IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay Structures

The IELTS Writing Exam is marked in four areas:

  • Task Achievement
  • Coherence and Cohesion
  • Lexis
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy

In order to score highly for those first two, you must be able to understand the question and structure an appropriate response. How can you do that? Check out this useful PPT for some great advice:

You can also take a look at this video I made in 2018, which explains IELTS essay structure in basic terms:

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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  1. Hey there! Quick question, is it absolutely necessary to use the “outline sentence”? It feels very “I am 10 years old and can’t write a proper thesis statement that actually outlines my essay with the thesis itself.” Is this what you would say is an “official structure”?

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    • No, nothing is really absolutely necessary. However, I would strongly recommend it for IELTS students. It shows a grasp of structure and language, even if, as you say, it may seem rather simplistic in a native speaker’s academic essay.

      In learning English writing, I think it’s important students work within a set structure until they have really quite advanced skills, otherwise it tends to turn into a disaster. Giving guides for each sentence is essential. At a certain point they can then break free and try something more complex.

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