Analysing IELTS Writing model answers


Working together to find which parts of IELTS model answers you should and shouldn't copy

Analysing IELTS Writing model answers

Look at a model answer to an IELTS Writing exam task. Find the strong points and weak points of that essay, and discuss how you could make it (even) better.  

Use the questions below to continue your discussion.

Planning/ Paragraphing/ Task achievement

What are the key words in the task that explain what needs to be included in the essay?/ What key words in the question would you underline to make sure that you achieved the task?


Has the writer followed the instructions?/ Is the task fully achieved?


Is all the content relevant to answering the question/ achieving the task?


Is the essay clearly over the word limit? Is it short enough to not waste time that could be used for editing or for writing the other essay? (You can estimate the number of words by counting the words on two lines, dividing by two, then multiplying by the number of lines).


How many paragraphs does the essay have? Is that the best number, or would it be better with more paragraphs or fewer paragraphs?


Does each paragraph have just one topic which is clearly different from the other paragraph(s)?


Is the essay divided into two or three body paragraphs in the best way? If not, what organisation might be better?


Are the paragraphs clearly divided from each other (by a blank line or indent)?


How many sentences does each paragraph have? Should any paragraphs be longer or shorter?



Does the introduction have at least two sentences?


Does the introduction rephrase the question? Does the rephrased part mean exactly the same as the language in the task? Could it be rephrased in a better way?


Does the final sentence of the introduction explain the structure of the essay/ the topic of each body paragraph? Does it match the content of the body? If not, what should that sentence say?


Are there any other sentences before or between the sentence that rephrases the sentence and the sentences that explains the overall organisation of the essay? Should there be? What kinds of sentences could they be?


Body paragraphs

Do the body paragraphs have at least two sentences each?


Can each body paragraph be read and understood on its own, without needing to read the rest of the essay?


Do the body paragraphs start with suitable language? Could you change the beginnings to be a better introduction to each paragraph and/ or to include more impressive language?


Final paragraph

Is there a final paragraph after the body? If so, is it a summary of the body or a final conclusion leading on from the body?


Is the final paragraph needed and suitable?


Would anything in the final paragraph be better in the introduction? If so, how would you word it, and where would you put in the introduction?



How well does the writer avoid repeating language (from the question and from earlier in their answer)?


What useful language from the essay should you learn so that you can use it in your own writing?


Could you add to or change any language to make the meaning more precise, to rephrase to stop repeating language, or to show the examiner your range of (high-level) language?

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