IELTS Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction

Learn how to write an introduction for IELTS writing task 2 essay in this free video tutorial. The introduction in this lesson is for an opinion essay however the general content of the introduction is the same for all types of essays in IELTS.

This lesson will teach you:

  • The content of an IELTS introduction
  • How to write the background statement
  • How to write the thesis statement
  • How to paraphrase effectively
  • How long your introduction should be

The same technique is used for a band score 6 as for a band score 9. So, this lesson is for students of all band scores. The only difference will be that a band score 9 student will use richer and more complex English language.

Video Transcript

Introduction Lesson

Hello in this lesson I’m gonna show you how to write an introduction paragraph for your IELTS writing task to essay. Now this is the essay title we’re going to look at. “The best way to improve health is to do regular exercise. To what extent do you agree?” Well let’s first look at the statement. Now IELTS have given us this which is the best way, it’s a method, it’s a solution and it’s a solution to improving health. So our essay is all about improving health and their solution, their best solution, is to do regular exercise. That is what IELTS have said. That’s the statement and we have to give our opinion, to what extent do you agree. What does this mean “to what extent”? Well that means how much do you agree. You don’t need to agree or disagree. You need to think about it and think do you agree with all the sentence, is there something that you don’t agree with? Do you agree with most of it? So that’s how you analyze it.

1. Introduction Hooks

Right well, let’s have a look at what information we need to put in our introduction. Now for many academic essays there are three parts to the introduction. There’s the hook, there’s a background statement and there’s a thesis statement. So let’s look at each part of this. The first one the hook now a hook is sentence that has lots of interest in it so that immediately the reader wants to continue reading. We use that in many essays but …. Do we use it for IELTS essays? The answer is no. We don’t need it. Let me explain why. Firstly, the examiner is not looking for interesting ideas. Interest is not assessed in your IELTS essay so if your introduction is interesting or boring it makes no difference. Secondly, another reason that you don’t need the hook and that is you don’t have much time. You have a total of forty minutes and in those forty minutes you need to analyze the statement plan your essay and the at the end of your essay when you finish you need to check it. So really you only have about 35 minutes to write that essay there is not enough time to worry about having a hook that the examiner doesn’t want anyway so forget the hook.

2. Introduction Background Statements

The next thing is the background statement. What is the background statement? The background statement is…. read more.

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  1. hi liz,

    which tense is appropriate for task 2 writing task


  2. Hi Liz, I’m actually an English teacher. I just wondered here about the background statement given.

    “The most effective method in developing and improving health is considered to be frequent exercise.”

    Isn’t that a big strong? It sounds like a statement of belief or a hook rather than a background, my brain really wants to change it to “Some say that the most effective…..” Or, “It has been claimed the most effective…..”

    Wondered your thoughts.

    • “is considered to be” is passive voice which expresses other people’s views, not my own. It comes from the essay question given and is typical IELTS paraphrasing. Nice to meet an English teacher on my blog 🙂

  3. K P MURUGAA says:

    Hi Liz,

    I have completed my speaking test yesterday(05/04/2016) in India (Coimbatore) and I would like to update my cue card question here:
    What is my future plan other than work and studies?
    and some general conversation on the salary and work satisfaction

  4. Lizboyfriend says:

    I love you liz

  5. thank you so much mam for helping us . can i write in this essay : ” The most efficient way to improve health is by doing daily exercises ” is it grammatically correct ??

  6. Sonu shah says:

    Should we write our opinion in the introduction part?
    or write in the conclusion paragraph?

  7. Dear Liz, thank you for your very helpful lessons!
    I am not sure if you’ve already answered this in another article (I couldn’t find it yet), but do you know if or how I can take notes during the IELTS writing exam? As far as I’m concerned, the answer sheet doesn’t provide space for taking notes. Do they hand out extra sheets for taking notes?
    Thank you so much!

    • There is no extra paper for making notes but you can use the question paper. You can write all over your question papers for listening, reading and writing – it’s all fine and the examiner won’t see your notes.

  8. Dr Dileep Kumar says:

    hi, this is Dr.Dileep Kumar from Oman, I heard your lecture about introduction writing in academic task 2.
    as you mention to start with background then thesis.
    – for example, governments should spend money on railways rather than roads, To what extent you agree or disagree?
    in somewhere I read like this: fast and safe transportation system and improved communication are two important aspects of the development of a country, every government wants its citizen to commute safely and faster, I personally agree that a government should spend……
    – Which method is to be used?

    • The background statement paraphrases the essay question and your thesis statement provides your answer. Keep them separate and keep them clear.

  9. Hey liz
    Can i use the word concur instead of agree

  10. Hi , can I start introduction with this phrase “it is often argued that “

  11. Hi Liz, Thanks for the helpful content! I have been practicing some Task 2 essays (General Training) and I have sometimes seen three parts to the question (Statement/ Agree or disagree/ Why or which type is more suitable). How do you suggest we tackle such questions? Thanks in advance.

    • Can you write me a full example?

      • Sorry Liz, I think I put the question wrong. I feel the need to elaborate on the background statement which makes me wonder if it deserves a whole paragraph in the body. Can you advice how to break this question down?
        Question- Some people think that having a set retirement age ( e.g – 65 years) for everybody, regardless of occupation, is unfair. They believe that certain workers deserve to retire and receive a pension at an early age.

        Do you agree or disagree?

        Which types of workers do you think should benefit from early retirement?

        • With this, you paraphrase the information in your background statement. In the thesis state if you agree or disagree and mention the workers who should benefit. Just two statements. In the body, one paragraph for each question.

  12. hi, i just want to clarify if for example, there are three questions being asked in the ielts task2 statement, do I have to answer and include these in my introduction, then expound on these points in the body thereafter? thanks!

    • It would be difficult to put all three answers in the introduction. So, put two and refer to the other vaguely. Each body paragraph would explain the answer to one question. Always make sure your topic sentence is written clearly so that the examiner knows which questions is being answered.

  13. Hi Liz,
    I’m a big fan of your website. I usually tutor TOEFL but recently IELTS as well.
    Is it acceptable to summarize the main points of the essay in the thesis statement?
    Would you recommend writing such a thesis statement?

    Rhys in Bangkok

    • Sure, it’s perfectly normal. If this is difficult for students, you can instead write “I agree that ….”. This technique shoes your position and the main points are given in the body paragraph. Both options are fine.

  14. Hi Liz

    Thanks for your lessons Liz. I think you said it is not good to use ‘this essay will ~ ‘ in Ielts. However, my another teacher said we can use ‘this essay will ~ ‘ in introduction part of Ielts. Can you please give me your ideas about that?

    Kind regards,

    • There is no right and wrong. However, there are recommended techniques. The examiner know what “the essay will…”. The examiner has the instructions and doesn’t need they paraphrasing. What the examiner doesn’t know are your main points or your opinion. So get straight into the essay. Background introduces the topic and the thesis statement presents your opinion or main points.

  15. Mostafa samir says:

    Hi liz,
    what’s your Favorite club in England? 😀

  16. Is okay to start an essay with a rhetorical question?

  17. Hey Liz! Thank you for your lessons, my exam is in a few days and they’re a great help!

    Just wanted to ask, since the question is asking for “to what extent do you agree”, should I answer with “to a large/small extent” instead of completely agreeing or disagreeing? And how do I present a balanced argument? Do I write 2 paragraphs on “agree” and then one on “disagree” to show both sides of the answer?

    Would really appreciate it if you could find the time to answer me soon!

  18. Madam, may I ask you a question?
    How can we answer the question ” discuss both views and give your own opinion?”
    Can I write ” This essay will discuss both sides of view before a reasoned conclusion is drawn?” can you give me an example of the introduction of this kind of essay??? thank you.

    • NEVER learn sentences to put in your essay. Just present the two sides and give your opinion in the introduction. The body paragraphs will contain the detail.

  19. Hello Liz,

    thanks for your contents, they are always clear and useful.

    I have couple of questions about the introduction, and I would be glad if you could reply me when you find time.

    First question: I’m using different online resourses to practice my writing, and in some there are some structures suggested for the introduction, as “This essay agrees…” and “This essay will show first…and then…”.
    Are these structures allowed or it is better to use “In my opinion”? Or it is the same, and I can use both?

    Second question: I found really difficult to paraphrase the questions; I’m reading lot of stuff and articles online, about science, society, sport etc., but I’m scared I’m not learning some “ielts key words” that I will need more often than others when I need to paraphrase.. How can I improve my paraphrasing, without study words that maybe I won’t use so much? Are some “words” more important than others in Ielts?

    Thanks and have a good evening.


    • Question 1: it is not wrong to use “this essay will discuss… / this essay will show…”. But it isn’t needed and will not help your score. We use these expressions to help the reader understand the aims of the essay. In the case of IELTS, the examiner knows the aims of your essay because both you and the examiner have the instructions. What the examiner doesn’t know is your main points – your position. So, write your thesis statement to show your position or main points. Don’t use learned phrases.
      Question 2: Don’t over complicate your paraphrasing. Judging from your message above, your range of language is fine for a high score. Paraphasing can be as simple as change word forms and changing the order of words in a sentence. Here is an example:

      Some people think that the government should spend more money on housing than on developing green areas in a city.
      Paraphrase: It is sometimes thought that more money ought to be spent on housing instead of funding parks and other green areas in urban canters.

      The paraphrase is band 9. It is flexible without any mistakes. That’s all you need to do. I’m sure you know all the words I used in the paraphrase. So, you should be practising the skill of paraphrasing rather than trying to fill your essay with vocabulary that you are not so familiar with. The aim is to avoid mistakes. In my paraphrase I used a passive voice, a changed the word form of “spend” to “spent”, I paraphrased spend money by saying “funding”, I paraphrased used “parks” and I paraphrased using “urban centers”.

      I hope that helps.

  20. Nikesh Rathod says:

    Hi Liz,

    I have written one essay. Is that okay if i can post it here and get it reviewed by you to get some feedback. My exam is on January 7th.


  21. Hi Liz,
    First of all, thanks for the wonderful site; it is one of the main sources I am using to prepare for IELTS.
    I have a question regarding the background statement. Do I have to open with it or I can keep it to the second sentence and open with a general sentence leading to the background statement.
    For example. in the topic of the public transportation and the metro. I thought that I may open in the following way:
    Modern cities are becoming more and more crowded nowadays with the rapid increase in its population. One of the solutions to face this crowdedness is to use public transportation instead of relying heavily on private cars. In Shanghai for example, the Shanghai metro is the most convenient and the fastest way to get around the city.

    Thanks again for your help.

  22. Hi Liz,
    Thank you very much for your helpful website.
    I follow your tips and they are very easy to understand.
    Wish You Health and Happiness.

    • Pradeep Patil says:

      Hi mam,

      Your lessons are very helpful to me, i always visits your website and follows your tips.
      Thank you very much for guiding me in my ielts study.

  23. Varun Thoonoli says:

    Good Morning Liz,

    Could you please let me know which type of essay does the following question fall under?

    There are many different types of music in the world today. Why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the international music that is heard everywhere nowadays?

    I’m confused if I need to give my opinion or just write it generally with respect to public opinion. Could you please advice?

    • This is a direct questions essay. Some teachers call it a two part questions essay. Your task is just to answer the questions.

  24. safa akın says:

    hi liz. thanks for your all are great. i have a question for you
    if task 2 question is too long what should we do then ? i m asking because when the question is too long introduction part’s word number transcends the 50 even 60 words and it waste too much time.should we summarise the question and paraphrase that ? thanks for your answer for now 🙂

    • If the essay question is too long, paraphrase the key topic and issue only. Then write your thesis statement as usual. Having an introduction of 50 or 60 words is possible but certainly any longer is a waste of time.

  25. Hi Liz,

    I have been watching your videos and following your instructions and that really helps a lot, thanks!!!

    However, While watching your advanced writing opinion essay balance approach video, I realize a problem and I am not sure if the grammar of the sentence is correct.
    ‘Offering everyone free university education is problematic and, therefore, should be offered to certain individuals’.
    Isn’t the second part of this sentence becoming offering everyone free university education should be offered to certain individual?

    • I’m glad you are thinking about grammar, However, my sentence is grammatically correct. Changing it would change the meaning.

  26. hi liz,
    In task 2 shall i give my introduction with my opinion in the first paragraph , or shall i give it neutral condition .

    • If you are asked for your opinion, you must give it in the introduction. See my advanced lessons if you wish for in depth training:

      • Sanam Shrestha says:

        Hlo Ma’m
        I follow your all instruction and it helps me a lot. I want to thank you.
        I have a small confusion, hope you will response.
        In your above comment you said that if question asked then we can write our opinion in introduction part. But can we give our opinion in body part even if question doesn’t asked for our opinion?

  27. Hello Liz,

    Thank you for your fascinating efforts. I have paraphrased the given topic of your video in this way: To live a healthy and sound life many people belief regular exercise is the most appropriate technique.”

    Is it ok or not?

    • Good technique. “belief” should be a verb = “believe”. Also “technique” is not suitable to use. Stick with “way”.

  28. Hi Liz,
    Thank you very much for your video! Because this topic refers to exercise and health, if you illustrate your idea that diet control is another way to improve health. Is this idea irrelevant or out of topic?

    • IELTS are asking you if you agree that exercise is the main way to improve health. You could agree with exercise is the way or believe that there are other ways. The topic is health.

  29. HI MA’AM,

  30. We don’t need to outline the sentence after thesis statement???
    I meant to say we need to mention about what we are going to discuss in main paragraph…

    One more…you have used ” I also believe that” I think its not formal? I might be wrong

    Can we use “This essay believes that…….

    Please clarify, I have exam in a couple of days

  31. VEERPAL KAUR says:

    Hi Liz,
    Please help me regarding “a map of building” in listening exam. i faced so much difficulty in this type of question.
    Looking for your help..
    Veerpal Kaur

  32. Hi Liz,

    I have a question. If I don’t agree, what could I write?
    I think it isn’t correct to write: “The most effective method […] daily exercise. In my opinion, I disagree that exercise is…”
    Perhaps, I could write: “It is often said + paraphrase. In my opinion, I disagree that exercise is…”. Or “Some people argue that + paraphrase…”
    I hope I’ve explained myself properly, but I’m not sure…
    What do you think? Thank you for your help!


  33. Hi Liz

    Firstly I should appreciate you , because of your efforts and courses in this blog , secondly I have a question ; this sentence : “… not only they could not achieve it more than past but also they are facing with some dire consequences of technology like stress. ” has any grammatical problem?


  34. Ahsanul Hoque says:

    Hello Liz,

    I’m thankful to you for all your IELTS lesson. It’ very helpful for all the students going to sit for the exam or developing English skills.

    I need your comment on the introduction for the topic “Parents are the best teacher. Do you agree or disagree?”

    Here is my introduction:
    Background statement- The excellent mentor for educating and upbringing children are the parents.
    Thesis statement-In my opinion, I agree parent have the most effective technique in order to teach their kids. However, academic teachers are also important to develop the children.

    I will be highly grateful if you identify my mistakes in this introduction. Thank you very much for your valuable time.

    Ahsan, from Bangladesh.

    • It’s fine but you need to distinguish that the first sentence is not your opinion, it is what others think. So, start “It is often thought excellent mentors for education …”

  35. Haydar Al-Khayat says:

    I like your smile , thanks for your help.

  36. Hi Liz,

    Is this strategy applicable for General Training?


  37. Hi, Liz,
    Thank you for providing this lesson.
    In the first part, you use ” the most effective method in developing and improving”.
    However, at the end, you use “the most effective method to developing and improving”.
    Will both “in” and “to” be correct?
    I think “in” should be the correct word to use.

  38. Uttam Shrestha says:

    Dear Mam,

    On 4th section of ‘Video transcript for how to write an essay introduction’ under Introduction Practice, it has been written ‘Health we cannot change but we couldn’t we could paraphrase the word improve.’ Is this sentence grammatically correct?

    Furthermore, exactly at 6:16 of your video, you have said, “We cannot improve health but…” The question itself is about improving health so how can it be said that the health cannot be improved? Quite confusing. Please do explain.

  39. jasmine aidhen says:

    hi liz..!
    I’am having my ielts exam tomorrow..
    And i want to clarify my doubt about using a corrector pen in the exam ?
    If we did a mistake in the writing part.. should we use the corrector pen or just simply cut it out ?
    Please reply …

    • Sorry I’ve seen this a bit late. You can’t use a corrector pen. You can use a pencil with eraser. Or just use a pen and put a thick line through mistakes. As long as your writing is clear, it’s fine.

  40. Hi Liz ,

    Thanks for giving us that`s good inrtroduction which would be much beneficial for me..

  41. Hi Liz,


  42. oybek saidov says:

    Hi Liz. I think this movie will help me a lot. I like this website

  43. Barkat Khan says:

    Hi Liz,

    I recently watched your video about essay (academic), in the video you discussed that the hook in not important to write it (As IELTS examiners never looking for interesting or idea to catch attention of readers), but I am bit confused as some IELTS experts recommend that writing the hook is very important. What to do if either write or not?

    Thank You for your response


    • I think this video explains that clearly. Don’t waste your time on a hook. You need to concentrate on the body paragraphs.

      • Barkat Khan says:

        Thank you very much, Liz. I appreciate your response and valuable time.
        I am inspired from you, you are great. I quickly learning Writing tasks because of your blog.

  44. Hello Liz
    My name is Davron.I’m from Uzbekistan.I took IELTS two time and my results were 5.5.I’ve problem with my writing everyday I write essays but I have plenty of mistakes And also I confuse essays structure.

  45. MERVE KARAGOZ says:


    I am really thank you 🙂

    I will follow you who start to watch you now.

    and I shared

  46. Hi

    Thank you for your information on Ielts as always.
    I have been looking at your websites for more than 2 years. I have also followed all of your instructions but my score does not improve. How can I improve on my writing score?

  47. lisa philip says:

    plz suggest me that can i use capital letter in reading test

  48. Hi Liz,

    Your all essay are good and easy to understand.
    I just request you to write more essay on new topics which was asked in recent IELTS exam.

    Thank you.

  49. Richa Verma says:

    Hi Liz,

    Your lessons are really helpfull. i will be giving IELTS GT in a weaks time. I have a doubt about the background statement in the introduction paragraph. you have clearly mentioned in your video that we need to paraphrase the essay topic and not copy it. but still will that not show as if we are lack of ideas and hence we r doing so to add lines. kindly help.

    • Paraphrasing means using your own language rather than copying language. This is a language test so use your own English at all times.

  50. Hi Liz,

    First of all, thanks for your lessons.

    In my essay I am going to write, such sentence:
    For instance, “The following essay aims to introduce the advantages and disadvantages about study abroad and give eventually some writer`s opinion.”

    Could you please tell me, how will be assess “writer`s opinion” by examiner? Is it good idea to write that?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards from Germany

  51. Dear Liz
    This video is truly helpful.

    In the video at about 6:30, you said “The most effective method (in) developing…”, but late on (13.30), you wrote ” The most effective method (to) developing…”. I am wondering which one is correct.

  52. Hi Liz,
    I have gone out to some training schools.
    In the first part they asked me about my general informations,but when i answered them in the present perfect they said that I’m using the wrong tense.They asked me about my secondary school,well I’m a secondary student.They told me to use the past simple.I don’t really understand,can you please explain me?

  53. Hi liz,
    first of all, thank you for such an informative blog about IELTS. it’s simply amazing and effective.
    i have a question about the part 2 introduction, can i write as”i agree that exercise is the key to improve health but i think diet is also playing an important role in it for reasons this essay shall discuss.” ?

  54. Nouman Mushtaq says:

    That video help me. Too much.

  55. Uttam Shrestha says:

    Dear Mam,

    On 4th section of ‘Video transcript for how to write an essay introduction’ under Introduction Practice, it has been written ‘Health we cannot change but we couldn’t we could paraphrase the word improve.’ Is this sentence grammatically correct?

  56. hi,

    i had given an ielts exam on 12.12.2015 and got 6 bands (L. 6.5, R 6, S 6, W 5.5).
    now m gonna to give second exam in the second of week of January, mam pls suggest me some tips and tricks to improve my score.

  57. Respected MA’AM ,
    If time isnt an issue can we use hooks like a short story?will that help in getting a higher band??

  58. Which type of Academic writing is the most common in IELTS? Is that Opinion essay?

  59. Hey Liz
    I have one week for my IELTS Exam
    But I’m confused lack of confidence about all modules even I’m pretty confident I’m so week in reading and writing task 1 which tense I can use in task 1

    • Look at the dates given and use the appropriate tense. If there is not date, use the present tense. See my models to learn more.

  60. Dr. Syed Iqtidar Ali Raza says:

    Also dear madam
    If in the question examples aren’t demanded, even then wee need to give examples?????

  61. Dr. Syed Iqtidar Ali Raza says:

    Dear Liz
    In your video lesson regarding introduction
    Your introduction is
    The most effective method to developing and improving health is considered to be daily exercise. In my opinion I agree that exercise is the key to health however I also believe that diet is important
    I have some queries
    I want to put some commas in this intro
    Kindly guide me if I’m wrong
    My intro will be
    The most effective method to developing and improving health is considered to be daily exercise. In my opinion, I agree that exercise is the key to health, however, I also believe that diet is important.
    What is your advice dear teacher?

    • Sorry I don’t comment on writing.

    • liji sajeev says:

      Hello Ms Lis,
      I have attempted ielts 6 months before and got 7.5 scores for speaking and listening.But my writing and reading scores were very low.This time I am preparing with your materials.Can you suggest more tips to get band 7 for writing and reading?

      • See my advanced lessons for writing task 2: and for reading review my tips and strategies on the reading page. Also, when you do IELTS reading practice, make a list of all paraphrases used and a list of traps and mistakes you have made. Without that list, you will struggle to improve.
        All the best

  62. hi liz
    Could you pls tel me in breifly how many paragraphs in task 2 and what are there ?

  63. Sulagna Monga says:

    Hi Liz

    is it appropriate to use “The pay is chicken feed” for speaking test….or is it considered to be informal

    plz guide

  64. Hi Lize
    when I want to show the opinion of people of the importance of something (like recycling process ) to be prevalence around the world can I use this clause :
    believing on it’s importance, many people perceive it is crucial to depend this process all around the world .

    • No, it contains grammar errors. Don’t try to learn sentences. Just aim for accuracy in meaning and language.
      All the best

  65. Hi Liz,
    In this example, is it not necessary to use ‘for’ before the VERB+ing instead of ‘to’ that has been used ? – ‘for developing’ instead of ‘to developing’

  66. Hi Liz do you provide any IELTS essay correction service because i have done some sample by watching you videos those are great i want you to look at it because without knowing my mistakes i cant update my self …

  67. mani bhinder says:

    liz mam please give me link of
    task two conclusion
    from your websitte

  68. mani bhinder says:

    just awsm lessons by liz madam
    i am very very thankfull to this website

  69. hi Liz,
    I have something to ask. In my introduction, can i only give my opinon but not outlining what i will say in the rest of the essay?

  70. Dear Liz,
    U have given an intro example for do u agree or disagree. How to start an intro para for cause and effect and cause and solution if asked. Is it the same for all ielts essays.

  71. Hi Liz,
    This is just to say that I have learned a lot from your teaching. Watching your videos is just like opening a door to a house where I can find everything I have dreamed of. I just found your website some days ago but my knowledge have been improved so much. Your lessons from now on will be my breakfast, lunch and dinner. 🙂
    I admire your appearance, too.
    Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!
    Tran Tien

  72. Nguyen Dang says:

    Hi Liz,

    At the beginning of the lecture, you wrote “The most effective way IN developing and improving health” but at the end, you changed it to “The most effective way TO developing…”. Can I use IN for this case as it sounds more natural than TO + V_ing?

    Thank you,

    Best regards,
    (Btw, your website is very useful. I wish I knew it sooner!)

  73. Hello Ms. Liz!

    Is writing in General and Academic the same? Are there any tables/charts in writing task 2 as well?

    Thank you!

  74. hi liz,
    i have no any idea of the body paragraph for writing task 2,can you explain it?

  75. Please, what of if the essay question ask, ” give reasons and include any relevant examples”
    Is this an opinion essay or not?

    • All essays give those instructions. It means to explain your ideas and give examples if you want.

      • Hi liz can you check this introduction please.
        “prevention is better than cure” researching and treating diseases is too costly so it would be better to invest in preventative measure. Medical care and research has become unafforrable so it would be better to invest in of the most famous idoms is that “prevention is better then cure”.Hovever i belive that there are so many prevation whoes taken by people before facing some serious disease such as cardiac heart diseases, obesity and diabetes.

  76. Hello Liz,

    Thanks for your videos and the excellent explanations. I watched this video twice and i have a question with the backround statement part, which said “…method in developing and improving health” at the 1st time of the writing, then when you wrote the entire introduction part it says “…method to developing…”. Firstly, what is the rule for using to + verb. ing tense? Im really not familliar with that use, and do the two versions have the same meaning?

    Thx a lot!

  77. Fadi Helou says:

    Dear Liz
    I appreciate a lot the training videos which will help big time when applying the test..
    But please let me give my opinion on one of your comment answers where you said that we can’t use workout instead of exercise..
    And thats correct but the kind of people that applying this test are not doctors in english language to be this much accurate… otherwise we will have to spend years in learning english to reach the doctors level… I think giving a good understanding answer is the most important but not to be this much accurate…
    Thank you, and again its my own opinion where i think its a bit logic.

    • The difference between workout and exercise is not relating to being a doctor at all. In fact, this difference is taught at intermediate level of English. IELTS is an English language test which includes testing your vocabulary. Band score 7 students should know the difference between those words. Students below that level might not.
      All the best

  78. Hi Liz,

    Thanks for the tutorial.

    In the writing task 2 introduction paragraph, after paraphrasing and the thesis statement, should I state what I am going to write about in the body paragraphs. For example, “This essay will discuss xxx and xxx”.

    Also, will the score be marked down if a person uses a mixture of UK and US spellings in the essay?

    Thank you.

    • You don’t need to write “this essay is discuss…”. You don’t have to repeat the instructions – the examiner has the instructions.

      • Thank you Liz for your answer. What about the usage of UK and US spellings in one same essay? Would this affect the score?

        • Yes, it would be a problem. If you choose US spelling then your whole essay will be marked on US spelling. Choose one and stick to it.
          All the best

  79. mohammed rehan ali says:

    god bless you lizz, your viedos benifited me a lot,and your smiling face,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  80. the percentage of overweight children in western society has increased by almost 20% in the last ten years. Discuss the possible causes and effects of this disturbing trend and offer a solution

    the rate of corpulent children in the west side countries has been elevated by 20% over the last decade. (WHAT would be thesis statement)?????????

    i am looking for your kind help

    • Always aim for accuracy in your writing “corpulent” is not an appropriate word to use. The thesis statement should introduction the causes and just mention that there are solutions but not state them.

      • THANKS LIZ

        You have good in teaching.

        I am upset with not having synonyms. If i look on net, i get too many, not get sure which one would be appropriate to use.

        Do you have any suggestion for me.

        If have, i will glad to know and will be thankful to you

      • Hi teacher Liz, regarding to the essay type of question which is similar to the sample given “to what extent do you agree?”After I paraphrase for the background statement, can I have a disagree thesis statement directly and site different examples that support my disagree statement? I have read this sample question that I think is hard for me to agree, and it’s like I can only come up with a balanced opinion for it in my conclusion part and not to agree.

        It says, “Government investment in the arts, such as music and theatre, is a waste of money. Governments must invest this money in public service instead. To what extent do you agree?”

        Then, I came up with this introduction, “People perceived that the government is allocating financial support in the field of arts which is not worthy. Furthermore, the society feels that the government is nonchalant in terms of public service. Nevertheless, I would say that the government gives me an optimistic point of view for demonstrating their tenacity for nourishing arts, as similar to music, theatre and paintings”.

        Then, in each body of my succeeding paragraph, my main topic is about music, theatre and paintings. Will this idea would fit this kind of essay question teacher?

        • I don’t actually understand your introduction. The question is “Should the government stop investing in arts and invest in public service instead?” Your thesis statement should provide a clear answer to that question.

  81. hi Liz
    help me out with this thesis statement in introduction

    can i write this

    ” After much consideration, my insight serve me that” instead of “In my opinion”

  82. Ashish Patel says:

    First of all, thanks Liz, i understood your pretty interesting lesson easily. I think, it can help me in my IELTS EXAM. I can do it!

    • Yes, you can do it! Just keep practicing and try to learn more about the test and the requirements of the band scores.
      All the best

  83. Can i say “as far as i’m concerned, this is becoming a fact” instead of saying “i agree”?

    • No, it is not correct. Aim to make your language accurate and avoid errors. “I agree” can be written as “I agree” or “I concur” – they will both get you a good score because they are the right and appropriate words to use.

  84. Dear Liz,
    I wonder what features should I include in the conclusion paragraph.

    • You just restate the main points of your essay. Take a look at my model essays to see which main points you can find in the conclusion.

  85. Hello Liz,
    I would like to ask you two questions. the first one, should i do the paraphrase exactly as the same order as is written on the question?
    The second , i can i use (workout ) as a paraphrase to ( exercise) ?

    • Please see my model essays to see more about paraphrasing. You only need to give the same information without changing the meaning but it is your choice about the order. “workout” is not the same as “exercise”. Workout is just one form of exercise.

  86. Hy Liz,

    Thanks for the wonderful blog.

    This type of introduction is well suited for Agree/ Disagree essay.

    How can we prepare thesis for the essays ( discussion/ direct question) that does not ask for opinion ?

    • Please see my model essays on the writing task 2 page. You’ll see the introduction for each type.
      All the best

  87. Hossein Ghanbari says:

    Dear Liz,

    I have heard from some tutors (both in person and from blogs) that it is required to write an “outline sentence” at the end of the introduction paragraph, blueprinting the main ideas the candidate intends to explain.

    To what extent do you agree with their opinions?

    • There are two statements needed only. The background which introduces the issues in the essay question and the thesis which contains the main poitns (your answer). Anything more is a waste of words and a waste of time because it won’t help your score.
      All the best

  88. Hello Liz,

    I have a question about the bar and line graphs in writing task 1. Previously, I was given such exercise with these two combined and to be honest I had no idea how to write them down remembering that most of writing task 1s I’ve ever seen contains either bar or line graphs instead of both. Fortunately, I managed to finish it with , literally, combining the whole thing which resulted many percentages and numbers even repeated words that were even not necessary. Could you give me some tips to write this type of task, please?

    • When you have two charts, you introduction both in the introduction. You put the key features of both charts in your overview. Then you usually have one body paragraph for one chart and one body paragraph for the other chart. Because, there is a lot of information, you must plan and select which information to include in your body paragraphs. The examiner is marking you on your ability to select key features without getting lost in detail.
      All the best

  89. Hi Liz,
    Thanks for your informative video!
    However, I still wonder of your last sentence which belongs to the thesis statements. Could you please show the planning for the body paragraphs? If I write a body paragraph about dieting to gain health, isn’t it make my essay off-topic ?

    • To be more clear, when I plan to say it’s the key to health which also mean that it’s the most important factor, why we need to consider other options ? Or I need to understand that I partially agree in some extent ?

      • You don’t need to consider other options is you wish to write 2 or 3 body paragraphs only about that. However, it is much easier to offer other options so that you have very difference body paragraphs. It is just a technique to make the essay easier to write.
        All the best

    • This essay is about improving health. IELTS offer one option which is exercise. That is an opinion offered by them. We agree with this opinion but also think there are other ways to gain health such as a good diet. It is still on the topic of how to improve health. You must learn to identify the main issue in the essay question in order to present relevant main points.
      All the best

  90. Thank you madam for your tremendous beneficial video..

  91. Dear teacher, I find that some books suggest that it’s good using trigger words for writing task 2. However, I do not understand what is the trigger words.
    Teacher, could you explain in terms of trigger words, please?

    Thank you very much.

    • I have never heard of trigger words for IELTS. It might just be a technique used by an individual teacher to help students. I can’t tell you whether I recommend them or not unless I see the actual words. Generally I would say to avoid too much memeorised language because the examiner will not count any sentence or long phrase that is clearly memorised. Also use your common sense when judging other teachers’ advice for writing.
      All the best

  92. Hi Liz! First of all thank you for your great website 🙂 It is really very useful) I have a question,if there is an essay which requires both discussing and giving my own opinion should I give my initial opinion in introduction again? or should I gave it as a special paragraph? Thanks in advance for your answer 🙂

    • You must give it in the introduction, in the thesis statement. For the body, you can mention it together with the side you agree with. Or if you have a balanced view which is a specific opinion not agreeing with either side, you will need a separate body paragraph.
      All the best

  93. as you said that essay introduction has two points which are backgroung and thesis, are all essay type , such as advantage disadvantage, opinion, problem solution etc. , have same same structure of introduction?

    • All have the same contents in the introduction. It’s a short essay and the introduction only serves to introduce the essay question and give the main points or main answer.

  94. Katrawi says:

    Thanks for the great lesson , considered to be this lesson is first way to help students to developing and improving their skills in IELTS Task2

  95. Hi Liz ,
    Thank you for the lessons. I am preparing General module. Can I write relavent proverbs in the essays and can I use the proverbs in speaking section too.

    • Most proverbs are informal and not for essay writing. It is possible to use them in speaking. But remember, if you fill your answers with memorised language, it will not be accepted in IELTS. IELTS tests your ability to use English naturally not to learn phrases to use. That means, on the whole, using many idioms and proverbs will not necessarily improve your score.
      All the best

  96. Hi Dear Liz,

    i ll take an exam but i have no idea about the results of my essays.
    Could you give me an essay topic and evaluate my writing, please?

    Yours sincerely 🙂

    • Sorry, unfortunately I don’t do essay marking grading. You will need to find an IELTS teacher online or locally to help you assess your band score.
      All the best

  97. Can you advise me? My words are more than 230 for wretting task 1. Can it reduce my band score?

    • I am currently on holiday and will continue supporting students in April. Please look at my tips and advice in writing task 1 for your answer.
      All the best

  98. Hi Liz,

    Do you have skype or any other way to communicate? I’d love to make some more questions, in more details that I can’t just do in here.



    • Unfortunately, I am currently on holiday. I hope to continue working on this site and providing support for IELTS students next month.
      All the best

  99. nguyen khac vu says:

    this is good is very amazing and interesting
    thank you so much!!!

  100. This is a good video , but i am just a beginner learning english . I have studied english for 6 years but i cannot speak english . Do you have some tips to help me can speak english naturally. thanks

    • Hi,

      This is a big question. It is not easy to learn to speak English naturally and fluently. Here are some tips:

      1. Immerse yourself in English. People usually learn spoken English more naturally when they are in an English speaking country. If you are not, then you must surround yourself in English as much as possible in your everyday life. Read, listen, sing – do as much as you can in English.
      2. Join an English discussion group – start practicing expressing your ideas and opinion in English
      3. Develop your vocabulary – do this in a methodical way. Decide on a topic and work on that topic until you master the vocabulary. Make sure you are not just learning words from a list but learning how to use them and the differences between them
      4. Improve your grammar so you can use the tenses appropriately and flexibly.
      5. Listening to English audios – get used to listening and responding to English. This can also help with your pronunciation.
      6. Don’t try to translate to your own language. Although this may work for some people, generally it is better to start thinking in English.
      7. If you don’t know a word, don’t stop speaking. Even if you don’t know the word, keep talking and explain what you mean instead.
      8. Be confident. Try to enjoy speaking English and don’t worry if you make mistakes. All students make mistakes but the most important thing is being understood.
      9. Talk to yourself in English. Many teachers tell you to keep a diary in English. It’s a great idea but why not keep an audio diary instead. Talk into your recording device and talk about all the things you did, you thought that day and what you plan for the next day. Keep your audio diary and listen to it at the end of each week. Practicing adding more information to your diary as you become more confident.
      10. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. Too many students say they can’t speak English well but do nothing to try and improve. Start today!

      All the best

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