How To Write One-Side Essays in IELTS for 8+ Band


How To Write One-Side Essays in IELTS for 8+ Band

IELTS Writing Artwork

How To Write One-Side Essays in IELTS for 8+ Band


One-Side Essays are one of the most common type of essays in IELTS Writing Task 2.

In this type of essay, you will be given a problem statement and you will be asked to state the causes and/or solutions for that particular problem.

What One-Side Essays really demand is an effective structure – a simple strategy to write an essay irrespective of what the topic is.

In this blog post, you will find everything you need to write effective One-Side Essays for 8+ Band in IELTS Writing.

Section 1

    • Type of One-Side Essays

Section 2

    • Writing Strategy That Always Works

Section 3

    • Common Mistakes To Avoid


Section 1: Type of One-Side Essays



All One-Side Essays can be categorized as Problem/Cause/Solution essays.

In this type of essays, a question statement is given, and you will be required to either discuss about the problems that are caused by something and present some solutions for it, or describe the causes behind the problem and present some solutions.

You will be required to write 250 words essay with solid structure that I will provide in the next section.

Let’s look into some of the examples:

  • The gap between rich and poor is growing. What problems does it create? What can be done to tackle them?
  • More and more people prefer to read e-books rather than the paper books. What are the reasons for this? What problems can this cause for libraries?


Section 2: Writing Strategy That Always Works

Structure of One-Side Essays differs from that of Two-Side Essays in how you plan the paragraphs.

This section is going to explain to you a structure that you can use to write a clear and a cohesive One-Side Essay for 8+ Band in IELTS Writing irrespective of what topic is given to you.

Structure: Always write 5 paragraphs, and divide them like this:

  • Introduction
  • First Body Paragraph
  • Second Body Paragraph
  • Third Body Paragraph
  • Conclusion

Let’s break down each paragraph one-by-one for better understanding.



While writing an introduction, you will always do two things:

  • Paraphrase the topic
  • Lay the foundation for body paragraphs

While writing introduction for One-Side Essays, always lay the foundation for your body paragraphs, instead of writing a thesis like you do for Two-Sides Essays.

That is because the thesis is primarily used to choose between the two sides by giving your opinion.

In One-Side Essays, on the other hand, you are not required to choose a side.

Let’s take an example of a One-Side Essay for you to understand:

Car ownership has increased so rapidly over the past 30 years that many cities in the world are now one big traffic jam. How true do you think this statement is? What measures can government take to discourage people from using their cars?


A sample Introduction paragraph for this question statement can be this:

Most people would argue that car ownership has increased in recent years and it’s causing a range of problems particularly in built up areas. (Paraphrasing the topic)

I think there are a number of ways that government can aim to deal with this. (Laying the foundation)

Now let’s move onto the body paragraphs for the same topic.


First Body Paragraph

When deciding how to divide your response between first, second, and third body paragraphs, choose the part of question statement for which you can write a lot on for two out of three questions.

For instance, when you look at the above sample topic, you see that the question is two-fold:

1st Part: How true do you think this statement is?

2nd Part: What measures can government take to discourage people from using their cars?

For this, the second part of the question is asking you for solutions, and it is easier for you to write as many solutions as you want to.

But the first part of the question statement is kind of difficult, because it is neither asking for causes, nor a list of problems or solutions.

So whenever it is easier to write a list of things (either problems or solutions), always choose two paragraphs for that and one paragraph for the other part of the question.

In this example, for first body paragraph, we are going to discuss the first part of question which is:

Q: How true do you think this statement is?

Let’s plan our first body paragraph:


  • Double the time during peak hours.

Now we are going to expand this reason to justify the statement:

Many big cities in the world have traffic problems but these problems vary.

For Example:

It is reasonably easy to drive around my city after 10am and before 5 p.m.

However, outside the hours you have to allow double the usual time to reach your destination.

In some cities, traffic is congested at all times and there is the continual Sound of car horns as people try to get wherever they want to go.


Second and Third Body Paragraph

For second and third body paragraphs, we are going to discuss the second part of question which is:

What measures can government take to discourage people from using their cars?

Nowadays young people lack an understanding of how to manage their finances after they finish high school.

Explain why they do not know how to manage money and how this can be changed.

Here’s how your planning for writing the second and third body paragraphs might look like:


  • Public transport use.
  • Discourage cars to enter city.
  • Run campaigns to encourage people to change behavior.


Let’s expand on these bullet points to write second and third body paragraphs:

One of the best approaches governments can take in busy cities is to encourage the use of public transport. This means that transport facilities have to be well-run and people must be able to afford them. Buses, trams and trains are good ways of getting people around. And if they’re cheap and reliable people will use them.  Another approach is to discourage people from actually entering the city by building car parks and shopping centers on the outskirts. Many cities around the world do this quite successfully and offer passengers bus transport into the centers if they need it.

I have expanded first to bullet points to write second body paragraph. For third body paragraph, I am going to expand third bullet point:

Governments can also run campaigns to encourage people to be less dependent on their cars. Apparently, a lot of contracts involve very short journeys to say the supermarket or local school. These are often unnecessary, but we automatically get in our cars without thinking right.



For writing a conclusion, you will always:

  • Repeat introduction in a paraphrased way.
  • Summarize the points.

Here’s an example of what the conclusion might look like:

Clearly it is unsustainable for cities to continue to function this way. Clearly it is unsustainable for cities to continue to function this way.


Section 3: Common Mistakes To Avoid

  • The most common mistake people in One-Side Essays is that they do not develop their thoughts by giving examples or details. The examiner does not just need a list of the number of problems or solutions, without any explanation. Instead, the examiner needs you to pick a couple of problems, causes, and solutions, and develop them with explanation, reasons, and examples. That will result in 8+ Band for you.
  • Another common mistake people do while writing One-Side Essay is to state problems and solutions that are not directly connected to the question statement. You need to keep your focus on question statement and avoid writing general statements about the overall topic. Try to be more specific and write ideas that you can relate back to the topic.
  • Lastly, many students can think of reasonably good ideas for problems, but they fail to offer effective solutions for that particular problem. An effective way to not fall in that trap is to try to think of problems with legitimate solutions together when you are planning your One-Side Essay.


Avoiding these common mistakes and constructing your essay using the tips and techniques that I have mentioned in this blog post will help you to get 8+ Band in IELTS Writing.

In my full course, Ultimate Guide to Hacking IELTS, I go deep into the strategies, hacks, and techniques to help you learn all 4 sections of IELTS in smart way to get 8+ Band.

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