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The Do’s of IELTS Essay

– Conciseness (8-15 words per sentence)

– Cohesion (link ideas, paragraphs, sentences together)
– Coherence (all ideas should be easily understood by the reader)
– Composition (use the correct essay structure)
– Answer the question fully (cover all points asked in the task statement)

Band 7+ essays need

a) more complex sentence structure
b) more complex vocabulary
c) more complex grammatical use and variation

– Use the official writing task 2 form to practice and check what 250 words look like in your own handwriting
– Read many essay topics
– Read many sample essays
– Know the right structure for all essay types
– Know when to give your opinion
– Add examples from your own experience if asked
– Use smart words and noun groups
– Use punctuation correctly
– Separate the arguments “for” and “against” into different paragraphs
– Use the right tone (essays are always formal)
– Only use possessive/personal pronouns when giving your opinion
– Lead from one paragraph to another well – connecting words are vital!
– Vary grammar
– Write neatly as it values the reader-writer relationship
– Write maturely to reflect mature way of thinking
– Make a plan in 3-5 minutes: it makes your essay more organised, mature and conveys the positive image of YOU.
– Make your opinion very clear: formal and reasoned point of view, give details.

The Don’ts of IELTS Essay

– Write too many words if your English is average (aim for 250-265)
– Use contractions such as “don’t”, “shouldn’t”, etc
– Overuse connecting words (assessors expect that!)
– Jump from one idea to the next: link, link, link!
– Mix arguments “for” and “against” in the same paragraph
– Use the wrong tone (essays are always formal)
– Use abbreviations
– Repeat words or overuse primitive verbs (does, makes, gets)
– Cross out many things
– Write illegibly
– Use idioms too frequently or inappropriately
– Write in a babyish manner (bad grammar and poorly developed ideas)
– Become a clock victim (constantly look at the clock and panic)
– Start writing without a plan
– Forget to leave a blank line between paragraphs
– Use generalisations (“All”, “Every”) as this reflects an immature way of thinking
– Use simple sentences if you want a high score
– Use cliches as they are often too informal
– Use ‘lazy’ expressions (“and so on”, “etc”).
– Copy part of task question
– Agree with both sides – choose one side to make your opinion clear
– Let adrenaline make you arrogant
– Go off topic

Cohesion refers to words and phrases that help ideas link together. Cohesive phrases include wordings like…

Because of this, …
As this shows, …
As can clearly be seen from this example, …
It is clear that…
Thus, the idea that…
To illustrate this, …
After analyzing both points of view, …
To provide a summary, …
Without a doubt, this causes…


AGREEMENT: also, plus, in addition, further, furthermore, moreover, additionally, to add to that, next, in accordance
with, accordingly, in agreement, finally, for instance, for example, in exemplification, exemplifying that, in fact,
factually speaking, in terms of, and so forth, looking at the nexus between, in coordination with, along those lines,
collectively speaking, generally speaking, indeed, undoubtedly, obviously, to be sure.

CONTRAST: however, contrastingly, in contrast, on the contrary, on the other hand, To put it into perspective, from
a different angle, nonetheless, nevertheless, but, yet, a catch to this is, sadly enough, as a hindrance, looking at the
holdups, oddly enough, instead, in direct opposition, still, and rather.
RESULT: as a result, as a consequence, consequently, thus, therefore, hence, thereby, resulting in, ultimately, in the
end, finally, in the overall analysis, in hindsight, in retrospect, retrospectively, vicariously, the long term effect, as a
short term result, significantly, as a major effect, effectively, heretofore, hereafter, thereafter, in short, generally,
over all, concluding.



 for instance
There are many schools in many countries where you could study, for instance the schools in London or Birmingham.
 one example
One example of how to get better at cooking would be to start reading recipes.
 for example
 just as
I wanted to be home already just as much as a thirsty man in the desert wanted water.
 in particular
I am referring to my exams, in particular, IELTS and TOEFL.
 such as
 namely
My friends, namely Andy and Cindy, have told me about this new exhibition in the city.
 to illustrate
 since
Since you asked, I’d like to tell you my story
 because (of)
 due to
Due to the teacher’s illness this lecture is canceled.
 owing to
 the reason why
 in other words
 leads to
This assumption leads us to believe that …
 cause
The cause of this unfortunate accident was…
 before
 since
Since 2005 I have been working in …
 as
 until
Until now I wasn’t able to find anything like it.
 meanwhile
Meanwhile, I would like to ask you to be patient.
 at the moment
At the moment I am experiencing financial difficulties.
 when
 whenever
Whenever I call him, he appears to be very busy.
 as soon as
 just as
 obviously
I was very disappointed, obviously because my expectations were too high.
 certainly
I will certainly let her know your opinion.
 plainly
You are plainly wrong
 of course
 undoubtedly
She is undoubtedly very beautiful
 if
 unless
I won’t be able to participate, unless we schedule the meeting in the morning.
 whether
Whether you like it or not, this is the truth.
 provided that
I can guarantee a good result, provided that you study.
 so that
I can send you the documents so that you would have proof.
 depending on
We can have a picnic this weekend, depending on the weather.
 in conclusion
 in summary
 lastly
 finally
 to sum up
To sum up, I strongly support the efforts of our society to help the environment.
 to conclude
 to recapitulate
 in short

 in addition
In addition, I would like to point out that my neighbor is disturbing me late at night.
 and similarly
Your life will change forever and similarly, your whole family will feel the change.
 likewise
Some people have little time for a hobby, and have likewise little will to get one.
 as well as
Beauty, as well as smarts, is a remarkable quality
 besides
We aren’t friends. Besides, I don’t feel it’s my place to set him straight.
 furthermore
Computers are getting faster and faster these days; furthermore, their cost is getting lower and lower.
 also
 moreover
I’ve been wanting a change for a long time, moreover, I feel I deserve one.
 and then too
 not only … but also
Not only is this product good for your hair, but also for softening your skin.
 first(ly) initially
Initially, you would start putting a plan together.
 second(ly)
 to begin with
To begin with, you will need to commit a portion of your time to studying.
 then
 next
 earlier/later
Later on there comes a stage when your skills are put to a test.
 after this/that
 following this/that
 as a result
I studied well and as a result, I got a high score.
 thus
 so
 therefore
I was younger and therefore less experienced.
 consequently
 it follows that
 thereby
I upset my friend, thereby causing her pain.
 eventually
 then in that case
 admittedly
Admittedly, he is the smartest person I know.
 however
The book is expensive, however it is worth it.
 on the other hand
She says she feels fine, but on the other hand, her face is pale and she doesn’t look healthy.
 despite
 in spite of
In spite of the difficulties, the task was completed.
 though
He still insists, though he knows that won’t do any good.
 although
 but
 on the contrary
The music didn’t lift her spirit, on contrary, it made her feel weak and vulnerable again.
 otherwise
 yet instead of
He felt unwelcome, yet instead of leaving, he stayed.
 rather
Eggs for breakfast is not a good idea, I would rather have some toast.
 whereas
He was her true love, whereas for him she was just another girlfriend.
 nonetheless
While they didn’t trust each other, nonetheless they worked together for many years.
 even though
 compared with
 in contrast
 alternatively

 in addition
 and similarly
 likewise as well as
 besides further more
 also moreover
 and then too
 not only … but even
 besides
 first(ly) initially
 second(ly) etc.to begin with then
 next earlier/later
 after this/that
 following this/that
 as a result
 thus
 so
 therefore
 consequently
 it follows that
 thereby
 eventually
 then in that case
 admittedly
 however
 on the other hand
 despite
 in spite of
 though
 although
 but
 on the contrary
 otherwise
 yet instead of
 rather
 whereas
 nonetheless
 even though
 compared with
 in contrast
 alternatively

In the Writing task 1 you receive a “scenario” and you have to write a letter. Not many people know that there
are 4 types of letters in the IELTS test:
 Complaint / Request (of information) letter
 Formal business letter
 Job application letter
 Personal letter

In any letter you write IELTS examiners will be looking for these 3 important components: structure, vocabulary
and fluency of language.

Structure means that your letter must have paragraphs, at least 3 of them. Every paragraph has its job.

 The first one must define the purpose of your letter in one – two sentences.
 The second one must explain more about why you are writing this letter.
 The third must say what kind of answer you expect.

Vocabulary means that you should use some “smart” words. In case you are writing a Complaint, a Business or a Job
application letter you must use formal language, but not for the Personal letter.

Fluency of language means phrases people usually use in letters. The best advice I can give you here is to read
every IELTS Sample Letter you can get. This way you develop proper language for any type of letter.