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  • Hi. Welcome to engVid.

  • I'm Adam.

  • Today's lesson is an IELTS lesson, so as usual, I'll be speaking a little bit faster than

  • normal, give you a little bit of listening practice.

  • And today we're going to look at specifically the essay types, the types of essays you're

  • going to have to come across for those of you taking the IELTS test in the writing section

  • task two, the independent essay.

  • I'm going to talk about the types of essays, and a very general idea, a very general discussion

  • about how to approach, generally again, the essay.

  • I want to make...

  • Talk about templates, but I'll do that a little bit later.

  • So first of all, the main thing to remember, you have essentially three types of essays

  • that you're going to come across on the IELTS writing test.

  • You're going to have an essay that asks for an opinion, you're going to have an essay

  • that does not ask for an opinion, and then you're going to have a hybrid, you're going

  • to have a combination of the two.

  • Okay?

  • So first let's go over the types of questions you might see that ask for an opinion.

  • Now, it's very important to recognize that not all of you...

  • Sorry, not all of the questions are going to be specifically mentioning the word: "opinion",

  • or "think", or "believe", but you still have to recognize.

  • So: "Do you agree or disagree with whatever has been mentioned before?" or whatever is

  • written there.

  • "Do you agree or disagree?"

  • Take a side.

  • "I agree with this because", reasons.

  • "I disagree because", reasons.

  • And similarly: "To what extent do you agree or disagree?"

  • A quick word about "to what extent", I personally recommend completely, totally, fully agree

  • with whatever you agree with because it's a much easier essay to write.

  • If you say: "I somewhat agree", then you have to look at both sides and tell me what you

  • agree with, what you disagree with.

  • If you say: "I completely agree with this idea", then you only have to focus on that

  • idea.

  • It's much easier.

  • "Do you think" something, so this is a very direct question about your opinion.

  • "What do you think about this?" or "What do you think are the causes of", "What do you

  • think are the main issues or problems?"

  • Now: "Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks", or: "Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?"

  • As soon as you see, here, the word: "Do", it's a yes/no question, you have to say yes

  • or no, and we're going to talk about yes/no questions.

  • But this word: "outweigh"...

  • "Are there more drawbacks or are there more benefits?"

  • This is an opinion question.

  • You decide if there are more drawbacks or opinions.

  • "Which is better: This situation or this situation?"

  • Okay?

  • "Is it more important to do this or to do that?"

  • So, again, these are all yes/no...

  • This is a choice question because you have the "better", you have the comparative.

  • And, again, you have this, plus the yes/no.

  • So as soon as it's a yes/no question, it's an opinion question.

  • Make sure that you answer very specifically yes or no, this side or this side, and say

  • why you think so.

  • Support your opinion.

  • And yes/no, if a question begins with: "Should some...

  • Should somebody do something?", "Should this be done?", "Do...

  • Do people need to do this?" for example.

  • Excuse me.

  • Any yes/no question is asking for an opinion.

  • Okay?

  • Make sure that you give an opinion, make sure that you support that opinion.

  • Okay, now, let's go on to the non-opinion questions.

  • "Discuss", so they're going to give you two attitudes, or two views, or two approaches

  • to something.

  • They say: "Discuss both views.

  • Discuss both attitudes."

  • This is not asking for your opinion.

  • So, one thing, it's a general rule of thumb, don't always apply it because some of you

  • don't like to use the word "I", but if the question has a "you", the answer can, and

  • in most cases should, have an "I".

  • Okay?

  • You don't have to use the personal pronoun.

  • It's not wrong to.

  • A lot of people are afraid, they think academic essays shouldn't use "I".

  • Totally okay, recommended for a lot of people.

  • If you can't make your views clear without using the "I", then use the "I".

  • Here, don't use the "I".

  • They're not asking for your opinion, don't give them your opinion.

  • This is a descriptive essay: "Discuss both sides", so this is one side, this is the other

  • side, end of story.

  • I'm going to show you how to begin your essay in the introduction for these.

  • "Compare and contrast these two things", that's it.

  • Body paragraph one, this one; body paragraph two, this one.

  • "What are the advantages and disadvantages?"

  • Body paragraph one, advantages; body paragraph two, disadvantages.

  • That's it.

  • Problem/solution: "What are the causes" or "What are the problems", so you have cause

  • and solution, you have problem and solution.

  • "What might be some possible causes for this situation?", "What do you think are the problems

  • with this approach?"

  • That's it.

  • What solutions might actually work to help it?

  • They're not asking: What solution would you recommend?

  • If they put a "you", you're going to put an "I", an opinion.

  • If they don't put a "you", and they don't ask for an opinion, don't give one.

  • Now: "Why", "What", "How", these are very direct questions.

  • "Why are...?", "Why does this thing happen?", "How can the government help fix this problem?"

  • etc.

  • "What are some solutions to this situation?"

  • Now, these are more commonly going to be found in the two-part question.

  • All of these are very straightforward question, this is mostly in the two-part.

  • So, some essays will give you two questions and you have to answer both questions within

  • the essay.

  • Okay?

  • Now, you can also have a hybrid, which is basically taking the non-opinion and asking

  • for an opinion.

  • "Discuss both views and give your opinion."

  • Make sure that you do both, but the approach is very different.

  • "Discuss both without opinion" and "Discuss both with opinion", very different approach

  • to the essay.

  • Now, this is usually the one that's most difficult for people to do because they don't know how

  • to break up their essays.

  • But if you want to see how I work through both types of essays, go to my writing channel:

  • www.writetotop.com or YouTube "Write To Top", the link is in the description and you can

  • watch me work through both types of essays, hopefully help you out.

  • Okay?

  • Same thing with "compare".

  • "Compare both sides and say which you agree with.", "What are the advantages and disadvantages,

  • and which do you think is more?" for example.

  • Problems and solutions: "What are some possible problems to this situation, and what do you

  • think are ways to fix it?"

  • So, all of these can be...

  • Have the opinion part added to it.

  • Okay?

  • So be very careful.

  • If you're asked for an opinion, give one; if you're not asked for one, don't give one.

  • If you're asked for a descriptive essay and an opinion, make sure you do both.

  • Okay?

  • So we're going to look at a little bit...

  • How to begin your essays, how to introduce...

  • Introduce both sides in a very general set up of your ideas and how to organize.

  • Okay?

  • Okay, so we're going to look at basic things to keep in mind when you're writing these

  • essays, but the main thing I want to make very clear to everybody: Don't look for a

  • template for the essay.

  • Every question will require its own approach, its own way of looking at the topic, at the

  • question and the issue, debate, whatever it is, and you have to approach each essay on

  • its own.

  • Don't look for a template that you can try to apply to every question because you can't.

  • Every type of question has its own approach, every type of...

  • Every hybrid, for example, has different ways to do it.

  • There's no one right way to write an essay.

  • There's only one right way to express your ideas,

  • that's what you try to figure out how to do. Right?

  • But the more you practice, the better feel you get for these essays, and you're able

  • to approach any question with the right things.

  • But having said all of that, a few things to keep in mind.

  • If you're asked for an opinion, make sure you give an opinion in the introduction: "I

  • agree that" or "I agree with", "I believe that", "In my opinion this is the right way".

  • Make sure you do this.

  • Now, you don't have to use "I", again, I mentioned this before, but if you're not sure how to

  • make your opinion very clear to the reader, just tell it to them very directly.

  • "I agree", "I believe", "In my opinion", etc.

  • Now, how are you going to build your argument basically in your body paragraphs?

  • Start with your strong argument first in the body paragraph, try to focus only on the side

  • you're arguing for.

  • So if you agree with side A, spend the time and the words in body paragraph one to convince

  • the reader that side A is a good side to choose.

  • In side B, in body paragraph two when you're looking at side B, start with a concession.

  • What this means...

  • And talk about side B. What are some good points about the other side?

  • But make sure it's short, and make sure you turn it right back around and continue to

  • arguing...

  • To argue for your side.

  • By the end of it, by the time you get to the conclusion it should be very clear what your

  • opinion is and why you had it.

  • Right?

  • Now, a lot of ways to play with this, but this is the general approach you're going

  • to be taking: If they're not asking you for an opinion, don't give one.

  • Again, you can say: "This essay will look at", "discuss" whatever topic you're looking

  • at or discussing.

  • "There are several ways to fix pollution, as this essay will demonstrate."

  • So basically you're telling the reader: "What is the objective?

  • What is the purpose of the essay?"

  • It's to deliver information or to describe something, or to outline a process, etc.

  • Now, you don't have to be very obvious either. Right?

  • You don't have to say: "This essay will discuss".

  • If you know how to write a sentence that makes it very clear to the reader that this is what

  • the objective of the essay is, do that.

  • Okay?

  • "Though there are several reasons for the high-crime rate in the inner cities, the...

  • This particular situation seems to be the most pertinent", or "the most obvious", or

  • "the most common".

  • As soon as you say that, I understand that this

  • is what you're going to be talking about. Right?

  • "There are several reasons, but this is the most important one."

  • It doesn't mean I think so, it's obvious, it's clear.

  • "Here, I'm going to give you some information or some reasons to support this observation."

  • Not opinion, observation.

  • Body paragraph one, reason one; body paragraph two, reason two.

  • Body paragraph one, advantage one; body paragraph two, disadvantage one.

  • Benefit, drawback, compare, contrast.

  • Okay?

  • All of these things are very straightforward.

  • Paragraph one, one thing; paragraph two, the second thing; conclusion, therefore all of

  • these things support the idea that this is the more important aspect, or reason, or whatever

  • you're discussing.

  • Now, these are not templates.

  • Don't think of this as a template.

  • Don't do this every time you have an essay about...

  • That's not an opinion.

  • Okay?

  • Sometimes you'll have to do it in different ways.

  • Okay?

  • Compare, contrast.

  • You can compare and contrast one aspect in body paragraph two, you can compare and contrast

  • another aspect in body paragraph two.

  • Paragraph one, paragraph two.

  • You can do both and both, you can do one and one.

  • Lots of ways to do it.

  • The main thing is: Don't give an opinion, make sure the reader understands the objective

  • of the essay, and then organize your ideas in a very clear way to support that.

  • Give your opinion, make sure that the reader understands why you have this opinion, and

  • that they believe...

  • That you believe this opinion. Okay?

  • We're going to look a little bit at the hybrid ones because they're a little bit different.

  • Lots of ways to approach it.

  • Let's look at some ideas.

  • Okay, let's look at the last one, the hybrid.

  • "Discuss both opinions" or "Discuss both things, and give your own opinion".

  • Right?

  • So, now, what you have to do, you have to...

  • In your thesis, in your introduction you have to make it clear to me that there are two

  • sides and that you choose one over the other.

  • So, actually I'm going to...

  • "There are pros and cons to wearing uniforms in school."

  • If the essay is: "Should students wear uniforms in school?"

  • So: "There are pros and cons to wearing a uniform, though I believe that students should

  • wear them every day."

  • Okay, just as an example.

  • So as soon as you tell me there are pros and cons, remember you put it in the introduction.

  • As a reader I'm expecting to see the pros and cons in the body.

  • Right?

  • That's why you put it here.

  • So that is your discuss aspect: "Discuss both", because pros, cons, both sides.

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