Academic English not only for Indonesians
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Starting well in IELTS Task 2

The topic of change in people’s lives has been widely discussed recently.

The opening sentence of any essay is an opportunity to: (more…)

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IELTS Task 2 – body paragraph reconstruction

In this activity we see two body paragraphs taken from an IELTS Task 2 essay discussing space exploration. (more…)

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Instances and examples

There are many alternatives to fossil fuels. For instance wind and solar.

This may appear to be two sentences, but the second ‘sentence’ does not contain a verb and is technically not a sentence. It’s the kind of thing you’ll occasionally hear in spoken English, but not in formal writing. (more…)

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Better off using ‘better off’

Many students spend hours reading grammar books in order to improve their English. However, they are probably better off reading novels instead.

Most people are familiar with better off as the comparative form of well off (= wealthy). However, better off has other uses in IELTS speaking and writing (Task 2). (more…)

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Generating interest in introductions

E-commerce has been an attractive issue in the last decade, not only in Indonesia but also all countries throughout the world.

This is a bit like saying it has been widely discussed. The reader will be thinking “Who cares if it has been an attractive issue?” If you want your reader to want to read your text, try to relate the topic of your essay to your reader’s knowledge and experience. (more…)

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Jumbled hedges

Academic writers make frequent use of ‘hedges’ – phrases that change the strength of their claims so as to make them more acceptable to other academics. A claim can be made stronger or weaker by adding adjectives and adverbs, by changing verbs, or by adding lengthy ‘hedging’ phrases.

The activity below includes 10 sentences that feature hedging. Reconstruct them if you can. Hedging expressions have been highlighted!

(Answer key below!) (more…)

Too generic for IELTS Task 2

In recent years, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become widely discussed in society.

Let’s analyse this and see if it ticks the right boxes in terms of the desirable features of an opening sentence in IELTS Task 2 writing. (more…)

Have you tried present perfect recently?

Social media are the most common media to be used to share information recently.

This looks like as though it might function as the opening sentence of an IELTS Task 2 essay. Let’s first of all remind ourselves about some ideal features for the IELTS Task 2 opening sentence: (more…)

The economics economy

Economy, economic, economics

Study the following rules relating to the various forms of the word ‘economy’.


Opinion in IELTS Task 2 Introductions

Some people argue that taking a year break causes hesitation to continue study permanently. However, many people claim that taking a gap year between finishing high school and starting university studies is beneficial.