Ielts Essay Writing Tutorials For Middle Schoolers

Success in IELTS writing task 2 is based on using the right techniques. These free tips, model essays, lessons, videos and information will help develop the skills for writing task 2. This page will teach you how to maximise your IELTS writing task 2 score.

Essential Information for IELTS Writing Task 2

All IELTS students should read the pages below:

Information: Task 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How your IELTS Writing is Marked: Band Scores 5 to 8 Tips

IELTS General Training Writing Differences

How your Total IELTS Writing Score is Calculated 

IELTS Practice Essay Questions

Practice essay questions to help you prepare ideas for topics in IELTS writing task 2. These questions have been written based on questions reported by IELTS students. They are not IELTS tests.

Over 100 IELTS Essay Questions

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Essential IELTS Writing Task 2 Tips

The most important writing tips for a strong IELTS essay in writing task 2. Learn about the recommended essay length, how to plan your essay, when to give your opinion and how to write an introduction etc.

How many paragraphs for an IELTS essay?: Essay structure

Key Linking Words List: Academic Vocabulary 

Video: How to write an introduction paragraph: Complete lesson

Essay Planning Tips: How to plan your IELTS essay

Common Essay Topics: 20 Most Common Essay Topics

Video: Essay Length Advice: How long should your essay be?

Video: Official Writing Answer Sheet Tips: Using the answer sheet

When to give your opinion: Opinion Essay Tips

Video Using the last 5 minutes: Exam technique tips

Video: Paraphrasing Tips

More Video & Tips for Writing Task 2

All Free IELTS Writing Task 2 Videos Lessons

IELTS Advanced Training

Buy Advanced Lessons for Writing Task 2. Is your target band 7? Is it difficult to hit band 7? Think about my advanced lessons: Advanced IELTS Writing Task 2 Lessons

Model Essays

Sample essays for IELTS writing task 2. These high score model essays will help you understand how to answer the essay questions and how to structure your writing.

Practice Lessons for Writing Task 2

Develop your IELTS writing skills and get useful ideas for many essay questions. Lessons are in order of date and new lessons will be added over time.

  1. Essay Questions Jan & Feb 2018: Reported by students
  2. Essay Questions for Dec 2017: Reported by students
  3. Paraphrasing Practice 1
  4. Paraphrasing Practice 2
  5. Paraphrasing Practice 3
  6. Essay Questions for 2017 – questions reported in the test this year.
  7. Using Passive Voice for Giving Opinions
  8. Essay Ideas: Employment Competition
  9. Writing Skills: Paraphrasing Practice
  10. Writing Skills: Improving Sentences (2)
  11. Essay Ideas: The Importance of History
  12. Essay Ideas: Housing & Trees 
  13. Essay Ideas: International Aid
  14. Essay Ideas: City Transport
  15. Essay Ideas: Salaries
  16. Essay Ideas: Function of Schools
  17. Essay Ideas: Female Staff in Senior Positions
  18. Writing Skills: Punctuation Practice
  19. Writing Skills: Linking Word Practice
  20. Essay Ideas: Littering in Cities
  21. Listen and Write Dictation: Natural Disasters
  22. Discussion Essay with Feedback: Music Topic
  23. Writing Skills: Improving Sentences: Ebooks Topic
  24. Essay Ideas: Banning Mobile Phones
  25. Two Question Essay with Feedback: Judging Business Success
  26. Essay Ideas: Tourism and Local Communities
  27. Essay Ideas: Traffic & Pollution
  28. Writing Skills: Improving a Thesis Statement
  29. Writing Skills: Improving Sentences (1)
  30. Essay Ideas: Handwriting Skills
  31. Writing Skills: Linking Word Practice
  32. Essay Ideas: Promoting to Children
  33. Essay Ideas: Older or Younger Leaders
  34. Writing Skills: Introduction Feedback
  35. Writing Skill: Opinion Essay Introduction Feedback
  36. Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Body Paragraphs
  37. Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Introduction
  38. Writing Skills: Opinion Essay Finding Main Points
  39. Writing Skills: Thesis Statement
  40. Essay Ideas: Public Services

Liz’s Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons

NEW!! IELTS in-depth lessons about IELTS essay writing for a high score. Learn all the techniques needed for success in IELTS writing task 2. You can purchase individual essay lessons.

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

This article is part of the Teach IELTS series at IELTS Academic, an online provider of skills training for IELTS and English as a foreign language.


These ten IELTS Writing teaching tips should help both new and experienced IELTS teachers get the best out of their students.

Writing lessons can be challenging as they rely on a great deal of theory: fascinating for language geeks but not for everyone!

Cultural differences may also come into play which affect how students were taught to organise their ideas in writing. Remember that by teaching IELTS Writing, you are helping your students not only pass a test but also organise their thoughts in writing in ways that are most likely to cross cultural boundaries.

So, what exactly does IELTS Writing involve? As you’re probably already aware, it’s a one-hour paper test comprising two tasks:

  • Task 1: Write a 150-word report on a diagram or set of data (Academic module)
  • Task 1: Write a 150-word letter (General Training module)
  • Task 2: Write a 250-word discursive essay (both modules)

Assessment is based on four criteria:

  • Task Achievement or Response: How well the candidate fulfills the requirements of the task
  • Coherence and Cohesion: How well the candidate organises and connects their ideas
  • Lexical Resource: The candidate’s use of appropriate vocabulary
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: The candidate’s use of appropriate grammatical forms

To teach IELTS Writing effectively, connect your feedback to the four assessment criteria, guiding students towards improving their English in ways most likely to be recognised by the IELTS examiner. The ten IELTS Writing teaching tips below are by no means a comprehensive list, but should function as a useful starter or refresher course on how to teach IELTS Writing.


Looking for a basic guide to IELTS Writing? Read this first: IELTS Writing: Introduction

Completely new to teaching IELTS? Read this first: How to Teach IELTS: The Basics


1. Cover all the question types

Students have a tendency to panic when they encounter the unfamiliar, and IELTS Writing Task 1 in particular throws up some bizarre tasks. While Task 1 in the General Training module sticks to the letter-writing genre, in the Academic module it can be anything from a set of pie charts to a flow diagram, a country comparison chart to an architectural drawing. For Task 2, all students should be familiar with the difference between an opinion essay and an argument essay, as well as appropriate structures for describing problems and their solutions. It’s your job as a teacher to prep your students for all eventualities.


2. Teach paragraphing

The first thing an IELTS examiner will pay attention to is whether an answer is conventionally paragraphed. That means an introduction and several body paragraphs followed by a conclusion. The body paragraphs should be approximately equal in length, with the introduction and conclusion slightly shorter. Different languages use different conventions for paragraphing, so make sure that English paragraphing norms are well and truly drilled into your students.


3. Introduce academic writing conventions

Many IELTS candidates are recent high school graduates with limited knowledge of academic writing style. Not only are they still learning English, they must now start to incorporate features like hedging strategies, passive voice, and logical links into their writing. It’s all too easy to start drowning in theory, so show some examples and get students to notice for themselves how academic writing differs from writing a letter to a friend.


4. Teach logical links

This cannot be stressed enough. One of the most basic influences on a candidate’s score is how well they connect ideas. It sounds simple enough, but some cultures are much more ‘high context’ than English, which means that readers are expected to infer connections between ideas. In English, it’s the writer’s job to make these connections clear, so make sure your students are liberally spraying their essays with ‘furthermores’ and ‘on the other hands’.


5. Practice joining sentences

One interesting thing about the IELTS Writing assessment criteria is that they reward risk or complexity. That is, your students can get a higher score if they write in longer, more complex sentences, even if that results in more mistakes overall. So get your students linking simple sentences to form complex ones using conjunctions, relative pronouns, and subordinate clauses.


6. Make sure your students write enough words

In IELTS Writing, students are penalised if they fail to write 150 words for Task 1 and 250 words for Task 2. Students are most likely to fall short in Task 2 after spending too much time on Task 1. Make sure they understand that Task 2 is twice as important and that they need to start writing Task 2 after 20 minutes even if they have yet to write a conclusion for Task 1. For five ways to help your students meet the word requirement, see our article IELTS Writing Tips: How to Write 150 or 250 Words.


7. Use a modified answer sheet for writing practice

Making use of the official IELTS Writing answer sheet is a good way to familiarise students with the test, but there some flaws in the document from a teaching perspective. One problem is the narrow line spacing which leaves little room for corrections. Another is the acronym-heavy marking section which can leave students confused about where they have performed well and poorly. Of course, this document was never intended to be used for feedback purposes. As a teacher-friendly alternative, use this modified practice version instead.


8. Encourage self-correction

There’s nothing more demotivating as a teacher than seeing students fail to learn from their mistakes. One reason for this is shallow processing. Make sure students are involved in fixing their errors by highlighting mistakes for their own self-correction. Expert writing teachers usually develop a system of writing correction symbols. Here’s a good example to get you started.


9. Create an action list for each student

As well as guiding students towards correcting their own mistakes, you also need to provide a framework for their further study. Create an action list of no more than five error types that are most frequent and easiest to spot and correct. Your students can’t possibly avoid all mistakes, so an action list gives them something to look for while proofreading as well adding more focus to their study of grammar.


10. Teach to the test

It may surprise you to know that many IELTS textbooks make no direct reference to the IELTS Writing assessment criteria, even though it is publically available. Textbooks are therefore of limited use, especially when you have a small group of students who would benefit more from your feedback on their writing with direct reference to the scoring criteria. Avoid overdependence on lengthy courses of study and make your students’ own IELTS Writing answers the basis for your next lesson.


No time to write model answers for your students? See our full list of IELTS Writing Task 1 and Task 2 answers with band scores and analysis.


This article is part of the Teach IELTS series at IELTS Academic, an online provider of skills training for IELTS and English as a foreign language.


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