I was recently asked to comment on an essay written in answer to the recycling question from an earlier post.
The sample answer has a common problem for candidates stuck between band 6 and band 7: the writing contains a mixture of different levels. To use a sports analogy, this is like a tennis player who is learning a new, more advanced tennis shot, and is not ALWAYS successful in making the shot. The tennis player will only achieve success when he or she can make the shot consistently. The same idea applies to reaching a higher level in IELTS writing.
The first image below shows the sample answer with some general comments. There are language errors found at band 5 and band 6, but there are also examples of higher level language. I have used different coloured highlighting to show this.
To practise, try to correct any errors you can see in the language.
COHERENCE AND COHESION
The answer also has problems when it comes to Coherence and cohesion. Look again at the first body paragraph. The ideas in this paragraph are not in a logical order, which makes the ideas difficult to follow and will keep the score below band 7.
The following order is more logical and therefore easier to follow:
- Recycling of household waste should begin in the home
- (However,) not everything can be recycled
- (So,) the government should educate people about this
- (Furthermore,) in order to increase recycling, the government should also make separating waste mandatory.
Compare this to the current order:
- Recycling of waste should begin in the home
- The government should make people classify waste
- Not all products can be recycled
- Recycled and non-recycled waste should be classified
- The government should teach people about waste
Notice that we cannot add cohesive devices (However, Furthermore, etc.) to show how these ideas are connected because they do not follow on logically from each other.
There is a problem with the final sentence of each body paragraph in the essay. Try to identify the problem and suggest a correction.
You can check your answers by looking at the detailed feedback and corrections below.
Remember, you will only achieve band 7 or above when you can consistently write at that level. This will only occur when you write something because it is the best or clearest way to express your ideas, rather than because it is something you have seen others write.
Read my free book to find out more about how to improve your writing: The Key to IELTS Success