How to write a good IELTS Essay

In this page we will study a case on how to write a good IELTS Essay. First, we look at the IELTS Essay Question to understand what we have to write.

IELTS Essay Question

Structure

The question will always ask you to discuss an issue that is more or less debatable. Your job is to debate the issue throughout the essay, to reach a conclusion at the end.

e.g “Should rich countries pay more for environmental damage?”

INTRO

First, define the issue.

e.g “Should rich countries pay more for environmental damage?

The issue is whether rich countries pay enough for environmental damage. Some people think yes, some think otherwise – so it’s a debatable issue.

So in your essay, you’ll start by saying something like this:

“A contentious/debatable/controversial issue of our times has been whether rich countries pay enough for environmental damage.”

Then why is this issue contentious/debatable/cotroversial? a.k.a Why did they give you this question on the exam?

Here, you think about the points you will discuss in the essay. Why would rich countries pay more? Why should they not pay more?

Here, you also decide on which side you are. Are you in favour of rich countries paying more or not? But don’t say it just yet in the intro; just decide on the points you’re going to discuss in order that it favours your side.

This will be your thesis statement.

e.g Maybe rich countries should pay more for environmental damage because they usually damage it more than poor countries. (that’s 1)

Maybe they would pay more because they can afford it more than other countries.
Maybe they shouldn’t pay more, because it’s not fair.

Depending on which side you are on, you should choose 2 points for your side and 1 point against your side.
Link them with linking words.

So, for our example it should be something like this:

Although such a situation might seem unfair to rich countries, those that favour greater contribution by them argue that rich countries are more responsible for damage to the environment and that they are more able to afford paying for it than poorer countries.”

The words that are in bold, you can use with almost any essay question.

So, in the end, your INTRO will look like this:

A contentious issue of our times has been whether rich countries pay enough for environmental damage. Although such a situation might seem unfair to rich countries, those that favour greater contribution by them argue that rich countries are more responsible for damage to the environment and that they are more able to afford paying for it than poorer countries.

You can add different details if you want, like examples of rich countries, examples of environmental damage… etc.

BODY PARAGRAPHS

Start with a thesis sentence.
This will be 1 of the points which you mentioned in the intro.

For our example:

It is common knowledge that rich countries, with bigger industries, contribute more to damaging the environment.

Then explain why.
Here, you have the freedom to say whatever proves the point.

For our example:

Rich countries like the USA, China or Germany pollute the air much more than other countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria. The companies that operate in such countries try to minimize costs and therefore use methods which damage waters, forests and the air. This destruction of the environment affects not only them, but the whole world. Therefore, it is only right that such countries pay more for the damage they create.

So in the end, our paragraph is made of these two steps:

It is common knowledge that rich countries, with bigger industries, contribute more to damaging the environment. Rich countries like the USA, China or Germany pollute the air much more than other countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria. The companies that operate in such countries try to minimize costs and therefore use methods which damage waters, forests and the air. This destruction of the environment affects not only them, but the whole world. Therefore, it is only right that such countries pay more for the damage they create.

Do this for each paragraph:

For example:

Another reason for more wealthy countries to contribute more money towards fixing environmental damage is that they are more able to afford it. Less wealthy countries often give attention to more immediate internal issues; economic and social problems prevent them from allocating enough money to protecting the environment. In this case, richer countries with money to spare can help the entire international community by protecting the environment using their wealth and expertise. Hence, greater involvement by rich nations in environmental problems can be seen as an international duty.

And then for the paragraph against your side:

Despite these arguments, rich nations paying more for environmental damage might seem unfair, as it is poorer nations that care less about the environment and damage it. Rich countries have modern methods of production and lifestyles that try to protect nature, such as green energy and special plastics that do not affect the environment as much as they used to. By comparison, nations less wealthy still burn much coal and oil and do not give attention to their damaging the environment. This makes it unfair for rich countries to bear the costs of deliberate actions by peoples who give no attention to the preservation of nature.

CONCLUSION

Sum up what you have said.

On balance, although rich countries might contribute more to pollution through their industries and are more able to pay for preserving the natural world, it can be unfair given the ignorant actions of poorer countries which damage the environment.

Then, say which side of the argument is stronger: the final conclusion.

Despite the debatable nature of the issue, it is clear that rich countries, if they are to be good citizens of the world, should use their resources to help reduce the effects of environmental damage.

The Structure of the Essay

INTRO: say what the issue is, what are the points that make the issue debatable (the points you’ll use in the body (2 for, 1 against, usually)

POINT FOR: thesis statement, explanation
POINT FOR: thesis statement, explanation
POINT AGAINST: thesis statement, explanation

CONCLUSION: sum up points, say which is stronger (your conclusion)

TIPS:

  • If you can, use synonyms to avoid repeating yourself over and over again. Like say “destruction of nature” sometimes instead of “environmental damages”, or “wealthy nations” instead of “rich countries”.
  • Use the words and phrases I put in bold when I wrote examples of intro, body and conclusion.
  • Have 2 points for the side you are on, 1 point against and make the one against seem weaker than the ones for.
  • Don’t use words you don’t know well.

That’s all.
The essay we wrote in this explanation:

A contentious issue of our times has been whether rich countries pay enough for environmental damage. Although such a situation might seem unfair to rich countries, those that favour greater contribution by them argue that rich countries are more responsible for damage to the environment and that they are more able to afford paying for it than poorer countries.

It is common knowledge that rich countries, with bigger industries, contribute more to damaging the environment. Rich countries like the USA, China or Germany pollute the air much more than other countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria. The companies that operate in such countries try to minimize costs and therefore use methods which damage waters, forrests and the air. This destruction of the environment affects not only them, but the whole world. Therefore, it is only right that such countries pay more for the damage they create.

Another reason for more wealthy countries to contribute more money towards fixing environmental damage is that they are more able to afford it. Less wealthy countries often give attention to more immediate internal issues; economic and social problems prevent them from allocating enough money to protecting the environment. In this case, richer countries with money to spare can help the entire international community by protecting the environment using their wealth and expertise. Hence, greater involvement by rich nations in environmental problems can be seen as an international duty.

Despite these arguments, rich nations paying more for environmental damage might seem unfair, as it is poorer nations that care less about the environment and damage it. Rich countries have modern methods of production and lifestyles that try to protect nature, such as green energy and special plastics that do not affect the environment as much as they used to. By comparison, nations less wealthy still burn much coal and oil and do not give attention to their damaging the environment. This makes it unfair for rich countries to bear the costs of deliberate actions by peoples who give no attention to the preservation of nature.

On balance, although rich countries might contribute more to pollution through their industries and are more able to pay for preserving the natural world, it can be unfair given the ignorant actions of poorer countries which damage the environment. Despite the debatable nature of the issue, it is clear that rich countries, if they are to be good citizens of the world, should use their resources to help reduce the effects of environmental damage.

414 WORDS

 

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1 Response

  1. Cynthia says:

    I am studying IELTS. This is very useful website to learn. Thank you.

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