IELTS Writing Task 2: General Writing Hints | IELTS Eddy Suaib

IELTS Writing Task 2: General Writing Hints

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Writing in English follows some basic principles:
  • The basic pattern of an English sentence is: Subject/Verb/Object.
  • The connecting and reference words generally come at the beginning of sentences and/or clauses: words like moreover/he/they/such/this/these/another measure is, etc.
  • English sentences are organized around the principle of old and new information. The reference words refer to the old information and new idea in the sentence is generally at the end. For example: An old man entered a shop. The shop had a wide range of food. The food…. Sometimes the structure is reversed for emphasis. Compare: Another measure is educating the general public. (old/new information) with: Educating the general public is another measure. (new/old information). The impersonal phrase: There is/are, is used to introduce new ideas: There will be many implications if this policy is introduced.
  • Always check your work as you write. Look backwards as well as forwards.
  • Remember what you bring to the writing when you do the exam. Your mind is not a blank sheet.

Checking your writing efficiently:
  • Read this section before and after you write and keep it in mind.
  • Leave yourself 3-5 minutes to check your writing.
  • Be aware of the mistakes you usually make and look out for these. It can make a difference of a score band.
  • As it is difficult to check for all mistakes at one time, check for one type of mistakes at the time.
  • Check your spelling first. Scan the text backwards rather than forwards. Alternatively scan at random, jumping from one paragraph to another. You’ll see mistakes quicker as you are not engaging with meaning, but looking at word pictures. You may not spot all mistakes, but you will get quite a few.
  • Scan quickly the beginning of each sentence and the beginning of each paragraph. Check of the linking words, the reference words or synonyms you use are correct.
  • Check the verbs or tense. Singular or plural agreement. Correct form of the verb.
  • Check that your connecting linking words are connected and that you have not repeated any of them.
  • If you tend to make other mistakes, like misusing the articles, study them and look for them in particular.
  • Practice so that you can do these at the same time while going through the text from the beginning.

Reference: IELTS Tips by Sam

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