Optimize Your IELTS Essay with Relevant Vocabulary

Here's how to make use of relevant vocabulary to optimize your IELTS, or International English Language Testing System, essay.

Ben Worthington,

image of the word english

Writing can quickly become a rather daunting and stressful task for your IELTS essay. This is mainly because not only do you have to successfully discuss your essay, you have to do so with convincing and relevant vocabulary. Yes, vocabulary is extremely vital in producing a high-quality essay that will yield a good grade.

The importance of relevant vocabulary during essay writing

We guess the question you want answered now is “Why is vocabulary so important in essay writing?”

When you are tasked with writing an essay, whether it is for academic purposes or creative purposes, what you’re really doing is telling a story. Your essay is your story, it tells the essay evaluator your point of view, your opinion, and essentially your answer to the essay question.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the words you choose to use should be relevant to your story. Relevant vocabulary will tell your essay story in the most authentic, captivating, interesting, and optimized way. To get the best out of your IELTS essay, you will need to go vocabulary hunting.

We will take a look at some of the ways in which you can ensure you find and use the most relevant vocabulary to optimize your IELTS essay.

Analyzing your essay topic

Before you can determine the best vocabulary to optimize your essay, you need to first understand what your essay topic is asking you to do. IELTS essay topics can vary widely: some topics require a discussion, others require you to offer an opinion for or against the topic, others require you to analyze a particular subject matter and reach conclusions, while others require you to simply answer the essay question. The essay topics are also spread across various disciplines including art, communication and personality, business and finance, government, family and children, tourism, technology and many more. This means not only are you addressing an essay topic but you are also delving into a niche environment to do so. This means that your vocabulary needs to not just be relevant but specific.

We are going to look at five different types of vocabulary that you can apply to your IELTS essay to ensure it is optimized and tells the story you want to tell, correctly.

Descriptive Vocabulary

When you are writing an essay, you are looking for the best adjectives to articulately describe the message you are trying to get across. This message can be your opinion, a fact, or your perspective. The purpose of descriptive vocabulary is to add meat to the bone, color to your painting, or seasoning to your food. You are basically taking your words and making them brighter, clearer, and visible. Descriptive vocabulary allows you to paint a visual image using words. This is especially helpful when you are writing a discussion essay, where you have to describe a character’s personality or appearance. It is also a powerful way of adding nuance to your essay. We would suggest that you write out your essay and then revise it by adding words that highlight your message.


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