Understanding of essay – An Approach To IELTS Writing

Understanding of essay – An Approach To IELTS Writing



Introduction: require 3 parts:

  • Hook
  • Background Information
  • Thesis statement


  • A hook is a statement that begins the introduction.
  • It includes 1 or 2 sentences engaging the readers’ attention and stimulates their curiosity
  • It is usually general with the main topic.

Ex: How to get a good job in the future

-> Nowadays, enrolling in college or university is no longer the best way for students’ career.



  • Background follows the hook.
  • The background contains the statement that gives a broader picture of the subject matter to be discussed
  • It may contain 1 or 2 sentences to support the hook


-> They found that many students like them failed to find an ideal job they used to want during the university period. They have tended to follow another path reasonable.

Thesis statement


  • A Thesis Statement usually comes at the end of the introduction.
  • A Thesis Statement summarizes what the entire essay is about.
  • A Thesis Statement contains the topic and the controlling idea for the whole essay.

-> The topic is the theme or subject matter of the essay.

-> The controlling idea defines the purpose of the essay and sets its direction.

Body Paragraphs

  • The body paragraphs include 2 or 3 paragraphs (not over 4 or just only 1 paragraph)
  • The body paragraphs contain the supporting details of the essay.

Requires for the body:

  • The topic sentence clearly states the content of each paragraph. It supports and expands on aspects of the topic and controlling the idea of the thesis statement. The topic sentence is often the first sentence of the body paragraph.
  • Each body paragraph must develop a point presented in the topic statement. All the supporting details in a body paragraph must clearly relate to each other. They can be descriptions, definitions, examples, anecdotes, statistics, or quotations. Quotations may come from a published work or from a personal interview.
  • The concluding sentence may either bring the idea of the paragraph to a close or suggest the content of the next paragraph. (Not necessary)

The Conclusion

  • The conclusion brings the essay to a close.
  • The conclusion is usually 2 or 3 sentences in length.
  • The first sentence of the conclusion restates the thesis of the introduction in different words. This restatement connects the conclusion to the introduction.
  • The second sentence may give advice or a warning, make a prediction, or ask a question, which can provide new insights and discoveries that the writer has gained through the essay.


Unity occurs when all the ideas in a paragraph or an essay support each other.

Unity within a paragraph

  • Unity within a paragraph: A paragraph has unity when all the sentences support the topic sentence, the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Without unity, the paragraph loses focus. The topic sentence of the paragraph should focus on one topic and controlling idea. The supporting details of the paragraph must support the topic and controlling idea of the topic sentence. If they do not, they will be irrelevant and destroy the unity of the essay.

Jay Gatsby was my favorite character in the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This is a classic American novel. One of the qualities I valued most about him was his generosity and loyalty to his friends and neighbors. For example, he gave many extravagant parries and never thought of the cost. He invited anyone he knew and liked regardless of their social status. His large home was situated on the water on Long Island. In fact, he befriended a struggling young man and offered to help him earn more money. This book is required reading in many college courses because it reveals the lifestyles of the 1920s. Although this young man remained faithful to Gatsby, others took advantage of his good nature.


Find the topic sentences. Read 2 paragraphs and draw a line through the sentences that are irrelevant. The first one is done for you. There are 6 more.

Having my friends and family together at my wedding was an amazing experience. I had not seen some of my uncles, cousins, and aunts for many years. My cousin Tom lives in London lives in London, where he works as an engineer. Both my mother and father were born in different countries, so my relatives are scattered all over the world. I really like traveling and have been to Europe and Asia. Although we try to get together for important occasions, this was the first time everyone could attend. Most importantly, my good friends had never met my relatives. Developing good friendships takes a lot of work. Watching them all dancing, laughing, and having a wonderful time will stay in my memory forever.

The band we hired played music that the guests loved and we danced for hours. My original guest list had over 200 people but had to cut it down to 150. It was difficult finding a group that could play all the diverse styles that I wanted at the wedding. Most bands specialize in one or two different kinds of music. However, these musicians really knew all types of music-from 1940 jazz and swing, to salsa, merengue, and even hip-hop. My brother was once in a rock and roll band. In short, there was music to suit everyone’s tastes. I loved the singer’s dress. It was incredible. Even my grandparents danced all night.

Unity within an Essay

  • An essay has unity when all the body paragraphs contain a topic sentence and supporting sentences that reinforce the thesis of the essay.
  • Without unity, the essay loses focus and goes off the topic.

Here is an example:

Thesis statement:

My wedding day was the most thrilling day of my life.

Topic sentence 1:

Having my friends and family together at my wedding was an amazing experience.

Topic sentence 2:

The band we hired played music that the guests loved and we danced for hours

Topic sentence 3:

The preparation for the wedding was exhausting.



  • Coherence in a paragraph means all the ideas fit together in a logical flow.
  • In a coherent paragraph, the relationship between ideas is clear, and one idea connects logically to the next.
  • Coherence can be achieved by using transition expressions, logical order, pronouns, and parallel forms.

Transition Expression

  • Transition expressions show how one sentence relates to another and create a logical flow.
  • Transition expressions are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.

I enjoy writing in my journal. However, I do not like writing letters.

I enjoy writing in my journal. I do not like writing letters, however.

  • Transition expression can be used with a semicolon and a comma to form a compound sentence.

His first novel was not a success; however, his second work became a bestseller.

Use Transition Expression
Example For example, For instance, In some cases
Additional idea Moreover, Furthermore, In addition, Additionally
Contrast However, In contrast, On the contrary, Nevertheless, Nonetheless
Cause As a result, therefore, thus, consequently
Emphasis Indeed, in fact, obviously

Ordering Ideas:

One way to achieve coherence is to arrange ideas in a logical order

Use Ordering words
Chronological order In the beginning, next, then, first, second, or finally
Importance The most/least important thing, the next priority/most important thing, the third/final priority/goal


  • First, I went to the bank. Next, I visited my mother in the hospital
  • The most important thing for me was to understand the assigned topic before attempting my first draft.

Pronoun Reference

  • A pronoun is a word that can replace a noun
  • I, you, he, it, this, that, those, and these are some examples of pronouns.

What is revision, and why is it necessary?

  • A pronoun can also replace whole phrases or ideas.

I left my expensive dictionary in the library, I do not know how I did that

  • A pronoun must agree in number and gender with the noun they refer to

I have a younger brother. He is a lawyer (Correct)

I have a younger brother. She is a lawyer (Incorrect)

Parallel Form

  • Another strategy to achieve coherence is by using parallel forms. This means that all items in a list have the same grammatical form.

I like playing tennis, swimming, and dancing.

She cooked dinner, set the table, and arranged the flowers.



Ø  A process analysis essay shows a logical progression of stages that lead to a finished product or end result.  It might illustrate a natural process, such as photosynthesis or soil erosion. It may also describe how something is made or done, such as baking a cake, preparing for a festival, or using a computer.

Ø  Introduction

·         The hook introduces the process.

·         Background information helps the readers understand the process

·         The thesis statement identifies the progress to be explained.

Ø  Body paragraphs

·         The topic sentence in each paragraph introduces one stage of the progress.

·         Each stage is organized into a logical sequence of connected steps. Body paragraphs use facts, examples, key terms, and definitions.

·         All the material need in the progress are mentioned.

Ø  Conclusion

·         The conclusion gives a restatement of the progress.

·         It may include a final comment that is an evaluation, a recommendation, or a warning.




1.      Sequence Connectors: we can use Sequence Connector to describe the steps of the process in order. Sequence Connectors are: first, second, third, next, then, before, after this, afterward, or finally.

First, I make sure the lights are out. Then, I go to sleep.

2.      Time Clause:

Ø  TC shows the order of 2 events. They begin with subordinators like Before, After, Right After, and As soon as.

Ø  A TC is a dependent clause and must be connected to the main clause. The TC can come before or after the main clause.

Before I put the turkey in the oven, I loosely fill the cavity

I loosely fill the cavity before I put the turkey in the oven

3.      Passive tenses.

Ø  Passives are often used in PAE because they focus on or emphasize the result or process.



Ø  A cause and effect essay explains why certain actions, situations and behaviors happen.

Ø  The essay can start with an effect, such as success, and find its causes, which might be education or talent. Or the essay can begin with a cause and describe its effect.

Ø  Introduction

·         The hook introduces the cause or effect.

·         Background information helps the readers understand the cause or effect. It can give historical information.

·         The thesis statement shows the relationship between the cause and effect.

Ø  Body paragraphs

·         The topic sentence in each paragraph defines a specific cause or effect to support the thesis.

·         All supporting details must relate to the topic sentence. These details can include explanations, examples or facts.

·         Body paragraphs are organized in order of importance, chronologically, or according to short-term or long-term effects.

·         Each paragraph must use clear logic.

Ø  Conclusion

·         The conclusion restates the cause and effect of the essay.

·         It may evaluate or reflect on the ideas presented.

·         It may give advice.



1.      Cause Connectors: CC helps create coherence by indicating the relationship between ideas in a sentence.

Ø  Connectors introducing a Clause: We can use BECAUSE or SINCE to introduce a dependent a dependent clause. A dependent clause must be attached to a main clause to be a sentence.

Because/Since the traffic was heavy, we were late for class.

We were late for class because/since the traffic was heavy.

Ø  Connectors introducing a Noun Phrase:

·         We use DUE TO, BECAUSE OF and AS A RESULT OF to introduce a Noun Phrase.

·         A Noun Phrase is formed by a noun and its modifiers, for example, heavy traffic.

Due to the heavy traffic, we were late for class.

We were late for class due to the heavy traffic

2.      Effect Connectors:

Ø  We use THEREFORE, AS A RESULT or CONSEQUENTLY to introduce effect clauses.

Ø  These connectors always come between 2 main clauses. One clause shows a cause, the other shows an effect.

Ø  When the clauses are joined into a sentence, the connector is always preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma.

I studied all weekend for the test; as a result, I got an A

Ø  The connector may begin a separate sentence. In this case, it followed by a comma.

I studied all weekend for the test. As a result, I got an A


3. Conditional Sentences:

Ø  Real Conditionals: RCs express situations that may or may not happen. If clause describes a possible condition or event. The main clause shows a possible result.

IF + Simple Present, Future Tense

IF + Simple Present, Simple Present.

Ø  Unreal Conditionals: UCs express imaginary situations. If clause describes a condition or event that is not true. The main clause shows the imaginary results of the condition.

IF + Simple Past, S + Could, Would, Might + BI (Unreal at the present)

IF + Past Perfect, S + Would, Could, Might + have + V3/ed(Unreal in the past)




Ø  An argumentative essay expresses an opinion about a controversial issue. Your goal is to persuade the readers to agree with your opinion by using strong, logical reasons to support the argument.

Ø  Introduction

·         The hook introduces the issue

·         Background information gives a broader picture of the issue and why it is important. It can give details about the history of the people involved, what they want and how it affects them.

·         The thesis statement clearly states the writer’s point of view about the issue.

Ø  Body paragraphs

·         The topic sentence in each paragraph presents a distinct reason for the writer’s point of view stated in the thesis.

·         All supporting details must support the topic sentence. These details can be facts, examples, statistics, definitions, causes and effects, quotations, anecdotes, or questions.

·         The writer often presents an opposing opinion (a counter-argument); however, the writer may then express some agreement with the opposing view (a concession), but will show evidence that the argument is stronger (a refutation). The counter-argument is often in body paragraphs 1 or 3.

Ø  Conclusion

·         The conclusion restates the argument that appeared in the thesis.

·         It can end with a prediction, a warning, or other types of comment that reinforces the writer’s viewpoint.

·         It may state the general issue in a broader context.



Ø  The counter-argument is the writer’s opinion about the opposing point of view. It gives reasons why the writer’s point of view makes sense. By including the counter-argument, the writer shows an understanding of the opposing point of view.

Ø  In concession, the writer agrees that the opposing point of view is valid, but emphasizes how his or her argument is still stronger.

Ø  The refutation is the writer’s response to the counter-argument. In the refutation, the writer shows how the counter-argument is weak and his or her position is strong. The refutation may also address doubts the reader may have about the writer’s position.


Some students may argue that because of their situation, they sometimes have no choice but to buy essays off the Internet.


I understand that students are under a lot of pressure to produce well-written essays in order to pass their classes, but this does not justify plagiarism.


If they plagiarize, they will not develop their own writing and critical thinking skills. As a result, they may not be prepared to pass their final exams. In the end, plagiarizing is harmful to the student’s own academic success.



1.      Connectors to show Addition

Ø  Use FUTHERMORE, IN ADDITION or MOREOVER to show additional information

Ø  When the clauses are joined in 1 sentence, the connector is always preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma.

Doing exercise helps you stay healthy; in addition, it also contributes to creating a good body.

Ø  When the clauses are separated from each other, the connector is followed by a comma.

Doing exercise helps you stay healthy; In addition, it also contributes to creating a good body.

2.      Connectors to show Contrast

Ø  Use NEVERTHELESS or HOWEVER to show contrast.

Ø  When the clauses are joined in 1 sentence, the connector is always preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma.

Ø  When the clauses are separated from each other, the connector is followed by a comma.


15 Grammar Structures to help you score in IELTS

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