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Matching IELTS Paragraph Headings

This lesson provides you with further practice on IELTS paragraph headings matching type questions.

Imagine you are doing a reading task which involves choosing the correct headings for paragraphs from a list of possible headings.


The wrong way to do it!

It may be very tempting to cross off the headings that you have used as you go.

For example, here is an example of a task that someone is halfway through after choosing four IELTS paragraph headings. 

  1. A climate of fear
  2. Fan violence returns
  3. FIFA's response
  4. Cancelling the cup
  5. Legal action is taken
  6. Not just the fans
  7. Violence at the core of Italian football
  8. Not to blame
  9. Violence back in the news
  10. A widespread problem

The problem with crossing off choices is that it means you no longer consider those options for any of the remaining paragraphs.

Let's suppose that you have incorrectly chosen heading i for paragraph 1, when heading i should in fact be used for paragraph 5. If you cross out the options as you go, it means that when you come to do paragraph 5 you will choose a different incorrect option.

In this way, making one mistake can lead to another. Making two mistakes early on can easily lead to five or six wrong answers!

The right way to do it...

A much better idea is just to write down a paragraph number at the end of each option as you go. For each paragraph consider all the possible headings, and at this stage don't worry if you have more than 1 paragraph number after each heading.

So you may, for example, have something like this as you go through the exercise:

Paragraph 2 - viii / iv

When you get to the end of the passage you will probably have a single paragraph number after most of the IELTS paragraph headings. You can now cross off those options.

For one or two perhaps you will have more than one. For each of these go back to the passage and decide which of your choices is the best; the paragraph you are left over with must need one of the other headings that you didn't choose.

Paragraph 2 - viii / iv

IELTS Paragraph Headings Practice

We are now going to try this method. You will be reading a short article about the problem of soccer violence from the Guardian newspaper.

Use the boxes below to input your answers. You can put in more than one choice as you go along if you are not sure, but remember to delete one of them at the end before you submit your answers.

Don't look below the reading until you have finished as there is a discussion of the answers.

Soccer Violence

1. Fiorentina's exclusion from the UEFA Cup after a match official was injured by a firecracker thrown during their second-round match with Grasshopper Zurich in Salerno brought hooliganism back in the media.

2. The Florence club are appealing against the decision, arguing that the object was thrown by rival Salernitana fans and the ban would set a dangerous precedent. But UEFA will have borne in mind that Fiorentina were playing so far away from home only because they had been banned from their own ground for crowd trouble in Europe last season. 

3. Whether Fiorentina have been hard done by or not, fan violence is a major problem in the Italian game. Fighting before Sunday's 1-1 draw between Bologna and Roma left eight people in hospital, two with stab wounds. After the game a Roma supporters' bus was stoned and set on fire. 

4. But Italy is not the only country suffering from what used to be called "the English disease". At the weekend police in Bucharest fired tear-gas and made 20 arrests after a pitch invasion at the Steaua-Dinamo derby, reflecting a marked growth in hooliganism in Romania. The Greek first division match between PAOK Thessaloniki and Olympiakos Piraeus last week was abandoned after one of the linesmen was left concussed by home fans furious at a disallowed goal, a decision which brought 10,000 people on to the streets of Salonika in protest. In neighbouring Albania, Skenderbeu Korce were fined and docked three points last month after a brawl involving players, fans and the referee. 

5. Hooliganism is taking its toll on the South American game too. An Argentinian judge suspended all second division matches this month in an effort to combat rising violence. The same judge halted the first division for two weeks in May for the same reason.

6. Football violence has claimed 37 lives in Argentina in the Nineties and leading clubs routinely have to dole out free tickets and cash to their gangsterish fans, known as barras bravas, whose activities include extortion. This is leading to a frightening atmosphere. A recent survey in Brazil found that 61 per cent of fans said they stayed away from matches because they were too scared to attend..

7. FIFA is considering the postponement of the Confederations Cup, scheduled for January, which may persuade the world champions France to take part, a FIFA spokesman said yesterday.

List of Headings

i.  A climate of fear

ii. Fan violence returns

iii. FIFA's response

iv. Cancelling the cup

v.  Legal action is taken

vi.  Not just the fans

vii. Violence at the core of

      Italian football

viii. Not to blame

ix.  Violence in the news again

x.   A widespread problem

Match the heading with the paragraph

Input your answers
NB: don't use capitals or leave a space after your answer

1. Paragraph 1

2. Paragraph 2

3. Paragraph 3

4. Paragraph 4

5. Paragraph 5

6. Paragraph 6

7. Paragraph 7

Score =
Correct answers:

Answers Discussion

  1. You might have chosen heading ii but this is wrong because we don't know that violence ever disappeared (it may have been there all the time but just nobody was talking about it). It has to be heading ix because it's back in the public eye - i.e. in 'the news' / 'the media' again

  2. This should be viii because Fiorentina are claiming that it was not their fault i.e. they are not to blame.

  3. The paragraph describes the major problem in Italy, which means it is at the core of the game. So it is heading vii.

  4. This paragraph describes the situation in a number of European countries, so the answer must be heading x.

  5. You might have wanted to choose heading x here, as it does introduce the problems in another part of the world. But, you need this heading for the previous paragraph, and this paragraph talks about the actions of a judge. The answer should be heading v.

  6. This paragraph discusses how people are frightened and scared. so you should choose i.

  7. Paragraph 7 discusses what action FIFA is considering, in other words, its response. So iii is the correct answer. You should not choose iv. The paragraph does talk about postponing the cup, but not cancelling it.

  8. < T, F, NG Questions

    Sentence Completion >

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