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Useful phrases for IELTS writing task two

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useful phrases for ielts writing task 2

This tutorial contains useful phrases and vocabulary for  IELTS writing task 2 .

When students ask for general lines for writing task 2, they are looking for phrases that are going to impress the examiner but can be used flexibly.

Use these phrases for introductions, body paragraphs, and supporting sentences.  Copy and adapt them . This is perfectly legitimate, however, you absolutely must  adapt  the phrases to your essay topic in the  IELTS exam !

1. Useful phrase best for introductions

This essay will analyse this issue using the examples from… to demonstrate points and support arguments.

You will need to supply examples in accordance with your particular topic. For instance:

This essay will analyse this issue using examples from wartime countries and conflict zones to demonstrate points and support arguments.

This essay will analyse this issue using examples from Canada, Australia and Rwanda to demonstrate points and support arguments.

If you need further help to start writing your introductions, check our  writing task 2 tutorial  for examples of writing complex sentences.

Many students struggle with starters for writing task 2, but there is no need to memorise more than one or two. One of the best starting lines for writing task 2 is:

It is undeniable that ___(insert problem from question)___ is one of the most challenging issues in the western world.

You can adapt this slightly to become:

In the modern world… (insert problem from question)___ is one of the most challenging issues of our time.

2. A phrase best for body paragraphs showing opinions

When injecting an opposing thought, the best general line for task 2 is that instead of using only “However,” you can use:

However, it should not be forgotten  (that)… and add the opposing point. Even if you strongly disagree, you must object in a proper way and using good vocabulary as practiced in higher education.

Same idea, much higher level of vocabulary.

3. A phrase best for body paragraphs showing examples

A great way to boost your IELTS writing task 2 vocabulary (lexical resource) score is to cite examples from research or studies made, using the phrase,

“For example, a recent study by _________ showed…”

“There are also studies being performed on a global level to discover the source of these important problems. One solution proposed by the _ (insert global organisation) ___ is to_________.”

For instance:

Cite examples from research or studies made, using the phrase,

“For example, numerous studies by _________ showed that people support…”

“There are also studies being performed on a global level such as those concerning global warming, to discover the source of these important problems. One solution proposed by the _ (insert global organisation) ___ is to_________.”

For example,  a recent study by the  WTO  (or  U.K. government ) showed pressing issues…  (then supply the details of the findings).

4. Best for body paragraphs

It is fairly easy to comprehend the arguments as to why this proposal has been made.

There would be at least two facets to this proposal.

There is also, however, a strong argument not to implement this proposal.

The issue of __X__ in western / African countries has  grown  in importance over the past few  decades .

The issue of __X__ in most continents has  fallen  in importance over the past few  years .

5. Best for supporting sentences

Instead of saying “There is proof that…” you can say, instead:

There is ample evidence to suggest that…

There is ample evidence  to suggest that scientists will promptly discover…

There is ample evidence  to suggest that local governments will be implementing …

6. Best for supporting conclusions 

Give your findings a supportive introduction using the phrase:

Numerous studies have consistently found that …

Then provide your conclusion, for instance:

Numerous studies have consistently found that children from economically advanced countries…

Numerous studies have consistently found  that students who learn three languages have a reduced chance of contracting Alzheimer’s.

7. A phrase best for strengthening an argument by being specific

It’s also useful to memorise some general lines for IELTS writing task 2 that can be used flexibly anywhere in the body paragraphs.

Instead of generalising, enumerate or cite samples. For instance:

Recent electronic gadgets have…

Electronic gadgets such as the smartphone, the laptop, and the 3D printer have drastically increased worker productivity.

Serious diseases are a recurring matter…

Serious diseases such as malaria, ebola and dengue fever bring about a considerable amount of expenses.

8. Useful phrase 8 -best for conclusions

As such it can be concluded that…

This phrase is specifically useful during a closing argument, it ties together every trail of thought. Example:  As such it can be concluded that in the era and age of technology, globalisation and the need to be trendy, social media marketing can influence what consumers buy.  Therefore,  when it comes to starting your conclusion, there is no need to memorise several general lines for task 2 on different topics. This one works for every essay type and topic.

These may be little additions of 3-9 words per phrase but many little phrases go a long way toward a complete error free essay. Using the phrases above are going to be much more useful than searching for a ‘phrases for IELTS writing task 2 pdf’  or ‘common lines for IELTS essay pdf’ because we have worked hard to make sure these phrases can be used with any essay type.

Warning! When using these useful phrases for IELTS writing task two…

  • Make sure you have adapted them to your specific essay topic. General lines for task 2 are all over the internet and if you just write them down as a list you will not get credit for them.
  • To improve your grammatical range and accuracy experiment with these same structures but using different  verbs  and nouns.
  • You can find more structures by reading academic material and copying phrases you think you could adapt in your essays. Academic material is easily found by searching in Google like this:  Your topic (crime) + .edu + pdf  -this will usually pull up academic reports about your given topic. You may also find some new phrases to expand your writing task 2 vocabulary.
  • If you need need more sentence structures and don’t know how to organise all these sentence structures then have a look at the  online IELTS course here .
  • We also have a useful resource of  IELTS Writing task 2 questions  to help you prepare which contains even more phrases for writing task 2.

A quick guide on how to find useful phrases for IELTS writing task two (60 seconds!)

Now you need to take notes and exercise using the relevant examples and phrases in your own sentences for better retention. Note that these phrases need not necessarily be copied. Merely copying can cause you trouble in the future. You must make sure that the way you use the phrases and other words fit your essay perfectly to maintain coherent thought and correct grammatical structures as you would find in an English-speaking country.

  If you have questions about the IELTS writing exam don’t hesitate to send me an email at struggling -at sign- ieltspodcast.com.  

As I’ve always said, “The important thing is to take action, do something every day, and little by little, you will get there.” To master the IELTS essay, IELTS Exam test takers need to practice writing skills such as our IELTS writing tasks, essay writing, opinion essays and IELTS test.

For an introduction to how to start IELTS Writing task 2 click here .

For Band 9 IELTS writing samples, click here  and boost your band score!

IELTS writing task 2 vocabulary 

If you think that you can get through the IELTS without bumping up your vocabulary a few notches, you might find yourself disappointed. To avoid this, check out our  list  of  IELTS vocabulary .

Audio tutorial

Audio tutorial about useful vocabulary for Task 2

|  Download  |  Stitcher  |  iTunes |

Tutorials and Tips to Prepare for Task 2

  • How to Get Ideas for Task 2
  • Band 9 Sample Essay
  • Extremely Useful Sentences for Task 2
  • Five Powerful Sentence Structures to use in your IELTS Writing test
  • How to use comparisons in Task 2
  • Concession Paragraphs for “do I agree/disagree essays”
  • How to write an IELTS Essay Conclusion
  • IELTS Cohesion and Coherence
  • 3 ways to paraphrase for your Task 2 introduction
  • Marking Criteria for IELTS Writing
  • Topics Sentences for Your Essays
  • 7 Ways to Improve your Sentences in Your IELTS Essays
  • Grammar for IELTS Writing
  • Academic Collocations for Task 2
  • Nine Band 9 Verbs For IELTS Writing

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100 Common Phrases For IELTS Academic Writing Task 2

The IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 is an important component of the IELTS exam and requires you to write a well-structured essay on a given topic.

One of the key tips to crafting an effective IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 essay is the use of appropriate phrases to convey ideas and arguments.

In this blog post, we will explore the 100 best phrases to use in the task to help you enhance your essay writing skills and achieve a higher score.

Best & Common Phrases For IELTS Academic Writing Task 2

Achieve your desired band score in the IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 with these 100 common and effective phrases:

1. Agreeing and disagreeing

2. expressing causes and effects, 3. contrasting and comparing, 4. introducing examples, 5. explaining and clarifying ideas, 6. expressing personal opinion, 7. emphasizing importance, 8. giving reasons, 9. providing solutions, 10. supporting arguments, 11. stating advantages and disadvantages, 12. describing trends, 13. expressing certainty and doubt, 14. describing changes, 15. introducing evidence, 16. expressing likelihood and probability, 17. highlighting key points, 18. providing alternatives, 19. acknowledging other viewpoints, 20. concluding thoughts and summarizing.

In conclusion, the IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 is a challenging aspect of the IELTS exam, but with the use of the best & common phrases for the various categories we have explored, you can significantly improve the overall structure and coherence of your essays.

It is important to practice incorporating these phrases into your writing to ensure that you are able to use them correctly and effectively during the exam.

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Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2

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Using the right vocabulary in the IELTS Writing Task 2 is on key to success. In this post, I’ve gathered useful words and phrases for you to learn and use. First, we’ll look at the most common vocabulary that you can use to raise your band level. Then, I’ll share where you can find more IELTS resources to strengthen your vocabulary!

Most Common Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2

In IELTS Writing Task 2, you’ll be writing a formal essay. This could ask you anything from your opinion on an current public issue, to discussing the advantages and disadvantages of a solution to an issue, to coming up with solutions to an issue on your own!

Whether you’re sitting for the Academic or the General Training IETLS exam, you can use this most common vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 2 in almost any situation.

Get a higher IELTS score? Start your online IELTS prep today with Magoosh.

Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2: Introduction

At the beginning of Writing Task 2, you’ll need to restate the prompt, give your thesis, and provide an overview of the essay. Here’s the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2 to do that.

  • It appears that…
  • It may seem that…
  • I/This essay will show that…
  • I/This essay will argue that…
  • To examine this issue, this essay will examine both….and…
  • Firstly, this essay will…and secondly, it will….

What does this look like in practice? Here are a few examples!

It appears that exercise has both physical and mental benefits. It may seem that studying the arts is useless, but the opposite is true. This essay will show that smartphones are actually beneficial. I will argue that the government should play a larger, not a smaller, role in public health. To examine this issue, this essay will examine both the social and physical effects of family meals. Firstly, this essay will describe the advantages of this policy and secondly, it will explain the disadvantages of this policy.

Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2: Paragraphs

Within each body paragraph, you need a clear topic sentence. Sometimes, these will be as simple as listing examples, but you can also use words and phrases to illustrate conflicts and contradictions between ideas. Here’s the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2 to do that.

  • First of all,
  • In addition,
  • For example,
  • For instance,
  • Conversely,
First of all, the government takes a strong role in limiting gambling and other forms of entertainment, so it should also take a larger role in sports. In addition, employees may find that no further opportunities are available for them at the same company past a certain point. For example, self-checkout options lead to the loss of jobs within the community. For instance, electric cars damage the environment far less than cars that run on petrol. Conversely, the energy involved in producing electric cars may outweigh the overall energy savings. However, it is important to acknowledge the negative impacts of smartphones, particularly on mental health.

Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2: Conclusion

You’ll need to transition to your final paragraph (your conclusion) smoothly. Rather than just restating the thesis statement right away, use transition words and phrases to wrap up. Here’s the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2 to do that.

  • To summarise,
  • In the end,
  • On balance,
Finally, young people should welcome advice from their elders. To summarise, junk food is an unnecessary burden on public health and should be regulated. In the end, universities should make history courses requirements for graduation. On balance, the recent dependence on the Internet is a positive development. Therefore, the government should more strictly regulate violent content in films and other media.

Linking Words, Phrases, and Paraphrasing

Within each paragraph, you’ll need to include linking words and phrases, as well as paraphrases of important ideas, to make the essay read fluently. Here are a few resources to check out for examples you can try!

  • IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 Linking Words
  • How to Paraphrase on the IELTS
  • IELTS Writing 2 Practice: Get Paraphrasing Feedback [VIDEO]

Podcasts for Learning Words to Use in IELTS Writing Task 2

Sometimes, it’s more useful to hear words spoken to integrate them into your vocabulary. This is also a great way to learn a variety of vocabulary words and phrases for IELTS Writing Task 2 quickly. Here are Magoosh’s top IELTS podcasts for learning new terms to use in different scenarios!

  • Podcast 1: Information
  • Podcast 2: Technology
  • Podcast 13: School
  • Podcast 11: Work
  • Podcast 10: Travel

Vocabulary Lists and Resources

Because the topics on IELTS Writing Task 2 can be so varied, the words to use in IELTS Writing Task 2 are also varied! Here are a few resources, both general and specific, to help you out in different scenarios.

  • IELTS Science Vocabulary
  • IELTS Vocabulary: University Classes and Learning
  • Complete Guide to IELTS Vocabulary: PDF
  • IELTS Vocabulary Flashcards
  • The Complete Guide to IELTS Vocabulary

How to Learn New Vocabulary

Of course, just sitting and staring at a bunch of words isn’t going to help you much on test day. Here are some resources to help you learn vocabulary for IELTS Task 2 in a way that will actually help boost your score!

  • 5 Ways to Learn and Remember English Vocabulary
  • IELTS Prep: Is It Useful to Memorize?
  • Study at Home Tips (Using IELTS Vocabulary) [VIDEO]

A Final Word

When it comes to which words to use in IELTS Writing Task 2, there are a handful of terms you can memorize to set yourself up for success. However, more than just learning the most common vocabulary used in IELTS Writing Task 2, practicing with that vocabulary will be key to your success! So try a few practice sentences each time you learn a new phrase to better integrate it before test day.

If you’re ready to study vocab from other IELTS sections, check out our free guides to IELTS Speaking vocabulary , IELTS Listening and Reading words , and IELTS Writing Task 1 language and vocabulary . Good luck!

Eliot Friesen

Eliot Friesen-Meyers is the Senior Curriculum Manager for Magoosh IELTS and TOEFL. He attended Goshen College (B.A.), New York University (M.A.), and Harvard University (M.T.S.), gaining experience and skills in curriculum development, ESOL instruction, online teaching and learning, and IELTS and TOEFL test prep education. Eliot’s teaching career started with Literacy Americorps in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later, taught ESL programs at Northeastern University, University of California-Irvine, and Harold Washington College. Eliot was also a speaker at the 2019 TESOL International Conference . With over 10 years of experience, he understands the challenges students face and loves helping them overcome those challenges. Come join Eliot on Youtube , Facebook , and Instagram . Recent blog posts Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 1 Complete Guide to IELTS Writing Task 2

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currently preparing for my lelts examas and this has come in very handy. thank you so much

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Useful Phrases for IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay

Here we have listed useful vocabulary and phrases you can use when writing an essay in IELTS Writing Task 2 . Instead of providing an extensive list of 100+ essay phrases for IELTS, we have narrowed it down to the most essential.

Keep the vocabulary list next to you while you practise, so you can get ideas for linking and expressing your views.

  • Over the last century ...
  • The idea that ... has its merits.
  • While this is an interesting proposal and has some merit, my own view is that it would ...
  • Despite these arguments, there is an equally strong case to be made that it would be ...
  • There is much debate about the position. I will discuss both these ... in this essay.
  • This is a complex issue and my belief is that ...
  • There are a variety of potential ways of combatting this problem.
  • However, in order to find a solution, it is first of all necessary to understand what has led to this happening.
  • Finding the right policies is not an easy task as it is a complex problem.
  • There is some dispute whether the best method of …

Stating viewpoints

background, writing correction markups

  • There are different viewpoints held in this discussion.
  • Some people argue that ..., while others think that ...
  • However, there is a large body of opinion which is opposed to …
  • It is said that three-quarters of all children ...

To add more points on a topic

  • There are several reasons why ...
  • It can also be argued that ...
  • This is certainly not an easy issue though, because ... has caused as many problems as it solves.
  • ... is the only point to be taken into consideration when ...
  • ... is an urgent problem that needs to be addressed.
  • At the same time, a lot of publicity is given to what the public consider to be ...
  • Most of the experts blame … for this problem.
  • Given that … is cheap and ..., it is not surprising that ...
  • My conclusion is therefore that ...
  • In conclusion, I believe that while there are real merits on both sides of the argument, the moral case against forcing people to work slightly outweighs any benefit to ...
  • Its benefits outweigh the drawbacks and have a positive effect on many aspects of our lives ...
  • All things considered, ...
  • My own personal view is that there is merit in both sides of the debate.
  • Finally, ...

See also: Linking Words For IELTS Writing and Speaking


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Whether you have any questions, want to leave feedback or discuss cooperation possibilities, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help and will answer as soon as possible. In the meantime, discover our site and let it help you smooth your IELTS journey and make your studies more efficient.

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Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

The linking words list below is essential for IELTS writing task 2 for high score. The examiner needs to see a range of linking words in your essay to award you a high score for the criterion of Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks. You will be checked on your range, accuracy and your flexibility of linking words in IELTS writing task 2. These connecting words are suitable for all types of essay writing as well as GT IELTS writing task 2

IELTS Writing Linking Words

Download PDF:  Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2

This is often used to either put your paragraphs in order or used inside the paragraph to list your supporting points.

  • lastly /last but not least / finally

Adding Information

You will need to support your main points in your IELTS essay. These linkers inform the reader that extra information is about to be presented.

  • in addition
  • additionally
  • furthermore
  • not only … but also

Giving Examples

It is often useful to give examples to support your ideas in IELTS writing task 2. Make sure you use this range of linking words to do so.

  • for example
  • one clear example is
  • for instance
  • to illustrate
  • in other words

To learn how to put examples in sentences for essay writing, please follow this link: How to Add Examples to Essays .

Results and Consequences

These linking devices can be used for solution essays or any essay when you need to explain the consequences of something.

  • as a result
  • consequently
  • for this reason

Highlighting and Stressing

It is important to be clear about what you mean in your essay. These linking words help you stress particular points.

  • particularly
  • in particular
  • specifically

Concessions and Contrasts

You often need to give opposite ideas, particularly for discussion essays so the linking words below will help you show the reader when you want to introduce an opposite point. Also you might want to give exceptions to a rule for a concession.

  • nevertheless
  • even though
  • in spite of
  • on the other hand
  • by contrast
  • in comparison
  • alternatively
  • another option could be

Reasons and Causes

These connecting words will help you explain reasons and causes for something which is very common in IELTS writing task 2, especially for cause / solution essays.

Giving your Opinion

  • in my opinion
  • I concur / agree
  • I disagree / I cannot accept

Don’t make a mistake with the way you express your opinion. Watch this video for useful tips on giving your opinion and how to avoid mistakes: IELTS: Presenting your Opinion

Concluding Linkers

  • in conclusion
  • to conclude

To get more tips and advice on linking words to start your IELTS conclusion, please watch this video lesson: IELTS Conclusion Linkers

Practice with Linking Words

Improve your use of linking words by fill in the gaps below with linking words from the above list.

  • There are a number of drawbacks to people using Facebook as a way of communicating (1)………………… it is (2)…………….. one of the most common social networking platforms for both individuals and businesses.
  • (3)……………………….. the lack of exercise taken by average people, obesity and other weight related problems are on the rise.
  • Unemployment and poverty, (4) ………….. in urban areas, is often deemed to be the cause of rising crime rate.
  • (5) ……….. the rise in urban crime, more and more people continue to move to cities looking for a better life.
  • More children are becoming obese and (6)…………….. schools should be encouraged to provide more sports lessons and outdoor activities.

Click below to reveal the answers:

  • Due to / Owing to ( you can’t have “because of” because it is at the beginning of a sentence)
  • particularly / especially / specifically
  • therefore / so / for this reason

IELTS Speaking Linking Words

Linking words for IELTS speaking . Both word list and tips.


  • All Linking Word Practice Exercises
  • All Writing task 2 Model Answers, Tips and Videos
Main IELTS Pages Develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free videos and more. IELTS Listening IELTS Reading IELTS Writing Task 1 IELTS Writing Task 2 IELTS Speaking Vocabulary for IELTS IELTS Test Information (FAQ) Home Page: IELTS Liz

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It is a misfortune that IELTS mandates the use of linking words for high scores. Especially at the beginning of sentences, linking words quickly tire the reader being pushed around.

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If linking words tire the reader, they are not being used properly. You are being tested on using them flexibly in a way that supports the reader.

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Hi Liz, Can you allocate me some of the pre-ready templates which can be used as a topic statement in starting of the paragraph.

I do not provide them because they are the worst thing to do for your IELTS essay. IELTS does not accept memorised language and the higher band scores are all about flexibility, not templates. Writing task 1 is more formulaic than task 2 because task 1 is a report and most reports are pretty standard. But writing task 2 is all about creating unique sentences connected directly to the topic. This website is about learning and preparing for IELTS the right way.

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very clear explanation Liz, Thanks !

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Could i use the word “To recapitulate” in position of “To Conclude”? However l really impressed a lot to see your tremendous efforts for students. THANK YOU SOO MUCH MAM. may God bless you. Love from india 🇮🇳

Yes, you can use it but it won’t increase your score.

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Teacher Liz, this is just a general question. Will points be deducted if literary words/phrases are used in IELTS Writing (or Speaking). Is literary factor considered informal? Thank you very much! Looking forward to hearing from your

I’m not exactly sure what you mean as you’ve provided no examples. However, to help understand: The writing test is formal. So, this means all informal language will cause you to lose marks. The only exception is the informal letter in GT writing task 1. The speaking test is informal and you can use all types of language and be as casual as you want in chatting to the examiner. But language should be used naturally, not poetically or in an overemphasized manner. You should talk as though you were talking to a friend.

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I love you mam your are such a great teacher i appreciate your work 👍

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Hey liz, I wanted to ask that for conclusion using “all in all” and “to wrap it up” are correct to use or not ?

They are informal and Writing Task 2 is formal.

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Hi, Liz! You said in one of your videos that “to sum up” is rather informal for IELTS writing task 2. Why is it in the concluding linkers list then? Can I use it or not?

It is an option but some examiners think it is too informal. There are no rules in IELTS which have word lists that lower your score. It is examiner interpretation. I do not teach this linking word for a conclusion, but other teachers do. This is why it is in the list. My recommendations are recommendations, not rules.

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Hi Liz, all your videos are very helpful to have a quick look on the respective modules. Thank you so much for sharing them.

You’re welcome.

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Thanks for response

Hello Liz 👋, is it true that reading books or newspapers will improve our writing skills. If yes, what books or newspapers can you suggest to read.

They will certainly help you develop your writing, but they won’t help you develop your writing for IELTS.

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I wonder if I am allowed to use specialized words in writing task 2 (as long as they are related to the task rubrics and the usage and the collocation is contextually appropriate). For instance, if the topic of the essay is “imprisonment”, am I allowed to use words like “criminals set free might resort to recidivism”? what happens if the examiner doesn’t know that term? I already know that IELTS guidelines demand that the underlying assumption in the writing exam be the candidate is writing for an academic “non-specialist” reader. Is this fact in contradiction with using technical terms?

With regards, Reza

It is not a case of being allowed or not allowed. It is about how you use language. If you are pushing high level words into your essay for effect, the language in the essay will become unnatural and will be marked down. So, never aim to impress. However, your example is completely fine. The word “recidivism” is an appropriate word to use for that sentence. Certainly not many candidates will know this word, but it is 100% accurate and appropriate. So, my advice is to use language naturally with the right intent and appropriacy based on your level of English. The examiner will not be specialised in law or other fields – bear that in mind. Your aim here is to hit band score 8 or 9, not to showcase specialised vocabulary. This is a basic English language test, not a test of legal language for example. Pay attention to the context of the essay – it isn’t an essay for a university degree in law. You don’t need to use specialised language to achieve your aim in IELTS. I would not recommend using such specialised language that a layperson would not understand. That isn’t an IELTS rule, it is just logical – use such language as is appropriate for the audience and the context.

Many thanks for the exhaustive response. You’re simply the best in the field, bar none!

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I wonder if it is appropriate to use some linking words like ‘Moreover, Furthermore, Further’ to start a new paragraph? or they should be used to link ideas in between the sentence?

Thank you, Micaela

There are no rules about this. Linking is about being logical. I personally use these linking words for within the paragraph to add more information. When starting a new body paragraph I tend to use something more flexible, such as “Another point to consider is ..” – basically indicating the start of a brand new point rather than additional information to an existing point.

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Can we use listing linkers (firstly, secondly etc) for inside the paragraphs? Or is it better to use linkers for organising paragraphs?

I believe we should use the additonal information linkers to support our main idea or present extended ideas.

Any thoughts?

Best using them within paragraphs. To each paragraph, try: Firstly, Another point, Finally. But to be honest, you can’t learn formulas like this for task 2. It all depends what your ideas are as to what linking words to use. You need to learn flexibility if you want a high score. Yes, you should use a good range of linking words in your essay.

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Hlo madam , tomorrow will be my ILETS exam

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Hi Liz, Do we need to use comm a after these linking word . If yes then in what circumstances. For instance if we use these linking words at the start of sentence what will the case. Also what will be case if we use these linking words in middle of sentence ?

This is an aspect of grammar that you need to study in depth. In a few weeks, I’ll be releasing a Grammar E-book. It will explain all of that and much much more.

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Can I use ‘For one’ instead of ‘Firstly’? Can I continue using ‘Secondly’ and ‘Finally’ with ‘For one’ or it’s not correct usage?

“For one”, is informal and not suitable for IELTS essays. Be flexible with your use of linking devices but stick with formal ones.

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Hi Liz, Thanks for the article. Is it safe to use comma (,) after every linking word?

Thanks Sirdhar

It depends which linking word and how the sentence is constructed.

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”Poor sanitary conditions lead to wide range of bacterial and viral diseases as well as become a dangerous spot for the growth of dengue leading to dengue fever which is fatal.In order to avoid such consequences, my endeavour would be to construct underground pipes which prove to be effective giving a sensation of cleanliness.” Ma’am this is my answer to a direct question,” If you could change your hometown to make it a better place what changes would you make? ” Plz tell me the mistakes in structure or anything.

That question usually comes from speaking part 1. In part 1, they are relatively short answers – not deep discussions. The examiner would interrupt this answer. Just be direct and then add a bit more for part 1: “I’d change the sanitary conditions because … ” – then add one of two more sentences. Be chatty, not formal. You really need to start paying attention to what each part of the speaking test is like. There’s no point developing answers that aren’t appropriate to the section of the test. Your answer would be possible in part 3.

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being a teacher, I feel that you the best.

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Hello Liz. I just wanted to confirm that can I start the arguments in general by saying, “On the other hand, it is argued by some that …”. Can I use this to introduce people’s opinion? Please reply ASAP, I have my IELTS test in 2 days.

“On the other hand” is used to introduce an opposing view. “it is argued by some that” is used to express other people’s views.

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Hi, Liz! I love your website! I have a question, though. Would it be helpful if I used paragraph links instead of standard transitional devices? Say, instead of starting a paragraph with a word such as “Secondly” or “On the other hand”, I could use either a word-link or idea-link. I don’t want my writing to look so mechanical. Will it affect my score if I try making my transitions “smoother”?

It is not necessary to start a paragraph with a linking word. You are right. It needs to be less mechanical. You can actually start your body paragraph with any word you want. Just make sure it is coherent and cohesive.

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Hello Liz, are the following phrases ok? 1- tethered to this idea is its conjugate (in discussion essays where i am mentioning opposing views) ex: on the other hand, tethered to the previous idea is its conjugate. where some people believe that …… 2- a few bad apples spoil the batch (is it informal?) 3- X issue is not black and white.

Do not use descriptive language in a formal IELTS essay.

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Hey! Lizz what about your ebook is it going to be published soon or not?

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I just want to say how much I appreciate your hard work and love for putting these lessons together!

I am also so happy that you have offered us 50 discount! I am so happy! <3 Thank you very much!

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Hello liz…. I have a confusion some of the Ielts trainers say that ‘Firstly’ isn’t exist in English language means it’s not a word…. We can’t use it…. I want to ask to you is this true???

I need to get a good dictionary (English – English). You shouldn’t be preparing for an English language test without one: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/firstly

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Hi.. I just want to ask that is it necessary to use linkers in writing as firsty, secondly, etc. while writing reasons or advantages. And on the other hand etc for starting new paragraph in opinion essay

The choice of linking words is not fixed. You use them flexibly, not in an automated way. There are many linking words you can use and also different methods of linking.

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Hye Liz…your way of teaching is so clear..When I attend your lessons through videos, I feel your devotion to your work and really seems that you want to do your best for our best…may Allah bless you more and more.

I’m really pleased that my lessons are useful 🙂

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Hello Liz pls can you discover an e book for the students which contains ideas, linking words and ….

I will be releasing an Ideas for IELTS Essay Topics E-book this month or early next month. I am also writing a Grammar for IELTS Writing Task 2 E-book which will be ready at the end of the year.

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Your lessons are wonderful. Thanks.

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Hello Liz, Have you released ideas book for IELTS writing Task-2 or not yet? Regards

Yes, you can find it here: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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I am really worried for Reading section it’s too much difficult to handle within short time. kindly let me know appropriate techniques as I have very short time, please.

Regards Khan

Click on “Reading” on the RED BAR at the top of the website – you will find the main page with tips, lessons etc to help you.

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I need to say Liz, I have so much fun reading your answers, you are the best sincere person I have ever known. Continue like this please! Pietra

Thanks 🙂 Funny 🙂

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Thank Liz for your help my question is that I want to know if I there is any number of times for the linking words to appear in my easy Wishing you successfull ending love your lecture

Linking words should not be repeated. You are being marked on your ability to use a range. However, words such as “and” or “but” are naturally going to be used a few times. Words such as “for example” can be paraphrased as “such as” or “namely” or “for instance”.

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What it is meant by ‘the linking words shouldn’t be mechanical’?

This means to use them like a machine. For example, always putting them at the start of a sentence or starting every sentence with a linking word. Be flexible.

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To use some less common linking words, Could you advise whether its appropriate to write ‘on the whole’ rather than ‘in conclusion’?

Also, in some model answers written by examiners in official ielts books, they start their last paragraph with “in my opinion”, and they dont say anything like “to conclude”. Is this risky to do?

Linking words are linking words – they do not need to be less common. Do not confuse vocabulary with linking words – they are part of different marking criterion.

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Hello Liz. I am learning a lot from your tips. Thank you! Can you please elaborate more the linking phrases ‘moreover’ and ‘furthermore’. Thank you!

I’m not sure what else I can say. They are used when you want to add information to an existing point.

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In one of articles relating to capital letters (link below) you mentioned that you should never start with – “But/ Because/ And”. In essays which require us to share multiple contrasting views, sometimes we may start a sentence with “But”. What are your views on that ?

No writing task 2 essay should have a sentence that starts with “But/And/Because”. You can use “However” instead of But.

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Hi Liz. Which is the best book to practice for IELTS. Please suggest. I have been struggling to find a suitable book.

The reason I wrote over 300 pages of free lessons and tips is because didn’t like the IELTS books on offer. Have you completed the 300 pages of free lessons?

I didn’t find 300 pages of free lessons.

Because you didn’t read the HOME PAGE properly. The HOME page explains that you access the main pages through the RED BAR at the top of the site. The main pages contain over 300 pages of tips, lessons etc. Did you use the RED BAR?

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I am convinced that you are best tutor ,I have best wishes for you ,thank you so much from your excellent site

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Thank you so much for the useful information!

I have a question about the linking phrase “on the other hand”. Is it possible to use it independently, without mentioning ”on the one hand’? Or would it be a mistake?

Thank you in advance!

Yes. You can use “On the other hand” without “on the one hand”.

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Hi Liz In one comment you’ve mentioned that you’ll publish a book discussing required grammars for writing task-2. Has it been published? Thanks. Mostafa

No, it is being written at this moment. I don’t know how long it will take to finish, but it will be this year.

Thank You for the reply. Mostafa

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Why is apparently not there in the above list? Is it frequently used word, hence ommited deliberately Liz?

It’s fine to use that word.

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This lecture is helpful.your god gifted voice is sweat ,crystal and clear. I respect it.may your voice always reply to untold question of liseners who are similar to me.

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HI LIZ, thank you for your helpful information i need to ask whether words like ( IT , AS , IF, SO , THE )are counted as words to reach 150 words in letter writing ?

All words are counted – small, big – all words.

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Thanks a lot Kiz for doing this great job

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btw, does linking-word need to be followed by a comma? (,)

Depends on the linking words and how it’s used.

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You are really doing a wonderful job, what baffles me your ability to reply these long comments , you are really awesome. However, I want to ask you about linking words such as , firstly, secondly, thirdly. I read it somewhere that they are old fashioned, is that true???

It isn’t about being old fashioned at all. It’s about flexibility which is what the examiner is looking for. It’s fine to use them inside one paragraph to show support points. It isn’t flexible to use them at the start of each body paragraph – that is called being “mechanical”, which means using them like a machine – that is a characteristic of band 6 in Coherence and Cohesion.

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Hi Liz , Somewhere in your topics you have mentioned that one should not use ” last but not the least” as a linking word

But here it is written under heading of linking words.. Kindly guide on this

The linking word is : last but not least – no “the”. Also it depends HOW it is used. It’s about using them effectively. It shouldn’t be used a conclusion linking words. See this page for all tips: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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hi liz HOW TO ADD EXAMPLE IN AN ESSAYon this page is not opening. can you please share the link?

The link opened for me – it might be a problem with your internet Try it again: https://ieltsliz.com/how-to-put-examples-in-your-essay/

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Honestly, you are the best tutor ever in this IELTS course, how I wish I knew you before, I could use only materials to help me pass well. My Test is after tomorrow and I have just landed your very impressing training work. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful knowledge with us. Am sure I will pass with a band 9.0 God bless you Liz

You can learn a lot in one day – focus on the areas you most wish to understand and improve. Good luck tomorrow! Keep your eye on the clock for reading and writing!

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dear Liz I have met your page by yesterday,many thanks for such a great page,

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Hi Liz, I hope, you are doing good. Actually, I appeared for ielts exam today but due to poor time management, I was not able to complete task 2 of writing. I wasted a lot of time on Task 1. I know, because of this, I would not be able to score 6 or more than that, as the task 2 holds more weightage. So, I have applied for the exam again. I have some concerns regarding writing section, I don’t know about the proper use of punctuation, especially commas. Also, sometime I write out of the context in essay writing. Please could you provide me some help with this. I would be really thankful.

The use of commas is simple. Just them to divide appropriate clauses. Punctuation is marked, but not at a high level. The main point is that commas are used in clauses, correctly and that full stops are used at the end of a sentence. Also that sentences are not too long. A very long sentence shows lack of punctuation because the person isn’t controlling the length of sentences. For ideas, it’s all about planning properly. See my advanced lessons: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . You also need to prepare ideas for topics – you do this by googling ideas on line.

Thank you so much for the response 🙂 So, is it okay, if we use short sentences instead of long? Using them won’t be a reason to deduct marks? And, what about the complex sentences? Would it be advisable to attempt task 2 first and then task 1, as it carries more weightage, because I always face the issue of time management but I am working on it.

A complex sentence does not need to be very long. It just needs to be a sentence which is not simple – this is a way the sentences are categorised for IELTS examiners, not for grammar books. Having short, simple sentences is not a good idea if you are aiming for a higher band score. You need to show control and a good range of sentence structures. I am currently writing an e-book which is a Grammar List for IELTS Writing Task 2 – I’ll post a notice when it’s finished and ready to buy.

I’ll keep these points in my mind. Yes, please let me know, whenever you have completed E-book. Thankyou Liz 🙂

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Hello teacher! I have a query about other words that can be used, besides the word “overall”, for the overview part. Can I use ” as a whole” or “in general” instead of that? Are those words considered as formal writing in IELTS?

Please enlighten me! Also, thank you so much for giving out this linking words. 🙂

It is possible to use those words, but the word “Overall”is the most logical to use and the most appropriate.

Thank you so much for the reply! 🙂

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Under the Adding Information section, I have a doubt on below sentence

These linkers inform the reader or read?

Thanks, Kishore

Thanks – a typo 🙂

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You are the best teacher ever and I hope you are doing fine.

I wanted to ask you whether it is okay use “i.e.” in my IELTS writing exam ?

You are being assessed on your use of linking words, “ie” is not a word. Don’t use it. Use “for instance” or “for example” – the list is given on the page above.

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I like your teaching.and I appreciate it.

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Thank you soo much mam..That was really really helpful..

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to conclude to sum up these are very short pharse i want write a long pharse for example Before putting my pen down i would like to deduce tha ….

This page is about linking words and signposting. It is fine to learn linking words which are part of coherence and cohesion. It is NOT good to memorise phrases for IELTS. See all tips on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hello Liz, How to use the linking phrase ” last but not least” ? Should it comes at the last body paragraph or the conclusion paragraph?

It indicates the final main point – it does not indicate a conclusion.

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hello liz , I am not form any English specking country, i’m thinking that i’m good at specking.But my main problem is at spellings, how can i decline my spelling mistakes

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/useful-websites-and-resources-for-ielts/

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Hi,Liz How are you? Thank you for your suggestion,it’s so useful

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Hi Liz, love your blog, would like to know if there is a direct link to all your pdf’s. It would be very helpful.

I don’t have my pdf files ready yet.

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Hi Liz, Can we use “Because of that” in blank 6???

The word “because” can’t be put at the beginning of a sentence in formal essay writing for IELTS.

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Thank you liz i wasn’t aware

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Thank you, again and again…

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Hi Liz, Can I conclude the essay by writing, ‘Hammering the last nail, I reckon that..’ or ‘I pen down by saying that..’?

No, you can’t. I am very confused. This whole page offers all the best linking words for a high score – even up to band 9. Use them, learn them. Stop trying to improve them. Do you want band 10? Just relax and start using appropriate language and linking words.

Thanks a lot mam!

Thanks a lot mam for your guidance. I have scored overall score of 8.50 with L-9.0, R-8.5, W-7.5 and S-8.5 as individual scores. I followed you religiously and I just can’t thank you enough! 🙂

Brilliant !! Very well done 🙂 Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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I really appreciate the way you have described the small errors we all students keep on doing in daily essay writing. I have few questions in my mind, but without wasting your time I will put only one basic question that I am facing daily with the essay writing. If the topic of the essay mention ” to what extend do you agree”. So, in such essay do we have to write only paragraph in the notion of the topic. As my aim is to score band 7.5 and this confusion. IELTS have a feeling of schadenfreude when they see my low score in writing only.

I don’t understand your question. When you give your opinion, the whole essay will explain it. You will give an opinion based on the issue or issues given to you in the question.

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hi mam I’m very bad in speaking part I have no Idea how to improve and how imagine more idea

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-speaking-free-lessons-essential-tips/

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Hello Liz, My handwriting is poor and somewhat clumsy …. To improve legibility may I write in alternate lines on ielts answer sheet… Do you recommend it?… In case, if i need extra sheet, do they provide?…

I don’t recommend doing as you are planning. It makes it difficult to identify paragraphs and can be confusing for the reader. Just try to keep your handwriting as clear as possible so that the examiner can read it. Practice, practice and do more practice. Yes, you can ask for extra paper. Usually you just put your hand up and then explain you need more paper. But I have heard from one student that they wasted precious minutes waiting for the extra paper.

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Hi Liz, thank you for precious advices, in your opinion is the use of Latin expression, such as “e.g.” or “i.e” useful in writing tasks for the academic module?

Avoiding using them. Instead such linking words: for example, such as …

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I was told overuse of linking words could lead scoring less.is that true?

Yes. There is a criterion for marking which states that if you overuse linking words or if you use them mechanically (this means without flexibility), your score will not go higher in that marking criterion. This related to Coherence and Cohesion which is 25% of your marks for writing task 2. See my advanced lessons if you need training: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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What about an expression “all in all”?Can it be used in a conclusion paragraph?

I have known students use this. But I would stay with linking words most suitable for a conclusion = In conclusion

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Thank you Liz for this useful lesson The answer is for instance , still , because , especially , consequently , therefore

Check the answers on the page above.

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Thank you for your great lessons. It really helps a lot. I have a question about a linking word ‘and’. Would it be okay to start a sentence with ‘and’?

For example, this is mainly because of lack of physical activity and the poor quality of food. People are too busy. And in spite of economic growth, the quality of food has diminished.

Not in IELTS writing task 2. Never use “and, but, because” at the start of a sentence in writing task 2.

Thank you for your answer. I highly appreciate your great lessons and help.!

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I am not clear why a sentence can not be started using “because”. Since we have mentioned both: subordinating clause and main clause, there should not be any issue to the examiner.

The words “because, and, but” should not be placed at the start of a sentence in formal writing. They come between clauses in formal writing.

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Please guide me, how i can get good score in writing, Is it good to use idioms, Phrasal verbs in writing task 2

On this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ you will find advice about idioms

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Hi Liz Can I expree my opinion by using this sentence (in my own point of view) or it’s informal Thanks

No, it’s not right to use that. See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-expressing-your-opinion/

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Hello Liz I have question . If I use idioms or slangs to essay , could they help me to get higher score

They might help you get a lower score. See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/using-quotes-or-idioms-in-your-ielts-essay/

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Hi Liz I have a problem with writing task, I can’t have enough time for task 2, I’m constantly thinking about what to write next. can you give me some suggestion? Thanks Abdullah

See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-essay-planning-tips/

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hi madam if we are confused or not sure about answer can we can we write both the answer by using // in the middle

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Hi Liz Can we use the phrase “my personal sentiments” to give opinion in task 2 instead of I believe or I think

thanks alot

No. It is informal and not suitable for writing task 2. See this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-expressing-your-opinion/ and then check all writing task 2 tips: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hi mam, Thanks for your kind initiatives for the IELTS students like us. It is really fortune for me to have an online teacher like you. Please keep continuing.

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Hi mam.. What is the procedure? to send u ielts writing for checking …..

Plz plz tell me…

There is a teacher who can help you on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-essay-correction/

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HI! I’m one of your avid fan. I just want to say thank you. I recently got the score I needed for Writing after 2 takes. I used all your guidelines in making it coherent and scoring higher using your tips on having a balance essay for every kind of questions. I also did task2 first to make me more calm and relax in writing the ardous part. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!

That’s really great news!! Well done!! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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thanks Liz ,was very efficiently significant

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I had written my IELTS test twice before coming across your website. Both the times I scored 6.5 in Writing which scoring above 7 in all the other 3 sections. I needed 7 in writing and hence I enrolled for the third time. I came across your website 3 weeks before my test and went through all the study material in your web pages. I got my scores last week and was ecstatic to see that I managed 7 in my writing section.

I am thankful to you and your website for helping me achieve my goal. You are doing such a commendable work. Keep it up.

That’s really good news! I’m so pleased for you. It can be hard to hit that elusive band 7 in writing. Well done 🙂

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Hi Liz, are you available to correct my essay? If not, could you suggest another teacher? Thanks.

You can find a teacher called Tony to help you on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-essay-correction/

My God! You are doing a beautiful job. More I’m studying from your website more I’m impressed! I can’t explain how much I feel grateful. Thanks a lot.

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Hi liz, Is the writing matters for writing task 1 and 2? If so then whether we need to write in cursive or just clear.. I mean is any writing method acceptable?

You just need clear writing. As long as the examiner can read it, you are fine. It doesn’t matter what style of handwriting you choose.

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hi mam, Task 2 which you provided is for BC or IDP.Because i am taking idp exam,pls give me reply

The tests are the same in IDP and BC – they are both owners of IELTS.

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Hi Liz thank you a lot for giving us all this informative lectures and publishes. But why different teachers give different IELTS writing rules. Example you teach us hooking in your introduction is not important, but other teachers demonstrate that it is very important. And if we add hook to our writing could it reduce our marks?

Some teachers have completed the IELTS examiner training and others have not.

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Hi Liz, beautifully you have explained variety of expression, i am preparing for ielts and having many issues while putting pencil on paper to write answer for Writing task 2, would you please suggest how to get it done within stipulated time frame such as in month so that i can fulfill my dream to study abroad…..

Firstly try to develop as many ideas for writing task 2 topics as you can. You can do this by taking ideas from model essays and other sites online. See this page for common topics: https://ieltsliz.com/100-ielts-essay-questions/ . For techniques, see my advanced lessons: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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First, I would like to say to you thank you for very nice lessons. I was wondering to ask if you correct essay task 2 ?


thank you very much.

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hlo mam, i just wanted to say that you are the best teacher.

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Hi mam i need your help how to write task 2 to get 8 band can you give 9band samples writing answer pls

You can find model answers on the main writing task 2 page of this blog.

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hi liz, i will give my ielts test after three month please help me in all. modules plss

There are 300 free pages of help on this blog. If you need more help with writing task 2, see my advanced lessons: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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Hope you are fine.

My name is Gagandeep. I have IELTS test on 16th July and I feel I am not able to structure my ideas in writing task 1 and task 2 both. Please let me know how can I bulid my ideas perfectly to get band 8.

Regards Gagandeep

At present, I can only suggest you get my advanced writing task 2 lessons: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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Thank you so much for being replying to people i have recently got the IELTS date which is on 16th of jun its my second time i am giving ielts the first time i got 5 bands and i need at lest 6.5 so how can i improve my grammar and vocabulary i have just 20 days remaining..

please do reply me soon.

It is normally best to take the test when you repeatedly get the score you want in practice tests. To improve English in just 20 days is a challenge. I can only suggest you decide what your main grammar problems are and deal with them one at a time. For vocabulary, review common topics for speaking ad writing – you can find word lists on google.

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this is my first query from you. please clarify.

how to use furthermore,morever,in addition in an essay please clarify.

Excessive use of computers has many detrimental effects on childrens health.Firstly, frequent joint pain and fatigue are most likely to be experienced by young individuals and these issue seems to be prevaile till the death.Morever(do we use morever here to introduce new idea such effect of exceissive computer usage and academic grades or do we have to discuss another health related issue)(moreover will be used to introduce new idea such as school performance or anyother health related issue?

thank you very much

Sorry I don’t comment on writing.

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Thank you for all the tips on how to write a meaningful essay. However could you please help out on how to paraphrase the question as that part is posing a lot more difficulty for me at the moment.


Thank you so much for the tips on how to write a meaningful essay. However could you please help out with how to paraphrase the question, which is posing as the most difficult part for me right now.

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Hi liz i am going to take my test in 3days , i am not perfect at task2 i can”t able to know how many word are of mandetatory can i write more than 250 words , can you please give me any suggestion how to get good score in task2 any key words etc

You can find information and tips for writing task 2 on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ and you can find advanced training on this page: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore

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thank you very much. I’m going to take IELTS on 16th April)

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hey liz i am learn many things related to ielts but my writing skill is not development and is it important strength of the sentence suggest me about this


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A.A mam my problem is vocabulary. Plz help me by giving tips and vocab words. I need 7 in ielts.

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Hi Liz. My general english is good. I can cope up with more complex sentence structures too. But when it comes to writing task 2 , my brain just stops working. My main problem is I cant brainstorm on the topic. How can I improve my brainstorming for different topics. Thanks.

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Hello Mam,can you assess my writing task if i mail it to you please? Further I do not have good command on spelling. how can i improve it within one month effectivly.

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I can found some problems in writing task2 and i can not used rich vocabulary and some time i can’t get good points.so how can i improve???

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Hi Liz, I know that native english speakers rarely use ” moreover”. Is it safe to use it in IELTS Essay?

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Thank you for your useful lessons. I have a question that worries me lately. Would the assessor count repetitive words? For example if I used the word “students” 9 times in the whole essay? Or another example, if in writing task 1, I used countries’ names all the time (besides making it nationality: Britain = British).

Each word is counted. It is the same as using word count on a word document. Liz

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Hi Liz Are the following answers appropriate for the respective questions? 1. because 2. obviously Thank you for the help Lahari

No, both answers can’t be used. Liz

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Hi Liz, I appreciate your help on this question: can we use FIRST AND FOREMOST and LAST BUT NOT LEAST in Academic Writing? Thank you. Trang

Yes, but they are over used. Liz

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Dear Liz, This question is not about the linking words, its about grammar. In the 2nd question, why you have not use ” ……. problems ARE on the rise.” instead of ” …… problems IS on the rise”?

Well spotted!

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Hello liz thanks for your good websites. how can i submit my writing for checking? thanks in advance baazoft

Unfortunately, I don’t offer essay marking and I don’t have any teachers to recommend. All the best Liz

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i wanna ask that sometimes like ….to…. like question are there in listening task what is the right way to answer this. it is 4to5 or it is4,5

Just “4 5”. You don’t need punctuation. Just make sure the numbers are easily read and separate. If you write “4 to 5” is would be marked wrong. Liz

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Mam I weak in writing I Write only simple sentence then I lose band score…… What I use to get high score

You need to improve your English. This is a language test – make sure your English is good. Get a teacher and start learning from English language websites. Do this before you do IELTS.

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can i say, “as a result” in place of “for this reason / therefore “

Yes, you can use that. Liz

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We shouldn’t use these terms in the speaking part, should we? – The first thing i should mention is… – And i shouldn’t forget to mention – There’s a mixed variety of things but i guess the most popular one is… I think that i had better answer directly and spend time on expressing my ideas rather than using these phrases, but my teacher told me that i should use these to help organize my answer

You can use those phrases if they help you explain your ideas but they won’t necessarily give you a higher score. In part 1, you must answer quickly and directly so don’t use them. In part 3, you might use them to explain your ideas. The most important thing is to speak naturally. All the best Liz

Thank you for your help. 🙂

I just want to ask about the appropriate answers for a listening practice test 🙂 The questions are about ticket prices: $30 (1)…, or (2)… return According to what i heard, (1) is “one(-)way”. So is this written with or without a hyphen? For the second blank i heard “$45 in return” . so should i write down “$45 in” into the blank or just “$45” ? Thank you for your help.

One-way has a hyphen. For your second question, always look at the example they gave you. If the first one is “$30 one-way” then the second one must be “$45 return”. Always check the grammar. For note, form or table completion, grammar is rarely involved. All the best Liz

Thanks a lot. May all the best things come to you, teacher.

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Can I answer questions 1 and 2 in a different way ? 1- .However, 2- still

It can’t be “However” because there is no full stop. Always check grammar. For the second question, “still” is possible. All the best Liz

Thank you so much.I really appreciate your reply.

Would my answer be correct if I used a full stop (.However, ) ?

I am asking because I could not see any grammatical difference in this sentence between using (even though ) or ( . However, ) .

That’s right. You need the full stop. Liz

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Is not it possible to write the word this way: “…a way of communicating; however, it is…”?

You would need to write the full sentence for me to check. Liz

I meant the first sentence you gave to practice. You answered Ahmad that is not right to use “However” there, and decided to ask if it can be “1st sentence ;however, 2nd sentence”. Julia

Avoid using “;” in IELTS writing. Just use full stops or commas. Liz

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You are great …God bless you.

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Hi mam.i want to study with you online, if you have time please teach me.

At present the only lessons I offer are on my video course which I have only just started making. At present there is one lesson available for writing task 2 and tomorrow I hope to put my second lesson up: http://subscriptions.viddler.com/IELTSLizStore All the best Liz

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Hello mam, Today while searching some helpful tips for ielts exam i went through your videos and i found it vry easy and helpful ways to improve our writing skills. Hope it will work during my exam too. Thank you mam for such a wonderful tips and guidance.

You’re welcome 🙂

How i can improve my vocabulary please give me suggestion.my vocabulary is so poor.

Start reading. That is the surest way to develop vocabulary and understanding. Liz

Thank you so much

Thank you so much for your wonderful tips

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Hello mam. I am Sandeep. Please help me. How i will get 6.5 band in writing task.

Take a look at the band scores to learn: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2-band-scores-5-to-8/ Liz

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Dear Ms.Liz,

I have just received my Ielts result. Thanks to your help, I have got an overall band score of 7.5, 8.0 for the listening and reading test, 6.5 for the writing section and 7.0 for the speaking part. I am really delighted with this result because this is my first time ever studying on my own by using the materials on the Internet. Thank you so much for all of your lessons, I really appreciate what you have been doing and your dedication to teaching. May all the best thing come to you and your family.

Your Vietnamese student, Hanh Tran 😀

Hi Hanh Tran,

I’m really pleased to hear your result. 7.5 is a really good score, particular for your first try. In Vietnam the average is around band 6. So, band 7.5 puts you much higher than most students in your country. I hope you celebrated your result !

Good luck with your future plans 🙂 Liz

Thank you, teacher 😀

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Hi liz I have my ielts exam on Thursday. I just wanna ask you that in writing task 2 general ielts training test ” in my opinion….” Should write in introduction or conclusion? I am little confused with that. And suggestions like “they should do that ……” That will come in conclusion or in body paragraphs? Where are they appropriate ? Looking forward for your reply thanks

You put your opinion in the introduction, if the instructions ask for your opinion or for you to answer a direct question. If the instructions don’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it. Please see my model essays to see how and where I put my opinion. There is also a separate lesson about giving your opinion on the writing task 2 page. Liz

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Hi Liz, Is it advisable to use the listing words such as firstly, secondly, thirdly and finally at the last paragraph before the conclusion or I could use it also at my initial paragraph after the introduction? Thank you!

You use them as you want. They can order your paragraphs (although that is slightly mechanical) or you can use them to order supporting points in any paragraph you wish. Liz

Thank you for your response liz 🙂

Hello mam, i need your help how to complete reading task in one hour. There is some technic to do task as soon as possible because read full paragarh then find out ans. Is take so much time. Also how i improve my listening skills mam please help me.

Please read my tips about comprehension and strategy on the reading page. Thanks Liz

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Hi Liz; I want to ask you about linking that are related to giving opinion. May I use them “I take the view that…” and “I subscribe to the theory that…” in writing Task 2 or just in Speaking.

Regards, Sherzod

Just be direct and don’t try to learn phrases – the examiner isn’t impressed by students who purposely learn phrases to boost their score and will not award points for it. You can use “In my opinion” or “I think” or “I agree” for task 2. You can also find a lesson on my task 2 page about how to give your opinion. For speaking, it is informal so you can use a range “I suppose”, ” I guess” or “I reckon” or “I think” etc. All the best Liz

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Hi Liz, My ILETS exam was on the 4th of July and today I got my results’ message (listening 6, reading 6, writing 5.5, speaking 6.5). I am really shocked by my speaking and listening results. Do you you think I will get any new result if I reject and apply for remarking?

Listening rarely changes with a remark because it is marked by right or wrong answers and mistakes almost never happen. For speaking, band score 6.5 means you make more than a few mistakes in your grammar and vocabulary or possibly that your fluency is strong enough to be able to talk at length without effort. It is possible to get a remark for speaking but looking at your writing, it is even lower. So, it doesn’t give confidence that your score will go up with a remark. However, you must judge for yourself. All the best Liz

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Dear Liz I have recently found out about your videos and website and I deeply appreciate your effort. I am preparing for an Academic module in a limited time so I found your lessons and instructions very useful to manage my studies. Although I am still struggling with Reading skill.

The key to reading is to spend time understanding the language in the questions and thinking about paraphrasing before you try and find the answers. The more time you spend with the questions, the quicker it is to find answers. You should also be writing down a list of paraphrases from all reading exercises you do. Lastly, spend time planning a strategy for each question type and learning which questions have answers that come in order. You can find a page about question types in the reading section of this blog. All the best Liz

Really this is a stategy

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Dear Liz, Thank you for such a useful note, but it seems you missed contrast/opposite connection words.

Regards, Amir

You will find contrasting linking words in the concessions and contrast section. All the best Liz

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Hello teacher,

I’m confused using between these two words. Is the same ” as a result ” and ” therefore”.?

Could you explain it to me, please? Thank you very much

They have the same meaning and you can alternate using them. All the best Liz

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This is such a big help Ms. Liz. Thank you for always updating your site! Love you! 🙂

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Please give me a common sentences of task 2 i can write in all type of essay

Sorry but that is not the right way to approach IELTS. The examiner is trained to spot learned sentences and you will lose marks. The sentences you should aim for are based on grammar structures or tenses: clauses, conditionals, prefect tenses, gerunds etc. Just review your grammar structures. All the best Liz

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Hi Liz; Thanks to publish this useful words for writing task. I need 7 in that task while I was got 5.5 in my first attempt after that I had knew about your site and I register myself in it and from that day onwards I regularly follow your tips hope i will improve in my writing. Thanks again

Make sure you check your level of English to get band 7. In the message above, your first 9 words contain 2 mistakes and the second sentence contains 5 mistakes. You will need to reduce your errors to get band 7. Good luck Liz

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Writing Task 2 Advanced Lessons & E-books. Target 7, 8 & 9. CLICK HERE: VISIT LIZ'S STORE

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Useful Words and Phrases to use in IELTS Essay

Useful expressions for writing your essay for a higher band score:.

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IELTS Writing - Key Words & Expressions

By learning to use common phrases and set expressions , you can add variety and interest to your writing. You will also be able to write more quickly and effectively during exams, when time is limited.

Of course, you won't need to use all of the expressions on the IELTS . Ideally, you should be comfortable using at least three or four expressions from each group below, so they come to mind easily during the IELTS. It is also helpful to have someone call them out so you can test your spelling . Unfortunately, students sometimes make spelling errors even in these commonly occurring expressions. Practice sufficiently so you don't lose points unnecessarily on something that's within your control.


Stating Your Opinion

Giving Examples



Expressing Certainty

Expressing Partial Agreement

Showing cause

Showing effect

Marking time

Adding Information

Expressing condition

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Top 100 Phrases for IELTS Writing Test

Top 100 Phrases for IELTS Writing Test

If you are taking the IELTS Writing Test, it is beneficial to have some key phrases in handy to assist you in getting a high band score. 

Expanding your IELTS Writing vocabulary is a good idea, but it is even more crucial to write naturally and articulately to get the best results. 

Phrases like ‘It can extend a person’s horizon,’ ‘The essence of the debate is, and ‘very debatable’ is now regarded as ‘ scripted phrases,’ and using them in your IELTS Writing Test will only result in you losing marks.

To ace the IELTS Writing Test, you will need to use essential words and phrases to convey the points you want to make in an articulate, intelligent, and compelling manner. 

While we do not encourage you to memorize phrases, having a better comprehension of the terms that should be used in an academic writing test will help you build the vocabulary that will quickly improve your marks in the IELTS Writing Test. 

Continue reading and learn the most effective and common phrases in IELTS Writing to give you the band score that will be your ultimate ticket to achieving your dreams of studying, working, or living abroad. 

What is the IELTS Writing Task?

Linking structures and cohesive devices, connecting words for both ielts tasks, vocabulary to use in writing task 1, general training test: vocabulary to write letters, vocabulary to use in ielts writing task 2 (both academic and general training), ielts writing sample responses, ielts academic writing test : word lists, commonly confused words in the english language, tricks to learn and remember english vocabulary, additional faqs on ielts writing test.

The IELTS Writing Test is one of the four sections in the IELTS Test , the other three being Speaking , Listening , and Reading Tests. 

It is different for the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training modules, but both tests have two tasks to be completed. It lasts about 60 minutes, and you are advised to spend only 20 minutes on the first task because the second task has more weight. 

The first task in the IELTS Academic Writing Test requires you to describe and explain the information given in either a graph, chart, map, table, or diagram. 

On the other hand, Task 1 of the IELTS General Training Writing Test asks you to compose a letter responding to a situation and requesting information and explanation. You should write at least 150 words in IELTS Writing Task 1 . 

Moreover, the second task in the IELTS Academic Writing and IELTS General Training Writing is the same. You need to respond to a point of view, problem, or argument by writing an essay. You need at least 250 words in IELTS Writing Task 2 . 

The IELTS Writing Task will be marked on the following criteria: grammar and sentence structure, vocabulary utilization, task response, and coherence and cohesion. 

Each contributes 25% to the overall score. Over the years, examiners have been impressed by candidates’ vocabulary and mastery of syntax but frustrated by how incoherently one sentence flows into the next.

Learn how to use linking structures and cohesive devices below:

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 1?

Academic test:.

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 for:

  • transitioning from a description of one visual to the next
  • comparing and contrasting the key features of the visuals
  • pointing out and emphasizing details of the visuals 

General Training Test:

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 for:

  • describing the problem or situation 
  • transitioning from one viewpoint to the next
  • explaining your requests

How to Use Linking Words for IELTS Writing Task 2?

Academic and general training:.

You can use the different linking words in the IELTS Writing Task 2 for:

  • presenting your opinion
  • transitioning from one paragraph to the next
  • providing reasons
  • giving examples
  • explaining conditions and consequences of different scenarios 

To get higher marks in the IELTS Writing Test, more linking words are required. To achieve coherence and cohesion, you must employ a variety of phrases to connect one thought to the next, allowing the reader to follow your reasoning. 

Here are the most effective and common phrases in the IELTS Writing Test:

Transitional Words

  • In addition…
  • Furthermore…
  • Additionally…
  • On top of that…

Cause and effect

  • As a result…
  • Accordingly…
  • Consequently…
  • On that account…
  • For that reason…


  • In contrast…
  • Alternatively…
  • Nevertheless…
  • On the other hand…
  • In the end…
  • To sum up… 
  • To conclude…
  • To summarize…
  • In conclusion…
  • As long as…
  • Provided that…
  • Supposing that…
  • On the condition that…
  • Especially…
  • In particular…
  • Particularly…
  • Importantly…
  • Without a doubt…
  • To illustrate…
  • For instance…
  • For example…
  • The best example is…
  • A very good example is…
  • I concur that…
  • I agree that….
  • I think/feel/believe that…
  • Personally, I feel that…
  • As far as I am concerned…
  • From my point of view…
  • In spite of…
  • Admittedly…
  • Even though…
  • First of all…
  • To start with…
  • Thirdly/fourthly/etc…

Academic Test:  Vocabulary to Describe Graphs

Introducing the graph

The graph/table/pie chart/bar chart/diagram…

  • illustrates …
  • explains why …
  • describes …
  • gives information about/on …
  • provides information about/on …

Changes in the graph

  • a growth of…
  • a surge of…
  • a decrease in…
  • a decline in…
  • a fluctuation in…
  • a variation in…
  • dramatically
  • significantly
  • considerably
  • significant
  • considerable
  • substantial

1. Introduction of the Letter

  • I am writing to inform you that …
  • I am writing to ask/inquire …
  • I am writing with regard to …
  • I am writing in connection with …
  • I am writing with reference to …
  • It’s been a long time. I am writing to…
  • I’m simply writing to inform you that…
  • I haven’t seen you in a long time.
  • Please accept my apologies for not writing in such a long time. I’ve been quite busy…

2. Body of the Letter

Asking for information.

  • I’d like for you to…
  • Could let me know if…
  • I’d appreciate it if you could…
  • I’m hoping you could inform me…
  • I’d like to seek your opinion on…


  • This letter is to express my dissatisfaction…
  • I’m writing to express my displeasure with…
  • I’m writing to voice my disappointment with…
  • I’m writing to tell you that I am disappointed… 

Expressing Gratitude

  • I am thankful for…
  • I’m very grateful for…
  • I very much appreciated…
  • I’d like to thank you very much for…


  • I really regret that/about…
  • Please accept my apologies for…
  • I’d like to express my regret for…
  • Please accept my sincere apologies for…

Giving Advice

  • You should…
  • You ought to…
  • Why don’t you…
  • If I were you, I’d…

Giving Suggestion

  • If you like, I can…
  • Do you want me to…
  • What do you think about…
  • I believe it would be fantastic if you…

3. Closing of the Letter

  • I eagerly await your response.
  • Thank you so much for your assistance.
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
  • I’m hoping for a quick resolution to the matter.
  • Please do not hesitate to call me if you need any additional information.
  • Please stay in contact!
  • I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
  • Thanks a lot for your assistance, send me a message soon.
  • Anyway, I have to leave now. If you need additional details, please write again.

Vocabulary to Write Essays

Expressing Opinions

  • I’d argue that… 
  • In my opinion…
  • Personally, I believe…
  • It appears to me that… 
  • I have to admit that…
  • As far as I can tell…
  • As for me, I believe…
  • That is something I cannot deny…
  • I’d like to emphasize that…
  • In my personal experience…

Proving Arguments

  • This is testified by…
  • This is evidenced by…
  • This establishes that…
  • This is attested/proven by…

Expressing General Point of View

  • It is commonly stated that…
  • According to popular belief…
  • It is commonly assumed that…
  • It is generally assumed that…
  • It is largely agreed upon that…
  • It’s a widely held assumption that…

Outlining Facts

  • It is evident that …
  • The truth is that …
  • It is obvious that …
  • This shows that …
  • There is no doubt that …

Giving Examples

  • As an example…
  • Take for instance…
  • We can see this in…
  • A good illustration of this is…
  • Evidence for this is manifested in…
  • To summarize… 
  • In conclusion… 
  • In general…
  • On balance… 
  • Taking everything into account…

Additional Reading: IELTS Grammar

  • Top 100 IELTS Phrasal Verbs
  • Grammar for IELTS Exam: Complete Guide
  • 50 Useful Phrases for the IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS Writing Test is by no means easy. Most candidates would agree that this part of the test made them anxious. 

To impress the examiners and get a high band score , it is advised that you read and study different sample and model responses and learn the different writing techniques to help you achieve your desired band score. 

Here are some of them. Take note of the transition words and vocabulary used. 

You were supposed to start a new job next week, but you won’t be able to because of certain issues. Send a letter to your new boss. In your letter, 

  • give an explanation of your circumstances
  • state your issues
  • inform him/her when you think you’ll be able to begin.

How much do you agree or disagree with the claim that e-books and modern technology will completely replace conventional newspapers and magazines?

Example 4: 

Some argue that children should be educated to compete, while others argue that they should be taught to cooperate. What are your thoughts on the matter?

The IELTS Writing Test requires an extensive vocabulary. Having a diverse vocabulary is one of the secrets to writing an effective essay. However, it is not enough to memorize the words; you also need to know how to use them in your writing.

We have listed a set of word lists to help you with your IELTS Writing Test.

Do not be worried if you will not memorize all the word lists: quality trumps quantity! It is far preferable to learn 1 word-lists well rather than 5 word-lists poorly.

Word List 1

Word list 2, word list 3, word list 4.

English is a complicated language. Some words look the same, and some sound the same.

Recognizing the difference between these similar words could be tricky. 

We want to help you succeed on your IELTS journey, so we are providing you with some of the most commonly confused words in the English language. Pay close attention to these words and avoid the past mistakes most candidates have committed. 

Affect vs. Effect

Meaning: To have an influence or effect on something/someone

Example Sentence:

Meaning: To cause something to happen

Loose vs. Lose

Meaning : Not fitting tightly or closely

Meaning : (1) To fail to win or

(2) to misplace something

Lay vs. Lie

Meaning : To put down gently or carefully

Meaning : To assume a horizontal position on a resting surface

Accept vs. Except

Meaning : To consent to receive

Meaning : Not included

Complement vs. Compliment

Meaning : Something that fills up, completes, or makes better

Meaning : A polite expression of praise

Farther vs. Further

Meaning : Over a large expanse of physical distance

Meaning : Over a large expanse figurative distance

Passed vs. Past

Meaning : Simple past tense of ‘pass’

Meaning : Gone by in time and no longer existing

Elicit vs. Illicit

Meaning : Draw out a response from someone

Meaning : Forbidden by law

Any way vs. Anyway

Meaning: A phrase that means in any manner or method

Meaning : Used to confirm an idea just mentioned 

Than vs. Then

Meaning : Used before the second element in a comparison 

Meaning : An adverb indicating time or sequence.

Its vs. It’s

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with a thing previously mentioned

Meaning : Contraction of ‘it is’

Their vs. There vs. They’re

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with people or things previously mentioned 

Meaning : An adverb of place (in, at, to)

Meaning : Contraction of ‘they are’

Your vs. You’re

Meaning : Belonging to or associated with the person or people the speaker is talking to

Meaning : Contraction of ‘you are’

Who vs. Whom

Meaning : A pronoun used as a subject refers to a person or people

Meaning :   A pronoun used as an object referring to a person or people

That vs. Which

Meaning : Used when the phrase after it is essential in the sentence

Meaning : Used when the phrase after it is not essential in the sentence

Meaning : A preposition that indicates the direction

Meaning : An adverb that means in addition or also

You will not get very far with your language skills, no matter how brilliant your grammar is if you do not know any words to use it with. Vocabulary brings up new worlds while also making studying enjoyable and rewarding.

However, extending your vocabulary is like going on a diet. You need to exert effort, and there is no magic trick, no secret, and no one-size-fits-all method for doing so. You must identify what works best for you. Nevertheless, being patient, setting reasonable objectives, and rewarding yourself when you achieve them are sound strategies that can be supplemented with the following suggestions.

  • Make Use of Memory Tricks : Mnemonics are mental shortcuts that will help you remember more complicated concepts or words. It is a popular approach to memorizing a language. You can make associations between words. For example, when you need to buy Spaghetti, Tomatoes, Olives, Rice , and Eggs from the STORE . Furthermore, the more you think about acronyms or associations, the better you will remember the phrases that go with them.
  • Create an Environment Conducive to Learning : When you study abroad, you will hear and read the language everywhere, allowing you to acquire the language far more quickly through immersion. Luckily, you do not need to travel overseas to enhance your vocabulary gradually. You may create an inspirational and study-friendly environment wherever you are. Purchase publications or books in the new language, watch movies and prepare (or simply eat) local cuisine.
  • Make Use of a Notebook : Writing new words in a tangible notebook has a romantic quality to it. Just add a new word to a running vocabulary list when you come across a new word that you do not recognize. Then, a few times a week, go over the list, obliterating the English definitions and attempting to recall what each term meant. The more you read through the notebook, the easier it will be to recall the words. You can eventually cross off the words you know, so you do not have to go over them again.
  • Put the Words in Their Proper Context : Putting words in context is a fantastic way to learn more vocabulary faster. Consider putting them together in phrases rather than composing lists of random words. That way, you will understand how the word is utilized in everyday situations. It will also be easier to remember if you come up with entertaining sentences. You can also generate drawings or discover visuals that will complement the sentences and place the words in their natural home, depending on how you learn.
  • Take it a Step Further : Allow adequate space for mind maps with connected words, synonyms, and antonyms if you want to take your learning a step higher. If you’re going to make the most of your learning, try explaining and describing the word in English rather than translating it into your original tongue.
  • Put in The Effort : The most crucial thing you will need to recall English words is the appropriate attitude and the willingness to put in the effort. However, there is no such thing as a magical system. None of the approaches listed above are “correct” or “incorrect.” Find something that works for you and utilize it regularly. Experiment with a few to find which produces the greatest results.

Additional Reading: How to Improve Your English Speaking Skills

  • How to Speak English Without an Accent
  • How to Learn English By Watching the FRIENDS TV Series
  • Best Youtube Channels to Learn English
  • Top 40 Instagram Accounts to Help You Learn English
  • 30+ Tips to Speak English Without Grammar Mistakes

Is it Okay to Write 400 Words in IELTS Writing?

Candidates should write words that are slightly above the word limit. That is 170 – 190 words in the IELTS Writing Task 1 and 270 – 290 words in the IELTS Writing Task 2.

However, note that there is no word limit, and you will not lose marks for exceeding the word limit.

Keep in mind that the examiners will mark your IELTS Writing not based on the number of words you write but on the quality of your work. 

Is a 7 in IELTS Writing Good?

Yes, a band score of 7 in the IELTS Writing Test is good. It means that you are a ‘good user’ and that you have impressed the examiner enough to give you a 7.

Most candidates have not been able to achieve this as the IELTS Writing Test is arguably the most challenging.

So if you get a 7 (or higher) band score, be proud.

How is the IELTS Writing Marked?

The examiner will focus on four primary areas: 

(1) how you were able to answer the question well;  (2) how well you connect an idea to the text;  (3) your vocabulary range and accuracy; and  (4) your grammatical forms range and accuracy. Each criterion contributes 25 percent of your overall marks in the IELTS Writing Test. 

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