Thursday, January 19, 2012

How To Write A Good Introduction For Your IELTS Essay

Draft of my IELTS essay exerciseImage by nicodemo.valerio via FlickrBy Manjusha Nambiar

A good introduction is what makes people want to read your essay. That means it has to be quite compelling. So how does one write that winning introduction? Here are a few tips.

The introduction is the first thing the examiner reads. If you get it right, the examiner will like you. If the introduction is bad, you will immediately create a bad impression.

There is more than one way to write an introduction. A good introduction should be simple. It should be neither too long nor too short. It should convey a general idea of what is to follow.

How long should the introduction be?

Well, it depends. Sometimes short introductions consisting of just two or three sentences are the best. Sometimes you will need to write longer, descriptive introductions consisting of four or five sentences. I see no point in writing introductions longer than that. Remember that it is not the length but the quality of the introduction that matters.

These three or four sentences that come at the beginning of your essay are the most important sentences in it. So it is worth spending time on them.

How to write a good introduction?

IELTS essay questions are always about a specific topic. The introduction must be exactly like that. It should address the specific task in the question.

The introduction must connect with the rest of the essay. It should never be a separate entity. It should be connected to the topic and the different parts of the essay in a logical manner.

Explain your stand on the given topic

Your essay as a whole must be a coherent piece of writing. The introduction, the paragraphs and the conclusion all need to say the same thing. Explain your stand on the given topic in the introduction itself and then stick to it.

Some IELTS essay topics state something and then ask whether you agree with that or not. You are free to agree or disagree - it doesn't matter. What matters is your ability to explain your position with valid arguments. Sometimes you are asked to say which of the two given options are better. Here again you are free to choose whichever option you like. Just make sure that you have arguments that support your stand.

It might sound too obvious, but don't change your stand on the given topic. For example, you can't agree with a given statement in the introduction and then disagree with it in the remaining paragraphs.

Don't repeat the topic in the introduction

The introduction must refer to the question, but don't commit the mistake of repeating it word for word. Instead try to express the same idea in your own words. That is very important because if you repeat the question word for word, the examiner will not count the words you use in the introduction.

That said, you are not supposed to change all the words in the question - some words just can't be replaced. You can change their form, though. For example, you can use verbs instead of nouns.

Manjusha Nambiar is an ESL tutor and content developer. Her site perfectyourenglish.com gives English Grammar lessons and IELTS Preparation tips. Subscribe to her feed to win a free Grammar eBook titled '120 Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes to Avoid'.

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1 comment:

  1. Helpful post about IELTS Writing Topics Every Students should properly know about it's structure

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