Say no to informal words
It is difficult to tell the difference between formal and informal. There is no way that you have to refine the formal vocabulary over time and apply it in your writing. You can learn from reliable writing samples, learn from reading texts … In an essay, say no to daily life words and get used to academic vocabulary. Here are some familiar words that I learn and use to write my essay.
Informal → Formal
• Let me know → Inform me
• Kids → Children
• Get in touch → Contact
• Get → Obtain
• Say sorry → Apologize
• Enough → Sufficient
• Put up → Tolerate
• A lot of → Many/much
Do not copy the entire question into the task
If you just copy the whole question in the given topic and put it in your introduction, then that’s a mistake. The examiner will not count the parts that you copy from the topic into the number of words of the article. And if unfortunately because you do not count those words, your essay contains less than 250 words. Moreover, copying the whole lesson further proves that you have a limited vocabulary and how to express your ideas. For me, when I write my essay, I always use different expressions to introduce my ideas.
Understand the question correctly
Spend 40 minutes on a writing task 2 and make sure you read the questions carefully and understand the topic correctly and fully. You need to determine which question type of your essay. After defining the essay format, you have the writing-orientation then you can brainstorm ideas for your essay. Determining the requirements of the problem is always the most important step. Because if this step is wrong, all your next steps will be wrong according to the chain reaction.
Here are 7 steps to writing Writing task 2 that I follow when I write my essay:
Step 1: Read question
Step 2: Read question
Step 3: Read question
Step 4: Brainstorm
Step 5: Create an outline
Step 6: Write
Step 7: Proofread and edit
You can see that the Read Question is the first 3 steps that candidates should take at least 3 minutes to do. Because if you read the wrong topic and misunderstand the requirements, surely the next result will be the digress. Then you have lost points for failing to meet one of the four criteria for writing task 2: “Task response”.
Make time to outline the article
Do you think that you do not have enough time to write an outline because the time to do the lesson is only 40 minutes for task 2? If writing the outline won’t you have enough time to do the exam? But you need to know that you will write a lot faster when you have an outline for your essay. Because you already have ideas and supporting ideas in mind. At that time you just started to write, it will limit the number of errors you make in your essay.
When creating a complete outline, you can easy to know how to write your essay. Moreover, you completely control the number of words and certainly not missing words in the article. Everything is under your control if you have a good outline. I always take the first 10 minutes to read the topic and outline each article. That is the most important tip for me to write my essay.
No abbreviations in the post
Contraction means that you write “it’s” instead of “it is”, “I’ve” replaced with “I have” … The abbreviation is a very bad thing if it appears in your article. It does not help you save time but it requires you to lose with your points. Forget the acronym in IELTS Writing task 2, that just proves that you are a lazy person. Or it proves that you have not read this article.
Avoid using the first and second person superfluous
In addition to using academic words in an academic article, you should avoid using personal pronouns like “I, You, We”. Unless you are expressing personal opinions in your writing.
1) Do not use the first-person when giving examples
In the article if you want to give an example to support your opinion that “many people think that success means being wealthy”, you have 2 options to give the following example:
• Option 1: My father is always rated as successful. My father owns a dozen plots of land in Hanoi, commuting to work by a good car …
• Option 2: Billionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are considered successful people because they hold a billion-dollar fortune.
Which example do you think is better? Of course, the second example is because those people are so famous and well known, so the authenticity and persuasion of the second example will be much higher than the first example. Avoid using the first-person giving examples. When I write my essay, I only used it during affirming my personal opinion in the article.
2) Convince the third-person when writing essays
Although you know that the person reading your essay is definitely the examiner, that does not mean your article is directed to the examiner. What does it mean? Do not use the second person in the article, but always use the number 3 to expand the object that you are targeting.
While you can think that playing video games can trigger many repercussions on players ’health and future, I personally concur that video games are also informative and educational tools.
The “you” used in the above sentence must be referring to the examiner? No, if you write that it will be completely wrong, please correct it to third-person to write.
While some people think that playing video games can trigger many repercussions on players ’health and future, I personally concur that video games are also informative and educational tools.
Do not write too long or too short
The limit is “minimum” of 250 words in the essay. You can write more than 250 words, maybe 270 or 350 … The numbers above are not prohibited. However, you need to remember 2 things:
1) Fewer than 250 words will be deducted
250 words is a regulation. If you write less than 250 words, you make a mistake under the requirements of the test and you will lose points. When you do not write enough 250 words that means you lack ideas, you do not allocate time to do your work effectively. You lack words to express your ideas and to sum up, you are not good at English writing skills so minus points is obvious. So be mindful of this. When I write my essay, specifically in this task, I usually write about 280-300 words.
2) Writing too long just works for you
Do you think the examiner wants to read an essay of 400 words or more? Do you think you will have an advantage because your article is “super” long? The advantage is not seen, but you will certainly have the following disadvantages:
• Spending a lot of time writing excessive numbers of words leads to not having time to take care of articles (proofreading, correcting errors, changing the way words are better …)
• Put yourself in danger because if the vocabulary is not good, you will expose your weakness when writing too long.
So the length of an essay varies from 250 to 300 words. Based on your writing, you can approximate how many lines it occupies so that you can align the number of words in the article without spending time counting each word.
Simple thinking, simple writing
When you read a newspaper, a paragraph, a magazine article, your ultimate goal is to get information easily. When the examiners read your essay, the ultimate goal is to determine the correct score based on 4 grading criteria. How do you help him finish it quickly without headaches? Think simple and write simply. Instead of using lengthy sentences 4 and 5 clauses, write a compound sentence with only 2 clauses and a variety of sentences. Certainly, the score will still be high, you will benefit, examiner teachers will also benefit.
Get comfortable with your time
Writing an essay in just 40 minutes is really not easy, even you are a native speaker. As you begin to set your target for the IELTS goal, familiarize yourself with the limited amount of practice that is given in each lesson. A lot of you did a really good essay in a long time. For that reason, when asked to write a paragraph in just 40 minutes, they thought they could not do it, even they could not complete their writing. Always be familiar that you only have 40 minutes to do essay work and always practice within the time allowed.
Above are some tips from my experiences when I write my essay. Please consider them and apply them suitably in your works.