by Tish Kirkland (www.yes-ielts.com)
The following describes my step-by-step approach to writing an essay for IELTS Writing Task 2.
First, I carefully read the question and underline the key words.
Then, I think about what the question is actually asking. If it is an argument type essay, I create a yes-no question so that I can answer it easily.
I make two columns, one for yes and the other for no, and brainstorm my ideas to answer my yes-no question.
Some of my ideas may be repeated or somewhat irrlevant, but at this brainstorming stage this repetition is OK. I will edit my ideas more when it comes to the next step: planning.
When brainstorming, I also think about some of the words I would like to include in my essay, such as relevant idioms or collocations. By making a note of these words now, I can come back to them when I am planning, writing, or even when I am checking my work.
Next, I sort my ideas into a plan. I plan for 5 paragraphs: an introduction, 3 x body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Body paragraphs 1 and 2 support my opinion and body paragraph 3 offers an alternative viewpoint, but then refutes that.
After analysing the question, brainstorming, and planning, it’s now time to write.
Finally, I check my essay and make some minor adjustments.
While checking this essay, I make sure all my apostrophes are in the right place and my plurals are accurate. I check that my pronouns are not too repetitive and that it is clear who they refer to.
For more information about writing for Task 2 in IELTS, please take a look at my e-courses on www.yes-ielts.com.