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How to Identify the Type of Essay in IELTS Writing Task 2?

In the IELTS Writing Task 2, you come across any of the different types of essays. For some essays, you are required to give opinion but for some, you are not. Many a times, it is seen that students find it confusing when it comes to identify the essay type. They are not able to distinguish which essay is opinion based and which is not. So, let us get clarity on this confusion.

Read the Question Carefully

The very common silly mistake students do while solving IELTS writing task 2 is to immediately start writing without carefully reading the question. If you do in this way, you will miss out on scoring well in the criterion of task response. You may be writing in any direction without keeping in mind the objectives of the question. In order to understand the question, thus, it is extremely important that you read questions at least 2-3 times.

Underline Keywords and Identify Tasks

Once you do first reading of the essay question in IELTS writing task 2, underline the main keywords during your second reading. This would let you be focused on the key points in the essay and the main topic of the essay. Furthermore, you are also able to identify the tasks in the question. Now, how to identify tasks? Let us know with the help of an example below:

Global warming is increasing at an alarming rate.

What are the reasons of global warming?

What are its possible solutions?

In the above IELTS writing task 2 question, you can notice the underlined keywords and now, “Global warming is increasing at an alarming rate” is the topic of your essay or in other words, this is your essay statement. Then you can see that this statement is followed by two questions; “What are the reasons of global warming?” and “What are its possible solutions?” These are the signs of the tasks you have to do while writing your essay. Hence, reasons and solutions are the two tasks you have been asked in this question. In the first body paragraph, you can mention the reasons of global warming while in the second body paragraph, you can write about the possible solutions.

Indicators of Opinion Based Essays

How to identify whether your personal opinion has been asked in the question or not? For this, you may find out the pronoun “you” in the question most of the times. For instance,

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Notice the word “you” here, it shows you have to write about your views on the topic. In many IELTS training institutes, it is taught not to write in personal tone here using “I”, “we”, “you” etc. and to write the opinion in passive tone. However, if you search online, reputed tutors do not see there’s a problem in writing in personal tone. So, in both ways, you can write your opinions.

For example, if the question is as below:

Burning of fossil fuels is the most important factor of global warming.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

To answer in passive tone, you may write as:

Though there are many causes of global warming, it is considered to be mostly caused by the consumption of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum.

To answer in personal tone, you may write as:

Though there are many causes of global warming, I believe that it is mostly caused by the consumption of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum.

Other forms of IELTS Writing Task 2 opinion based question:

  • What do you think about this statement?
  • Do you agree?
  • Do you think so?
  • What is your opinion?
  • Discuss the two views and write your own opinion

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