IELTS Energy 259: How to Pinpoint and Paraphrase on IELTS Writing Task 2

IELTS Writing feedback and contest

Today we’ll look at a sample essay from our 3 Keys Writing Wizard contest and we’ll show you what you can learn from this essay to get your highest possible score on IELTS Writing.

In our 3 Keys IELTS Success System course we run a writing contest.

Every month we post a Writing Task 2 question.

Anyone can submit their essay for free.

The winner gets a free 15-minute coaching session with Jessica.

Today we’ll show you one problem we noticed in one of the essays and we’ll tell you how you can avoid this problem for a higher Writing score.


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What’s the problem with the student’s essay?

*Common mistake: Many students use the same phrase from the question over and over again in their essay.

This will kill your vocabulary score because it shows the examiner that you don’t have the vocabulary that you need to paraphrase.

In our course we show you how to proofread and check for repeated vocabulary.

If you see yourself using the same phrase three or more times you need to cross it out and re-word it.


Ways to re-word phrases in this essay:

  • “social media” = “online networks” or “online connections” or “online social circle” (or get more specific and use “Twitter” or “Instagram”)
  • “news”= “Facebook feeds”



One way to paraphrase is to become more specific.

Get as specific as possible because it will increase your fluency score on speaking and your vocabulary and task achievement score on the writing.

It’s ok to be messy on your essay as long as the examiner can read it. It’s ok to cross out a word and write a new word above it. There is nothing in the scoring system about neatness.

Don’t worry about erasing the word when you write in a new vocabulary word.

Just cross it out.


What questions do you have from today?

Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Be SPECIFIC when paraphrasing with re-word / new phrases !!! Avoid repeated voc & words !

  • ” I Mean … ” :
    1) a filler word – ” Well ” , ” Um ” , ” Uh ” …
    2) explain something – ” I think .. ”
    3) address an opinion / introduce an idea : ” Like .. ” , ” You know .. ”
    4) emphasize what you want to say when you want attention : ” I’m thinking … ” , “Honestly .. ” , ” Truthfully .. ”

  • Thiago Silva

    Greeting from Brazil 🙂 Could you please make an episode about introverts vs extroverts regarding language learning? Does any of them have an advantage or disadvantage over the other one? ps: Michelle, the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard, and Lindsay, I am eternally grateful for this podcast, you rock. I can’t forget about Jessica, the laugh I can’t stop smiling hahaha I love y’all. thank you 🙂

  • 1) I want to be in love with my husband for the rest of my life .
    2) I can own my house and my car .
    3) My next vacation will be in sunny Hawaiian islands .
    4) My children have grown up to become adults . They are financially independent . I completely focus on traveling and exploring new things .
    5) I am most worried about the future of my children .

  • Chiho

    Happy Birthday Lindsay!!
    I wish your dreams come true! xD
    I watched YouTube but I wanna listen about your Summer trip more.
    Please made episodes. 🙂

    • @disqus_n7a20bxaaM:disqus don’t worry we have a lot of fun stuff coming soon regarding my summer trip! Keep listening

  • Paula Saraiva

    Happy Birthday teacher Lindsay! All the best for you, and your dreams come true! I wish God bless you on everything!

    • @disqus_3AgsHJ3qBi:disqus thank you!

  • Gerardo Arias

    Lindsay, I wish you a very happy birthday. I love your podcast. I can not live without listening your podcast every day. In fact on Fridays I use to repeat the previous ones. I like the form and energy that you put to explain the topics. Your podcast is dynamic , entertaining and not boring, really all of you; Linday, Michelle and Jessica are doing an excellent job. Finally, I like your videos about your trip around USA. Happyyyy Birthday Lindsay. I love you!!!!

    • @disqus_xS05I4gsbP:disqus thanks! Wow I am happy to hear that you love AEE! Please share with your friends!