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IELTS Writing Tips

In: IELTS By: Pradipto Chatterjee

IELTS writing section comprises of two tasks, to be completed in 1 hour time. The 1st task should be completed in 20 minutes and the candidate should write 150-200 words. The 2nd task is to be completed in 40 minutes and the candidate should write 250-300 words.
The 2nd task for both General and Academic are similar. It’s an essay. There is a difference in the 1st task. The General test takers need to write a letter and the Academic test takers need to describe a diagram, table or a graph. It is expected that the quality of writing of the Academic test takers will be better than the General test takers.
The tasks are judged on four parameters :
Task Achievements
·         Should address all parts of the task (understanding of the topic)
·         Must present a clear position throughout the letter / Essay
·         Presents fully developed position. Every argument must be backed by logical reason and example.
Coherence & Cohesion
·         Should logically organize information and ideas. An outline should be made before you begin to write.
·         Should use words and phrases for cohesion
·         Should present a clear central ides in each paragraph
Lexical Resource
·         Should demonstrate a range of vocabulary, correct choice of words and sentence structure.
·         Should be correct with spelling and punctuations
Grammatical Range & Accuracy
·         Should display grammatical accuracy
Unwritten Rule :
Handwriting and neatness is important.
Do not use bullet points, write complete sentences.
Do not use short forms and colloquial words and phrases.
Do not use non-English words.
Writing should be balanced and not aggressive.
Academic Task 1
Diagram : Just describe the diagram. You don’t need to use your general knowledge or infer anything beyond what is explicitly illustrated.
Table : A table always gives specific data. You also need to quote exact figures. Unlike graphs you cannot give approximations.
Graph : A graph is used to illustrate a trend, it is not so much about exact figures. It could be a Line Graph, a Bar Chart or a Pie Chart. You are generally given two or more sets of data and you are expected to make an intra graph and inter graph comparison.
Always look at the bigger picture first and then narrow down to specifics.
General Task 1
Letter could be formal or informal. Headings like sender’s address, receiver’s address, date and subject, are not required. An outline should be made before you start writing.
Begin letter directly with the salutation. The formal letter will begin with “Dear Sir/Madam” and the informal letter will begin with “Dear <name>”. The letter will end with a suitable closing and sender’s name. The meat of the letter should ideally contain minimum three paragraph – Introduction, Body and Conclusion.
Task 2
The essay carries more weightage than the 1st task. An outline should me made before you begin to write. Four to five paragraphs is expected for this task. The introduction would define the topic, enunciate the objective of writing and elaborate the scope. The body will contain the argument, reasoning and the examples (one or two) which will lead to the the conclusion. Each paragraph should contain one idea and there should be a smooth and logical follow. Words and phrases like firstly, secondly, thirdly, so , therefore, but, in addition to, in contrast to etc. will help to bind one paragraph to the next.

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