3 Advanced IELTS Writing Techniques for Scoring Band 8.0

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Are you ready to score Band 8 or higher in IELTS writing module?  Then you come to right IELTS blog post.

You can see some significant improvement of your academic IELTS writing once you meets some parameters for the examiner that they are looking for in your essay to score high.

#Avoid Generalization in your Writing

Good academic writers are careful that they don`t make statements which are too general. This is important in a piece of academic writing.

avoid generalization in IELTS Writing

We also use certain expressions to avoid making generalizations.
  • In many cases / the majority of cases, it is extremely difficult at first to integrate in a new society.
  • Generally speaking, moving abroad is a very difficult thing to do.
  • For many, the language barrier is a major problem. (= for a lot of people but not everyone)
Look at the paragraph below where a Band 8+ candidate has written a paragraph while answering a question in Task-2 relating Marriage & Divorce.

Generally speaking, getting married is one of the most significant experiences in a person`s life. It can be difficult at times, but you could say the same for anything that is worth doing. Sadly, in many cases, marriage ends in divorce. This is often because the couple got married at a young age.

In this example, the writing generalize the positive experience of marriage life. He is also saying “it can be difficult” means it may not be difficult for many people.

Using of this expression (it can be difficult) makes the statement beyond the question of any debate and that is what an academic writer will do in making any argument in his/her writing.

Now, look at the following answer where the candidate writes his/her answer by using modal verbs to avoid making over generalizations.

Question: What are the pros and cons of using public transport?

Public transport is being used by passengers which they don’t need to travel in their own vehicle. Nowadays there are many different kinds of public transport like hi-speed trains. buses. taxi. ferry, etc. They are very popular and provide good services. As a result. I encourage to use public transport. There are lots of advantages to use public transport.

On the upside, using public transport is more environmentally friendly. People like driving their own cars but they are choking the cities. For the environment, it is a good way to protect our Earth. Also public transport is very convenient for people who can't afford to buy own car. You can take a bus or train to arrive the destination in a cheap price. Another advantages of public transport is offering more jobs for drivers. It is a steady job. In my country, if you have a family member is a bus driver. you don't need to pay for take a bus for whole life. As a result. there are lots of pros of using transport.

On the down side, may be it is inconvenient for people need to change bus or train to arrive the destination. Also, trains and buses are crowded in busy time, may be passenger need to wait for a long time to get home. Another disadvantages of public transport is dirty. In some buses, you might find the seats are dirty and many tickets on the floor.

Obviously. you can see there are more pros of using public transport. I strongly agree people using public transport. Nowadays, air pollution is more serious, it is a good way to solve this problem. Also, it make for citizens to use and life more easier.

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#Use Collocations to Generate ideas for IELTS Writing

A good way to improve the accuracy of your writing is to learn common collocations of key words of each IELTS task -2 topic. Accuracy is one of the component of writing that examiners seeks for.

Collocations are words which naturally go together and you should study how words fit together into chunks of language instead of focusing on individual words.

Collocations in IELTS writing
For example, you know the word decision. But by some brainstorming you can make some other useful chunks, such as:
  • make a decision about something (a job, a university course)
  • rush into making a decision about
  • take your time before you rush into making a decision about
The more chunks of language you can create, the more flexible your writing will be in the exam. You will develop this habit as you move through practicing with several Task-2 Questions in IELTS writing exam.

Start by looking at the following question of Task-2.

“Happiness is positively linked with good health. To what extend you agree or disagree with this point of view. "

Pick out and record some chunks you can imagine regarding health and happiness by combining words and phrases. For example.

To keep good health one must
  • not smoking
  • not drinking alcohol
  • getting enough sleep
  • avoiding stress
  • eating healthy food
  • taking regular exercise (makes one fit for work and industry is the key to success and success brings happiness)
Good health will leads to.....
  • keep in touch with friends and family ( A good health make one fit to socialize with neighbors and family members with in turns have psychologically positive influence to lead a happy life)
  • getting immunized against preventable diseases

Look at the above examples and you will be surprised to see how finding collocations make it easier to write about any topic with accuracy.

Therefore, before you write any IELTS essay, think about four or five collocations connected with the topic and generate your mind-map for writing the essay.

It is also good practice to maintain a notebook while you practice for the IELTS writing exam and write down useful vocabulary and collocations for tentative IELTS task-2 topics. You can use then use your notes to revise each topic before the exam.

#Contrasting Ideas with Linking Words

When you write a Task 2 essay, you need to contrast different ideas, this will make your writing more academic and show you can consider different points of view.

For example, if you are writing about a IELTS Writing Task-2 Topic of “Very few people aim to be a teacher in their life”; you can write:

Although teaching can sometimes be a tiring and stressful job, it is generally very satisfying.

Here you are contrasting your idea about teaching as “a tiring and stressful job” with the word “satisfying” (Look we use the word “generally” here to generalize the statement that we discussed in previous technique) and it is done with the linking word “Although”.

Contrasting ideas in IELTS writing

You can also use following linking words to contrast ideas in your IELTS essay.
  • However
  • Nonetheless
  • It is clear that prison is the best punishment for serious crimes, such as murder. However, some people may oppose with this idea and find death penalty to be the most appropriate mode of punishment for such crimes.
  • May people say that living alone can be difficult and lonely? Nonetheless, I think that there are more advantage of having your own place, such as being able to do whatever you like.
You should give emphasis about contrasting ideas in conclusion to show that you have considered the question carefully and that you understand different point of view.

  • To sum up, although it is true that exams can be stressful for children, I think that they are the best and the fairest way to consider assess students’ progress.


It is really important to know the different forms of styles of academic writing to stand out from the crowd and create a positive impression to the examiner for getting higher band score.

As you are opting for better score in IELTS exam, while practicing, try to use these techniques in essay writing particularly for IELTS task 2.