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My IELTS Writing Task One book has Tip 6. My IELTS Writing Task Two book has Tip 10. They both have the same name: CUT THE FLUFF! [Hence the above picture].

 

Yes, before my books came out, everyone was writing fluff. The IELTS ‘Preparation’ material [= de-preparation] from both China and here in Taiwan were full of sentences which said nothing, meant nothing, but which could be memorised for the only purpose of getting words. It was easy. There were entire paragraphs of this stuff. Here’s one example that was popular in those times.

 

A variety of different arguments have been put forward about this issue, and different people have different answers due to their respective points of view, but as there are two sides to every coin, from the given comparison and contrast, we cannot turn a blind eye to the unavoidable disadvantages.   [50 words]

 

There. 50 words without trying. So easy? But the average IELTS Writing Score was 5, then. Of course it was, because, as my book (page 66) states …

 

The IELTS band descriptors (the public version) tells us that your Writing Score goes higher when you:

 

  • use non-mechanical approaches.

 

  • address all parts of the task.
  • have appropriate vocabulary.

 

  • develop ideas.
  • show clear meaning.

 

  • support ideas.
  • show (clear) progression.

 

  • fit the parts together clearly.

 

Does fluff do this? No, it does not do any of this at all.

 

That tip concludes with …

 

Tip 10 is to cut the fluff. Remember – your goal is not to reach 250 words by adding fluff. An answer of 250 words can still receive an IELTS Four! Good writing is full of meaning, conveying the message that you want to say. There is much that can be written which is rewarded by the band descriptors. The following tips will show you how.

 

And yes, the following seven posts here will also tell you how.

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