A lot of IELTS candidates find Writing Task 2 is a huge challenge. Unless you’re so lucky that the topic falls right into your concern, it is somehow challenging for an economics student to write an essay about climate change. From my personal experience, the best tip I’ve learned so far that can help you improve your writing and also gain some knowledge is to read more.
When you first hear “read more”, you probably think of those National Geographic magazines that are full of concepts and principles you have never heard before; or those serious political issues in other countries that are so complicated and confusing to you, don’t worry, it’s definitely not what I mean here (unless you find it’s interesting the go ahead). What I’m encouraging you is to be more selective, starting with something really general and something which interests you; general in terms of topics (daily-life issues, healthy lifestyles, environmental issues) and in terms of analysis (compare and contrast, reasons-consequences, suggestions). You can read daily magazines and education websites, whereby the writing style is natural and interesting yet still provides general knowledge. Another good source of reference is the band 8 onwards essays that you can find easily on the Internet. The topics are more specific and the academic level is much higher.
After you have a good resource of information, the next thing you can gain from reading is the ideas for IELTS topics. You don’t have to memorize those terminologies or those highly academic vocabularies, what you should keep for yourself is the ideas. As you read, you may draw a simple mind map so you can go over easily later. For example, when I read about online-shopping. They discussed about its benefits and drawbacks, followed by examples and even their personal experiences. My mind map looks like this:
Practicing this not only helps you improve your summarizing skills, but also you gain lots of ideas to use for IELTS. Moreover, when you get used to this habit, it is way easier when it comes to the exam day, you have your ideas in your mind. All you have to do next is to put them together nicely, which I am going to cover in the next paragraph.
Coherence and cohesion is also one of the essential elements that builds up a good essay. By reading you can learn about how authors organize their ideas, how they use varied sentence structures, how they combine so naturally the spoken and academic languages. You will also see how the authors select examples, reasons and consequences to support their main idea. You may then highlight what you find interested in and practice using them in your own essay for several times. “Practice makes perfect”.
In conclusion, reading is indeed a good habit for IELTS candidates. First select a good source of general ideas, make a simple map as you read and finally focus on the connection between them. Try to maintain this habit even you’ve achieved IELTS, because I believe, the more you read, the more you learn, the better you write.
Below is the list of useful websites which cover international/world news in every aspect of life
The Guardian is a British national daily newspaper covering US, UK, international news, breaking news and various aspects such as Travel, Family, Sport, Arts, TV and Radio, Puzzles, etc
BBC News is the world’s largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage.
This site was launched on August 30, 1995. The site attracted growing interest over its first decade and is now one of the most popular news websites in the world. It also has a specialized sites in teaching English: http://cnnlearnenglish.com/
It has long been respected as “one of the most competent and subtle Western periodicals on public affairs.
I hope you’ll find this helpful. Should you have any question, please leave it in the comment below.
The best way to be kept updated about the latest lessons/posts on IELTS Material website is subscribing us or liking us on Facebook.
Latest posts by (see all)
- IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics 2019 (Sep 2019 – April 2020) & Sample Answers - August 20, 2019
- Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Student’s Book with Answers with Audio - May 4, 2019
- Cambridge IELTS Series (1 – 14) for Academic and General Training Modules - April 22, 2019
- All Useful IELTS Writing Lessons & Websites - February 27, 2019
- 101 IELTS Reading Past Papers With Answers - January 23, 2019
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 & 3 Topics (Sep – Dec 2019) with Model Answers - December 25, 2018
- Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS Series (1 – 14) Student’s Book with Answers with Audio [Latest Update] - December 21, 2018
- New IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topics (Sep – Dec 2019) & Suggested Answers - December 20, 2018
- HIGH SCORING IELTS SPEAKING MODEL ANSWERS WITH AUDIO (BASED ON PAST PAPERS) - October 25, 2018
- IELTS Speaking Actual Tests (Sep – Dec 2019) & Suggested Answers - September 22, 2017
- IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics in 2019 & Sample Answers - September 11, 2017
- IELTS Writing Task 2 Questions (2013 – 2018) & Model Answers - July 19, 2017
- IELTS Magazine – Week 1 (PDF) - May 20, 2017
- Useful IELTS Reading Websites & Resources for both Academic & General Training Module - April 28, 2017
- IELTS Writing Recent Actual Tests in 2018 & Band 8.0+ Sample Answers (Updating) - February 26, 2017
- IELTS Speaking Lessons - February 21, 2017
- Advanced Vocabulary List for IELTS - January 24, 2017
- 42 Topics for IELTS Speaking Part 1 and Suggested Answers (PDF) - April 14, 2016
- IELTS Target Band 7: How to Maximize Your Score (Ebook) - March 29, 2016
- Ace the IELTS: IELTS General Module – How to Maximize Your Score (3rd edition) - October 10, 2015
- IELTS Part 2 Sample: Describe a time you spent a lot of money on something - September 20, 2019
- Band 8 Sample for IELTS Speaking Part 1 Topic: Photographs - September 20, 2019
- New IELTS Speaking Part 1 with Band 9 Model Answer – Topic: Rubbish/ Garbage - September 13, 2019
Main IELTS Pages:
This website is to develop your IELTS skills with tips, model answers, lessons, free books, and more. Each section (Listening, Speaking, Writing, Reading) has a complete collection of lessons to help you improve your IELTS skills.
Subscribe for free IELTS lessons/Books/Tips/Sample Answers/Advice from our IELTS experts. We help millions of IELTS learners maximize their IELTS scores!