Ielts writing Task 2 Essay Structures



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IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Structures

The four most common IELTS writing Task 2 questions are:



  1. Opinion

  2. Advantages and Disadvantages

  3. Problem and Solution

  4. Discussion

Below I will outline examples and a structure approved by experienced IELTS teachers and examiners for each type of question. This will help you write a clear, coherent answer and hopefully boost your IELTS band score.

I will also include an example answer for each type of question.

The four structures are also available to be downloaded here.



Opinion Questions (Agree or Disagree) 



Typical Question Words

What is your opinion?

Do you agree or disagree?

To what extent do you agree or disagree?



Example Question

Computers are being used more and more in education and so there will soon be no role for the teacher in education.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Structure 

Introduction 

Sentence 1- Paraphrase Question

Sentence 2- Thesis Statement (It is agreed/It is disagreed…)

Sentence 3- Outline Sentence (This essay will discuss….)

Link- How to write an effective introduction.

Main Body Paragraph 1 

Sentence 1- Topic Sentence

Sentence 2- Explain Topic Sentence

Sentence 3- Example

Sentence 4- Concession

Main Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1- Topic Sentence

Sentence 2- Explain Topic Sentence

Sentence 3- Example

Sentence 4- Concession

Conclusion 

Sentence 1- Summary

Sentence 2- Recommendation or Prediction

Example

It is argued that IT is playing an ever increasing role in schools and universities and one day teachers will be obsolete. It is disagreed that technology will one day replace educators. This essay will discuss, firstly the limitations of technology in education and secondly, the essential role teachers play in maintaining discipline in the classroom, followed by a reasoned conclusion.

Technology may be able to help students with some things but it has many limitations. I.T. can not educate people as effectively as real human beings because computers can not detect things such as context, emotions and how an individual learns. A prime example is language learning, in which teachers need to explain not only individual words but how these words work in different situations. However, there may come a time in the very distant future when computers are able to carry out these tasks.

Computers are also unable to ensure good classroom management. A computer may be able to provide a student with lots of information, but it will not be able to motivate or discipline students when they display unacceptable behaviour. For instance, unruly students could simply switch the device off and do nothing for the rest of the class. Nevertheless, this may not be a problem for highly motivated adult students.



In conclusion, it is not likely that electronic devices will replace teachers in the future because of current limitations in technology and the requirement for teachers to maintain good behaviour in the the classroom. It is predicted that computers will play an ever increasing role in the classroom but will never fully replace humans.



Advantages and Disadvantages Questions 

Typical Question Words 

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own opinion.

Example Question

Computers are being used more and more in education.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own opinion.

Introduction 

Sentence 1- Paraphrase Question

Sentence 2- Outline Sentence

Main Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1- State One Advantage

Sentence 2- Expand/Explain Advantage

Sentence 3- Example

Sentence 4- Result

Main Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1- State One Disadvantage

Sentence 2- Expand/Explain Advantage

Sentence 3- Example

Sentence 4- Result

Conclusion 

Sentence 1- Summary

Sentence 2- Opinion

Example 

It is argued that technology is playing an every increasing role in schools and universities. This essay will firstly, discuss student freedom as one of the main advantages of this and secondly, outline decreasing levels of face to face contact as one of the main disadvantages, followed by a reasoned conclusion.

One of the principle advantages of an increase in the use electronic devices in education is the autonomy it provides students. Students have the freedom to focus on whatever topic or subject they want and study it in depth through the internet. A prime example of this is the amount of online university courses available to students, covering a myriad of subjects, that up until recently were unavailable to most learners. This has resulted in more people studying third level degrees than ever before, at a pace and schedule that suits them.

The main disadvantage associated with increasing use of technology in education is the decrease in face to face interaction between students. Students spend more time looking at computer screens by themselves than interacting with each other. For instance, the recent explosion in smart phone use has been at the expense of genuine human interaction. This results in soft skills, such as verbal communication and empathy, being effected.



In conclusion, the benefits technology brings to education, such as student autonomy, must be weighed against the drawbacks, such as negative effects on human interaction. Overall, the educational benefits outweigh the disadvantages because human beings will always want human contact and most people will not solely use IT for education.



Two Views and Opinion Question (Discussion Essay)  

Typical Question Words 

Discuss both points of view and give your opinion.



Example Question 

Computers are being used more and more in education. Some people say that this is a positive trend, while others argue that it is leading to negative consequences.

Discuss both sides of this argument and then give your own opinion.

Introduction 

Sentence 1- Paraphrase Question and/or state both view points.

Sentence 2- Thesis Statement

Sentence 3- Outline Sentence



Main Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1- State first viewpoint

Sentence 2- Discuss first viewpoint

Sentence 3- Reason why you agree or disagree with viewpoint

Sentence 4- Example to support your view

Main Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1- State second viewpoint

Sentence 2- Discuss second viewpoint

Sentence 3- Reason why you agree or disagree with viewpoint

Sentence 4- Example to support your view

Conclusion 

Sentence 1- Summary

Sentence 2- State which one is better or more important

Example

There is an ever increasing use of technology, such as tablets and laptops, in the classroom. It is often argued that this is a positive development, whilst others disagree and think it will lead to adverse ramifications. It is agreed that an increase in technology is beneficial to students and teachers. This essay will discuss both points of view before coming to a reasoned conclusion.

It is clear that the internet has provided students with access to more information than ever before. Moreover, learners have the ability to research and learn about any subject at the touch of a button. It is therefore agreed that technology is a very worthwhile tool for education. Wikipedia is a prime example, where students can simply type in any keyword and gain access to in-depth knowledge quickly and easily.

However, many disagree and feel that technology deprives people of real human interaction. Human interaction teaches people valuable skills such as discourse, debate and empathy. Despite this, human interaction is still possible through the internet and this essay disagrees technology should be dismissed for this reason. For instance, Skype and Facebook make it possible for people to interact in ways that were never before possible.



While the benefits of technology, particularly the internet, allow students to tap in to limitless sources of information, some still feel that people should be wary of this new phenomena and not allow it to curb face to face interaction. However, as long as we are careful to keep in mind the importance of human interaction in education, the educational benefits are clearly positive.



Problem and Solution Questions

Typical Question Words 

Problem and solution.

Cause and solution.

Example Question 

Students are becoming more and more reliant on computers.

What are some of the problems associated with reliance on computers, and what are some of the possible solutions?

Introduction 

Sentence 1- Paraphrase Question

Sentence 2- Outline Sentence

Main Body Paragraph 1

Sentence 1- State Problem

Sentence 2- Explain problem

Sentence 3- Result

Sentence 4- Example

Main Body Paragraph 2

Sentence 1- State Solution

Sentence 2- Explain Solution

Sentence 3- Example



Conclusion 

Sentence 1- Summary

Sentence 2- Recommendation or Prediction

Example

Learners are becoming ever more dependent on technology, such as the internet and mobile devices. This essay will discuss one of the main problems associated with dependence on computers and suggest a viable solution, before coming to a reasoned conclusion.

The principal problem with over reliance on technology, such as tablets and computers, is plagiarism. Students often use search engines to answer a question and simply copy the text from a website, rather than thinking about the question. This practice is not only prohibited in schools and universities, but also stunts a student’s intellectual development. For example, many teachers complain that students copy web pages straight from Wikipedia word for word rather than giving a reasoned answer to their questions.

A solution to this worrying problem is asking students to email their answers to teachers and teachers using anti-plagiarism software to detect copying. Moreover, students would be made aware of this practice and this would inspire them to answer questions using their own words, rather than someone else’s. For instance, many universities already use this kind software to scan course work for plagiarism and it could be extended to include all homework, by learners in both secondary and tertiary education.



In summary, one of the main problems with over-use of technology in education is plagiarism and this can be solved through the use of plagiarism detection software. It is predicted that more and more students’ will email their work to their teacher and this work will be scrutinised for plagiarism.

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