IELTS Writing Task 2: a step by step method to write an essay with explanations and model answer

IELTS Writing Task 2: a step by step method to write an essay with explanations and model answer

A number of IELTS takers have asked me to explain the process of writing a good, solid answer to any IELTS Task 2 question. To be frank, different people approach differently. For me, it’s breaking down this 40-45 minute task in some short steps and then working on it. In this post, I’m showing you how to write a great Task 2 answer following some easy steps. It also includes a model answer.

IELTS Writing Task 2: a step by step method to write an essay with explanations and model answer

Step 1: Analyse the question

To analyze the task 2 question, follow these steps.

A. Read it carefully two or three times. Below is a sample question.

The Internet is now becoming common in all communities and cultures. Almost everyone has access to this medium on a daily basis due to the cheap rate of mobile phone and networking systems around the world. However, the impacts of the internet are not always positive.

Describe some of the negative impacts of the internet. What can be done to minimize these bad impacts?

Give reasons for your answer.

B. Get an idea of your expected audience.

Typically, task 2 questions are usually said to be ‘as part of a class project where a dissertation has to be written’. You should write the essay as if it was for a teacher/trainer. This refers to the fact that your writing must please the teacher or expert of English language skills.

C. What is the topic about?

The key words in the initial part of the question have been made bold below:

The Internet is now becoming common in all communities and cultures. Almost everyone has access to this medium on a daily basis due to the cheap rate of mobile phone and networking systems around the world. However, the impacts of the internet are not always positive.

The issue of the first two sentences is the general topic of the internet. This topic is limited or pointed in the third sentence which specifies the ‘effects’ of the internet, in particular, the negative impacts (‘are not always positive’ means are sometimes negative).

D. What is your purpose/task in writing?

The keywords of the rest of the question are underlined below.

Describe some of the negative impacts of the internet. What can be done to minimize these bad impacts?

Give reasons for your answer.

Note that there are essentially two questions or tasks in this one activity:

  • to provide some of the probable negative effects or impacts of the internet
  • to give details on how to avert or limit these negative effects

Step 2: Make necessary notes of ideas

Here, I present you an example of the type of notes you need to write at this stage. The model notes are written on the left side. To the right side is a concise explanation of what the notes signify.
Remember, in the real exam notes must be in brief. The explanations provided here are to make you understand what the notes mean. You need not write the explanations in the real exam.

Probable negative effects of internet:

notes explanations
costly costly for society / community
destr. cstms. Destruction of local customs
waste time People (especially young) waste time
bad ads. Bad influence of advertising
idle People become idle
wrong pol. Can be used for wrong political purposes
Thrt. fam. life Threat for family life
dgrd. Cltr. extends degrading cultures including: greed, violence, sex, nudity etc.

How to minimize these impacts:

notes explanations
cntrl. cntnt Control in internet contents
cntrl. ads Control advertising
incrs. aware. Increase awareness among people by explaining the bad effects
Alt. entrtnmt. Encourage alternative entertainment
Limit hrs. User hours must be restricted/ limited

Step 3: Make a plan

Now, it is time for you to decide which of these ideas will certainly be used in your essay. Try to organize these ideas in an organized and logical way.

In the box below right, I’ve provided a sample plan which is made on the basis of these notes. Not all of the ideas have been used in the plan. Related Points are grouped together into paragraphs (marked with a bullet point).

IELTS Writing Task 2: a step by step method to write an essay with explanations and model answer

Step 4: Write the Essay

To do this, you must follow the plan you have prepared.

Model answer:

With the advance of information and technology, people who live in remote areas are getting access to the internet. It is because of the cheap rate of smartphones and faster networking systems. However, even though the internet is clearly very popular, the impacts of using the internet are often negative on people, which is now a concern for many.

Internet users can be negatively affected mainly in three ways. Many people, both children, and adults waste a lot of their valuable time using social network and youtube. Moreover, using the internet too much will surely make people lazy and at the same time, it is derogatory for their health because they do not take part in enough physical exercise.

Additionally, nowadays young people are becoming more addicted to pornographic websites. It is influencing them in a negative way and they are losing their morality, which is having a seriously bad impact on moral values of a particular society. Furthermore, the internet has various negative impacts on families and society. Our communication skill is deteriorating day by day due to our over-indulgence on the internet. It is also responsible for the loss of local customs and traditions as people are learning about foreign customs and cultures and capturing them hastily.

Although the scenario is quite unfortunate, there are two key ways to minimize the negative impacts described above. At first, concerned authority should exercise more control over the content of the internet. Contents like pornography and nudity, which may influence people negatively, should be banned or limited. Also, the authority should educate people about the possible negative impacts of the internet. People can regulate themselves and their children.

In fine, necessary actions must be taken immediately to protect the community from the negative impacts of the internet. If we fail to do so and let it continue as it is, more problems will occur one by one and the society and country will suffer.

(318 words)

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