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Tips for Essay Writing: the dos & don’ts


Essay writing is a high scoring point in the IELTS exam and many people find it difficult to score on this front. Although the thought writing a 250 word essay in 40 minutes might sound intimidating, one can score well with proper guidance and practice. Below are some points that you must remember while writing an essay in your IELTS exam.

Read the questions very carefully: Often the question will ask you to do three or four different things, aside from the main question. Jot them down and address all of them in your answer. The IELTS examiner will be checking for this.

Watch your time: Practice writing tasks within the given time limits (40 min & 250 words).

Plan before you write: Brainstorm the first few minutes. Decide what you're going to say and how you'll expand on it with details. When you know what to write, you can concentrate on how to write it best.

Write in an organized way: With brainstorm mapping, you'll write in more organized& logical way, earning higher marks. The final product must be cohesive (coherent).

Stay on topic: You will be penalized if you stray off topic. This is where the initial few minutes of planning can help you a great deal.

Divide your writing: into paragraphs. It is confusing to be faced with a block of writing, with no divisions.

Write clearly: This is not the time or place to experiment with new vocabulary or idioms. Use simple, clear English to get your ideas across in a powerful way.

Write legibly: Though marks are not granted or taken away for poor or messy writing, the examiner should be able to read what you have written without undue difficulty.

Spell correctly: Yes, this does affect your score so avoid careless mistakes.

Don't use slang: Convey your ideas, without resorting to slang. Eg. ‘kids’ instead of ‘children’ and ‘guys’ or ‘gals’ instead of ‘men’ or ‘women’.

Use rich vocabulary: Choose the more precise word over the more general one

Don't write more or less words than you need to: Writing too many will take too much time, and there is a greater possibility of making mistakes. Writing too few are worse – it will cause you to lose marks.

Do not repeat: In the essay, don't repeat major chunks of the question in your answer. Instead, state what you understand of the questions and what you plan to include in your answer.

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