...makes the story or image difficult to visualize.

This is overused in introductions. Most essay questions are about current issues so you don’t need to put in a time frame unless it is about an issue in the past compared to the present. “Since the dawn of time…” is not a relevant statement for most IELTS issues and should be avoided. Some students also use “Nowadays” to start their essay. Again this is overused. Try to avoid these phrases and just paraphrase the information given by IELTS.

…gives us information that we can easily grasp and perhaps empathize with.

Part of your IELTS preparation is developing ideas for topics. This is something you do for yourself. You can google ideas and visit debate websites as well as read model essays online to use their ideas (not their sentences, just the ideas). See this page about writing an introduction:


Increasing applications from the U.S.

…leaves your reader feeling empty, disconnected, and possibly confused.

If it is appropriate, then it’s fine. However, writing task 2 is formal. This means it is not descriptive so the changes of using it are not always there. Don’t try to use tenses because you want to boost your score. That is the biggest mistake students make. Having a normal range is fine. The key to a higher score is less mistakes – so never take chances and aim for accuracy.


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To me, it is more straight forward and fair, that no matter how often they see a particular expression, this does not affect the score negatively as long as the essay satisfy above 4 aspects….
but I am bit confused if this is the case that examiner marks in a manner that changes upon just how frequently he/she sees the expression on even other examinees’ essays….just my thought.

Hi, I'm Liz. Welcome to my IELTS tips, model answers and practice

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This essay will discuss both sides and give an opinion at the end.

The word is “nowadays” with an “s” and it is one of the most overused words to start an introduction, particularly for Vietnamese students. Try to avoid it.

With the development of science and modern technology…

Does this mean that IELTS examiners are, to some extent, giving different marks on how often they see particular expressions/vocabularies rather than purely considering 4 criteria (Cohesion/Task Response/Grammar/Vocabulary)?

In the modern era, … / Since the dawn of time ….

No, the examiner knows it isn’t your English and that you learned it in order to put it in your essay – in nearly all and every essay. It’s used by so many students around the world. Don’t use it. You don’t need it.