IELTS Writing Task 1 Pie Chart Template

In the previous material, we have learned how to describe a pie chart in IELTS Writing Task 1. Despite all the best efforts to make the material more easily understandable, some people still find it hard to understand ): so I decided to find another way of explaining IELTS Writing Task 1.

There is actually a much simpler way to explain IELTS Writing Task 1, and this can be done using a template. From now on, I will try to cover all of these templates for all graphs/charts (including map and process). If you just begin to learn how to do IELTS Writing Task 1 and need to know the basic, then this material is perfect for you. If you have learned IELTS Writing Task 1 for quite some time and already have a good understanding of how the writing should be done, you may want to read this material instead.


Okay, now lets begin with the first template. Take a look at a sample chart below




Remember that we have four marking criteria for IELTS Writing, which are:

- Task Achievement
Lexical Resource/Vocabulary
- Grammatical Range and Accuracy
- Coherence and Cohesion

Like many other graphs in IELTS Writing Task 1, the sample pie chart above usually follows this template:


Introduction
- Introduce the graph & paraphrase the original title
- Explain the main features
- Explain the major trends

Body Paragraph 1
- Give detailed information about increase, decrease, starting point, peak, slope, and other relevant information

Body Paragraph 2
- Give detailed information about increase, decrease, starting point, peak, slope, and other relevant information


Before seeing the sample writing at the end of this article, make sure you try describing the pie charts above using this template. After that, compare your work with the sample writing. 

Paragraph 1

[Step 1]
Introduce the graph

The pie chart shows/explains/outlines/

presents/compares [...]


[Step 2]
Paraphrase the original title


_________________________________

_________________________________

[Step 2]
Explain the main features

Units are measured in _________________________________

_________________________________

[Step 3]
Explain the major trend

Overall, there is an increasing/

decreasing trend in __________________ 

while ________________ shows an opposite trend


 

Paragraph 2


To begin,

_________________________________



x years later,


_________________________________


Other than ____________


_________________________________



In addition, 



_________________________________

______________________ a decade later


 

Paragraph 3


Moving to ___________

_____________________________



As for ____________




_____________________________


In 2010, 


_____________________________



In 2020, 




_____________________________


 

Notes on Task Completion
I have said this before and I'll say it again, we have to write at least 150 words in IELTS Writing Task 1. If we write less than 150 words, there will be a penalty and this can affect our score. We can write more than 150 words, but don't be carried away. We still have IELTS Writing Task 2 that requires a lot more time because we have to write 250 words. In IELTS Writing Section, we have one hour in total and most common time allocation for IELTS Writing Task 1 is 20 minutes.

Notes on Lexical Resource
(1) Please remember that we need to avoid repeating the same word over and over again, which is why I wrote shows, explains, outlines, and presents just in case I need to use them in another part of the writing. If we have used the word shows, for example, try to avoid using it again and use other words.

(2) There are several words that we have to avoid when doing IELTS Writing Task 1 because they are not academic words (it could be a slang, informal words, weak words, contraction, etc such as gonna instead of going to, tells instead of indicates, expressions like seems like, and contraction such as it's or won't)

(3) Don't use lazy expressions such as etc, and so on and so forth, stuff, things, and other lazy expressions)

(4) We need to be consistent with our spelling. Do not mix up British and American spelling (let's say, try not to mix up the word behaviour and behavior although they have the same meaning).

(5) Some words cannot be paraphrased because they have no synonyms or sometimes, they do have synonyms but the context is a little bit different when we put the word in a sentence. In this case, we can be a little bit more creative by changing the grammatical form instead. We can change active voice into a passive voice, use reduced clauses, use Noun, Adjective and Adverbial Clauses, change the word class by adding inflection, and so on and so forth. For example, you can see that I don't change the word high school graduates in paragraph 1 but instead, changing the grammatical form by turning the Noun Phrase into a Prepositional Phrase. Take a look at this illustration:

...high school graduates [NP] → ...youth [N] in Lakeside County [PP] after graduating from high school [PP]

Creativity will be very helpful in writing, but we have to have a good mastery of English grammar to do this. Don't worry, grammar can be learned and a lot of practice will definitely  help. 

(6) There are some words or phrases that are commonly used in IELTS Writing Task 1, and we better learn how to use these words and phrases in your writing. In the sample writing that you can see at the end of this article, you can find some words and phrases that are often used in IELTS Writing Task 1, such as compare, units, measured, percentage, increasing, trend, in contrary, the number, stable, opposite trend, to begin, quintuple, a growing trend, in addition, triple, moving to, witness, a significant fall, as for, plummet, proportion, a little below.

(7) Do not overuse certain words or phrases. The most common example of this type of mistake is the use of the word significantly. Instead of using increase significantly or decrease significantly over and over again, try to use:

-skyrocket, jump, soar, surge (for increasing trend)

-Plummet, shrink, fall, drop, dip, decline, decimated (for decreasing trend)


Notes on Grammatical Range and Accuracy
Grammatical range means that we have to demonstrate your ability to use various grammatical forms in English, which also means that we better not use the same sentence structure over and over again in our writing. We know that the basic form of an English sentence is [S] + [V] + [...], but there are some variations that we can use to improve our score, such as:
- Reduced Adjective Clause - e.g. ...chosen by youth in Lakeside County... (paragraph 1). I don't use a complete Adjective Clause because I already use it in ...who aspired towards being an entrepreneur... (paragraph 2)

- Prepositional Phrase - e.g. ...after graduating from high school (paragraph 1). I don't use a complete Adjective Clause ...after they graduated from high school because I already use Adjective Clause in paragraph 2.

- Using Present Participle - e.g. ...working in informal sectors as a freelancer (paragraph 2). Present Participle is used in Reduced Adjective Clause and Reduced Adverbial Clause

- Use the Verb witness and experience to turn [V] + [Adv] structure into a [V] + [DO] structure - e.g. witness a significant fall (paragraph 3). Well, I can just write it down as ...significantly decreased in 2020 but as I said before, the word significantly is a little bit overused, so I avoid it.

Grammatical accuracy means that we have to write our essay using the correct grammar. Even a minor mistake (let's say, the use of inflection -s, -es and -ies in Simple Present Tense) will affect our score so please be precise with the grammar. For the sample pie chart above, we have to be very careful with the tenses. We have to know when to use past tense and when to use the present tense.


Notes on Coherence and Cohesion
Coherence and cohesion is related to our ability to present ideas in a logical order and connect those ideas to form a discourse. Each idea in our writing needs to have a clear relation with other ideas (for example, contrasting and supporting ideas), and cohesive device can help us with this. For example, if we want to contrast two different ideas, we can use the word in contrary, unlike, whereas, etc. If we want to elaborate our ideas, we can use furthermore, in addition, moreover, besides, etc. Transition between one explanation to another can be made smoother using words like to begin, as for, moving to, etc. Take a look at an illustration below to understand why cohesive devices are important:

Paragraph 2

The number of high school graduates who aspired towards being an entrepreneur in 2010 was only 5%. The number almost quintupled in 2020. There was also a growing trend of young people working in informal sectors as a freelancer. Of all  high school graduates in Lakeside County, 5% of them did not have a plan for job or academic career in 2010, and the number tripled in 2020.

Paragraph 3

The number of graduates who worked after graduating from high school witnessed a significant fall. In 2020, only one in ten high school graduates worked and had a stable job. The number of high school graduates who pursued higher education also plummeted in 2020. In 2010, more than half of high school graduates went to college. In 2020, the proportion was a little below 40%


Reading this can give you a  headache because there is no clue as to how one idea is related to another. What we have in this writing are just pieces of information crammed in two short paragraphs. There is no clear connection between the second and the third paragraph either. In short, this writing is bad, real bad. Now, take a look at another sample writing below and pay attention to the underlined words.

Paragraph 2

To begin, the number of high school graduates who aspired towards being an entrepreneur in 2010 was only 5%. Ten years later, the number almost quintupled. Other than being entrepreneur, there was also a growing trend of young people working in informal sectors as a freelancer. In addition, 5% of high school graduates in Lakeside County did not have a plan for job or academic career in 2010, and the number tripled a decade later.

Paragraph 3

Moving to graduates who worked after graduating from high school, the number witnessed a significant fall and by the year 2020, only one in ten high school graduates worked and had a stable job. As for those who pursued higher education, the number also plummeted in 2020. In 2010, more than half of high school graduates went to college. In 2020, the proportion was a little below 40%


In this sample writing, the transition between ideas are smoother and it is easier for us to understand the relation between ideas. The word moving to makes transition from paragraph one to paragraph two become more seamless.

After going through all processes above, our IELTS Writing Task 1 should look like this:

The pie charts compare some professional and academic career paths chosen by youth in Lakeside County after graduating from high school. Units are measured in percentage. Overall, there is an increasing trend among high school graduates who became an entrepreneur. In contrary, the number of high school graduates  pursuing higher education or have a stable job shows an opposite trend.

To begin, the number of high school graduates who aspired towards being an entrepreneur in 2010 was only 5%. Ten years later, the number almost quintupled. Other than being entrepreneur, there was also a growing trend of young people working in informal sectors as a freelancer. In addition, 5% of high school graduates in Lakeside County did not have a plan for job or academic career in 2010, and the number tripled a decade later.

Moving to graduates who worked after graduating from high school, the number witnessed a significant fall and by the year 2020, only one in ten high school graduates worked and had a stable job. As for those who pursued higher education, the number also plummeted in 2020. In 2010, more than half of high school graduates went to college. In 2020, the proportion was a little below 40%