This article will improve your understanding of what the examiners want, English for Academic Purposes.

This tutorial will analyse a fantastic blog post ( and apply it to IELTS Writing, especially writing task two.

Also, improving your writing, will definitely improve your thinking.

  1. Is your IELTS essay purposeful?

Is it clear?
Do your paragraphs correspond to your message?
Your message should correspond very closely to the task response.

Do you have sentences in the body paragraphs that do not support your argument?
It is common to exceed the word limit, in which case you should review and edit down the word count without losing the message. So go through and ask yourself:

If I delete this, is the message still clear?
Is every sentence necessary?
Can I say the same with less words?

A lot of the time you will see that you can reduce the wordcount and simultaneously improve your task response score, by writing a more focussed paragraph.

2. Is your writing clear?

Simple writing

Simple writing

A good argument clearly communicated is exactly what will score you points for Cohesion and Coherence, it is also what the Sentence Guide guarantees. Clear cohesive paragraphs are easier than you think.

Writing clear for IELTS is essential, shorter sentences and shorter words help this. However, in IELTS we have the criteria “Grammatical Range and Accuracy”. This means we should consider using longer words, and perhaps longer sentences, but use these with caution and find a balance. This is where the Sentence Guide is useful because it gives you the sentence structures you need to write clear high scoring paragraphs.


On Writing Well

On Writing Well

I strongly believe all the above! However, you are writing for IELTS!

So, you need:
– Long words and short words (to avoid repetition and to boost the Lexical Resource score)
– The adverbs for academic writing task 1
– The passive constructions so you can score more points in Grammatical Range and Accuracy

Learn how brains organize ideas

Learn how brains organize ideas

This tip is essential for IELTS Academic Task 1. Starting with the subject will vastly improve your writing report quality. See below:

Increases throughout the entire period (1990 – 2017) are visible for the sales of corn.


Corn sales increased throughout the entire period (1990 – 2017).

In the first sentence the reader has to wait right until the final word to understand what is happening, this creates reader strain. In the second sentence, it is clear from the first three words what happened.

YES: Subject -Verb-Object!

Still use the passive voice because you will want to show the examiner a “range of grammatical structures”, just remember to find a balance between both active and passive voice.

This is not applicable in IELTS

This is not applicable in IELTS

In IELTS the examiner must “get” your argument, you must be clear, task response is on the line!

Unity is the anchor of good writing. It satisfies readers’ subconscious need for order. When trying to transform an idea into a piece of writing, you will face many problems that need to be solved. It may be a problem of where to obtain the facts, or how to organize the material, or what approach, attitude, tone, or style best communicate the idea. All writing, as with design, is ultimately problem solving.

*Underlining added by Ben W.
“…transform an idea into a piece of writing” -aptly describes IELTS Task 2. Organising ideas is a challenge almost all students have. If you can organise your thoughts, organising your writing becomes incredibly easier. Here is some information about organising thoughts and starting IELTS Writing Task 2.

Do this if you are determined to fail in the IELTS:

No plan

No plan

You need a plan, an essay plan, you only have 40 minutes, and no time to edit, so organisation is essential.

Iteration Writing

Iteration Writing

Applying this to IELTS would mean two actions.

First, in the exam, iterate / check your essay after writing it, allow five minutes for this self check. Look for mistakes you may have made previously.

Second, while preparing for the exam develop the skill of refining, checking, and improving your essays. You may also want to get feedback through essay corrections. Feedback is probably the fastest way to improve your IELTS writing.

Final Thoughts and Next Step!
To get the most value from this tutorial, choose just two or three principles to start incorporating into your own writing. Then once these new skills are mastered, come back here and adopt more principles into your writing.