You probably don’t need to get a Band 9 for IELTS Writing, so I don’t think you should get too stressed about it, but this lesson will help you see some key features and small changes that you can make to get you closer to your band score goal.
There are plenty of different ways of writing a high-scoring essay (this is just one example, but there is not just one ‘right answer’).
The main message is that you should write clearly. Don’t try to be more ‘complex’ to get a higher score.
Complex language IS important, but CLEAR language is MORE important. Complexity should not lead to confusion.
This essay uses ‘PEEL’ paragraphs to
- P: make your point
- E: give specific examples and evidence and/or
- Explanations to support your argument
- L: link it back to the question with an outcome or ‘so what?’ statement.
This ensures that the points are clear and supported, and that the relevance to the question is clearly shown.
You will notice that in this Task 2 essay:
- the language is easy to understand and not overly complex
- the first line is a general statement (the writer does NOT paraphrase the question)
- the writer does NOT put a linking word at the beginning of each sentence (there is no mechanical use of ‘moreover’ ‘besides’ ‘in addition’)
- The linking is INTERNAL (see the reference words in pink)
- Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence, summarising the purpose of the paragraph
- There are several OUTCOMES with high-level collocations
- The outcomes are often written in the form of a CONDITIONAL (If, were it not for…), which we cover in my Conditionals Bootcamp.
Listen to the podcast below for the full explanation, and see my video in this lesson to watch me analyse a Band 9 essay.
IELTS Writing Band 9 Sample Essay
What makes this writing a Band 9 essay?
- The first line (General Statement) assesses the situation and gives the background to the issue
- The first line (General Statement) does NOT paraphrase the question.
- There are clear TOPIC sentences to guide the reader (BLUE)
- The introduction presents both sides but gives a clear opinion here and throughout (Orange Text)
- The paragraphs follow the PEEL structure (Purple Text: Point, Example/Explanation/Evidence, Link or So what?)
- The writer shows what other people think throughout
- The writer uses hedging (Green Text) in order to avoid generalisation
- The writer uses linking and referencing
- The writer constantly refers to the ‘So what?’ – the impact/results/consequences (Red Text)
- The writer uses complex language (e.g. conditionals)
- The writer uses a variety of collocations (detrimental effect, damaging consequences, significant impact)
How can the Members Academy help you write like this?
In the Members Academy we work on all of the features of academic writing that you need to include in your essays.
A full-access Academy pass gives you:
- weekly individual Writing feedback, analysis and correction
- weekly Model Essays
- weekly LIVE feedback lessons
- weekly follow-up writing lessons
- weekly follow-up summary
- weekly peer learning
- immediate links to further practice related to your individual weak points
- a complete suite of Writing Tutorials to tackle EVERY aspect of IELTS Writing
- an entire Library of previous weekly lessons and models
- daily Q&A support
- Integrated grammar tuition
And that’s JUST the Writing section.
Learn more about how to join the Members Academy – get instant access to everything if you join today.
Get more help with writing
- How to use have/get something done
- How to use ‘rise’ vs ‘raise’
- How to use ‘despite’ and ‘in spite of’.
- How to use ‘affect’ vs ‘effect’.
- How to use concession in Writing Task 2.
- How to write complex sentences for IELTS.
- ‘Not only but also’ and inversion
- How to use ‘the former, the latter’
- How to correct your grammar mistakes in IELTS
Get everything you need for IELTS in one convenient place – the Members Academy.
With videos, worksheets, ebooks, mindmaps, interactive activities, premium online resources, live lessons and weekly writing tasks and feedback and private, supportive community the Members Academy will save you time and money – you might even enjoy it!