How to think of ideas in IELTS- 5 simple tips

How to think of ideas in IELTS writing

Many of our students worry that they won’t be able to think of ideas or examples when it comes to their writing test. In this lesson, we look at 5 tips for generating ideas. 


1. Learn the common topics

The common topics in IELTS are 

  1. The environment (nature and wildlife)
  2. Geography (building, cities and travel
  3. Education (skills and learning)
  4. Work (the economy)
  5. People (upbringing, health and happiness)

By learning vocabulary related to these common topics, you will be better able to think of ideas in your writing. 


2. Write essay skeletons

An essay skeleton is similar to an essay plan- it is just slightly more detailed. It includes

  1. The introduction
  2. Topic sentences from each paragraph
  3. The conclusion

Watch the video (above) to see an example. 


3. Brainstorm from multiple perspectives

When you see the essay question. Think: who does this affect? Then think about the question from the perspective of all of these different groups. (see the video for an example). 


4. Read model answers

Read model answers. By reading model answers, you will get a better idea of the kind of ideas that appear in IETS and how to convey those answers. What you will probably notice is that the ideas in high-scoring answers are not complicated, but they are well explained, developed and contain examples. 

If you would like to see model answers for IELTS writing, consider doing our Academic IELTS Writing Course


5. Improve your critical thinking skills

Students with better critical thinking skills find it easier to think of ideas and examples. You can improve your critical thinking skills by

  1. spending more time reading, listening, considering current affairs. The BBC, National Geographic and The Guardian have lots of resources to help with this. 
  2. Have debates with other students. We have created a PDF with common questions for IELTS to help you with this. 

If you want to learn more about the writing test, check out our Academic Writing Course

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