On the following pages there are lessons to teach you how to write an academic IELTS writing task 1 but in this first lesson you’ll get an overview of how to answer a task 1.
You can also view a video of this lesson:
Once you have studied the general structure, you can view other examples by looking at the model graphs that are on this site.
Alternatively, follow on with these lessons to a variety of strategies and tips to achieve the writing score you need.
To analyse this, we’ll look at a line graph. Look at the following question and the graph.
There are three basic things you need to structure an IELTS writing task 1.
We’ll look at each of these in turn.
You need to begin with one or two sentences that state what the IELTS writing task 1 shows. To do this, paraphrase the title of the graph, making sure you put in a time frame if there is one.
Here is an example for the above line graph:
You can see this says the same thing as the title, but in a different way.
You also need to state what the main trend or trends in the graph are. Don’t give detail such as data here – you are just looking for something that describes what is happening overall.
One thing that stands out in this graph is that one type of fast food fell over the period, whilst the other two increased, so this would be a good overview.
Here is an example:
This covers the main changes that took place over the whole period.
You may sometimes see this overview as a conclusion. It does not matter if you put it in the conclusion or the introduction when you do an IELTS writing task 1, but you should provide an overview in one of these places.
You can now give more specific detail in the body paragraphs.
When you give the detail in your body paragraphs in your IELTS writing task 1, you must make reference to the data.
The key to organizing your body paragraphs for an IELTS writing task 1 is to group data together where there are patterns. To do this you need to identify any similarities and differences.
Look at the graph – what things are similar and what things are different? As we have already identified in the overview, the consumption of fish and chips declined over the period, whereas the amount of pizza and hamburgers that were eaten increased.
So it is clear that pizza and hamburgers were following a similar pattern, but fish and chips were different. On this basis, you can use these as your ‘groups’, and focus one paragraph on fish and chip and the other one on pizza and hamburgers.
Here is an example of the first paragraph:
As you can see, the focus is on fish and chips. This does not mean you should not mention the other two foods, as you should still make comparisons of the data as the questions asks.
The second body then focuses on the other foods:
Now you've been through this first introductory lesson, you can go to the next lesson or start viewing some model answers.
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