Lesson Three: How to Develop Main Body Paragraphs

Paragraph developing is a crucial skill that every IELTS candidate should know. As we have some Process-Oriented techniques in answering IELTS speaking questions, here for IELTS Writing Task 2 we also need to know through what kind of process we should develop our paragraphs! 

Now let us take a look at  the very simple process here in one simple sample: 

The question is: 

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people believe that the problem of illegal drugs can be solved by legalising all drugs. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this?

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

You should write at least 250 words.

Introduction paragraph:

In the introduction paragraph we should focus on the topic and the question. As it is clear, the question is an opinion question we should discuss. (You will study how to deal with different types of questions in the next lessons)
Firstly we have to paraphrase the topic and then we should support the topic with our statement of agreeing or disagreeing an then give an outline: 
Note that the black lines are the essay and blue lines are my explanations.

“Illegal drugs have become a worldwide problem in modern day society. The trading of drugs is widespread in nearly all countries and the number of people consuming drugs worldwide is high. It has been suggested simply to legalise all recreational drugs to solve the problems associated with them.”

First Part of the introduction paragraph: in this long and grammatically complex sentence, we can see that the writer opened the introduction paragraph by a paraphrase of the main topic.

” I personally agree partially with this proposal,”

The second part of the introduction: you should say whether you agree or not (in this type of question we state our opinion in the introduction)

“because I can see many advantages, yet also many disadvantages.”

The third part of the introduction paragraph, you should give an outline of what aspects of the topic you are going to talk about!

So for the introduction paragraph, we should take the following steps: 

  1. paraphrase the topic and explain it and try not to evade the topic. 
  2. Based on the question type, you should go for the main reason why you are writing this essay.
  3. And finally make you path clear for the reader by giving a thesis statement or an outline

The main body paragraphs:

For main paragraphs, we should proceed based on our thesis statement in the introduction paragraph. For instance, in this sample, the writer wants to talk about the pros and cons of an issue, so he should dedicate the first body paragraph to the advantages and the second one to the disadvantages

Let’s see.

“One positive aspect of legalising these drugs would be that the number of criminal activities committed to obtain them would decrease.”

First, you should write an opening sentence to begin the paragraph. For example, in this essay, the writer has begun the paragraph by introducing a positive aspect. THEN HE SHOULD SUPPORT HIS IDEA.

“Fewer people would therefore be imprisoned and have a criminal history that prevents them from progressing in life. Additionally, essential police resources would be freed up and devoted to other areas”

As you can see, he supported the idea why it would be beneficial if the government legalized these drugs. He uses two supporting ideas 1) the idea that people wouldn’t be imprisoned 2) police resources would be freed. NOW THE WRITER HAS TO BRING ANOTHER SUPPORTING SENTENCE TO WHETHER CONCLUDE OR END HIS PARAGRAPH.

“Finally, high taxes could be imposed on the legal product, allowing governments to have better resources to improve the infrastructure of their countries.”

As it is clear, the writer shows that he tends to end this part of his discussion by using “finally” at the beginning of his sentence. So he covers the idea why it would be again beneficial to legalize drugs by saying “Finally, high taxes could be imposed on the legal product, allowing governments to have better resources to improve the infrastructure of their countries.”

NOW HE HAS TO START THE SECOND BODY PARAGRAPH AND COVER THE DRAWBACKS OF LEGALIZING DRUGS

“Although legalising all illegal drugs could result in several positive effects, there are many negative effects that could be possible.”

Now the writer opens the paragraph by bringing a contrast idea. He shows that he is willing to talk about the disadvantages. NOW HE NEEDS TO BRING A SUPPORTING IDEA.

 

“As a result of the legalisation, I personally believe that it would become acceptable to use drugs and people would no longer pay attention to the damage that drugs cause. “

Well, as I told you, he starts bringing some examples and facts that why it would be disadvantageous to legalize drugs. He states that schools would not pay attention to the damage that drugs cause. NOW HE HAS TO FOCUUS ON SUPPORTIN AND EXPLAINING MORE ABOUT THIS IDEA.

 “Schools might no longer educate teenagers and adolescents about the negative effects drugs have on people, resulting in more teenagers experimenting with them, as they would believe that this is a normal aspect of life. This would result in a higher number of drug addicts and potentially in more deaths, because it would be easier to obtain a large amount of illegal drugs and therefore the chances of overdosing would also increase.”

As we can conclude here, all he does is to support his own idea more and more and get into more details.

Just note that how he sticks to the idea and that he does not evade his idea. THIS IS WHAT WE KNOW AS COHESION AND COHERENCE.

So in order to develop body paragraphs, we should follow the process below: 

  1. Open your idea
  2. Support it with some facts and ideas
  3. Give more details

The Conclusion Paragraph:

As I said in the previous lesson, conclusion paragraphs are dedicated to put our final words in it. We should conclude, and state our final opinion. (NOTE THAT WE DO DIFFERENTLY BASED ON THE TYPE OF THE QUESTION)

“In conclusion, I partially agree with the proposed action.”

The writer shows his intention that he is going to sum up the discussion by using “in conclusion”

AFTER THIS, HE HAS TO BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHAT HE HAS BEEN DISCUSSING AND/OR STATE HIS FINAL OPINION.

“I think that an age restriction should be placed on drug use, as teenagers and adolescents could easily become addicted if all illegal drugs are legalised. This group of people is highly at risk of becoming addicted and potentially dying as a result of drug use and therefore should only be allowed to consume drugs after reaching a certain age.”

He states that he believes age restriction should be a better idea.

NOTE THAT HE DOES NOT OPEN A NEW IDEA, HE JUST SAYS HIS FINAL OPINION RELATED TO THE TOPIC. 

:Here you can find the whole essay

Illegal drugs have become a worldwide problem in modern day society. The trading of drugs is widespread in nearly all countries and the number of people consuming drugs worldwide is high. It has been suggested simply to legalise all recreational drugs to solve the problems associated with them. I personally agree partially with this proposal, because I can see many advantages, yet also many disadvantages.

One positive aspect of legalising these drugs would be that the number of criminal activities committed to obtain them would decrease. Fewer people would therefore be imprisoned and have a criminal history that prevents them from progressing in life. Additionally, essential police resources would be freed up and devoted to other areas. Finally, high taxes could be imposed on the legal product, allowing governments to have better resources to improve the infrastructure of their countries.

Although legalising all illegal drugs could result in several positive effects, there are many negative effects that could be possible. As a result of the legalisation, I personally believe that it would become acceptable to use drugs and people would no longer pay attention to the damage that drugs cause. Schools might no longer educate teenagers and adolescents about the negative effects drugs have on people, resulting in more teenagers experimenting with them, as they would believe that this is a normal aspect of life. This would result in a higher number of drug addicts and potentially in more deaths, because it would be easier to obtain a large amount of illegal drugs and therefore the chances of overdosing would also increase.

In conclusion, I partially agree with the proposed action. Nonetheless, I think that an age restriction should be placed on drug use, as teenagers and adolescents could easily become addicted if all illegal drugs are legalised. This group of people is highly at risk of becoming addicted and potentially dying as a result of drug use and therefore should only be allowed to consume drugs after reaching a certain age.

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