Writing: Task 1 Explanation

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                                                    Writing Task 1

Writing contains two questions,namely, Task 1 and task 2.Today let us discuss Task 1.
Time: 20 mins
Number of question: 1
Question Types: 6
Minimum words: 150
All the task 1 questions can be classified into the following 6 types:-

  1. Line graph

Line Graph - Acid in mouth from consumption of sugar and honey
     2.Bar chart
Money spent on fast food per week in Britain
  3pie chart
Spending and consumption of resources
       4.Flow Chart
     5. Diagram
Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 19.25.50
the average band scores for students from different language groups

What criteria would a band 9 graph response satisfy?

Task Achievement: 
A) Fully satisfies all the requirements of the task.
B) Clearly presents a fully developed response.

What will be assessed by the examiner?
a) How appropriately, accurately and relevantly you fulfil your task requirements.
b) How accurately you write your report and how appropriately you present the data (compare/ contrast/ show the most striking trends/ features/ data.)

Coherence and Cohesion:
A) Uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention.
B) Skillfully manages paragraphing.

What will be assessed by the examiner?
a) No misinterpretation and presentation of data and trend.
b) How well you organise your paragraphs.
c) Overall clarity and fluency of your report and message.
d) How well you have organised and liked the information, data and ideas in your writing.
e) Logical sequencing and appropriate use of linking devices between and within your sentences.


  1.  Do not incorporate more than 3-4 paragraphs.
  2.  Do not use a single paragraph to describe everything.
  3.  The conclusion part is optional. If you think that you have already written more than 170 words and have nothing to say, you can skip the conclusion.

Lexical Resource:
A) Uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features.
B) Rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’.

What will be assessed by the examiner?
a) The range of vocabulary you have used in your writing.
b) How accurately and appropriately you have used words/ phrases while presenting the graph(s) as a report.

Tips: Do NOT use words/ phrases that are already given in the question. Do so only if there is no alternative word(s)/ phrase(s) to convey the same meaning/idea.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:
A) Uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy.
B) Rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’.

Do not use the same sentence structure and data comparison/ contrasting style over and over again. Bring a variety in your writing to show that you can formulate different sentence structures without making any grammatical mistakes.

You do not need to write down every bit of information presented in the graph. Rather, you are expected to write the most significant features of the graph and the highest and lowest points are two significant information you should not miss in your writing. Following is a list of useful vocabulary to learn by heart and to use them in your graph response.

let’s Consider the following question for instance…..

The chart below shows the results of a survey of people who visited four types of tourist attraction in Britain in the year 1999.
Summarize the given information and comparison where relevant.


The general format for academic writing task 1 is as follows:

Divide the whole information into 4 paragraphs

1. Introduction

The provided pie chart compares and contrasts the attraction of visitors in Britain in 1999 divided into four different categories.

Vocabulary for the Introduction Part:

Starting Presentation Type Verb Description
The/ the given / the supplied / the presented / the shown / the provided diagram / table / figure / illustration / graph / chart / flow chart / picture/ presentation/ pie chart / bar graph/ column graph / line graph / table data/ data / information / pictorial/ process diagram/ map/ pie chart and table/ bar graph and pie chart … shows / represents / depicts / enumerates / illustrates / presents/ gives / provides / delineates/ outlines/ describes / delineates/ expresses/ denotes/ compares/ shows contrast / indicates / figures / gives data on / gives information on/ presents information about/ shows data about/ demonstrates/ sketch out/ summarises… the comparison of, the differences,
the changes,
the number of, information on, data on
the proportion of, the amount of,
information on, data about,
comparative data, the trend of,
the percentages of, the ratio of, how the,

Example : 
The line graph delineates the proportion of male and female employees in three different sectors in Australia between 2010 and 2015.

Grammar for Introduction:

  • Always use present tense
  • For a single graph use ‘s’ after the verb, like – gives data on, shows/ presents etc. However, if there are multiple graphs, DO NOT use ‘s’ after the verb.
  • If there are multiple graphs and each one presents a different type of data, you can write which graph presents what type of data and use ‘while’ to show a connection. For example -‘The given bar graph shows the amount spent on fast food items in 2009 in the UK while the pie chart presents a comparison of people’s ages who spent more on fast food.
  • For multiple graphs and/ or table(s), you can write what they present in combination instead of saying which each graph depicts. For example, “The two pie charts and the column graph in combination depicts a picture of the crime in Australia from 2005 to 2015 and the percentages of young offenders during this period.”

Never copy word for word from the question. If you do do, you would be penalised. always paraphrase the introduction in your own words.


2. Basic/ General Trends

It is clear that theme parks  were the two most popular types of tourist attraction in that year where Blackpool Pleasure Beach received by far the highest proportion of visitors in the theme park sector.
What does the examiner want? 
An overview is one of the first things an examiner looks for because it shows them that you can identify the most important information from the graph or chart and clearly identify overall trends and comparisons.
If we look at the official marking scheme we can see that the word ‘overview’ is mentioned three times:
ielts-task-1-overview IELTS Task 1- How to Write an Overview
This means that to get at least a 5 for task achievement we must give some kind of overview. If we do not give any overview we will always get below a 5. If we select the appropriate data to include in our overview we get a score of 6 and if it is ‘clear’ we get a 7 for this part of the exam.
If you know how to select the appropriate data and you practice writing a clear overview, then you are likely to get the score you deserve in this section.

Vocabulary for the General Trend Part:

In general
In common
Generally speaking
It is obvious
As is observed
As a general trend
As can be seen
As an overall trend
As is presented
It can be clearly seen that
At the first glance
it is clear
At the onset
it is clear that
A glance at the graphs reveals that…
In general, the employment opportunities increased till 1970 and then declined throughout the next decade.


DO NOT give numbers, percentages or quantity in your general trend. Rather give the most striking feature of the graph that could be easily understood at a glance. Thus it is suggested to AVOID –

“A glance at the graphs reveals that 70% male were employed in 2001 while 40 thousand women in this year had jobs.”
Better If:-
“A glance at the graphs reveals that more men were employed than their female counterpart in 2001 and almost two-third females were jobless in the same year. “
Overview examples:-
It is clear that there are five stages in the production of cement, beginning with the input of raw materials and ending with bags of the finished product. To produce concrete, four different materials are mixed together.
Islip map
It is clear that the principal change to the town will be the construction of a ring road around the centre. Various other developments with regard to shops and housing will accompany the building of this road.
It is clear that the principal reason why Americans traveled in 2009 was to commute to and from work. In the same year, the primary concern of Americans, with regard to the trips they made, was the cost of travelling.
Overview: describe two main or general points
It is noticeable that school A had higher proportions of children with all seven educational difficulties in both years. However, while school A managed to reduce the incidence of most of the problems between 2005 and 2015, school B saw an overall rise in the percentage of children who were struggling.
It is clear that average global prices of both oil and food rose considerably between 2000 and 2011. Furthermore, the trends for both commodities were very similar, and so a strong correlation is suggested.
The diagram below shows the life cycle of a salmon, from egg to adult fish.
Life cycle
It is clear that there are six* main stages as the salmon develops from egg to mature adult. We can also see that salmon spend time in three distinct locations during the cycle, moving from river to estuary to ocean and then back upstream.
The line graph compares three companies in terms of their waste output between the years 2000 and 2015.
It is clear that there were significant changes in the amounts of waste produced by all three companies shown on the graph. While companies A and B saw waste output fall over the 15-year period, the amount of waste produced by company C increased considerably.
It is clear that there are six distinct stages in this process, from the initial collection of waste paper to the eventual production of usable paper.

It is clear that the proportion of people who study for career purposes is far higher among the younger age groups, and decreases steadily with age. The need for employer support also decreases with age, but only up to the point when employees enter their forties.


a. Details Description 1

Diving deep, we can see that 38% of the surveyed visitors went to a theme park, and 37% of them went to a museum or gallery which is the second most popular destination. By contrast, historic houses and monuments were visited by only 16% of the sample, while wildlife parks and zoos were the least popular of the four types of tourist attraction, with only 9% of visitors.

b. Details Description 2

In the theme park sector, almost half of the people surveyed (47%) had been to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Alton Towers was the second most popular amusement park, with 17% of the sample, followed by Pleasureland in Southport, with 16%. Finally, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland Windsor had each welcomed 10% of the surveyed visitors.

Vocabulary to Start the Body:

Start with some phrase like:-
1. As is presented in the diagram(s)/ graph(s)/ pie chart(s)/ table…
2. As (is) shown in the illustration…
3. As can be seen in the…
4. As the diagrams suggest…
5. According to the…
6. Categorically speaking…
7. Getting back to the details…
8. Now, turning to the details….
9. The table data clearly shows that…
10. The diagram reveals that…
11. The data suggest that…
12. The graph gives figure…
13. It is interesting to note that…
14. It is apparently seen that…
15. It is conspicuous that…
16. It is explicitly observed that…
17. It is obvious…
18. It is clear from the data…
19. It is worth noticing that…
20. It is crystal clear/ lucid that…
21. It can be clearly observed that…
22. It could be plainly viewed that…
23. It could be noticed that…
24. We can see that…

 Vocabulary to show the trend:

Trends Verb form Noun Form
Increase rise / increase / go up / uplift / rocket(ed) / climb / upsurge / soar/ shot up/ improve/ jump/ leap/ move upward/ skyrocket/ soar/ surge. a rise / an increase / an upward trend / a growth / a leap / a jump / an improvement/ a climb.
Decrease fall / decrease / decline / plummet / plunge / drop / reduce / collapse / deteriorate/ dip / dive / go down / take a nosedive / slum / slide / go into free-fall. a fall / a decrease / a reduction / a downward trends /a  downward tendency /  a decline/ a drop / a slide / a collapse / a downfall.
Steadiness unchanged / level out / remain constant / remain steady / plateau / remain the same / remain stable / remain static a steadiness/ a plateau / a stability/ a static
Gradual increase


an upward trend / an upward tendency / a ceiling trend
Gradual decrease


a downward trend / a downward tendency / a descending trend
Stability/ Flat level(ed) off / remain(ed) constant / remain(ed) unchanged / remain(ed) stable / prevail(ed) consistency / plateaued / reach(ed) a plateau / stay(ed) uniform /immutable / level(ed) out/ stabilise/ remain(ed) the same.

No change, a flat, a plateau.


Vocabulary to represent changes in graphs:

Type of Change Adverb form Adjective form
Rapid change dramatically / rapidly / sharply / quickly / hurriedly / speedily / swiftly / significantly/ considerably / substantioally / noticably. dramatic / rapid / sharp / quick / hurried / speedy / swift / significant / considerable / substantial / noticable.
Moderate change moderately / gradually / progressively / sequentially. moderate / gradual / progressive /  sequential.
Steady change  steadily/ ceaselessly. steady/ ceaseless.
Slight change slightly / slowly / mildly / tediously. slight / slow / mild / tedious.

Vocabulary to represent frequent changes in graphs:

Type of Change Verb form Noun form
 Rapid ups and downs wave / fluctuate / oscillate / vacillate / palpitate waves / fluctuations / oscillations / vacillations /  palpitations

Types of Changes/ Differences and Vocabulary to present them:

Great change / Huge difference:
Adjectives                           Adverbs
Overwhelming                   Overwhelmingly
Substantial                         Substantially
Enormous                          Enormously
Big change / Big difference:
Adjectives                           Adverbs
Significant                          Significantly
Considerable                     Considerably
Medium change / Moderate difference:
Adjectives                           Adverbs
Somewhat                           Somewhat
Moderate                             Moderately
Minor change / Small difference:
Adjectives                           Adverbs
Fractional                           Fractionally
Marginal                             Marginally
Slight                                 Slightly

Dates, Months & Years related vocabulary and grammar:

» From 1990 to 2000, Commencing from 1980, Between 1995 and 2005, After 2012.
» By 1995, In 1998, In February, Over the period, During the period, During 2011.
» In the first half of the year, For the first quarter, The last quarter of the year, During the first decade.
» In the 80s, In the 1980s, During the next 6 months, In the mid-70s, Next 10 years, Previous year, Next year, Between 1980 – 1990.
» Within a time span of ten years, within five years.
» Next month, Next quarter, Next year, Previous month, Previous year.
» Since, Then, From.

Percentage, Portion and Numbers:

10% increase, 25 percent decrease, increased by 15%, dropped by 10 per cent, fall at 50%, reached to 75%, tripled, doubled, one-fourth, three-quarters, half, double fold, treble, 5 times higher, 3 timers lower, declined to about 49%, stood exactly at 43%.
4% = A tiny fraction.
24% = Almost a quarter.
25% Exactly a quarter.
26% = Roughly one quarter.
32% Nearly one-third, nearly a third.
49% = Around a half, just under a half.
50% Exactly a half.
51% = Just over a half.
73% = Nearly three quarters.
77% = Approximately three quarter, more than three-quarter.
79% = Well over three quarters.
2% = A tiny portion, a very small proportion.
4% = An insignificant minority, an insignificant proportion.
16% = A small minority, a small portion.
70% = A large proportion.
72% = A significant majority, A significant proportion.89% = A very large proportion.
89% = A very large proportion.

If Around

» Approximately
» Nearly
» Roughly
» Almost
» About
» Around
» More or less
» Just over
» Just under
» Just around
» Just about
» Just below
» A little more than
» A little less than.

Vocabulary to represent highest and lowest points in graphs:

Type Verb Noun
Highest Point peaked / culminated / climaxed / reach  the peak / hit the peak / touch the highest point / reach the vertex/ reach the apex a (/the) peak / a (/the) pinnacle / a (/the) vertex / the highest point/ an (/the) apex / a (/the) summit, a (/the) top, a (/the) pinnacle, a (/the) acme, a (/the) zenith,
Lowest Point touch the lowest point / get the lowest point / reached the nadir the lowest point / the lowest mark / bottommost point / rock bottom point/ bottommost mark / nadir/ the all-time low/ the lowest level/ the bottom/ rock-bottom

Vocabulary to show fluctuations/ups and downs/ rise and fall in Verb forms:

  • Be erratic
  • Rise and fall erratically
  • Changes sporadically
  • Rise and fall irregularly
  • Changes Intermittently

Date, month & year related Vocabulary and Grammatical rules:

  • Between  …(year/ month)…  and  …(year/ month)…
  • From  …(year/ month/ day/date)…  to  …(year/ month/day/date)…
  • In  …(year/ month)…
  • On  …(day/ day of the week/ a date)…
  • At ……,  In ……,  By ……
  • During  … (year)…
  • Over the period/ over the century/ later half of the year/ the year…
  • Over the next/ past/ previous …….. days/ weeks/ months/ years/ decades…

Presenting Percentages:

You can present a percentage data in one of the three different ways. It is suggested that you use all these formats in your report writing instead of repeating the same style to show percentages in your writing.
% = In percentage / in %. (20%, 25 percentage, ten per cent etc.)
% = In proportion. (two out of five, every student out of three etc. )
% = In fraction. (one-third, two-fifth, a quarter etc.)

Vocabulary to show how many times…

  • Exactly the same.
  • Roughly the same
  • Practically the same
  • Twice
  • Thrice
  • Four times
  • Five times
  • ……………
  • Ten times
  • ……………
  • Hundred times.

Vocabulary to show how much changed…

  • Halved
  • Equalled
  • Doubled
  • Trebled / tripled
  • Quadrupled (fourfold /four times)
  • Pentadrupled (fivefold /five times)
  • Hexadrupled (sixfold /six times)
  • Septupled (sevenfold /seven times)
  • Octupled  (Eightfold/eight times)
  • Nonupled (Ninefold/ nine times)
  • ……………..
  • Centupled (hundredfold/ hundred times)


Vocabulary to represent comparison in graphs:

Type Word(s) should be used
Similar about / almost / nearly / roughly / approximately / around / just about / very nearly /
Just over just above / just over / just bigger / just beyond / just across
Just short just below / just beneath / just sort / just under / just a little
Much more well above / well above / well beyond / well across / well over
Much less well below / well under / well short / well beneath


  1. The number of high-level women executives is well beneath than the number of male executives in this organisation, where approximately 2000 people work in executive levels.
  2. About 1000 people died in the highway car accident in 2003 which is well above than the statistics of all other years.
  3. The number of domestic-violence cases was just below 500 in March which is just a little over than the previous months.
  4. The average rainfall in London in 2014 was just above than the average of other two cities.
  5. The salaries of male executives in three out of four companies were well above than the salaries of female executives in 1998.

Expressions to focus on an item in the graph:

Use the following expression to focus on an item in the graph.
» With regards to
» In the case of
» As for
» Turning to
» When it comes to ….. it/ they …..
» Where … is/are concerned,……
» Regarding

Compare and contrast:

Useful Vocabulary to make Comparison and Contrast: 
» Similarly, In a similar fashion, In the same way, Same as, As much as, Meanwhile.
» However, On the contrary, on the other hand, in contrast.
Make sure you the appropriate comparative and superlative form of the words when you make a comparison. Here is a basic overview of the comparative and superlative forms to help you remember what you already know.
One syllable
Adjectives with one syllable form their comparatives and superlatives form. In your academic writing task 1, you will often use such comparison and contrast related words.
cheap » cheaper » cheapest   ||   large » larger » largest    ||    bright » brighter » brightest etc.
good » better » best   ||   bad » worse » worst etc.
1. The fast food items in uptown restaurants were comparatively cheaper than that of city restaurants.
2. The largest proportion of water was used in the agriculture sector in most of the Asian countries while the European countries used the highest percentage of water for industrial purposes.
3. The price of the book in store A is cheaper than the price of store B.
4. The temperature decreased further and that made the weather condition worse.
5. The temperature was better in the mid-April but in mid-July, it became worse.
Two syllables
Some adjectives with two syllables form their comparatives and superlatives:
pretty » prettier » prettiest    ||    happy » happier » happiest etc.
1. Customers were happier than now, according to the survey, as the price was cheaper in 1992.
2. The overall production level of this company made the authority happier as it was doubled in the last quarter of the year.
But many form their comparatives and superlatives using ‘more‘:
striking » more striking » most striking    ||    common » more common » most common || clever » more clever/cleverer » most clever/cleverest etc.
Three or more syllables
All adjectives with three or more syllables form their comparatives and superlatives using ‘more’ & ‘most’:
attractive » more attractive » most attractive   ||   profitable » more profitable » most profitable   ||  expensive» more expensive » most expensive.
1. The price of the custom made cars was more expensive in 2014 than it is now.
2. The factory offered more attractive overtime rates and that motivated more employees to work for extra times.

Vocabulary to present Linkers:
However, On the other hand, Similarly, On the contrary, Meanwhile, In contrast, By comparison.

Vocabulary to show that something/a trend is similar or the same:

Use the following vocabularies if both subjects are the same/ identical:
… Identical to/ Identical with …
… Equal to with …
… Exactly the same …
… The same as …
… Precisely the same …
… Absolutely the same …
… jus the same as …
Use the following vocabularies if both subjects are not identical but similar:
… Almost the same as …
… Nearly the same as …
… Practically the same as …
… Almost identical/ similar …
… About the same as …

Way to show that something/a trend is just the reverse/opposite:

The reverse is the case…
It is quite the opposite/ reverse…

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