editing an essay

How to edit your IELTS essay

Hi IELTS students,

In the last 7-10 minutes of your writing task, it is very important that you keep in mind the following to help you achieve Band 7 in Writing.

  1. If you’re running out of time and you have a lot of ideas that you haven’t expanded on, be brave and make some cuts.
  2. Only pick the best ideas and expand on those.
  3. Don’t feel like you have to write down and expand on all of your ideas.
  4. A shorter paper that is well written and well organised will earn you a better result than a longer paper that is poorly written and poorly organised.
  5. You must meet the minimum number of words required. You will be penalised for answers shorter than the required minimum limit.
  6. Don’t keep writing about a subject just to add words and sentences, and certainly don’t start repeating yourself.
  7. Leave at least seven minutes at the end of your essay to go back and check over grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary usage in your work.
  8. Re-read the essay to make sure that every sentence is well linked and flows.
  9. Clean up any spelling or grammar mistakes that you might have made.
  10. Clean up any other extraneous information that you might have written that doesn’t fit into your paper.
  11. Check whether there are any fragments or run-ons and delete them.
  12. Check for sentences that are too short or too long and modify them.
  13. If a sentence is too short, it is possible that it does not have an identifiable subject and verb.
  14. Break up long sentences into two smaller separate sentences.
  15. Be careful when you use any “big” words.
  16. The priority is to have a correct and well-structured essay, not a long essay with beautiful words. Don’t try to impress the examiners with difficult words and sentence structure, just show them you can develop and explain an idea through your essay.

Na Pham 2012 ©

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