IELTS Writing task 2 tutorial – How to identify the main topic and all parts of the question

We will be launching a new IELTS video tutorial series in the next few weeks. The video series will contain short videos on various topics that will help you improve your IELTS score. If you are interested in receiving a new video each week simply enter your email at the end of the video. This tutorial will teach you the key steps to identify the main topic and all parts of the IELTS Writing Task 2 question. Follow the 3 steps mentioned in the video and you will never go wrong.

Here's a summary of the video in case you have trouble viewing it:

Step 1: Identify the main topic

The first thing to do in writing task 2 is identify the topic of the essay. Read the question carefully and identify the keywords that define the topic.These are mostly evident in the nouns in the sentence. For example..

The obesity rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many developed countries. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions.

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

When you identify the topic, always look carefully to see if it is being narrowed down to a particular area that you need to focus on. If you write about the wrong topic or go off topic when you write your answer, you will end up getting a low band score.

For example, in the above question the main topic is "Obesity rate increase among teenagers in developed countries". If you write about obesity rate amongst adults or over 50's then you will lose marks. Similarly if you write about obesity rate increase among teenagers in developing countries then you would lose marks too.

Step 2: Identify all parts of the question

The questions for writing task 2 can be tricky at times and have several parts. Question parts can be identified by looking for joining words such as "and", "or" in the question.

Lets look at the same example that we used before and identify all the parts of the question.

The obesity rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many developed countries. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions.

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

You need to give arguments for each part of the question. If you write about only one part and not the other, you will end up losing marks. For example, in the above question there are 2 parts to the question separated by an and. These are:

  1. Possible reasons why obesity rate among teenagers in developed countries has increased.
  2. Suggested solutions for this problem.

You MUST discuss both these parts to ensure you have fully answered the question and you must write roughly equal amounts about each part.

Doing any of the following things will reduce your score for task response, and hence may reduce your overall score:

  1. Only writing about reasons or only solutions
  2. Writing most of your essay about reasons and only a small part on solutions (or visa versa)
  3. Writing about the reasons and solutions for obesity in general, and not referring to teenage obesity (the topic)
  4. Writing about neither reasons nor solutions

This is why it is so important to spend some time at the beginning making sure you identify the task so that you know what you have to write about.

16 Comments
  1. Author
    Atul Pandey 3 years ago

    Did you find the above video tutorial useful?
    If so, what other topics do you want me to create a tutorial next?

    • Aman 9 months ago

      Yes

  2. faraz 3 years ago

    Gooooooooooooooooooooood

  3. Zaher 8 months ago

    It was very useful , thanks so much.

  4. Anonymous 7 months ago

    I found it very useful. Thank you so much for providing us with this way of looking to writing part.

  5. Ross 7 months ago

    wrong spelling “loosing”
    end up losing

  6. ifeoma 7 months ago

    This is helpful to me to improve my level of coherence

  7. sabarinath gopalakrishnan ponnamma 5 months ago

    Dear Atul
    Where is the level check after the video???
    sabari

  8. sabari 5 months ago

    the video is extremely useful

  9. Rani 3 months ago

    Hi
    Please help in writing agree or disagree essay.

  10. Rani 3 months ago

    Hi
    Please help in writing agree or disagree essay . explanation required.

  11. Reema Gandotra 3 months ago

    Hi Atul,

    The video was really useful for everyone who wish to take ielts. This video contained problem and solution topic. It will be great to watch more videos on different types of writing part 2.

    Reema

    • IELTS Online Practice 3 months ago

      Thanks Reema!

      I am in the process of making a library of videos for various essay types.

      Will announce it in a few weeks.

      Cheers,
      Atul.

  12. Ramandeep kaur 2 months ago

    It’s help me a lot . Thank you so much for this .

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