top of page

IELTS writing part 1

General tips

1. You need to write 3 to 4 paragraphs and at least 150 words. If you don't you will be heavily penalised!

Circle the important parts of the graph or chart immediately to find extremes or trends. This will act a sort of plan and help to fill in the main paragraphs of your answer.

The first paragraph and conclusion (not required but better to finish things of nicely) are very prescriptive and can be formulated from the actual question for the former, and as a summary for the latter. Don't make assumptions or show huge insights. Its important you only talk about what you can see and have evidence of from the data in the question!

The first paragraph

2. In the initial paragraph, you need to paraphrase the question. Start the paraphrase with one of the following prompts:

‘The table shows/illustrates the trends in .... between .......

The graph shows......

The chart shows how the ..... have changed ......

3. Don’t include below in your paraphrase.

4. Write an overview as you second sentence of your introduction. Look at the beginning and the end of the chart to help determine your overview.

The middle paragraphs

5. Decide if the graph you are describing is a comparison, progression or both. You will need to use the appropriate language for each type. For example, if it is comparative ,  use ‘the same as’ or if it is progressive, use ‘ a slight increase’.

6. Change noun and adjectives phrases into verbs and adverbs to create a range of expressions, for example ‘a slight increase’ to ‘increase slightly’. Also, try to learn a few different ways to say the same thing so you don’t have to repeat yourself (‘increase’, ‘go up’, ‘rise’).

7. Remember you will be marked on your language range and accuracy. Describe the most general trends in second paragraph, including the most striking characteristics. You need to add linker to help your essay to help with its cohesion and coherence; in other words, it’s flow. Here are some useful expressions: in addition, furthermore, however, although.

8. In the 3rd paragraph you need to give a more detailed description. You still need to focus on main trends, but focus more on elements within each part of the graph (For 10 years, there was a gradual upward trend until it peaked at 250units in 2002, followed by a dip.).

9. Add data to support your information.

10. Don’t describe all small details as this creates lists which sound mechanical.

Instead of writing :It went up by 2% and then dropped up 5%, then rose again for 2 years, and again dropped by 2%.Write: It fluctuated between 5% and 2% for the first quarter of the year.

Finishing off

You don’t have to write a conclusion, but it makes the writing seem more complete if you do.

Don’t forget spelling and punctuation count towards accuracy.


bottom of page