IELTS Writing Task 1 - Map (Material, Sample Writing and Exercise)

Previously, we have discussed four graphs in IELTS Writing Task 1 (see our previous discussion by following these links: bar graph, line graph, pie charts, table. We only have two individual graphs left to discuss, and today I would like to talk about map description. How we explain a map is a little bit different from how we explain graphs, charts, or diagrams, because we are going to deal with spatial information.  Let's take a look at a sample map below.

The transformation of an island from a military base to a tourist resort 
IELTS Writing Task 1 Map
Map




Before we start writing, I've got to tell you that there are two main information that we have to describe in a map. First of all, what can be found on the map? Secondly, where are those things can be found? To explain where things are located, we can use the direction provided on the map.

Now, let's take a look at the basic structure of IELTS Writing Task 1 below.



Paragraph 1

  • Introduction
  • Explaining variables
  • Explaining major trend

Paragraph 2

  • Giving detailed information of major trend 1 (what can be found on the first map and where they are located)
Paragraph 3

  • Giving detailed information of major trend 2 (what can be found on the second map and where they are located)





Paragraph 1


Introduction
Here, we have to give a very general information about the map. This can be done by paraphrasing the original title, so it will become:


The map illustrates the transformation of an island from a military base in 1963 into a tourist attraction in 2020. 



Explaining variables

After writing an introductory sentence, we need to explain several variables presented on the map such as year and the kind of changes taking place in the island. Because we already explained the year in the first sentence, we can just focus on the changes.



There are several changes that take place in the island, both in terms of the function of the facilities and their location.



Explaining Major Trend
In the previous article, I already explained how major trend is used to organize our ideas better and put them in two separate body paragraphs. When explaining a graph, you really have to see the pattern and categorize the data into two trends, such as constant and fluctuating. When explaining a map, you won't have to do any of those things because map always compares two different layouts of a building, city or certain facility. All you have to do is understanding the differences.

The entire paragraph 1 will look like this:


The map illustrates the transformation of an island from a military base in 1963 into a tourist attraction in 2020. There are several changes that take place in an island, both in terms of the function of the facilities and their location.



Giving Detailed Information

When explaining a graph, you will deal with figures,  trends, and how such figures change over time. In a map, the most important things to pay attention to are places like buildings, roads, bridges, ports, where they are located, and how the layout changes over time. For the sample map above, we're going to explain the military base in paragraph 2 and the tourist resort in paragraph 3. 


Paragraph 2

There are two ways of explaining the maps above. We can use the central command office/central office & reservation as a guideline to explain the rest of the map. So, we will start the explanation from the middle. We can also explain the map like a real tour guide. Imagine you are guiding some tourists, you will get off the ship at the pier, and you will start guiding the guests to the reservation office. From here, they will go to their accommodation or elsewhere. The point is, you will have to start from the pier and give the rest of the explanation accordingly. Okay, let's start explaining the military base depicted in the first map.


In 1963, the island was used as a military facility. A central command office was located in the middle of the island. There was a paved road connecting the central command office and a lighthouse in the southeast, a pier in the south, as well as a runway and air traffic control in the west. The runway was located along the coast line. There was a shooting range in the northeastern part of the island. 




Paragraph 3



In 2020, the military base is transformed into a tourist attraction. There are several facilities that are still used, such as pier and central command office that now becomes central office and reservation. The other establishment is either demolished completely or replaced by other facilities. The lighthouse and shooting range have been replaced by Lakawi and Pochinki cottages located in the southeast and northeast. Similarly, the runway that stretches along the coastline now becomes a restaurant. Ha Tinh cottages replace a small building that used to be an air traffic control. The central office and reservation looks exactly the same, but several buildings around it have now been torn down. A souvenir center is built in an area that used to be an empty land near the pier. The paved road looks pretty much the same, except now it does not lead to the lighthouse anymore.


So, that's how we describe a map in IELTS Writing Task 1. Here are some other tips that may be quite helpful too:


Avoid repetition

If there are points of the compass provided in the map, it will be easier for us to explain where things are located. However, we really have to avoid using the same word over and over again because it will reduce our vocabulary score. We can also explain the location of certain feature on a map relative to the position of other features. For the sake of avoiding repetition, I would recommend using both.

Important vocabularies

Describing a map in IELTS Writing Task 1 requires a good understanding of vocabularies related to location and direction such as: beside, behind, across, near, adjacent, on the left hand side, on the right hand side, etc.

I said we better not overuse certain word like beside, and this is where paraphrasing becomes important. Almost all of the words aforementioned have a synonym. Take a look at an explanation below.

Beside = next to
Behind = at the back of
Across = opposite
Near = close to 
On the left hand side = [...] is on your left
On the right hand side = [...] is on your right


After all paragraphs above are combined, the whole Writing Task 1 will be like this: 


The map illustrates the transformation of an island from a military base in 1963 into a tourist attraction in 2020. There are several changes that take place in the island, both in terms of the function of the facilities and their location.

In 1963, the island was used as a military facility. A central command office was located in the middle of the island. There was a paved road connecting the central command office and a lighthouse in the southeast, a pier in the south, as well as a runway and air traffic control in the west. The runway was located along the coast line. There was a shooting range in the northeastern part of the island.

In 2020, the military base is transformed into a tourist attraction. There are several facilities that are still used, such as pier and central command office that now becomes central office and reservation. The other establishment is either demolished completely or replaced by other facilities. The lighthouse and shooting range have been replaced by Lakawi and Pochinki cottages located in the southeast and northeast. Similarly, the runway that stretches along the coastline now becomes a restaurant. Ha Tinh cottages replace a small building that used to be an air traffic control. The central office and reservation looks exactly the same, but several buildings around it have now been torn down. A souvenir center is built in an area that used to be an empty land near the pier. The paved road looks pretty much the same, except now it does not lead to the lighthouse anymore.

Wordcount: 263




Okay, that was my first attempt of describing the map above. Unfortunately, it seems like one problem still persists: the writing is just too long. The recommended length of IELTS Writing Task 1 is 150-190 words, but mine has more than 250 words. Apparently, the first strategy didn't really work for me, so now I will try to pretend to be a tour guide instead. I won't explain the writing from the start, I just want to know if the second strategy will work better than the first. You can just read the two different versions, compare them, and decide which one will be most suitable for you.


IELTS Writing Task 1 - Map (alternative version)


The map illustrates the transformation of an island from a military base in 1963 into a tourist attraction in 2020. There are several changes taking place in the island.

When we first arrived at the camp alpha military base, we would get off the ship and use the paved road that connected the pier and a lighthouse to the right and runway and air traffic control to the left. If we went straigth, we would get to the central command office. There was a shooting range in the northeastern part of the island.

Arriving at the paradise resort, we should take a paved road to the central office to do a reservation. The building is located in the middle. The paved road also leads to the restaurant located near the beach in the western part of the island. There are three accommodations provided. Ha Tinh cottages are perfect for those who want to stay close to the beach or simply love eating at the restaurant. Pochinki is located in the northeast, providing more cottages for the guests. Lakawi is in the southeastern part of the island, and is a perfect place for those who like tranquility,  since it is the most secluded area. Before leaving the island,  visitors can buy souvenir at the souvenir center located near the pier.

Wordcount: 219


No comments:

Post a comment