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Useful expressions for IELTS Writing Module (Task 2)

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Racing against the clock is one of the biggest and most common problems students have to face with IELTS. Performing well within the limited time you are given is by no means an easy task. 

chronometer in hand

If you feel that you are in over your head with IELTS Writing Task 2, here are some useful expressions that will help you tackle this daunting task and beat the clock!

Read the useful expressions and think…
Where would you use them? In the introduction, the main body or the conclusion? Please not that some examples may be used in more than one stage.

INTRODUCTION
MAIN BODY
CONCLUSION

You will find the answer to the above questions at the end of this article.

USEFUL EXPRESSIONS

1. It may indeed be true to say that … (statement from the question); what, however, are the factors involved?
E.g. It may indeed be true to say that free higher education would enable more young people to secure a good future; what, however, are the factors involved?


2. It may indeed be the case that … (statement from the question); this claim, however, requires further analysis.
E.g. It may indeed be the case that modern lifestyle is the main cause for
poor student behaviour; this claim, however, requires further analysis.

3. Noun/ Verb-ing… has/have been … verb+ing for many years now. Has this had generally beneficial effects, or have they been largely negative?
E.g. Scientists have been using animals for experiments for many years now. Has this had generally beneficial effects, or have they been largely negative?

4. Similarly, you can use a passive structure:
Noun has/have been + past participle for many years now. Has this had generally beneficial effects, or have they been largely negative?
E.g. In most parts of the US, capital punishment – also called the death penalty – has been enforced for many years now. Has this had generally beneficial effects, or have they been largely negative?

5. At first sight, noun/verb+ing appear/appears to be entirely positive/beneficial. However, further analysis reveals drawbacks to this way of thinking.
E.g. At first sight, building large blocks of flats to manage overpopulation in big cities appears to be entirely beneficial. However, further analysis reveals drawbacks to this way of thinking.

writing english

6. When all is said and done, there are no clear solutions to this problem and it is for governments/ individuals/ the public/ students/etc. to weigh up both sides of the case and come to their own conclusions.
E.g. When all is said and done, there are no clear solutions to the problem of choosing the most efficient educational system and it is for government officials to weigh up both sides of the case and come to their own conclusions.

7. Noun/verb+ing is one of the most controversial issues of our times. What are the arguments that need to be considered?
E.g. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, i.e. guns, in the US is one of the most controversial issues of our times. What are the arguments that need to be considered?

8. Noun/Verb+ing, as is the case with many issues, has both negative and positive aspects.
E.g. Using chemicals in food production and preservation, as is the case with many issues, has both negative and positive aspects.

9. On balance, it is my own personal view that the advantages of noun/verb+ing far/heavily/slightly outweigh the disadvantages.
E.g. On balance, it is my own personal view that the advantages of the government offering free education far outweigh the disadvantages.

10. Over recent years, attitudes to noun/verb+ing have changed considerably. What are the reasons for this change, and what are the implications for the future?
E.g. Over recent years, attitudes to same sex marriage have changed considerably. What are the reasons for this change, and what are the implications for the future?

11. Noun/verb+ing has/have been an important part of many cultures/ Western cultures/ developing countries/ school-life/ working life/etc. for many years now. What are the reasons for this, and what changes are likely or possible in the future?
E.g. Celebrating Christmas has been an important part of many Western cultures for many years now. What are the reasons for this, and what changes are likely or possible in the future?

Now check if you have guessed correctly:
INTRODUCTION – sentences 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11
MAIN BODY – sentences 1, 2, 5
CONCLUSION – sentences 6, 9

Try to use these expressions regularly in your essays. This is how you will eventually be able to memorise them. Then you can use them in the exam, greatly improve your timing and finish more quickly.