A Tale of Two Structures
Once upon a time somebody said that structure in writing was everything. And it's true, especially when writing IELTS tasks. There are as many structures as there are writers, but let's look at two of the most common IELTS Writing Task 2 structures: The single idea paragraph and the multiple idea paragraph.
The Single Idea Paragraph
This is when the writer writes the main idea (usually an adjective) and then supports it with evidence, example and result sentences. Let's have a look at a typical single idea paragraph:
To begin with, one of the main advantages of listening to music is the fact that it is relaxing. In other words people can forget about things. For instance listening to classical music allows people to forget problems at work or at home for a little while. As a result people's lives become more satisfying.
You can see with this paragraph that the main idea of relaxing is then supported by three more sentences - an explanation, example and then a result.
The Multiple Idea Paragraph
Compare this with the multiple idea paragraph where the writer writes three main ideas in one sentence and then supports them as a group in three sentences. Let's have a look at a typical multiple idea paragraph:
Some of the main advantages of listening to music are typically that it is relaxing, educational and sociable. In other words people can forget about things; learn new vocabulary and discuss songs with friends. For instance, listening to classical music allows people to forget problems at work or at home for a little while; listening to pop music allows people to learn new informal phrases and powerful lyrics allow people to discuss themes and topics of songs. As a result people's lives become more satisfying.
This paragraph is a little longer, but supports the main ideas in the same way as the single idea paragraph.
So, which is better?
Really, they are more or less the same. The multi idea paragraph is a little more compact. This does mean that you have to be careful with your word count though as it might be a little more difficult to reach 250 words with this. But if you write 4 supporting sentences rather than 3, then you should reach the word limit.
The single idea paragraph allows you to develop the main idea a little more and word count is not usually a problem.
Which style does the Three-way Writing Method use?
This method uses both styles, so when you order your IELTS Writing Pack, just say which method you would like. If you are buying from the site, look at the title of the IELTS Writing Pack and it will tell you which style it has been written in.
And all that is left to say is, by knowing how to write better IELTS Essays and Reports you'll live happy ever after (and enjoy writing many years after you have got the IELTS score you need)