Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2

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Using the right vocabulary in the IELTS Writing Task 2 is on key to success. In this post, I’ve gathered useful words and phrases for you to learn and use. First, we’ll look at the most common vocabulary that you can use to raise your band level. Then, I’ll share where you can find more IELTS resources to strengthen your vocabulary!

Most Common Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2

In IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll be writing a formal essay. This could ask you anything from your opinion on an current public issue, to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a solution to an issue, to coming up with solutions to an issue on your own!

Whether you’re sitting for the Academic or the General Training IETLS exam, you can use this most common vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2 in almost any situation.

Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2: Introduction

At the beginning of Writing Task 2, you’ll need to restate the prompt, give your thesis, and provide an overview of the essay. Here’s the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2 to do that.

  • It appears that…
  • It may seem that…
  • I/This essay will show that…
  • I/This essay will argue that…
  • To examine this issue, this essay will examine both….and…
  • Firstly, this essay will…and secondly, it will….

What does this look like in practice? Here are a few examples!

  • It appears that exercise has both physical and mental benefits.
  • It may seem that studying the arts is useless, but the opposite is true.
  • This essay will show that smartphones are actually beneficial.
  • I will argue that the government should play a larger, not a smaller, role in public health.
  • To examine this issue, this essay will examine both the social and physical effects of family meals.
  • Firstly, this essay will describe the advantages of this policy and secondly, it will explain the disadvantages of this policy.

Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2: Paragraphs

Within each body paragraph, you need a clear topic sentence. Sometimes, these will be as simple as listing examples, but you can also use words and phrases to illustrate conflicts and contradictions between ideas. Here’s the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2 to do that.

  • First of all,
  • In addition,
  • For example,
  • For instance,
  • Conversely,
  • However,

What does this look like in practice? Here are a few examples!

  • First of all, the government takes a strong role in limiting gambling and other forms of entertainment, so it should also take a larger role in sports.
  • In addition, employees may find that no further opportunities are available for them at the same company past a certain point.
  • For example, self-checkout options lead to the loss of jobs within the community.
  • For instance, electric cars damage the environment far less than cars that run on petrol.
  • Conversely, the energy involved in producing electric cars may outweigh the overall energy savings.
  • However, it is important to acknowledge the negative impacts of smartphones, particularly on mental health.

Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2: Conclusion

You’ll need to transition to your final paragraph (your conclusion) smoothly. Rather than just restating the thesis statement right away, use transition words and phrases to wrap up. Here’s the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2 to do that.

  • Finally,
  • To summarise,
  • In the end,
  • On balance,
  • Therefore,

What does this look like in practice? Here are a few examples!

  • Finally, young people should welcome advice from their elders.
  • To summarise, junk food is an unnecessary burden on public health and should be regulated.
  • In the end, universities should make history courses requirements for graduation.
  • On balance, the recent dependence on the Internet is a positive development.
  • Therefore, the government should more strictly regulate violent content in films and other media.

Linking Words, Phrases, and Paraphrasing

Within each paragraph, you’ll need to include linking words and phrases, as well as paraphrases of important ideas, to make the essay read fluently. Here are a few resources to check out for examples you can try!

Podcasts for Learning Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2

Sometimes, it’s more useful to hear words spoken to integrate them into your vocabulary. This is also a great way to learn a variety of vocabulary words and phrases for IELTS Writing Task 2 quickly. Here are Magoosh’s top IELTS podcasts for learning new terms to use in different scenarios!

Vocabulary Lists and Resources

Because the topics on IELTS Writing Task 2 can be so varied, the words to use in IELTS Writing Task 2 are also varied! Here are a few resources, both general and specific, to help you out in different scenarios.

How to Learn New Vocabulary

Of course, just sitting and staring at a bunch of words isn’t going to help you much on test day. Here are some resources to help you learn vocabulary for IELTS Task 2 in a way that will actually help boost your score!

A Final Word

When it comes to which words to use in IELTS Writing Task 2, there are a handful of terms you can memorize to set yourself up for success. However, more than just learning the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2, practicing with that vocabulary will be key to your success! So try a few practice sentences each time you learn a new phrase to better integrate it before test day.

If you’re ready to study vocab from other IELTS sections, check out our free guides to IELTS Speaking vocabulary, IELTS Listening and Reading words, and IELTS Writing Task 1 language and vocabulary. Good luck!

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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