IELTS Writing Task 2 Double Question Essay Correction – Video Transcript

Introduction

Hi there I’m Angela at Ottawa English. Today I thought I’d let you watch as I go through an IELTS writing double-question essay correction. A lot of my students have said that what’s most useful for them is to actually watch me correcting their essay.

I hope you get something out of it, and if you do, let me know in the comment section below. If you’d like to submit your essay for a score, you can do so in the comments box below. I can’t promise to make a video of every essay I get, but I may decide to make a video of yours.

If you’d like in-depth feedback, please use my writing correction service.

This is the two-question essay prompt we’ll be looking at:

“Marriages are bigger and more expensive nowadays than in the past. Why is this the case, and is it a positive or a negative development?

IELTS Task 2 Essay Structure

Double Question Essay Structure

1) Introduction – Paraphrase the question & outline answers to both questions

2) paragraph 1 – Answer Q 1 – Statement -> Explanation -> Example

3) paragraph 2 – Answer Q2-Statement -> Explanation -> Example

4) Conclusion – Summarize both questions and answer the question

Choose the right structure

This question is a two-question essay, or a double-question essay, for IELTS. So, we’re looking for an introduction that paraphrases the statement and outlines both answers.

Next, we’re looking for two body paragraphs. In the first one we expect to see an answer to the first question which is elaborated with a statement, an explanation, and an example. Then we’re looking for a second body paragraph that answers question two. Here too, we expect to see a statement, an explanation, and an example.

Finally, we want a conclusion that summarizes the answers to both questions.

IELTS Rubric

Here, we have the IELTS rubric that’s used for correcting essays. As we go through this essay, we’ll be changing the color of these words to either red or green to give us an idea of what’s good and what’s missing.

But, first of all, let’s just read it.

Coherence & Meaning Your essay is organized, easy to follow, clear, precise, and detailed
Lexical Range You’ve used a range of vocabulary and natural words and phrases. You’ve expressed yourself accurately
ReadabilityYou have a good control of grammar, connections, transitions, punctuation, spelling, sentence variety, & formatting.
Task Fulfillment You’ve answered every part of the task effectively.
IELTS Rubric

Original Essay

This is the original response:

Nowadays, in light of the significant changes in people’s lifestyle, celebrating more costly and greater wedding ceremonies have become more common among the young compared to the past. There are several reasons behind this trend that two of which will be discussed further. In my opinion; however, it does have some positive aspects associated with creating job opportunities, its negative effects, which lead to financial issues and social tensions, are greater.

On the one hand, the media and advertisements of wedding companies play an important role in spreading this trend. Firstly, these days, due to the technology development and the internet, almost all individuals around the globe have access to social media, share their experiences, and follow their favorite celebrities. This will raise people’s expectations to follow such luxurious lifestyles because they think it will make them socially superior. Another factor is the impact of wedding companies that offer a variety of services from choosing the location, designing the decoration, and preparing the food to sending the invitation card to the guests which could be mentioned as a positive aspect resulting in improving business contributing in these fields. The advertisements of such companies and the various packages they offer make people more willing to use these services to celebrate one of the most important days of their lives.

On the other hand, one of the reasons why bigger and more expensive weddings are negative for society is the high cost of such ceremonies that not only does affect young couples but also their families financially. They are forced to borrow and pay installments for a long time, and this can lead to dissatisfaction between them. Another downside is the social tensions. For example, in a society where most people have a low income, seeing such luxury parties leads to more class differences and tensions.

In conclusion, the media and wedding designers have a great impact on the popularity of this trend. Although such a trend has some advantages in terms of improving job opportunities in some related fields, in my view, the problems it creates financially and socially outweigh the positive aspects.

How long should an IELTS Task 2 Essay be?

When I look at this essay, at 352 words, I’d say that it’s probably a little bit long. It might be worth writing a little bit less.

You’ve got a lower limit of 250 words in the IELTS test, so you can go over that, but the more you go over it, the less effective your writing is, and the more likely it will be that you don’t have time at the end to go back edit the work that you’ve done.

That proofreading stage is just as important as the planning stage.

Structural Errors

IELTS Two-question Essay Structure

The Writer should have paid more attention to his structure

As you’ve read the essay, I suspect that you, like me, have probably noticed quite a few errors. One important error that will affect his score for cohesion, coherence, clarity, and format, is that he has used a discussion essay format rather than a two-question essay structure.

The writer has not been asked for his opinion. Saying “In my opinion” and “in my view” suggests that he hasn’t read the question.

The writer has used the structure for a discussion essay. This is not a discussion essay. “On the one hand” and “on the other hand” are appropriate transitions for a discussion essay but not for a double-question essay.

Grammar Errors

Grammar Errors

How to use the IELTS Rubric

Do you know what errors the circles identify?

As you’ve read the essay, I suspect that you, like me, have probably noticed quite a few errors. All of these little red circles highlight areas that are a problem.

“people’s lifestyles” – each person has a lifestyle

“celebrating…has” – gerunds are always singular

however” should be a subordinating conjunction, like ‘even though’ because he’s showing the relationship between the positive and negative effects.

“…almost all individuals around the globe have access to social media, which allows them to share their experiences and follow their favorite celebrities.” – he’s talking about the cause and effect.

“This raises… makes them socially superior.” we’re actually talking about something that’s routine and and timeless. It’s a fact that’s true in the present, past, and future, so we need to use the simple present tense here.

invitation cards” – there’s more than one guest.

improving business contributions” this should be a plural noun.

“… , and the  various packages they offer, … ” we need a comma on both sides of an interruption.

“...not only does this affect young couples but also their families.” We have a problem here because this is an attempt at an inversion without the inversion.

this can lead to stress.” ‘Dissatisfaction’ is the wrong word

luxurious parties” This needs to be an adjective because it’s describing parties.

This is a lovely essay. Well done! Very, very good! The organization is very good

It’s certainly easy to follow, despite the fundamental error of it not being a discussion essay. That basic error impacts the clarity, cohesion, coherence, and format.

It’s very precise and detailed, and the spelling is excellent.

There’s a range of vocabulary, despite the little hiccup with that one word ‘dissatisfaction’

He’s used natural words and phrases. Absolutely! Beautifully done!

and accuracy of expression. Yes Absolutely, that’s super.

For grammar, I think we’re going to have to say that there were a few  errors grammatically.

For punctuation, there was one place where there should have been a couple of commas

Corrected Essay

The Final essay, with all the corrections, looks like this:

Nowadays, in light of the significant changes in people’s lifestyles, celebrating more costly and greater wedding ceremonies has become more common among the young compared to the past. There are several reasons behind this trend, two of which will be discussed further. Even though there are some positive aspects associated with creating job opportunities, its negative effects, which lead to financial issues and social tensions, are greater.

On the one hand, the media and advertisements of wedding companies play an important role in spreading this trend. Firstly, these days, due to the technology development and the internet, almost all individuals around the globe have access to social media, which allows them to share their experiences, and follow their favorite celebrities. This raises people’s expectations to follow such luxurious lifestyles because they think it makes them socially superior. Another factor is the impact of wedding companies that offer a variety of services from choosing the location, designing the decorations, and preparing the food to sending the invitation cards to the guests which could be mentioned as a positive aspect that results in improving business contributions to these fields. The advertisements of such companies and the various packages they offer make people more willing to use these services to celebrate one of the most important days of their lives.

On the other hand, one of the reasons why bigger and more expensive weddings are negative for society is the high cost of such ceremonies that not only affects young couples but also their families financially. They are forced to borrow and pay installments for a long time, and this can lead to stress between them. Another downside is the social tensions. For example, in a society where most people have a low income, seeing such luxurious parties leads to more class differences and tensions.

In conclusion, the media and wedding designers have a great impact on the popularity of this trend. Although such a trend has some advantages in terms of improving job opportunities in some related fields, in my view, the problems it creates financially and socially outweigh the positive aspects.

Sentence Variety

Now we’ll go on to look at the Sentence Variety this IELTS Task 2 Two-Question Essay

How to use Connections, Transitions & Sentence Variety

The coloured lines in the picture correspond to the lines in this chart above.

Let’s take a look at these connections, transitions and sentence variety.

Simple Nouns and Pronouns

In yellow, I’ve underlined the places where we have very simple nouns with their verbs or pronouns with their verbs. I know, I added some of these when I was correcting the grammar, but the way that the sentence is written these nouns and pronouns realy can’t be avoided.

We have a total of eight very simple sentence starts. That’s good. We want this number to be low because a low number here suggests that the numbers in the other sections will be high. It stands to reason, that if all of you sentences start with a simple noun, there’s not going to be much space for variety.

Participles and Gerunds

The blue and black underlines show the participles and the gerunds. The use of gerunds is great, and we’ve even got a gorgeous parallel. That’s excellent. In total, we have 9 gerunds, but only two participles. For a seven, we really need more participles because those ‘ing’ endings give our language its flow.

Conjunctions

This writer shows a clear preference for conjunctive adverbs, but it’s the subordinating conjunctions that show the relationship between sentences, so if that number is higher, it suggests that the ability to connect your sentences is also higher.

I’ve underlined the conjunctions in red. We have only three subordinating conjunctions, and one of those is the one added. We’ve got eight conjunctive adverbs and at least seven coordinating conjunctions, and they’re all ‘and’s.

For coordinating conjunctions, you can use ‘so’, ‘and’, ‘for’, ‘yet’, ‘or’, ‘nor’, or, ‘but’. Try to use variety. Everything counts for variety.

I’m not aiming for precision here, I’m just looking at what the examiner is looking at in pretty much the same way that the examiner is looking at it.

Referents and Interruptions

For referents that suggest interruptions, I’ve used green text. In total, we have three of those.

How to get from IELTS 6.5 to 7+

Okay, so these are all the things that this writer would need to do to get from IELTS 6.5 to 7+.

First of all, he would need to have more subordinating conjunctions, preferably a clean inversion, and an accurate structure. If the question doesn’t explicitly ask for his opinion, he mustn’t give it.

When the writing prompt has two questions in it, there must be one paragraph for each question, and a summary of the main points in the conclusion.

If he’s writing a discussion essay, the transitions that he uses are going to be different from the transitions that he would use if he was writing a two-question essay. It’s the same deal if he’s writing a disagreement essay. The transitions will be very different. So, he must pay careful attention to that because that’s going to reflect badly on his score.

He needs to balance his conjunctions and use appropriate conjunctions for what he’s trying to say. If he’s connecting the sentences with a conjunctive adverb he’s doing something very different to when he’s showing the relationship between two ideas using a subordinating conjunction. He must watch that carefully.

When he’s finished, he must proofread for punctuation, agreements, and tenses. He must leave enough time at the end to go back and check for the things that he knows he has trouble with.

5 tips for an IELTS 7+ Essay

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