Specific Strategies for General Training Writing Module

The General Training Writing module consists of two tasks and takes 1 hour.

Task 1 is to write a letter explaining a problem or situation. Or you may have to request information.

Task 2 is to write an essay.

General training task 1

You have to write a letter. The task rubric presents a problem or describes a situation and you have to write a letter in response. Depending upon who you are writing to, the writing style should be formal, informal or semi-formal. Make sure that your letter includes a response to all the bullet points in the task rubric.

General Training writing task 2

You have to write an essay. The question is usually about a contemporary social issue. Make sure that your essay answers all the questions in the task rubric. Include only relevant points. Logically organize your arguments. Use appropriate cohesive elements to ensure smooth flow of ideas between sentences and paragraphs.

Your essays, letters and reports are assessed according to the following criteria.

Task fulfillment

You have to fully address all the questions in the task rubric.

Coherence and cohesion

You have to logically organize your sentences and paragraphs so that your essay becomes one cohesive whole. Use appropriate conjunctions and transitional adverbs (one the one hand, by contrast, in addition, apparently, incidentally etc.) to link your sentences.

Grammatical range and accuracy

You have to demonstrate your ability to use a variety of sentence structures correctly. While one or two grammar mistakes here and there are unlikely to hurt your score, if you make too many mistakes you will lose marks.

Lexical resources

You should be able to use a variety of vocabulary. This, however, does not mean that you have to use obscure words. Use standard vocabulary. What is important is to demonstrate your ability to use words that perfectly fit the context. Spelling and punctuation errors can affect your score.

How to start writing your essay?

The following steps will help.

Read the task rubric carefully

This is very important. Read the question again and again until you have a thorough understanding of what you are required to write. Choose appropriate style and tone for your essay.

Before you start writing the essay, note down your ideas on the question paper. Don’t do this on the answer sheet. Just write down the points. They do not have to be in any specific order.

Once you have gathered enough ideas, select, prioritize and group them.

Do not take more than 10 minutes for this.

Once you have collected enough points and chosen the appropriate layout for your essay, you can start writing.

You can use either a pen or a pencil to write your essay. It is better to use the pencil because you can easily make corrections later. Make sure that your handwriting is legible. Do not spend more than 20 minutes for writing the essay.

The remaining 10 minutes should be used for reviewing and improving your essay. Check your essay for spelling and grammar mistakes. While it may not be possible to correct all the mistakes, if you know what mistakes you typically make, proof reading becomes easier for you.

While reviewing your essay, make sure that you have addressed all aspects of the task. Your essay should have a proper introduction and conclusion. Your arguments should be convincing.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.