IELTS Writing Task 2: How many paragraphs should I write for an IELTS essay?

Here is a very common question. As a matter of fact, it is so common, we can comfortably tell you that almost 90% of our students have asked us this: How many paragraphs should I write during my IELTS Written Exam?

How many paragraphs?

The recommended number of paragraphs for an IELTS essay is 4 or 5. You must have an introduction and you must have a conclusion. You can have either two or three body paragraphs. From our perspective, having two body paragraphs is sufficient, unless you are really specific about a particular point during each paragraph.

Do I need to divide my essay body into paragraphs?

Yes, definitely. You are being assessed on your ability to separate ideas into different body paragraphs. to get band score 7 in coherence and cohesion (25% of your marks), you must have a central idea in each body paragraph without repetition.

Can I have 4 or 5 body paragraphs?

This certainly is not advisable. To achieve a high band in IELTS writing task 2, you must develop and extend your main points. This means that each body paragraph must contain enough supporting points. So, having 4 or 5 body paragraphs will limit your ability to develop your ideas (are you sure you are able to write that many concrete points anyway?).

Is it better to have 2 or 3 body paragraphs?

Both are fine. Either 2 or 3 body paragraphs is enough to develop ideas and show your ability to organise paragraphs. Your choice should depend on the essay question and on your main points. Take a look at my model essays (link below) to see how I use my paragraphs.

Happy writing 🙂