Writing Task 1 academic reports
Part 1 of the Academic IELTS writing test often causes problems for many candidates. The combination of analysing statistics and reporting on them using very concise wording can be difficult. The key is to understand exactly what you need to do, select the right data (not all of it!) and to write in the correct style.
Remember! It is an academic report, NOT an essay, so long opinion phrases are not suitable. Task 1 is testing your ability to analyse data and write research papers that use statistical charts, tables, graphs and diagrams.
To do well in this task, you must plan your answer before you start writing.
We recommend that you follow this procedure:
1) Describe the purpose of the graph/chart/table/diagram.
2) Provide an overview of the data.
3) Give a detailed description by comparing and contrasting the most interesting statistics.
Keep in mind that the person reading your report is not able to see the visual information in the chart or diagram, so your report has to explain very clearly, but concisely, what it represents. Below are some example phrases you can use for Step 1:
The graph shows….
The diagram/map illustrates….
The bar chart provides information about….
To begin your overview (step 2), you could use one of the following phrases:
On the whole, (X) increased by….
Over (X number of) years, the amount of .... decreased.
While the chart shows (X), the graph highlights the opposite trend.
Remember that the word count is very low (minimum 150 words) compared to the amount of information you need to include, so you have to be very precise with your use of language. Avoid long sentences that contain lengthy descriptions.
Clarity and conciseness are the keys to getting a good band score in these writing tasks.
Why not practise writing an answer to one of our sample Task 1 questions?