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English Essay Charts

Ah, the IELTS Writing Task 1.Describe the key information in a graph.I’ve read thousands of IELTS graph essays.I will be honest.For the most part, I find them dreadfully boring to review. The main reason for this is that the ESL student doesn’t vary their language or use a variety of synonyms.As 25% of your marks are for the range of vocabulary that you use, this is a very important component to review as you prepare for the Writing Task 1. Here, I am going to provide you with a range of words and phrases to incorporate into your writing now, so that you can get top marks on at least the lexical resource category.

Introduction Phrases

Often ESL students start their essay with ‘The graph shows…’. While this is fine, the verb ‘shows’ could be replaced by a more exciting and high-level vocabulary word.Here are four different prompts to start your essay:

  • The graph illustrates the trends in…
  • The graph reveals information about the changes in…
  • The graph provides the differences between…
  • The graph presents how X has changed over a period of…

Tip:DO NOT write the word below or above in your introduction. i.e. The graph above/below shows…

Add Suitable Adverbs

Adverbs help express a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, and degree, and can greatly add some color and interest to your writing as well as show off your range of vocabulary.Some great ones to use in the IELTS writing include:

  • approximately
  • dramatically
  • erratically
  • gradually
  • markedly
  • significantly
  • slightly
  • slowly
  • steadily

Use Appropriate Synonyms

Again using a variety of nouns and verbs for words like rise and fall will help increase your overall score.Here are some suggestions:

Add Time Phrases

Where appropriate, add time phrases such as:

  • between… and…
  • from… to… (inclusive)
  • in the year (1994)
  • during/over the period….
  • over the latter half of the year/century/decade/period…..
  • over the next/past/previous….
  • days/weeks/months/years/decades….
  • by (1997)…..

Model Essay Example

Look at the sample Task 1 graphs on the British Council website.Below is my model answer with useful words in bold:

The bar charts illustrate the trends in computer ownership, with a further classification by level of education, from 2002 to 2010.

Over the period, it can be observed that there was a significant surge in the percentage of the population that owned a computer. In the year 2002, only about 58% of the population owned a computer, whereas by 2010, this gradually increased to where over three-quarters of individuals had a home computer.

Looking at the information by level of education reveals that higher levels of education correspond to higher levels of computer ownership in both of those years. In 2002, a significantly low percentage of the population who did not finish high school had a computer, but this figure skyrocketed by 2010, going from 15% to over 40%. There were also dramatic climbs, of approximately 30 percentage points, for those with a high school diploma or an unfinished college education (reaching 65% and 85%, respectively, in 2010).

To conclude, during the last decade, therehas been a substantial growth in computer ownership across all educational levels.

Hopefully you’ll start to incorporate some of these key words and phrases in your IELTS Task 1 Writing. If you still don’t feel comfortable doing so, consider dedicating more time to your IELTS studies with Magoosh’s fun, engaging IELTS prep for extra practice.

Do you know how the examiner marks your writing paper? The key to success in IELTS Writing Task 1 is to give the examiner exactly what they want and nothing else.

Below are links to all the resources you will need on this site to do well in IELTS Writing Task 1.

IELTS Writing Task 1

Task 1 Writing Skills

No matter how good your English is you still need to learn some IELTS writing skills before you do task 1. Below are helpful guides that will take you through each of the skills step-by-step.

Your overview paragraph is the most important part of your whole Task 1 essay. This article will show you how to pick out the main features and how to include them in your overview.

Paraphrasing is one of the most essential IELTS skills, not just in Writing Task 1, but in all parts of the IELTS test. You should paraphrase the question in every essay and I recommend doing this in the very first sentence to help boost your vocabulary score.

Complex sentences help you boost your score for grammar. Complex sentences are actually very simple to write and are not complex at all- in this article we show you how.

Around 150 words? Exactly 150 words or over 150 words? How many words over? How do I know how many words I have? This article answers all those questions.

This is a quick checklist that you can use for any Task 1 question to help you make sure you have everything you need to get your best possible score.

Here is a list of all the tips I give my students doing Task 1.

Synonyms are very important, but they can also really reduce you mark if used incorrectly.

The six most common mistakes that stop students getting over a Band 6.

This article will show you how to make your writing as clear and as easy to read as possible. It will also give you advice on whether to use a pen or pencil.

Full Writing Task 1 Lessons

Here are some lessons that I have used when teaching students about task 1. I have changed them so that you can easily learn at home.

Task 1 can seem really difficult if you haven’t seen one before. This lesson breaks the question down into 5 easy to understand steps.

Charts are probably the most common Task 1 question. We show you what data to choose and how to describe it.

Maps are not very common, but they are the easiest (in my humble opinion). If you don’t learn how to do them, you will really regret it if one appears on your paper.

What should you do if you get two different charts or graphs? This lesson shows you how.

Sometimes you will be shown a process such as a life cycle or how something is manufactured. This requires a very specific approach and we cover everything here.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Sample Answers 

It’s very important that you have some good examples so that you can compare your writing and see if you are on the right track.

Grammar and Vocabulary

There are some very specific grammar structures and phrases you need to score high in IELTS Writing Task 1. We show you all you need to know.

Here are some common grammar mistakes I have found after marking hundreds of tests.

Essay Correction Service

Need help writing essays like these? Check out our ESSAY CORRECTION SERVICE.

General Training Lessons

For those of you taking the General Paper here are full lessons on how to write a letter in the first part of the Writing test.

Summary

We are constantly adding to our IELTS Writing Task 1 resources, so if you have a suggestion please let us know. In the meantime, thanks for your patience 🙂

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