The topic of change in people’s lives has been widely discussed recently.
The opening sentence of any essay is an opportunity to:
- introduce the topic
- arouse the reader’s interest in the topic
In the opening example the first aim was just about met – the topic is some aspect of change.
The second aim is not met. Let us not forget that the reader is an IELTS examiner. He or she is a well-educated person who reads a lot and keeps up to date with current events.
Is there anything at all in this opening sentence that is likely to arouse such a reader’s interest and make him or her want to continue reading?
- Yes. Adding the word ‘recently‘ puts the topic in a time frame that is automatically attractive for most people.
- No. The reader will be less interested in the fact that the topic has been ‘discussed‘. And since you’re not specific about the context of this ‘change‘, or what kind of ‘change‘, then the reader cannot yet predict the content or direction of your writing.
- At the very best, the reader is hopeful that you will go on to say something interesting about ‘change‘ and that you will explain the significance of ‘recent discussion‘. If you don’t do these things then your writing will be dull and will lack coherence.
Next time do something more ballsy:
- Recent economic and technological developments have caused unprecedented social change.
Your reader will find this interesting because..
- this reader is interested in anything ‘recent‘
- this reader is familiar with recent economic developments in general
- this reader is familiar with recent technological developments in general
- this reader is familiar with social change associated with recent economic developments
- this reader is familiar with social change associated with recent technological developments
- this reader is interested to know more about all of the above
- this reader is interested to know what you have to say about all of the above
If you can continue from this opening and satisfy your reader’s curiosity, then you will achieve a high score in IELTS Task 2 writing, at least for task achievement! (See public band descriptors)