In the IELTS Writing examination (and also in all English communications), it is important to use linking words to connect your ideas. This has been talked about on IELTS blogs and websites again and again. What isn't discussed is the importance of connecting not just your words, but your ideas as well. Native English speakers expect your ideas to have a sequence; a beginning, an end and a middle that connects everything together. It is extremely important to write down notes before you begin writing. Let's look at an example to understand this further.
Pretend that you have been given the topic “Many people today believe that virtual communication (ie. the Internet) will bring people closer to together. Do you agree or disagree? Discuss this topic from both points of view and then give your opinion”.
First, write a list details for both sides of the argument. Then, decide which order you will put them in. On the agreement side, suggest that the Internet will allow people who might otherwise never meet to talk to each other directly. Also point out that this free trade of opinions and ideas over the Internet will help those ideas spread more quickly. From the disagreement perspective, tell the reader that communicating through the Internet interferes with body language, an essential component of communication. It has the effect of isolating people and preventing direct contact between them.
For the sake of argument, say that you are pro Internet communication. You need to state this in the opening paragraph, and then proceed to show why this is correct. Provide details that disagree with your opinion (because this is part of the question) but also show why disagreeing is wrong (also part of the question). Begin by discussing the first point, that chatting with people in other parts of the world is vital to learning about other cultures and learning new ideas.
Next, mention that when chatting with someone on the Internet, it is easy to miscommunicate and have wrong impressions, due to the absence of body language cues. A person can avoid misunderstanding, however, by asking questions that confirm they have understood correctly. It is just as important to tell others what you've learned. The third paragraph should focus on why people isolating and only communicating through the Internet is dangerous. This is a real danger that already exists. It is up to us as adults to not spend too much time online and to interact with people outside of the Internet. This is essential for both our own mental health and for continuing to spread new information and new ideas. It is our responsibility.
Your final paragraph must summarize in a few words the main ideas you've discussed in the essay and conclude your opinions and ideas. There is your essay, in note form, which should look something like this:
Virtual communication (on the 'net) is good
People can learn new facts and ideas
Absence of body language cues can lead to misunderstandings
Asking questions can prevent misunderstandings
Becoming isolated is a real danger
Interacting with others (on and off the 'net) is our responsibility
Information and ideas can't spread if we only socialize on the 'net
You now have an essay outline that flows logically and can be easily understood. This is the point where you must begin to actually write the essay, using linking words and phrases to explain your ideas and present your argument. If you have done a good job of organizing your essay logically, the rest of the writing activity should be much easier than trying to write an essay from nothing.