Writing for IELTS will prepare you for the IELTS Academic Writing test whether you are taking the test for the first time, or re-sitting the test. It has been written for learners with band score 5-5.5 who are trying to achieve band score 6.5 or higher.
The structured approach, comprehensive answer key and model answers have been designed so that you can use the materials to study on your own. However, the book can also be used as a supplementary writing skills course for IELTS preparation classes. The book provides enough material for approximately 50 hours of classroom activity.
Writing for IELTS is divided into 12 units. Each unit focuses on a topic area that you are likely to meet in the IELTS exam. This helps you to build up a bank of vocabulary and ideas related to a variety of the topics.
Units 1-11 cover the key stages of the writing process: everything from analysing the task to proof-reading a completed response. Every exercise is relevant to the test. The aims listed at the start of each unit specify the key skills, techniques and language covered in the unit. You work towards Unit 12, which provides a final practice IELTS Writing test.
Additionally, the book provides examination strategies telling you what to expect and how best to succeed in the test. Exam information is presented in clear, easy-to-read chunks. ‘Exam tips’ in each unit highlight essential exam techniques and can be rapidly reviewed at a glance.
Each of the first 11 units is divided into 3 parts.
Part 1 introduces vocabulary related to the topic as well as a selection of the most common academic words and expressions needed for the writing functions covered in the unit. A range of exercises gives you the opportunity to use the vocabulary – clearly and effectively – in a variety of contexts. The vocabulary is presented using Collins COBUILD dictionary definitions.
Part 2 provides step-by-step exercises and guidance on the key stages of the writing process. Both writing Task 1 and Task 2 are covered in each unit. There are guided questions and worked ’ examples to show you what an effective IELTS response looks like. Useful expressions and grammatical forms are highlighted, and there are exercises to help you to develop good range and accuracy in your writing. You are encouraged to apply what you have learnt while at the same time writing your own responses to task questions.
Part 3 provides exam practice questions for Task 1 and Task 2 in a format that follows the actual exam. You can use this as a means of assessing your readiness for the actual exam.
A comprehensive answer key is provided for all sections of the book including recommended answers and explanations for more open-ended writing tasks. There are model answers for all of the writing questions. For one of the practice exam questions in each unit, two model answers are given – one of them annotated. This shows you that a variety of approaches to each writing task can be taken.
Using the book for self-study:
If you are new to IELTS, we recommend that you work systematically through the 12 units in order to benefit from its progressive structure. If you are a more experienced learner, you can use the aims listed at the start of each unit to select the most useful exercises.
Each unit contains between three and four hours of study material. Having access to someone who can provide informed feedback on writing practice exercises is an advantage. However, you can still learn a lot working alone or with a study partner willing to give and receive peer feedback.
Ideally, you should begin each unit by working through the Part 1 vocabulary exercises. Try to answer the questions without looking at a dictionary in order to develop the skill of inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words from context. This is important because dictionaries cannot be used during the actual exam. Avoid writing the answers to vocabulary exercises directly into the book so that you can try the exercises again once you have completed the unit.
Work through the Part 2 writing exercises from beginning to end. It is important to study the examples given in order to become familiar with the type of writing required. Doing this will also help you become a perceptive – and critical – reader of your own work. The grammar points covered should be thoroughly mastered so that during the actual exam you can focus on the higher order skills of planning and effectively communicating your response. All learners, including those who are working on their own, should attempt the writing tasks as writing is a skill that can only be improved through extensive practice. At the same time, you should aim to become well-informed about a wide variety of subjects, not just those covered in the book.
The IELTS Writing test can cover almost any topic considered to be within the grasp of a well-educated person.
Part 3 contains exam practice with timed questions. This gives you the opportunity to practise writing to a time limit. If you find this difficult at first, you could focus first on writing a high-quality response of the correct length. Then you could start to reduce the time allowed gradually until you are able to write an acceptable answer within the time limit. You should become familiar enough with your own hand writing so that you can accurately estimate the number of words you have written at a glance. Model answers should be studied to identify the underlying approach and effect on the reader. Try not to memorise essays or reports or to attempt to fit a pre-existing response around another exam question. If you work systematically through the book, you should develop the skills and language to effectively express your own responses to unseen exam questions on the day.
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