How to Write a Winning IELTS Task 2 Essay 

 March 19, 2024

By  Jonathan

The IELTS Writing Task 2 requires you to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. This task puts your ability to present a well-structured response, express ideas clearly, and use appropriate academic English to the test. With the right strategies, you can write a winning IELTS Writing Task 2 essay that showcases your language proficiency.

Step 1: Understand the Task Thoroughly

  • Read Carefully: Take ample time to fully understand the given prompt. Identify keywords, the type of essay required (opinion, discussion, problem-solution, etc.), and whether multiple points of view need to be addressed.
  • Analyse: Break down the question to pinpoint exactly what it’s asking you to do. For example, does it ask you simply to agree/disagree, discuss both sides, or offer solutions?

Step 2: Plan for Structure and Content

  • Outline: Before writing, sketch out a simple outline. A typical structure is:
    • Introduction (paraphrase the task, state your position)
    • Body Paragraph 1 (topic sentence, supporting reason, example)
    • Body Paragraph 2 (topic sentence, supporting reason, example)
    • (Optional) Body Paragraph 3 (if presenting another viewpoint or an alternative)
    • Conclusion (summarize your position, restate key points)
  • Brainstorm: Jot down ideas related to the topic. For example, if the topic is about technology, consider its advantages, disadvantages, social impacts, etc.

Step 3: Write with Clarity and Cohesion

  • Introduce your Position: The introduction should paraphrase the question and clearly state your main stance or argument.
  • Develop Paragraphs Logically: Each body paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that supports your thesis. Provide evidence, explanations, or examples to reinforce your points.
  • Link Ideas: Use cohesive devices (e.g., furthermore, however, on the other hand) to seamlessly transition between ideas and paragraphs.
  • Conclude Succinctly: Restate your main points and position without introducing new ideas.

Step 4: Elevate Your Language

  • Formal Tone: Use academic vocabulary and avoid casual language, slang, or contractions.
  • Variety of Structures: Don’t rely solely on simple sentences. Utilize complex sentences and a range of grammatical structures to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Precise Vocabulary: Choose accurate words that best convey your meaning. Seek synonyms to avoid repetition.

Step 5: Proofread and Manage Time

  • Allocate Time Wisely: Task 2 carries more weight than Task 1. Suggested time: 40 minutes. Leave 5-10 minutes for proofreading.
  • Check for Errors: Scan for grammar mistakes, typos, incorrect word choices, and awkward phrasing.
  • Word Count Matters: You MUST write at least 250 words. Practice writing essays of this length beforehand.

Additional Tips for a Winning IELTS Task 2 Essay

  • Practice Regularly: Dedicate time to practicing different IELTS essay prompts within a set time limit.
  • Read Widely: Exposure to quality writing on various topics will build your vocabulary and ideas.
  • Seek Feedback: Have a qualified IELTS instructor or a skilled English speaker review your essays for targeted feedback on structure, grammar, and vocabulary.

Example Prompt and Outline:

Prompt: Some people believe that governments should spend money on public libraries. Others say that in the digital age, libraries are no longer necessary. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.


  • Introduction: (Paraphrase question, state that while libraries offer benefits, they may be less essential in the digital era)
  • Body 1: Libraries provide free access to knowledge and community resources.
  • Body 2: Libraries support education and promote literacy skills.
  • Body 3: Internet offers vast information but raises concerns of reliability and accessibility.
  • Conclusion: Libraries remain valuable, but governments should also invest in digital resources.

Remember: A well-structured, grammatically sound, and cohesive essay with relevant ideas are the keys to a successful IELTS Writing Task 2 performance. With practice and dedication, you can write an essay that earns you your desired band score!

Jonathan has been teaching students to prepare for the IELTS and PTE Exams for more than 10+ years. He's taught English to students in various countries in the world including Singapore, China, Australia, Canada and Colombia.