IELTS candidates often struggle to write a strong INTRODUCTION to a Task 2 Writing question. A good INTRODUCTION usually starts with a general comment about the topic or the question. This comment often involves paraphrasing the question (repeating the question in different words). This comment can be one or two sentences long.
The INTRODUCTION usually ends with a THESIS STATEMENT. The THESIS STATEMENT can give the writer’s opinion (if the question asks for an opinion) or can show the reader how the writer will answer the question.
EXAMPLE: ‘People often have to pay to enter the world’s biggest and best museums. This is clearly wrong. It should be entirely free for everyone to go into a museum.’ What do you think?
In some parts of the world, visitors are allowed to go into prestigious museums, exhibitions and galleries without having to pay, whilst other such venues demand an admission fee. The question of whether members of the public should be charged is a fascinating one. I am generally of the opinion that it is reasonable to ask art-lovers and tourists alike to make a small financial contribution.
b) ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES ESSAY
EXAMPLE: It is believed by some that not letting cars and other private vehicles enter city centres would be a good thing. What would be the positive and negative consequences of such an approach?
Motor vehicles clearly play a fundamental role in our lives. The issue of whether motorists should be allowed to drive in built-up urban areas divides opinion. The following paragraphs will discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of permitting cars, motorbikes, trucks and lorries to use city-centre streets.
c) PROBLEM AND SOLUTION ESSAYS
EXAMPLE: Many people suffer from stress at work. What are the causes of stress at work and what could be done to reduce it?
Most experts would agree that workers today generally feel far more pressurised than they might have done just a few decades ago. It is now relatively common for employees to suffer from stress-related illness. This essay will firstly seek to identify the primary causes of this change before going on to suggest ways in which the problem of stress in the workplace can be alleviated.
d) DIRECT or TWO-PART QUESTION
EXAMPLE: Nearly all of us would like to be successful. Why is success so difficult to define? To what extent is our ability to succeed in life controlled by our genetic make-up?
There is no doubt that the desire to succeed motivates most humans. However, explaining exactly what success is can be notoriously difficult. This essay will aim to explain why this concept is so tricky to explain before going on to consider whether our ability to do well in life is the result of biological or environmental factors.
e) DISCUSSION (WITH OPINION)
EXAMPLE: Many believe that it is better to live in a city than in the countryside. Discuss both of these options and give your own opinion.
Each year millions re-locate from villages to major urban areas. Yet the question of whether life in a densely-populated metropolis is more satisfying than life in a rural area is far from settled. Whilst some extol the virtues of city-life, others maintain that the countryside is superior. In this essay, I will examine both viewpoints and conclude that the answer depends almost entirely upon an individual’s character and personal circumstances.