Achieving Higher IELTS Scores Through Effective Essay Structuring

Achieving Higher IELTS Scores Through Effective Essay Structuring

Key strategies for high scores

When it comes to acing your IELTS essay, structure isn't just a framework—it's the fuel that powers your ideas and arguments. A well-structured essay not only makes your writing clearer and more believable, but also showcases your ability to organise thoughts coherently.

Let's learn how to leverage structure effectively, using the following essay question for context:

Today, we'll break down how to leverage structure effectively, using the following IELTS essay question for context:

Some people think that technology will replace human intervention, and that this reflects progress. Others believe that nothing can equate to human intervention, and technology can have a harmful effect on society. Discuss and give your opinion.

There is a lot out there that can over-complicate the IELTS essay structure. Ultimately, like all academic based essays, you need your four main items:

  1. An introduction
  2. A thesis statement
  3. Two main paragraphs
  4. Conclusion

Planning out every line isn't something I would do, simply because of its ineffectiveness, and the lack of time during the exam. But using this universal essay structure, that is universal for a reason, allows you to have a good grip on what you want to explore with your ideas, and how you will go about this in terms of order and structure.

What the examiner wants to see most importantly- is that you have a clear structure, with developed, clear sentences, and staying relevant to the topic throughout. Needless to say, your grammar needs to be well-controlled too.

Some smaller, but important details

  • You must paraphrase the question- no repeating
  • Avoid writing as if personally speaking to the reader, i.e. no rhetorical questions- keep the formality
  • Stick to two main ideas. Three isn't needed, and students often struggle and end up amalgamating it with their first two, making it a poor repeated version of the first two.
  • A thesis has more purpose than an outline statement- an outline statement isn't necessary, a thesis sentence is for the IELTS writing exam

Short, Effective Introduction

Your introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should be concise, engaging, and outline your response to the question. It's advisable to begin in a more general way about the topic hinting at what you will go into detail with next. For example:

"In an era where technology advances rapidly, the debate on whether it serves as a substitute for human skills or poses a threat to societal values intensifies. Whilst technology ramps up and is ever-more present, many people believe that human skill and intervention is what keeps our society humane.''

Crafting a Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is your essay's heartbeat. It presents your main argument and guides the reader through your perspective. For our sample question, your thesis might look like this:

"While technology offers unparalleled conveniences, this essay argues that human intervention remains irreplaceable, offering insights and emotional intelligence technology cannot replicate."

Planning Two Main Paragraphs

Your main body paragraphs are where you delve into details, presenting arguments and evidence. Each paragraph should focus on a single main idea, supporting the thesis statement.

  1. First Main Paragraph: The Case for Technology
    • Start with a topic sentence that introduces the argument favourably towards technology.
    • Provide examples and reasons why technology is seen as progress, such as automation in industries leading to more efficient production.
    • Conclude the paragraph by linking back to the thesis, emphasising how technology supports certain aspects but cannot fully replace human intervention.
  2. Second Main Paragraph: The Value of Human Intervention
    • Begin with a topic sentence focusing on the importance of human touch, intuition, and creativity.
    • Discuss scenarios where human intervention is crucial, such as in decision-making processes that require ethical considerations.
    • Wrap up by reinforcing the thesis, highlighting the unique contributions of humans that technology cannot mimic.

Developing and Building Upon Ideas

To develop your ideas effectively:

  • Use examples from current events, history, or personal experiences to illustrate your points.
  • Employ comparisons and contrasts to deepen the analysis of each viewpoint.

Writing a Short Conclusion

Your conclusion should succinctly wrap up the essay, summarising the main points discussed and restating your personal stance. Some students keep it very short and write a line, though this feels a little too brief. A common mistake is also repeating what has just been explored (in your two main paragraphs). For instance:

"In conclusion, although technology has revolutionised the way we live and work, it serves as an adjunct to human capabilities rather than a replacement. The essence of human intuition and creativity remains central to addressing complex societal issues, underscoring the indispensable value of human intervention."

By harnessing the power of structure, you can ensure that your IELTS essay not only answers the question effectively but does so in a manner that is coherent, clear and easy to follow- demonstrating your ability to write in a natural and fluent way. Remember, structure is substance.