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Writing Task II of IELTS

Author: limey, Posted on Friday, April 29 @ 07:30:31 IST by RxPG  

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The writing Component of IELTS is divided in two separate tasks.

Task I deals with report writing on information provided to you in the form of diagram, flow chart or graphs.

Task II is like essay writing either in form of argument or opinion.

The Test

Total duration of the writing component is 60 minutes and because the Task II carries more weightage, it is always advisable to break up your allotted time accordingly.

It is always advised that you break up the total allotted 60 minutes in 20 : 40 proportion, i.e. 20 minutes for the Task I and 40 minutes for Task II.

However, its always beneficial to 1st practice over this and see if this suits you or you need some modification in the same.

Again, because Task II is more time consuming and has more impact on your final score, its advisable to start with the Task II 1st and come to Task I later. However, again tailor this advise according to what suits you the best.

The Task II of consists of writing an essay on the topic provided to you. Your essay can be in the form of opinion or argument, as the question demands.

You should not spend more than 40 minutes over this task and should not write less than 250 words.

The topics given in the Task II is of general interest and usually deal in with the following areas.

-Men and Women Relationship
-Physical Fitness
-Working Enviornment

While in Task I, you were just suppose to write a report on the information provided without giving your opnion, Task 2 differs in the sense that here you are supposed to express your views more elaborately.

Learn to identify if the topic given to you is in the form of argument or opinion.

Task 2 is most difficult part of all the components as scoring good marks depends not only on your ability to express your ideas but also to organize it efficiently and stud it with your strong word power and unique ideas.

In this Task you will be judged on your ability to :

1)Express your views intelligently.
2)Give relevant examples.
3)Your vocabulary
4)Your grammar and spelling
5)Your ability to organize your ideas
6)Your ability for an efficient time management

The question will be presented to you in NOT a single line but in 2-3 sentences. Read carefully so as to analyse what exactly you are supposed to write on. This is very important as, they wont give u any marks if you write on a totally different topic than what is actually asked.

You are supposed to write not less than 250 words and any essay shorter than this will reflect on your final score. In my view, 300 words is a decent target to be on the safe side.

Make sure that you have practiced well before hand so that you know approximately what length of your hand writing makes 250-300 words on an average A4 paper. This will save you from the arduous task of counting each and every word on the test day, especially when you have very limited time in hand.

The Practice:

Practice is the key to success. The more you practice the more you will prefect the skill of writing elusive essays which will compel the examiner to give you the score you deserve.

Be careful at each step and do not leave any loose areas which can cost you on your score.
Start from the carefully reading the question and analyse it well.

Analyse the Question:

A typical question will read like this :
“Telecommuting refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology. Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades. How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting? “

Understand the fact that you should read the question completely and upto the last line.

Learn to identify ‘factual’ lines and ‘subjective’ lines.

In the above example there are 2 factual statements :

➮ Telecommuting refers to workers doing their jobs from home for part of each week and communicating with their office using computer technology.

➮ Telecommuting is growing in many countries and is expected to be common for most office workers in the coming decades.

However, there is just one subjective statement :
How do you think society will be affected by the growth of telecommuting?

It the subjective statement which determines the main theme of dicussion in your topic.

Like say, in the above example you can write pages on ‘Telecommunication’ , but here what u need to answer is how this telecommunication is effecting social lives of the people.

Mark the Key words and Arrange a Vocabulary List :

This is good practice.
Mark the key words in the question and list down the all the related words synonyms you can think of.

This list can be very meagere when you actually start to practice. But don’t get disheartened. Keep a dictionary/thesaurus handy. Select appropriate words and make a good list. The aim of this list is to utilize these words when you actually start to write the real essay.

Plan your ideas :

This is a very individual and personal thing but matters a lot on your score. As soon as you see the question plan what exactly you would like to discuss in the given topic.

Decide if you want to discuss ‘FOR’ the topic or ‘AGAINST’ the topic or that you want to discuss both the aspects in your task.

If you can think of a good example to quote, write down the keyword in the rough area so that you wont forget it later when you are in total flow of writing.

To get good and solid ideas for your essays, it is important that you read as many articles as possible, from a standard good english daily/ magazine.

Its not necessary nor ideal that you quote down everything mentioned in an article in your essay. While reading an article learn to identify the points you think you can elaborate upon. Learn to use these ideas in your essay.

Structure your Essay :

An essay has 3 main parts : Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

Your essay should be divided at least into 3 paragraphs.

It is also advisable to discuss each point in a separate paragraph, thus giving your essay a more organized look and giving a good example of your clear thinking/ organization.

If you are writing an argument, a model essay should contain 4 paragraphs:

Paragraph 1 : Introduction :

Start with introducing the topic. Take help of the ‘Factual’ statements in the question, but DO NOT COPY the exact words, for you wont be given any marks for such an introduction.

A good practice is to start with a saying or a proverb. But at every point make sure that whatever you write is all related to the topic. Don’t get diverted from the main topic in order to include a proverb/phrase.

Paragraph 2 : Body Part 1 :

Divide your main body in different parts. If you have already planned what are you going to discuss, it will be easy for you at this step to decide how your main body will be divided.

If you have decided to discuss both ‘for’ and ‘against’ the topic, a good practice is to say ‘FOR’ in one paragraph and ‘AGAINST’ in another paragraph.

If you have decided to discuss either ‘for’ or ‘against’, get at least 2-3 main topics/points and discuss these separately in separate paragraphs.

Length your paragraphs accurately and make sure you don’t write too long or too short paragraphs.

Quote examples as and when possible. This will fetch you real good marks. Make sure you quote only relevant and realistic examples. Read variety of texts to help yourself with examples.

Paragraph 3/ 4 : Body Part 2/3 :

Discuss other points efficiently. Make sure you do not repeat the same ideas, for even if you paraphrase it the examiners are trained to catch this very efficiently and you will lose marks in no time.

Be honest and practice as much as you can.

Paragraph 4/5 :Conclusion :

This is the conclusion part. You have discussed so many points above and now it is the time to wrap up every thing and say in 2-3 sentences what you think of.

It is very important here for you to express your own personal opinion and do not hesitate from using such pharses/ begineers as , “In my opinion...” or “I think that....” .

If you cant decide on ONE particular side , its always safe to say both sides and suggest a ‘middle-path’.

However, these are just my views and advices for you to help you write efficiently. Only when you start writing, you will recognise your own style and your own way to express views over any given topic.

Grammar and Spelling Mistakes :

There is no leniency for a grammatical error or spelling mistakes. You are writing an essay to show how efficient your English is, let not small things marr the shine of your beautiful ideas and strong vocabulary.

Abbreviations :

Avoid using any sort of abbreviations. Its always better to write ‘do not’ than to write ‘don’t’.

The Test Day :

As already mentioned above, start the writing part of the test with Task 2.

Identify the appropriate area allotted in your answer sheet for Task2 and make sure that you write only there.

Any additional sheets should be attached to only appropriate places (which differs for Task 1 and Task 2). Ask before attaching.

Remember when you start, that you have 40 minutes for this and you have to write not less than 250 words.

Read the question with cool head. Understand the factual statements and subjective statements. Identify clearly what exactly you need to discuss on.

Immediately plan the structure of your essay and how many parts your main body should have.

Did any examples flash in your mind while you read the topic? Make a rough note of it.

Always try to use pencil (for a ‘pen and pencil’ test) to give your essay a neat and tidy look.

Start writing. Don’t bother about the word count now, for if you are honest with your ideas, the plan of your essay and if you have practiced well, you will know that your essay will always be of the appropriate length required.

Avoid repeating the same words and same ideas. Make sure you place your views clearly.

Always leave sometime at the end to go through your essay completely and correct any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or any repetition of thoughts and ideas.

4 (Excellent) 3(Good) 2(Good) 1(Bad)   

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