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IELTS Writing Task 2: three aspects of an essay plan

 There are three things that you need to think about when planning an essay:

  1. How you will answer the question (your position / opinion)
  2. How you will structure your essay to communicate your answer
  3. The ideas that you will include in your main paragraphs

For example, let's do an essay plan for the question below.

Many high street shops have gone out of business in recent years. Why do you think this has happened? Is it a positive or negative development?

1. My answer

Online shopping is the main reason. The trend is both positive and negative.

2. Structure: four paragraphs

- Introduce the topic, and give a brief answer to both questions
- Main paragraph about online shopping
- Main paragraph about the positive and negative impacts
- Conclude by summarising the overall answer

3. Ideas for the main paragraphs

  • Online shopping is faster, cheaper and more convenient. People can sit at home, search for the best deal, pay, and receive a delivery the next day. Impossible for stores to compete. Personal example: recent purchases on Amazon.
  • Positives: a world of choice, a solution for busy people or those who can't leave the house. Negatives: rising unemployment, loss of community as high streets become deserted.

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