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Argument-led approach to writing IELTS essays

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This approach is used mainly when you are required to discuss more than one type of evidence, or point of view. With argument-led essays, you have to outline the arguments before weighing them up and reaching your own conclusion. In this way you are not starting with your own viewpoint, but presenting your viewpoint based on all of the evidence. The argument-led approach is used when you have to discuss pros and cons, for and against or to discuss different people's opinions. The first thing you need to do is to read the input statement and interpret appropriately whether there are different arguments to discuss, or if there is only one viewpoint or type of evidence to agree or disagree with. Look at these examples:

EXAMPLE 1 -

Modern lifestyles have been changed irrevocably by the technology that we use. Some people embrace this change whilst others are negative about these changes. Discuss both points of view and give your own opinion.

EXAMPLE 2 -

Modern lifestyles are in constant change due to the development of technology and some people quickly fall out of touch with modern life. It is the responsibility of governments to help its citizens to

 

(see later).Let's take a look at the paragraph frame for an argument-led approach.

 

Paragraph 1 - Introduction

The first sentence or sentences of any introduction need to explain to the reader what the essay is about. If you start by saying that lifestyle changes are negative then you are going too quickly into an argument and the reader may not fully understand what you are writing about. Also, this will make your essay look like a bad example of a thesis-led essay. He will have to read and reread in order to understand the focus of the essay. Sentence one (and possibly two) is your topic sentence. Paraphrase the main topic idea and you might also like to present, in short summary, what the general arguments are (i.e. positive and negative for the question above). Remember: do not

 

give your personal opinion (thesis) here.

Paragraph 2

This is the first main paragraph, so here you will be presenting your arguments. What do you put first? Do you write about the negatives or the positives first? The pros or the cons, etc? This really depends on what your opinion is. Obviously you need to ensure you present your opinion in a balanced way, but if you feel largely in agreement with the positives, then present the positive arguments in this paragraph. If you feel more negative about the situation, then present your negative arguments here.

 


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