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How to Answer Essay Type Questions in Literature Examinations

Last Updated: November 14, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 142,197 times.

Answering essay questions on literature exams can be daunting, especially with timed exams. Before the test, you should have a full understanding of how the different parts of a classical argument fit together to make a whole. The best way to quickly write an organized essay is to outline your argument before you begin your answer. With a little bit of preparation, you can ensure a good grade on your exam.

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Begin by outlining...

  • Create a bullet point for each point you choose to make in your paper.
  • Your first point should include the introduction, statement of facts, and thesis.
  • You should break up the “proof” or body paragraphs into however many points you laid out in your thesis. If you promised three points, create three bullet points. If you promised four points, create four bullet points. Remember that the body paragraphs must follow the exact order of the thesis.
  • Create a point for the statement of the counterargument. You can either create a new point/paragraph for your refutation of it, or keep it all in one paragraph by making the refutation a subpoint.
  • Create a point for the conclusion.

Step 2 Fill out your outline.

  • If you're using external sources, you should include them in your outline. You don't want to accidentally leave out a great source because you got caught up in the writing and forgot about it.

Step 3 Write your topic sentences into your outline.

  • Use transition words like furthermore, similarly, or indeed to transition between agreeing ideas. [4] X Research source
  • Use "conflict" transition words and phrases to transition between conflicting ideas — like the counterargument and your refutation of it. Examples include however, in contrast, on the other hand, or conversely.

Step 4 Use the outline to write your essay.

  • Make sure to refer back to your outline repeatedly during the writing process. This is the roadmap of your answer. Don't wander away from it and get off-course.

Step 5 Decide when to correct errors.

  • If you're being graded primarily on the content of your argument, leave grammar and spelling editing for your last step.
  • If you're being graded primarily on your grammar and spelling, by all means, correct your errors as you go!
  • In most cases, you won't be graded on one or the other. Keep your specific teacher or standardized test in mind. Have a strategy for when you plan to correct your errors before you take the test.

Step 6 Proofread your essay before submitting it.

  • If you're in an isolated room, read the essay aloud to yourself to look for grammar errors that sound wrong. It's easier to hear mistakes than see them on the page.
  • Read your sentences backwards to look for spelling errors you might skim over if you were reading the sentences normally. [5] X Research source

Structuring Your Argument

Step 1 Learn the six basic parts of the classical oration model.

  • Introduction (exordium)
  • Statement of Facts (narratio)
  • Thesis (partitio)
  • Proof (confirmatio)
  • Refutation (refutatio)
  • Conclusion (peroratio)
  • The introduction, statement of facts, and thesis are often grouped together in the first paragraph of the answer.

Step 2 Invite the reader into your argument in the introduction.

  • Another way to think of the exordium is to consider where the word "introduction" comes from. The prefix "intro" means "inward," as in introspection (looking inward). "Duction" comes from the Latin root "ducere," which means "to lead." This is where we get the modern words duke (one who leads) and orchestra conductor (one who leads together). [7] X Research source [8] X Research source
  • In the introduction, you want to intro + duce, or lead the reader inward, further into your argument.

Step 3 Provide background information in the statement of facts.

  • If your reader already knows the background information, you may be able to skip this section.
  • In Cicero's Latin, this section was called the "narratio," which is where we get the modern word "narrator." The narrator is the voice in a book that gives readers information that can't be delivered through dialogue or action.
  • The word "knowledge" itself shares a root with narration : gnoscere. [10] X Research source In this section, you give the readers the knowledge they need to follow your argument.

Step 4 Break down your argument in your thesis.

  • Cicero's Latin word, partitio, shares a root with the modern word "partition," which means division or separation. When Beyonce sings "Driver roll up the partition, please," she's asking the driver to roll up the window that separates him from the passengers in the back.
  • So the thesis is where you list out the different parts of your argument — your X, Y, and Z — in list form, separately.

Step 5 Show the readers the evidence for your claim in the proof.

  • Note that it's not enough to just list a bunch of quotes and statistics from sources. That's not making an argument — it's restating someone else's information or argument.

Step 6 Refute the counterargument.

  • Don't include a counterargument without refuting it. To refute means to "beat back." [13] X Research source The only reason you include the opposing point of view is to beat it back and strengthen your own position.

Step 7 Synthesize your argument in the conclusion.

  • Do not transition into your conclusion with a signal phrase like "in conclusion" or "in summary." Find a less obvious, more sophisticated transition.

Expert Q&A

Tristen Bonacci

  • Never plagiarize another author's words or ideas. You can fail the assignment or even the entire course, or get suspended or expelled from school Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

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Write an English Essay

  • ↑ Tristen Bonacci. Licensed English Teacher. Expert Interview. 21 December 2021.
  • ↑ https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/sites/default/files/global/documents/library/essay_outline_worksheet.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/1/29/
  • ↑ https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/transw.html
  • ↑ http://www.stlcc.edu/Student_Resources/Academic_Resources/Writing_Resources/Writing_Handouts/proofreading.pdf
  • ↑ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=exhort
  • ↑ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=duke&searchmode=none
  • ↑ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=conductor&searchmode=none
  • ↑ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=narration&allowed_in_frame=0
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=refute

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To answer an essay question (EQ), students must assess the purpose of the essay question: factual recall, analysis (explanation of relationships) synthesis (application/transfer of previously learned principles) opinion

How much information to include, repeat, restate (intro needed? details needed?).

The chart below outlines 4 main types of essay questions, the verbs/cues that indicate the type of essay question and its purpose, and the strategy to be used to answer it.

Read the questions very carefully at least 2 or 3 times. Circle  the main verb (= action verb/imperative) in the question and decide on the necessary rhetorical strategy for answering the question (cause-effect, comparison-contrast, definition, classification, problem-solution). Make sure you understand what type of answer the main verb calls for (a diagram a summary, details, an analysis, an evaluation). Circle all the keywords in the question. Decide if you need to write a 1-paragraph or a multi-paragraph answer. Write a brief outline of all the points you want to mention in your answer. Restate the question and answer it with a topic sentence (for a 1-paragraph answer) or a thesis statement (for a multi-paragraph answer).  Answer the question according to general rules of academic writing.  Use indentations; begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; support the topic sentence(s) with reasons and/or examples; use transition words to show logical organization; write a conclusion.  Use correct punctuation throughout. Read over your answer again and check if all the main ideas have been included. Check your answer for grammar and punctuation.

© 2005: Christine Bauer-Ramazani ; last updated: September 02, 2019

           

                             

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  • Focus and Precision: How to Write Essays that Answer the Question

essay type answers

About the Author Stephanie Allen read Classics and English at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and is currently researching a PhD in Early Modern Academic Drama at the University of Fribourg.

We’ve all been there. You’ve handed in an essay and you think it’s pretty great: it shows off all your best ideas, and contains points you’re sure no one else will have thought of.

You’re not totally convinced that what you’ve written is relevant to the title you were given – but it’s inventive, original and good. In fact, it might be better than anything that would have responded to the question. But your essay isn’t met with the lavish praise you expected. When it’s tossed back onto your desk, there are huge chunks scored through with red pen, crawling with annotations like little red fire ants: ‘IRRELEVANT’; ‘A bit of a tangent!’; ‘???’; and, right next to your best, most impressive killer point: ‘Right… so?’. The grade your teacher has scrawled at the end is nowhere near what your essay deserves. In fact, it’s pretty average. And the comment at the bottom reads something like, ‘Some good ideas, but you didn’t answer the question!’.

essay type answers

If this has ever happened to you (and it has happened to me, a lot), you’ll know how deeply frustrating it is – and how unfair it can seem. This might just be me, but the exhausting process of researching, having ideas, planning, writing and re-reading makes me steadily more attached to the ideas I have, and the things I’ve managed to put on the page. Each time I scroll back through what I’ve written, or planned, so far, I become steadily more convinced of its brilliance. What started off as a scribbled note in the margin, something extra to think about or to pop in if it could be made to fit the argument, sometimes comes to be backbone of a whole essay – so, when a tutor tells me my inspired paragraph about Ted Hughes’s interpretation of mythology isn’t relevant to my essay on Keats, I fail to see why. Or even if I can see why, the thought of taking it out is wrenching. Who cares if it’s a bit off-topic? It should make my essay stand out, if anything! And an examiner would probably be happy not to read yet another answer that makes exactly the same points. If you recognise yourself in the above, there are two crucial things to realise. The first is that something has to change: because doing well in high school exam or coursework essays is almost totally dependent on being able to pin down and organise lots of ideas so that an examiner can see that they convincingly answer a question. And it’s a real shame to work hard on something, have good ideas, and not get the marks you deserve. Writing a top essay is a very particular and actually quite simple challenge. It’s not actually that important how original you are, how compelling your writing is, how many ideas you get down, or how beautifully you can express yourself (though of course, all these things do have their rightful place). What you’re doing, essentially, is using a limited amount of time and knowledge to really answer a question. It sounds obvious, but a good essay should have the title or question as its focus the whole way through . It should answer it ten times over – in every single paragraph, with every fact or figure. Treat your reader (whether it’s your class teacher or an external examiner) like a child who can’t do any interpretive work of their own; imagine yourself leading them through your essay by the hand, pointing out that you’ve answered the question here , and here , and here. Now, this is all very well, I imagine you objecting, and much easier said than done. But never fear! Structuring an essay that knocks a question on the head is something you can learn to do in a couple of easy steps. In the next few hundred words, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned through endless, mindless crossings-out, rewordings, rewritings and rethinkings.

Top tips and golden rules

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told to ‘write the question at the top of every new page’- but for some reason, that trick simply doesn’t work for me. If it doesn’t work for you either, use this three-part process to allow the question to structure your essay:

1)     Work out exactly what you’re being asked

It sounds really obvious, but lots of students have trouble answering questions because they don’t take time to figure out exactly what they’re expected to do – instead, they skim-read and then write the essay they want to write. Sussing out a question is a two-part process, and the first part is easy. It means looking at the directions the question provides as to what sort of essay you’re going to write. I call these ‘command phrases’ and will go into more detail about what they mean below. The second part involves identifying key words and phrases.

2)     Be as explicit as possible

Use forceful, persuasive language to show how the points you’ve made do answer the question. My main focus so far has been on tangential or irrelevant material – but many students lose marks even though they make great points, because they don’t quite impress how relevant those points are. Again, I’ll talk about how you can do this below.

3)     Be brutally honest with yourself about whether a point is relevant before you write it.

It doesn’t matter how impressive, original or interesting it is. It doesn’t matter if you’re panicking, and you can’t think of any points that do answer the question. If a point isn’t relevant, don’t bother with it. It’s a waste of time, and might actually work against you- if you put tangential material in an essay, your reader will struggle to follow the thread of your argument, and lose focus on your really good points.

Put it into action: Step One

essay type answers

Let’s imagine you’re writing an English essay about the role and importance of the three witches in Macbeth . You’re thinking about the different ways in which Shakespeare imagines and presents the witches, how they influence the action of the tragedy, and perhaps the extent to which we’re supposed to believe in them (stay with me – you don’t have to know a single thing about Shakespeare or Macbeth to understand this bit!). Now, you’ll probably have a few good ideas on this topic – and whatever essay you write, you’ll most likely use much of the same material. However, the detail of the phrasing of the question will significantly affect the way you write your essay. You would draw on similar material to address the following questions: Discuss Shakespeare’s representation of the three witches in Macbeth . How does Shakespeare figure the supernatural in Macbeth ?   To what extent are the three witches responsible for Macbeth’s tragic downfall? Evaluate the importance of the three witches in bringing about Macbeth’s ruin. Are we supposed to believe in the three witches in Macbeth ? “Within Macbeth ’s representation of the witches, there is profound ambiguity about the actual significance and power of their malevolent intervention” (Stephen Greenblatt). Discuss.   I’ve organised the examples into three groups, exemplifying the different types of questions you might have to answer in an exam. The first group are pretty open-ended: ‘discuss’- and ‘how’-questions leave you room to set the scope of the essay. You can decide what the focus should be. Beware, though – this doesn’t mean you don’t need a sturdy structure, or a clear argument, both of which should always be present in an essay. The second group are asking you to evaluate, constructing an argument that decides whether, and how far something is true. Good examples of hypotheses (which your essay would set out to prove) for these questions are:

  • The witches are the most important cause of tragic action in Macbeth.
  • The witches are partially, but not entirely responsible for Macbeth’s downfall, alongside Macbeth’s unbridled ambition, and that of his wife.
  • We are not supposed to believe the witches: they are a product of Macbeth’s psyche, and his downfall is his own doing.
  • The witches’ role in Macbeth’s downfall is deliberately unclear. Their claim to reality is shaky – finally, their ambiguity is part of an uncertain tragic universe and the great illusion of the theatre. (N.B. It’s fine to conclude that a question can’t be answered in black and white, certain terms – as long as you have a firm structure, and keep referring back to it throughout the essay).

The final question asks you to respond to a quotation. Students tend to find these sorts of questions the most difficult to answer, but once you’ve got the hang of them I think the title does most of the work for you – often implicitly providing you with a structure for your essay. The first step is breaking down the quotation into its constituent parts- the different things it says. I use brackets: ( Within Macbeth ’s representation of the witches, ) ( there is profound ambiguity ) about the ( actual significance ) ( and power ) of ( their malevolent intervention ) Examiners have a nasty habit of picking the most bewildering and terrifying-sounding quotations: but once you break them down, they’re often asking for something very simple. This quotation, for example, is asking exactly the same thing as the other questions. The trick here is making sure you respond to all the different parts. You want to make sure you discuss the following:

  • Do you agree that the status of the witches’ ‘malevolent intervention’ is ambiguous?
  • What is its significance?
  • How powerful is it?

Step Two: Plan

essay type answers

Having worked out exactly what the question is asking, write out a plan (which should be very detailed in a coursework essay, but doesn’t have to be more than a few lines long in an exam context) of the material you’ll use in each paragraph. Make sure your plan contains a sentence at the end of each point about how that point will answer the question. A point from my plan for one of the topics above might look something like this:

To what extent are we supposed to believe in the three witches in Macbeth ?  Hypothesis: The witches’ role in Macbeth’s downfall is deliberately unclear. Their claim to reality is uncertain – finally, they’re part of an uncertain tragic universe and the great illusion of the theatre. Para.1: Context At the time Shakespeare wrote Macbeth , there were many examples of people being burned or drowned as witches There were also people who claimed to be able to exorcise evil demons from people who were ‘possessed’. Catholic Christianity leaves much room for the supernatural to exist This suggests that Shakespeare’s contemporary audience might, more readily than a modern one, have believed that witches were a real phenomenon and did exist.

My final sentence (highlighted in red) shows how the material discussed in the paragraph answers the question. Writing this out at the planning stage, in addition to clarifying your ideas, is a great test of whether a point is relevant: if you struggle to write the sentence, and make the connection to the question and larger argument, you might have gone off-topic.

Step Three: Paragraph beginnings and endings

essay type answers

The final step to making sure you pick up all the possible marks for ‘answering the question’ in an essay is ensuring that you make it explicit how your material does so. This bit relies upon getting the beginnings and endings of paragraphs just right. To reiterate what I said above, treat your reader like a child: tell them what you’re going to say; tell them how it answers the question; say it, and then tell them how you’ve answered the question. This need not feel clumsy, awkward or repetitive. The first sentence of each new paragraph or point should, without giving too much of your conclusion away, establish what you’re going to discuss, and how it answers the question. The opening sentence from the paragraph I planned above might go something like this:

Early modern political and religious contexts suggest that Shakespeare’s contemporary audience might more readily have believed in witches than his modern readers.

The sentence establishes that I’m going to discuss Jacobean religion and witch-burnings, and also what I’m going to use those contexts to show. I’d then slot in all my facts and examples in the middle of the paragraph. The final sentence (or few sentences) should be strong and decisive, making a clear connection to the question you’ve been asked:

  Contemporary suspicion that witches did exist, testified to by witch-hunts and exorcisms, is crucial to our understanding of the witches in Macbeth.  To the early modern consciousness, witches were a distinctly real and dangerous possibility – and the witches in the play would have seemed all-the-more potent and terrifying as a result.

Step Four: Practice makes perfect

The best way to get really good at making sure you always ‘answer the question’ is to write essay plans rather than whole pieces. Set aside a few hours, choose a couple of essay questions from past papers, and for each:

  • Write a hypothesis
  • Write a rough plan of what each paragraph will contain
  • Write out the first and last sentence of each paragraph

You can get your teacher, or a friend, to look through your plans and give you feedback . If you follow this advice, fingers crossed, next time you hand in an essay, it’ll be free from red-inked comments about irrelevance, and instead showered with praise for the precision with which you handled the topic, and how intently you focused on answering the question. It can seem depressing when your perfect question is just a minor tangent from the question you were actually asked, but trust me – high praise and good marks are all found in answering the question in front of you, not the one you would have liked to see. Teachers do choose the questions they set you with some care, after all; chances are the question you were set is the more illuminating and rewarding one as well.

Image credits: banner ; Keats ; Macbeth ; James I ; witches .

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QUICK GUIDE ON HOW TO ANSWER ESSAY-TYPE QUESTIONS

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A. Anatomy of Essay-Type Questions

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Most literature on writing assessment offers a lot of guidance on design and validation of measures and items in essays and examination questions (e.g. Alderson and North 1991, Bachman 1990, Hamp-Lyons 1988). Most of this literature, however, seems to be oriented towards language tests and not to how information concerning exam questions is interpreted in the academic contexts for which most students work in. Nevertheless, the most extensive analysis of prompts in subject-specific contexts can be rightly attributed to Horowitz (1986a and 1986b), Canseco and Byrd 1989 and Braine (1989). These studies also make suggestions concerning implications of the analysis to the teaching of English for Academic Purposes. The concern of the present paper was to seek to build on these earlier studies by looking at the types of prompts found in essay and examination questions in an ESL context in Africa. In particular it attempts to find out: a) The general features of first year undergraduate essay and examination questions b) What these features tell us about what students need to know c) What are the features of format and/or content of which students need to be aware d) Whether there is significance in the nature of the distribution of prompts (specific or general) across disciplines or courses. This paper starts with looking at the general features of the questions including the marks allocated to different types of questions per department. Subsequently, the questions are then classified according to the categories and subcategories of prompts as proposed by Horowitz. The nature of these prompts is then discussed and a summary of the results and conclusions is then presented.

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  • How to write an argumentative essay | Examples & tips

How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An argumentative essay expresses an extended argument for a particular thesis statement . The author takes a clearly defined stance on their subject and builds up an evidence-based case for it.

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Table of contents

When do you write an argumentative essay, approaches to argumentative essays, introducing your argument, the body: developing your argument, concluding your argument, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about argumentative essays.

You might be assigned an argumentative essay as a writing exercise in high school or in a composition class. The prompt will often ask you to argue for one of two positions, and may include terms like “argue” or “argument.” It will frequently take the form of a question.

The prompt may also be more open-ended in terms of the possible arguments you could make.

Argumentative writing at college level

At university, the vast majority of essays or papers you write will involve some form of argumentation. For example, both rhetorical analysis and literary analysis essays involve making arguments about texts.

In this context, you won’t necessarily be told to write an argumentative essay—but making an evidence-based argument is an essential goal of most academic writing, and this should be your default approach unless you’re told otherwise.

Examples of argumentative essay prompts

At a university level, all the prompts below imply an argumentative essay as the appropriate response.

Your research should lead you to develop a specific position on the topic. The essay then argues for that position and aims to convince the reader by presenting your evidence, evaluation and analysis.

  • Don’t just list all the effects you can think of.
  • Do develop a focused argument about the overall effect and why it matters, backed up by evidence from sources.
  • Don’t just provide a selection of data on the measures’ effectiveness.
  • Do build up your own argument about which kinds of measures have been most or least effective, and why.
  • Don’t just analyze a random selection of doppelgänger characters.
  • Do form an argument about specific texts, comparing and contrasting how they express their thematic concerns through doppelgänger characters.

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essay type answers

An argumentative essay should be objective in its approach; your arguments should rely on logic and evidence, not on exaggeration or appeals to emotion.

There are many possible approaches to argumentative essays, but there are two common models that can help you start outlining your arguments: The Toulmin model and the Rogerian model.

Toulmin arguments

The Toulmin model consists of four steps, which may be repeated as many times as necessary for the argument:

  • Make a claim
  • Provide the grounds (evidence) for the claim
  • Explain the warrant (how the grounds support the claim)
  • Discuss possible rebuttals to the claim, identifying the limits of the argument and showing that you have considered alternative perspectives

The Toulmin model is a common approach in academic essays. You don’t have to use these specific terms (grounds, warrants, rebuttals), but establishing a clear connection between your claims and the evidence supporting them is crucial in an argumentative essay.

Say you’re making an argument about the effectiveness of workplace anti-discrimination measures. You might:

  • Claim that unconscious bias training does not have the desired results, and resources would be better spent on other approaches
  • Cite data to support your claim
  • Explain how the data indicates that the method is ineffective
  • Anticipate objections to your claim based on other data, indicating whether these objections are valid, and if not, why not.

Rogerian arguments

The Rogerian model also consists of four steps you might repeat throughout your essay:

  • Discuss what the opposing position gets right and why people might hold this position
  • Highlight the problems with this position
  • Present your own position , showing how it addresses these problems
  • Suggest a possible compromise —what elements of your position would proponents of the opposing position benefit from adopting?

This model builds up a clear picture of both sides of an argument and seeks a compromise. It is particularly useful when people tend to disagree strongly on the issue discussed, allowing you to approach opposing arguments in good faith.

Say you want to argue that the internet has had a positive impact on education. You might:

  • Acknowledge that students rely too much on websites like Wikipedia
  • Argue that teachers view Wikipedia as more unreliable than it really is
  • Suggest that Wikipedia’s system of citations can actually teach students about referencing
  • Suggest critical engagement with Wikipedia as a possible assignment for teachers who are skeptical of its usefulness.

You don’t necessarily have to pick one of these models—you may even use elements of both in different parts of your essay—but it’s worth considering them if you struggle to structure your arguments.

Regardless of which approach you take, your essay should always be structured using an introduction , a body , and a conclusion .

Like other academic essays, an argumentative essay begins with an introduction . The introduction serves to capture the reader’s interest, provide background information, present your thesis statement , and (in longer essays) to summarize the structure of the body.

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how a typical introduction works.

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts is on the rise, and its role in learning is hotly debated. For many teachers who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its critical benefits for students and educators—as a uniquely comprehensive and accessible information source; a means of exposure to and engagement with different perspectives; and a highly flexible learning environment.

The body of an argumentative essay is where you develop your arguments in detail. Here you’ll present evidence, analysis, and reasoning to convince the reader that your thesis statement is true.

In the standard five-paragraph format for short essays, the body takes up three of your five paragraphs. In longer essays, it will be more paragraphs, and might be divided into sections with headings.

Each paragraph covers its own topic, introduced with a topic sentence . Each of these topics must contribute to your overall argument; don’t include irrelevant information.

This example paragraph takes a Rogerian approach: It first acknowledges the merits of the opposing position and then highlights problems with that position.

Hover over different parts of the example to see how a body paragraph is constructed.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An argumentative essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes and reflects on the arguments made in the body.

No new arguments or evidence appear here, but in longer essays you may discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your argument and suggest topics for future research. In all conclusions, you should stress the relevance and importance of your argument.

Hover over the following example to see the typical elements of a conclusion.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). How to Write an Argumentative Essay | Examples & Tips. Scribbr. Retrieved April 1, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/argumentative-essay/

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IELTS Preparation with Liz: Free IELTS Tips and Lessons, 2024

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IELTS Essays: Five Types of IELTS Essays

There are 5 types of IELTS essays which can appear in IELTS writing task 2. These types of essays are for both GT and Academic writing task 2. Below you will find sample essay questions for each type of essay and links to model answers.  Please note that IELTS teachers sometimes divide essays into different categories based on how they teach.

1) IELTS Opinion Essay

This type of essay is where you are presented with someone else’s opinion and you are asked if you agree or disagree with it. The opinion is often flawed or extreme in its views. Some teachers call this the Argumentative Essay. The instructions can be written in a number of ways. Below are a few examples:

  • To what extent do you agree?
  • Do you agree?
  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • What is your opinion?

No matter how the instructions are written, you can take any position you want: agree, disagree or partial agreement (balanced view). Below is an example essay question:

Opinion Essay Question:  Some people think that only electric cars should be allowed on the road by 2040. Do you agree?

2) IELTS Discussion Essay

This type of essay presents you with a statement and you must present the two sides. This might be two sides of the same issue:

Some people think there should be free health care for all people, but others disagree. Discuss both sides.

Or it might be two separate issues which you need to discuss:

Some people think that urban spaces should be used for parks rather than for housing. Discuss both sides and give your opinion.

3) IELTS Advantage Disadvantage Essays

There are two types of questions in this category.

i) Advantage and Disadvantage Essay

This is similar to a discussion essay where you are given a statement must present the positive and negative side of the issue:

Some people think it is good for students to take a gap year before going to university. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

ii) Outweigh Essay

This is by far the most difficult of the two essay types in this category. It requires you to present an opinion and explain your opinion.

Some people think the world will eventually have only one language. Do you think the advantages of having one global language outweigh the disadvantages?

4) IELTS Solution Essays

There are a number of types of possible questions in this category:

i) Solution Only

Some children have serious weight problems. What are the possible solutions?

ii) Cause Solution

Children in rural areas are being left behind in their academic development. Why is this is the case? What solutions can you suggest?

iii) Problem Solution

More and more people are moving to cities to look for work. What problems does this cause? What are the possible solutions?

5) Direct Questions Essays

Some teachers call these the Two Question Essay. However, these types of essay questions might contain one, two or three questions for you to answer. Below are some examples.

Pollution around the world is becoming a serious problem. Do you think this is a problem that should be solved internationally or on a local level?

In the question above, you are asked one specific question. Your whole essay must tackle this question only.

More and more people are choosing to work from home. Is this a positive or negative development?

This essay question has just one issue and one question. You must explain what type of development you think working from home is.

Some people spend a lot of money on weddings. Why do they do this? Do you think it is good to spend a lot of money on weddings?

Above, you will see you have been presented with two questions to answer: reasons and opinion (evaluating if it is good or not.) 

News editors decide what to print in newspapers and what to broadcast on TV. What factors do you think influence these decisions? Do we become used to bad news? Would it be better if more news was reported?

As you can see there are three questions to answer in this essay question. It is not common to get three questions. If you get three, just tackle them one at a time in a logical order.

Practice Essay Questions for IELTS

You can find over 100 essay questions to practice on this page: 100 IELTS Essay Questions . The questions are divided first into topics and then into essay types. This way you can get lots of practice before your actual test day.

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Response to opinion based essay:

Electric cars are progressively replacing non-electric cars by the end of 2040. While it is possible that electric ones will eventually replace the other cars, it is unlikely that they will end up serving the same purpose. This essay will discuss why only few electric cars will be carried out by people.

Electric cars may eventually replace non-electric cars that are not compatible for the environment. Many people think that only electric powered vehicles should be allowed on the road because they emit far less emissions,and less maintenance is required. In China, for example many non-electric motors have been replaced by plug-in vehicles that are more environment friendly and budgeted. For these reasons, cars that can be replaced by electricity will be replaced.

Conversely, there are multiple factors that only electric cars will not be allowed only. Put simply, these factors include affordability and infrastructure development. A necessary framework including charging stations, grid capacity must be required. Without charging stations, drivers may face anxiety and hesitant to switch to electric cars. Additionally, switching completely to electric ones will increase a demand of charging from the grid stations.

It is increasingly likely that powered vehicles will end most non-powered cars. In most of the countries, traveling will be done entirely by electric cars; however, where the money and development are major issues they will always exist. Ultimately, addition of very few electrical cars is valuable but it is not a complete replacement of other cars.

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Please get my advanced lessons to learn the correct way to write an IELTS essay: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . Each advanced lesson takes 1 hour for me to explain how to write one type of essay. It isn’t something I can explain in a short message. An IELTS essay has specific requirements which you need to learn about. If I could give you small pointers, I would. But you really need to learn the right way in detail.

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dear Liz i am very grateful to u for presenting helpful notes here. they are truly informative. i downloaded your series of grammar book last year and learned quite good topics that i used to find challenging. do you have any grammar notes for IELTS beginners?

Sorry, I don’t have anything for beginners. My Grammar E-book basically covers everything I can thing of. Is there something specific you are interested in? If you let me know, I could plan to create something.

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Hlo mam ..I am not able to use proper grammer in task 1 ..and to be honest I don’t know which grammer is to be use in different graphs charts etc could u plz tell me mam..r can u plz tell me the accurate souce where ..would I find ..proper … instructions tht how to or what grammer we should use in task 1..I would be very helpful if u rply…??

I don’t have one page or one lesson which focuses on all aspects of grammar for all types of task 1 writing. I suggest you review all my model answers and make notes on sentence structure, tenses, prepositions, articles, noun phrases, clauses, word order etc etc. Model answers can be used for more than only studying structure or general content. Then review all practice lessons and also pay attention to the grammar being used. There’s a lot of free materials to study: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-1-lessons-and-tips/

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hy liz i want to sample answers of ielts academic writing task 2

Model essays and tips for writing task 2 are found on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

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Hello Liz, please I want to be receiving updates to enable me prepare for my IELTS exam.

There are over 300 page of practice lessons, tips, model answers and topics on this website which you should be using now for your IELTS preparation. Go to the HOME page to learn how to use this website. I post new lessons and tips once or twice a month because my website already has so many tips and lessons.

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Hi Liz, Do I write and underline my headings for example, do I write an introduction underline, and do the same with other headings?

My second question is do I write an introduction, overview, Paragraphs 1&2, then conclusion for task 2, essay writing?

As you can see from my model essays, no titles or headings are required for your essay. The paragraph format you can find tips for on the main writing task 2 page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ You’ll also find model essays on that page.

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Hi Liz, Kindly advise which are the two top essay types that frequently appears on the test day. I am expecting to take IELTS test two weeks from now and think I do not have enough time to practice all 5 question types. In addition, I assume that each question types are not equally tested. Thank you for your kindness.

No matter what people tell you, all the types of essays are possible. Focusing on only two is really taking a risk. You have two weeks before your test which is quite a lot of time to review the five types and ideas for topics as well. If I had to pick two types of essays, it would be the Opinion Essay and the Discussion Essay – but it really could be any type. Here is my advice, get my three advanced lessons for writing task 2, together they will cover three types of essays in three hours all together. This is a link to my store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . For the other two types of essays, review my model essays on this page: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ , also review the linking words, how many paragraphs and other tips as well. Good luck!!

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Hello Liz, is it okay to use templates for writing task 2 that is available online some say it decrease our band score while others say it will increase our band scores. I am really confused at the moment.

If you are aiming for a low band score, it’s fine. If you are aiming for a higher band score, it won’t help. The examiners are trained to spot the difference between a templated essay with memorised language in it and an essay that shows your own level of English.

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I learnt a lot from Your lessons and only because of You I achieved the score I was aiming for. Honestly, thank You very very much. You are doing a wonderful job.

Best wishes from Lithuania!

I’m glad to hear you got the score you needed. Well done 🙂 Greetings to all in Lithuania!

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I just want to ask, in the opinion essay, should we always present both sides? For instance, if the question only asks for our opinion on the matter (no mention of discussing both sides) should we still do it? Alternatively, can we just structure the essay to show our opinion and each paragraph elaborates on reasons why that is our opinion? Will doing it this way (not mentioning both sides) adversely affect our band score? Thank you!

I suggest you get my Advanced Lessons to learn properly. I generally don’t teach how to write an Opinion Essay in a short message. It takes me nearly an hour by video to do this. Here’s a link to my store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/

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Thank you so much Liz. This video has been helpful. I have a question.

In Britain, when someone gets old they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who do you think should pay for this care, the government or the family? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Is this an opinion essay which will follow exactly the structure you just taught or a discussion essay.

This is a Direct Question essay. Please remember that each teacher gives different names for essay types. I call this the Direct Question Essay because you are being given a direct question to answer. It might be one question, two or even three questions. Your whole essay explains your answer.

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Hi Liz Do you think this is a positive or negative development? What type of essay is this please?

I’ve just added it to the page above. Take a look.

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Hello Liz: I recently came across this essay. My question is what type of essay is this? Do you have any model essays on this type of essay? The essay is: In your view, what is the most important thing for governments to spend money on: education, health, transportation, or something else? Give reasons for your answers and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

You said that you “came across” this essay question. Where did you come across it? Did you find it in one of the IELTS Cambridge test books? Only use authentic test questions. If you don’t use proper sources for your IELTS preparation, you will easily get confused about the test and this won’t help your preparation.

Thanks, Liz! This is now clear to me as I came across the question from a ‘model IELTS Essay topics’. published by a local company.

That sounds like the problem. You ought to use the IELTS Cambridge test books which are real test published by IELTS. I have collected over 100 essay questions over the years and they are also safe to use. You can find them linked to the main writing task 2 section of this site: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/

Thank you, Liz, for your comments and the link. I wish you good health and happiness!

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Hope you are keeping well. I am not able to score more than 6.5 in my writing test. I have scored 8.5 in Listening, Reading & Speaking but writing disappoints every time. Where can I find model answer to evaluate where am I lacking? I have taken 2 computer based tests for far and scheduled 3rd one in 5 days. I need band score 7 in Writing to achieve my target.

You can find some model answers in the main writing task 2 section my website along with other essential tips: https://ieltsliz.com/ielts-writing-task-2/ . I also have paid advanced lessons which might help you understand where you are going wrong. They can be bought in my online store: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . Each lesson focuses on one specific essay type and explains paragraph by paragraph what to do.

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Liz, thank you so much for your help. Two weeks ago I took the IELTS exam and surprisingly get 9 in Reading section!

Fantastic!! Well done to you 🙂

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Hi Liz,I really need help with opinion essays especially for the part that asks to what extent do you agree or disagree?am I supposed to discuss both sides,thank you

I suggest you get my advanced lessons for the opinion essay: https://elizabethferguson.podia.com/ . It isn’t something that can be taught in a short message.

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Your materials and videos have sincerely been helpful. Thank you very much for such a selfless act. My exam is in a week time, I have only 10days to prepare for my IELTS GT. I would give you an update on how it goes. Cheers

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Hi Liz! I am preparing for my IELTS and I have found your website very helpful, very precise information is given and it talk to the point. thank you for providing good content. keep up the great work.

reagrds Neha Shah

You’re welcome 🙂

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Thanks a lot Liz . Your materials and tutorials helped me a lot in my preparation for my IELTS . Followed your tips and videos for 3 weeks . Able to score 7.5 overall.

Thank you again for the great help you provide.

Wonderful news! Very well done 🙂 It’s a great overall score!

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Thank you so much Liz for the work you do. Your videos, website and materials helped me in my preparations. I just got my results, it was a band 8 overall. Have a splendid 2022.

Wonderful !! A great result! Wishing you all the best for 2022 !! 🙂

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Hi Liz I’m from Sri Lanka. Thank you for all your guidance. Today I sat for IELTS academic paper. Task 1 was a bar chart, percentage of young people in higher education in for countries in 3 years. Task 2- news has no connection with people’s life so it’s a waste of time to read best from newspaper and watch news program on tv. To which extent do you agree. I hope these will help you. Waru

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Hi Liz, I follow all your videos and they are very helpful. I gave my speaking exam last week. But now I think the cue card question was to describe a leisure activity I enjoy and I talked about a leisure activity I am planning to enjoy. I am really worried if it will affect my band score. But my talk was fluent . Can you give me your insights?

It won’t make any difference to your score. As long as your talk is based on the main topic (leisure activity), it’s ok. Your score won’t be negatively impacted in any way at all.

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Hi Liz, Im Janet from kenya. thank you for the good work you are doing. im preparing for my exams in 4 weeks time. your content is very helpful and I like the way you explain things. im a slow learner and i find your pace very good for me. Thank you again. keep up the good job.

Good luck with your preparation and test 🙂

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Thank you Liz

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Hi Liz, hope you are doing well. Liz I have silly question I know but I’m really stuck in this problem and I was wondering if you can help me with this issue.. The problem is writing a topic sentence, you said in advanced lectures that topic sentence should be written carefully because it is kind of more important .. Please can you tell me that among these 2 topic sentences of BP1, which one is okay and looks relevant?

1] Although we are living in prosperous times, with people in many countries enjoying a higher standard of living than ever before, there are still millions of people in the world who are living in poverty.

2] Instead of wasting lots of money on exploration of space, governments ought to focus on local problems such as poverty eradication. There are millions of……

Essay statement; Space exploration is a luxury that we cannot afford. Instead of spending billions of dollars on space programs, governments should use this money to fight global problems such as poverty, disease and climate change. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion.

Kind regards

The first step is to underline the key words in the essay question: space exploration, spending billions, fighting global problems (examples). Now make sure your topic sentence covers those aspects. Neither of the topic sentences you have listed really works because, while the second one is obviously more carefully connected to the essay question, it doesn’t leave room for any other paragraph as you are tackling all problems in one paragraph. Also it switches from global problems to local problems which is confusing. However, in terms of which of your sentences connects to the essay question properly, it is the second one. This essay is all about funding for space exploration and whether it is relevant in today’s world or not given all our global problems.

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I love your lessons and tips. They are really helpful and you are extraordinarily devoting. Here I have a question about the answer you left under Khola’s comment. What do you mean by “no room left for other paragraphs as you tackled all problems in one paragraph”?

Looking forward to your response.

Sincerely, Ella

It means that if you put all your ideas into one paragraph, you won’t have any more ideas for other paragraphs. By choosing one main focal point for one paragraph, you have the ability to use other ideas for other paragraphs. So many people say “I can’t think of how to make my essay long enough”. The answer is to be more careful about how you use your ideas. First, brainstorm ideas. Then select the best ideas. Then decide carefully which ideas can go into which paragraph. Then pay attention as to whether some ideas should go together or some ideas should be separated into different paragraphs. There is a lot to think about in the planning stage. It is crucial to plan carefully and strategically.

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Electric cars are currently being developed by many well-known automotive companies. Many people still question whether electric cars are a feasible replacement for petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles. In this essay, I will explore the opinions for and against the use of electric cars and their replacement of petrol and diesel-fuelled cars.

On one hand, electric cars are environment friendly. They require no non-renewable energy and are clean to run and maintain on the road. To support this opinion, recent studies show that the use of electric cars helps to curb pollution in urban and rural areas. Clearly, electric cars are one way to tackle ecological concerns and support a ‘greener’ environment.

On the other hand, electric cars are inconvenient to maintain and to dispose of. The driver of an electric vehicle must recharge his car approximately every 100 kms. In addition, the plutonium battery of an electric car is toxic to the environment and must be safely disposed of through expensive means. In brief, scientists are still exploring ways to produce these types of vehicles so that they are easier to manufacture, maintain and use safely.

To sum up, it’s evident that there are both pros and cons of electric vehicles. Despite the expense of development and the inconvenience of recharging electric cars, I still believe strongly that it is well worth the investment to continue research and production of these vehicles. To conclude, we should remain open, supportive to the use of electric cars and to their development in the future.

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Recently i sat for IELTS exam, and the GT Writting Task 2 was about transport and they asked “ Do you think it has more advantages or more disadvantage?”

For this would it be option question or Adv/Disadv question? How is the structure for that type?

I wrote both sides and gave my opinion in the conclusion… but not sure if its right… i got 6.5 for writing.

Also, if you can advise how they ask the questions to determine what type of essay it would be so it can easy for us to identify.

Thanks and appreciate all your help.

That is an “outweigh” essay – do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

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Hi Liz I have my exam this week and searching for model questions for April 2021. I checked on your site but model essay questions were available till March so if you can recommend me to follow something for latest Also, can you please share me the link for model answers of March Model Essay Questions?

I am eagerly waiting to hear from you.

The model essays are to be used for all years of the test. The topics are often recycled and the techniques for essay writing are 100% the same as always. The test format hasn’t changed and neither has the marking. All pages of this site are 100% relevant to the test today.

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I have purchased material from you in 2019 but somehow because of my system crash I could not recover anything. Please can you share the link to access the notes that will be very grateful as I want to reattempt IELTS again. Because of Corona, I was not in my town to connect with you regarding this.

I’ve just resent your access link. Check both your inbox and spam folder.

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Hi I booked my test in May 2021 I was just wondering which one is latest book i can refer? I have heard Cambridge books are best but I’m not aware about which version i should go for. Your help would be really appreciated

The IELTS Cambridge books are numbered, at present, from 1 to 15. Number 15 is the most recent and was published in 2020. However, all the books provide useful practice. The general format of the test has not changed. I personally would recommend books from 7 to 15. In July 2021, book 16 will be published.

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Hello Liz, this is my first message ever. I would like to thank you for your devotion. Can I start a “ solutions” body in the problem solution essay with “ to get around these problems “ as I found this linking device from the “ new scientist” journal whose translation is seemingly appropriate to that, at least to me.

This means a way to avoid the problem rather that solve the problem. So, it wouldn’t be appropriate for an IELTS essay which asks for solutions. It is better to use: The most effective way to tackle this problem is… X is the way to deal with this issue The answer to solving this problem is ….

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Hi Liz, In my exam I got the question of “Are there more advantages or more disadvantages” Is it similar to “Do advantages outweigh disadvantages” ?

Yes, it is 100% the same.

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Thanks mam these are quite useful essays.

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In the public version of the IELTS writing marking criteria, some linkers are called mechanical and it limit your band score. Some teachers say words like firstly,On one hand,on the other hand are example. I notice you use such words or phrases in ur sample essays. Are they really mechanical? Can you enlighten on what the band descriptors calls mechanical linker

The linkers themselves are not mechanical. All the linking words you have written are suitable for IELTS up to band score 9. The problem is how people use them. It is there use that becomes mechanical. If you have three paragraphs and each one starts with a linking words: Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, it is similar to a machine that always does the same thing each time. So, to avoid this you must be flexible. So, use all suitable linking words, but use them flexibly. The mechanical use of linking words is typical of a band 6 in Coherence and Cohesion. This means that if you are aiming for band 7 and above, you need to use signposting more flexibly.

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Your website and materials helped me a lot in my preparations for my ielts test.

I scored a band 8 overall after about 4 weeks of regular practice.

Thank you Liz for the work you do.

Great news! Very well done 🙂

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The Vendor of Sweets

By r. k. narayan, the vendor of sweets essay questions.

What is the central conflict of the novel?

The main conflict of the book is between Jagan and Mali. Jagan supports Mali financially when he decides to become a writer. Then, later in the story, Mali returns to India after having spent time in America. He asks his father for a startup investment in his story-machine business venture. Jagan puts off giving him a direct answer, but eventually says he cannot invest in the business. This leads to a great deal of friction between the two of them that causes Jagan a great deal of suffering.

How does Mali view his father's business?

Mali views his father's sweetmeats business in a dim light. He believes that that sort of labor is beneath him and that his father is narrow-minded for not pursuing more modern business ideas. When Jagan cannot give Mali the money for his business, he offers to let him run the shop instead. Mali scoffs at this idea and roundly rejected him. What becomes apparent is that while he is happy to accept the money his father earns from this business, he has no interest in actually participating in it.

Why does Jagan decide not to help Mali at the novel's conclusion?

At the end of the novel, Jagan tells his cousin he has no interest in helping Mali and that his arrest and jailing may actually benefit him. What Jagan appears to realize at this moment is that giving Mali unflagging support has done more harm than good, making him selfish and unkind. He steps away from the situation because he knows the best thing he can do is force Mali to fend for himself for once. He is at peace with his decision, as he also plans to walk away from his business and material wealth more broadly.

What best describes the novel's tone?

The novel's tone is sympathetic and reflective. Narayan spends a great deal of time dwelling on Jagan's thoughts and feelings, giving detailed accounts of his changing perception of different situations. The narrative voice portrays his struggles with compassion but still gently pokes fun at some of his opinions, like when he tells a beggar that he is also a poor man despite being a successful business owner. In this regard, the tone of the book is warm while still remaining sharp.

What is significant about the novel's title?

The novel's title is significant in that Jagan identifies strongly with his job at the novel's beginning. He takes pride in the smooth operation of his shop and enjoys counting and storing his profits. However, after his encounter with the bearded man and his struggles with Mali, he begins to question the value of his business. He lowers prices of his sweetmeats and eventually gives away the business to his cousin. The title is meaningful in that it describes a role that Jagan goes on to give up entirely, as part of his attempt to lead a less materialistic life.

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The Vendor of Sweets Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for The Vendor of Sweets is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

how does the novel provide of an indian society

The conflict between Mali and Jagan, contains another major theme in the form of cultural tension. After quitting his school studies, Mali becomes fixated on the idea of coming to America. After he travels there and returns, he appears to have...

The Vendor of Sweets, R.K. Narayan

Th early part of the book introduces Jagan and characterizes him as a hard worker. It also shows the complexity of his personality, as he is a devout follower of Gandhi, but still enjoys making and saving money. An example of this would be Jagan's...

The vendor of sweet

Who do you mean by "Sait"?

Study Guide for The Vendor of Sweets

The Vendor of Sweets study guide contains a biography of R. K. Narayan, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About The Vendor of Sweets
  • The Vendor of Sweets Summary
  • Character List

Essays for The Vendor of Sweets

The Vendor of Sweets essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Vendor of Sweets by R. K. Narayan.

  • The Relationship Between Jagan and Mali, and the Conflict Between Tradition and Modernity, in The Vendor of Sweets

Lesson Plan for The Vendor of Sweets

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to The Vendor of Sweets
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • The Vendor of Sweets Bibliography

Wikipedia Entries for The Vendor of Sweets

  • Introduction
  • Main characters

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  21. The Vendor of Sweets Essay Questions

    The Vendor of Sweets study guide contains a biography of R. K. Narayan, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. ... Jagan puts off giving him a direct answer, but eventually says he cannot invest in the business. This leads to a great deal of friction between the two of them that causes ...

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