Do you want to find specific information about different IELTS lessons?

Question Mark by Horia Varlan via Flickr (creative commons)

Question Mark by Horia Varlan via Flickr (creative commons)

I’ve had a lot of emailed questions and comments from students  who want to find out more about a specific lesson that they have read. If  you  want to find out more about a specific topic, please use Search by Tags . You can do this 2 ways:

  1. At the bottom of each post, there is a section that says Posted in: followed by a  list of tags (topics) that you can click on. This will bring you to all the posts that have been tagged for that topic. For example, if you want to know more about how to write introductions, click on the introductions tag.
  2. On the right side of the page of each post, you’ll see a box that says “Search by Tags” under a box that says “Check my essay”. This Search by Tags box is filled with tags (topics) of different sizes – the bigger the size of the word, the more posts there are under this tag. Click on a tag to see all the posts related to that topic.

If there are topics not covered, feel free to email me or comment and I’ll try my best to write a post on it.

Good luck everyone!

(If you see at the bottom of this post, I’ve tagged everything.)

Want to improve your writing for IELTS Task 1 and Task 2?

Happy studentThank you readers for registering for my lessons. I’ve been COMPLETELY  BOOKED!!

If you’re thinking of registering for a writing lesson, I would still love to help you though, so I  have some suggestions.

Try out my ESSAY CORRECTION AND FEEDBACK SERVICE. If you want to get thorough individualized feedback and suggestions on an IELTS essay you’ve written, try at least writing one essay to see where your current level is and what areas you need to improve.

I can email you a task, you write your essay and send back it to me. You then receive:

  • Corrections and comments directly on your essay (view your Word document with review settings)
  • A Feedback rubric that analyzes the following questions based on’s own grading criteria for Task1 and Task 2:
  1. Task Achievement:  Did you answer the question(s) and cover all the requirements that are asked?
  2. Coherence and cohesion: Structure and organization of your essay –  Are your paragraphs centered around a main idea? Is your essay logically organized so it is easy to follow?
  3. Lexical Accuracy: What range of vocabulary did you use?
  4. Grammatical range and accuracy: How is your grammar? What needs to be improved and how?

To find out more, REGISTER here.Check My Essay !

You can also read step-by-step how to write the academic Task 1 essay with my ebook. AVAILABLE HERE.

Click on same photo below to find out about this ebook!

Click on same photo below to find out about this ebook!

Due to high demand, another ebook for Task 2 will be coming! I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, good luck with your studies!

How to write quick conclusions for your IELTS Task 2 essay


Charlie Barker via Compfight

In an essay, the introduction and conclusion act like bookends – they’re strong and hold up the books (your argument and ideas) inside them. The conclusion also wraps up your essay neatly and completes your argument for the reader. It summarises the key ideas you wrote about, resulting in your final decision or statement about the topic.

While it’s a very important part of an essay, you don’t need to spend too much time on it on the IELTS task because most of your effort should go into your main paragraphs.

So, here’s how to write your conclusion quickly:

Restate your opinion that you wrote in your introduction and include the main reasons you wrote in your main paragraphs. This should be one to two sentences.

Expressions to start  your conclusion with:

  • In short,
  • To sum up,
  • In summary,
  • To summarize,
  • In conclusion,
  • To conclude,
  • Overall,
  • Ultimately,
  • In the final analysis,
  • Thus,
  • As you can see,

Examples that show a variety of ways to conclude:

In short, as we become more dependent on the Internet, governments need to enforce strict regulations and parents must follow due diligence when it comes to protecting our privacy and children from possible dangers on the web.

In conclusion, it’s necessary to consider both the positive and negative effects of the aging population to prepare ourselves for a changing society.

As you can see, although advancements in food technology have certainly provided us with a wide range and abundance of food that we couldn’t have before, we must be aware that these benefits also come with consequences to our health and environment.

To see sample essays, click here: Sample Essays

Want to get your essay writing checked? Here’s how: Essay Correction & Feedback 

How to write the introduction for an essay on IELTS Task 2

Fotolia_1684988_XSThe introduction should be clear and concise. It doesn’t need to be very long and grand since this is a short 250-word essay. Here’s what it should include:

It should be 2 -3 sentences. Here are examples of the Task question and my introduction:

Task 2 question: More and more city workers are deciding to live in the country and travel into work everyday. The result is increased traffic congestion and damage to the environment.  What measures do you suggest that would encourage people not to travel such long distances to work? (see this “suggest measures” essay)

My introduction:

Nowadays, more people are moving away from cities for more affordable and comfortable lifestyles in the countryside, resulting in long distance commuting to their work in the cities. Unfortunately, this leads to more traffic congestion and pollution to the environment. I believe measures such as promoting telecommuting and establishing remote offices will reduce the number of long distance commuters and therefore their impact on the environment.


  • 1st & 2nd sentences paraphrase topic in task question.  I don’t repeat words directly as it will affect score.
  • 3rd sentence answers the task question – I suggest measures.

 Task 2 question: Many children these days have an unhealthy lifestyle. Both schools and parents are equally responsible for solving this problem. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? (see this agree/disagree essay)

My introduction:

In the media we often hear or read about the rising trend of children leading unhealthy lifestyles. While many believe both schools and parents share equal responsibility for solving this problem, I disagree and feel that parents are fully responsible for changing the unhealthy lifestyles of their children.


  • 1st sentence paraphrases the topic given in the task. 
  • 2nd sentence states the claim made by some AND states my answer to the task question – whether I agree or disagree with this claim.

Task 2 question: Successful sports professionals can earn a great deal more money than people in other important professions. Some people think this is fully justified while others think it is unfair. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion. (see this “discuss and give your opinion” sample essay)

My introduction:

Star athletes like LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and Manny Pacquiao receive multi-million dollar contracts which are exponentially more than what other important professionals are paid. This has led to controversy over whether this is justified and fair. Although I can understand why some people feel this is unfair, I feel professional athletes are justified in receiving this pay.


  • 1st sentence paraphrases the topic given in the task question. I’ve added a bit more details w/ the names only because I know these star athletes and it introduces this specific topic quite well. If you don’t know of any big pro stars, you don’t need to put any in. I don’t use the exact same words in the task – I’ve added “multi-million dollar contracts” and “exponentially more” to show a range of vocabulary.
  • 2nd sentence just states what the debate is
  • 3rd sentence states both views of the debate and my own opinion all in one sentence.

Task 2 question:

Early technological developments helped ordinary people and changed their lives more than recent developments. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

My introduction:

Our lives have greatly benefited from technological developments throughout history. While some people feel that early inventions helped ordinary people more than recent technological developments, I feel both early and recent advances have had an equally significant impact on ordinary people.


  • 1st sentence paraphrases the topic in general.
  • 2nd sentence states the claim (debate) from the task question AND it states my answer to the question – that I don’t agree or disagree but that I feel both are important.

Task 2 question:

In some countries, governments are encouraging industries and businesses to move to regional areas outside the big cities. Do the advantages of this trend outweigh the disadvantages?

My introduction:

As  business growth becomes a priority worldwide, industries and businesses in some countries are  being encouraged to relocate away from the big cities to regional areas. While this may have some disadvantages, I feel there are more advantages to benefit everyone.


  • 1st sentence quickly introduces topic and paraphrases the task claim. I do not copy word-for-word the task question and I use synonyms, such as “relocate away from” for “move to”.
  • 2nd sentence states my answer to the task question – that advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

If you practice just writing introductions quickly to sample task questions, it will become much easier on test day!

Want to get your essay writing checked? Here’s how: Essay Correction & Feedback 

How to write an Opinion Essay for Task 2 in IELTS


Wendell via Compfight

Using the steps I’ve written about before: Analyzing the Task Question and the 4-Paragraph Structure, here is how you can approach the Opinion essay.


With the recent developments in technology like e-books, some people feel that printed media like books, newspapers, and magazines will soon be a thing of the past. Others feel that these forms of media will never disappear. What is your opinion?

Here, we are asked our opinion on what will happen to printed media in the future. Choose which view you support and brainstorm for 2 major reasons.

My outline:

  • Introduction (paraphrase topic/views and state my opinion): I believe that printed media will soon be a thing of the past, like vinyl records and film cameras.
  • Body Paragraph – Reason #1 : Ebooks and online news are much more affordable and accessible. Costs of digital publishing compared to physically publishing and distributing books are far less – and people will always prefer buying things based on cost. Books in New Zealand are expensive, so I buy ebooks for my Kindle that are much cheaper.
  • Body Paragraph – Reason #2: Ebooks are convenient. I can download any book I want and it’s easier to hold – lighter and smaller than holding a big heavy book.
  • Conclusion (restate my opinion): Technology in ebooks has made access to media and literature so convenient and affordable that I believe printed media will soon be phased out.

Here is my full sample essay:

With the rising popularity of personal devices such as iPads, Kindles and e-Readers, people are debating over whether printed media will survive or disappear in the near future. While some hopeful people feel printed media will never disappear, I believe that it will soon be a thing of the past, like vinyl records and film cameras.

The first reason is that digital books and media are so much more affordable than paper-bound books and actual newspapers. The costs of physically publishing and distributing books, magazines and newspapers are much higher than digitally publishing e-books and online news. Because people tend to buy on price, e-books and free news online will become even more popular. And as the demand for printed media declines, their prices will go even higher. Personally, I hardly ever buy the newspaper because I can read all my news online. Moreover, books tend to be very expensive here in New Zealand, so I get kindle e-books that are a fraction of the cost.

Another reason is that e-Readers are now so convenient and easy to use. People are naturally drawn to convenience and comfort and will always choose to pursue what is easiest.  Reading from a light, thin mobile device where you can read hundreds of different books or an online newspaper is incredibly convenient and appealing. Personally, I find it easier holding and reading my Kindle than a thick heavy book as well as downloading instantaneously any book that I want.

In short, technology in e-books has made access to media and literature so convenient and affordable that I believe printed books, magazines and newspapers will soon be phased out.

(274 words)


Cohesive devices/linking phrases: The first reason…/ Moreover,…/Another reason…/In short, …


other terms to use for/with e-books: digital books, online news, digitally publishing, downloading instantaneously, iPads, (Amazon) Kindle, e-Readers, mobile device

other terms for printed media: paper-bound books, actual newspapers, physically publishing

to be phased out (no longer be sold or available)

Want to get your essay writing checked? Here’s how: Essay Correction & Feedback