IELTS Writing

The IELTS Academic Writing has been a great challenge to Chinese candidates.In order to achieve high score in test, it is necessary to understand what we are supposed to write, as well as how to write it.
The Writing Task consists of two sections. First section is where all candidates need to describe a diagram and with the second section taking the form of an essay[1].

Standards of IELTS Writing?

According to IELTS HANDBOOK, the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate made a clear explaination[2].
In task 1 candidates are asked to look at a diagram and to present the information in their own words. Candidates are assessed on their ability to:
  • Organize, present and possibly compare data
  • Describe the stages of a process or procedure
  • Describe an object or event or sequence of events
  • Explain how something works

Usually the examiner mainly focus on three points:
  • Task Fulfillment
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Vocabulary and Sentence Structure

In Task 2 candidates are presented with a point of view or argument or problem. Cadidates are assessed on their ability to:

  • Present a solution to a problem
  • Present and justify an opinion
  • Compare and contrast evidence, opinion and implications
  • Evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence or argument

Our performance in Task 2 will be assessed on the criteria below:
  • Arguments, and Responce to the Question
  • Progression and Clarity of Ideas
  • Vocabulary and Grammar

What are we supposed to write?

There are some nuances between what you think and what you are supposed to understand[1].

From the official note, it is obvious to notice that we are asked to present a writing by focuing the thesis and supporting the thesis with specific evidences. Students in China usually use the writing model which consists of three paragraphs- introduction, body and conclusion. In theory, it can best present the candiddates' idea within such a short period of time in examination. However, it is far from a good IELTS writing. Generally, a Band 8 academic IELTS writing excels in its imoressive idea and the variety of sentence structures. In order to empasize the thesis, there should be no meaningless sentence that has nothing to do with the topic. Each word speaks. Besides, efficient examples and facts are also important. One thing must be beared in our minds that the examiners do not care about whether your idea is right or wrong, what they focus is the way how you express it. Thus, the variety of vocabulary and sentence structures plays an essential role. Well mastering of vocabulary and grammar is the foundation of a good writing. Though easy to be ignored, the fluence of the whole writing also decides the quality of the essay.

A writing is composed of a series of related paragraphs that are jioned together to develop one center point on the basis of the writer's viewpoint. According to the IELTS Writing standards, a good writing should have coherence when supporting information of the essay is logically organized and smoothly linked. Thus, the linking of paragraphs is very important to achieve a high score in writing, not considering the topic.
In some sense, writing an essay is different from writing a paragraph in that an essay consists of multiple paragraphs, so the writer of an essay must think in terms of an expanded structure, and be concerned with the establishment of a nature link so that the main idea in each of the paragraph acts truly in supporting and developing the central point expressed in the thesis statement in the opening[2].
The application of linkings in writing would definitely makes a good impression on examiners. Here are some basic ways to create coherence between paragraphs:
  • Use linking adverbials such as finally, last to explictly state relationships between sentences and paragraphs. For example:

First,Find the man to be married
Second,be married
Third,have a baby
Then,U old.By using the linking adverbials first, second, third and then, the sentences read more fluent and logical.
  • Repeat a key word or a phrase used in the preceding paragraph. For example:

However, computers will never replace teachers because technology is only a tool and can never replace the spiritual element of the teacher.
Good teaching takes place when the learning is directly associated with our emotions.
Here, spiritual element and emotions express the same notion. By repeating the same meaning, the result is increased cohesion of text.
  • Use a pronoun that refers to a person, idea or thing just mentioned above. For axample, he, this and it.

Reference:1. Alannah T.D.Fitzgerald. 2005. The All-purpose Band 8 Academic IELTS Writing Book. Dalian:
Dalian University of Technology Press Co. Ltd
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