Effective examples versus ineffective examples on your Task 2 essay?

Let me offer an analogy regarding the importance of examples: Examples are to an IELTS essay as a tent pole is to a tent. In other words, examples are what hold up an argument in an essay (whether that argument is yours or someone else’s). Without them, an argument simply fails to hold much water and is impossible to prove. Thus to succeed on your IELTS Task 2 essay question, you’ve got to choose effective examples carefully.

So what makes a good example good and a bad example bad?
The answer is simple: (1) Good examples are specific. Bad examples are vague. (2) Good examples demonstrate the argument in action. Bad examples show little connection to the argument at all. (3) Good examples are displayed in a manner that does not disrupt the flow of the writer’s work. Bad examples feel like they have been randomly dropped into the essay.

When it comes to choosing an effective IELTS Task 2 essay example, specific is always the goal. Take the following, for example:

Don’t be ambiguous…
For instance, mobile phone growth in some countries has been dramatic.

Instead try being more specific…
For instance, mobile phone growth in China and India has been dramatic.

Don’t write in a manner that will make your IELTS examiner guess at your meaning…
Cars are the example.

Tell your examiner clearly what the link is between the argument you are trying to support and your evidence…
Cars play a good example here as they are the largest source of carbon emissions in the developing eastern world.

About Ryan

I have been developing online IELTS training resources for over 10 years. For more information about me and how I can help your preparation for the IELTS, please email me: ryan@ieltsielts.com
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