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CEVASIANS!

Writing Task 2
Opinion Essays
Other types of essays
• HOW TO DEVELOP A THESIS STATEMENT
• STRUCTURE
• MODEL ANSWER
Opinion Essays

1.Agree or Disagree

2.To what extent do you agree or disagree

3.Discuss both views and give your opinion

4.Outweighs the advantage and disadvantage


Other types of essays

• A. Problem and solution

• B. Advantages and disadvantages

• C. Two part questions


Self- Peer Guide Questions
Guide Questions YES NO

Criteria: Task Achievement

a. Did he/she complete the task?

b. Did he/she write enough words?

c. Did he/she complete the task on time?

d. Did he/she paraphrase the topic?

e. Did he/she write outline sentence?


Criteria: Coherence and Cohesion

a. Did he/she write a thesis statement? (if opinion is asked)

b. Did he/she write a topic sentence for each paragraph?

c. Did he/she write supporting details in each paragraph?

d. Did he/she write a conclusion?


Criteria: Lexical Resources

a. Did he/she use cohesive devices?


2-3 cohesive devices for each paragraph
b. Did he/she use a variety of vocabulary?

c. Did he/she use uncommon lexical term? 6 new vocabs

d. Did he/she commit spelling mistake?


1-2 slips (3 systematic errors)
e. Did he/she produce occasional errors in word choice?
Criteria: Grammatical Range and Accuracy

a. Did he/she use parallel structure?

a. Did he/she use a variety of sentence patterns?


(indicate the numbers of sentences used)
___ simple
___ compound
___ complex

a. Did he/she use correct punctuation mark?


WRITING TASK 2

UNDERSTANDING WRITING TASK 2

IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write an academic-style essay on a common topic. You have 40 minutes
to write at least 250 words.

Task 2 can be broken down and thought about more easily in 5 steps:

1. Question Analysis

2. Planning

3. Introduction

4. Main Body Paragraphs

5. Conclusion
WRITING TASK 2

Four main reasons why students fail:

1.Failure to take the time to actually read the question;

2.Writing about the topic generally and not answering the specific question;

3.Failing to recognize the kind of question being asked and

4.Misunderstanding the question.


WRITING TASK 2
How to analyse the question?

1.Identify the Topic Words


Each essay will be about a general topic and we must identify this first.

2.Identify Micro-Topic Words


These words define the question and tell you which particular part of the main topic the
question would like you to discuss and what the examiner is looking for. They often give an
opinion or qualify the statement in some way.

3.Identify Instruction Words


The next stage is looking to see what the examiner wants us to do. They could ask us to
give an opinion, or evaluate the advantages and disadvantages or present problems and
solutions.
WRITING TASK 2

PLANNING
One of the biggest fears students have is opening up the writing paper, looking at
task 2 and having no ideas. Idea generation in IELTS writing task 2 is something
students worry a lot about, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

1. Common Topic Familiarization

2. Brainstorming (least effective)

3. Mind Mapping

4. 5 Questions Method

5. Personal Opinion Method (most effective)


WRITING TASK 2

IELTS Writing Task 2 Introduction

The introduction is the first part of the essay the examiner will read and it will give them a good
first impression of what to expect in the rest of the essay. Just like in person, first impressions last.

Common Problems

1. Talking too generally about the topic.

2. Not including a thesis statement

3. Not outlining what you are going to do

4. Trying to write a ‘hook’ or be entertaining

5. Using an informal style


WRITING TASK 2

Structure of a Good Introduction

1.Paraphrase question
Paraphrasing means stating the question again, but with different words so that it has the same meaning.
We do this by using synonyms and flipping the order of the sentences around.

2.Thesis statement
This is the most important sentence in your essay. This is your main idea and I often describe it to
students as how you feel about the whole issue in one sentence. It tells the examiner that you have
understood the question and will lead to a clear and coherent essay.

3.Outline statement
Now that you have paraphrased the question and told the examiner what you think in your thesis
sentence, you are now going to tell the examiner what you will discuss in the main body paragraphs. In
other words, you will outline what the examiner will read in the rest of the essay. This should be one
sentence only.
WRITING TASK 2
Ways of Paraphrasing

1: Using Synonyms
Synonyms are different words that have the same meaning. This method simply replaces words with the
same meaning in order to produce a new sentence.

2: Change the Word Order


Changing the word order also allows us to effectively paraphrase a sentence, but again, we have to be
careful. Don’t change the word order without thinking about how this affects the grammar of the
sentence. By changing the word order you may have to add a word, subtract a word or change the form
of the word.

3: Change the Form of the Word


There are many different forms of words including nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Changing the
form of a word allows us to paraphrase effectively.

4: Change from Active to Passive


The passive voice is often used in academic writing and can therefore be used in the IELTS academic
writing test. Only verbs with an object can be turned into the passive.
WRITING TASK 2

THESIS STATEMENT

What is a thesis statement?


Thesis- An idea put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed or
analyzed.

A thesis statement is the most important sentence in your IELTS writing task 2
answer. It is contained in the introduction and each introduction should have one;
along with a paraphrase of the question and an outline statement.

A thesis statement is your main idea and described as how you feel about the whole
issue in one sentence. It tells the examiner that you have understood the question and
will lead to a clearer; more coherent essay.
WRITING TASK 2
CONCLUSION

The conclusion is the easiest paragraph to write because in many ways you are just
using ideas you have already mentioned in your introduction and main body
paragraphs. However, this is the last thing the examiner will read and it is therefore
crucial that you finish strongly.

IELTS Conclusion Quick Tips

1.Never write any new ideas in your conclusion.


2.Make sure you answer the question in the conclusion.
3.Vary your language.
4.Don’t try to include everything.
5.Always write one.
6.Two sentences are enough.
WRITING TASK 2

The five most common IELTS Writing Task 2 questions are:

1.Opinion (Agree or Disagree)

2.Advantages and Disadvantages

3.Problem and Solution

4.Discussion (Discuss both view)

5.Two-part Question
WRITING TASK 2

GENERAL ESSAY STRUCTURE


INTRODUCTION
1. Paraphrase Question
2. Thesis Statement
3. Stand/Opinion
4. Outline Sentence

BODY/SUPPORTING PARAGRAPH
1. Topic Sentence
2. Description/Explanation
3. Examples/Further Discussion
4. Summary of the Paragraph/ Counter Arguments

CONCLUSION
1. Restatement of the Thesis
2. Generalization of the Body
3. Reiteration of Stand or Opinion
WRITING TASK 2

THE FOUR MARKING CRITERIA

• Task response
• Coherence and cohesion
• Lexical resource
• Grammatical range and accuracy.
WRITING TASK 2
TASK ACHIEVEMENT
1. Are there enough words?
- There must be at least 250 words.
2. Does the essay address all parts of the task?
- A question may have from one to four parts. Each of them must be addressed as fully as possible.
- Consider the task “ Some people think that wild animals should not be kept in zoos. Others believe
that there are good reasons for having zoos. Discuss both these views and give your opinion”.
- An essay about this topic should cover three parts:
a. Reasons not to keep animals in zoo.
b. Advantages of zoos
c. Own opinion
- If a candidate forgets to cover one part out of three, they won’t get more than 5 for Task Response
3. Is writer’s position clear enough?
- A candidate can NOT change his or her opinion while writing the essay, otherwise, they won’t score
more than 6.
4. Are arguments and examples good enough?
- Some students use irrelevant examples or weak arguments, thus getting no more than 6.
WRITING TASK 2
COHERNCE AND COHESION
The examiner will check how well a candidate can organize his or her writing.

1.Is there a clear progression?


-Introduction
a.Paraphrase question
b.Thesis Statement
c.Stand

-Body (2-3 Main ideas)


a.Topic Sentence
b.Supporting details (Description/Explanation, Examples/Further Discussion)

-Conclusion
a.Restatement of thesis
b.Generalization of body
c.Opinion/Stand
WRITING TASK 2
COHERNCE AND COHESION

The examiner will check how well a candidate can organize his or her writing.

2.Is there a variety of cohesive devices?


-A candidate must use different cohesive markers: lexical sets, pronouns, conjunctions,
articles and possessive adjectives.
-It is important to use them wisely: over-use or under-use will lower the band.
-A candidate won’t score more than 6 with slight over-use or under-use and won’t get
more than 5 with a wrong choice or over-use.

3.Are paragraphs adequate?


-Paragraphs need to follow the approach “one idea-one paragraph.
-Paragraph should be logical and developed.
-They should be linked together, and internally linked.
WRITING TASK 2
LEXICAL RESOURCES
This criterion aims to check candidate’s vocabulary choice.
1.Does a candidate paraphrase the task?
-Some students repeat words from the task, which is wrong. They need to paraphrase: use synonyms
or other parts of speech.
-Variety of lexis is the key to get a higher band- a candidate needs a sufficient range of vocabulary to
score 7.
2.Is there less common vocabulary?
-Having a variety of less common vocabulary will help boost your IELTS score.
3.Are there mistakes in collocation or word choice?
-If a candidate makes only few collocation mistakes, they can still score 7 for lexical resource. If they
produce more errors, that will lower the mark to 6, or even 5.
4.Are all the words spelled and formed correctly?
-Examiners will analyze both the quantity and the quality of spelling mistakes. Are mistakes frequent?
Do they impede the reader’s understanding?
-If the errors do not distort the meaning, a candidate can still get 6. If examiners can’t understand what
was meant, a candidate will not score more than 5.
WRITING TASK 2
GRAMMATICAL RANGE ACCURACY
Here examiners check grammar knowledge.
1.Does a candidate use a variety of structures?
-A student can show good knowledge of grammar using not only simple sentences, but
different types of complex sentences (with relative pronouns that, who, because, where,
which, when, if, etc.)
-It maybe wise to use Passive Voice (but not over-use), conditional sentences, modals, couple
object, inversion, participial constructions

2.Are there many grammar mistakes?


-Same as with lexis, the quantity and the quality of grammar errors matter. An essay with a
few mistakes that do not affect understanding can still score 7 or 8. Frequent mistakes that
impede communication will lower the mark to 5 or less.
-Punctuation is a part of grammar, so student needs to revise it while preparing.
-Variety is of crucial importance, both of vocabulary and grammar structures.
Three basic steps:
1. Introduction – paraphrase the given topic + (thesis statement)/outline idea

2. Body – provide explanation/examples

3. Conclusion – paraphrase the introduction + prediction, suggestion or


recommendation (if relevant)
Developing a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement usually appears at the beginning of the introductory
paragraph of a paper, and it offers a concise summary of the main
point or claim of the essay.

A thesis statement is usually one sentence that appears at the


beginning, though it may occur more than once.
How long does it need to be?
• A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two
sentences.

• It should present the topic of your paper and also make a


comment about your position in relation to the topic.

• Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the


paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep
your argument focused.
Where is your thesis statement?
• You should provide a thesis early in your essay -- in the introduction,
in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of
direction.
• Tip: In order to write a successful thesis statement:
❖Avoid writing a great thesis statement in the middle of a paragraph
or late in the paper.
❖Be as clear and as specific as possible; avoid vague words.
❖Indicate the point of your paper but avoid sentence structures like,
“The point of my paper is… or This essay will discuss about… ”
Is your thesis statement specific?

• Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as


possible. It will evolve and gain definition as you obtain a
better sense of where your argument is taking you.

• Your thesis should be limited.


For example, look at this IELTS essay question:

As global trade increases, many goods including those


we use on a daily basis are produced in other countries
and transported long distances.

Do the benefits of this trend *outweigh the drawbacks?


Due to the increase in global trade, many of the goods
that we consume every day are made in a different country
and then transported over a long distance in order to reach
us. In my opinion, this trend has more disadvantages than
advantages.
Writing about Two Opinions
Some questions ask you specifically to discuss two opinions and
to give your opinion.

Some people think that young children should be allowed to


do paid work, while others think that this should be illegal.

Discuss both opinions and give your opinion.


Problems and solutions:

Overpopulation of urban areas has led to numerous problems.


Identify one or two serious ones and suggest ways that governments and
individuals can tackle these problems.

Sample thesis in bold:


Many countries of the world are currently experiencing problems caused by rapidly
growing populations in urban areas. Both governments and individuals have a duty
to find ways to overcome these problems.
• Causes and Effects:

The percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by


almost 20% in the last ten years.

Discuss the causes and effects of this disturbing trend.

Sample thesis in bold:


• Over the last ten years, Western societies have seen close to a 20% rise in the
number of children who are overweight. There are a lot of reasons why this has
occurred, so definitely the consequences of this worrying trend affects the
society.
• Advantages and Disadvantages:
In order to solve traffic problems, governments should tax private car owners
heavily and use the money to improve public transportation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a solution?

• Sample thesis in bold:


Traffic congestion in many cities around the world is severe. One possible solution to
this problem is to impose heavy taxes on car drivers and use this money to make
public transport better. Both its benefits and drawbacks are vital of such a
measure.
The best way to improve health is to do regular exercise.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

The most effective method to develop one’s wellness is considered to be


daily exercise. However, I also believe that proper diet together with
adequate sleep is important to achieve optimum health.
http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-sample-essay/
http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-advantage-disadvantage-model-essay/
Grammar and Vocabulary
GRAMMAR VOCABULARY

Use complex sentences. Use ‘less common’ words and phrases

Use variety of structures. Use a wide range of vocabulary

Most sentences must be ‘error free’. Use words and phrases accurately—
spelling, meaning, collocations and word
formation
VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR SOLUTION
Know all the grammatical rules

Never use a word or phrase until you know it 100%

It is better to write ‘simple’ word or phrase that is correct than a ‘complex’ word or
phrase that is wrong and you are not sure about
AGREE OR DISAGREE
• Introduction
Paraphrase question
Thesis statement
Outline sentence

• Main Body Paragraph 1


Topic sentence
Explain topic sentence
Example
Summary
• Main Body Paragraph 2
Topic sentence
Explain topic sentence
Example
Summary

• Conclusion
Summarize main ideas and
reiterate opinion
Example:
Having big salary is more important than job satisfaction.

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?


To what extent do you agree/
disagree
o One way statement
• Smokers have rights too, so they should be allowed to smoke in
public places.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

o Two way statement


• Government investment in the arts, such as music and theatre,
is a waste of money. Governments must invest this money in
public services instead.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this
statement?
To what extent do you agree/ disagree
• Introduction
Paraphrase question/ topic
Thesis statement

• Main Body Paragraph 1


Topic sentence
Explain topic sentence
Example
Summary
• Main Body Paragraph 2
Topic sentence
Explain topic sentence
Example
Summary

• Conclusion
Summary of main ideas
Example:
The government's investment in arts, music and theatre is
a waste of money. Governments should invest these funds
in public services instead.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?


Discuss both views and give your opinion
• Introduction
Provide a general view about the topic
Paraphrase question and/or state both view
points.

• Main Body Paragraph 1


State first viewpoint (TS)
Discuss first viewpoint (Explanation)
Example to support your view
Counter argument
• Main Body Paragraph 2
State second viewpoint
Discuss second viewpoint
Example to support your view
Counter argument

• Conclusion
Summarise main ideas and state opinion
Example:
Some people believe the aim of university education is to
help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are
much wider benefits of university education for both
individuals and society.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Outweighs the advantage and
disadvantage
Introduction
a. Paraphrase the question
b. Thesis Statement
c. Outline Sentence
Supporting Paragraph
• Main Body Paragraph 1
State 1st advantage
Expand/Explain advantage
Example
Result
• Main Body Paragraph 2
State 2nd advantage
Expand/Explain advantage
Example
Result
• Main Body Paragraph 3
State one disadvantage
Expand/Explain disadvantage
Example
Result

• Conclusion
Summarize man ideas and state opinion
Example

People now have the freedom to work and live


anywhere in the world due to the development of
communication technology and transportation.

Do the advantages of this development outweigh the


disadvantages?
Problem and solution
• Introduction
Paraphrase question
Outline main ideas

• Main Body Paragraph 1


State problem
Explain problem
Result
Example
• Main Body Paragraph 2
State solution
Explain solution
Example

• Conclusion
Summary of main ideas

Note: For CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS, simply


replace problem with causes.
Example

Global warming is one of the biggest threats humans face


in the 21st Century and sea levels are continuing to rise at
alarming rates.

What problems are associated with this and what are


some possible solutions.
Advantages and disadvantages 1
• Introduction
Paraphrase question
Outline main ideas

• Main Body Paragraph 1


State one advantage
Expand/Explain advantage
Example
Result
• Main Body Paragraph 2
State one disadvantage
Expand/Explain disadvantage
Example
Result

• Conclusion
Summary of main ideas
Example
In some countries, young people are encouraged to work
or travel for a year between finishing high school and
starting university studies.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young


people who decided to do this.
Advantages and disadvantages 2
• Introduction
Paraphrase question
Thesis Statement (your opinion)
Outline sentence
• Main Body Paragraph 1 (Advantages)
Topic
Explain
Example
• Main Body Paragraph 2 (Disadvantages)
Topic
Explain
Example
• Main Body Paragraph 3 (Opinion)
Explain opinion
Explain or give example
• Conclusion
Summary of main points
Example
Computers are becoming an essential part of education.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own


opinion.
Two part questions
• Introduction
Paraphrase question/ provide background
statement
Briefly answer both questions

• Main Body Paragraph 1


Answer first question directly
Explain why
Further explain
Example
• Main Body Paragraph 2
Answer second question directly
Explain why
Further explain
Example

• Conclusion
Summary of main ideas
Example
The United Nations recently celebrated its 70th
anniversary.

What benefits has it brought during this time?


Do you think the UN will last another 70 years?
The 7 steps …
1. Fully understand and analyze the question.

2. Think like an examiner.

3. Plan or make a draft about your essay.

4. Write an introduction.

5. Provide a well-developed main body paragraph.

6. Give a perfect conclusion.

7. Reduce vocabulary and grammar mistakes.


POWER
PLAN
ORGANIZ
WRITE
EVALUATE
REVISE
Success is often measured by wealth and
material belongings.

Do you think wealth is the best measure of


success? What makes a successful person?
“Everything should be made as simple
as possible but not simpler.”
- Albert Einstein