IELTS Writing Task 2: 7 steps towards a band 7
For many of you, achieving that magic number in your IELTS Writing test can be a big challenge. Sometimes, all you need is a mentor who can guide you on how to approach the test. Here are 7 important steps that will help you achieve a band 7 in Writing. When you follow these simple guidelines, you can be sure that your writing skills are going to improve.
If you are a visual learner, jump to the bottom of the page for an equally informative video on 7 steps towards a band 7 in Writing Task 2.
Step 1: Answer all parts of the question
IELTS Task 2 requires you to write an essay in response to a statement, or premise. You must read the question carefully so that all parts are answered. For example, in the question below, you must do 3 things to achieve a higher band, showing the examiner that you are addressing all parts of the task.
- Present one view
- Present the other view
- Present your opinion
Present one view and then the other view, and then present your opinion.
Wild animals are kept in zoos all over world. At present, zoos are a tourist attraction in many countries and need wild animals to attract vistors. I beleve that wild creatures should not be kept in zoos and there should be alternative ways to see them.
There are many good reasons for having zoos in our cities. Most importantly, they attract tourists and make money for city. Visitors get chance to see wild animals that they would not see unless they travelled far away. Rare species, like Chinese panda, or Indian tiger, or African rhino for example, are endangered and if we had no zoos they would die. Zoos care for these aminals and give us chance to see them. Therefore, we cannot underestimate teh educational importance of zoos.
However, many people feel that wild animals should be free. They should not be kept in cages and small areas in zoo. This is cruel for animal and they often die because they is not in natural habitat. We frequently see news story about rare animals dying in zoos or getting sick because area is not big enough or suitable for wild animals like lions or polar bears. Also, these animals are unhappy and sometimes attack humans. Caging wild animals is unhealthy for the animals and is cruel.
Both views put forward valid points, however, I strongly believe that zoos are no place for wild animals. If animals need to be cared for, they should be looked after in theier natural habitat in game parks or wildlife reserves. Goverments should look after the precious wild animals at their country and should close down zoos that profit from them.
In conclusion, although people believe that zoos are good places to keep wild animals because they can earn money and educate people, I feel that we do not need zoos anymore. We can look at wild animals on the internet and we can feel happy knowing that they are free.
Step 2: Present a clear position
Although you are presenting different points of views in your essay, you must present a clear position. This simply means you must let the examiner know what you think about the question. Your position must be clear for the complete essay. Don’t change your mind in the conclusion.
- Both views put forward valid points, however, I strongly believe...
- However, many people feel that...
- I believe that wild creatures should not be kept in zoos...
Step 3: Structure your essay
Essay writing need not necessarily be a difficult achievement. Present your ideas in a structured manner using paragraphs to present and develop each idea. Make use of the following points to help you structure your essay.
- Show the reader where to start with an introduction paragraph.
- Present ideas that are important and then, elaborate further.
- Conclude the essay with your opinion on the question.
- Develop a clear idea within each paragraph.
- Make it easy for the examiner by leaving a space between each paragraph.
Step 4: Use linking devices
Linking devices or transition words are connecting words and phrases that make your answer cohesive. It is the glue that sticks your sentences and ideas together. The below table shows some linkers that are frequently used in essays.
On one hand
On the other hand
As a result
Step 5: Use a range of vocabulary
Writing is a means of communicating your thoughts and ideas to the reader. Therefore, make use of vocabulary that is easy to understand. Also, only use words that you can easily spell. Use words that go naturally together – collocation, and include idiomatic language/phrasal verbs in your essay. This proves to the examiner that you can use a range of vocabulary. And finally, check for spelling errors and typos after you complete your writing task.
Examples of collocation:
- Tourist attraction
- Alternate ways
- Rare species
- Natural habitat
Examples of idiomatic language and phrasal verbs:
- To be cared for
- Close down
- Make money
- Chance to see
- Looked after
Step 6: Use a range of grammatical structures accurately
When you are aiming for a band 7, you need to master both simple and complex sentences. And remember that you must produce frequent error-free sentences as well. So, how do you think you can achieve that? Yes, with practice. Try out sample test papers and analyse the mistakes you usually make. When you keep practicing different sentence structures, we are sure you are going to improve writing an essay on any given topic.
Examples of grammatical structures
Most importantly, they attract tourists and make money for (the) city; Visitors get (a) chance
because they is (are) not in natural
wild animals at (in) their country
We frequently see news story (stories)
Most importantly, they attract tourists and make money for the city.
Step 7: Check your essay thoroughly
Even after you produce a perfect essay, you may make careless spelling and grammatical mistakes. These can easily be eliminated if you check your essay thoroughly. Ask yourself the following questions once you complete your writing task.
- Did I answer all parts?
- Did I use paragraphs?
- Did I use linkers?
- Did I use punctuation?
- Did I check my work?
- Is my spelling correct and did I use a range of vocabulary?
- Did I use complex sentence structures?
When you can answer to these questions positively, you are surely on your way to a band 7 score!