Basic Principles of IELTS Academic Writing task 1 & 2

Basic Principles of IELTS Academic Writing task 1 & 2

Basic Principles of IELTS Academic Writing task 1 & 2

Basic Principles of IELTS Academic Writing task 1 & 2
Basic Principles of IELTS Academic Writing task 1 & 2

The Writing part of IELTS is different in General Training and Academic modules.

  • Task 1 in General IELTS is writing a letter and in Academic module it’s a graph or diagram description.
  • Task 2 in both modules is an essay. However, essay topics are usually different.

In this article, IELTS Game will focus on basic principles that you should know to successfully complete the Writing part in Academic IELTS.

Task 1

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

In this part of Writing, you will have to describe some kind of a visual information. It can be:

  • Pie Chart;
  • Line Graph;
  • Bar Graph;
  • Table;
  • Process Diagram;
  • Map;
  • Combination of several visuals (e.g. Pie Chart + Table).

Writing Task 1 Example

Look at the example task with a bar graph:

how to answer academic IELTS Writing task 1
how to answer academic IELTS Writing task 1

No matter what type of a visual you are given in this part of the test, you always should keep to the following rules when you complete Writing Task 1:

  • It’s better to concentrate only on significant features of the graph. You shouldn’t try to give reasons for the elements shown in the graph or describe every detail.
  • At the beginning of you answer you should write an introduction in your own words using information from the question and the headings.
  • After the introduction, you need to write a brief overview of the objects and their purpose.
  • In body paragraphs, you should focus on how the object works or significant similarities and differences between the objects.
  • Try to use a wide range of vocabulary and structures. You should know some specific vocabulary to describe charts and graphs. e.g. vocabulary for changes (rise, fall, increase, etc.)
  • Don’t express your opinion! Avoid using such phrases like I think, as we can see, in my opinion, etc.

Task 2

How to answer IELTS Writing Task 2?

The second task of Writing is an essay.

There can be different types of essay question, and you need to know how to identify and differentiate them because for each question type the structure of the essay can change a little.

Make sure you know how to write the following types of essays:

  • Opinion essay;
  • Discussion essay
  • Advantage/disadvantage essay;
  • Problem and solution essay (cause and solution);
  • Two-part question essay.

Writing task 2 Sample

Look at the sample essay task and sample answer to the question. It is an example of a discussion essay.

Some people believe that allowing children to make their own choices on everyday matters (such as food, clothes and entertainment) is likely to result in a society of individuals who only think about their wishes. Other people believe that it is important for children to make a decision about matters that affect them. Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Some people think that granting children with freedom in their daily choices will result in growing self-centered personalities. However, others are of the opinion that it is vital for children to make choices about their lives. In my opinion, a good parental guidance is given when children have freedom to handle their personal matters independently.

On the one hand, some people claim that free and empowering upbringing may bring about egoism and selfishness in childhood and later in adulthood. Being raised in the environment that gives ultimate freedom to children, they become easy to be spoilt. Moreover, they find it hard to accept others’ viewpoint, and it becomes difficult for them to tolerate even rational criticism. This, in its turn, leads to social and personal problems. In addition, children can also become indifferent to people around them, growing into unsociable or merciless personalities.

On the other hand, other people believe that the choice offered to children over their daily matters can be regarded as an early training on self-management, and I agree. Especially nowadays, families become smaller and many even raise a single child. Without siblings, the child may be overly dependent on his or her parents in every aspect of life. Thus, empowering their child in making unconditional choices on their own is a way of training that will help the child learn to prioritize their choices, needs and preferences. Moreover, I think they will be able to evaluate any alternatives possibly available to make best decisions.

In conclusion, despite it is believed that freedom in making decisions will have negative effects on children both at present and in the future, I think that independence in decision making will help children become self-disciplined and organized people.

You are required to write an essay which answers all the questions in the task.

The content of your answer must be relevant to the question.

The ideas you express in the essay should be logically organized and supported.

Moreover, your essay must be coherent and cohesive, that is different parts of the essay should be logically and grammatically linked.

When you write an essay of any type, you must follow the general structure:

  • Introduction
  • 2-3 Body paragraphs
  • Conclusion

Features of Academic writing Style

Both Writing Task 1 and 2 in the Academic module of the test must be written in a formal and impersonal style.

Let’s find out about the basic features of academic style of writing.

  • First of all, you should avoid contractions. All verb forms must be written in full: don’t > do not; isn’t > is not, etc.
  • Also, don’t use abbreviations of words, such as info for information or ads for advertisements.
  • Try to change informal intensifiers (really, so, absolutely) into formal ones (extremely, highly, entirely, fully).
  • Make your language sound more advanced and sophisticated. For example, you can use modal verbs may/might (This may be the most important factor), or use the expressions appears to and seems to (This appears to be the most important factor).
  • Use more academic vocabulary. For example, you can use discuss rather that talk about.
  • The same thing concerns grammar. You’d better use more formal grammar constructions.
  • Try to write in an impersonal style. For example, you can replace personal pronouns by one (One may ask whether…), or use passive voice (Many things can be done…).

It is impossible to acquire good writing skills without sufficient practice.  You should write at least one essay every day.

First, you can try doing this without timing.

But when you write, pay attention to all rules and principles of academic style.

Only after you acquire all necessary skills and can use them without thinking, I would advise you to write essays with time limits.

Good luck!

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