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How to Structure an IELTS Essay

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Hello, everyone!

I’m here today because I want to share some tips on how to improve your writing for your IELTS essay.

Are you writing essays how examiners want to? Properly structure your IELTS essay so you can get a higher score on your writing exam to help with your Immigration program and foreign University applications. Discover what to write and how to write it in each section of your essay: the Introduction, Body Paragraphs and in the Conclusion, for a better band score on your test!

First things first. If you’re new to Why I Post, let me tell you a quick background on me before we jump into the Tips for an Amazing IELTS Writing test. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here. 😇

A little background info…

I’m Marcelle and I started my website Why I Post so I could share all my travel-related experiences with as many people as possible so that everyone would feel more confident when applying for a visa, a citizenship process, book a trip overseas, go abroad as an international student or work overseas.

I am such a big nerd when it comes to exchange programs, visas and citizenship applications. I find it really enjoyable to search for all the rules and requirements mandatory for those applications.But I know that’s not for everyone. I understand you may not like those boring things like me.
So to help you guys out, I try to simplify and summarize them on my blog.

The information I share comes from countries’ official websites and my personal experience in applying for international processes. And having traveled to 16 countries and having lived abroad a couple times, you can imagine how many application and paperwork I had to go through.
Because of my experience, I have written to other travel blogs and have even given an interview.

Above are just a few of the reasons for why I enjoy blogging about travel experiences.

I’d like to show you that you can have better travel experiences and you should not hate planning your next international trip.
You can make changes to your life by traveling and it doesn’t have to be scary.
Yes, an international experience helps you to tick places off your bucket list. But it’s more than that!
I see traveling as an exclusive experience, that’s all about being present, tasting, learning, trying, seeing and doing.
Going abroad is about indulging in unique local experiences: living the moment and making remarkable memories, the best ones!

marble macbook skin

This cute Macbook Marble Skin is from Amazon.


Now let’s get back to the IELTS Essay writing strategies.

I’m here today because I would like to share some tips on how to properly structure your IELTS essay. Read till the end to get a bonus!
Before we get started, let me just answer some of the most popular questions you might have regards IELTS.

  • What is the IELTS test?
    IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It’s an English proficiency test.
  • Who needs to take the IELTS?
    Those who want to either study in or migrate to an English-speaking country.
  • Why is the IELTS exam so difficult?
    The IELTS exam tests your ability to read, write, listen and speak in English. Your skill levels will dictate how easy or difficult you find the test to be. However, you must familiarize yourself with the test format, the British and Australian accents, the test time and their scoring system. And of course, you should get prepared before the test date. Adding a study routine to your IELTS preparation phase is a must if you want to succeed in the exam. You can study on your own by reading prep-materials and listening to English radios or you can practice it with native English speakers.
  • When do I get my IELTS results?
    You will get a Test Report posted to you 13 days after your test date. Some test centers also provide text messages and an online test results service.
  • How’s the IELTS score calculated?
    IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system.
IELTS 9 band score scale
The IELTS 9-band score scale.


  • How will IELTS help me in the future?
    Whether you would eventually want to live, work or study abroad, IELTS can be accepted by employers, educational institutions and immigration authorities in English-speaking counties worldwide, such as the UK, Canada, and the States for example.
  • Can IELTS be taken online?
    At this time their exams are primarily paper delivered. However, some IELTS test takers for UK Visas and Immigration will be able to take their IELTS test on computer.
  • Which IELTS should I take for university? 
    Most universities will accept the Academic version, but you should check with each institution that you’re applying to, and see which type of IELTS they require for accepting international students.
  • Which IELTS should I take for Canada Immigration programs?
    Canada has different Immigration streams. For the federal Express Entry – Skilled Immigrants, you must take the IELTS General Training option. For other immigration streams, please check Canada’s official website for its requirements.

Now that you may have most of your questions answered, let’s talk about the writing part of the IELTS exam.

Studying on your own may not be for everyone. I know this from experience. I studied really hard for about a month and thought I was ready for taking the test. But I wasn’t. So I had to study even more, for much longer to get the results I needed. And after living in the US for 1,5 years, taking English classes throughout basically my entire stay, I genuinely thought that if I put some effort I could study by myself and achieve the results I wanted, without help.

For those of you following me on Instagram or Twitter, you know I studied all day, every day, for 4 months. And yes, I did improve my overall results. But I didn’t get the exact band score I needed in one specific section of the exam. I know it might sound like I’m worrying too much. But if you are applying to Immigration programs or Universities abroad, that can be a total deal breaker.

Here comes the good news. There’s this straight-A international student, who’s been accepted by top 5 American Universities, whose work I admire sooooo much. She’s gathered accredited language schools on her website and made them available for online booking. AND you get 5% to 30% lower rates than directly at schools. How amazing is that? I wish I knew about it back then.

So if you want better results, it is no shame to ask for help. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Lingua Trip has an international presence, and offer you the possibility of study in many different countries such as Canada, Malta, Ireland, the UK, the US and more…Now that’s a company with a background I can rely on. An easy way to find the perfect language school to improve our skills, without paying extra for agents’ services. The girl boss behind this business is passionate about learning languages, traveling and study abroad, just like me. I couldn’t relate more. They give fully support at all stages of your study abroad trip. She’s been in our shoes that’s why she knows how important support is to an international student. 

  • Bonus Tip: if you’re still not ready to travel abroad to learn a language, don’t give up! You can also take the IELTS / TOEFL – preparation online, as well as practice your speaking skills with a native English speaker on Skype.
  • PRO TIP!: Dreaming on getting accepted by a foreign University but have no clue about where to start or how to get prepared? I know someone who can help. Marina is expert in higher education abroad. She’s gotten 700 out of 800 on GMAT and 117 out of 120 on TOEFL. She’s been accepted by top 5 American Universities and 2 of them with full financial scholarships. If there is someone who can give a Consultation on higher education abroad, she’s the one!


So without further ado, let’s see the overall structure that every good essay should have on your writing exam, or PIN it to read it later.

How to Write an Awesome IELTS Essay

This is what a great IELTS essay should look like:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph
  • Body Paragraph
  • Body Paragraph (this one could be unnecessary, depending on the type of Task you were requested to respond. Two good body paragraphs are usually enough).
  • Conclusion
Getting tips to rock on my IELTS essay. Click To Tweet

The best thing you can do is to brainstorm the main ideas of each part of the essay. This is gold. Address keywords for each section. Take about 2-3 minutes for this. This should be enough time.

And it is ok not to be super creative. You can use the most popular ideas here. Ideas/keywords that most people would use too. Since it is an English test, the examiners are mainly worried about evaluating your fluency in the language, not your creativity.

The main things you should present in each part of your essay

I have listed below the main things you should present in each part of your essay, in order to meet the examiners’ expectations and get yourself a higher score.


  • Restate the given topic question, paraphrasing the statement. Remeber to always use your own words and play with synonyms.
  • You must write two 2 sentences:  one sentence paraphrasing the topic and another one developing the main idea.

Body Paragraph #1

A good paragraph length would be around three sentences:

    1. sentence # 1 – Discuss the topic using the strongest argument (or the Advantages when it’s an Advantages x Disadvantages essay)
    2. sentence # 2 – Give reasons and explanation
    3. sentence # 3 – Give examples to illustrate your point.

Body Paragraph #2

Follow the same structure as in the previous paragraph, but this time speaking writing about the second strongest argument.

Or write about the downsides if it’s an Advantages x Disadvantages essay.

How you are expected to write depends on what is being requested on your essay question. So you should be alert for different essay formats.

For example, in Advantages x Disadvantages essays, it would be interesting to discuss the Advantages in the first paragraph and the Disadvantages in the second paragraph.

Another great tip here is  l.i.n.k.i.n.g   w.o.r.d.s.
It is an excellent opportunity to use linking words to connect sentences as well as to start a paragraph.

An easy option for paragraphs would be starting them by simply saying writing Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly/Lastly for your paragraph number 1, 2 and 3. And for linking words connecting sentences, there are plenty options for every situation. Like In Addition to/Additionally to express sequence for example and, However – Although when contrasting ideas.

Body Paragraph #3

This section may not be necessary for certain types of essays. However, if you are required to ALSO give your opinion, then it would be interesting to dedicate the third paragraph for that purpose. That way your writing will look neater and easier to read.
So always read the question very carefully and follow the instructions.


      • Here you should start by restating the topic. Then write a summary of the main points in your essay.
      • You must NOT add new points to your ideas in this part of the essay.
      • Your conclusion should show you answered the essay question(s) AND had given supporting paragraphs that explain and illustrate your ideas.

That’s a wrap! Those are the best tips I’ve found when studying for my IELTS test.

Back then it took me quite some time to research how to write the best introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion in an IELTS exam. The time I used to do this research, I could’ve used to focus on my studies and get prepared faster. But, I’m glad I could put together this info for you, hoping to make your student life a bit easier – which is something I’d appreciate then. And if you don’t have the time to research all this info like I did, don’t worry. The guys at Lingua Trip offer tons of ways to help you achieve your studying goals, whether that’s with a Skype Lesson or a Higher Education Consultation.

So I really hope you liked it and found this article helpful.  And now, the fun part: The bonus I promised.

Sign up below and I’ll have a list of essay topic ideas sent right to your inbox!

✅  And don’t forget:
  • How you are expected to write depends on what is being requested on your essay question.
  • Be alert for different essay formats.
  • Always read the question carefully and follow the instructions.

Tell me what you think of these tips, I would love to read your opinion.

Let me know in the comments below how this post helped you on your IELTS preparation studies.


AMAZON DISCLAIMER: Marcelle (Why I Post) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to and affiliated sites. These links are of no extra cost to you and simply go towards the costs of keeping this website running. Thanks in advance for your support.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, that will help keep this website running. Thanks again for your support!


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