How To Write IELTS Essays

IELTS Essays (International English Language Testing System): A Brief Overview

The IELTS essay task evaluates your writing abilities within a specific timeframe. Here are the key aspects:

  • Purpose: To create a coherent and structured composition.
  • Thesis Statement: A succinct statement conveying the primary idea of the essay.
  • Structure: Includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.Content: Relevant examples, evidence, and arguments supporting the main idea.
  • Language: Formal language, correct grammar, and accurate syntax.Critical Thinking: Analyzing the topic and presenting a balanced argument.
  • Time Management: Generating a thorough answer within the word limit.

Types of IELTS Essay Questions

  • Opinion-based: Express your personal opinion on an issue.
    Examples: Advertising, Alternative Medicine, Social Interaction & the Internet.
  • Problem-solution: Identify a problem and propose solutions.
    Examples: Reducing Crime, Child Development, Donating Money to Charity.
  • Discussion: Present both sides of an argument.
    Examples: University Education, Animal Rights, Influence of Scientists.
  • Advantages: Focus on the positive aspects.
    Examples: Technology Development, Vegetarianism, Paying Taxes.
  • Disadvantages: Identify the negative aspects.
    Examples: Multinational Organizations, Internet vs Newspapers.
  • Comparison: Compare elements based on similarities/differences.
    Examples: Airline Tax, Examinations vs Formal Assessment.
  • Cause: Investigate reasons behind an event/situation.
    Examples: Global Warming, Stress, Communication Between Generations.
  • Effect: Explore the consequences of an event/situation.
    Examples: Child Obesity, Skin Whitening Creams.
  • Cause & Effect: Discuss causes and their effects.
    Examples: Family Size, Having Children Later in Life.
  • Pros & Cons: Analyze positive and negative aspects.
    Examples: Family Closeness, Rural to Urban Migration.

How can I improve my essay writing skills for the IELTS exam?

Improving your essay writing skills for the IELTS exam is essential for achieving a high score. Here are some effective strategies:

Understand the Test Format:

Familiarize yourself with the IELTS writing task 2 format. You’ll have 40 minutes to complete this task, and your essay should be over 250 words.

Learn about the four assessment criteria: Task Response, Coherence & Cohesion, Vocabulary, and Grammar.

Practice Regularly:

  • Write essays consistently. Set aside time each day to practice.
  • Use a variety of essay topics to enhance your skills.

Get Feedback:

  • Seek feedback on your writing. You can ask a teacher, a language partner, or use online platforms.
  • Analyze the feedback and work on improving specific areas.

Plan Your Essays:

  • Spend a few minutes planning before you start writing. Outline your main points and organize your thoughts.
  • A well-structured essay is easier to read and evaluate.

Use Formal Language and Vocabulary:

  • IELTS essays require a formal tone. Avoid colloquial expressions.
  • Expand your vocabulary by learning synonyms and academic phrases.

Focus on Coherence and Cohesion:

  • Ensure your essay flows logically. Use linking words and phrases to connect ideas.
  • Paragraphs should have a clear topic sentence and follow a logical order.

Time Management:

  • Practice writing within the time limit. Allocate time for planning, writing, and reviewing.
  • Avoid spending too much time on one section.

Consistent practice and targeted improvement in these areas will help you excel in the IELTS writing task.

Can you provide some useful vocabulary for IELTS essays?

Enhancing your vocabulary for IELTS essays is crucial for achieving a high score. Here are some useful phrases and words you can incorporate into your writing:

Expressing Personal Opinions:

  • In my opinion, …
  • Personally, I think that …
  • It seems to me that …
  • I must admit that …
  • I believe/suppose that …
  • As far as I’m concerned, …
  • I would argue that …
  • I’d like to point out that …

Proving Your Arguments:

  • To attest, …
  • To prove, …
  • This (fact) is attested/proven by …
  • This (fact) is evidenced by …
  • This (fact) is testified by …
  • This (fact) is endorsed/supported by …
  • This (evidence) establishes that …

Expressing General Points of View:

  • It is (generally) claimed that …
  • It is (generally) said that …
  • It is (generally) thought that …
  • A common opinion is that …
  • A popular belief is that …

Outlining Facts:

  • The fact is that …
  • It is obvious that …
  • There is no doubt that …
  • This proves that …


  • Generally speaking, …
  • On the whole, …
  • Typically, …
  • By and large …

Giving Examples:

  • For example, …
  • For instance, …
  • A good illustration of this is …
  • Evidence for this is provided by …
  • We can see this when …


  • To summarize, …
  • In conclusion, …
  • Overall, …
  • On balance, …Taking everything into consideration, …

Practice using these phrases in context, and adapt them to suit the specific essay topic.

IELTS essay structure and format

Let’s explore the structure and format for IELTS essays. A well-organized essay can significantly impact your score.

Here are some essential points to consider:

1. General IELTS Essay Structure

Most IELTS Task 2 essays follow a basic structure:


  • Paraphrase the essay question.
  • State your opinion (for opinion essays) or provide context (for other essay types).

Main Body Paragraphs (usually 2-3 paragraphs):

  • Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea.
  • Start with a topic sentence.
  • Provide explanations, examples, and evidence to support your point.
  • Use linking words to connect ideas.


  • Summarize your main points.
  • Restate your opinion (for opinion essays) or provide a final thought.

2. Specific Essay Types and Structures

Let’s look at specific essay types and their structures:

a. Opinion Essays (Agree or Disagree)


  • Paraphrase the question.
  • State your opinion and outline main ideas.

Main Body Paragraphs:

  • Each paragraph discusses a separate reason or aspect related to your opinion.
  • Provide examples or evidence.


  • Summarize your opinion and main points.
  • Example Introduction: “It is argued that volunteering should be made part of the school curriculum. This essay agrees with that suggestion completely because it helps pupils develop soft skills and gain much-needed work experience.”

b. Advantages and Disadvantages Essays


  • Paraphrase the question.
  • Mention both advantages and disadvantages.

Main Body Paragraphs:

  • Discuss advantages in one paragraph.
  • Discuss disadvantages in another paragraph.


  • Summarize the main points.

c. Problem and Solution Essays


  • Paraphrase the question.
  • Introduce the problem.

Main Body Paragraphs:

  • Describe the problem in detail.
  • Propose solutions.


  • Summarize the problem and solutions.

d. Discussion Essays (Discuss Both Views)


  • Paraphrase the question.
  • Mention both sides of the argument.

Main Body Paragraphs:

  • Discuss one side in each paragraph.
  • Provide evidence or examples.


  • Summarize both views.

Here’s an example of a well-structured IELTS essay on the topic of whether parents or schools are better at teaching children how to be good members of society:

Title: Parents vs. Schools: Who Teaches Good Citizenship?

Introduction: In the ongoing debate about whether parents or schools are more effective in teaching children how to be good members of society, opinions diverge. While some argue that educational institutions provide the best environment for instilling civic values, I firmly believe that family upbringing plays a more crucial role.

Body Paragraph 1 (Schools): Schools can indeed contribute to shaping responsible citizens. With standardized educational methods, they foster cognitive development, equipping students with knowledge and skills. For instance, renowned schools like Trung Vuong and Vinschool have produced successful alumni who contribute significantly to the country. However, this approach only benefits a fraction of students, leaving many without personalized attention.

Body Paragraph 2 (Parents): Parents, on the other hand, play a pivotal role in teaching children how to be good citizens. In Vietnam, where class sizes average 20 students, individualized attention is challenging in schools. One-on-one lessons at home allow children to progress faster. Moreover, parents form stronger bonds with their offspring, enabling them to shape personalities from an early age. Bedtime stories like Robin Hood and Cinderella can instill compassion and integrity.

Conclusion: In conclusion, while schools have their merits, parents remain the primary educators of good citizenship. Their personalized guidance and early influence significantly impact a child’s character. Therefore, family upbringing should be prioritized in nurturing responsible members of society.

IELTS essay topics 2024

Here are some recent IELTS Writing essay topics for 2024:

Communication and Technology:

  • Has technology improved or hampered communication in society? Discuss.
  • Do the advantages of new communication technologies outweigh the disadvantages?

Health and Lifestyle:

  • What measures can governments take to combat obesity?

Business and Money:

  • Explore the impact of globalization on businesses and economies.


  • Discuss the role of technology in modern education.

How can individuals contribute to environmental conservation?

Social Issues:

  • Analyze the effects of social media on interpersonal relationships.

Practice and dedication are key to improving your language proficiency and achieving a good IELTS score. Aim for clarity, coherence, and a balanced approach.

Good luck with your IELTS preparation!