250 Word Essay Layout Help
Without a doubt, Academic Writing is the most challenging section of IELTS.
Faced with a blank page, you have only 60 minutes in which to write 400 words by hand. This includes 150 words describing a diagram or data, plus 250 words giving your opinion on an issue.
It doesn’t help that few people actually write reports or essays by hand nowadays! Therefore, it’s no surprise that writing 150 or 250 words in the time allowed is the biggest concern of many IELTS candidates. And yes, there is a penalty in IELTS if you fail to write enough words. Usually this is a 0.5 reduction in your score.
However, when you examine any piece of academic writing, you’ll find that only a small part consists of original ideas, and most of it is made up of structural language. What does this mean? It means that certain kinds of sentences are found in all academic writing, and you can use them regardless of the topic to ensure that you write at least 150 or 250 words.
My IELTS Writing tips below introduce some of these sentence types and how to use them. Try including these in your own IELTS essays. I can also check your IELTS answers to see if you are using them effectively.
The article assumes you are familiar with the IELTS Academic Writing test format. If you aren't, read IELTS Writing: Introduction first.
Writing 500 Word Essays May be Quite Easy
Even though 500 seems like a large number, it really only translates to about a page of single spaced size 12 font printing. It’s not too difficult to write a single page essay once you know how to go about doing it.
Basically, think of it as writing 5 paragraphs of approximately 100 words each. That’s approximately 6 or 7 sentences depending on how long you make them. Here are the 5 paragraphs for your 500 word essay:
- The introduction. Even though this paragraph comes first, it’s easiest to write it last. That’s because you don’t know what you’re going to write before you write it. Once the body of the essay is completed, you can come back to this step and write the introduction.
- The body will be comprised of 3 paragraphs. The first paragraph will be the first main point you are trying to put across to the reader. Make sure you support this point with facts or with your point of view, depending on what type of essay you’re writing.
- This is the second point of the body. The same rules apply for this point. Make sure you give adequate support.
- And the third and final main point of the body; keep it concise and provide the necessary supporting evidence.
- The conclusion is the final paragraph of the essay. It can also have 100 words, approximately. It should be a summary of the essay. Make sure it’s worded differently than the introduction. It should leave the reader with something to think about.
Your essay should make an impact. It should be memorable, interesting and make them think or change their opinion about something. Before you make your final revision, be sure you have satisfied all the requirements of the assignment. Word count is important, but it’s not the only thing that counts. You usually have to adhere to certain formatting rules as well. Perhaps the font has to be a certain style and size. The header and footer and the side margins should all be according to the assignment as well.
It’s generally accepted to go a few words over but when the essay is fairly short like this one, try not to go under the specified word count. Take full advantage of the 500 words you have the opportunity to use to get your point across.