IELTS Writing Task Two: Common Question Types (1)

It is impossible to predict the topic you will need to write about in Task Two. However, there are some question types that often come up. Over the next few days, I will post 5 common question types for your IELTS essay and some helpful tips and advice.

Question Type 1: To what extent...

"To what extent" means the same as "how far" or "how much."

Therefore a question which asks you "To what extent do you agree or disagree?" is asking if you:

fully agree / partly agree / neither agree nor disagree / partly disagree / fully disagree
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Continue reading for explanation, tips and practice...


You will be presented with an opinion. As a very simple example, lets say the opinion is,  

"Bananas are the best fruit in the world" 

You have a choice in this type of question. 

OPTION ONE
FULLY AGREE  
Write ALL of your essay about reasons why you AGREE. Make sure you say you completely agree in both the introduction and conclusion.
or
FULLY DISAGREE
Write ALL of your essay about reasons why you DISAGREE. Make sure you say you totally disagree in both the introduction and conclusion.
   
Personally, I would have a difficult time thinking of enough reasons (5-6) why I FULLY AGREE or FULLY DISAGREE with this opinion.

PLAN (FULLY AGREE)

Here is a quick plan for a FULLY AGREE essay:

Bananas are the best fruit in the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Introduction - Bananas are eaten by many people around the world and there are a number of reasons why I agree with this opinion.

Body Paragraph One
Reason 1: There are many different kinds of banana in the world and they can be prepared in many different ways in all kinds of dishes - fried / fruit salad / cakes / smoothies  
Reason 2 : Bananas are healthy - bananas contain sugar, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Body Paragraph Two
Reason 3: Bananas are cheap and easy to grow. They can be transported long distances by ship.
 Reason 4: Bananas do not require any plastic packaging and the peel can be used by farmers to feed to animals or as fertilisers. They are environmentally friendly.

Conclusion: Therefore, I fully agree that bananas are the best fruit in the world.   


OPTION TWO
PARTLY AGREE 
  •  After your INTRODUCTION, write ONE PARAGRAPH on the REASONS (2-3) why you AGREE. 
  • Write a SECOND PARAGRAPH on the REASONS (2-3) why you DISAGREE
  • In your CONCLUSION, say you MOSTLY AGREE, although you can see DISAGREE IN SOME WAYS as well. 

PARTLY DISAGREE 
  • Write ONE PARAGRAPH  on the REASONS (2-3) why you DISAGREE
  • Write a SECOND PARAGRAPH on the REASONS (2-3) why you AGREE
  • In your CONCLUSION, say you MOSTLY DISAGREE, although you can see some advantages as well. 

This way has the advantage that you have presented a more balanced answer and it is easier to think of 2-3 reasons for each side, instead of trying to think of 5-6 reasons for only one side.

PLAN (PARTLY AGREE)

Here is a quick plan for a PARTLY AGREE essay:

Bananas are the best fruit in the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Introduction
Bananas are eaten all around the world. In some ways I agree that bananas are better than other fruit, but bananas also have some disadvantages.

Body 1 - Reasons why I AGREE
Reason 1 - Bananas are healthy
Reason 2 - Bananas are cheap and easy to produce
Reason 3 - Bananas are environmentally friendly.

Body 2 - Reasons why I DISAGREE
Reason 1 - Bananas contain a lot of sugar which can be unhealthy if eaten too much
Reason 2 - Transporting bananas around the world exploits local farmers
Reason 3 - Bananas often turn black before they are eaten which is wasteful
   
Conclusion
Therefore, I agree in many ways that bananas are an excellent fruit choice. However, we must bear in mind some drawbacks.

(Notice how the reasons why I agree (1-3) and disagree (1-3) match? You do not have to do this in the essay, but it helps keep your structure clear.)


Tips:

1: You do NOT have to write your real opinion. No one is going to force you to eat bananas for the rest of your life if you write they are the best fruit in the world! Write the opinion which is EASIEST for you in the test.

2. If you are going to PARTLY AGREE, write the AGREE reasons first. If you run out of time you should still have more reasons why you agree, so your conclusion will make sense. 

3.  You don't need hundreds of ideas. 2-3 good ideas should be enough for each side. Make sure you support your reasons with EXPLANATIONS, EXAMPLES, CAUSES/CONSEQUENCES. 

Practice
Try writing three PLANS for the following essay question.
Traveling overseas is the best way to learn about other cultures. To what extent do you agree or disagree? 
Plan 1: Fully Agree (5-6 reasons)
Plan 2: Fully disagree (5-6 reasons)
Plan 3: Partly agree/disagree (2-3 reasons for each side)   

Now write the essay using Plan 3.  Write at least 250 words. You can post your essay in the comments section for feedback.

NEXT TIME: Question Type 2 : "How important is it..?" 
 

2 則留言:

匿名 提到...

Below is my article, thanks a lot!

Nowadays, traveling aboard is popular and accessible due to the advances of transportation, for example airplane and cruise are more user-friendly also faster than the past. For several reasons, I would consider traveling aboard is better than other ways to knowledge different cultures, however there are some drawbacks be seen.
I believe that taking a trip to another country would experience a lot of local customs, including their habits and the manner of talking. Moreover, the local cuisine plays a crucial role in the culture. Architecture is one part of cultural learning, we could found detailed characteristic by being there. Having ethnic lifestyle will bring a lot of vivid impression no matter we admire it or not. Furthermore, lots of people consider that leaving from native nation is significant relaxed, it is a benefit as well.
However, there are two drawbacks I found. One is the expenditures of traveling overseas are high, it’s a burden for some people, and especially who has low income. The fares of every conveyance are expensive. On the other hand would be the risks during the trip. We are probably in enormous risky situations when we are unfamiliar to the country, for example, some dangerous areas are always in a country.
In conclusion, I will prefer taking the trip to realize the differences between cultures after all. It’s enjoyable to travel aboard even though there are some disadvantages, but fully preparation is necessary for every traveler.

James 提到...

Nowadays, traveling abroad is popular and widely-available due to the advances in transportation. For example airplanes and cruises are more user-friendly and also faster than in the past. For several reasons, I consider traveling abroad to be better than other ways such as ???? to know different cultures. However there are also some drawbacks which we should bear in mind.

I believe that by taking a trip to another country we can experience a lot of local customs, including their habits and manner of talking. Moreover, local cuisine plays a crucial role in the culture and we can sample this first-hand if we are in the country. Architecture is another element of local culture, we would be able to experience by visiting a country. Having a personal experience of the ethnic lifestyle will have a greater effect on us, making a vivid impression no matter whether we admire it or not. Furthermore, many people consider that staying in tourist destinations can be relaxing, which could be a significant benefit as well.

However, there are also some drawbacks to overseas travel. One is that the expenditure involved in traveling overseas is high. This can be a considerable burden for some people, especially those who have low incomes. For example, the transportation fares can be prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, there could be considerable risks during the trip. We may be in enormously risky situations when we are unfamiliar with the country, for example, there are always some areas which are dangerous in a country.

In conclusion, I would prefer taking an overseas trip to understand the differences between cultures. It is more enjoyable to travel abroard even though there are some disadvantages, but full preparation is necessary for every traveler.
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Good job. You have understood how to structure your writing well. You managed to clearly give your opinion in both the introduction and conclusion. You could try to expand your ideas a bit more.

In terms of vocabulary, there are some less common words used accurately especially, cruise, user-friendly, customs, cuisine, crucial role, architecture etc

There are grammar errors, but your meaning is usually clear.

I've modified your essay to help you understand your errors and how to improve vocabulary.

Good luck in your test!