IELTS Writing: what’s your style?

IELTS students / candidates tend to write in one of the three styles below.

1. No style

Some candidates take the IELTS test without ever learning how to write an essay, report or letter. They don’t have a method or a writing style; they simply try their best to complete the task.

2. Trying to be impressive

The “trying to be impressive” style is very common. Many candidates believe that they need to show off to the examiner, so they attempt to use big words, memorised phrases and “difficult” grammar. In short, they believe the “complex vocabulary and grammar” myth.

I’m trying to persuade IELTS students not to adopt this writing style because it usually results in the following: errors, unnatural phrases, lots of waffle, and a lack of real ideas or content.

3. Clear, concise, coherent

Very few people learn to write in this style, but I’m trying to change this through the lessons on this site.

Several people have commented that my essays seem easy. They are easy to read and easy to understand because I deliberately write in a clear, concise and coherent way. However, people have also commented that this writing style is not easy to reproduce. It takes skill and practice to make something look easy (think how easy it looks when a great musician or sportsperson performs).

I hope you’ll keep studying this style of writing with me. I believe it will set you apart from the majority of people and help you in other areas of life beyond passing the IELTS test.


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  1. In your lessons of band descriptors, you mentioned that coherence is that ideas are organised logically, and cohesion is that ideas are connected in a way that holds the essay together. They are really easy to understand.

    • I’m glad you found that useful.

  2. Will you do WT1 and speaking band descriptors in the future.

    • Yes, I have those lessons and will add them soon.

  3. I reckon it’s because it’s easier to teach how to use complex grammar or advanced vocabulary. They just need to use something that learners don’t know. However, it’s rather difficult to teach how to be concise and coherent. You need to know something to be concise and coherent. Can you also help us to know how you would teach students how to be concise and coherent? Thank you

    • I agree with you David. Check back through the writing lessons here on the site and you’ll see that I’m trying to teach concise, coherent writing.

      Note: I’ll add index pages to the “archives” area of the site this week, and that will make it easier for you to search through older lessons.

  4. Hi, Simon.
    Your courses have helped me a lot. I just finished my first IELTS test last week. And I found out that my score was enough to meet the application threshold. Especially in the writing part, I have no confidence in my writing ability, but following your method, I am surprised that I got 6.5, and it’s much better than I thought.
    I think the main purpose of language learning is to communicate with each other, understand and explain different perspectives, and it is very crucial to learn to express ideas clearly.
    Thank you again for giving me a lot of essential concepts. Also, I wish everyone can achieve the desired results as soon as possible.

    • That’s great news, congratulations! I’m glad my lessons helped you to get the scores that you need 🙂

  5. “However, people have also commented that this writing style is not easy to reproduce. It takes skill and practice to make something look easy (think how easy it looks when a great musician or sportsperson performs).”
    ↑cannot agree with it anymore!
    I think one way to reach the ideal score is collecting useful words consistently. And I need to try to use them in the writing task as much as possible.
    I am also wondering whether you have other good advices? Thanks a lot.

    • Yes, “collecting words and phrases” is a great way to think about language learning. It’s all about expanding your repertoire of words and phrases that you are able to use.

      I have lots of other advice, and I’ll keep sharing it in the lessons here!