Analysis of a Task 2 Essay – 1
To achieve a level 7 or above grade, it is important to be able to edit your own work, and this involves not only being able to spot errors but also to recognize where you can improve the coherence and range of language used. The descriptors for bands 7 and 8 are given below to give you an idea of what you need to be looking for when you assess your work. To help you in this task, we are going to give you a series of task 2 essays written by students. The aim is to allow you to practise analysing the language used so that you can become more familiar with the range of language required for level 7 and above

 

Band Task response Coherence & cohesion Lexical resource Grammatical response & accuracy
8 sufficiently addresses all parts of the task

presents a well-developed response to the question with
relevant, extended and supported ideas

sequences information and ideas logically

manages all aspects of cohesion well

uses paragraphing sufficiently and appropriately

 

 uses a wide range of vocabulary fluently and flexibly to
convey precise meaningsskilfully uses uncommon lexical items but there may be occasional inaccuracies in word choice and collocationproduces rare errors in spelling and/or word formation
uses a wide range of structures

the majority of sentences are error-free

makes only very occasional errors or inappropriacies

 

7 addresses all parts of the task

presents a clear position throughout the response

presents, extends and supports main ideas, but there may
be a tendency to over-generalise and/or supporting ideas may lack focus

logically organises information and ideas; there is clear
progression throughoutuses a range of cohesive devices appropriately although there may be some under-/over-usepresents a clear central topic within each paragraph 
uses a sufficient range of vocabulary to allow some
flexibility and precisionuses less common lexical items with some awareness of
style and collocationmay produce occasional errors in word choice, spelling
and/or word formation
uses a variety of complex structures

produces frequent error-free sentences

has good control of grammar and punctuation but may
make a few errors

Below is the first half of a task 2 problem-solution type essay (the second half will be covered next week) on the subject of fast food. Read the first half of the essay and then decide what changes would you make to the underlined parts, and what you would add for the …. parts.

 

In some countries an increasing number of people are suffering from health problems as a result of eating too much fast food. It is, therefore, necessary for governments to impose a higher tax on this kind of food.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Nowadays, people are always in a hurry and rarely spend time cooking by themselves. In this case, fast food becomes an important part of their life. However, the number of people who suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, or other diseasesetc. as a consequence of overeating fast food are increasing day by day. Some people think that it is necessary for government to apply heavy taxes on fast food. Personally, I partly agree with this idea because of the following reasons.
On one hand, implementing high tax on junk food would discourage consumers from eating so much it. Clearly, if they have to pay a big amount of money for the food causing their health’s problem, perhaps they will stop buying it. As a result, they will turn to spend their time cooking at home to save money. By way of illustration, Denmark was one of the first countries to introduce high tax on fast food such as butter, potato chips and many …….  processed foods. So, it leads to the reduction of fast food in their meals.
If you are serious about taking your IELTS writing to the next level, sign up for your FREE 3 part IELTS writing video course that takes you through both task 1 and task 2. The video lessons are led by our highly experienced UK native IELTS teacher, Katherine. We also provide you with exercises to test your understanding!
Sign up your FREE IELTS writing video course by clicking here.
Analysis
Paragraph 1
  1. In this case, fast food becomes an important part of their life’.
Suggested alternative: As a result, fast food has become an important part of their life.
Explanation – The writer clearly wants to express a causal relationship between the first two sentences so a phrase such ‘as a result’ is preferable.
  1. However, the number of people who suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, or other diseasesetc. as a consequence of overeating fast food are increasing day by day.
Suggested alternative: However, the number of people suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, or other conditions as a consequence of overeating fast food are increasing day by day.
Explanation –  a) ‘high cholesterol’ is not a disease so a more general term is needed.
  1. b) Try to avoid abbreviations such as ‘etc’.
  1. 3. ‘Some people think that it is necessary for government to apply heavy taxes on fast food.
Suggested alternative: Some people think that it is necessary for governments to increase taxes on fast food.
Explanation – ‘increase’ is a common verb but it is a more usual collocation than ‘apply’ with ‘tax’. ‘Heavy tax’ is understandable but not natural usage. However, ‘heavily taxing’ is quite common.
Paragraph 2
  1. 1. On one hand, implementing high tax on junk food would discourage consumers from eating so much it.
Suggested alternative: On the one hand, a high tax on junk food might well discourage consumers from eating so much of it
Explanation – ‘implement’ is usually used with words like ‘plan or ‘proposal.
  1. Clearly, if they have to pay a big amount of money for the food causing their health’s problem, perhaps they will stop buying it. As a result, they will turn to spend their part time cooking at home to save money.
Suggested alternative: This might even encourage some people to change their eating habits, for example spending more time cooking at home to save money.
Explanation – The underlined phrase is unnatural, but additionally the use of  ‘this’ as subject more clearly links up with the previous sentence and the introduction of the verb ‘encourage’ with the connecting ‘for example + ‘…ing’ allows the sense to be more concisely and clearly expressed in one sentence.
  1. By way of illustration, Denmark was one of the first countries to introduce high tax on fast food such as butter, potato chips and many ……. processed foods.
Suggested alternative: Denmark was one of the first countries to raise the tax on fast food such as butter, potato chips and many processed foods.
Explanation – The writer has omitted ‘a’ before high tax. In addition, ‘raise the tax’ is preferred to avoid repetition of ‘high tax’.
  1. So, it leads to the reduction of fast food in their meals.
Suggested alternative:  The result of this measure was (that it led to) a reduction in  fast food consumption in Denmark.
Explanation – ‘The result of this measure’ is stylistically more appropriate than the informal ‘so’, and the past tense is required.

Amended version
Nowadays, people are always in a hurry and rarely spend time cooking by themselves. As a result, fast food has become an important part of their life. However, the number of people suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, or other conditions, as a consequence of overeating fast food are increasing day by day. Some people think that it is necessary for governments to increase taxes on fast food. Personally, I agree with this idea because of the following reasons.
On the one hand, a high tax on junk food might well discourage consumers from eating so much of it. This might even encourage some people to change their eating habits, for example spending more time cooking at home to save money. By way of illustration, / To illustrate that such a policy can be effective, Denmark was one of the first countries to raise the tax on fast food such as butter, potato chips and many processed foods. The result of this measure was (that it led to) a reduction in fast food consumption in Denmark.
We will analyze the second half of this essay next week.
If you are serious about taking your IELTS writing to the next level, sign up for your FREE 3 part IELTS writing video course that takes you through both task 1 and task 2. The video lessons are led by our highly experienced UK native IELTS teacher, Katherine. We also provide you with exercises to test your understanding!
Sign up your FREE IELTS writing video course by clicking here.