ILLUSTRATE your point with a SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
In this post we’re going to look at point 2 (examples) in more detail:
- what is an example?
- what makes a good example?
- common mistakes
What Is An Example?
An example should PAINT A PICTURE in your reader’s mind, so they can actually SEE what you are thinking. In other words, examples should ILLUSTRATE your main ideas.
So if your argument is that one cause of obesity is overconsumption of carbohydrates, then your example could be that people drink too much beer .
One cause of obesity is the overconsumption of carbohydrates. For example, some people drink too many carbohydrate-rich drinks like beer, and this often means they put on weight.
This example illustrates my main idea. In other words, it paints a picture for my reader, perhaps of an overweight man drinking beer!
So if your argument is that we can reduce traffic congestion by introducing congestion charges, your example could be how it works in a city like London, where cars have to pay an extra charge when entering certain zones in the centre of London .
Congestion charges can be used to reduce high levels of traffic. For example, in London, drivers have to pay an additional fee in order to drive through central London, and this has led to a reduction in traffic levels in these zones.
Again , this example illustrates my main idea, because it paints a picture in my reader’s mind, perhaps of cars driving past Big Ben, or of road signs announcing a congestion charge zone.
The first example (beer) comes from my own general knowledge . The second example (London congestion charge) comes from a mixture of my own general knowledge and my personal experience of driving in London.
This is what is meant when IELTS essay instructions tell you to “include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.”
In other words, things you have seen or read about make excellent examples.
Examples in IELTS Essays: Common Mistakes
However, some test takers make mistakes when using examples in IELTS essays. And these mistakes can limit your band score. Here are 4 of the most common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Writing a sentence that is too personal
Some test takers write example sentences that are about their own personal experiences, and this can limit your band score, especially for Task Response.
For example, I wrote above that one cause of obesity is that some people drink carbohydrate-rich drinks like beer. But what if I talked about myself, rather than “some people”?
One cause of obesity is the overconsumption of carbohydrates. For example, I used to drink too much beer, and I put on a lot of weight.
This example is TOO personal. It’s only about ME, so it makes my arguments weak. If your examples are too personal, they can be seen as “lacking focus” by IELTS examiners, which can limit Task Response to Band 7. (This is not terrible, of course, but it’s always a good idea to aim for Band 8 in Task Response if you want a Band 7 overall in IELTS Writing)
When IELTS asks you to use “relevant examples from your own…experience”, they don’t mean things you have done. They mean things you have seen.
Personal experience means things you have seen, not things you have done.
So try to make your examples a little more general. Write about “some people”, not yourself!
Mistake #2: Writing a sentence that simply repeats the main idea
I often see ‘example sentences’ that simply repeat the main idea.
Look at these 2 sentences:
One cause of obesity is the overconsumption of carbohydrates. For example, high amounts of carbohydrates are consumed by many people. “
My “example sentence” simply repeats the main idea using different words. This means it’s too general.
Examples should include specific details which illustrate my main idea. The 2nd sentence does not do this. So it’s not an example!
(By the way, simply writing “for example” at the start of a sentence DOES NOT make it an example!)
Mistake #3: Writing a sentence that does not support the main idea
Another common problem I see in “example sentences” is that the information in it does not support the main idea.
Congestion charges can be used to reduce high levels of traffic. For example, there is a lot of traffic in London.”
The 2nd sentence does NOT support my claim that congestion charges can reduce traffic. It just states a fact about traffic in London.
One cause of obesity is people consuming too much sugar. For example, there is a lot of sugar in chocolate.
The 2nd sentence does NOT support my claim that people consume too much sugar. It just states a fact about sugar.
Good examples in IELTS essays should provide specific details which illustrate your main idea. In other words, why you think what you think.
Mistake #4: Using Fake Research Studies
Another REALLY common problem is test takers using ‘fake’ or ‘fictitious’ research studies in their essays. But this can cause problems.
One cause of obesity is people consuming too much sugar. For example, a recent study by Oxford University found that 78% of people consumed too much sugar.
In this paragraph, the ‘example’ simply repeats the main idea in different words. So it makes mistake #2 above. This would limit your band score.
Here’s another use of a fake study:
Congestion charges can be used to reduce high levels of traffic. For example, a recent study by London University found that congestion charges reduces the amount of traffic on London’s streets by 42%.
This is better: it shows that congestion charges reduce traffic.
But the problem with both of these fake studies is this: they don’t extend my main ideas.
I DON’T think more people are becoming obese because of a research study. I think more people are becoming obese because they drink too much beer.
And I DON’T think congestion charges reduce traffic because of a research study. I think congestion charges reduce traffic because I’ve seen it work in London.
I think many test takers use fake studies because they believe they need to ‘prove’ that their ideas are ‘correct’. That is not your task!
Your task is to say WHAT you think, and then say WHY you think this.
Another problem with fake research studies is that they can allow you to make crazy claims .
I could, for example, claim that the Moon was made of cheese! You might think I was crazy, but I could just throw in a research study to ‘prove’ that I’m correct:
The Moon is made of cheese. For example, a research study carried out by the University of Toronto found that the Moon was made of cheese.
In other words, fake research studies allow you to make crazy claims. You could literally claim anything is true – all you need to do is use a fake study!
One cause of obesity is people consuming too much broccoli. For example, a recent study by Nairobi University found that broccoli was one of the main causes of obesity.
But perhaps the biggest problem with fake studies is this:
They ANNOY IELTS Examiners!
Many IELTS Examiners hate to read these fake research studies. They see them as bad writing, and totally inappropriate for an essay. So if the examiner thinks you are on the borderline between Band 6 and Band 7, they may give you a Band 6, simply because of those horrible fake studies.
So don’t use fake research studies!
Examples in IELTS Essays: Summary
A good example sentence illustrates your ideas, illustrates your thinking. It ‘paints a picture’ for your reader, so they can SEE what you are thinking. This means they should include specific details.
Good examples in IELTS essays are often things you have seen or read about.
But bad examples in IELTS essays are common. The four main mistakes:
- writing very personal experiences (things you have done)
- repeating your main ideas
- not supporting your main idea
- fake research studies
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Discover the 7 STEPS to BAND 7 in IELTS Writing Task 2
How To Write Examples In IELTS Writing Task 2?
The IELTS examination is held at the international level to check and judge the proficiency of students in the English language. It is conducted for four modules, that is, reading, listening, writing and speaking .
In this particular article, the example addition in IELTS writing task 2 will be discussed.
What Kind Of Example Is To Be Written In An Essay?
In IELTS essay writing , it is vital to extend and support your ideas in the body paragraphs. This can be done best by writing supporting points and examples specifically. However,
● The example given must be specific to the task's topic and your main idea should be clear and easy to follow, concise, and should look realistic.
● It should not be vague and confusing.
● Personal examples are ok but be careful that the essay doesn't look informal.
● In example, a business name, a university name, research, a newspaper name, or a place (country or city) can be used.
Band Descriptors For Writing An Example-
● band 7- task response.
Addresses all parts of the task
Presents a clear position throughout the response
Presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may be a tendency to over-generalise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus
● Band 8- Task response
Sufficiently addresses all parts of the task
Presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas.
● Band 9- Task response
Fully addresses all parts of the task
Presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas
It represents that the better you support your ideas or point with an example, the better the chances of getting a higher band score. Examples, if used properly, not only help you get higher marks for ‘Task Response’ but also for ‘Coherence’
Best Place To Put Examples In An Essay-
Now the question arises, which is the best place to put an example and where to write an example in an essay. Example needs to be put after:-
● A main idea or topic sentence.
● Or Logically after a supporting idea.
● Or Near to the end of the main body paragraph.
Does every point need an example? The answer is no. As we know that the IELTS exam is a quality test and it does not require quantity. So in the writing test, you are not asked to write more and more points but you should logically explain one main idea in one paragraph with one supported example. Do not write a long list of point's only. You will get higher marks for developing your ideas with explanations and examples.
Benefits Of Writing An Example-
● Examples make your writing easier to understand by illustrating points more effectively.
● They are also easy to write because it is much simpler to use an example than to try and explain a complex issue.
The following can be used to give examples:
● For example,
● For instance,
● This is illustrated by….
● …such as….
● To illustrate….
● To cite an example,....
Structure Of Writing An Example-
A proper structure of inserting an example has been developed after studying all the patterns and types of essays . It is
● A main idea related to topic (state the main idea)
● An Explanation to that idea (What does your main point mean? Why have you included it? How does it answer the question?)
● An Example related only (A specific example that illustrates your main point)
Remember that it is also not compulsory to include an example after each point. Even one example for the whole essay is enough if you have inserted it well after a main point.
So, now you know how to structure a paragraph and how to give an example in a paragraph, it is required that you avoid the mistake of being too informal. If you look at academic journals or books you will notice that the examples they give are as specific as possible. This gives your points more liberty and strengthens your opinion and argument in support.
You can make your example more specific by adding:
● place/business/university names
● names of people
Remember thay you don’t have to add all of these things, only one or two are required to make it more specific.
Examples From Personal Experiences
It will be better to include the examples related to your personal and real life experiences. For instance:-
1. Sample topic
Children often learn from their adults around them subconsciously. Discuss what they learn and what should be taught to them?
● To Illustrate, approximately 40% of teenagers inculcate the habit of having drugs and liquor by watching their parents.
To cite an example, a weekly Times Magazine states that around 60% of children behave aggressively when they watch their parents behaving so.
● Or (by writing of a place or a city)
For example, in India, a recent study showed that many old age homes have been established as children do not want to live with their parents as they have seen so with their grandparents.
For instance, the trend of new normal work from home has boosted up the usage of smart gadgets due to which children are having their screen timings increased.
As you can see, by thinking about your own life, you will be able to generate real ideas.
2. Sample topic
Today, the quality of life in large cities is decreasing. Discuss the causes and solutions.
Urbanisation and industrialisation to the present day has brought more opportunities in metropolitan cities but at a cost in the quality of life. With an increasing city's population, the challenges are also increasing for the globe as well as the local community. The causes and effects of these on the current generation, as well as possible solutions are discussed in further writing.
To begin with, the causes for a decrease in the quality of life are, paradoxically, the prosperity bestowed on such metropolitan centres. Their growth is largely due to the increase in opportunities which in turn increases their attractiveness. People are essentially trapped in a positive self-reinforcing cycle. While such developments have an immediate positive impact, it perpetuates a possible negative impact in the long term. A city can experience overcrowding, exorbitant property prices, and increased vulnerability to terrorist attacks. For example, the density of New York makes it a more efficient place to attack, when compared to a smaller city such as California. Therefore, urban citizens, especially the less well off, often experience a lower standard of living. Even greater than this, are the relevant examples of natural disasters such as recent fires in Australia, which brought about unprecedented weather patterns resulting in the destruction of wild and rare animals .
Considering the solutions, greater investment in public transport will ease traffic congestion, as would bike lanes. In theory, this would reduce air pollution, and possibly improve the well-being of the population if they did adopt a more active lifestyle and cycle to work. While these solutions are local, if adopted globally, would affect individuals and many countries alike. A collective effort is needed to use social networks and other media to highlight the negative effect of urbanization as well as the negative sides of the wider ramifications on the population.
To conclude, no doubt that urbanization's advantages outweigh the disadvantages, a wealthy city attracts a large population inflow, which in turn is responsible for the deteriorating lifestyles of people. However, Various solutions exist to mitigate such drawbacks and are being used to raise awareness of such negative impacts on many countries.
3. Sample topic
Look at a question asking why women should receive equal pay to men.
Main ideas- Suppose the main idea is that women achieve higher grades than men at university.
If the woman in the home is working alongside the man, the family can bring in more income and support their family more efficiently.
● With respect to a university- For example, at Oxford University in 2010, approximately 32% of female commerce graduates achieved First Class Honours, while only 5% of males achieved the same.
● To illustrate, studies show that women excel just as quickly if not faster than men do in their careers when given the opportunity.
● In respect to research- a recent study was conducted and scientists have proved that couples who are equal when it comes to gender are happier overall.
● In respect to a country- it is claimed that this trend is strongest in the UK and many campaigners stress the urgency to stop this situation.
I hope that idea of including an example in an essay is clear. Always remember that the IELTS exam is a high-profile test and be strictly formal in your language in the test. Do not get informal while writing the main ideas and explanations and examples too. Keep practicing for more writing.
Best of luck!
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IELTS Writing Task 2 Examples (In 2023)
You should include at least 1 example in each main body paragraph in IELTS Writing Task 2.
If you look at the official Writing Task 2 Marking Criteria , you will notice that to get a Band 9, you must:
present a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas
A paragraph should have only one main idea to be easy to understand. A common mistake by IELTS students in Task 2 is thinking that if they include lots of ideas, they will get higher marks. In fact, the opposite is true. You get higher marks for developing your ideas with explanations and examples. You don’t get any extra marks for just listing lots of ideas.
Let’s look at an example question:
Today people are traveling more than before. Why is this the case?
Supporting Paragraph A
I think more people are traveling because people are earning more money these days and they can afford to travel. Additionally, flights are much cheaper than they were in the past. Moreover, people have very stressful lives these days and need to go on holiday. Furthermore, children expect to be taken on holiday when they are off school during the summer. Finally, it is good for the family to spend time with one another.
The person who wrote the above paragraph thinks that the way to get a high score is to list as many ideas as possible and show the examiner how much they know about the topic. This is actually one of the worst things you can do because Task 2 is not a test of your knowledge but your academic writing ability. The paragraph above is simply a list, not a coherent, cohesive paragraph that takes ideas and fully develops them.
Supporting Paragraph B
In the past, air tickets were only for the rich and famous because most salaries could not cover the price of a flight to a foreign country. This meant that the majority simply stayed at home or took their holidays domestically; however, this has all changed with the creation of budget airlines. Low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair in Europe or Tiger Air in Asia, have meant that anyone can save up and travel to a new country, with prices starting as low as $1.
The paragraph has only one main idea- that air travel is cheap. The author of this paragraph has stated their main point in the first sentence, then explained what this means and how it relates to the question and then used a specific example to illustrate their point. This is exactly what the examiners are looking for, and you should try to use the following structure to help you write your supporting paragraphs:
- Topic sentence (state your main point)
- Explanation (What does your main point mean? Why have you included it? How does it answer the question?)
- Example (A specific example that illustrates your main point)
The following can be used to give examples:
- For example,
- For instance,
- This is illustrated by….
- …such as….
You will notice that this is not a very long list. I have intentionally made it short for two reasons. You will only have time to include 2 or 3 examples in Task 2, and you already have enough new vocabulary to learn without trying to learn ten different ways to say ‘For example,’.
Below are some examples to show you how they are used in a sentence:
For example, thousands of Palestinians and Israelis have joined the same online groups that show support for peace and solidarity, something that would have been impossible 25 years ago. For instance, most men and women who pay for an annual gym membership fail to go entirely after just one month. This is illustrated by the fact that in the United States you must complete four years of higher education before you can study law. Many sports brands, such as Adidas and Nike, pay professional athletes million of dollars to endorse their products. There are now a few low cost airlines in the UK, namely Ryanair and Easyjet, that offer very affordable flights.
How to Think of Examples
The best way to think of examples is to consider how the question applies to your life experience.
Here are some things that should help you think of examples from your own life.
Let’s imagine that you are writing about the effect online businesses have had on traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ stores. Here are some examples I can use from my own life.
In Ireland, Amazon has forced many bookshops to close.
There are a huge number of online IELTS schools competing with traditional schools.
My family work in catering, so I could mention competition from online delivery companies, such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
Companies like Zoom and Slack have revolutionised working from home.
As you can see, by thinking about your own life, you can generate real ideas.
Just be careful not to make them too personal, as this will not allow you to demonstrate the wider point.
So now you know how to structure a paragraph and give examples, you need to avoid one of the most common mistakes students make when using examples- being too general. If you look at academic journals or books, you will notice that their examples are as specific as possible. This gives your points more authority and strengthens your arguments.
Below we will look at a question asking why women should receive equal pay. Our main point is that women achieve higher grades than men at university.
Let’s look at three examples:
1. For example, women achieve more than men at university.
This is a very general statement and does not really support our main point, and because it is so general, it sounds like we are just repeating the main point.
2. For instance, most women in my university course did better than men.
This is a little better because the author has been a little more specific about which university and which course, but there are no details, so it is still a little vague.
3. For example, at Queen’s University in 2009, 32% of female law graduates achieved First Class Honours, while only 8% of males achieved the same.
This is a specific example because it includes a time, place, and numbers. Think about it this way, if you were arguing with someone about this point and they gave you one of the three examples above, which one would you accept? By being as specific as possible, we can add weight to our argument and give a more academic answer.
You can make your example more specific by adding:
- place/business/university names
- names of people
You don’t have to add all of these things; only one or two are required to make it more specific.
Go to our Writing Task 2 page , where you can find lots of sample answers, and each of them has very specific examples for you to compare. You can use practice using them in your essays. Here are over 100 real sample questions to get you started.
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Using good examples in IELTS essays
How important is using good examples in IELST essays? Well every IELTS essay question ends with the same instruction:
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from you own knowledge or experience Write at least 250 words
Include relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Mmm – this instruction seems clear enough, but what does is actually mean? What are “good examples in IELTS essays?
- Can I give personal examples from my own life?
- Should I invent statistics to cite in my essays?
- Do I need an example in every paragraph?
Well, these are the questions we’re going to answer in today’s blog. Plus, we’ll look at FIVE nice ways to add examples to your body paragraphs. But before we look at some good examples, why don’t we examine three examples of bad examples! 👈😂
The Personal Example 👎
On the one hand, it is true that an employee’s personal life can sometimes affect their professional one, so it might seem acceptable for employers to want to more about your home circumstances. People who are married with children might need more time off for family commitments. For example, last month I had to take a week off of work to look after my sick son. Also, people might have personal beliefs that run against the ethos of a company………….
OK, so the IELTS instructions ask you to give examples based on your own experience. However, what they mean is things that you have o bserved in society NOT your own personal experiences. You really shouldn’t mention yourself or your Mum or your cat in your IELTS essay! 👦👵🐱
But, does that mean we have to disregard all of your personal experiences? NO! It just means that we need to turn them into more GENERAL EXAMPLES. And, we can easily do this by simply changing the personal pronoun “I” to the more general “people”!
For example, I like to exercise in the mornings before work = Personal
For example, MANY PEOPLE like to exercise in the mornings before work = General
Now, I want to be honest, there is no official rule about whether or not personal examples are “accepted” in IELTS. However, I have never seen a good IELTS book that teaches students to use them. And, in EAP courses, we definitely teach students never to use them. So, based on this I would say why “risk” using a personal example when you can simply turn it into a more academic one by changing the pronouns and (if necessary) the tense.
For instance, in the example paragraph above, the writer gives a specific example of taking time off to look after their sick child. However, to turn this into a more general example, we would just have to change the subject “I” to “people”. And, we will need to move from the past simple (which describes a specific event) to the PRESENT SIMPLE (which describes a general truth) .
On the one hand, it is true that an employee’s personal life can sometimes affect their professional one, so it might seem acceptable for employers to want to more about your home circumstances. People who are married with children might need more time off for family commitments. For example, many parents have to take time off work to look after their children when they are sick . Also, people might have personal beliefs that run against the ethos of a company………….
So, by all means think of experience that you have had in your personal life that can support your arguments, but then turn those personal experiences into general observations.
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The Fake Study Example 👎
Firstly, there are physiological differences between men and women. Men are stronger which means that have an advantage when doing jobs which involve intense physical work men. For instance, recent research by the University of Cambridge shows that 90% of construction work is done by men.
Now I don’t know where, when, or how this trend started, but I have to say I find it intensely irritating that students are being taught to give examples in this way. 😤 😤 😤 (Sorry if you use this method, but I’m assuming you didn’t invent it, so it’s not your fault!) Let me tell you why:
- In Academic English, if you cite research or an experiment, you have to give a clear reference as to where you got the information from. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. If you don’t, you will receive a very low score from your lecturer. Teaching students who are trying to enter a university course to invent statistics is future academic suicide.
- Many of the “studies” that students invent are CRAZY. They are obviously fake and are therefore NOT CONVINCING at all. Any good examiner will simply ignore them as they are not relevant.
- Inventing examples to support your ideas means that you can end up making arguments that have NO SENSE. Seriously, when you are generating examples, you should ask yourself: What have I seen or heard or experienced that makes me want to give this example? When you invent studies and statistics, you skip this step and, therefore, you never “test” your argument. The result? You can arrive at some very strange conclusions. Recently, I have seen a “system” to building paragraphs that goes like this: 1) Give argument 2) Invent study to prove argument 3) state how fake study proves initial argument. For many students this might seem like a simple way to build a paragraphs, but time and time again I see it end in disaster. Why? Well, what happens if your FIRST ARGUMENT is simply not true?
The Problem with a Poor First Argument
There are some who argue that the main reason why Macdonald’s is very popular is that it is healthy . In a recent study, 70% of people who ate at least twice a week in the restaurant reported losing more than 10kg over the course of a year. Therefore, it is vital that everybody eats fast food.
Can you see the problem? If you don’t test your ideas by thinking of REAL examples, you can end up with paragraphs that make crazy claims and will therefore score very low for TR. Never run the risk of telling me McDonald’s is healthy!!!!
Again, the tragedy is that making a fake example a good example is SO SIMPLE. You just remove all of the specific details and TALK IN GENERAL. Rather than saying “recent research by the University of Cambridge” say research , or even an expression like it is well known . Rather than saying “80%” use an expression like the majority of or many. SIMPLY TALK IN GENERAL!
Firstly, there are physiological differences between men and women. Men are stronger which means that have an advantage when doing jobs which involve intense physical work men. For instance, it is well known that THE MAJORITY of construction work is done by men.
Personally. I don’t think that you every need to ever mention research but if it the results of studies ARE well-known, then you can simple say: Many studies have shown that more men are employed in the construction industry than women. However, my main point is that you should NEVER create a fake study, and certainly never add statistics to your examples.
Want to listen to Nick and I explain the problem with fake examples in more detail? Listen to this episode of the My IELTS Classroom Podcast
The Unconnected Example 👎
On the other hand, I agree with those who believe that there are many other reasons to master a foreign language. First and foremost, learning a foreign language at school is mandatory in most countries, so its purpose is simply to have a well-rounded education. In fact, there are some who may never do anything more than read literature or watch films in their chosen second-lagnauge. Also, research has proven that the progression of degenerative diseases like Alzheimers is slower in those who are multilingual as knowing more than one language allows the brain to work more and release hormones that delay the progression of this disease.
OK, this is a much less serious problem than the first two, but it is still one that can lower your score. Very simply, you should never end a paragraph with an example. Why? Well, you have to show how your example supports your position. Even though the relevance of the example might be obvious to you, you still have to clearly tie it back to the exam question.
All we need to do to resolve this problem is add another sentence that shows why preventing degenerative diseases might be a reason to learn another language:
On the other hand, I agree with those who believe that there are many other reasons to master a foreign language. First and foremost, learning a foreign language at school is mandatory in most countries, so its purpose is simply to have a well-rounded education. In fact, there are some who may never do anything more than read literature or watch films in their chosen second-lagnauge. Also, research has proven that the progression of degenerative diseases like Alzheimers is slower in those who are multilingual as knowing more than one language allows the brain to work more and release hormones that delay the progression of this disease. Therefore, more and more middle-aged people are taking up learning a language to help protect their future mental health.
So, if you finish a body paragraph with an example, make sure you add one more sentence that connects it back to the question.
Good examples in IELTS essays 👍
OK, so those were three BAD ways to add examples to your body paragraphs. But what makes a good example? Well, the key to having a good example is simply to think of something in the real world that you have seen or observed that supports your argument. It should be something general (so not personal) and it should be something fairly obvious (we are writing an IELTS essay, not a university dissertation!)
It can help to imagine that you are fighting with a friend who disagrees with your position. What example would you give to support your beliefs? What factual evidence could you give them to persuade them to your viewpoint? The answer to those questions should form the basis of your example.
Then, once you have an idea, all that’s left to do is build it into your paragraph. That will mean showing the examiner that you are about to present them with an example. This might sound simple, but many students fail at this final hurdle, so here are FIVE great ways to connect your examples to your arguments.
- you can only follow such as with NOUNS. e.g. Many people today eat too much fast food, such as hamburgers and pizza .
- such as can come at the end of a sentence (like in the above example) , or the middle of a sentence, but never at the beginning. e.g. Fast food, such as hamburgers and pizza , can have a damaging effect on people’s health.
- you can only follow For example with a FULL SENTENCE e.g. Many people today have an unhealthy diet. For example, they eat too much fast food that is high in sodium and saturated fats.
- For example will always come at the beginning of a sentence and be directly followed with a comma (like in the example above)
- you can use For instance as a synonym of For example
TAKE X, FOR EXAMPLE.
- a really nice alternative to the simple For example is using the expression Take X, for example. This is particularly good if you have an example that needs a full-sentence or two to be explained e.g. Take fast food for example . Even eating out only once or twice a week can have a negative impact on your health as most shop-bought food is high in sodium and saturated fat.
A GOOD ILLUSTRATION OF THIS IS X
- A good illustration of this is another good way to single that an example is coming . I like this phrase because it forces you to have a clear argument and THEN back it up. e.g. People often eat unhealthy food without realising it. A good illustration of this is when people buy yoghurts that are labelled low in fat because they think they are healthy, but in fact they contain high amounts of sugar.
- Not all examples have to start with such an obvious signpost word as For example! Remember, examples are often facts that we have observed in the real word, so we can make it clear that information is factual by simply starting with In fact. e.g. People often eat unhealthy food without realising it. In fact, many yoghurts are labelled low in fat, but in fact they contain high amounts of sugar.
Using good examples in IELTS essays
We have covered A LOT in this lesson. Why don’t we look at a quick summary of everything we have learned.
- You don’t need to add examples to EVERY paragraph (but I would recommend that you include at least ONE or TWO clear example in your essay)
- You should NOT mention yourself or your friends or family in your examples
- You should NOT invent fake studies with statistics to support your arguments
- Never end a body paragraph with an example – i.e. it should be VERY clear how the example supports your argument
- Good examples describe the general observations you have made about the world
- Good examples start with signpost words that make it clear to the examiner that an exampling is coming (such as + noun / For example, + clause / In fact)
OK. If you enjoyed this post, you might like to check out last week’s lesson on how to generate good ideas for your IELTS essay. In fact, I wrote this week’s lesson only came about because so many people said that now they had ideas, but no examples to support them! If you have an idea for a future blog post, then please let me know in the comments below – I will always do my best to create lessons that people really. 👇👇👇👇
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Enhancing IELTS essays with impactful examples
On this page
Linking device, personal vs non-personal examples, using statistics, the position of the example in a paragraph.
When developing your essay in your IELTS Writing test, it is a good idea to support your ideas and arguments with examples. But what is a good way to do this? Let’s have a look at some suggestions and things to avoid when making an example.
It is always a good idea to mark your example with a linking device. This makes it easier to identify the example you have provided, so the examiner knows you are supporting your idea. Here are some you can consider when starting a sentence:
For example, …
For instance, …
To illustrate, …
This can be instanced by …
As an illustration, …
Note that ‘e.g.’ is an abbreviation of ‘for example’, however the advantage of using ‘for example’ is that it is counted as two words.
Also, a linking device can be used mid-sentence instead of at the beginning. Here are some alternatives to consider:
… in many academic institutions, such as universities and …
… in many academic institutions, in particular universities and …
… in many academic institutions, namely universities and …
The instructions in the IELTS essay is to ‘include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience’. Because of this, some people like to include personal examples to help demonstrate what they are saying:
For example, when I was a university student, I had a tight budget, so having free public transport would have helped me out a lot. I had to focus on my studies and I didn’t have enough time to have a part-time job to pay for things like that.
However, by using a personal situation, it can limit the range of vocabulary and potentially the grammar in your sentences. Non-personal language tends to be more formal (or academic) and can better demonstrate a suitable vocabulary range. In this case, a suggestion is to use your personal example, but rewrite it in a non-personal way:
For example, some people who are on a tight budget and time poor can benefit from free public transport, including university students who have the commitment of their studies.
While it is normal to use statistics to support your point in an academic essay that you would write for a university professor, there is no need to do this in your IELTS essay. This is because you do not have access to a library or internet during your test, so it would almost be impossible for you to reference a person or a book properly. Make sure you do not include invented statistics in your essay.
Try not to place your example near the top of your body paragraph. It is better to develop your idea first and then support it with your illustration. Look at this paragraph as an example:
First of all, learning a second language at kindergarten can expose children to different cultures. For example, in countries where students learn basic English lessons from 3 years of age, it has been shown that when these children grow up, they are more open to other cultures compared to the older generations. Therefore, education systems should …
This person has not really developed their topic sentence and elaborated on this main idea. Instead, consider the following:
First of all, learning a second language at kindergarten can expose children to different cultures. This is the best time in a person’s life to see how other people speak and what customs they have as children not only learn quickly, but they are more likely to be open-minded compared to adults. If someone starts learning a foreign language in their teenage years or even as an adult, the chance of biases forming increases and they may resent learning the language. For example, in countries where students learn basic English lessons at kindergarten, it has been shown that when these children grow up, they are more open to other cultures compared to the older generations. Therefore, education systems should …
In this case, the main idea has been developed a little more, so the example is there for support. Also, you can see here that the example is brief – it should not dominate your paragraph. Look at this case where the example is far too long:
First of all, having cheap fares is a good way to encourage the public to use public transport instead of private vehicles. For example, in China, a common cost of using a bus can range from 1 to 5 Yuan, which is very affordable for people. With such a low cost, many people use buses or subway trains to get to work or school, which has eased some of the traffic congestion in the large cities there. Also, because so many Chinese people choose to take trains and buses, more services can be put on by the government, which is why large cities like Beijing have frequent trains and many stations for people to choose from to get from one place to another. Therefore, low-cost public transport can benefit a country greatly.
In this particular case, the example takes up the majority of the paragraph. The main point is harder to see and it can leave the reader wondering what the direction of the paragraph is.
The A to Z of IELTS
Find the list of related articles you need to improve your speaking, writing, and reading skills. Now, prepare and aim for a high band score
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IELTS Band 9 sample essay
Band 9 Sample answers are useful as study guides for IELTS preparation for the IELTS Writing Task 2 essay – especially for a band 9 IELTS essay. Having access to previously completed work that you can have confidence in will show you what you are missing!
Take a look at these sample task 2 essay questions to help you prepare for your exam.
Use the following IELTS sample essay and its explanations to see how close you are to a band 9 in your IELTS writing essay!
Get your IELTS essay evaluated online (free)
Examples of Band 9 Essays
IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Sample Question and Answer(1)
Why is this IELTS Essay a Band 9?
5 Tips for a Band 9 IELTS Essay
Sample IELTS Writing Task 2 Question and Answer(2)
Sample IELTS Writing Task 2 Question and Answer (3)
Useful Definitions of Advanced Vocabulary Used
Video: Band 9 EX-IELTS Examiner Essay Review
Sample 19 IELTS Essays and 240 Task 2 Essay Questions Ebook
Video: Useful IELTS Essay Writing Tip
Additional IELTS Resources
IELTS essay task 2: evaluation criteria
IELTS writing tests are evaluated across 4 areas when your band score is calculated:
- Task achievement – To what extent does the examinee address all parts of the task with a fully developed position, inclusive of fully extended and well supported ideas?
- Coherence and cohesion – Does the candidate logically organise the information and ideas? Is the entire essay cohesive with a logical progression of ideas?
- Lexical resource – To what extent does the examinee use a wide range of vocabulary with accuracy? Do they demonstrate sophistication regarding the use of lexical items?
- Grammatical range and accuracy – Does the examinee use a range of grammatical structures accurately? Examples of these can be the use of complex sentences with sophisticated clauses instead of simple sentences with a repetitive structure:
Example : Students cannot use phones. They affect development > students are not allowed to use mobile phones in class due to possible distractions.
The British Council (the administrator of the IELTS) outlines 9 different bands of performance for each of the above dimensions here. Your scores in each of these dimensions are averaged to determine your overall band for your essay.
Let's take a look at an example essay that scored as band 9 and then we'll dig into each of these four areas to see why it received that score. It's very important to understand what the IELTS examiner is looking for.
These four criteria are used in our new online essay checker that gives you an estimated band score (free).
IELTS essay sample question (1)
Doing an enjoyable activity with a child can develop better skills and more creativity than reading. To what extent do you agree? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.
IELTS sample essay answer (1)
Parents throughout the world place spend time reading with their offspring to prepare them for school where their literacy skills are further developed; however, recent research suggests that focusing on reading at an early age can be detrimental, and participating in fun activities would be far more beneficial. I am a strong advocate of this approach, and the benefits of it will be covered in this essay.
A fundamental reason for this is that there is no biological age for reading, and pushing infants to acquire this skill before they are ready could have repercussions. For example, in the UK, many boys are reluctant readers, possibly because of being forced to read, and this turned them off reading. By focusing on other activities and developing other skills such as creativity and imagination, when they are ready to read, they usually acquire this skill rapidly.
In addition, the importance of encouraging creativity and developing a child's imagination must be acknowledged. Through play, youngsters develop social and cognitive skills, for example, they are more likely to learn vocabulary through context rather than learning it from a book.
Furthermore, play allows youngsters to mature emotionally, and gain self-confidence. There is no scientific research which suggests reading at a young age is essential for a child's development, moreover, evidence suggests the reverse is true. In Finland, early years' education focuses on playing.
Reading is only encouraged if a child shows an interest in developing this skill. This self-directed approach certainly does not result in Finnish school leavers falling behind their foreign counterparts. In fact, Finland was ranked the sixth-best in the world in terms of reading.
Despite being a supporter of this non-reading approach, I strongly recommend incorporating bedtime stories into a child's daily routine. However, reading as a regular daytime activity should be swapped for something which allows the child to develop other skills.
Why is this essay a band 9?
According to the IELTS Writing Band Descriptors, an essay is Band 9 for Task Achievement if it:
- Fully addresses all parts of the task
- Presents a fully developed position in answer to the question with relevant, fully extended and well supported ideas.
In order to score well on Task Achievement, the most important thing is to make sure you respond to what is being asked of you . Is the prompt asking for an opinion, a discussion of a problem, a solution to a problem, or some combination of these? If you provide an opinion and not a solution when you're being asked for a solution, you're not going to score well in this area. Read the question carefully!
The prompt for this essay asks: “To what extent do you agree [with the previous statement]? Use reasons and specific examples to explain your answer.” It wants an opinion – with support!
This essay addresses all parts of this task. The opinion is included in the introduction to make the writer's position clear, and then the following paragraphs support the writer's position with examples and justifications. Overall, the response is full and relevant and each of the points is detailed and connected to the thesis.
Coherence and cohesion
Think of this as “How well does the essay flow? Is it easy to follow and does it all tie together?” The exact characteristics for a Band 9 C&C score are that an essay:
- Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention
- Skilfully manages paragraphing
Note the specific wording “it attracts no attention.” The goal here is for things to sound natural and not forced. How do you connect your ideas (ensure cohesion) without it sounding forced? I think there are 2 possible ways:
- Explain your ideas in a logical order so that you don't need many linking words . This is probably what you do when writing in your own language.
- Use easy linking words like and, but, also, firstly, secondly, finally, for example. These are so common that they attract almost no attention.
This IELTS Sample essay does a good job of this – you'll notice that each paragraph naturally (logically) follows the one prior, providing additional support for the original opinion, and some simple linking words – in addition, furthermore (both paragraph 2) and moreover (paragraph 3) – are used throughout. These are all good discourse markers that show what is coming next adds to the argument and are slightly more sophisticated than firstly, secondly, and thirdly but don't come across as being forced.
The other aspect to scoring high in C&C is ensuring an essay is well-structured. What do I mean by that? A well-structured essay has a good introduction, body paragraphs that are easy to follow and connect with one another, and a good conclusion. Each body paragraph should also have its own topic sentence and support and then smoothly transition to the next paragraph.
Our sample IELTS essay has a “simple but good” introduction in which it shows that the examinee has knowledge of the topic and clearly states the writer's position to set up the rest of the essay. The paragraphs all have topic sentences, which are then supported by examples, and are easy to follow. The main body and conclusion relate back to the thesis in the introduction.
A note on conclusions… there are two schools of thought when it comes to how to conclude an IELTS essay. One is to conclude with one simple sentence so that you spend more time perfecting your main body paragraphs. The other is to wrap up with two sentences, once which includes a small prediction (ie, how you think things might turn out) as a way to show the examiner that you know how to correctly use another tense (which will help boost your GR&A score – more on that in a minute). Either is fine, just don't forget your conclusion!
Taking time to plan out and organise your response before you start writing is an extremely important step in scoring well in Coherence and Cohesion for your IELTS essay – make sure you do so to ensure your essay is well structured and reads cohesively when you're done!
Scoring well in the Lexical Resource dimension is all about (correctly) showing off your vocabulary. The description for a Band 9 here is:
- Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features, rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips'
Collocations, topic-specific vocabulary and phrasal verbs are the name of the game here. To score well, an examinee needs to show that they have a wide-ranging vocabulary and they know how to use it.
Our sample essay does a solid job of showing off a range of vocabulary – you'll notice that while the essay frequently refers to children, the writer employs different vocabulary ( infants, youngsters, offspring, counterparts ) to do so.
Note : it is highly likely that you will need to refer to people/children in your IELTS Writing task 2 , so make sure that you have lots of different words to use to refer to them.
IELTS examiners do not like to see the words “people,” “children” over and over again! The same goes for the word “ important ” – make sure you have plenty of alternative phrases ( essential and vital are both used in our sample essay).
Other examples of a wide-ranging vocabulary in our essay include using rapidly in place of quickly , mature instead of develop, repercussions to indicate a negative result, and acquire in place of learn.
Our sample essay also does a good job of using collocations – some examples include “fundamental reason,” “reluctant readers” “social and cognitive skills,” “learn vocabulary through context,” and “strongly recommend.”
The correct use of phrasal verbs also demonstrates one's grasp of English – because of the semantics involved, they are sometimes one of the most difficult things for English language learners to master. Our essay writer correctly uses a few of these including “ turned them off” and “falling behind .”
One note here: students preparing for the IELTS often ask if they should use idioms (like “you're barking up the wrong tree”) in their essays to further demonstrate their grasp of the language. In my opinion, no, you shouldn't. Idioms are informal by nature and not appropriate for a written essay of this type. Stick with demonstrating your range of vocabulary and your ability to use phrasal verbs correctly!
Grammatical range and accuracy
The final scoring dimension is related to grammar and grammatical structures – do you know them and can you correctly use them?
The Band 9 description for grammatical range and accuracy :
- Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur only as slips
Note that there is nothing in the scoring criteria about including specific tenses or sentence constructions. Your main objective should be to reduce the number of mistakes that you make. An essay that contains no mistakes is likely to get a 9 for grammar, regardless of the types of sentence that it may or may not contain.
If there is a nice mix of long and short sentences in your IELTS essays, you'll meet the grammar requirements. Remember, as soon as you write a “long” sentence you are naturally going to use connectives (linking words), which will make the sentence ‘compound' or ‘complex'. So, don't think too much about the grammar – just aim to reduce the number of mistakes that you make, and try to include a few longer sentences.
Some examples from the sample essay that illustrate the writer's grammatical range and help it easily score as a band 9 include:
- appropriate uses of modal verbs in the passive voice: “are further developed,” “will be covered,” “must be acknowledged,” “should be swapped.”
- “ to focus on ” is correctly followed by an -ing form
- However is used correctly with a semicolon before it and a comma after
- “ because of ,” “rather than,” and are correctly followed by -ing verbs
5 Tips for an IELTS writing task 2 band 9 essay
1. answer what is being asked.
Make sure you read the prompt carefully and answer the essay questions you’re being asked. I can’t emphasise this enough. In order to score well on Task Achievement, you need to appropriately and fully address the task.
2. Plan your work, work your plan.
Plan out your essay before you start writing. What are your main points? What order are you going to make them in? How do they link together? Having a well organised essay is key scoring high marks for Coherence and Cohesion. Many IELTS test-takers will spend up to 10 minutes planning out their essay before they start writing. A few points to keep in mind:
- Your essay should have 4-5 paragraphs in total and at least 250 words
- Plan your supporting points so that they don’t go off-topic
3. Write, review, re-write
Write your essay, review it and then “rewrite” it. Don’t focus on getting things perfect upfront – you don’t want to waste 15 minutes trying to come up with the perfect synonym for something and then not have enough time to finish your full essay! Write your essay first (an unwritten essay won’t score well at all!) and then go back through it to see how you can improve it. Some essay questions to ask yourself at this stage:
- Are there places where you can swap out stronger words for weaker ones in order to improve your Lexical Resource score?
- Are there places where you can phrase things differently in order to illustrate your Grammatical Range?
4. Where are you falling?
To pass with a Band 9 the reality is you need two sets of skills:
- Exam skills
- Language skills
What are exam skills?
Can you plan an effective essay? Quickly? Ideally between 3-5 minutes.
Can you think of enough ideas and examples to put in the essay plan?
Firstly you need to discover which of these skills you need. To do this you get feedback, either from an online IELTS essay checker or for more detailed feedback you can use our IELTS essay correction service .
The main goal is to find out which part of the essay writing process is costing you the most amount of time, points or stress.
Personally, the easiest and fastest way to get these skills is to do an online course specialised in training students with these skills. Here is a good course for that.
5. Better language skills?
A lot of students fail the IELTS exam or end up with a band in their IELTS writing test that does not meet their requirements. Also, a significant number of students look to Google to search for “IELTS Writing tips” or “Task two tips”. These tips might be helpful but sometimes the real problem might just be in their general language or writing skills.
Writing error-free perfect sentences is probably much more challenging than students think, especially under exam conditions i.e in 40 minutes with immense pressure to pass. These can result in often mixed outcomes with both positive or negative development occurring at one and the same time.
One of the most important ways to improve language skills is to receive feedback. This can be by asking someone to review written work and will expose the positive or negative development mentioned earlier. This is very common and not something that is a negative issue overall.
Have a look at our essay correction service that will review your essays for you and help you improve and pass the IELTS test.
Here is a checklist of what is needed for reaching Band 9, it includes what the examiner wants to see, and what to do to write at a Band 9 level.
Sample IELTS writing task 2 question (2)
Today, the quality of life in large cities is decreasing. Discuss the causes and solutions.
IELTS writing task 2: essay sample answer (2)
The global phenomenon of urbanisation from the beginning of industrialisation to the present day has brought opportunity and prosperity, albeit at a cost in the quality of life. With an increasing city population, the complexity of the challenges also increases for the globe as well as the local community. Therefore, the causes and effects of these on the current generation, as well as possible solutions are outlined below.
The causes for the decrease in the quality of life are paradoxically the prosperity endowed on such metropolitan centres. Their growth is largely due to the increase of opportunities on offer, which in turn increases their attractiveness, essentially they are trapped in a positive self-reinforcing cycle. While such developments have a positive impact on immediate economic objectives, it perpetuates behaviours that can have a negative impact in the long term.
However, this eventually leads to a decrease in the quality of life as the city can experience overcrowding, exorbitant property prices, and increased vulnerability to terrorist attacks. For example, the density of London makes it a more efficient place to attack, when compared to a smaller city such as Bradford.
Therefore, due to continuous growth and prosperity, urban citizens, especially the less well off, often experience a lower standard of living. Even greater than this, are the relevant examples of natural disasters such as recent fires in Australia, which brought about unprecedented weather patterns resulting in the destruction of wild and rare animals. These effects are far from uniform, as they affect different countries in ways unseen by previous generations.
Considering the solutions, greater investment in public transport would ease traffic congestion, as would bike lanes. In theory, this would reduce air pollution, and possibly improve the well-being of the population if they did adopt a more active lifestyle and cycle to work. While these solutions are local, if adopted globally, would affect individuals and many countries alike. A collective effort is needed to use social networks and other media to highlight the negative effect of urbanisation as well as the negative sides of the wider ramifications on the population.
To conclude, while it could be argued that urbanisation advantages outweigh the disadvantages, a wealthy city attracts a large population inflow, which then causes pressure on existing infrastructure and security. Various solutions exist to mitigate such drawbacks, such as social networks being used to raise awareness of such negative impacts on many countries, nevertheless an indefinite solution has yet to be found.
Sample IELTS writing task 2 question (3)
Social media marketing can influence what consumers buy. Do you agree or disagree? To what extent do you agree?
IELTS writing task 2: essay sample answer (3)
Since the introduction of social media applications in the early 2000's the world has become a much smaller place. Social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have become information sources for a majority of the global market.
As such, it could be argued that marketing, which happens to be a source of information accessible on these platforms can influence the consumers who use them. This notion is further aided by the rise in online retail stores that conduct the bulk of their transactions online. This makes it easier for the consumer to purchase from anywhere in the world.
As a consumer on social media, you are constantly bombarded with advertisements of various products that are specifically designed to catch your attention. This means that most of the adverts on your news feeds aren't random and will almost always feature something you have previously searched online or something currently popular or trending. Given the fact that most social media users are young consumers who are influenced by current trends and happenings, these adverts will almost always catch their eye.
The habit of sharing, retweeting and liking also ensure that these adverts get around, quite fast. As such, when an advert does reach your news feed you have already probably seen it on your friend's news feed. The truth is, adverts are a form of information and with the age of the internet, information spreads faster than a wildfire.
Therefore, it only makes sense that in the era and age of technology, globalization and the need to be trendy, social media marketing can influence what consumers buy.
Useful definitions of advanced vocabulary used
“For example, it is said, the CCTV in London has foiled many potential attacks, and therefore greatly increased the security of its citizens.” Could also be said as:
“Statistics show that CCTV used in London has scuppered many a terrorist plot, massively contributing to the security of its citizens.”
More Equivalent sentences Various solutions exist to mitigate such drawbacks, nevertheless an indefinite solution has yet to be found.
Could also be said as:
A myriad of partial fixes exist for these issues, yet a permanent solution is still out of reach.
There are many methods employed to quell this flow of people, but still a reliable solution has not been discovered.
IELTS writing task 2: vocabulary booster
The highlighted sections in the following paragraph represent key phrases or words relating to this topic. Study this paragraph to expand your vocabulary knowledge on this topic:
The modern urban environment varies considerably depending on both the city that produces it and the individual who perceives it; Each experiencing a unique blend of at least some economic success, varying degrees of localised or wider deprivation and periods of growth and decline. Environmental factors permitting, a city will provide well for its citizens as long as it can properly manage the execution of social policy.
Globalisation presents many challenges for those responsible for the policy as large inflows of people are to be expected in a place of success and therefore opportunity; The ensuing mixing of cultures has far-reaching social consequences that can affect how the city is both presented and perceived.
Considerably Con·sid·er·a·ble (kən-sĭd′ər-ə-bəl) adj. 1. Large in amount, extent, or degree: a writer of considerable influence. 2. Worthy of consideration; significant: The economy was a considerable issue in the campaign.
Perceive Per·ceive (pər-sēv′) tr.v. per·ceived, per·ceiv·ing, per·ceives 1a. To become aware of (something) directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing: We could perceive three figures in the fog. 1b. To cause or allow the mind to become aware of (a stimulus): The ear perceives sounds. 2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend: Einstein perceived that energy and matter are equivalent . 3. To regard or consider; deem: an old technology that is still perceived as useful; a politician who is perceived to be untrustworthy.
Deprivation Dep·ri·va·tion (dĕp′rə-vā′shən) n. 1. The/an act or an instance of depriving; Loss . 2. The state of being deprived: social deprivation; a cycle of deprivation and violence.
“The town’s generally miserable appearance led her to perceive it as a place of considerable deprivation.”
IELTS writing task 2: further reading
There are many more writing samples for you to explore.
The BBC has great pages on discursive writing and general writing , also, this video is good for learning how to give examples.
You can even read a sample Harvard essay aimed at preparing students for academic writing.
Remember! Select a text that is appropriate for your level. Choosing the wrong text can result in a loss of confidence and feeling bad never helped anyone to learn anything quickly!
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Additional IELTS writing task 2 resources
- The University of Manchester Academic Phrasebook provides guidelines and examples of how to introduce essay topics, discuss findings and write conclusions
- The University of Birmingham Guide to Academic Writing provides tips on paraphrasing, in addition to how to plan, structure and write an essay
- Use these useful sentences for IELTS Writing Task 2 .
- This page is good for sample essay topics and answers, also for Task Two.
IELTS writing essay task 2 Sample Band 8 The writing part of your IELTS exam is a great place to score some extra points, especially if you are looking to score within band 8. Here is a task 2 writing sample to help you do just that.
Vocabulary for IELTS Vocabulary is probably the most important part of preparing successfully for IELTS. It is used for both the speaking and writing part of the exam. Click here to view some essential vocabulary.
General essay topics The IELTS exam has a number of general essay topics that span a number of disciplines ad subject matters. To have an idea of what to expect check out our list of general essay topics.
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