Author: Parminder Singh, BA Hons (Toronto), J.D (Windsor)
9 Tips for 9 bands in IELTS
With so much emphasize on language ability in Canada Immigration programs, IELTS schools are thriving. However, mushrooming of IELTS schools is not regulated and as such, there is no way to find out which IELTS school or its teachers are authentic and well qualified.
In order to assist people with their Canada immigration projects and plans, we provide free tips for IELTS training.
Each essay is made of introduction, thesis, paragraphs and conclusion.
- Introduction should be easy, interesting and catchy to attract the reader. Read newspaper editorials to see the catchy intros.
- Thesis should be positioned right after the intro and declare in a brief sentence your view point on the topic.
- Paragraphs should provide a series of arguments, evidence, examples, analogies, similarities, contrasts to prove your thesis statement. Each paragraph should deal with one topic or issue. Each paragraph starts with the topic sentence and finishes with the conclusion. The conclusion of each paragraph should lead to the next paragraph, which means all the paragraphs should be jointed together or welded in unity, not disjointed.
- Each paragraph is made up of sentences. Not only your sentences should have no grammatically errors, sentences should have variety of length and structure. Use variety of grammatical structures such as simple sentences, complex sentences, compound sentences, short sentences, long sentences, exclamatory sentences, Interrogatory sentences, active and passive sentences, metaphorical sentences and so on.
- Each sentence is made up of words. Not only your words should have no spelling errors, words should have a variety, which means words should be formal or casual as per the topic. E.g. A technical or a serious topic should use technical or formal vocabulary and a casual or humorous topic may use slang or casual vocabulary. E.g. When a dog dies the word “dead” may be used, but when a human dies the word “Passed Away” is used. Use variety of words such as nice, fabulous, gorgeous, beautiful, and exciting to describe a thing or person, instead of repeating “nice” every time.
- Variety is the key to killing monotony and boredom in a piece of writing. Your paragraphs, sentences and words should have variety. Use literary devices to improve form, meaning and emotion in your writing. E.g. use alliteration and rhyme to improve form; metaphor and imagery to elaborate meaning; and hyperbole and personification to intensify feelings in your writing. Check examples of useful literary devices here: http://literary-devices.com/frontpage
- Consider pros and cons of a topic. Accept opponent views or defend them.
- Summarize your topic. Make each paragraph, sentence and word count to the topic at hand, do not waste a single word, be focused and glued to the topic and
- Make a strong conclusion and landing (just like a gymnast). End with the strongest and remarkable single point or series of points quickly and with greatest speed to leave an everlasting impression on the reader.
After reading all of the above factors, you can now assess your own score. If you have been applying 5 or 6 factors from the above, your IELTS band would be 5 or 6. Apply all the 9 factors in your writing and you will see an IELTS score of 9. You will also understand why your IELTS score was not improving despite your best efforts.
Sample News Editorial for practice
The following two editorial articles from Indian Express explain how to:
- Introduce a main topic in an interesting way.
- Develop paragraphs on sub topics.
- Conclude with a strong point.
However, in these articles, you will find some defects as well, such as, two or three topics are discussed in one paragraph. Re-write these paragraphs by removing these defects and use 9-point criteria for 9 bands above to enhance the following articles:
Learning the use of literary devices in writing
Read Chaucer’s translated Knight’s tale for learning use of various literary devices used in writing such as metaphors, alliteration, hyperbole, similes, exclamations etc etc: https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/teachslf/kt-par0.htm
Obviously, a paragraph is written in sentences, words and alphabets. Everyone knows this. What everyone does not know is as follows:
Understanding structure of paragraph
A paragraph contains an argument or a main point. The main point is supported by evidence, examples, comparisons, contrasts and quotes.
In other words, any argument has two parts: premise and conclusion. The premise is the evidence which supports the conclusion in an argument.
How to read
When reading a paragraph, analyse the paragraph to separate the main point from the supporting items.
If you know what the main point is and what is the supporting evidence, you can quickly answer the questions in a reading comprehension LSAT test.
If you read the paragraph with the goal of separating main point from supporting evidence, you can save a lot of time while answering the questions because you need not read the whole paragraph again or go back to paragraph for each question.
Note that sometimes the main point is at the end while sometimes it is in the beginning of a paragraph. It may be somewhere in the middle as well. Your job is to pin point the main point and supporting evidence in the paragraph.
Make sure you not only read the paragraph but you also memorize the main points and the supporting evidence or at least their locations in the paragraph by making them while reading the paragraph.
SPEAKING & LISTENING
Speaking and listening skills only come through practice. Listen to what you have written and speak out what you have written and you are good to go.
You may listen to English news and speak about those news with your friends or family and you have practiced the skills of speaking and listening.
Listening to authentic BBC or CNN English news, sports, entertainment or national geographic channels will accustom you to understand British and American accent and boost your IELTS listening score.
Make it a habit of speaking and listening in English.