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.

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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.


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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
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