Mastering the IELTS Writing Tasks: Tips for Success

Mastering the IELTS Writing Tasks: Tips for Success

Preparing for the IELTS Writing section can be demanding, but with the right strategies and understanding, you can approach both Task 1 and Task 2 with confidence. This blog article will guide you through the key differences between Task 1 and Task 2, highlight common topics and themes, and provide a blueprint for structuring your essays for maximum impact.

Differences between Task 1 and Task 2

  • Task 1:
  • Type: This task involves descriptive report writing where you will be asked to summarize and describe visual information such as graphs, charts, tables, diagrams, or maps.
  • Length: Writing task 1 has a least requirement of 150 words.
  • Purpose: You will be required to identify and summarize the main features, trends, or changes shown in the visual data.
  • Assessment Criteria: You will be accessed on four different criteria holding equal proportions for Writing Task 1 which are:
  1. Task Achievement (TA): For this criteria, you will be accessed on whether you have fulfilled the word count, whether you have developed a clear overview and whether you have detailed the information.


  1. Coherence and Cohesion (CC): Coherence refers to the logical bonding of your sentences and the flow of your report. Your body paragraphs must be logically separated and well developed.


Cohesion, on the other hand, refers to the use of connecting devices or linking devices. These devices are words or phrases we use to link sentences together; for example, Overall, Firstly, Secondly, In addition, On the one hand, On the other hand, To conclude, although, which, whereas, In comparison, Therefore, Henceforth and so on.


  1. Lexical Resource (LR): Lexical Resource refers to the usage of vocabulary or the word play. Paraphrasing sentences or using synonyms will have a positive impact in this section.


  1. Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA): You will be judged on this section for the usage of your grammar along with precision. You must be able to show that you can handle simple as well as complex grammatical structures.
  • Task 2:
  • Type: Task 2 of IELTS writing involves “discursive essay writing”. A discursive essay writing is one where you will be provided with an argument and you would be asked to present your opinion or view. Hence, you would have to respond to a statement or question with a clear argument or discussion.
  • Length: Writing task 2 has a minimal requirement of 250 words.
  • Purpose: You will be needed to present a well-structured argument, discuss a problem, or express an opinion on a given topic.
  • Assessment Criteria: Similar to Writing Task 1, you will be accessed on four criteria similar to task 1 with the only difference being Task Response. The other three will assessment criteria will be the same involving Coherence and Cohesion (CC), Lexical Resource (LR) and Grammatical Range and Accuracy (GRA).

Task response will check upon whether you have responded well for the task, whether you have clearly stated your reasons and your position on the introduction paragraph and whether you have given relevant examples or not.   

Common Topics and Themes

  • Task 1:

IELTS Writing Task 1 will involve reporting writing on the following topics:

  • Line Graphs: Line graphs will represent trend over time (e.g. population growth, economic changes).
  • Bar Charts: Bar graphs involve comparisons between different categories or groups.
  • Pie Charts: Pie charts represent Proportions and percentages.
  • Tables: Tables involve data comparisons.
  • Diagrams/Processes: Diagrams and Processes deal with something works or is made.
  • Maps: Maps and Plans show the changes in an area and building plan over time.
  • Task 2:

Although there is nothing like common themes in task 2, you may or may not get essay writing base around the following topics:

  • Education: Online learning, the role of teachers, the importance of higher education.
  • Environment: Climate change, pollution, conservation efforts.
  • Health: Diet and lifestyle, healthcare systems, mental health issues.
  • Technology: Impact on communication, automation, privacy concerns.
  • Society: Crime and punishment, cultural differences, urbanization.
  • Economy: Globalization, economic inequality, consumerism.

Structuring Your Essays for Maximum Impact

IELTS writing task are required to follow a structure, be it for essay writing or for report writing.

Task 1 Structure:

  1. Introduction:
    • Introduction part of IELTS writing task 1 will only require you to paraphrase the task prompt or the question on hand, nothing more.
  1. Overview:
    • Overview is the most important phase of IELTS Writing task 1 question.
    • You will be required to note down the most important trends, changes or developments, or any other noticeable features without going into detailed descriptions.
    • Note that you are not allowed to write any form of numerical data in the overview paragraph.
    • Begin the overview paragraph with “Overall”.
  1. Body Paragraphs:
    • Body Paragraphs must be logically divided or logically grouped. Divide the body paragraphs on the basis of year, positions (such as top 3 and bottom 3) or data.
    • You are required to describe specific details, while also comparing and contrasting where necessary.
    • You must make use of data in the body paragraphs to support your descriptions (e.g., numbers, percentages).

Example Task 1 Structure:

The line graph illustrates the changes in population size in three different countries from 2000 to 2020. (Introduction)

Overall, the population in Country A and Country B showed an upward trend, while Country C experienced a decline. (Overview)

In 2000, Country A had a population of 10 million, which increased steadily to 15 million by 2020. In contrast, Country B's population grew from 5 million to 12 million. Country C, however, saw a decrease from 8 million to 6 million over the same period. (Body Paragraph)

Task 2 Structure:

  1. Introduction:
    • Introduction begins with paraphrasing the task prompt. However, this is not compulsory.
    • However, a clear thesis statement outlining your main argument or opinion must be presented.
    • You must also give your reasons for the essay in the introduction paragraph.
  1. Body Paragraphs: There is no limit to the number of body paragraphs. It depends on the question. However, make it a habit to write down a minimum of two paragraphs.
    • Paragraph 1: Body paragraph 1 will revolve around the first reason you mentioned on the introduction paragraph. Present your first main point or reason with supporting evidence and examples.
    • Paragraph 2: Similarly, body paragraph 2 will revolve around the second reason that you mentioned on your introduction paragraph. Present your second main point with supporting evidence and examples.
    • (Optional) Paragraph 3: This is an optional paragraph. Here, you may address a counterargument or provide even more additional points with explanations and examples.
  1. Conclusion:
    • This paragraph will be the same as the introduction paragraph.
    • You need to summarize your main points again.
    • Similarly you need to restate your thesis along with stating your position once again with the aid of paraphrasing.
    • You can also present an additional opinion (optional).

Example Task 2 Structure:

Many people believe that the benefits of online learning outweigh the drawbacks. This essay will argue that while there are significant advantages to online education, such as flexibility and accessibility, there are also notable disadvantages, including reduced social interaction and the potential for distraction. (Introduction)

One major benefit of online learning is its flexibility. Students can access materials and complete assignments at their own pace, making it ideal for those with busy schedules. Additionally, online courses can be accessed from anywhere in the world, providing greater accessibility to education. (Body Paragraph 1)

However, online learning can also lead to a lack of social interaction. Traditional classroom settings allow students to engage with peers and instructors directly, which can enhance learning and build important social skills. Online platforms often lack these opportunities, potentially impacting the overall educational experience. (Body Paragraph 2)

In conclusion, while online learning offers flexibility and accessibility, it also poses challenges related to social interaction and focus. It is important to find a balance that incorporates the benefits of both online and traditional learning environments to provide a comprehensive educational experience.  (Conclusion Paragraph)

Tips for Success:

For Both Tasks:

  • Plan before writing: You should always make a habit to spend a few minutes planning your response. For Task 1, identify key trends and details. For Task 2, outline your main arguments and supporting points.
  • Use Clear Paragraphing: Each paragraph should have a clear purpose and must flow logically from one to the next.
  • Variety in Language: You are required to use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures to show your proficiency in English. This will have a positive impact on your Lexical Resource section.
  • Proofread: Always separate about 5 to 10 minutes to review your work to correct any grammatical or spelling errors.

By understanding the requirements of each task, practicing with common topics, and structuring your responses effectively, you can maximize your score in the IELTS Writing section.

Good luck with your preparation!!!