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Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS – lesson 1

We have already posted a number of pages about improving your writing in the IELTS test (see Writing more academically, Avoiding pronouns and Using the correct register).

In these lessons, we will be looking at specific paragraphs and how they can be improved.

The paragraph is from an answer about reducing air travel:

Analysing paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS Student answer:

Another negative factor that can be produced by this flying automotive is noise pollution. As this invention functions with the whole process of burning petrol and collaborating mechanical parts, it produces sound waves that are harmful to the surroundings. The land is affected by noise pollution, perhaps extinction will occur which later on have a harmful effect to the ecological system.

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On the negative side:

Some of the attempts to find parallel expressions are not clear – changing air travel to ‘flying automotive’ is a good try, but not accurate. The second sentence of the paragraph focuses on the specifics of how noise pollution occurs, which is more than is needed in Task 2 – simply stating that noise pollution is a problem is enough, there’s no need to focus on exactly how that noise is produced. In addition, the support that follows isn’t clear – how is the land is affected the noise pollution?There should have been more focus on those living on the land, not the land itself. There is also some repetition of vocabulary (noise pollution has been used twice). The grammar in the final sentence also needs work, with ‘have’ being used instead of has’, the preposition ‘to’ used instead of ‘on’. There is also a run-on sentence where two sentences have been put together using just a comma.

On the positive side:

The linking words used are good – we can assume that the previous paragraph also referred to reasons to reduce air travel because this paragraph begins with ‘Another negative factor’. In the second sentence, the writer has used a good cause and effect construction with ‘as’. There is also some good use of vocabulary – ‘negative factor’, ‘produces sound waves’, ‘perhaps extinction will occur’, ‘ecological system’.

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So how could this have been improved?

Another negative factor that can be attributed to flying is noise pollution, which can be harmful to animals and even people who are affected. There is even the potential that these unwanted sounds could cause significant changes in the ecological system, where perhaps extinction will occur among more fragile species.



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