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IELTS Preparation. Writing Tips and Recommendations

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic requires you to write at least 150 words in response to a graph, table, chart, or process.

Lyndsey Whittle
Lyndsey Whittle

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic requires you to write at least 150 words in response to a graph, table, chart, or process. You have 20 minutes to present the factual data of what it represents and reporting the main features. 20 minutes is not a long time to do this task and most people find this to be the hardest. Try to write down everything you see, paragraphing and describing it. When you have done that then add to it.

Describing what you can see

The first paragraph should explain what the chart etc is all about,  mention the most important features: the dates, what it is measuring etc. Here is an example: The line graph shows/illustrates male and female gym membership over a thirty-year period. The red line represents the number of … and so on.

Writing the second paragraph: Summary

In this paragraph you want to state the obvious, you don’t want to go into too much detail about everything you can see.

Sometimes people will write 3-4 paragraphs in total. Usually, in the third paragraph, it will explain using words such as “rise,” “fall,” and percentages defining the other things you can see in the graph and making comparisons.

In paragraph 3, also try to use a linking word: Meanwhile, Manufacturing sees a further drop in its share, falling by a further 10 percent to around 5 percent.

Writing the last paragraph: Conclusion

A clear conclusion of what is happening. It doesn’t have to be long. Use words like “Overall, or It is clear that ….”

  • Try not to repeat the same words and descriptions.
  • Don’t write less words. It’s ok to go slightly over but not under.
  • Proofreading your work is extremely essential because with this, you can yourself find a lot of mistakes in your writing.

How to describe a chart or diagram

First of all, you need a note book and pen and write down the various ways of describing a chart or process. There are many great websites that will show you examples of how to describe a bar chart or graph. You need to use words such as:

  • Upwards expressions: rise, increase, incline, peak
  • Downwards expressions: fall, decrease, decline, dip, drop
  • Adding emphasis: A steady incline in, a dramatic fall in, a rapid increase in.

Starting the sentences

In the body of the text use these words to start the sentence: In brief, In conclusion, overall, to sum up…

In the final part of the text: Finally, In conclusion, To conclude, It is clear that, Overall…

Linking and connecting words

Also, anyway, besides, furthermore, in addition, likewise, moreover, similarly, as a result…

as a result profits fell to almost half …
Smoking declined during 1999; moreover, it continued to increase …

I hope you found this blog useful, good luck with the IELTS.


Lyndsey Whittle

I am an ESL/EFL English Teacher. I am from England and I speak some Spanish.

Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.