Category Archives: IELTS Writing Academic (all)

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 046

IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 46

All of the model answers on this site are guaranteed band 9

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Nowadays we are producing more and more rubbish.

Why do you think this is happening? What can the government do to help reduce the amount of rubbish produced?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Writing model answer 46There is no doubt that modern society creates more refuse per person than previously. This essay will first consider some of the influences that have caused this, then suggest some ways that the authorities can promote a reduction in this increase.

The main cause for the increased amount of waste produced is largely the result of excess packaging that is common in society today. A simple fast food meal has bags, wrappers and containers that are in use for just a few minutes before being discarded. There is also a rising trend towards disposable items which are designed to have a short life before being consigned to the dustbin. Common examples include razors, bottles and plastic bags.

Another major cause for the rise in refuse can also be linked to technology. Computers, tablet devices, mobile phones and more are considered old and obsolete, often within only a few years of use. These devices are often not recycled but are simply abandoned to lie in landfills.

It is perhaps with this second point that the government can be the most proactive. By encouraging recycling, either by better programmes of education or more available facilities, more of the material that would otherwise be dumped could be recycled and put back into use. There is also the possibility for local councils to charge more for refuse collection services, thus making adding a financial incentive for people to recycle more assiduously. Admittedly, this could lead to more illegal dumping as people attempt to avoid paying additional costs.

In summary, there are varied reasons as to why the amount of waste produced is increasing, but there are also avenues the government could consider in order to reduce this.

 

(283 words)

Writing good topic sentences for IELTS

Writing a good topic sentence for IELTS

To write in a clear and logical way, the first sentence of your paragraph should define what the rest of the paragraph will be discussing.

For example:

Tighter gun control or even the abolition of firearms would lead to a decrease in the number of deaths and injuries. This is because in many countries, access to this type of weapon is relatively easy, and this can cause incidents or accidents. For example, in the USA alone, accidental death from firearms accounts for over 1000 deaths per year.

Notice how the sentence in bold identifies what the paragraph relates to.

Here are some more topic sentences:

Paragraph A:

Writing good topic sentences for IELTSReality television could be facing a revolt. Every night there is at least one on the television, more often two or three. Subjects can range from seeing a group of people living in a house together, with cameras watching them 24 hours a day, to more exotic locations where people, even celebrities, live on a deserted island and are required to complete certain tasks. While there is clearly a market for this kind of entertainment, there are a growing number of people who have become bored with this genre of programming and are refusing to watch, preferring instead to view other channels or even pursue other interests.

Paragraph B:

Computer viruses are becoming increasingly aggressive. Despite installing protective software, these threats continue to evolve, becoming increasingly sophisticated and damaging. This is an irritation to the home computer user, but is of far greater concern when they affect computers in government offices and banks, for example. In fact, it has been rumoured that certain software companies actively recruit the people responsible, thus turning the creation and implementation of viruses into something akin to a job interview.

Paragraph C:

The belief that we now have longer holidays is not always true. Take, for example, people working in the service industry. They are often required to work through what is traditionally considered to be the holiday period, and in many service industries, Christmas is one of their busiest times. Then there are people from the business world, constantly connected to their work through the Internet and mobile phones. The reality of the situation is that government legislation and laws regarding contracts have given us the impression of having more free time without actually reducing our workload.

Paragraph D:

An increasing number of women do not have to sacrifice their career in order to have a family. This is in part the result of legislation in favour of working mothers, in which companies are required to provide maternity pay to employees in the last stages of pregnancy and early motherhood. Returning to work is also facilitated by many of the larger companies providing crèches for younger children, meaning the parent is no longer housebound. There is also a trend towards having children later in life, once a career has been firmly established, or even not having children at all, giving the opportunity to follow career choices instead. A minor, and not yet substantial enough, role is also played by househusbands, men who take the responsibility for child care whilst the mother pursues her career.

 

Now practice! Read the paragraphs below and think of a suitable topic sentence for each one.

TOPIC SENTENCE 
It provides an important release from the tensions of the workplace, allowing us an outlet for our energies in an increasingly hectic world. There is also the social aspect, as people often use their leisure time to interact with others in a society that is becoming arguably less sociable.

Show a possible topic sentence for the paragraph above

FREE TIME IS INCREASINGLY VITAL THESE DAYS


 

TOPIC SENTENCE 
Traditional foods with better nutritional values are often overlooked as being time consuming and laborious and are often rejected in favour of more convenient options. Another reason that could account for this is the financial factor: the cost of a McDonald’s meal can often be considerably cheaper than a balanced and well-prepared meal cooked at home.

Show a possible topic sentence for the paragraph above  THERE IS AN INCREASING DEPENDENCE ON ‘JUNK’ FOOD

TOPIC SENTENCE 
The clearest indication of this is the brevity of most e-mails. In a letter, we would never consider communicating with a single word or phrase, yet it is perfectly acceptable to do so using a computer. There is also the personal aspect: reliance on e-mail communication is undeniably distancing us from more direct contact, even the telephone. However, we cannot underestimate the convenience of e-mail, especially in situations which involve long-distance communication.

Show a possible topic sentence for the paragraph above EMAIL IS NOT AS EFFECTIVE A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION COMPARED TO MORE TRADITIONAL FORMS

 

Preparing a plan for Task 1

Preparing a plan for Task 1

NOTE: This post is for the Academic Module writing test

NOTE 2: Click here for a lesson preparing a plan for Task 2

As with any formal writing, it is important to prepare a plan before you start writing the final draft. This is especially true in the IELTS test when there is not enough time to rewrite your report if you want to make significant changes.

However, with only 20 minutes to complete Task 1, you need to be able to prepare a plan quickly. Take a look at the graph below. What steps would you take to prepare your plan?

The graph shows the most popular sports watched by different age groups in an
European city.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

task-1-graph

The 5-step process for preparing a plan for Task 1

Now let’s look at a 5 step process you can apply to all Task 1 reports (apart from processes, which require a different set of skills).

  • Step 1: Is there a time or date given that would affect which tense I should use?
  • Step 2: What are the topic words in the question
  • Step 3: What is the graph or table about?
  • Step 4: What is being measured on the bottom and left hand side (the axes)?
  • Step 5: Are there any general/notable trends?

Now let’s apply these 5 steps to the graph shown above

 

Step 1: Is there a time or date given that would affect which tense I should use?

No date is given, so you can use either the present tense or the past tense.

Step 2: What are the topic words in the question?

This graph focuses on the most popular sports  watched by different age groups in an average European city

Step 3: What is the graph or table about?

Percentage of different age ranges watching different sports

Step 4: What is being measured on the bottom and left hand side (the axes)?

There are a number of details to note here: Per cent / three age ranges / six sports / people measured in 1000s

Step 5: Are there any general/notable trends?

 

The 15-25 age category is always lowest (less than half for cricket and athletics). Soccer, tennis and cricket are most popular with the oldest age group. Soccer is the closest for all age ranges. No young people watch golf. The 26-40 age group have the least variation in numbers between sports.

 

Step 6: Considering what you noted in Steps 4 and 5, what’s the best paragraph organisation?

For this graph, you could organise your paragraphs by highest and lowest, by sport or by age group. However, looking at Step 5, the trends are mostly age related, so it would be logical to organise your paragraphs by age.


Given that you only have 20 minutes to prepare your plan, it’s a lot easier and quicker to summarise your plan to look more like this:

Tense? Present OR past tense
Topic words? most popular sports / watch / different age groups / average European city
About? Percentage of different age ranges watching different sports
Measured? Per cent / three age ranges / six sports / people measure in 1000s
Trends?
  • 15-25 category always lowest (less than half for cricket and athletics)
  • Soccer, tennis and cricket most popular with older age group
  • Soccer is the closest for all age ranges
  • No young people watch golf
  • 26-40 age group have the least variation in numbers between sports
Organisation? By age

 


Using the Task 1 plan you’ve prepared

Now work trhough the steps you created in the plan to build your essay. Use Step 1 throughout the essay. Combine Steps 2, 3 and 4 to write your introduction. Use Steps 5 and 6 to organise paragraphs.

Now read the complete report built using the 5 point plan:

The bar chart illustrates three popular sports in a typical city in Europe, presented as the type of sport, the number of spectators in attendance, and across different age categories.

A notable trend is that people aged between 15 and 25 ranked the lowest regardless of sport. In this age category, golf was not watched at all, and the number of athletics and cricket spectators were less than half of both other age groups.

The middle age group had the least variation between spectator numbers, with soccer being the highest at approximately 32,000 spectators and athletics the lowest at 24,000. This age range accounted for the highest number of viewers for both rugby and athletics.

Those people aged 41 or over accounted for the highest number of spectators of most sports, particularly golf and cricket with over one third more people watching than the second highest age range.

Of all the sports, cricket and golf showed the widest disparity between the age groups, with soccer being the sport that drew the most even numbers of spectators.

(178 words)

Task 2 IELTS writing – the basics Page 3

Task 2 IELTS writing – the basics Page 3

Before starting this lesson, make sure you’ve seen page 1 and page 2.

In the final page in this lesson, we will look at what might be the MOST important point regarding Task 2 writing – the 4 different types of Task 2, and the style you should use depending on which type it is.

Video 3 of 3

Narration:
Now let’s look at some examples of the four different types of Task II essays you may have to write about. The most common type of Task II requires you to give an opinion or challenge a point of view. Here is an example. The same question type could also be presented like this. You could also be given a question like this. The basic point of these questions is that you are presented with a situation or a statement that you have to give opinions about. The second type for Task II essay is when you are asked to compare points of view. Here is an example. Notice how the instructions tell us to discuss both the advantages and the disadvantages, then give an opinion. In this example, we are told to argue both opinions and give your view.

The way in which we approach essays that ask us to compare is slightly different to the type that asks us to give an opinion or challenge a point of view, as will be discussed later in the course. The final two types of Task II essay are the least common: we may be asked to give solutions to a problem or discuss a given situation; for instance, talking about benefits, causes or reasons. Here is an example of solutions essay. Here are examples of essays which require you to discuss a given situation. Knowing which type of essay you are writing about is important because it affects the way you plan and present your ideas. We will look at this in more detail later in the course, but on the next page you will see a list of common task words for the different essay types. You can often identify which type of Task II you are writing about from the task words themselves.


Here are some common task words that you might see for each Task 2 type:

Give an opinion / challenge a point of view

Do you agree or disagree?
Do you think…?
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
Is this positive or negative?
What is your opinion?

Compare points of view

Discuss both views and give your opinion.
Consider both sides and give your view.
Argue both views and give your opinion.
Discuss the two points and give your opinion.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
Discuss the two situations and give your view.

Give solutions to a problem

What measures should be taken…?
What can be done about this?
What is the solution to this?
In your opinion what are the solutions?
How can the situation be improved?

Discuss a given situation

What problems does this cause?
What are the advantages of….?
In your opinion what are the problems associated with this?
What are the disadvantages of….?
What benefits does this bring?
What factors contribute to…?

Now practice!

Look at the Task 2 title below and select the question type you think it is.

A lot of people do business internationally. Therefore we should abolish passports to make it easier to travel. Do you agree or disagree?

Give an opinion / challenge a point of view
Compare points of view
Give solutions to a problem
Discuss a given situation

Show the answer
The correct answer is give an opinion / challenge a point of view.

There is a rising rate of obesity among children in developed countries. What can be done about this?

Give an opinion / challenge a point of view
Compare points of view
Give solutions to a problem
Discuss a given situation

Show the answer
The correct answer is give solutions to a problem.

The internet now allows fast access to a huge range of information. Do you think that libraries are still important?

Give an opinion / challenge a point of view
Compare points of view
Give solutions to a problem
Discuss a given situation

Show the answer
The correct answer is give an opinion / challenge a point of view.

Some people believe that the government should support the arts. Others believe that the money would be better spent on basic services such as healthcare. Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.

Give an opinion / challenge a point of view
Compare points of view
Give solutions to a problem
Discuss a given situation

Show the answer
The correct answer is compare points of view.

The rate of childhood obesity is rising in many developed countries. Why do you think this is?

Give an opinion / challenge a point of view
Compare points of view
Give solutions to a problem
Discuss a given situation

Show the answer
The correct answer is discuss a given situation.

We hope this lesson has helped – if it has, please share our page using the buttons below – thanks!

Task 2 IELTS writing – the basics Page 2

Task 2 IELTS writing – the basics Page 2

Before starting this lesson, make sure you’ve seen page 1.

On the previous page, you answered some questions about Task 2. On this page, we will look at the marking criteria – that is, what the examiner is looking for when assessing your Task 2 essay.

Video 2 of 3

Narration:
The examiner is looking for your essay to demonstrate 4 different aspects in order to get a good result: task response (have you completed the task?), cohesion and coherence (does your answer make sense?), lexical resource (have you used academic vocabulary?) and grammatical range and accuracy (is your grammar correct and have you shown a number of different structures?).

First is whether you have completed the requirements of the Task. That is, have you ( written at least 250 words but not more than about 270? Also in this section, the examiner will be looking to see if you have presented a clear point of view, and also that you have supported your opinions.

The second area the examiner will be looking at is whether what you have written actually makes sense. This means that when you plan and write your essay, you must have a logical presentation with ideas that are linked together. You should also have a clear sentence and paragraph structure.

For lexical resource, you are being judged on whether the vocabulary you use is accurate and academic. You should avoid repeating vocabulary – especially using words taken from the question title.

The final area you are being marked on is your grammar – again, you should use an academic level of grammar and avoid repeating grammar structures. In this IELTS writing course, you will have plenty of practice in order to improve your skills in all of these areas.


Now look at the points below and decide which of the 4 writing criteria each one relates to.

If you repeat words, especially from the question, you will lose marks under…
Lexical resource
Cohesion and coherence
Task response
Grammatical range and accuracy

Show the answer
The correct answer is Lexical resource

You need to show the examiner that you can express yourself using a range of sentence structures and will gain marks under…
Lexical resource
Cohesion and coherence
Task response
Grammatical range and accuracy

Show the answer
The correct answer is Grammatical range and accuracy

If you write less that 250 words, you will lose marks under…
Lexical resource
Cohesion and coherence
Task response
Grammatical range and accuracy

Show the answer
The correct answer is Task response.

You need to express your arguments and ideas clearly to gain marks under…
Lexical resource
Cohesion and coherence
Task response
Grammatical range and accuracy

Show the answer
The correct answer is Cohesion and coherence.

Task 2 IELTS writing – the basics

Task 2 IELTS writing – the basics

Before you begin this lesson, you will need to know the meaning of the words below as they are part of the lesson.

POINT OF VIEW: (noun phrase) An opinion . Example: ‘It can sometimes be difficult to understand other peoples’ points of view.’

CHALLENGE: (verb) To argue against an opinion. Example: ‘In IELTS writing, you may need to challenge an opinion by giving a different point of view’.

(noun) A difficult situation. Example: ‘Studying in a second language can be a challenge for many students’.

PROVIDE: (verb) To give or offer. Example: ‘IELTS students need to provide evidence and examples to support their opinions.’

COHESION: (noun) Joining ideas together. Example: ‘A good essay will be easy to understand because of its cohesion’

COHERENCE: (noun) Able to be understood. Example: ‘An essay needs to show coherence; that is, a logical flow of ideas’.

INSTRUCTIONS: (noun) What you have to do. For example: His instructions were to deliver the package to Mr Jones.

DEMONSTRATE: (verb) To show. Example: ‘It is important to demonstrate a range of accurate grammar in your IELTS essay’.

STRUCTURE: (noun) The way in which parts are arranged or put together. Example: ‘A good essay should have a clear structure’.

(verb) To arrange something into clear parts or order. Example: ‘It is important to structure your answer clearly in the IELTS test’.

LEXICAL: (adjective) Talking about vocabulary (words). For example: ‘He has a good lexical ability – he knows a lot of words’


How much do you know already?

Before watching the video below, see what you know about writing a Task 2 essay.

Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE?

You should write the title of the essay at the top of your answer sheet.

Click here for the answer.

This is false. There is no need to write the question again. It does not count towards your 250 words and you do not have time to waste.

You do not have time to plan your essay.


Click here for the answer.

This is false. With practice, you will have time to plan before you write. If you start writing without a clear plan you can find that your essay is not logically and clearly presented.

You should write your plan on the question sheet, not the answer sheet.


Click here for the answer.

This is true. The examiner will not mark your plan (although it helps you to write a better essay). It also does not count towards the 250 words. By writing it on the question paper you do not have to keep it tidy and your essay is presented more clearly for your examiner to read.

You can request extra paper to write on if you need to.

Click here for the answer.

This is true. In the examination room, if you find you need extra paper to write on then simply raise your hand.

There are two choices for each Task 2 essay.

Click here for the answer.

This is false. You are only given one Task 2 and one Task 2. You have no choice and have to write on whatever topic you are given.

Articles (a/an/the) do not count towards the word limit.

Click here for the answer.

This is false. All words written in your essay are included in the word count, unless they are copied directly from the question title.

Video 1 of 3

Narration:

There are two sections to the IELTS writing test – Task 1 and Task 2. Each comes with a different set of instructions, telling you how you should complete the Task. IN Task 2 you are given four different instructions as well as the essay title.

The first instruction is that You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. The writing test takes one hour in total – 20 minutes for Task 1 and 40 minutes for Task 2. This is because Task 2 is more heavily weighted – meaning that Task 2 is worth more to your final result than Task 1.

The second instruction is that you should Write about the following topic. After this, of course, comes your essay title.

The third instruction is that you should Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples or evidence from your own knowledge and experience. This means that you whatever comments or opinions you put in your essays, they must be supported with examples.

The final instruction is You should write a least 250 words. This is very important as writing fewer than 250 words is a certain way to lose points.


Now you’ve watched the video, answer the questions below.

Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE?

You should spend about 40 minutes on Task 2.

Click here for the answer.

This is true. The IELTS writing test takes one hour for Task 1 and Task 2. You should spend about 20 minutes on Task 1 and about 40 minutes on Task 2.

Task 2 is worth more points than Task 1.

Click here for the answer.

This is true. Task 2 is two thirds of your final result; Task 1 is only one third.

In Task 2, you are giving information. You will not be expected to give and support opinions.

Click here for the answer.

This is false. Task 1 essays ask you to transfer information. Task 2 essays ask for opinion, as well as evidence & examples to support your points.

You should write up to 250 words.

Click here for the answer.

This is false. It’s a little bit of a trick question – the statement says ‘up to 250 words’, whereas the correct statement should read ‘at least 250 words’.

You have to start the writing test by completing Task 1.

Click here for the answer.

This is false. Because Task 2 is worth more points, it’s actually better to start with this task and then finish with Task 1. If you run out of time, you lose fewer points!

Common errors in IELTS writing – ‘government’

Common errors in IELTS writing – ‘government’

Using the correct words in your IELTS test can make the difference between succeeding and having to resit the test, so make sure you’ve got the right word or phrase!

In this post, we will look at the use of the word ‘government’. To begin, look at the three sentences below. Are they used correctly or not? Consider the grammar, punctuation and syntax (sentence order).

 

1. The Government should be responsible for providing free education to all citizens.

Show answer  This is not correct – when used in the middle of the sentence, there is no need for the word ‘government’ to have a capital letter.

2. Many people believe it is a government’s responsibility to provide a good standard of healthcare.

Show answer  This is not correct. Although the sentence may be talking in general, it is more natural to use ‘the government’.

3. Governments should be held responsible for periods of economic recession.

Show answer  This is not correct. Again, this would be more common as ‘the government’, even when referring about more than one government.

4. The government legislation should be put in place to ensure that all criminals are sent to prison.

Show answer  This is not correct. The use of ‘the’ here means that you are referring to specific legislation, but this legislation is not clearly given, so it should be simply ‘Government legislation…’

5. In addition to government’s laws, citizens should also feel morally obliged to keep their country clean.

Show answer  This is not correct and is a lot trickier to explain. This could have been expressed as ‘In addition to government laws, citizens…’ OR ‘In addition to the government’s laws, citizens…’

6. It would be more effective if the government enforced the laws equally, regardless of wealth or status.

Show answer  This is correct.

7. For instance, the government of Singapore has passed a law that each citizen should separate their waste and dispose of it in either a recycled or non-recycled trash bin.

Show answer  This is correct

8. It is therefore very clear that government should enforce strict legislation and raise public awareness against deforestation.

Show answer  This should either be plural (governments) or ‘the government’.

9. Without funding, cultural art centres would have to rely heavily on the government.

Show answer  This is correct.

10. It would be a better form of the government if people were allowed to make more choices for themselves.

Show answer  This is not correct. In this sentence, ‘government’ has been used not with the meaning of a particular group of people making decisions for the country, but general direction, control and decision making (as in ‘The school should be allowed to govern itself’).

11. It is the responsibility of the governments to collect taxes.

Show answer  This is not correct. The writer is referring to all governments around the world, but this should be expressed as ‘It is the responsibility of governments to collect taxes’. OR  ‘It is the responsibility of the government to collect taxes.’

 

 

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 033

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 33

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graphs below show three exports from South East Asia and the four sources of revenue for 1970 and 1995.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.


The three graphs present changes in exports and revenue in South East Asia from 1970 to 1995.

The line graph shows three different exports, namely manufactured products, timber and other raw materials. From 1970 to 1975, these three exports rose, with timber increasing most dramatically by $20 million US dollars. From 1975, both timber and other raw materials declined as exports fell from nearly one-third of all revenue to slightly more than one-tenth, a change which is also reflected in the pie charts.

Throughout the period presented, the largest increase in exports was from manufactured products and there was a significant increase in tourism, as the 1975 figure had doubled by 1995. However, this was accompanied by a decline of over one-third in domestic revenue. The remaining named source of income, classed as only a slight of 2% over the same period.

Overall, it can be observed that while timber and raw material exports fell, revenue from tourism markedly increased.

(154 words)

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 032

IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing model answer 32

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graph shows typical levels in enthusiasm, confidence and ability of students attending a ten-week IELTS course.

Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.


The line graph shows the changes three factors affecting students over a ten-week period in an IELTS class.

The most striking point is that at the beginning of the course, students’ enthusiasm is almost 100 per cent, whereas confidence and ability are only slightly above 20 per cent. Over the first four weeks, both confidence and ability increase, while enthusiasm declines steadily and continues to do so at a slightly lower rate until the sixth week.

Confidence takes a sharp fall but then rises again until week 8, while ability continues to climb. Between weeks 7 and 8, enthusiasm overtakes ability at about 70 percent, finishing on approximately 85 per cent by the end of week 10. Confidence, however, continues to decline from week 8 ending at slightly less than 10 per cent higher than the level in week 1

Overall, confidence and enthusiasm are within 20 per cent of their week 1 level by the end of the 10 weeks, whereas ability increases throughout.

(154 words)

Previous comments:

    i realize the writer do not make an introduction he/she just start to make the comparaison

    Ieltsforfree says:

    There is a concise introduction here: The line graph shows the changes three factors affecting students over a ten-week period in an IELTS class. 🙂

    Loren Kaye says:

    i dont understand the last paragraph, or am i just already too tired reading..(it’s 4:30am)

    Ieltsforfree says:

    That’s a long night of study! The last section simply means that despite some increases, confidence and enthusiasm end up as only 20% higher or less than the first week, whereas ability does not decline – it keep rising. Hope that helps!

6 common errors when writing an introduction to IELTS Task 2

When writing an introduction to your Task 2 essay, there are a number of points you need to include (take a look at this page). On this page, we will focus on 6 of the most common errors we see that cost candidates points when writing their introduction.

For this lesson, we will use the following question:

‘As people are using the internet more, there is less need for libraries, so libraries should be closed. Do you agree or disagree?’

Error number 1 – duplication

Candidate’s answer:

Because people are using the internet more, it can be argued that there is less need for libraries and as a result they should be closed, as will now be discussed.

This is not a good introduction to Task 2 the candidate has used too many words from the question – people are using the internet more / there is less need for libraries / so libraries should be closed. Copying the words from the title with only minimal changes does not illustrate your abilities to the examiner, and there is a risk that this will simply deducted from your total word count.

Error number 2 – incomplete summary

Candidate’s answer:

There is a school of thought which argues that libraries are no longer needed and as a result should not remain in operation, although not all people agree. This situation will now be discussed.

What the candidate has written is good. There is not too much in the way of copying and the candidate has used parallel expressions where possible. However, there is no reference to the closure of libraries being the result of more people using the internet, so the introduction has not captured all elements of the question and is therefore incomplete.

Error number 3 – relevance

Candidate’s answer:

Libraries have been commonly used in the majority of countries around the world for hundreds of years, and most towns and even some villages have them. They are used by a wide range of people from students to retired people who are looking for books or resources either to read for entertainment or education. 

There is no focus on the question here, and the information given is only partly related to the topic and would be considered irrelevant. A reference to library users may fit at some point in the body of the essay, but the purpose of the introduction is to show the examiner that you have understood the question and will present a clear and relevant answer.

Error number 4 – personalisation

Candidate’s answer:

I think that despite the information that can be accessed via the internet, there is a still a need for libraries as they offer information from a range of sources which are often more reliable than a basic website. I will now presented my point of view in greater detail.

The general direction of this introduction is good, but the candidate has used personal pronouns (I and my) which are not suited to the formal writing style expected in Task 2. Using the passive to restructure the sentence would have produced a better result.

Error number 5 – unsupported statements

Candidate’s answer:

No, they should not be closed. Libraries are a valuable source of information but also offer additional benefits such as a social aspect, where people can meet. In these days of technology, it is important that a human element is retained as will now be discussed.

Apart from the first 6 words, this is a good introduction. The problem is making a direct statement at the very beginning of the essay which assumes the reader has read the question title. The candidate’s first response (‘No, they should not be closed.’) would be perfectly acceptable in a speaking assessment, but not writing. Always assume that the person reading your essay has not read the question title, so you need to clarify the argument in your introduction.

Error number 6 – no direction

Candidate’s answer:

There is an argument that libraries are no longer required as the wide accessibility of the internet has made them redundant. 

This is a good start, but the candidate has not indicated the direction that the essay will take. Will both sides of the argument be considered? Is the writer in favour of closing libraries or not? Is technology going to replace libraries? Although the candidate has addressed the question, the introduction gives the examiner no idea of what to expect next, so would not be considered very coherent.