Recognising the task at hand
In IELTS writing, candidates are normally given a task about certain issues or problems currently affecting society. However, how to correctly identify the task is one of the crucial things one has to be clear before they start answering, for the simple reason that 25% of the grade is based on “Task Response”. If you have only partially answered the question, or answered the question in a wrong way, this will result in a loss of mark in writing. Normally, the task is at the end of the prompt.
Let’s look at one example:
The number of overweight young people in society has increased dramatically in many countries. What are the reasons behind this phenomenon? What are the health ramifications?
Candidates MUST be clear that there are two questions that require addressing:
1. Why people become overweight?
2. How to address the overweight ramifications on healthcare?
It may sound easy, but several common mistakes are often seen listed as follows:
1. Only writing about the reasons or only about solutions.
2. Unbalanced organisation: writing most of the essay with reasons but only a small part on solutions (or visa versa).
3. Writing along about the reasons and solutions for people becoming overweight, but not targeted to the young people.
4. Writing too much about the phenomenon but not analysing the reasons behind it.
Therefore, the next time, before you start brainstorming the essay, please kindly make sure that you understand the topic in the right way.