The Basic How to of IELTS Writing Task 1


One section in IELTS that may be really challenging is the Writing Section. In the previous test we have learned what criteria have to be met when doing the Writing Section. Today, we are going to learn how to meet those criteria and get a high marks simply by using basic template for writing.

For the Writing Section scoring criteria, go to this link

Criteria of IELTS Writing Section

What To Do In Writing Task 1


In Writing Task 1, test takers should explain a graph, chart, or  picture and write 150 words in 20 minutes. The explanation has to cover an overview, key features, and other relevant information. There are several samples of layout for Writing Task 1, and of course one may prefer to use certain layout to another. But, we will only focus on the basic layout that is, as far as I concern, most commonly used. The layout itself is presented by some material books and I believe I see it some time on the internet. There may be some modifications necessary, but keep it for later. Now, let's see the basic layout.


Writing Task 1 Layout


1. Overview

In the IELTS writing Task 1, we will move from general to specific kind of layout. First, you will have to present everything in general, do not include any percentage, number, information about increase or decrease, because they are supposed to be put in the second and third paragraph. In this part, we need to introduce the graph. The original title for the bar graph is:

The number of travelers using three major airports in New York City between 1995 and 2000.


For the sample bar graph, we can write it down as follows:


The bar graph presents the proportion of passengers in three main airports in New York [active voice], or


The proportion of passengers in three main airports in New York is presented by the bar graph [passive voice]


Blue indicates the introduction of the graph*

Red indicates the paraphrased title*

"In IELTS Writing, we present our ideas by going from a very general information to the more specific one"
2. Key eature
2. Main Features
After we're done with the overview, we need to explain all key features existing in the graph. In the case of bar graph, it should be any information presented in abscissa x (the year) and the ordinate y (the number of people, presented in millions) as well as any other relevant information such as names of the airports (John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark) and the city where the airports are located. In the writing, the key feature "name of the airports" is combined with the overview instead, and this is okay. The information about key features is presented as below:

The bar graph presents the proportion of passengers in three main airports in New York, namely John F. Kenndy, La Guardia, and Newark. The number of travelers  from 1995 until 2000 is presented in millions


The full color words are the key features*


3. Major Trend

Now, we're moving on to the next step which is explaining the major trend, in which we will divide the data into

  • Constant [this will be your paragraph 2]
  • Fluctuating [this will be your paragraph 3]

The major trend for this sample bar graph can be written as:
The people who traveled using La Guardia and Newark airports constantly increased while the passengers of John F. Kennedy airport fluctuated

Note
You have to avoid using the same words over and over again, and paraphrasing will surely be an important aspect to consider in your writing. As we can see, I use "the number of people, passengers, the number of airports users, the number of people who traveled, the number of travelers, the proportion of people traveling, etc for the sake of paraphrasing. Try to do the same thing in your writing.

"Paraphrasing is one of the most important aspect in IELTS Writing"

4. Giving Detailed Explanation


In this part, you will start doing the second and the third paragraph of your writing, and you will start talking about the number, percentage, which one is higher which one is lower, which one increases, which one decreases, etc. There are several things we need to present in this part, which are:



  • Starting point, for example:
The passengers taking planes at La Guardia airport comprised of around 35 millions people in 1995
  • Increase and decrease, for example:
...and the number witnessed a 5 million growth
  • Further information about increase and decrease, for example:
The number significantly inclined...
  • Highest and lowest point, for example:
ended up reaching the peak point of around 68 millions at the end of the period
  • Ending point, for example:
...and ended up reaching the peak point of around 68 millions at the end of the period

Blue words indicates some examples of the points I'm referring to

Note
You may also notice that I also use different ways of saying the year. I do not say 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 all the time, but rather, I paraphrase them. This is necessary. Take a look at some examples below:

The passengers taking planes at La Guardia airport comprised of around 35 millions people in 1995, and the number witnessed a 5 million growth and accounted for 40 millions in the following year

The number significantly inclined and ended up reaching the peak point of around 68 millions at the end of the period

The travelers then witnessed a slight increase and eventually leveled off in the last three years

The number experienced around 8 million growth in the next two periods...

After that, the airport had a degrading trend of users in two consecutive years...

Red words indicates the paraphrasing of the years

For more detailed explanation on Writing Task 1, go to this link

Material onWriting Task 1

IELTS WRITING TASK 1 SAMPLE

The bar graph presents the proportion of passengers in three main airports in New York, namely John F. Kenndy, La Guardia, and Newark. The number of travelers  from 1995 until 2000 is presented in millions. The people who traveled using La Guardia and Newark airports constantly increased while the passengers of John F. Kennedy airport fluctuated.

The passengers taking planes at La Guardia airport comprised of around 35 millions people in 1995, and the number witnessed a 5 million growth and accounted for 40 millions in the following year. In the next three years, the number of passengers using La Guardia airport experienced a constant level up. The number significantly inclined and ended up reaching the peak point of around 68 millions at the end of the period. In addition, the number of people using Newark airport also experienced an increase. In the first period, around 15 millions people traveled using this airport. In 1996, the number of passengers inclined and represent 25 millions travelers. The travelers then witnessed a slight increase and eventually leveled off in the last three years, representing approximately 41 millions people.

In contrary, John F. Kennedy experienced ups and downs in terms of number of users. At the beginning of the period, the proportion of the users contributed approximately 27 millions people. The number experienced around 8 million growth in the next two periods and reached the highest point of around 47 millions in the year of 1997. After that, the airport had a degrading trend of users in two consecutive years, losing around 11 millions and 5 millions users respectively. The travelers increased again in the year of 2000, comprising of 42 millions people.

For material on Writing Task 2, go to this link

Material on Writing Task 2

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