IELTS Academic Writing Task 2: The Complete Guide

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 is the second of two writing tasks on the IELTS. Even though Task 1 is by no means easy, most students find IELTS Writing Task 2 more challenging. The purpose of this guide is to help you master the IELTS Writing Task 2 skills you need in order to do well on this important section of the IELTS exam.

ielts academic writing task 2 - magoosh

In addition to the basics of IELTS Writing Task 2, we’ll cover how to organize your essay, the question types you’ll see on test day, and share our favorite practice resources. Check out the video below to get you started!

Table of Contents

Click on a section in the table of contents to skip directly to that topic, or continue reading below to start learning all about IELTS Writing Task 2. If you’re looking for IELTS Writing Task 1 tips, click here!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Basics

IELTS Writing Task 1 vs. IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 involves composing a formal five-paragraph essay in 40 minutes. The first section—Task 1—should take you only 20 minutes. Why spend more time on IELTS Writing Task 2? This basic comparison offers a few reasons:

  • Points: Task 2 counts more towards your Writing band score
    Task 1 = 1/3rd of your score
    Task 2 = 2/3rds of your score
  • Word count minimums: Task 2 is longer
    Task 1 = 150 word minimum
    Task 2 = 250 word minimum
  • Planning your response: Task 2 questions require more thought
    Task 1 = transfer of information from a visual into writing
    Task 2 = answer an open/abstract question with no clear or “correct” answer

Let’s look at some basic IELTS essay writing tips for IELTS Writing Task 2:

Handwritten Responses (for paper-based IELTS)

Although the computer-delivered IELTS is becoming more wildly available, the majority of test takers still take the IELTS on good old fashioned papr. If your IELTS is a pencil and paper exam, your responses will be handwritten. In that case, it is essential that you handwrite (don’t type!) your practice essays for Task 2. Writing by hand helps you develop a sense of pacing. In other words, you will learn how quickly (or slowly!) you write with pencil and paper in English. (Paper-based IELTS test takers can go to this article for more information on handwritten IELTS responses.)

Importantly, as you’re probably aware, precious points will be deducted if you do not meet the minimum word requirements in the Writing section. But it is a huge waste of time to actually count your words on exam day. If you take the additional step of using official IELTS Writing Task 2 response sheets (download and print them here), you can see how many words you typically write on each page. You won’t have to count because you will know what that number of words looks like on the IELTS answer sheet.


Writing speed varies a lot from student to student. How you allocate time depends a lot on how fast you can write. The more you practice Task 2 responses, the quicker you will become. Your goal should be to allow enough time for these three things:

  • Essay planning 2 – 10 minutes
  • Writing 25 – 32 minutes
  • Editing 5 minutes (or more if possible)

As you practice, try very hard to cut down on the amount of time it takes to plan your responses before writing. Some students can take up to 10 minutes to brainstorm and plan. For most people, however, using 10 minutes at the beginning will take away too much time from writing and editing. I usually recommend three to five minutes of planning as a reasonable target. The more practice questions you answer, the faster you will become at generating ideas before you write.

Academic/Formal Writing

The IELTS expects you to use an academic/formal writing style. This means you should use the same kind of language that you would when writing a report for work or an essay for school. Obviously, you would avoid using “slang” words. You would also write in complete sentences and use proper punctuation. Here are some additional features of academic/formal writing to keep in mind for Task 2:

  • Organize ideas into separate paragraphs: You will lose points if you do not divide your essay into paragraphs. In the next section of this post, I’ve included an IELTS Writing Task 2 response template. The template includes the essential paragraphs you should include in your Task 2 response. Generally speaking, your essay must have an introduction paragraph, 2 – 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  • Write in complete sentences: Make sure each sentence you write has an independent clause with a subject and verb. When you write complex or compound sentences, use “connectors” like coordinating conjunctions (and, but, so, etc) or subordinating conjunctions (when, although, because, etc).

  • Avoid repetition of words and ideas: Your ideas should move from one to the next logically, and you should show off your vocabulary by avoiding redundancy (don’t repeat the same words over and over).

  • Avoid “slang:” The English you hear in the movies or read on social media is often inappropriate for formal writing. It is a big problem to use words like “dude” or spellings like “U” (for “you”) on the IELTS.

  • Thoughtful and Neutral Tone: Academic/formal writing has a very careful and thoughtful tone. It rarely sounds angry, excited, or overly certain about an idea. It is also best to avoid broad generalizations in formal/academic compositions. Here are some examples to demonstrate:


NOT ACADEMIC: I hate this idea! (Too excited/angry)
ACADEMIC: This idea has some problems to consider.


NOT ACADEMIC: Everyone is distracted by cell phones these days.(Too broad)
ACADEMIC: Many people are distracted by cell phones these days.


NOT ACADEMIC: I have the best solution to the problem. (Too certain)
ACADEMIC: I would suggest this solution to the problem.

Go back to the top of our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 Essay Organization & Example

In this section, we will look at the overall structure of an IELTS Writing Task 2 response. Before we get to that, however, let’s take a look at a sample Task 2 question. Read it over and take a moment to think: How would you respond?

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Question

IELTS Writing Task 2 example

Planning Before You Write

When you first encounter an IELTS Writing Task 2 question, try to decide what perspective you will take fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the IELTS doesn’t give you much time to do this. Making matters worse, it is fairly likely that you won’t have strong, well-developed opinions about the topic. Don’t worry. Task 2 questions are (intentionally) debatable, with no clearly “correct” answer.
Fortunately, unlike an essay you might write for work or school, it is not important to present your true opinions on the IELTS. Remember, the IELTS is an English language test. It is not a test of what you know about the topic of your Task 2 question. While you should present reasonable ideas in a clear and logical way, you can argue any side of the question and do well. Therefore, rather than worrying about (and spending time on) formulating your true opinion on your Task 2 topic, ask yourself the following question instead:
“What is the easiest way for me to answer this question?”
Can you think of some main ideas and/or examples quickly for one side of an argument? Even if these ideas don’t fully represent your perspective, just go with them on the IELTS. You don’t want to waste too much time thinking about how to express your true opinions.
Once you’ve chosen a perspective on your question, you can do some planning/brainstorming. Below are some planning notes for our sample Task 2 question (introduced above). On exam day, you won’t have a chart like this to fill in. The chart simply helps to make the information easier to read in this post. Basically, your goal in the planning phase is to come up with a main idea for each paragraph of your essay. We will discuss each of these paragraphs in more detail below the chart.

IELTS Writing Task 2 example

Writing your Essay

When you’ve done some initial planning, you’re ready to dive into a writing. Let’s take a closer look at how to organize your Academic Writing Task 2 response paragraph by paragraph. After you read about each paragraph, look at the sample Task 2 essay immediately below this section as an example.

The Introduction Paragraph
An introduction is a very important element of your Task 2 essay. Practicing introductions can really pay off, even if you don’t follow through and write a full practice essay every time. Many students get stuck at the very beginning, not knowing how to respond to the question in the introduction. Let’s look at what to do.
IELTS Writing Task 2 introductions can be short and simple. A two-sentence introduction should be your goal. There are two main parts of a Task 2 introduction to include every time:

  • Topic Presentation:
  • In this first sentence of your introduction, you simply need to paraphrase the topic described in your question prompt. In other words, find a way to accurately state the topic in your own words. Try to avoid using the same words and phrases as the prompt.

  • Thesis:
  • After presenting the topic, you need to provide your perspective on it. This is your thesis. It is a sentence that expresses the main idea of your essay. At a minimum, you need to provide a general answer the question prompt in your thesis: “I believe that…”, or “I agree that…”. A really great thesis also introduces the main ideas of each body paragraph in a general way. Take a look at the sample essay below. Notice how the thesis introduces the main idea of both body paragraphs.
    Important! You MUST answer the essay question directly in your thesis. Students sometimes lose points because their thesis does not answer the question directly enough. Read your question prompt carefully and make sure your essay will answer every part of the question.

2-3 Body Paragraphs
The next two (or if necessary, three) paragraphs of your IELTS Task 2 essay are your opportunity to explain your thesis. Each body paragraph should present ONE main point. If your question prompt includes several questions, you should write a body paragraph for each one. The main point of each body paragraph must relate directly to your thesis statement in the introduction. Use supporting details and/or examples to explain your main point before moving on to the next body paragraph.

Don’t spend a long time on your conclusion. A good IELTS Task 2 conclusion should be one or two sentences long. Simply paraphrase your thesis and main points from your body paragraphs to close out your essay. This means you should avoid using the same words, phrases, and sentence structures as your thesis statement. Definitely do not copy your thesis statement word-for-word as your conclusion.

Before we dig into an example IELTS Task 2 essay, check out the video below and try your hand at writing an introduction paragraph.

Go back to the top of our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2.

Sample IELTS Task 2 Essay

Let’s take a look at an example essay containing each of the Task 2 paragraphs described above.

IELTS Writing Task 2 example

Some parents may worry that pushing their children towards a particular career could be harmful. While I agree it is unwise to predetermine a child’s profession, parents should still offer guidance through open communication.
Young people need freedom to make choices, especially when it comes to their careers. Even parents who agree with this idea may still feel some anxiety about it. Ultimately, most parents hope their children will be financially secure. Deep down some parents may also want their children to choose prestigious careers, or jobs that will impact society in some way. These wishes are normal and not necessarily harmful. Yet, it can be problematic if these desires turn into firm expectations. In such cases, the main motivation for a child becomes fear of disappointing her parents. It can lead to resentment if she spends her life doing something she doesn’t enjoy. With freedom to explore, by contrast, she can take ownership of her career decisions and develop internal motivation to reach her goals.
Yet, offering a child freedom does not imply that parents should be absent. To the contrary, parents should strive to foster open communication about career decisions. If a child’s aspirations do not line up with his parents’ wishes, he may fear that approaching them could lead to judgement and confrontation. However, if he feels that his parents will listen carefully and maintain an open attitude, he may let down his guard and welcome their feedback. When this happens, parents can provide guidance and, importantly, even critiques of their child’s plans. In this way, open communication creates opportunities for young people to benefit from their parents’ wisdom and experience.
In conclusion, even though parents should avoid pressuring their children to follow specific career paths, they should not abandon the discussion. Parents should strive to create an environment where they can offer caring guidance through open communication.

Go back to the top of our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Question Types

No matter what question you get for IELTS Writing Task 2, your goal should always be to answer the question completely and directly. Take time, every time, to read the prompt carefully and understand it fully. In Task 2, you are always required to provide your perspective on a topic. However, there are a variety IELTS Writing Task 2 question types you may encounter. The charts below present the five basic IELTS Writing Task 2 question types, and offer some tips on how to organize your responses for each one.

IELTS Writing Question Types: To what extent do you agree…

to what extent do you agree

IELTS Writing Question Types: Advantages and Disadvantages

what are advantages disadvantages

IELTS Writing Question Types: Causes and Solutions to a Problem

causes solutions to a problem

IELTS Writing Question Types: Discuss both sides (and give your opinion)

Discuss both sides (and give your opinion)

IELTS Writing Question Types: Thematic

thematic questions

Go back to the top of our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2.

Improving Your IELTS Writing Task 2 Score (By Scoring Category)

There are four scoring categories for IELTS Writing Task 2:

  1. Task Response
  2. Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  3. Lexical Resource
  4. Coherence and Cohesion

Here are some IELTS essay writing tips to help you improve your score in each category.

Get a higher IELTS score? Start your online IELTS prep today with Magoosh.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Scoring Categories

1. Task Response

This is a measurement of how well you fulfilled the basic requirements of the task based on the instructions. Following the template and organization advice above helps you most in this category.

2. Grammatical Range and Accuracy

This is a measurement of your ability to use a wide range of grammatical structures without making a lot of grammatical errors. If you have enough time (a few months or more) before you take the IELTS, consider taking an English class or investing in a good grammar book for self-study. I often recommend this grammar book to intermediate and advanced students. It offers clear grammar explanations and contains many practice exercises.

Here are some additional grammar tips to help you, even if your IELTS exam is coming up soon and you don’t have time to take a class or study a textbook!

Grammar Tip 1: Don’t use the same simple sentence structures over and over.

The next time you write a practice response, take a close look at your sentence structures. Do you use a variety of sentence patterns? English language learners often develop a habit of using forms of the “BE” verb (am, is, are, was, were) very frequently as the main verb of the sentence. Using “BE” verbs is not a problem (I have used many in this blog post!!), but using them too often makes your writing sound very basic. Importantly, using “BE” verbs repeatedly also limits your grammatical range. Choosing more descriptive verbs opens up many grammatical possibilities. For example, you can use adverbs and adverbial phrases to describe an action. By limiting yourself to forms of “BE” as the main verb, you will mainly rely on adjectives for description.

To work on this, go back through your practice essays and try to change every sentence that includes a “BE” verb as the main verb. Don’t worry about sentences with “BE” auxiliary verbs like this:

She is running.

“Running” is the main verb of this sentence and “is” is an auxiliary. There is no need to change this. You want to edit sentences that look like this:

Michael is a history professor at my college.

“Is” is the main verb of the sentence. When you revise these sentences, don’t change the meaning of the sentence too much. The sentence should still fit logically in your essay. This can be tough! Making these changes will force you to use different sentence patterns and, importantly, more descriptive verbs and adverbs when you write. Please note—you do not need to avoid all “BE” verbs when you write for the IELTS exam. This exercise simply helps you to develop your ability to use a variety of grammatical structures. Review the following examples:

Original sentence: Mary is an excellent teacher, so students always love taking her class.

Revised sentence: Mary teaches so well that students always love taking her class.

Grammar Tip 2: Use complex sentence structures

On the IELTS, you need to prove that you can write advanced sentences without mistakes. Therefore, you should include some complex sentence patterns in your writing. What is a complex sentence? Complex sentences include “subordinating conjunctions,” which introduce a variety of dependent clauses in English. Look over this review of dependent and independent clauses if you need to. Below are some examples of subordinating conjunctions:

Adverbial Subordinators (there are many!):

Even though

Adjective Clause Subordinators:


Noun Clause Subordinators:


A few complex sentence examples:

Even though it rained all weekend, we had a great time.
I like playing chess because it provides a mental challenge.

I threw the ball to my friend, who was not ready to catch it.
Unfortunately, I can’t find pen that you loaned me.

Noun clause:
I didn’t hear what you said.
Please show me how I can fill out this form correctly.

You don’t want to overuse these complex structures. It’s best to mix complex sentences with simpler ones for clarity. Also, don’t confuse the word “complex” with the word “long.” In general, you should try to avoid very long sentences to make your writing clear and easy to understand. Having some longer sentences won’t hurt you, but, again, aim for a mixture.

Grammar Tip 3: Check your verb tenses as you edit

Spend some time reviewing verb tenses as you study. If possible, find a teacher or a native English speaker to evaluate your writing to see if you make consistent mistakes. Tense errors are a common mistake in IELTS responses. Time is very limited, making it easy to use the wrong verb forms. Yet, these are mistakes that many students can easily edit on their own. If you notice that you forget to use past tenses when writing about the past, for example, it might not mean that you need to do a full review of past tense verbs. Instead, it might mean that you need to save a little time for yourself after writing to check your work.

When you practice writing for the IELTS, take as much time as you need to look for errors when you’re done writing. In fact, make sure you keep all your practice essays and pull them out again a week or two after you wrote them. Often, you’ll find new errors and think of better ways to express the ideas in your essays.

3. Lexical Resource

This is your ability to use a wide range of vocabulary correctly (without errors) and appropriately (in the proper context) in your written responses. It should go without saying that studying vocabulary regularly will help you improve most in this area. Magoosh has (free!) IELTS vocabulary flashcards to get you started. You should try to learn 15 – 20 new words each day! Beyond learning new words, however, there are a few additional steps you can take to improve your “Lexical Resource” score.

Practice Paraphrasing

As noted above, you must paraphrase the language from the question prompt and the visuals as much as possible in your Writing Task 2 responses. Taking large chunks of language directly from the question and visual will definitely lower your score. Whenever you practice a Writing Task 2 response, make sure to study any example essays included in your practice materials. Take note of how the author paraphrases the language in the question prompt and compare it to your own paraphrases. By doing this, you can learn a lot of helpful words and phrases.

Avoid Redundancy

A second tip to boost your Lexical Resource score is to focus on avoiding redundancy in your writing. Redundancy happens when you use the same words or phrases over and over again; however, there will be some key terms that you can’t avoid. For example, in our example response, it was difficult to avoid the phrases “computer ownership” and “education level.” Other words are much easier to replace with synonyms. For instance, in Task 2 responses, you will often write about numbers that “increase” or “decrease.” There are many synonyms for these words:

Rise – Fall
Go up – Go down
Jump – Decline
Spike – Dip
Skyrocket – Plummet

If you notice that you’re using the same words again and again as you practice writing Task 2 responses, work on building your knowledge of synonyms and paraphrases. A thesaurus is a handy tool. However, if at all possible, try to get feedback about the new words you use from a native English speaker. Often, the synonyms you find will have a slightly different meaning or use from the word you’re trying to replace. As a general rule, you should always choose a word that you know to be correct over one that you don’t know well.

4. Coherence and Cohesion

This a measurement of your ability to present ideas logically and clearly. In other words, the IELTS wants to see that your ideas make sense in the order you present them and that they work together in a logical way.

Transition words and phrases

One of the best things you can do to improve your “Coherence and Cohesion” score is to master useful transition words. Therefore, study a list of transition words like this list to add to your repertoire. You should learn as many of these as possible to have a range of words and phrases from which to choose as you write. As noted in other places above, it hurts your score to use the same phrases over and over again. You need to avoid redundancy with transition words as well. Also, avoid using a transition word or phrase in every sentence. Only include them when it will help you to show the relationship between ideas more clearly.


Another aspect of your “Coherence and Cohesion” score relates to “referencing.” This is your ability to use various pronouns accurately and appropriately. For example:

I learned how to knit a sweater from my grandmother. It took a long time to learn.
“It” refers to “how to knit a sweater”

We had a great time on holiday in Hawaii. I want to go back there!
“There” refers to “Hawaii.”

Referencing helps you to avoid redundancy because you don’t mention the same nouns over and over again. Importantly, it also pulls your sentences together, linking ideas and concepts. Practice using pronouns as you write and make sure to look for pronoun errors as you edit your work!

The Template

A final important aspect of your “Coherence and Cohesion” score is the overall organization of your response. Your paragraphs should be organized logically, and your ideas should progress in a clear way from one sentence to the next. This involves using transition words (discussed above), but it also relates to what we covered in the middle of this post—the Writing Task 2 Template. Mastering this template is a great way to boost your Coherence and Cohesion band score!

Go back to the top of our Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2.

IELTS Writing Task 2 Practice Resources

Now you’re ready to go and practice Academic Task 2 responses. It is well worth your time to write many Task 2 practice essays as you prepare for exam day. Understanding Task 2 deeply and developing an approach to the various question types you might face will make your practice even more effective. You should practice regularly and try your best to create real test conditions, limiting yourself very strictly to 20 minutes and writing your responses by hand.

When studying for the IELTS, finding the time and staying motivated to study can be challenging. To help you organize your time, use this IELTS study schedule if you only have a week to go before you will take the IELTS. If you have a month, this one month IELTS study schedule offers more extended practice.
You will also need some high-quality study materials. Don’t forget about our IELTS Prep which includes lessons on IELTS Writing Task 2 (and all other sections of the exam!) to help you prep smarter. Good luck!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

Most Popular Resources

110 Responses to IELTS Academic Writing Task 2: The Complete Guide

  1. Nanda Nepal July 27, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

    Thanks a lot for creating this pretty much useful guiding blog.

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen July 28, 2017 at 9:00 am #

      You’re welcome, Nanda! I’m glad you’re finding it so useful. Good luck with your studies!

      • Krunal Gandhi April 26, 2018 at 7:48 am #

        is paraphrasing is common
        in all types of essays

        • David Recine
          David Recine April 26, 2018 at 10:24 am #

          Paraphrasing is definitely common in pretty much every type and topic for IELTS Writing Task 2, for the reasons outlined in this post: you need to paraphrase the question, and the conclusion will paraphrase ideas from the introduction and body of the essay. And IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is pretty much 100% paraphrasing– your job there is to take information form a chart, table, or other graphic, and rewrite the info in your own words.

          But even IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 has elements of paraphrasing, since you are given a situation that you will address by writing a letter, and you need to write about the situation in your own words.

          And of course, paraphrasing is important in non IELTS essays, such as the ones you might be assigned in a university course. The skill of paraphrasing is something you’ll use in a variety of ways throughout your university career, really.

    • rruby June 26, 2018 at 8:59 am #

      marvellous tips thanks for this

      • Eliot Friesen
        Eliot Friesen June 26, 2018 at 9:28 am #

        I’m so glad you found them helpful, Nanda!

  2. Kaif Ahsan August 2, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Very organized and exhaustive article. The writer gave us a meticulous insight into task 2. Found it very useful. Thank you!!

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen August 2, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      Thank you for your feedback, Kaif! I’m glad you found the guide so helpful!

      • Ugochukwu Kalu May 16, 2019 at 5:18 am #

        Although I have always thought of possible ways to bring about positive changes to me home town, it has become even more convincing to me because I have so many ideas already concurred to carry this out

  3. sajedah August 16, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    Thank you a lot!

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen August 16, 2017 at 9:40 am #

      You’re welcome! Happy studying!

  4. Mari August 31, 2017 at 7:20 am #

    Dear Eliot,
    if the question is: “Do you think the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?” do I need to answer in the introduction or I can answer after discussing advantages and disadvantages?
    Thank you in advance

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen August 31, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Hi Mari! Great question! As a general rule, you should always present your basic idea at the beginning of the essay. Some IELTS essay questions only ask you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of something (not your opinion). Therefore, in your introduction, you simply need to summarize the advantages and disadvantages that you will discuss in detail in the body paragraphs. However, when a Task 2 IELTS question asks for your opinion, it’s very important to state your viewpoint in your introduction as well.

      • Mari September 1, 2017 at 12:30 am #

        Perfect! Thank you very much!
        And thank you for the article, is very useful!

        • Eliot Friesen
          Eliot Friesen September 1, 2017 at 8:31 am #

          You’re welcome, Mari! I’m glad you find the article helpful. Happy studying!

  5. Sazzad September 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    Sorry I can’t find the 5th one of your question types.

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen September 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Sazzad! Thanks for your question. You can find the 5th Task 2 question type on the table with the title “Thematic Questions.” Thematic Questions are a Task 2 question type that involve answering a set of questions that relate to a theme.

  6. Joel September 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Thanks a lot. This was very useful.

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen September 24, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

      I’m glad you found the post useful, Joel! Good luck with your IELTS studies.

  7. Shanawaz aalam October 5, 2017 at 6:07 am #

    Thanks for this great article.
    I would like to ask something. What one should do if someone doesn’t have enough information/points as per word requirements on that particular topic, how one should complete the task?

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen October 5, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks for your question, Shanawaz! It’s a good one because many IELTS-takers struggle with this same problem. Here’s a tip that has worked for many of my students: add more details and examples to your body paragraphs. If you go back and look at the sample essay in this blog post (about giving kids freedom to choose their careers), you’ll see that each body paragraph has main point, but there are many details (in this case, reasons) included to explain the main points further. Depending on the topic, you can use examples from your life and experience, people you know, or simply from what you have learned somehow. Just make sure that every detail in each paragraph relates to the main idea of the paragraph directly.

      I hope this helps! Happy studying.–Eliot

      • Sukhmani Oberoi April 22, 2018 at 9:24 pm #

        Hi Eliot, thanks for such an informative blog post. As you have mentioned that one can mention about personal experiences in the task 2. However, I have seen that people have recommended not to use personal experiences while citing the instances. They suggest to use examples on general basis. Is it true?

        • David Recine
          David Recine April 23, 2018 at 9:55 am #

          I can take this one for you, Eliot! 🙂

          Actually Sukhmani, you can use personal experiences in IELTS Task 2, as long as a personal example is the best suitable example to explain your point. (Eliot mentions this in the comments under this article, and I concur. 🙂 )

  8. kamaljeet singh October 7, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

    It’s a phenomenal thing we learn a lot with the help of this
    Thx a lot sir

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen October 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Kamaljeet! Good luck with your IELTS preparation.

  9. Angelina October 15, 2017 at 5:37 am #

    Eliot, thank you very much for your post, it was really useful!
    I would like to ask you a question. When writing body paragraphs, one paragraph represents its own idea. Do we need to do give several arguments (clearly dividing them by “first”, “second” and “finally”, for example) and then supporting ideas to each argument for the idea in the paragraph? Or can we simply state the idea and then explain it with examples? I’m wondering how strict the structure should be.

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen October 16, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      Hi Angelina! Thank you for your question. It’s a good one!

      The answer is that you have some flexibility. You do not need to follow the same pattern in each essay. If you have a list of something (for example, two or three supporting reasons in one paragraph), it is a very good idea to clearly state the organization of your ideas with a list. The pattern you used in your example is a good one (first, second, third), but you can also say things like, “The first reason I like this idea is…” and then discuss this reason for a sentence or two. Then you can transition, “Another reason to support this idea is…” and then do the same as before–provide an example or explain your reason in more detail in a sentence or two.

      Now, back to your question. Can you provide a few examples instead of presenting reasons or arguments in your paragraphs? Yes! If you want to explain your main idea with examples instead of reasons, you can use the same strategy as above. Introduce your examples so the reader has a clear idea how you are organizing your ideas. You can do it this way:

      One example is….[and write a sentence or two to describe your example]. Another example is….[and write a sentence or two to describe your example].

      However, I would add one important note here: If you write a body paragraph that uses only examples to support the main idea, you should always make sure to say, very clearly, how your examples relate to the main idea of your paragraph. After you provide an example, you can write things like this:

      This example shows that…
      This situation means..
      I believe this example shows…

      I hope this helps with your question! Good luck with your IELTS studies!

  10. Kalash Acharya November 1, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    Ooops …wish I found it little earlier because tomorrow is my test. However, I do have a query that could help for next test takers. In the answer sheet of booklet of some Cambridge book, I have found sample answer by the examiner which include introduction in the first paragraph followed by explaining the both argument and then giving ones opinion. I found is little bit contradictory as I referred here. How far is it considerable in giving ones opinion just prior to concluding paragraph and on what type of questions?
    Anyway, really a great job…!!!

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen November 1, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      Hi Kalash! Thank you for your comment. I think I understand your question and I will do my best to answer it. However, if I have missed your point, please let me know and I will follow-up!

      Yes, it is fine to offer your opinion in the final paragraph, especially in Task 2 questions where the question says something like “discuss both sides and give your opinion.” Actually, there are many ways to organize a clear response to questions like these. The suggestions in this blog post (or any other place you find information about Task 2 essays!) are there to help you think of ways to present your ideas clearly.

      In this case, you could discuss Side 1 in the first body paragraph, Side 2 in the second body paragraph, and then you could write a full third paragraph providing your opinion. However, you could also present Side 1 and offer your opinion about it in one body paragraph, and then present Side 2 and offer your opinion about it in a second body paragraph.

      One thing you MUST do in both cases is present your opinion in your thesis statement (the last sentence of the introduction). No matter how you decide to organize your body paragraphs, this element is essential.

      I hope this helps!

      Good luck on your test tomorrow!!


  11. john November 3, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    hey there

    I have a question. I took the exam a couple of days ago. i was able to finish both task 1 and task 2. However, I used 2 papers for my task 2, which I forgot to put a page number on top. Will that affect my grade? Im kinda freaking out hehe

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi John,

      I doubt anything significant will happen to you or your score. We can’t say for sure (it will depend on the rater) but this type of thing happens frequently. Good luck! 🙂

  12. Gurpreet November 21, 2017 at 8:21 am #

    Sir, Is there any difference between essay structure asking Do you agree or disagree and to what extent do you agree or disagree??

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen November 21, 2017 at 9:54 am #

      Hi Gurpreet,

      Great question! No, there is no difference between these questions and you can approach them the same way. In other words, you may argue for just one side, or you can make a balanced argument that focuses on the strengths and/or weaknesses of both sides. If you make a balanced argument, keep in mind that you should NOT argue that both sides are equally good or equally bad. You must take a position and choose the side you think is best. Make this argument clear in your thesis statement in the introduction.

      Happy studying!


      • Rajneesh Kapur. January 27, 2019 at 6:20 am #

        Yes, there is a difference. If the word extent is written, it is necessary to write either totally or completely agree/ disagree or partly agree.

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 1, 2019 at 9:40 am #

          Hi Rajneesh,

          Eliot’s point here is that there isn’t a major difference between the two essays instructions. In the GRE, for example, you must take one side and make a strong argument for it. In the IELTS, your primary job is to show that you are able to express yourself clearly in written English. As long as you show that you understood the prompt and respond to it, these nuances are not as important as showing your ability to write clearly in English!

  13. Anu December 12, 2017 at 12:18 am #

    Hi Eliot, thanks for this very helpful article.

    My question is, can I make statements like, “In my country, we have the practice of…” Will there be an identity-revealing issue or is this an acceptable approach?


    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen December 12, 2017 at 9:30 am #

      Hi Anu! I don’t think this statement would cause you a problem. You are free to use examples from your life and experience on Task 2, so long as the examples you choose fit the question prompt.

      However, it’s possible I don’t fully understand your concern about revealing identity. If so, please say more about what you have in mind.

  14. Nana December 28, 2017 at 6:09 am #

    I sent this link to my students that I’m currently tutoring. Saves me a lot of time! The explanations are clear and thorough. Thank you so much.

  15. Yeshaswini December 29, 2017 at 6:53 am #

    Hi Eliot , your blog really helped me a lot.
    I have a question. When we are asked to discuss both sides and give our opinion, can I write my opinion in the conclusion paragraph instead of writing separate paragraph before conclusion.
    Thanks in advance

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert December 30, 2017 at 8:01 am #

      Hi Yeshaswini,

      It is not ideal to end an essay with new information (in this case, your opinion) which is why we recommend the opinion coming before the conclusion. But if you are in a situation where you truly feel this is better, you can definitely pull it off.

  16. manavpreet January 2, 2018 at 5:47 am #

    it is very helpfullthank you so much

  17. Vera Benitz January 3, 2018 at 4:35 pm #


    In your “Writing IELTS Part 2 Question Types”
    “Discuss both sides and give your opinion”, you say that there should be 3 paragraphs, but at the free iELTS preparation course, they say, that “your opinion” goes into the conclusion.
    What is right?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi Vera,

      If you look at the example essay we provided here, you’ll see that there is a short introduction paragraph and a short conclusion paragraph that both express the author’s opinion. The two body paragraphs allow you to write about both sides of the issue and show your thought process. We should note here that there is no secret ‘formula’ on the IELTS–there are guidelines to help you craft your essay. It sounds like our advice matches pretty closely with what you heard from the free IELTS preparation course, but the most important thing is to show that you can write well in English 🙂

  18. Samitha January 12, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

    Thanks for the tips! I do have a few questions. When the topic question is about, “to what extent do you agree or disagree?”, do you have to pick a side? If you feel like the topic has both pros and cons, can you write the pro’s in para 1 and cons in para 2?

    Also, when you are writing different examples to support a claim you make, can the different examples be in the same paragraph?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 16, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

      Hi Samitha,

      There is no one correct answer here–the purpose of Task 2 is to show that you can write well in English. The content doesn’t matter that much (you don’t need to convince anyone of anything) but you do need to show that you understand the prompt and can construct a response to it. Yes–you can use one paragraph to show how you agree (pros) and another paragraph to show how you might not agree (cons). In the brainstorm example we gave in this blog post, the person mostly agreed with the prompt, but also provided some reasons against the prompt. As long as you write a strong and logical essay, you’ll be fine 🙂

      Each body paragraph should be a different major idea or claim. If you have time, you can write several examples in one paragraph as long as they all relate to the same claim. If you follow the structure above, you can have several examples for the ‘pro’ paragraph and several for the ‘con’ paragraph–just keep an eye on the time to make sure you can write the entire essay in time 🙂

  19. NOUMAN January 20, 2018 at 6:48 am #

    hi, you have written wonderful article . I have a question for you if you could reply me i would be thankful.My question is that may i learn some essay by heart like 40 or 50 essay ?so it could help to get idea on time and might be possible i get exact same one of them in writing task 2

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 20, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

      Hi Nouman,

      Thanks for reaching out! It’s not a good idea to think of trying to memorize essays in order to succeed on the writing test. They could ask you about anything at all in Task 2, and there’s no list of questions that you can draw from. Instead of spending your time trying to memorize essays, you should use your time to improve your general writing ability, understand the strategy associated with how to write an essay, and practice as much as possible. This is what is really going to help you improve! The templates that we provide you with here are useful because they will help you to organize your essay. Good luck!

  20. Ranvir January 24, 2018 at 9:07 am #

    I am very much confused about example that is asked to give in task II. How example can be mentioned?
    Another question is supposed there is statement related to agree or disagree, can we partial for it? If yes/no then how?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

      Hi Ranvir,

      The purpose of task 2 is to show that you can express your ideas clearly in written English. In the second task, you should try to find examples that support your point. You can think of things logically or from your personal life that you can use to make your argument.

      It’s ok to partially agree with the prompt and partially disagree, as long as you clearly state both sides. In the example essay, the author agrees in the first paragraph but disagrees in the second paragraph. In the conclusion, the author discusses both sides and makes his point clearly.

      The best way to get used to this is just to write as much as possible! The more you practice, the easier it will be to think of examples and write your opinions down 🙂

  21. Suvam sigdel February 3, 2018 at 3:43 am #

    Thanks for your enormous support. Really helped!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 5, 2018 at 1:36 pm #

      Hi Suvam,

      I’m so glad this was helpful! Happy studying 🙂

  22. Lakhana February 4, 2018 at 1:20 am #

    Hi sir, i would like you to give me a feedback on this introduction of mine which is answer to your example in the video.
    “Home town is the place that many people, including me love so much. In order to develop it, i would come up with some suggestions in altering it. I believe that these points will benefit to enhance my home land.”
    Thanks in advance sir!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Lakhana,

      I’m glad that you found this video and blog post useful! Unfortunately, we are a small team with a lot of projects, and we are not able to provide personalized feedback on writing. I’m sorry about that! There are many different forums and other places where you can find people willing to edit your essays. Best of luck!

  23. janine February 11, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

    Good day

    I have written the IELTS academic test twice and even though I receive good marks for speaking, listening and reading, I have received 6.5 for writing both times. The first time I couldn’t finish my conclusion, which would make sense that I only got 6.5. But the second time I completed it all with the right amount of words and paragraphs. I’m not sure how to go abouts studying for this as I don’t know where my faults are – I wish they could return your test results to help you prepare better.

    Any advise would be lovely.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 12, 2018 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Janine,

      It is definitely frustrating not to get any feedback on your writing for the IELTS! However, there are still plenty of ways that you can improve on this score! First, I recommend that you look over any practice essays that you wrote, especially timed ones that you wrote right before the exam. It’s likely that any mistakes you made on the actual exam are pretty similar to the mistakes you made on these practice essays. Take some time to analyze these essays according to the Band Descriptors released by IELTS ( and You can also post some of your essays on message boards such as the one on the IELTS Australia page ( If possible, have a friend or tutor with a high English level look over your essays and provide some feedback.
      You should also definitely continue to write as many practice essays as possible and analyze each one. This should give you a good sense of what you need to improve and how you can do it. The more you practice and analyze your essays, the more you will improve! Good luck 🙂

  24. Sasa March 2, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

    Good Day,

    I’d like to share my IELTS experience, I recently took IELTS and I scored less than what I am expecting. I finished both writing tasks on time. After reading your blog, I noticed that each question type should have a specific number of body paragraphs? All I know is, you should have 4 paragraphs in your writing. (introduction, argument 1(pros/cons), argument 2 (pros/cons) and lastly conclusion. I followed these during my actual exam. Answering question about “Many people today claimed that they have a better quality of life than those who live few centuries ago, how do you agree or disagree in this statement?” First, I made a short introduction and I stated that in the next few paragraphs I will discuss my answer. On my second paragraph, I stretched all the advantages to people living these days in terms of modernisation and globalisation and the negative effect it brings as well. On my third paragraph, I wrote about the claims of older people that life before were simpler and and stress free however there are disadvantages too. Finally, on my concluding part, I wrote about my side, that living nowadays offers a better quality of life due to improvised technology and new discoveries. Do you think I made a complicated writing? I am planning to take my IELTS for second time, although I am still feeling a bit frustrated. I also wish we could take our writing results with comments and corrections from the examiner who checked my paper so that I can diligently improve the parts that I missed.

    Thank you!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 10, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

      Hi Sasa,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I know it’s frustrating not to get any feedback or other information about your exam–it can make it hard to improve! It’s really hard to tell what happened without reading your essay, but there are a few things you can consider. In some cases, simple is better for the writing section of the IELTS. You need to show that you can write well in English, but if you try to do too much you might end up with handwriting that is hard to read, sentences that are long or convoluted, or arguments that don’t quite make sense. I’ve seen students who try to use advanced vocabulary and grammar even though they are not entirely comfortable with them; the result is difficult to read and make sense of for a native speaker. I’m not sure exactly what happened here. Based on your description, you set up your essay in a good way, but you may want to analyze some of your practice essays (and ask others to analyze them, perhaps some teachers in your school) in order to get some feedback about what you wrote. I recommend that you keep practicing the essays and keep analyzing your results so that you can continue to improve! Good luck!

  25. alozie April 16, 2018 at 5:22 am #

    please is it wrong to use biro(pen) to write the easy .You mentioned the use of pencil.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm #

      Hi Alozie,

      According to this information from the British Council, you can use either a pen or a pencil. You should confirm the test-day requirements with your testing center. Keep in mind that a pen might be difficult because you won’t be able to erase your work, and the page can get messy if you make mistakes and have to correct them. Remember that handwriting and read-ability affect your score, so make sure that you are completely comfortable using a pen if you decide to bring one!

  26. Chintan Patel June 30, 2018 at 6:20 am #

    Greatly simplified article. I want to ask something. Should I write more than one points in a body paragraph? For example, in one body paragraph, point 1, its supporting reason/ example, point 2, its supporting reason/ example. Same in paragraph 2.

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen July 2, 2018 at 9:11 am #

      Hi Chintan! Thanks for your question. Yes, you may include more than one point in a paragraph in the way you described. However, it’s important to make sure that both points relate to or support the same main idea in the paragraph. If you move to a new idea, you’ll need to begin a new paragraph.

  27. Buvana July 9, 2018 at 7:01 pm #

    Please find the introduction for the essay question you have given in the video. Please do examine this and give the corrections or improvements.

    Given an opportunity, I would bring certain changes to my hometown, thereby adding glory to the glorious city.

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 11, 2018 at 8:30 am #

      Thanks for stepping up to the challenge in the IELTS Writing Task 2 video in this post, Buvana. 🙂

      So, let me give yo my critique. 🙂

      First, you want to make sure that you really are paraphrasing the original question. So let’s revisit that question from the video:

      If you could change your home town to make it a better place, what changes would you make?

      How would these changes improve your home town?

      You’ve done a good job at paraphrasing the “If you could change your home town” portion of the original sentence. “Given the opportunity” is a good paraphrase of “If I could.” “Bring certain changes to my hometown” is a good paraphrase of “change my home town,” too. But you could paraphrase this even more thoroughly and elegantly by eliminating the root word change, and saying something like “I would make some things in my home town different.” Finally, we get to “adding glory to the glorious city.” Here, your paraphrase “make it a better place” is a little awkward. The use of both “glory” and “glorious” is a bit repetitive. How can you express the idea of making your home town a better place with less repetitive language?

      Now that we’ve looked at the structure of your paraphrasing, let’s look at overall introduction content. Remember, your introduction should actually be two sentences. You want an initial sentence that paraphrases the question, and you have written that. But then you what a thesis statement that previews and summarizes the specific answers you have to the question. So you should add a second, follow-up sentence that briefly explains how and why you would change your hometown in order to improve it.

      Feel free to revise the first sentence and add a second sentence as I mentioned above. If you put your new, revised introduction in the comments section, my colleagues and I will give you further feedback on it. 🙂

  28. mudita July 20, 2018 at 7:32 am #

    I have tried with an introduction.

    “Hometown is the place where you are born and have many good memories with that place. this essay discusses the problems and solutions to them on how to make our hometown a better place to live in. in my opinion, the joint efforts of everyone can make it a better place.”

    • David Recine
      David Recine July 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

      Another commenter rises to our video challenge! 🙂

      This is a pretty good introduction. But remember, the question is asking you what you’d do to improve your hometown, and how your proposed course of action would improve things. So be sure to include a “what” and “how” in your introduction. The “what” statement could begin something like this: “through our joint efforts, we would all (DESCRIBE WHAT YOU’D DO). Then for the “how,” say something like “this plan would improve my hometown because….” And of course, as you revise, make sure to double check for spelling and grammar errors. 😀

  29. Tabassum July 27, 2018 at 9:24 pm #

    Here is my introduction: There are some crucial things that I would like to alter of my home town to ameliorate the living and environment condition. I would suggest to reduce or eliminate the enormous traffic jam from the street and I believe if the excessive traffic jam is reduced, our precious time to reach destination would be saved as well as environment pollution would be lessen.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 30, 2018 at 11:01 am #

      Hi Tabassum,

      In terms of content, this is an excellent introduction. It references the original question; it’s clear what has been asked and what kind of answer you are giving. It also puts forth your main idea and supporting details: you’ll reduce traffic congestion so that people can save time and pollution can be reduced.

      In terms of wording, however, there are a few problems you should fix. The vocabulary you’re using seems overly wordy, and a little too advanced. Words like “ameliorate” aren’t really used in regular, more conversational writing, and “our precious time to reach destination would be saved” is overly wordy and a little hard to follow. It would probably be better to say something more straightforward there, such as “commuters could save time.” The IELTS essay really should have a more plain, conversational tone.

      In addition, many of the bigger words you’re using are in the wrong form or grammar. For example, “environment condition” should actually be “environmental condition,” and “would be lessen” should be “would lessen.”

      It strikes me that you’re overextending your vocabulary a little, using advanced, highly formal academic words that you understand, but have trouble using yourself in writing. You can actually get a better score if you make your writing simpler, working with the words you’re most comfortable with.

  30. Sonal August 10, 2018 at 6:11 am #

    Hi Eliot,

    Many thanks for such excellent guidance.

    I would like to ask about the preferable word limit in IELTS writing Task GT essay? Is it fine if word limit exceeds 300 words or should it be kept below 300?

    Also, I am not sure about which examples can be quoted… should it be related to real life experiences or mentioning of any anonymous survey can suffice the purpose.

    • Eliot Friesen
      Eliot Friesen August 10, 2018 at 9:09 am #

      Hi Sonal,

      Good questions. When you write, “Task GT,” I believe you are talking about General Training Task 1, for which you write a letter. Please let me know if you had something else in mind. For Task 1 (Academic and General Training), you should not write a lot more than the requirement. Writing too much will use valuable time you can spend editing your composition. It also steals time you could use to work on your Task 2 response, which counts more towards your overall writing score. I suggest shooting for 180 – 200 words for Task 1. You should be able to cover the required information very easily if you hit that mark.

      Regarding examples, I believe you are asking about Task 2 here. You can include examples from your life, the lives of people you know, things that occurred in your city/country, etc. You may also use data even if you don’t remember the precise details. For example, you could write, “A recent study revealed that roughly 60% of the residents in my city…” It’s fine to use anything that supports your point well. However, here is the important point about examples: they must be appropriate to the topic. Some IELTS topics have a more personal angle, such as discussing the qualities of a good friend or a good teacher. Other topics are much less personal, such as discussing the environment or social changes over time. Use examples that fit the essay topic and support your main points well.

      I hope this helps. Happy studying!

  31. Komal August 11, 2018 at 12:32 am #

    Modifying our own native place to make it the most liveable place is always accepted by people. Though difficult, few changes can lead to boost the place to be more liveable for instance, good infrastructure, establishment of better educational institutions, emphasising in house production which can prompt to escalate the overall growth of the home town.

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 11, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

      Your paraphrasing of the original question is a bit weak. “Native place” for example, is not really a phrase that’s used in English, and it doesn’t mean “home town.” Also, “a more livable place” would probably work better than “the most livable place,” since we’re talking about improving the town, not perfecting it. There are a number of other problems here: “few changes” mean “almost no changes,” so “a few changes” (some changes) might be better. And “emphasizing in house production” also sounds strange. Less awkward wording could be “focusing on home construction.”

      Those are just a few examples of odd wording that could hurt your IELTS writing score. With that said, the basic structure of your introduction is good. You start by paraphrasing the question and giving your opinion, and then you go on to give specific examples. Keep that excellent structure as you revise your wording.

  32. Pranav Singh August 17, 2018 at 6:25 am #

    The sample essay is pretty good, but to address the child possessive pronoun should be fixed (his or her), in the essay it keeps on changing.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Pranav,

      This is actually a very common convention in English writing, since there is no gender nonspecific pronoun. Some people will write “his or her” every time, but that is cumbersome and difficult to read. It’s also becoming more widely accepted to use “they” as a singular pronoun, but we don’t recommend that you do so in academic writing. Instead, it’s common to switch between gender pronouns in different examples. In this sample essay, you’ll notice that the author uses “she/her” for an entire paragraph, and then switches to “he/him”–that is completely acceptable in English writing! Remember that we aren’t talking about a specific person or child here, so there’s no issue with switching the pronoun. In fact, it shows even more clearly that the example is general and applies to an entire group!

  33. Sara August 20, 2018 at 4:14 pm #

    Is there any online writing evaluation? I need someone to score my writing to check my level

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 23, 2018 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Sara,

      We don’t provide essay grading services here at Magoosh. Sorry about that! We are a small team with thousands of students, and in order to keep our prices affordable we decided not to provide essay grading.You can share your IELTS Speaking and Writing for online feedback at various IELTS Internet message boards, including the official IELTS Australia forums. It is also useful to get feedback from a tutor, or a friend, classmate or teacher who has good English. You can use our resources in this guide to help you grade your essay accurately 🙂

  34. Brij August 28, 2018 at 9:40 am #

    In body 1 & 2, if I write only main points with explanation using complex sentence and don’t give an example, so what happened? I got good score or not?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 31, 2018 at 12:08 pm #

      Hi Brij,

      On the IELTS, you are graded on the quality of your writing. You can certainly score well without specific examples, as long as you answer the question presented by the task and develop your ideas in each paragraph. Examples help you to do this, but you can also do this logically.

  35. Giuseppe di Siena September 3, 2018 at 11:55 pm #

    Every place could became a better place thanks to some improvements. If I could I rebuild the city where I live adding more parks and green area, but I also would establish some more stringent parking and traffic rules to discipline residentds.

    • David Recine
      David Recine September 7, 2018 at 9:59 am #

      Your ideas and basic structure are very good here. Remember, though, a good introduction also gives a few reasons for the claims you’re making. I advise adding a sentence or two explaining why you feel that more parks, more green areas, and more stringent parking/traffic rules would make your town a better place to live in. Also remember that if you use the phrase “If I could,” you should follow it with “I would.” As in “If I could rebuild the city… I would add more parks….”

  36. Sanjiv Maharjan October 25, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

    “To what extent do you agree or disagree”
    Do we have to discuss on both points?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 3, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

      Hi Sanjiv,

      No, if you get a question that says “to what extent do you agree or disagree?” you need to assess the strength of your stance as well as what that stance is. You might be strongly on one side or maybe weakly. I hope this helps!

  37. Sagar Thapliyal November 15, 2018 at 10:34 pm #

    Here is my intro please feddback this.

    Changes always are good makes life better and comfortable. While I agree it is unwise to leave a place imperfect, however we have many things that should be changed in my hometown.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

      Hi Sagar,

      We currently don’t offer speech or writing feedback. We are a small team with a lot of students, and unfortunately can’t offer this sort of personalized support. I recommend that you check out the official IELTS Australia forums.. A lot of students give and receive feedback there!

  38. kavya December 10, 2018 at 6:26 am #

    Changes do matter in the present upgraded world. If am allowed to take some measures in the place where i live or in the place where i have stayed before, could be a thought to have discussion.

  39. Abhilasha Negi December 28, 2018 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi – I am responding to the task 2 introduction as per the video.
    It was related to the changes I would like to bring about in my hometown.

    Introduction only –

    With the growth of commercialization, I certainly believe it’s time to stop and think about the improvements and modifications we can bring about in our local communities, societies, cities and towns to build an eco-friendly atmosphere.
    I belong to a small town of Nanital, in the state of Uttrakhand, India. One of the major changes that we need to focus on is for the famous ‘Nani’ Lake to resolve the issue of depleting lake water.

    Looking forward to hearing back from your soon.

    • David Recine
      David Recine December 29, 2018 at 9:12 am #

      Hi Abhilasha,

      Let’s take a closer look at this introduction. I like the good range of vocabulary you have here. The grammar is perfect too! With all that said, there are also a few improvements you could make.

      Remember that the question is about “hometown” and not local society in a broader sense. Your reference to “local communities, societies, cities and towns” is a little too broad. You want to keep the focus on the idea of a hometown. And you can actually use the exact term “hometown” from the prompt. While paraphrasing the prompt is important, the most important specific terms from the original question should be repeated as-is.

      So I would make the opening sentence simpler, just referencing hometowns. I also recommend adding some information to the second sentence. What specific change would you make in relation to the lake? You obviously don’t want to go into too much extra detial, but getting more specific, summing up the change in perhaps 5-10 words, would help make your introduction meaningful and impactful.

  40. SOUMIA ABDELLI January 27, 2019 at 11:29 am #

    i wanna thank you for this amazing article, that I found very handy indeed.
    i have one question in mind and I hope you will provide with me with sufficient feedback. Is it okay!! to write in task 2 such phrases as: this essay will discuss, this essay agrees …..
    best regards

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 1, 2019 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Soumia,

      The phrase “this essay will discuss” should be fine as an introduction/overview, though it’s not really necessary. If you clearly state your thesis statement, then this sentence may just be repetitive.

      The phrase “this essay agrees,” on the other hand, just sounds strange! An essay can’t agree or disagree with anything–you, the writer, are agreeing or disagreeing. I would recommend that instead of using a sentence like that, you just clearly state your thesis.

  41. swati February 11, 2019 at 7:38 am #

    helloo!! dear
    i have a query if you could answer it please.
    i took my ielts GT recently and was asked to discuss both sides and give your opinion.
    i gave intro and then discussed both views and gave my opinion in conclusion.
    b8ut here you have suggested to write a seperate parah for opinion before conclusion.
    m little worried that will i loose bands for not doing it this way ?

    if so, then how this will effect my score?
    i require 7 bands in it.

    • David Recine
      David Recine February 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm #

      That’s a great question, Swati. If you didn’t express any opinion at all until the very end of the essay, that could definitely affect your score. The instructions say you should state the extent to which you agree or disagree with a position or positions. So that should be the main focus of your essay, and some expression of agreement or disagreement should be happening throughout the essay.

      However, if you expressed parts of your opinion in the body paragraphs, and then summarized your opinion in full int he final paragraph, you still might be able to get a good score. Ideally, your opinion should be mentioned in some way in every paragraph. But if your introduction was very brief and you expressed at least parts of your opinion in each body paragraph, you might still get a good score.

  42. Dudley Kamal February 12, 2019 at 5:07 am #

    My home town is a small city with bustling streets.There are lot of improvements has to be made to uplift the city and bring to the standard of rest of the cities.

  43. Prakhar Kapoor March 6, 2019 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Elliot,’

    Here is the introduction to the above-mentioned question. Kindly give it a read and let me know your feedback.

    Making alterations to their hometown in order to make it a wonderful place is like a dream for a majority of people nowadays. Given an opportunity, I would like to make advancements in my town. This will include the use of metros which will solve the traffic issues to a great extent. In the below paragraphs, I intend to delve into some other improvements that I want to do and the impact these will have on my city.

    I have my exam in the next two days. Kindly let me know your valuable feedback

    • David Recine
      David Recine March 7, 2019 at 9:29 am #

      Hi Prakhar! Let’s take a closer look at your introduction!

      I like the way you start with broader statement that introduces the topic (your first sentence). You also did a good job of including one specific point that will be in your essay (“use of metros”). And you gave a specific way in which that change would improve your town (“solve the traffic issues”). This is excellent as well.

      With that in mind, let’s also talk about things you could do to make this introduction even stronger. 🙂

      Be careful of your word choices. “Alterations,” for instance, is a kind of awkward word choice here. “Alterations” usually refers to changes made to clothing or other product designs. This word does not fit well when you are talking about changes to an entire city. Similarly “advancements” usually refers specifically to modernization and the use of new inventions and technology, which doesn’t clearly match your intended meaning. And “metros” can mean meany different things (a “metro” can refer to a city area that includes suburbs, or can refer to a local bus, a local train, or a number of other local services). So it would be better to use a more specific example than that.

      It also might be good to briefly describe specific traffic issues that need to be solved. And you should be more specific about the “other improvements.” If you’re going to write about other improvements besides traffic in your essay, you should also briefly mention those other improvements in your introduction.

      I hop all of this helps, but let me know if you have any questions about the feedback I’ve given you here. 🙂

  44. Soroya Janmohamed April 22, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

    I often envisage of making my City modern with less pollution and eco friendly. This can be achieved by reducing the cars on the roads and creating alternative modes of transport like building underground tubes, railways and using electric cars.

    • David Recine
      David Recine May 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

      Nice introduction. Remember, thought– paraphrase the prompt fully and clearly in your introduction. An added phrase such as “if there is one way I would improve my home community….” could be a helpful extra paraphrase. Be sure to also explain in your intro why alternative modes of transport would be helpful, something like “these changes would reduce pollution and be more eco-friendly because….” Also, here, the word should be “envision,” not “envisage.” Again though, great ideas and setup for an intro to this essay. 🙂

  45. asmaa June 3, 2019 at 12:04 pm #

    Everyone would like his country to be the most perfect place in the world, and so do I. This essay will explain my point of view of how would using renewable energy and internet influence my home town to develop.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

      Hi Asmaa! Nice intro 🙂 Are you looking for feedback? This is good, though I might suggest that you make an even clearer connection between your opening sentence and your thesis. I do like how clear your thesis is!

  46. Moumita Dhar July 27, 2019 at 5:15 am #

    Hi Eliot,

    Here is an introduction to the prompt in the video.

    I have been staying away from my hometown for quite a few years, and when I look back, I really want to bring in some changes to my native to make it a better place to live. Given an opportunity, I would introduce multiple institutes to learn martial arts and/or self defense. The dynamics of safety will be highly impacted by this change in a positive way, offering a higher sense of security among parents, kids, women in general, and older people as well.

    I would request you to take a look and let me know of your valuable feedback and suggestions, if any.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 23, 2019 at 12:38 pm #

      Hi Moumita,

      Thanks for responding to this prompt! I’m afraid that we don’t provide feedback for IELTS speaking tasks–we are a small team with a lot of students, so it would be difficult to provide this service for everyone! There may be other readers who can give you feedback 🙂

  47. Hajra Rafique August 9, 2019 at 8:08 am #

    The topic of the essay is the possible amendments that might be made to beautify my home town and to develop its living conditions.The modifications will add up to the betterment of my town in numerous ways.
    Replacement of old, out of ordered transformers with new ones would the first step to be taken.Secondly,I will try to provide enough amount of water supply to every house in town.Trash dumping system and improvisation of poor conditions of roads would be third in my target list.Like any well-established area my home town would also turn into a place with all fundamental facilities.

    • David Recine
      David Recine August 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm #

      The structure of your introduction is good. You open up with a good overview,a nd then you outline each idea that will appear int he body of your esay. Nice work!

      To make this introduction even stronger, carefully double-check your word choices. To give just two examples, “amendment’ usually means a written change to a document rather than an infrastructure change to a town, and “improvisation” refers to an unrehearsed stage performance, not an improvement.

  48. Ranjan Surianarayanan August 20, 2019 at 1:05 am #

    My introduction

    I’ve frequently imagined how beautiful,healthy, happy and peaceful my community would appear if I was able to make some radical changes to benefit every member of the community and the community itself.This essay will elaborate on three major
    changes that if made would in my opinion significantly improve the quality and standard of living in the community. The three major changes are, Road repairs, Removal of stagnant water and garbage
    collection and disposal.

    Body #1: Road repairs(Explanation, reasons, benefits)
    Body #2: Removal of stagnant water(Explanation, reasons, benefits)
    Body #3: Garbage collection and disposal(Explanation, reasons, benefits)


    Really look forward to a feedback.


    • David Recine
      David Recine August 20, 2019 at 1:41 pm #

      Great structure and a really good introduction, Ranjan. There is one change I’d suggest, though. At times, your writing is a bit too wordy. Having four adjectives to describe your community int he first sentence is a little more complex than ideal. Similarly, “on three major changes that if made would in my opinion significantly improve…” is also quite wordy. Consider eliminating at lease one or two inessential words. “In my opinion” could be omitted, and/or you could get rid of adjectives such as “significantly.”

      • Ranjan Surianarayanan August 20, 2019 at 11:14 pm #

        Hey David !

        I really appreciate the feedback. I agree that I had used a lot of objectives in the first sentence and that the introduction is pretty wordy.

        I guess concise choice of words and phrases are the way to go eh ?

        Cheers !!


  49. readingisfun1 December 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm #

    I think that your article helped me a bit although I’m still a somewhat stumped. Thanks anyway!

  50. Shafiqa Iqbal June 27, 2020 at 10:03 am #

    The essay enquires about the possible modifications you’d consider making in order to improve your hometown. There are numerous changes that I would consider implementing, but the most important ones will be as following: constructing playgrounds in each neighbourhood, defining proper traffic lanes and an improved transport facility. I believe these are the most essential and rudimentary necessities for everyone and such changes improvements can make lives easier.

  51. Anshuman Bhardwaj September 27, 2020 at 10:15 pm #

    is it mandatory to write ielts task 2 in three paragraphs?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert October 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm #

      Hi Anshuman,

      No, there is no required organization to the IELTS Task 2 essay. Some people might write 3, 4 or even 5 paragraphs. It is important to organize your essay well, however, and ensure that your use of paragraphs makes sense for the content of the essay.

  52. Fredy October 29, 2020 at 7:33 am #

    Very useful guide. Many thanks


  1. Mission 8 in Writing | Syed Ahmed Zaki - March 29, 2018

    […] IELTS Academic Writing Task 2: The Complete Guide […]

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply