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IELTS academic and general writing

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Academic & General
Training, Task 2

1 How many words are you expected to write?
2 How long should you spend on the task?
3 What sort of writing are you expected to produce?
4 What must you include in your answer?
5 What sort of things do you think the examiners will be checking for?

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UNDERSTANDING THE INSTRUCTIONS
There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers to this task, but you must read the question carefully and make sure you understand exactly what you have to write about.


Academic
Present a written argument or
case to an educated reader
with no specialist knowledge of
the following topic:

OR

General Training
As part of a class assignment
you have to write about the
following topic:

What sort of answer do you think you should write?

After the task, the instructions state:
Academic
You should use your own ideas,
knowledge and experience and
support your arguments with
examples and relevant evidence.
How should you approach the task?

OR

General Training
Give reasons for your
answer.

APPROACHING THE TASK
Read the following task.
Enormous effort is put into researching and marketing ‘the perfect potato crisp’ while research into stress at work, for example, is ignored.
How important are staff working conditions? Should employers research and improve the working conditions of their staff or should they concentrate more on their product? Which of the following areas would it be appropriate to include in your answer? a a comparison of different types of product

b a discussion of the difficulties of food industries
с an analysis of the effects of bad working environments
d an explanation of how to make potato crisps
e an analysis of how to be successful in business
f a description of a business you know well
g an analysis of the importance of a company’s product
h a discussion of how products are manufactured
i a discussion of the value of company staff

Let’s discuss what it means and what it is asking you to write about. The age of Information Technology has taken a lot of people by surprise. While it has become a way of life for some, others know very little about it and may be unlikely to learn. Eventually we will have a polarised society and this will lead to serious social problems.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

APPROACHING THE TASK
Let’s discuss what it means and what it is asking you to write about. The age
of Information Technology has taken a lot of people by surprise. While it has become a way of life for some, others know very little about it and may be unlikely to learn. Eventually we will have a polarised society and this will lead to serious social problems. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Write some examples (as in a-i above) of the areas you might cover in an answer. Do not feel that you must agree with the argument put forward in the question.
Try to re-write the task in your own words

FORMING IDEAS
Your examiner will expect you to present clearly a number of relevant ideas in your answer.
You can develop ideas on a topic that has a central theme by brainstorming. Take a look again at the bubble diagram

FORMING IDEAS
Children over 15 should be allowed to make decisions about their lives without the interference of their parents or teachers. Society should accept that children mature at a younger age these days and should adjust the law accordingly.

Discuss this statement in relation to your own society or a society that you know well.

FORMING IDEAS
Another way of developing your ideas on a topic that has two sides is to make a list of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ or points ‘for’ and ‘against’.
Read the following question.
Have newspapers become a medium of the past or do they still play an important role in people’s lives?
Get a new sheet of paper
and draw a line down
the middle of it like this:

•See what ideas you can come up with.
•Compare your ideas with those of others in your class.
•Produce a complete class list for each side of the argument. •Write up your answer in 250 words.

PLANNING A STRUCTURE
In the examination you will have very little time to plan your answer, but your examiner will be looking for a clear underlying structure in your response What do you think is meant by a ‘clear underlying structure’? ORGANISING IDEAS

The key to good, clear writing is simplicity. Do not start the introduction until you know what you are going to say in your answer. Once you have thought of some relevant ideas, you need to organise them. If you produce an answer that presents a list of ideas without development, you will lose marks.

What do you think is involved in organising your ideas?
What will happen to some of your ideas?
• Spend ten minutes doing a ‘for/against’ activity
Should parents be obliged to immunise their children against common childhood diseases? Or do individuals have the right to choose not to immunise their children? Now organise your ideas in preparation for writing the answer

How to approach the task
Decide which of the ideas in your lists are ‘key’ ideas. (You may not agree on this, so try to argue your case.)
Discuss how many of the key ideas you think you could cover in 250 words.
Take a new sheet of paper and divide it into columns so that you have one column for each key idea. Discuss what order you think the ideas should go in. Write the key ideas at the top of each column in the order you have

decided.
Select some supporting points for each key idea from your lists. Write these
beneath the relevant key idea.
Think about your own experience and consider if you have any further supporting points to add.

Now on a sheet of paper and write down all your ideas on the following topic. Then plan your key ideas and supporting points. Do this in ten minutes As children do we have a natural ability and motivation to take up new interests (such as languages, sports and musical instruments) which as adults we seem to lose? Are there too many social pressures on adults or are there other reasons for the apparent decline in a human being’s capacity to learn?

THE INTRODUCTION
Your introduction is very important because it gives your reader their first impression of your writing ability. However, you shouldn’t begin your introduction immediately.

•What must you decide before you write the introduction?
•Roughly how long should the introduction to an IELTS answer be? •Roughly how long should you spend writing the introduction? •How should you indicate the end of the introduction to your reader? Your approach to writing an introduction will depend to a certain extent on the task. IELTS tasks present a discussion topic that is fairly broad and can be approached by candidates from different backgrounds. So one of the things you need to do in the introduction is to define what you understand by the task and state how you intend to approach it.

Read the following task and discuss what areas you could cover in your answer and how you might introduce the topic.
A company in which every employee is made to feel important will run more smoothly and experience greater success than a company that values some employees above others. Discuss.
Underline words or ideas that you feel are open to different interpretations. One approach you can take in an introduction is to pose questions that you then explore in the main body of your answer. What kind of questions could
you pose in this introduction?

Consider your opinion about the statement presented in the task. An introduction can include a sentence stating the writer’s position on the topic (but this is not essential). How could you state your position on this topic? Write an introduction to the topic.

THE CONCLUSION
Like the introduction, an answer that does not include a conclusion is also incomplete. Your conclusion is important because it summarises your views for the reader.
Roughly how long should the conclusion to an IELTS answer be? How should you indicate the start of the conclusion to your reader?

Your conclusion should summarise the key ideas that you wrote about and your views on these, resulting in a final verdict/decision/statement, if appropriate. You can also be impartial (i.e. take no side) or state that you have no conclusion to draw

Structures like these can be useful in a conclusion:

To sum up
Overall
In the final analysis

In conclusion
To conclude
Ultimately

Cite this IELTS academic and general writing

IELTS academic and general writing. (2016, Nov 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/ielts-academic-and-general-writing/

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