IELTS essay writing skills deserve a special attention. Since the IELTS test is known to be the most popular and trusted test of proficiency in all forms of English, there is no need to explain the standard it upholds. Writing a perfect essay in the IELTS test is not just writing any essay. It takes special training and special skills to write a “quality essay” and achieve a high score on the test. In the academic version of the test, in Tsak2, you are given a topic that provides a brief detail of a situation/problem or argument, and you must write an essay that uses reasoned argument or logic to reach a conclusion. In Assignment 2 of the General Education module, you will be instructed to write a discursive essay expressing your opinion on a social issue, usually a current topic. In both cases, you must write an essay of no less than 250 words, and the language used should be very rich with many complex sentence structures and a wide range of appropriate vocabulary with few spelling errors. The content should be grammatically rich and imaginative, coherent and cohesive.
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You should prepare well before the exam on how to plan and construct an essay. Planning comes first. You should not spend a lot of time planning. If you are well prepared, hopefully you know that 3 to 5 minutes is enough for planning the essay. Before writing an essay, you should read and analyze the question thoroughly, this is an indispensable part. You should be aware of the fact that you can’t get a good score if you can’t address all parts of the question. So, it is mandatory to scan each and every part of the question and you should not start writing immediately without making an impeccable plan.
Why you should make a plan before you start writing:
Planning before you start writing is an essential part of achieving a higher band score. It ensures that you don’t get lost in the middle, and planning helps you write the exact order of things to be written. If you write without planning, you have to stop, then think, then write, then stop and think again, then write. If you plan and work accordingly, you will also save time and be able to write in a more organized way. So, as mentioned above, first read and analyze the question and be clear about what exactly you need to write about. For example, let’s write a sample question so you understand how to find the keywords. Let’s assume that the questions are as follows:
A large number of children between the ages of 5 and 11 are getting addicted to playing games on their cell phones and becoming antisocial: what is your opinion, is it completely bad or does it have good points? Do you think they should be more social? The main keyword here is “gaming addiction on mobile”, the secondary keyword is “becoming unsociable”. If you can’t identify the exact “keyword”, your essay would go off track and not earn you any points. Your answer in the essay should be exactly to the point. So, once you find the “key word”, start planning your essay. Remember that you are writing on paper, not typing on your computer screen, so you have the freedom to erase, write, edit, and then write again. You need to plan what you want to write and then start writing according to that plan. A good plan is like a roadmap that keeps you from losing your train of thought halfway through.