Writing Task 2
Body Paragraphs

Watch the video on how to write effective body paragraphs for IELTS Writing Task 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Paragraphs

On this page I’ll discuss how to write high scoring body paragraphs. Using the following task as an example.

IELTS Writing Task 2

Selecting the main ideas

In the planning stage you have already listed the ideas in support of your position. Now you need to select which ideas you want to include in your answer. 

When selecting, choose the ideas that you can easily provide supporting details for. Which ideas can you give clear and relevant reasons and examples for?

Avoid “listing”. This is where you choose too many ideas to include in your body paragraphs. One and a maximum of two ideas are enough as each one needs to have supporting details. 

In fact, one main idea per paragraph should be enough if it is properly supported. 

What are examiners looking for?

Examiners are looking for a well-structured paragraph that meets the requirements of the IELTS band descriptors. Let’s look at band 7.0.

The band descriptors also state what you need to do.

Task Response:

Band 7: Presents, extends and supports main ideas.

Coherence and Cohesion:

Band 7: ​logically organizes information and ideas

              Presents a clear, central topic within each paragraph.

Also, IELTS is quite helpful in that they give you guidance in the instructions for how you should do this. 

Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Topic Sentence

Start the body paragraph with a topic sentence that summarizes what you will write in the paragraph. A topic sentence is an introduction to the content of your paragraph. 

Avoid general thoughts about the subject of the task and keep the topic sentence relevant to the paragraph.

For example:

I believe that remote learning is not an effective approach when it comes to teaching children and adolescents.

This is a quite a straightforward topic sentence that states the writer’s position clearly.

Another example:

While it is incontrovertible that remote learning has become an increasingly popular and convenient method of learning especially for adults and college students, I believe that this approach is not effective when it comes to children and adolescents.

The writer uses concession where she acknowledges an opposite opinion before she states the main topic that remote learning is not suitable for youngsters. 

This is an example of a more complex sentence that will score higher in Grammatical range and accuracy and Coherence and cohesion criteria. 

Using concession is a very useful technique to begin the topic sentence.

Supporting Details

After the topic sentence you should provide relevant supporting details using your knowledge, experience and give example(s).

Reason:

This is because, these groups of pupils lack the concentration levels for distance learning where it is necessary to sit in front of a screen for long periods, usually at home where there are too many distractions.

The writer here gives a clear and relevant reason (explanation) for the topic sentence and even includes an example (where there are too many distractions).

Give an Example:

Students can find giving examples challenging mostly because they cannot think of any. Examples don’t need to be 100% true. You can make them up and nobody will ever check they are genuine. Your example is graded according to the language used.

Examples can come from many sources such as articles, documentaries, official research, personal experience etc. but you don’t need to provide the source of your example. For example, you can write “According to government research...” or “For instance, my experience of remote learning was...”

When giving examples, you can back them up with statistics and, again, these don’t need to be 100% genuine.

Example:

For instance, in my country in 2018, political leaders implemented a pilot scheme of studying remotely with several secondary schools. The result was that 80% of pupils had worse academic results when compared to other institutions that did not employ such a system. 

The full body paragraph here is 118 words with a topic sentence (that uses concession), and supporting details of one reason and one example. 

While it is incontrovertible that remote learning has become an increasingly popular and convenient method of learning especially for adults and college students, I believe that this approach is not effective when it comes to children and adolescents. This is because, these groups of pupils lack the concentration levels for distance learning where it is necessary to sit in front of a screen for long periods, usually at home where there are too many distractions. For instance, in my country in 2018, political leaders implemented a pilot scheme of studying remotely with several secondary schools. The result was that 80% of pupils had worse academic results when compared to other institutions that did not employ such a system.  

Summary

1. In the planning stage, list the main ideas for the body paragraphs (in note form) in response to the task.

2. Select one or a maximum of two main ideas to include in your body paragraphs.

3. Begin the body paragraph with a topic sentence. That is a sentence that summarizes the content of the paragraph. 

4. Give a reason or explanation for the topic sentence.

5. Give examples to support the reason.