Preparing for IELTS: Academic Writing Tips

Writing and Reading parts differ depending on the IELTS exam version – General or Academic.  Academic Writing requires one to analyse a given problem, its reasons or consequences, to argumentatively defend a particular point of view. You should also use only formal language and keep to the strict narration structure.

Here are a few tips to remember about Academic Writing, which may probably help you to write a proper essay and get a good mark for this part of the test.


Academic Writing consists of two tasks.

Total time for both tasks is 60 min.

1. Explain a chart. No less than 150 words.

With only formal words you should explain a diagram. For example, describe a trend. In other words, you should clearly and briefly express graphical information in 150 words.

2. Write an essay. No less than 250 words.

You are give a subject, on which you should argumentatively explain your position. You are expected to write an essay of one of five possible essay types. This is more difficult task, which is estimated higher and can bring you more points for Writing.

Essay Types

Essay types differ by their perspective and structure.

1. Solve a problem
What solutions can you suggest?
How to write: write in 5 paragraphs: 1 – introduction, 3 – three approaches to solve, 1 – conclusion
Introduction and conclusion – just rephrase the problem and express the general idea.

2. Do you agree or disagree?
Two views are given – your task is to choose one.
How to write: in 5 paragraphs; give 3 reasons why the chosen view is right, in 3 separate paragraphs.
Defence the position!
Conclusion – to acknowledge the oppoisite and explain why do you disagree.

3.  Two views on a controversial subject
You are given statements to discuss, compare, contrast.
Example questions: what are adv and disadv of…?
How to write: both statements must be described equally; 4 paragraphs; One main paragraph for each position.

4.  Explain a problem, or problem reasons
Example questions: What are the reasons of…?
How to write: 5 paragraphs; 3 separate paragraphs about 3 different reasons.

5.  Evaluate a problem
Example questions: To what degree, to what extend this problem is important?.. How serious?..
How to write: 5 paragraphs; 3 paragraphs – analyse  3 different influence aspects.

Common Connective Words

These words help to bound sentences with each other in essays.

Addition: In addition; Moreover; Besides; Furthermore; Likewise; Similarly; Also; Not only…but;
Sequence in order: First(ly); Initially; Second(ly) etc; To begin with; Next; Earlier/Later; After this/that; Following this/that; Afterwards.
Consequence: As a result; Thus; Therefore; Consequently; It follows that; Thereby; Eventually; Then; In that case; Admittedly; Hence;
Contrast/Comparison: However; On the one hand; On the other hand; Despite; In spite of; Though; Although; But; On the contrary; Otherwise; Yet; Rather; Whereas; Even though; In contrast; Alternatively
Certainty: Obviously; Certainly; Plainly; Of course; Undoubtedly; Without any doubt; Evidently
Condition: If; Unless; In case; Provided that; For; Depending on; Whether; As long as
Reason: Because (of); Since; As; Due to; Owing to; The reason why; In other words;
Sequence of time: Before; Since; Until; Meanwhile; Whereas; While; At the moment; Whenever; As soon as;
Conclusion: In conclusion; In summary; To sum up; To conclude; Lastly; Finally; Eventually; To recapitulate; In short; To cut the long story short;

Example: For instance; For example; In particular; Such as; Namely; To illustrate


This topic is prepared by tips from Yulia Savchuks, English-by-Skype teacher.
To be continued.


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