If you need a high band score in IELTS Writing, then you first need to understand how IELTS examiners grade this part of the IELTS test. IELTS examiners do not give you one grade, they give you four grades that you do not see and these are added together to create an overall band score in IELTS Writing. The four areas that they grade you on are:
- Task Achievement
- Cohesion and Coherence
- Lexical Resource
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
In this article I will look at:
- What is Lexical Resource?
- What can you do to improve your band score in this area?
As Lexical Resource is 25% of the overall score, it is very important that you choose your vocabulary carefully. Many IELTS candidates focus on answering the question and do not pay enough attention to the vocabulary and then get 5.0 for Lexical Resource and this lowers their overall band score.
To get a 6.0 or above in Lexical Resource, IELTS examiners are looking for use of a range of less common words and phrases.
Let’s see how you can do this with an IELTS essay about global warming – a popular IELTS Writing topic!
First of all, before focusing on the vocabulary, you must read and understand the question…
It is the job of governments and companies to deal with the huge environmental problems which we face. Individuals on their own can do little or nothing’. What is your opinion about this statement?
In this question, you need to focus on governments, companies and individuals so the best way to write your answer would be using separate paragraphs for each group. The essay below is divided into three main topic paragraphs; however, you will see that I bring ‘individuals’ into each paragraph to say how they can help the situation.
Ok, so now you understand the question, before writing the essay, it is ESSENTIAL that you note down some complex words/phrases that you could use in your answer. If you do not do this, you will probably not think of using them in the answer and then you get a low Lexical Resource score.
What vocabulary could you use to improve your Lexical Resource band score in this task?
Take a look through the climate change essay below and you can see that all the words highlighted in green are words that are connected to the issue of the environment and, moreover, they are words/phrases that would show the IELTS examiner that you can use a range of less common words and complex language. In addition, there are examples of collocations – these are words that go together and are used naturally by native speakers, but are often not widely known by non-native speakers so by using these you will impress the IELTS examiner.
Here are some examples of collocations I have used in this essay:
- To tackle climate change = to deal with climate change
- A pressing problem = a problem that needs dealing with urgently
- A moral responsibility = a duty to behave in a way that is right
- The key players = the most important people
‘It is the job of governments and companies to deal with the huge environmental problems which we face. Individuals on their own can do little or nothing’. What is your opinion about this statement?
It cannot be disputed that the world is experiencing an environmental crisis. According to recent research, if nothing is done to tackle climate change in the near future, our planet will face the devastating consequences of global warming. Undoubtedly, it is the role of governments and corporate organisations to take action, however I strongly feel that individuals need to make a contribution to deal with this pressing problem as well.
Politicians could certainly invest public finances in order to research the issues connected with climate change and, furthermore, could pass laws in relation to industrial pollution, which is making a major contribution to the greenhouse effect. Nevertheless, it requires constant pressure from citizens, either alone or in environmental pressure groups, on our leaders to make this happen. The general public can protest, lobby their politicians or vote for a political party who proposes introducing green policies if elected.
Similarly, corporate businesses should be adopting more sustainable working practices, for instance, by switching to more environmentally-friendly ways of manufacturing using renewable energy such as solar panels. Likewise, the individual as consumer can play a role here too, by refusing to purchase products which have been manufactured in a way that damages the environment.
It must also be acknowledged that individuals have a moral responsibility to care for our planet. For example, reducing consumption of fossil fuels whenever possible, becoming self-sufficient by growing their own vegetables and switching off lights when they are not needed. Although some of these actions may seem minor, the cumulative effect of everyone taking such actions would be enormous.
It is probably certainly the case that governments and international companies are the key players with responsibility for protecting our planet. Nonetheless, I am still convinced that ordinary people, either individually or cooperatively, can help to make the changes necessary to have a significant impact on our future.
As previously mentioned, the environment is a frequently used topic in both IELTS Speaking and Writing so if you need a high band score in IELTS, write a practice essay on this topic now.
RE-ORIENTATE THE TOPIC TO CLIMATE CHANGE / INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION 600
This global warming IELTS essay lesson is mostly about the need to vary your vocabulary when you write. This means thinking about the topic of the question of course but also thinking about what the question asks you to do – i.e. talk about causes etc.
Read and understand the question – structuring the essay
Research shows that global warming is caused by human activity. What are the possible effects of climate change and what can governments and individuals do to reduce these?
This is a two part question. To answer it, you must write about both
the causes of climate change
what can be done about it by both governments and individuals
The sensible approach is to use separate paragraphs for each point. My essay below is divided into two main topic paragraphs. You could use three if you wanted to write a separate paragraph for government and individual actions.
Choosing the language
You should see that you need this language for the essay:
climate change vocabulary
cause and effect vocabulary
My suggestion is that you do not start writing too quickly but plan and think about what words you need to use.
See the vocabulary
Cause and effect vocabulary. This is key area of language and you want to vary the word “effects” in the question. Look at the red words below to see how I do this. You will find a lot more words on my lesson cause and effect vocabulary
- cause and effect
Climate change vocabulary. This is the topic vocabulary of the essay. If you need more, take a look at my vocabulary lesson on this:
Suggestion language. Don’t forget this. You have options here too. The mistake is to go “must” “must” “must”. English had lots of words for this. Think of
There is now little doubt that global warming and climate change are the result of human activity. This has happened because of a failure in environmental policy by governments and a lack of concern for wasted energy by individuals.
It is almost universally accepted that climate change is the consequence of a number of environmental failings. Perhaps the most important of these is how fossil fuels such as gas and coal are still the main source of power. This is a problem because their use means that a large amount of CO2 is released into the atmosphere causing the greenhouse effect. Another serious issue is how illegal logging continues in rainforests and the Amazon Basin in particular. It should also not be forgotten that there is a connection between global warming and the inefficient use of energy by consumers in the home.
While governments must take prime responsibility for reducing climate change, individuals too can play a part. Political leaders across the globe need to cooperate so that research into renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar power is properly funded and the use of coal and gas in power stations is phased out. They must also of course ensure that regulations against logging are properly enforced. Consumers of energy can help by insulating their homes properly and using solar panels where possible so that less energy is required and wasted. These actions should limit the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and so reduce the greenhouse effect.
In conclusion, while global warming is a serious threat to humanity, there are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce its effects.
Test yourself on some of this language
You can download or listen to the audio version here: