Welcome back ...
It's our friend - The IELTS Band Descriptor.
So lets take a look at IELTS Writing Task 2 Band Descriptors to find out what the examiners are looking for.
NOTE: If you don't understand all the information in this chapter, don't worry too much. We will revisit every single one of them in a lot more details in the remaining topics for IELTS Task 2.
Here's what the band descriptors mean in plain English.
Identify the main topic of the essay
- If you incorrectly identify the main idea then you CANNOT score above Band 4.
- If you present a main idea that is not sufficiently developed and supported by examples then you CANNOT score above Band 6.
Identify all parts of the task
- If you address only some parts of the task and not others then you CANNOT score above Band 5.
- Even if you identify all parts of the task correctly but fail to cover each of them fully you WILL NOT be able to score above Band 6.
Present a position/opinion
- If you do not express a clear position then you CANNOT score above Band 5.
- If you do not write a conclusion at the end you CANNOT score above Band 5.
- If your conclusion is unclear or repetitive then you CANNOT score above Band 6.
In other words, if you want to score Band 7+, you need to consistently, accurately and appropriately demonstrate the use of all 4 points highlighted above.
Did you think that was all ... nope there's more ...
Even if you do all of the above there is still a chance that you may not be able to score above Band 7. In order to really ensure Band 7+ you need to master the 4 C’s of Essay Writing.
The 4 C's of Essay Writing
Cohesion - refers to words and phrases that help link ideas together.For example:
- Because of this ....
- It is clear that ...
- It can be seen ... etc.
Conciseness - Long sentences do not mean more marks. Run-on sentences will often cause you to lose marks in this area. There are three sentence structures you should be using:
- Simple sentence - Contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. For Example - The teacher returned the homework.
- Complex sentences - Has an independent clause (simple sentence) joined by one or more dependent clauses (cannot stand alone as a sentence) For Example - The teacher returned the homework after she noticed the error.
- Compound sentences - Two simple sentences joined by a coordinator (ex. for, and, or, yet, so). For Example - The teacher returned the homework so everyone got to go home early.
Coherence - How easy is your essay to understand? In order to improve your coherence, proper grammar is a must. You are not there while the essay is being marked, so your ideas need to be clear and easy to understand. Using the cohesive phrases mentioned earlier, can improve the coherence of your essay.
Composition - The structure of your essay (introduction paragraph, 2-3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph). A good introduction includes a little background on the topic, a thesis statement, and a preview of the 2-3 main points of your essay. Each body paragraph should include a topic sentence illustrating your point, an example of your point and how it ties into your topic sentence, as well as a concluding sentence that ties this point into your thesis.
Conclusions should reiterate your two or three main ideas from your body paragraphs an restate your thesis again using different words than before. To end your conclusion, you should give a prediction or recommendation on the essay topic.
Note: Remember a proper paragraph has at least 3-4 sentences. Each paragraph should revolve around a main idea, and when you start a new idea, you should start a new paragraph.
That's all that you need to know about essay writing. Use the Band descriptors and the 4 C's in practice essays.
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With this lesson you are well on your way to IELTS Band 7+
The remaining topics will help you remember everything that you need to score Band 7+ in IELTS Writing.
For now, go ahead and mark this lesson complete :)
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