Quick & Easy Writing Tip for IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, PTE



I'm Rebecca from engVid.

In this lesson I'm going to share a quick and easy technique that you can follow in

order to get higher marks on your TOEFL or your IELTS writing.


And it's one way to make weaker sentences into stronger sentences.

So, what does that mean?

That means that perhaps the sentences you're writing sometimes are actually correct grammatically,

but they're still not very powerful.

So, you can get lower marks sometimes because you make a mistake, but sometimes you can

also get lower marks if you write sentences that are not very strong, because of vocabulary

or because of sentence structure.

So I'm going to show you a quick and easy change that you can make so that your sentences

and your essay can get higher marks and be more impactful.


So, here we go.

So, what we're going to do is to avoid using structures that start with: "There is", "There

are", "There was", "There were", or: "It is" and "It was".


This is what we want to avoid; not because it's wrong, but because it's just not very strong.

It's not powerful.

And what happens when you use this is that you end up using a verb which is actually

very weak, instead of looking for a good, strong verb.


So let's look at how we can transform these sentences, and you'll see for yourself that

the second sentence in each case is actually much more powerful.


Let's look.

Number one: "There is a lot of useful information in that book."


There's nothing wrong with that sentence; it's just not very powerful.

So, how can we make it stronger?

We could say: "That book contains a lot of useful information."

Now what happened, instead of just using this structure with "is", we're using "contains".


"contains" is a strong verb.

All right?

So, even when we're talking about things in general

First I'm going to give you some general examples just so that you get the idea, and then I'll

give you some more examples which are specifically from some TOEFL or IELTS essay topics.


So, here you see that just changing that structure and using and introducing a better verb is

giving you a higher score, in effect.


Next: "There are several benefits to online classes."

Again, nothing wrong with that, but what can we do?

So, look for

Look for the actual subject.

Look for the actual subject you want, which is "online classes", right?

So, try and start with that; sometimes that strategy works.

So, here, we said: "Online classes offer several benefits."


So, now we're starting with the subject, which is strong, we're using a verb which is a good

verb-all right?-and we adding some other details.

All right?

Next: "It is the director who makes the final decision."


Because this strategy can be used not only on your IELTS or TOEFL; it can also be used

in your general writing, it can be used in your business writing, in your email, and

so on.


So it's a good strategy to learn whether you're appearing for an exam or even if you're at


All right?

Or in all your life, as such.

So, here, how can we change it?

So we're talking about the director, so let's make the director the subject of the sentence.

"The director makes", right?

"The director makes the final decision."


Did you get it?


Let's get another example.

"It was low sales that forced them to close."

So, what are we talking about here?

"Low sales", so let's start with that as the subject.

"Low sales forced them to close."


Close the store, close the factory, whatever.


But, again, we're starting off with the thing which is most important, we're adding a verb

which is strong, and even though you used the same verb there, it was kind of hidden

because it's hidden when we say: "It was", "It is", "There is", "There are", "There was"

- then things get hidden, and you want to put them upfront and strong so that your sentences

are more powerful.

So, let's see how to do that now with some examples which are from TOEFL and IELTS kind

of topics.


Let's do that next.

All right.

So, now we're going to look at five different sentences, and they are from typical topics

that you get on the TOEFL or the IELTS exam.


One is on students, another on the big city or small town question, on parents, on success,

and on luck.


These are sort of typical topics that you often find on the IELTS or TOEFL exam.

Now, you can do this in two different ways.

If you like, you can pause the video here and then work through them by yourself and

come up with some of the other examples or other options that you could have for these

sentences, which are more powerful than the ones you see on the board.


And I've actually helped you by writing some of the verbs that you could use-okay?-in those

options, or I've underlined them.

You can do that if you want, or you can just continue watching and follow along with me,

because I'm going to do them for you.


So, here we go.

All right.

Number one: "There are several key characteristics of effective students."

So, here, the question was, you know, something about: "Write an essay about: What are the

key characteristics of effective students?"


Or: "What makes a student effective?" or something like that.

So, this student wrote: "There are several key characteristics of effective students."

Again, it's not wrong, but let's make it stronger.

So, we can do that by taking a strong subject.

First, what's the subject, here?

This: "effective students", and now let's use a new verb.


Let's introduce a new verb, which will make it even stronger.

"Effective students display several key characteristics."


And that sentence is lot

A lot more impactful than saying: "There are".


"There is", "There are" - it's considered kind of a lazy way of writing, so you really

don't want to do that.

Next, about: Should you live in…?

Is it better to live in a big city or a small town?

What do you prefer?


So, this student wrote: "There are many advantages to living in a big city."

Again, that's not wrong, but let's empower it.


So, we could say: "Living in a big city offers many advantages."


Now, there are lots of ways to ramp up even that sentence.

And, in fact, I have a resource which I wrote which you can download for free, which shows

you 142 adjectives that you can use in your TOEFL and essay, and IELTS essay writing to

actually empower those sentences even more by changing the adjectives, by giving a higher-level

adjective, a more advanced adjective.

So, for example, instead of saying: "There are many advantages", we could say: "There

are myriad advantages."

That's a wonderful word that I always teach my students because it's very impressive and

it's very useful.


So, let's go on now from there.


There are so many different ways you can improve, but now we're focusing on how to get away

from this way of writing, with: "There is", "There are", "It is", you know, "It was",

and so on.


Number three: A question about parents.

"There are important ways in which parents influence their children."

So the question was probably something, like, you know: "How are the way…?

How do parents influence their children?"


Or: "How do parents impact the lives of their children?" or something like that.

So, the student wrote this.

Let's see how we can change it.

This time we're not going to use a different verb; we're going to use the same verb that

the student used.

We're just going to change the structure of the sentence.

So, we could say: "Parents influence their children in many important ways", or "in several

important ways", or "in myriad important ways".

Again, "myriad" means many, many.


So, that's how we can improve that sentence.

The next one.

This one is about success; what determines a person's success, what makes a person successful

in life.

That was probably the essay question.

So, this student wrote: "There are myriad factors that determine a person's success."

So, let's solve this one by using this verb.


So, here, we can just take this out.


Start with the subject, and we could say: "Myriad factors determine a person's success."


That will work.

Or you could even say: "A person's success is determined by"-what?-"myriad factors".


You see different ways that you can structure it?

But whatever you did here, either of those two options was better than this one.


Now here's another one.

This one was about luck.


So, the question asked, you know: "What is luck?" or "What role does luck play in our

lives?" and things like that.

So, this student wrote: "It is hard to define luck."

But, again, it's weak because it started with: "It is".

So, how can we improve it?

Well, even if we kept that verb "is", we could say it in a better way.

We could say: "Luck is hard to define."


Or: "Luck cannot be defined easily", or something like that.

But, again, start with the main subject, which was "Luck" and not "It is".


Are you getting the hang of it?

I think once you see how easy it is, you'll start looking at your own writing much more

critically, and you'll start converting it and making it more advanced.


And that's my wish for you.

All right.

Now, what are some other ways that can help you to do that?

I have two websites; one is called www.goodlucktoefl.com, the other one is www.goodluckielts.com, there's

also a www.goodlucktoeic.com - and all of these will help you to improve your writing

related to TOEFL and to improve your exam score in general; they're basically guides

to these exams.

But, specifically regarding writing, I have a section which has sample essays which you

might want to check out if you haven't already.


So, do that.

That helps a lot of students.

And I will add a link to the resource that I mentioned which has 142 adjectives that

you can use in your TOEFL or your IELTS writing to improve your score and to raise your score.


Now, also don't forget to go to our website at www.engvid.com.

There's no quiz this time, but you will find there hundreds

Actually, now thousands of lessons.

But many of them are about this exam.

These exams; TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and so on.


And you might be able to get a much higher score by just changing a few important things-okay?-like


All right?

Thanks very much for watching.

And if you enjoyed this, subscribe, share, and let your friends also benefit from these

pieces of advice.


Thanks very much for watching.

Bye for now.

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