Architecture is perhaps one of the most misunderstood genres of writing, and the topic can be overwhelming to those unfamiliar with it. However, it is possible to write about architecture successfully.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an academic test used by universities and government agencies worldwide to assess a student’s English proficiency.
It is the most widely used language test globally and has replaced other popular tests, like TOEFL and Pearson’s PTE. The IELTS exam consists of four separate components tested on a computer or through a paper-based version: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.
Writing about Architecture: 10 Tips for IELTS Students
The IELTS is a test that assesses your ability to understand and use academic language. This means you can expect most of the task one questions will be more formal and written more like an essay.
Task two will, however, be information-based, just like the other tests on the IELTS. The best way to succeed in this section is to master the following 10 tips for writing about architecture.
The topic of architecture is extensive. It’s not just looking at buildings; it includes many different concepts, including aesthetics, design, and engineering. You can also be asked to evaluate a proposal or draw comparisons between two authors’ ideas.
As you might expect, there are different types of questions you could see in the Writing band of the IELTS exam. However, if you’ve chosen this topic to write about, you can do various things that will help you spend less time giving your answer and more time answering the questions available.
All is not lost if you’re struggling with this IELTS writing task! Below, we have some great tips to consider when planning, working on, and revising your answer.
We asked academic experts to provide us with some tips to help you write essays and better papers about architecture.
Using Specific Examples
The problem with most student essays is that they don’t include enough examples of the features being discussed. If you say ‘this building has two floors’, mention what is on each floor and how it is used.
Be as specific as possible when giving examples. If you say that a building is beautiful, include some details about it – for instance, ‘the elegant arches of the bridge’ or ‘the pastel colors of the walls.’ This helps show the examiner that you have a good range of vocabulary and can use it accurately.
Never Give Your Opinions
Remember that in IELTS task 2 writing, you shouldn’t give your opinion on the topic if it isn’t asked for in the question. Many students make this mistake, especially when writing about architecture or art.
The Appropriate Structure for Your Essay
Make sure you follow an appropriate structure for your essay: introduction, body with main points, and conclusion paragraphs.
Support Your Points
Include supporting details for each main point (if relevant) and a range of linking devices (e.g., moreover, however). When comparing two buildings, do not say which one you prefer without explaining why. For example, if you were comparing two houses, you could say that one had more space than the other but did not have enough light for your taste. This shows that you can critically evaluate both buildings and decide which one is best for your needs.
Write About Buildings You Like
It’s always more fun to write about buildings you like. So, just pick the one you like if it has a cool name, even better!
Look for Interesting Details
Buildings have lots of details that can be interesting to read about. This can include things like windows, arches, or mirrors in the building. They also go by different names like ‘decorations’ or ‘ornaments’. These are good things to write about and show your knowledge of architecture.
Don’t Write Too Much About Big Buildings
Big buildings can be harder to write about because there is so much detail. Instead, try writing your essay on a smaller building with fewer details to talk about and describe. This will make it easier for you when you want to describe the building in your essay and show your knowledge of architecture.
Learn Some Architectural Terms
You will need to know many common terms when describing a building. For example, you could use the word ‘symmetrical’ if the building has an equal number of windows on each side. You would say it was ‘elegant’ if it was tall and narrow. Or you might refer to its ‘ornate decoration’.
Use Linking Words and Phrases
You will probably have to write several paragraphs in your IELTS exam. This means that you need to write good topic sentences and use linking words to link your sentences together. It is very easy to repeat the same word too many times, so try using synonyms (different words which mean the same thing) or rephrasing your sentence. For example:
“The interior of the church was very dark” “The inside of the church was very dark” “Inside the church, there was almost no natural light”.
Describe the Building and its History
This might be the easiest way to write about a building, but it can be very boring if you just list facts and history. Take this example:
Describe a historical building that you know of. You should say:
- Where it is located;
- What does it look like?
- When the building was complete; and explain why people visit this place.
Some extra tips for writing an essay about architecture
- Think about how modern and traditional buildings can be different.
- Understand about how different types of buildings have different purposes.
- Think about how architects use color in their designs.
- When discussing the materials used in a building, think of adjectives that describe them (e.g. wooden floors, bare brick walls, etc.)
- Think about what you would like to see changed in your town/city center? What would you keep the same? Why?
- Think about what parts of your town/city center are busiest at weekends, at lunchtime, after you finish work, and on weekdays? Why do you think this is?
- Think of reasons why some people might like or dislike different types of architecture (e.g. modern vs traditional)
- Is there anything else you would like to see added to your town/city center? Why do you think this would be good for the area?
The information provided in this article is to help you when it is time to sit for your IELTS exam for writing your architecture essay. There are free mock tests available online, which you can use to practice before D-Day. If you would like further assistance to help you achieve your dreams, contact professional essay writers and academic experts will be able to guide you through any questions.
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