How to Structure Your IELTS Task 2 Essay

Engaging the essay portion of the IELTS exam can at first seem like a daunting task. However, by employing a strong essay structure, a student can feel confident that no matter what essay question they are given they have the tools to respond effectively. In this brief article, I will demonstrate how to properly structure your IELTS essay to maximize your mark on the examination.

To begin with, let’s quickly review the meanings of the words ‘sentence’, ‘paragraph’ and ‘essay’. In very basic terms, a sentence is a group of words, a paragraph is a group of sentences and an essay is a group of paragraphs. IELTS essays typically employ 4 paragraphs and each of thee paragraphs typically employ 4 sentences each. So right away, we know that our essay response is going to have 15 or 16 sentences in it, each sentence performing its own job with the collective goal of supporting the central argument of the essay.

Let’s take a quick look at an effective essay structure and the various sentence types that make it up:

Introduction paragraph

-A sentence providing some general background information on the essay topic.

-A detailed background information sentence narrowing the essay topic towards the thesis.

-The ‘thesis’, which acts as the writer’s statement of argument.

-An outline sentence that presents 2 broad points in support of the thesis. These points are to be discussed in the coming 2 paragraphs.

Supporting paragraph 1

-A topic sentence illustrating the first point given in support of the thesis.

-An example that shows the topic in action.

-A discussion sentence that shows how the example links to the topic of this paragraph.

-A conclusion sentence that shows how this whole paragraph links back to the author’s thesis.

Supporting paragraph 2

-A topic sentence illustrating the first point given in support of the thesis.

-An example that shows the topic in action.

-A discussion sentence that shows how the example links to the topic of this paragraph.

-A conclusion sentence that shows how this whole paragraph links back to the author’s thesis.

Concluding paragraph

-A sentence that summarizes the 2 points discussed in the supporting paragraphs.

-A sentence that restates the thesis in different words.

-A final sentence that present either a prediction or a recommendation based on the topic of the essay.

The above structure is effective for a number of reasons. For one, it presents the writer’s argument early on and follows this with an outline sentence, which provides a ‘road map’ of sorts for the rest of the essay. In doing this, the reader can very clearly see the direction the essay is going even before the first supporting point is made. A second reason this structure proves effective is that it consistently refers itself back to its thesis (please see the final sentence in each of the supporting paragraphs) and this helps ensure that all points given by the student are working in support of the essay’s overall goal. Finally, the essay finishes with a concluding paragraph that mirrors the introduction, giving the essay a sense of continuity throughout.

By following a structure like this, a student of even moderate grammatical capabilities can compose a written piece where all sentences work cohesively together, giving the entire work a sense of unity. This unity goes a long way to help convince the reader to agree with the argument presented in the thesis and this means a much better chance of scoring well on the IELTS examination.

, Ryan Higgins ,http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Ryan_Higgins/775751