Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Structure of the IELTS writing

At class this morning my tutor enlightened us about the structure of IELTS writing, which is quite a revelation since I kind of just write whatever I can muster as long as it is structured nicely and has a lot of big words. Yep, big fucking boo for me.  Anyway, the text for IELTS consists of three parts: Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

The introduction consist of two parts: General statements and Thesis statements.

General statements is the one you start you essay with, so from this point on you should already be able to grab your reader’s attention. You can use statistic, news report or personal experience regarding to the topic. The thing is, how are you supposed to know statistic or news report about something you’ve never heard before? Most of the topics for IELTS writing are very high profile. Some issues are quite well known, so even if you haven’t specifically read it before, you usually have heard it somewhere before and have a rough idea what is it about. But if luck is not on your side, it’s possible you get a topic you’ve never heard about. News flash: what being assessed here is your English ability, not how much you know about the topic. Make stuff up, sprout off some statistic from nowhere, quote some random newspaper article. There’s a good chance the examiner is just as clueless about the topic as you. But to actually know the topic is even better. So be smart. Read a lot. Be confident. DO NOT ADMIT THAT YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT THE TOPIC. NEVER EVER.

The introduction must end with a thesis statement (1 or 2 sentences long). Here you have to tell what the overall paper with focus on and briefly outline the main points of the paper.

This is the main part of the essay. You have to clearly present the main points of the paper as listed in the thesis. Give strong examples, details and explanations to support each main point. Because this is an argumentative text, mind the counterarguments. Consider what people might say against your point of view and refute those arguments. Be consistent with grammar ---> my major mistakes by the way.
My tutor highlighted something about the question and how it effects your answer. If it’s ‘To what extent do you agree or disagree blah blah?” then you can sit on the fence and be partially agree or disagree. But if the question is ‘Do you agree or disagree?” then you have to pick a side. Overall, it’s much easier to write the article if you just pick a side. Approaching the article by being partially agree or disagree is difficult. Unless you are really good, it can lead you to a confused or even contradictory essay.

Restate your thesis but use different words and briefly summarize each main point found in the body of the paper.  You can also give a statement of the consequences of not embracing the position you take. Do not give new information. End it with a strong clincher statement: an appropriate, meaningful sentence that ties the whole point of the paper together (may refer back to the attention grabber).

I’ve been writing journal, short movie review (kidding, just opinion actually) and stupid blog post in English for years, but this kind of writing is on whole other level. You have to learn how to be eloquent and scientific; something I’ve never cared about before. I think IELTS doesn’t only asses your English ability, it’s also meant to measure how ready you are to be a world citizen. 


No comments:

Post a Comment