structure of ielts essays
IELTS Writing Tips

What is an ideal structure for IELTS Writing task 2

Well, we all know that any essay, whether IELTS or non-IELTS there are 3 main parts viz. introduction, body (discussion), and conclusion. The biggest challenge for any IELTS candidate is to determine how much to write in each section so he/she completes the essay on time and gets a decent band.

It is an extremely crucial matter to have an idea of how much to write for each section. Writing too much, say 300+ words will not only run you out of time but there is a high probability that you will make more mistakes with no time left for proofreading and final checks. It is better to set an aim (for word count) while writing the essay.

Almost every student and teacher will agree that writing between 250-275 is the most realistic approach instead of writing 350 words. So, here I am going to present a suggested outline of task 2. You are advised to follow the structure while writing essays. In this way, you will certainly complete your essay in 30-35 minutes, leaving you with sufficient time to correct most of the spelling and grammatical errors.

structure of ielts essays

2 Body Paragraphs Approach

Introduction (40-55 Words)

In the introduction part, you have to paraphrase the question statement or opinion. Ideally, you will write 15-25 words here.

Next sentence can be your thesis statement or your opinion or scope of essay i.e. what the essay will discuss in the essay. Here also, you will write around 25-30 words.

Hence, you will write around 40-55 words for the introduction. (Remember it is not the rule of thumb, but a matter of experience).

Body Paragraphs (170-180 words)

Body paragraphs are your main arguments with supporting justification, evidence and examples. Most teachers suggest writing at least 5 sentences here. Based on how complex (grammatically, not complex to understand) your sentences are you can easily write 70-90 words for each paragraph. Let’s assume both paragraphs account for a maximum of 180 words.

Conclusion (30-40 Words)

Conclusion part essentially should be smaller or equal to the introduction. Don’t ever write more than the introduction part. Essentially, you should conclude your essay in 1 or 2 sentences. Here you can write 30-40 words.

Following the above structure, you will complete your essay on time with 250-275 words. Ignore the sum total of minimum words counts that is 240 words. In the actual writing, you will always write few words more or less. But it is for an idea for those who say time is a big barrier for them.

3 Paragraphs Approach

Some essay types require us to discuss more than 2 aspects of the topic. For example, in discuss and opinion essay, we have to discuss two sides of the topic. Apart from that, it is a good idea to a neutral part on the given topic.

The overall idea is the same for the introduction and conclusion part in this type of essay. Only suggestion for body sections is that keep the first two body paraphrases bigger than third body paragraph. A recommended structure would be:

  • 70 words for the first body paragraph
  • 70 words for the second body paragraph
  • 40-50 words for the third body paragraph

Please try to write at least 5 essays following my guidelines. Let me know if it helps to manage your time. Of course, you can disregard this methodology if you don’t feel any improvement.

Thank you

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