Each paragraph in an essay has a function, for instance, the Introduction states the general idea followed by the writer’s opinion and ultimately the focus of the essay and thus ‘introduces’ the essay to the reader.

In the IELTS test, you will be asked to write one of five possible types of essay, namely:

  • Agree or Disagree
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Problems and Solutions
  • Discuss Both Views and Give Your Opinion
  • Two Part Question

In order to achieve the functions in the paragraphs and consequently a logical and well written essay, in the planning stage, you need to set out the correct layout for the type of essay you are writing.  Consequently, you will write the correct type of information required for each point in the layout.

Remember, that each type of essay has a different structure – although they are all fairly similar.

When marking an essay the examiner looks at four main aspects, they are each worth 25% and thus equally important:

  • Task Response – how you have answered the question, supported the arguments and the examples given
  • Coherence and Cohesion – how the essay is structured (layout), that each paragraph obtains its function, has a central topic and that it flows (use of connecting words and phrases)
  • Lexical Resource – use of correct and appropriate vocabulary and spelling
  • Grammar – use of varied sentence structures (very important to obtain bands 7 – 9), correct punctuation and grammar

Therefore, it is vital to use the correct structure (Coherence and Cohesion) as a good task response depends on this, to enable you to write valid information in the correct place (sentence).

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Good Luck!