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Answers to Paragraphing Options for Writing T1

I’ve posted the answers on the original page, click here: http://ieltsliz.com/writing-task-1-paragraphs-review/

All the best

Liz

Paragraphs Review for IELTS Writing Task 1?

Lets check your understanding of IELTS writing task 1 paragraphing. This is for academic writing task 1.

Below are a number of options for how to structure your writing task 1. Are all these options good for IELTS writing task 1?

Option A

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction & overview
  • Paragraph 2 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 3 = body 2 detail

Option B

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction
  • Paragraph 2 = overview
  • Paragraph 3 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 4 = body 2 detail

Option C

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction
  • Paragraph 2 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 3 = body 2 detail
  • Paragraph 4 = overview

Option D

  • Paragraph 1 = introduction
  • Paragraph 2 = overview
  • Paragraph 3 = body 1 detail
  • Paragraph 4 = conclusion

Questions for You

  1. Which paragraphing options are suitable for writing task 1? 
  2. Is there an option above which will get you a higher score?
  3. Which structure is not acceptable?

Paragraph Options Explained: Answers

Options A, B, & C are all possible to be used in Writing Task 1 and get a high score. Option D will not give you a good score. Read the details below to learn more:

Option A

When the introduction is very short, such as with diagrams, I sometimes put my overview statement with the introduction. I feel it gives a better balanced of paragraphs. Although the introduction and overview are in the same paragraph, they MUST be separate statements. The introduction presents the information (paraphrases the description) and the overview contains all key features.

Option B

This is my personal favourite. Writing task 1 is not an essay. It is a report. The overview contains all the key features and I prefer to present that before giving all the smaller details. I like the reader to understand the gist of the chart, before seeing small examples of data. 

Furthermore, the overview is THE MOST IMPORTANT PARAGRAPH IN WRITING TASK 1. For this reason also, I like to put it early on in the writing. The overview needs to be both clear and contain information well selected.

Option C

It is also 100% fine to put the overview at the end of the report. However, if you choose this option, make sure you manage your time well – your overview is the most important part and needs to be thought about carefully and written very very well.

Option D

There are two very serious problems with this structure.

  1. The body must be divided into a minimum of two paragraphs. You are being marked on how you take the detail and divide it into logical sections. Most writing task 2 will have two paragraphs for the body, but occasionally you might have three. 
  2. You cannot have both an overview which contains the key features and a conclusion that summarises the key features. This would mean in a short report, you would have repeated the key features twice. This will lower your score. There is no reason to repeat anything at all. Once you state the key features in the overview, your body paragraphs (plural) will present all main details. You never repeat it all again. This means you do not need a conclusion. 

I hope you have found this useful 🙂 My main writing task 1 page has lots of model answers which show both option A and B. CLICK BELOW:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Tips, Model Answers & More

If you want letter writing tips for GT writing task 1, see this page: http://ieltsliz.com/ielts-letter-writing-essential-tips/

All the best

Liz

 

 

IELTS Remarking Success Story

Can your IELTS score change after remarking? This is one persons story about remarking and the amazing results that followed. Below is Najada’s story.

My IELTS Remarking Story

Hello everyone.

I took my IELTS Academic module on the 8th of December 2018 in Melbourne Australia. I have been living and working in Melbourne for nearly 2 and a half years, which means English has become part of my life everyday communication.


I needed to sit my IELTS in order to apply for a registration to work as a Physiotherapist in Australia. The minimum score required is 7 in each module and overall band score 7. ​I was very lucky to come across IELTS Liz website. I solely studied from Liz’s website. I did most of the lessons, read all the tips, followed all updates and of course purchased the Advanced Writing lessons. ​I strongly recommend to all students to purchase the advanced lessons as they are ABSOLUTELY fantastic. Liz’s explanation and advice are very comprehensive and clear.​I could not afford having a tutor to study so Liz’s website and affordable advanced writing lessons saved my life!!!​​

I received my IELTS score as the following:

  • Listening: 7.5
  • ​Reading: 8.0​S
  • Speaking: 8.5​
  • Writing: 6.0

​​I was absolutely disappointed with my writing score as I was pretty sure I did better than 6. In Task 1 I had two line graphs and Task 2 a problem solution essay. I did follow Liz’s advice on how to organise paragraphs and ideas, did my planning before starting writing!!!! VERY IMPORTANT​ I used a variety of complex sentences (Liz’s lessons for complex sentences are fantastic). I was as careful as possible. I felt that something was wrong with the score, so I started checking online about the remark option.​ The majority of the websites mention that there is a possibility to get a change in the score, with a 0.5 increase being the most common and in rare cases a 1.0.​ What they also mention is that if there is a major difference between each component (like my case) they will ask for a second examiner to mark it just to be sure. ​So I thought they might have done that with mine too.

But still my gut feeling said to me that something is wrong. I did better than 6.0. ​So I decided to apply for a remark. The remark fee is quite expensive, 176 AUD to be precise, so if there is not a change you lose your money, but if there is a change you get a full refund.​ I decided to take the risk because as I said before I did study very hard for my writing, which was my weakest part.​​

After 4 weeks I received an email saying that there has been a change to my writing score. And that change was……. 7.5. I COULD NOT believe it. That’s a 1.5 increase. So my final score is overall band score 8 with:

  • Listening: 7.5
  • ​Reading: 8.0​
  • Speaking: 8.5​
  • Writing: 7.5

Even the staff at the English Centre  where I took my IELTS were absolutely surprised by this remark change. ​If you have a doubt about your results, while you are confident that you have done better than this, go for the remark. You might receive your desired score.​​

I would also like to say that please do read well all Liz’s pages as they contain crucial information about the test. I literally followed her advice for each part of the test.​

What I would like to add about speaking is…. SPEAK ENGLISH AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. I was very lucky to practice my English everyday. Living and working in Australia have allowed me ​to interact with people. I was asking colleagues and friends to correct any errors I made with my speaking and, believe me, that helped me a lot.​ You can only improve if you are aware of your weak points and you are determined to study hard. Nothing comes easy without hard work.​​Unfortunately for permanent residency I need a minimum of 8 in each component, so I have to sit the IELTS again but i can finally practice my profession. I am continuing to practise my listening, speaking, writing and reading and also my spelling as I am pretty sure some of my listening errors were spelling mistakes.​

Thank you Liz for your absolutely amazing hard work and your kindness, Najada.

Comment: Very well done! It’s a great score. I would like to thank you for sharing your story because it really shows people the importance of sticking with your convictions. If you feel your score should be higher, try a remark. However, I hope everyone realises that Najada was aware of the band score requirements. she did understand IELTS techniques and did have a strong level of English (as could be seen by her speaking score of 8.5). For this reason, her gut instinct was right.

I wish you lots of luck in the future, Najada !! 🙂

And good luck to you all taking your IELTS test!

All the best, Liz

Model Essay for TV & Weight Problems with Tips

This page contains a model essay and a long list of useful tips to help you develop your IELTS writing task 2 skills.

Essay Question

Some people think that watching TV causes weight problems in children. Do you agree with this view? What solutions can you suggest to tackle children’s weight problems?

Model Essay

It is thought by some people that weight problems in children are caused by watching TV. While I agree that excessive hours in front of the TV can contribute to this problem, diet also plays a role. Furthermore, weight problems can only be dealt with by tackling the issues behind them.

Firstly, I think that although watching TV in itself does not actually cause children to gain weight, spending too much time each day sitting in front of the TV without doing exercise can result in weight problems. In other words, inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are directly linked to problems with obesity. Secondly, however, weight problems are also compounded by poor diet consisting of a lack of healthy meals and too much processed foods containing high levels of fats and sugars. This comes from both children and parents making poor dietary choices which lack fresh wholefoods. Both lack of exercise and poor diet directly contribute to weight problems in children.

There are two obvious solutions to dealing with childhood obesity. One answer is to reduce the amount of inactivity in a child’s life by cutting out hours spent either watching TV or on electronic devices, and use that time to participate in physical activities. By doing this, children will burn off excess calories which will drastically reduce their weight. Altering a child’s diet is another measure that can be taken to tackle this issue. Parents should be more proactive in producing healthier meals and reducing the amount of junk food available in the house. It might also be sensible to encourage children to take part in the cooking process which ought to ensure they grow up being able to produce their own balanced meals.

In conclusion, by introducing children to sports and other physical activities as well as providing them with a better diet, these measures can counteract the causes of childhood obesity.

Useful Tips

I have written these tips to help you with your essay. 

The tips have two aims:

  • To help you understand my model essay above.
  • To help you understand some of the problems with your own essay. I have read the essays you posted and I have put advice which will relate to many of you below.

Tips for IELTS Essays

  1. There are two tasks in this essay question.
    1. You must give your opinion as to whether watching TV causes weight problems. 
    2. You must present solutions to the problem of childhood obesity.
    3. Both of these tasks carry equal weight.
  2. Your introduction should not be long. Your conclusion should not be long. The high scores for writing task 2 are in the body paragraphs. See my essay above to assess the length and balance of the essay.
  3. Because you have two tasks, you will use one body paragraph for your opinion and one body paragraph for the solutions. This is logical organisation and logical paragraphing.
  4. Your opinion about TV causing weight problems should be given in the introduction and explained in body paragraph 1.
    1. A complete agreement with the statement would mean you agree that watching TV causes weight problems for children.
    2. A partial agreement would be that it does to some extent but there are other possible reasons or reason.
    3. It is always wise to address the fact that watching TV is not a problem in itself – it is the amount of time doing so that is the problem. This is an important aspect of the essay question that needs to be addressed if you are aiming for a high score. High band scores will require you to intelligently assess the issue or issues in the question.
    4. Your opinion which is about causes is body paragraph 1. You do not have a separate body paragraph with your opinion.
  5. Expressing your Opinion
    1. The words “This essay will …” or “This essay agrees …” does NOT express your own personal opinion. If you have done that, you will have failed to follow the instructions which require a direct personal opinion from you. This will lower your score.
    2. To express your own personal opinion, you MUST use “I” or “My”.
  6. If you have two causes and two solutions of childhood weight problems, you should make sure both causes and both solutions are easy to identify in the body paragraph. This means using linking words or signposts. Check my essay above and see how I do this. If you didn’t do this, you should consider more about your use of linking. This will be assessed by the IELTS examiner.
  7. The solutions to the problem given will appear in the second body paragraph. 
  8. You cannot have more than 3 body paragraphs in an IELTS essay. Each body paragraph should be of equal length (roughly). This is because each main point must be equally developed for a high score.
  9.  Vocabulary
    1. You need to avoid inappropriate and informal language, such as the word “kids” which is informal. That word can be used in IELTS speaking, not in IELTS writing.
    2.  The words “children” and “child” will be repeated. It is 100% fine to repeat some words in the English language. Paraphrasing is not about changing all words, all the time. It is about choosing which words to change and which words NOT to change.
    3. Don’t use expression such as “I want to say that..”. This is too informal for an IELTS essay.
  10. Choose the information you present in your essay carefully.
    1. If you want to write about meal times. Do not give a list of times (for example breakfast 7-9am). Instead, write that meal times should be at a scheduled time each day to provide routine. Think about what your point really is.
    2. Don’t write a list of junk food. If you use the word junk food, you do not need to give examples of it. The examiner knows the meaning of junk food. Examples are used to illustrate a point to make it clearer. The words “junk food” do not need explaining.
    3. Don’t give examples of video games or online gaming. The examiner does not need that information to understand your point.
    4. You do not have to start your examples with “A recent survey..”. The examiner does not care where your ideas or information come from.
  11.  Conclusion
    1. If you miss the conclusion, you will automatically get a reduced score for Task Response which is 25% of your marks.
    2. Always start your conclusion with a useful linking device. It helps the examiner locate your vital conclusion.
  12. Make sure you essay is below 300 words and between 260 and 290 words. My model above is 302 which is slightly over, but as I am a native speaker and highly experienced with IELTS I will not penalise myself for this 🙂

I hope you found this exercise useful. I hope the tips will help you develop your writing skills for IELTS.

Thank you for posting your essays. Some of the sentences and paragraphs you have written may be used in the new Grammar E-book I am compiling. Without your name or details mentioned of course.

All the best

Liz

Practice Essay for Sample Materials

I am currently working on an e-book for IELTS writing task 2 grammar. I need sample writing from people preparing for IELTS for my book.

I would like you to write a model essay for the question below. Sentences from your essay might be used in my e-book. Obviously, your name will not be used, just some sentences. If you post your essay, you are giving me your consent to use sentences in your essay in my e-book.

Essay Question

Some people think that watching TV causes weight problems in children. Do you agree with this view? What solutions can you suggest to tackle children’s weight problems?

Model Essay

I have written a full model essay for this question and also a long list of tips which relate directly to many of the essays posted below.

To view the model essay and tips, click below:

Model Essay & Tips

 

All the best

Liz

Comments

The points below will help you when you type your essay into the comments box.

  1. Please note this is a multi-task essay. The first question asks for your opinion on the issue. The second asks for your solutions. Both questions carry equal weight.
  2. You should aim for between 270 and 290 words. It is not recommended to go over 300.
  3. You should use a range of linking devices.
  4. Do not use learned phrases. Each sentence should be uniquely created by yourself.
  5. Always divide the body into paragraphs. Choose a logical organisation of ideas.
  6. Don’t aim to impress. Always aim for accuracy.

Reading Answers Death of High Street

Below are answers for yesterday’s reading passage: Death of the High Street Lesson

If you haven’t done the lesson, please complete it before looking at the answers. Click here: Reading Lesson Death of the High Street.

Answers

  1. A = 3
  2. B = 5
  3. C = 1
  4. D = 2
  5. E = 4
  6. triggered = spurred
  7. combine = couple that
  8. expendable = disposable
  9. soar = shoot up
  10. discouraging = deterring
  11. imminent = looming
  12. boost = injection

I hope you found this lesson useful 🙂

All the best

Liz

IELTS Reading Lesson: Death of the High Street

A 2019 IELTS lesson 🙂 A reading exercise for matching headings practice about the “Death of the High Street”. This is an easy lesson to help you develop confidence. There are two exercises in this lesson.

  1. Exercise 1 = Matching Headings
  2. Exercise 2 = Synonyms (Vocabulary practice)

Death of the High Street: Reading for IELTS

Exercise 1: Matching Headings

Questions 1-5. Match the heading with the relevant paragraph below. Write a letter for each answer.

  1.  Changing Tastes
  2.  Rising Overheads
  3. Squeezed Incomes
  4. Too Much Debt
  5. E-commerce

A) A big factor has been a fall in discretionary spending, spurred by rising shop prices and weak wage growth. A near 15% fall in the pound since the Brexit vote has pushed inflation over 3% – way above the Bank of England’s 2% target. This has made imported goods more expensive, with those costs passed on to consumers. Couple that with the fact that wages have been rising at a slower pace than inflation – and shoppers have less disposable income to spend in stores and restaurants.

B) Online giants such as Amazon have had a huge impact on the high street as more consumers see online shopping as cheaper and easier than going to the shops. And while overall retail sales growth is weak, online sales continue to shoot up. If shops fail to do either “value, convenience, or experience” well, they will struggle, Mr Martin says.

C) Toy store “Toys R Us” fell short in all three areas, according to Simon Thomas of Moorfields Advisory, the toy chain’s administrators. He says it was “unlikely” the retailer can be saved because its business model “isn’t what consumers really want now”. “We’ve got very large stores which are fairly impersonal. People are looking now to have a better shopping experience, and we were unable to deliver that.”

D) Inflation is not the only cost pressure retailers face. The National Minimum Wage and new National Living Wage for over-25s go up each year, pushing up payroll costs. “Business rates are deterring investment in local communities, causing shop closures and job losses in hard-pressed communities and preventing retailers from delivering what their customers want in an efficient and cost-effective way.”

E) As a consequence of over expansion, many retailers are shouldering “high debt burdens”, says KPMG’s Mr Martin. Just before its collapse, Toys R Us UK faced a looming VAT debt payment deadline of £15m. It would have been unable to pay it without a cash injection from an outside investor.

Source: Passage from BBC News Photo sourced online.

Exercise 2: Synonyms Practice

Questions 6-12. Find the following synonyms in the passage above. The answers will come in order in the passage. No more than two words for each answer. This question type does not come in the test. I have created it to give you essential practice with synonyms.

  • 6. triggered
  • 7. combine
  • 8. expendable
  • 9. soar
  • 10. discouraging
  • 11. imminent
  • 12. boost

Answers

Click below for Answers:

Answers

Please remember that in the real IELTS test, if you are asked to write a letter, you must write the letter and not the word. Always following instructions very carefully.

  1. A = 3
  2. B = 5
  3. C = 1
  4. D = 2
  5. E = 4
  6. triggered = spurred
  7. combine = couple that
  8. expendable = disposable
  9. soar = shoot up
  10. discouraging = deterring
  11. imminent = looming
  12. boost = injection

.

Hope you find the lesson useful 🙂

All the best

Liz

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics Jan to Apr 2019

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics for January, February, March & April 2019 

Below is a list of topics for IELTS Speaking Part 2. Please read all parts of this page to use this information correctly.

On this page, you will find:

  1. List of Topics for Part 2
  2. Tips which you MUST read about this page and about IELTS speaking

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics Jan-Apr 2019

Below are some of the current topics for IELTS Speaking Part 2.

  1. A remote place you wish to visit in the future
  2. A sport on TV you would like to try
  3. A quiet place
  4. A special date in your country’s history
  5. A lecture you have been to
  6. A situation when you found an item
  7. A book you recently read
  8. A person you know who is beautiful or handsome
  9. A time you needed to repair a broken item
  10. A recent public development in your city
  11. A time you gave money as a gift
  12. A beautiful city
  13. A person who cares about the environment
  14. A project that you need to collect information for (I need confirmation of the exact words)
  15. A place indoor or outdoor where you can study
  16. Your ideal house
  17. A public facility recently opened (park, cinema etc)
  18. A person you would like to meet
  19. A time you had to search for information
  20. A movie or TV show that made you laugh
  21. A subject you didn’t like at school, but are interested in now
  22. Something you taught a younger person
  23. Your grandfather’s job
  24. A statue in your city
  25. A service that wasn’t good and that you complained about
  26. Food for a special occasion
  27. A family business you know
  28. An interesting old person you met
  29. Good news you received or heard about
  30. A time when someone didn’t tell you the whole truth
  31. A good law in your country
  32. A time you wished to do something but you didn’t have time
  33. A party you went to
  34. Something you started that is good for your health

IELTS examiners have a lot of topics and the above are only a sample posted by candidates. You MUST prepare a range of topics which include the above and also common topics. See below for the useful link.

Tips Relating to Above Topics

  1. These topics are not predictions. They are topics that students have posted after their test.
  2. This list is not complete. There is always a chance you might get a topic not listed below.
  3. I will continue to up-date this list when candidates report new topics.
  4. You should prepare ideas for all topics listed on this page.
  5. Also prepare:  Common Part 2 Topics
  6. Do not memorise your talk. IELTS do not accept memorised answers. Instead you should prepare ideas and useful words. Then your talk will be natural during your test.
  7. You cannot change the topic, but you can adapt it. For example, if you get the topic of a poisonous plant, you can say “I don’t know about any poisonous plants, but one plant I often see in the local park is…”. It is fine to do this. You are still following the main topic which is plants.
  8. You cannot ask for the topics to be changed. You must talk about what you are given.
  9. You do not need to follow or use all prompts. But I recommend using them because they provide good structure for your talk.
  10. See all my speaking tips and free lessons: IELTS Speaking Main Page

All the best

Liz