IELTS Writing task 1 (Academic): Fundamental method to write all types of charts/diagrams

In the post Academic Writing task 1, I have shown you the general ideas about writing task 1 for Academic training. So in this post, I will give you a successful formula which you can apply for all types of charts. I wish this could help you write a task 1 report as easy as pie.

The structure of this post will be designed as follow:

Firstly, I will show you how to write an introduction

Secondly, I will guide you ways to make a sufficient Overview

Writing body paragraphs will be the last thing being analyzed in this post.

The method to write an introduction for IELTS Writing task 1 Academic

IELTS test requires you to write your essays using your OWN words, so it’s crucial to not use words that have been written in question. The easiest but most effective way to write an introduction for IELTS writing test is paraphrasing the question. However, if you target to a higher score, you may need to use more sophisticating way by employing complex sentence structures or high-score vocabulary. I will show you the later in another post.


Paraphrasing questions for IELTS writing task 1 Academic:

This is the most basic method that anyone can apply. However, this may not guarantee that you can get a high score with it. But don’t worry, if you write well in the remaining parts, it’s still good to get a high score.

Basically, you could paraphrasing a sentence by [1] changing the vocabulary in that sentence or [2] changing the structure of that sentence.

[1] Changing vocabulary

By using this method, what you should do is only replacing main subject/verb/object of the sentence in question by their synonyms.

For example:

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 8.35.53 PM.png

Source: IELTS Cambridge 11 test 1

You can paraphrase this question as follow:

The charts below illustrate the proportion of water consumed for various uses in six regions of the world.

Words replacement:

show => illustrate

percentage => proportion

used => consumed

different purposes => various uses

areas => regions

[2] Changing sentence structures:

In this way, what you should do is transforming the form of words in the sentence of question or writing a new sentence with the same meaning with the sentence in questions. This method is more complicated than the first one, so you may be scored high when applying this method.

For example:

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 8.55.18 PM

The graph below gives information about the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) per person on the average basis in four European countries over a 40-year period.

Sentence structure change:

shows => gives information

average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per person in the UK, Sweden, Italy, and Portugal between 1967 and 2007 => the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) per person on the average basis in four European countries over a 40-year period.

Grammar accuracy in the Introduction for IELTS writing task 1 Academic: Subject-Verb agreement and tense.

The tense for the main clause in the Introduction of Academic writing task 1 is alway simple present. Additionally, you should also make sure that if there is only ONE chart/table/diagram, the verb goes with it must be a singular verb. Otherwise, the verb will be plural. 

For example:

The bar chart shows….

The pie charts illustrate

Useful expressions to write an Introduction for IELTS writing task 1 Academic:

To avoid grammatical errors, I suggest you bear in mind my suggested common expressions in the following table:

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 9.50.22 PM

Table source: 15 days practice for IELTS writing 

How to write an excellent Overview for IELTS Writing task 1 Academic?


What to write in an overview

An overview is a big picture about the whole charts/diagrams. It’s should be general without supporting data. When you write about the overview, make sure that you find 2 significant features in the figures. These significant features should be:

  • The overall trend
  • The similarity in tendency between a number of items in the figures
  • Periods with dramatical changes
  • The highest/lowest points
  • The most significant transformation
  • The number of steps in a process and the beginning/ending points.

Overview sentence structure

In writing task 1, an overview is a mandatory requirement so you will certainly lose mark if you do not have it in your essay.

It’s efficient and effective to remember some sentence structure so that you can save much time to write an overview. Moreover, an overview paragraph should contain 1 or 2 sentences. Now, I will give you some sample structure to write an excellent overview.

You should begin your overview with:

[1] It’s clear/evident/obvious/apparent that + Subject + Verb + …

or you could say:

[2] No one can deny that + Subject + verb + …

or simple, you could say:

[2] Overall, S + V + …

If you want to add further feature, what you should do is using transition words like: In addition/Additionally/Moreover/Furthermore or you can write like this “One another significant point noted from the figure is + Noun or Noun phrase” or “One another significant point noted from the figure is that + S + V+ …”

Writing body paragraphs for IELTS Writing task 1 Academic

Each different type of charts/table/diagrams will have different ways to describe detailed information that it represents.

In detailed paragraphs, you only select and summarize important points and then compare them with each other.

I will show you the way to write each type of charts (pie, bar, line), tables, diagrams (map, process) in the next posts

That’s the end of today post

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope this will facilitate your IELTS writing task 1 Academic preparation.

See you in my future posts





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6 Responses

  1. nono says:

    please when can I find the next post regarding (the way to write each type of charts (pie, bar, line), tables, diagrams (map, process).?
    thanks in advance
    keep going

    • Self Study Materials says:

      thank Nadia. The post for line graph will be available today :). Thank you so much for reading my post

      • Nono says:

        Thanks for your big efforts
        I just want to ask you about listining and speaking
        What should I do every day to improve them within one month? Please help me my exam next month .
        Do you recommend a good advice or plan about this?

        • Self Study Materials says:

          Hi Nadia,

          I see your question in my feedback but I cannot reply to it so I will give you my recommendation here. I think you should use 2 books which are Listening strategies for IELTS and Intensive Listening. These books are highly recommended by people who succeed in IELTS Listening. You should also do some practice tests in Cambridge IELTS from Vol 7 to 12. They are past exam so extremely standard. In terms of Speaking, my advice is speaking as much as you can. You can find some partners (it’s better) or do it yourself. To score high at speaking, you should speak fluently and naturally, no or less grammatical errors and use a number of high-score vocabularies. Hope you will do well in your IELTS test 🙂

          • Nono says:

            Hi,I hope you have a great day
            Please I’d like to ask you some questions and I need your help as soon as possible
            my exam next month and my ielts results is 5
            and my goal is 6.5
            What should I do exactly during 5 weeks to improve my score?
            Do you recommend any plan or book or any thing do you think it’s help me?
            Please reply I really appreciate that.

  1. May 17, 2017

    […] you could read the effective way to write an Introduction for IELTS writing task 1 in the post Fundamental method to write all types of charts/diagrams. Generally, the easiest way to write an effective introduction for IELTS writing test is […]

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