An introduction is important to the essay because it creates an initial impression in terms of the quality of your writing. A clear, well-organised and relevant introduction will most certainly create a positive first impression on the examiner. So, what makes up an effective introduction? Let’s take a look.

Tip 1: Stop to read and analyse the question

In Writing Task 2, you need to address all the parts of the question or task in a relevant way. Because your introduction is the first step towards achieving this goal, you need to introduce your answer to all the different parts of the question. This is why it is important to take some time to read and analyse the task before you start writing, so you know exactly what you are being asked to write about.

Tip 2: Begin with a general statement and then focus in on the details of the question

Writing Task 2 questions usually begin with a general statement before focusing in on more specific points or questions about the topic. Using a similar model in your own introduction is a great way to start your essay, but make sure that your general statement is clearly related to your topic and is not too broad.

Tip 3: Use your own words

While it is perfectly acceptable for you to use the task as a guide for your introduction, make sure you do not copy material from the task.

Copying the task word-for-word shows the examiner that you have a limited range of language, which can affect your band score. Instead, change the order of the information, use synonyms, and explain more complex ideas in your own words.

It is also important not to use a memorised introduction where you insert words related to the question topic. Examiners read thousands of responses so can recognise memorised scripts.

Tip 4: State your position

In Writing Task 2, you will need to develop a position while exploring the different parts of the task. It is then important that you clearly state your position in your introduction.

Tip 5: Explain how you plan to develop your essay

Even though this strategy can be considered as optional, briefly explaining how you plan to develop the topic can help you better organise your writing. It is also a good way to let the examiner know what you’ll be covering in the essay.

Review your introduction

Don’t forget to re-read your introduction once you’ve finished writing your essay. It is common for test takers to begin their essays thinking about a specific argument, or a specific way to organise their writing but change their minds as they develop the topic. So, after completing your Writing Task 2, make sure that your final draft still matches your introduction.

Now that we have gone over some important strategies for writing a good introduction for Writing Task 2, it’s time to look at a sample introduction. Start by reading and analysing the prompt, as mentioned in tip 1. Then, carefully read the sample introduction and notice the different strategies used, which have been highlighted for you.

Sample question

The threat of nuclear weapons maintains world peace. Nuclear power provides cheap and clean energy.

The benefits of nuclear technology far outweigh the disadvantages.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample introduction

General Statement:

Nuclear technology has been around for many years.

Details:

Whether this technology is used for weapons of mass destruction or as a source of energy, many are of the belief that the use of nuclear energy has more advantages than disadvantages.

Position:

In my opinion, nuclear technology can indeed be a very efficient energy source. However, nuclear weapons possess such enormous destructive power that any benefits that this technology may offer to humankind are not enough to counter its potential devastating effects.

Plan:

This essay will address why the drawbacks of nuclear technology outweigh the benefits and will include relevant examples to support this position.

Just as an effective introduction will let the examiner know what they can expect from your essay, a good conclusion will remind them of the main points presented and will summarise what you want your examiner to remember from your writing. Check our blog for our post on strategies for writing a good conclusion!