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How to Identify Which Type of IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay is being Asked?


There are so many different types of essays in IELTS Writing Task 2. In such a scenario, you may get confused while identifying what type of essay it is and hence it becomes important to determine whether you are required to give your opinion in the essay or not. Let us find out how to identify which type of IELTS writing task 2 essay is being asked in the exam.

Read the Question and Mark Keywords

Firstly, the IELTS writing task 2 essay question would be a very lengthy statement but actually, the real question is sandwiched between instructions and is written in bold. So, the statements written in bold are what you need to read carefully to identify the essay type. Also, before you identify the essay type, you can mark down some keywords that would help you to know the topic. For example,

Poverty is still one of the major problems in developing countries.

What are the problems faced by poor nations?

What can be done to eradicate poverty?

In the above essay question, you can underline keywords as below:

Poverty is still one of the major problems in developing countries.

What are the problems faced by poor nations?

What can be done to eradicate poverty?

From the keywords underlined in the statement, it can be determined that the topic of this essay question is poverty in the developing nations.

Identify the Sentences after Essay Statement

After you know the topic, it is the time now to identify the type of IELTS writing task 2 question it is. The sentences following the essay statement would actually help you to determine what you have to do in the essay or in other words, you will come to know which essay it is.

For instance, in the above essay question, “what are the problems faced by poor nations” and “what can be done to eradicate poverty” are the two questions written after the topic statement which let you know that you have to write problems that poor countries face and the solutions that can reduce poverty. So, this is a “problems and solutions” type of IELTS writing task 2 essay question.

Keywords to Identify Opinion Based Essay

In the questions written after the essay topic statement, you can identify whether you have to give your opinion in the essay or not. “you” or “your” is the common keyword that would ensure you need to give opinion.

For example, “Do you agree?”, “Do you agree or disagree on this statement?”, “What is your opinion?”, “To what extent do you agree on this?”, “What do you think about this opinion?”, “Discuss both views and give your own opinion?”etc. are some of the common questions written after the topic statements. Such IELTS writing task 2 questions are actually opinion based. Thus, whenever you find these questions in your essay, make sure you are giving your clear opinion on the topic otherwise you would lose marks.

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