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Identifying Writer's views in IELTS Reading

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Identifying Writer's views in IELTS Reading

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Reading task type three: Identifying the Writer's views


Task description
In this task type you will be given a number of statements. You will have to decide if these statements agree with the writer's views.

To complete this task well you will often need to be able to recognise the writer’s views not only from what is said directly, but also from what is implied. For example, we do not need the writer to state directly that he/she disapproves of zoos. We can infer this disapproval if the writer states his/her disapproval of the following: animals being taken from the wild, animals being caged, people paying money to see animals, animals not having any privacy. However, if the writer simply describes the problems with zoos this does not necessarily imply disapproval.

Also, we should not try to guess the writer's views. In statement 5 of the sample task on the following page, we should not assume that because we think that the lifeboats should have rescued more people, or because ‘everybody’ thinks that the lifeboats should have returned to rescue more people, that this is the writer’s view. In this case the writer does not express any view on this issue; she simply states the fact that the lifeboats were not full and so the answer must be Not Given.

What is being tested is your ability to:
* Identify opinion and atitude
* Skim for detailed information
* Make inferences

How to approach questions requiring you to identify the writer's views?

Step 1: Read the instructions carefully. Note that you are asked to identify the writer’s opinion, which may not necessarily be the same as the facts. Note also the diference between the three categories you have to use, particularly:

No : The statement contradicts the writer.
Not Given : The writer does not give an opinion on this point.

Step 2: Skim through all of the statements to get an idea of the topics you wil be searching for in your reading of the text.

Step 3: Read the first statement again more carefully. Note the main point or opinion given in the statement.

Step 4: Skim the text for the section which refers to that idea. If you come across information relating to other statements, put a mark beside the section so that you can find it quickly again later.

Step 5: Once you have found the appropriate section of the text, read more carefully. Decide if the statement agrees with the view of the author (mark Yes on your answer sheet) or disagrees with the author (mark No on your answer sheet). If the author doesn't give an opinion which agrees or disagrees with the statement then mark Not Given on your answer sheet.
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