If you write about the wrong topic or go off topic when you write your answer, this is likely to substantially reduce your band score.
Remember, in IELTS writing, you are usually presented with some issue or problem that is currently affecting society and you need to discuss it.
So you need to read the question carefully and identify what the issue is. You will normally only be looking for one or two key words.
Have a look at the following question. What is the issue?
You should have identified teenage crime as the topic.
The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries.
Your essay would be wrong if you wrote about crime generally. When you have a topic, it may require you to talk about a particular area, group of people or place.
In this case, the question specifically wants you to address the issue of TEENAGE crime.
When you identify the topic, always look carefully to see if it is being narrowed down to a particular area that you need to focus on.
Have a look at the following essay questions and choose the best answer to identify the topic. Remember, this is not a full analysis of the question - you are just looking for the broad topic area.
Sometimes more than one answer may be possible. In this case, when you identify the topic, choose the most precise.
Home › IELTS Lessons › Identify the Topic
Brainstorming and Planning an Essay
Writing an IELTS Essay Introduction
Writing a Thesis Statement
How to get an IELTS Writing band 7
Improving Essay Coherency with Pronouns
Writing an IELTS Essay Conclusion
Transitional Phrases for Essays
Good Paragraph Writing
How to write Problem Solution Essays
Understanding IELTS Opinion Essays
A more complex essay question
Personal Pronouns in Essays
Advantage Disadvantage Essay