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While practicing writing IELTS, learners usually focus on structure, vocabulary but not developing ideas. An essay is highly rated only when the ideas are used correctly and logically arranged.
1. Narrow the contends.
It is common for candidates to feel worried about the knowledge for the given topic, especially when it is not related to their field. Therefore, the only way to dispel the fear is to narrow the contend, which means make the strange become the familiar.
Topic: Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler?
Words like "technology" may sound serious, but if think in the other way then "modern technology" is some things that you use in your life, such as: computer, the Internet, Facebook, smart phones, and so on. You have now narrowed the given topic and can easily develop ideas from now on.
2. Cause & Effect.
First thing to think about when read the topic is the cause and effect of the matter mentioned in the topic.
Topic: Some people think that technology is increasing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Others think the opposite. Dicuss and give your own opinions.
In this topic, you should brainstrom the ideas about: "Why does the modern technology increase the gap between the rich and the poor?".
Cause: Technology is developed very quickly. However only the rich are able to put their hands on these technology and the poor aren't since they don't have the financial conditions.
Effect: Thus, the rich acquire more and more knowledge and skill to have a better job, but the poor will never have the chance to use computer so they will have to stick to manual labour. (Noticed that the topic is Some people think and Others think the opposite)
Sometimes, you don't have to think about both cause and effect, you can only think about one of them.
3. Think about the opposite.
In the two ways argument topic, you must think in both ways. However, in topic require agree or disagree, you can also develop ideas in two sides to have an objective view. If you want to discuss one way (agree/disagree) then try to think as a view in the opposite. Maybe you come up with some counter ideas with your previous ones. This usually happens when you have a debate in class with two groups, agree and disagree. After several arguments, one of the teammates finds the ideas of the group are illogical and then he argues with his teammates..
4. Compare and find the contrast.
This is similar to the above but simpler. When you find out the main idea of the matter, you can develop by comparing.
Topic: Although listening to music on CDs is very pleasant, it is not as good as a live concert. (Compare between music on CDs and live music).
Some words are used frequently in brainstroming are "Similarity", "Likewise", "too" or "However", "In contrast", "On the other hand", "Meanwhile".
5. Giving examples.
Traditionally, learners think about main ideas first, then supporting ideas and finally examples. Sometimes one should try the other way around, it may be a better way.
Topic: Outdoor activities help children develop fully.
Instead of sticking to the traditional way, think what the advantages are, you should try to think of the examples of outdoor activities first, such as: play football, participate in social activities. What effects do those activities have on children?
- Playing football: physical development. (This could be the main idea of one paragraph).
- Participating in social activities: develop their soul, give them opportunities to care and help othe people. (This could also be a main idea to based on)
You need to organise the examples logically.
6. Advantages & Disadvantages.
A familiar and easy way to develop is to show the advantages and the disadvantages of one matter and then give agree or disagree opinions.
Topic: Studying English language in an English-speaking country is the best but not the only way to learn the language. Do you agree with this statement?
Usually, listing the advantages and disadvantages to see where is the better start. Here are some pros and cons of learning English abroad.
- Have more opportunities to practice, especially listening and speaking skills.
- The best way to learn a language is learning its culture.
- Culture shock.
- Homesick, loneliness.
- Much more expensive than studying in your home country.
7. Problems and Solutions.
Example: "People spend too much time on watching TV. For example, some children stay up late watching TV in their beadroom instead of getting a good night's sleep. Consequently, they arrive at school tired and unable to learn. If households just have one TV in the main living area, then it will be easier to control how many hours are spent in front of it. This will lead to a better results at school." (Main idea of this paragraph is the consequence of watchin TV too much but sum up with a solution: Having only one TV in the main living area and the result: better results at school.)
8. Mind map.
You can draw a mindmap when brainstroming ideas to organise ideas easier.