In the IELTS General Writing, there are two tasks one of which is to be allotted twenty minutes and the other forty minutes. The first task is a letter and the second is an essay task which is to be written in about 250 words. Take care that you don’t write less than 250 words, as this will be penalized. However, you may write more than 250 words up to a maximum of 300. The second task carries more weightage and also takes longer and is in the form of a description of an opinion, argument or some social problem.
It is important that your essay has structure in the form of an introduction, body and a conclusion. This means that your essay should have at least four paragraphs in it. If the given essay topic is in the form of an argument then you need to explain both sides of the argument and then state clearly which side you are on in the introduction itself. If the question is in the form of an opinion then you need to state another opposing opinion and also say which of the opinions you agree with and also give reasons and examples as to why you support it.
A third type of question in the IELTS general writing test, will deal with a problem and here you need to explain the problem, discuss and analyze all aspects of it and then provide your own solution to with based on some relevant reasoning and examples. The main idea of the argument must be presented in the first few introductory lines. Since task two of the IELTS General writing carries more marks than the task 1, it would be a good idea to write the second task first and the first one next. But do make sure that you write the answer in the allotted area in the answer sheet. You can jot down your ideas on the question sheet.
The best way of practicing for task 2 of the IELTS General Writing is to read newspaper editorials and magazine articles, so that you are aware of the current topics in the world. You will be able to develop ideas clearly in this manner. In the introduction, you should clearly make your stand regarding the topic and let the examiner know whether you agree or disagree with the topic. The next paragraph must deal with examples to support your stand. You can then give the contrary viewpoint and also state you don’t agree with it by giving relevant examples. Finally, you should conclude restating your stand. If there is time, do make sure that you check your essay for spelling mistakes and any other grammatical construction and so on.
The assessment for the task 2 of the IELTS general writing is done based on whether the response is well related to the focus of the question. Next, coherence and cohesion is noted. Finally the grammar, vocabulary and sentence construction is also accorded marks.
One of the problems the student faces in completing IELTS general writing is the time factor. The student finds it very difficult to finish the paper in the allotted time, hence it is very important to practice in order to improve you speed. You may need to use some important expressions which are generally useful for all essays. You can use – It may indeed by true to say that (fill in with whatever is given in the statement) but (then present your views on the subject). Another way of differing in your opinion would be to say – It may indeed by the case that (write the given statement in your own words) but this subject requires further analyses. Such introductions can be practiced to improve your writing skills for the IELTS general writing.