By Ashlee Fisher
In the IELTS Task 2 essay, you are expected to write an essay on a given topic, expressing your own opinions, and supporting them with arguments and examples. The essay should be well-structured, coherent, and easy to understand. One way to achieve this is by incorporating statistics, facts, and examples into your essay.
Supporting your arguments with statistics can be powerful in an essay. Statistics are objective and can provide evidence to back up your claims. They can help to illustrate the scale of a problem, demonstrate the prevalence of a particular phenomenon, or show trends over time. For example, if you are writing an essay on the topic of climate change, you could use statistics to show the increase in global temperatures over the past century, the rise in sea levels, or the increase in extreme weather events. These statistics can help to emphasize the urgency of the issue and the need for action.
Example: Global temperature has increased by about 1 degree Celsius since the pre-industrial era, primarily due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. This is based on the data collected by multiple independent organizations such as NASA, NOAA, and the Met Office Hadley Centre.
Facts can also be a useful tool for supporting your arguments. Facts are pieces of information that are known to be true and can be used to provide context or background information. For example, if your topic is about social media, you could use facts to explain the history of social media, the number of users on different platforms, or the types of content that are commonly shared. These facts can help to provide a foundation for your argument and can help to educate your reader about the topic.
Example: Initially, Facebook was only available to Harvard students, but it later expanded to other universities and eventually became available to the general public. Today, Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms in the world, with over 2.9 billion monthly active users as of 2021.
A broader point can be illustrated by using specific instances, which are commonly referred to as examples. If you are writing an essay on the topic of the impact of technology on society, for instance, you could use examples to show how technology has changed the way we communicate, work, or access information. Examples like these can help to make your argument more concrete and can help your reader to better understand your point of view.
Example: One example of how the pandemic changed work for the better is the increased adoption of remote work and flexible work arrangements. The pandemic forced many companies to quickly adapt to remote work in order to maintain business continuity. As a result, many employees discovered that they were able to work just as effectively, if not more so, from home or with more flexible schedules. This change has several benefits, including reduced commute times, increased work-life balance, and greater job satisfaction. Additionally, companies that offer remote work and flexible schedules are able to tap into a larger pool of potential employees who may not be able to work traditional office hours due to family or other obligations.
Although it is important to use statistics, facts, and examples in your essay, they don't have to be accurate in the context of the IELTS exam. Statistics and facts are not checked for their validity, only that they are relevant to the topic and used correctly to support your argument. The most important thing to remember is that all of your supporting information should be relevant to the topic at hand. Using irrelevant information can weaken your argument and could hurt your overall band score.
It is important to use statistics, facts, and examples in a way that is clear and easy to understand. You should explain any technical terms or concepts and provide context for any statistics or facts that you use. When using examples, it can be helpful to provide details that help to paint a picture for your reader. For example, instead of saying, "many people use social media," you could say, "over 3 billion people worldwide use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter."
Another important consideration when using statistics, facts, and examples in your essay is to avoid relying too heavily on them. While these tools can be effective in supporting your argument, they should not be the sole focus of your essay. Your essay should also include your own ideas, opinions, and analysis. Statistics, facts, and examples should be used to reinforce your arguments and to provide evidence, but they should not be the only tool that you rely on.
Using statistics, facts, and examples in a Task 2 essay can be a powerful way to support your arguments and to make your essay more persuasive. These tools can help to provide evidence, illustrate a point, or provide context. When using statistics, facts, and examples, it is important to ensure that they are relevant and that they are presented in a way that is clear and easy to understand. However, it is also important to remember that your essay should include your own ideas and analysis, and that statistics, facts, and examples should be used to reinforce your arguments, not to replace them.