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Tips to Improve your Writing Skills for IELTS
In order to begin a program to improve your writing skills in IELTS, you need to draw up a schedule to regulate your study and practice in a disciplined manner. The gradual increment of knowledge and skills will build up a competency to make you confident enough to attempt the test and expect a good score. Begin your preparation by browsing through common writing styles in different schemes by perusing newspaper reports or brief accounts of general-interest topics in local magazines. See if you can identify styles that seem superior. Browse through different topics so that the subject matter exposes you to a wider vocabulary of commonly used words. Try to pay special attention to words that you can easily include in your vocabulary. Find the logical arrangement in grammar structure. Look out for linking devices between sentences and paragraphs. Make it a point to regularly write your own articles based on the material you read like this. Of course, if you have a mentor at this point, you have an invaluable asset. You can be directed on the right path by a critical assessment and learned advice.
Concentrate on the Sections that the Examiners Assess
These are the areas that you need to fix your sights on:
Your vocabulary and grammar will indicate how strong your foundational knowledge of English is. The first two areas will expose how well you have developed your writing skills. You could adopt a ‘One week Per Area‘program to implement your writing skills development.
Four Week Schedules to hone your writing skills for the IELTS.
In week 1, concentrate on the task. In the Speaking module, you could get by by freely chatting about the topic. In the writing section, you really need to consider what you are going to do. This calls for careful deliberation. You must weigh every aspect of what the task requires of you to do. The first requirement to focus on is the word length of 250 words. Your immediate concern is to formulate a structure for your essay that spreads the 250 words into a cohesive string of paragraphs that discourse on the topic. A point to keep in mind here is that essays that are too short will be penalized yet essays excessive in length will garner no useful benefit. So your target must be around 270 to 300 words. If you are confident, you could push it to 330. Next, consider every aspect of the task. You should answer the essay question with full regard to everything it requires. This involves a special understanding of what is required. There are five chief types of questions here.
Advantages Vs Disadvantages
The first type to mention is the Advantage versus Disadvantages’ format of deliberation. The question will basically be asking whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of a given topic matter. Your response must discuss 3 factors: The advantages, the disadvantages, and finally your own opinion expressing which is more significant. A point to note here is that: You must balance the advantages statements with the disadvantages statement regardless of your personal opinion of which is greater.
Questions suggest Two Views and ask for Your Opinion
Again, expand on the views and balance your attention to both views. Then, express your opinion with clearly defined reasons why you think so.
Two types of Opinion Essays
A topic will be proposed and you are asked whether you agree or disagree with the topic. The question could be phrased in a manner asking you whether you think the topic is a positive or negative development. The point here is that your essay must not be written about why you agree or disagree. Rather it must present your own opinion on the topic and elucidate your thinking on the matter.
The Problem/Solution Essay
Obviously, you are presented with problem situations and required to supply possible solutions to them. The reasons why you think your solutions will work must be clearly defined.
Answers to Two Direct Questions Essay
The format is “What may be the reason for the given topic” and “What may be the disadvantages of the situation”. Your 250-word essay should answer each of these questions coherently.
So your objective in week one, is to isolate a topic of each type. Consider your content for the essay. IELTS tasks follow a set pattern. Once you recognize it your responses become a bit easier. You must be consistent in your position throughout the response. State your opinion lucidly and boldly. Convey the conviction of your ideas. Remember, examiners are looking for well developed and relevant ideas. Your every idea should contribute to the structure of your responses. Review your work, check for relevance and coherence. Strike out what doesn’t fit.
Now, we focus on the structure and flow of your essay. In official IELTS parlance, it is referred to as ‘the requirement for coherence and cohesion. It basically regards how well you have logically organized your information and ideas. Your essay structure must resemble something like this. 250 words composed into 4 or 5 well-constructed paragraphs with a clear introduction, 2 or 3 body paragraphs, and a distinct conclusion. Your concepts should develop logically by presenting a premise idea and building the paragraph with evolving reasoning. The next series of ideas should have a thread of continuity from the initial premise. This will convey a sound progression of the essay itself. Each body paragraph should embrace the main topic couched in a topic sentence. The topic sentence need not be complex, but it must clearly denote what will be presented in the paragraph. This kind of writing will reflect the development of your seminal concept. The objective for the second week will be:
In the third week, we focus on vocabulary and grammar. The exercise here is to develop your vocabulary by diligent reading practice and learning to employ complex grammatical structures. Your essays in the test paper are evaluated on how many words you know, how many grammatical structures you know and the number of mistakes you commit. So while preparing for essay writing, you must keep the old fable about the fox that fell into a 30-foot well in mind. The fox was able to claw its way up the wall, 3 feet every day. But it slipped back 2 feet every day too. So, when it should have taken just 10 days to escape, it took 30 days! Similarly, mistakes in your essay will severely affect the high quality you labored to accomplish. So concentrate on explaining your thoughts and make your clear. The Objective for week three will be:
There is nothing specific to essay writing about the activity in week four. It is the common stage for every endeavor to attain excellence – PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Diligent practice is the only and surest way to achieve your desired band score. So pack the week with every manner of the practice session that will aid you in your preparation. Begin with timed conditions. This is so important that at first, you will find you have to compromise on quality to stay within time limits. Only practice can improve this. Set your timer for 40 minutes and write an essay every day for 5 days. Choose varied types of essays and topics. By the end of this four-week practice scheme, you will have worked on all aspects of your writing.