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How to add effective examples in an IELTS essay

To get a high band score in the IELTS writing test, it is very important to make sure that the main paragraphs of the Task 2 essay are well developed. This means that each one should include 1 or 2 main ideas and each idea should have a clear explanation or description and be followed by an example.

The main idea should also be introduced by what is called a ‘topic sentence’ which is usually the first sentence of the paragraph. So, to develop your paragraph well you can use this structure:


Topic sentence + explanation/description + example

In other words, you introduce your idea, add more information so that readers understand it, and then give an example to illustrate it in context. I’m sure you are already familiar with using ‘for instance’ and ‘for example’ so in this post, we’ll cover a variety of ways you can introduce and use examples in your IELTS essay.

First of all, you probably know that you can use ‘for instance’ and ‘for example’ at the start of sentences, but you might not know that you can add them at the end too. Take a look at the sentences below:

Some users of Twitter have gotten into trouble for their tweets, for instance.
Facebook addiction has doubled this year alone, for example.

Now take a look at these other sentences and note the alternatives to ‘for instance’ in italics:

There are many ways to stay healthy, such as eating nutritional food.
Another example is doing daily outdoor exercise.
Avoiding fatty and greasy food in your diet is a useful example.
Some people eat their way to a heart attack. People who enjoy burgers are a case in point.
There are alternatives to burgers. A fresh steak and steamed chicken to name but two.

In the sentences above, the following structures were used:

There is/are .... such as ....
Another example is + verb +ing/noun
Verb + ing/noun .... is a useful example
X is/are a case in point
There is/are .... X and Y to name but two

Next time you are practising a Task 2 essay and trying to develop your paragraphs with added examples, try to incorporate some of these structures. Don’t forget to use the appropriate linkers for adding new ideas too!

If you’ve found the exercises in this post useful, sign up for an iPassIELTS preparation course and get access to the entire IELTS toolbox!

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