2. First paragraph: Introduction
◦ Key technique: Be direct.
◦ When writing an introduction to Task 1, get straight to the point as you only have 20
minutes to write your answer. One or two sentences are often sufficient. Two things you
should try to include in the introduction are:
◦ Paraphrase of the question: What does the diagram show? (Don’t describe the results
yet!) DO NOT COPY THE QUESTION
◦ General description: Are the differences great or small, many or few? Is there one very
obvious trend or feature that stands out?
◦ Hint: Many people make the mistake of continuing with all the details. Stop here and
begin your first body paragraph.
3. Body paragraphs writing task 1
• Are there two or more sets of data?
Great, then write a paragraph about
• Is there only one set of data? Count
the variables and divide them into
two or three groups.
subjects are sciences;
others are arts
you can divide by
similarity of results (e.g.
some exam scores went
up; others went down
you can divide a process, a
time period or age range
into two or three stages (e.g.
the 20th Century can be
divided into the early, mid,
and late 20th Century.)
4. Body paragraphs (cont’d)
◦ Now that you have a paragraphing system, make sure each paragraph is organised as
◦ Link to the previous paragraph: By contrast, turning to, finally, etc.
◦ Topic sentence: Describe the main point, change or comparison in general terms
without giving specific information.
◦ Supporting sentence(s): Quote a figure or other evidence that supports the claim
made in the topic sentence.
◦ Hint: If you find yourself writing more than two consecutive supporting sentences,
include a general sentence (e.g. There were also significant differences in…) to guide
the reader, or consider starting a new paragraph.
5. Final paragraph: Conclusion
◦ Key technique: Add overall coherence.
◦ Due to lack of time, many people will omit the conclusion from Task 1.
◦ However, there are several reasons you should write a conclusion:
◦ One is that writing a summarising sentence takes very little time and may
push you past the 150-word limit.
◦ Another is that a good summary can add coherence to your answer, which
could rescue your score if you have drifted a lot.
◦ Finally, since the purpose of Task 1 is usually to compare, the conclusion
allows you to make direct comparisons of the different sets of data, which is
especially important if you have described them in separate body
6. Final paragraph: Conclusion (cont’d)
◦ Here are some things that can go in the conclusion to Task 1:
◦ Concluding signal: In conclusion, in summary, overall, etc.
◦ Summary: Paraphrase the overall trend or the two or three main points made in the
body. Never include statistics or other evidence in the conclusion.
◦ Direct comparison: If there are several sets of data, here is your chance to make a
connection between them. Don’t go into too much detail.
◦ Prediction: If the data includes a timeframe, you could make a prediction about what
is likely to happen next.
◦ Concluding comment: If you really need some extra words, you could add a comment
on the data. Is it surprisingly, alarming, expected? Comments such as these are not
required by the question but are better than incurring a penalty for not meeting the
◦ Hint: You don’t need to include all of the above in your conclusion. Two sentences are
9. (184 words, IELTS 8.0)
◦ The line graph shows growth in the consumption of renewable energy during the
period 1949-2008 in the USA. The results are also broken down by source.
◦ The first thing to note is that renewable energy use more than doubled over the
period, with particularly strong growth in biofuels. This sector did not exist in 1980
but experienced a steep rise during the 2000s to over one quadrillion Btu per year.
This made biofuels a serious challenger to both wood and hydroelectric power,
which both saw only limited growth overall. The former grew steadily between
1975 and 1985, but then slipped back to around its original level of 1.8 quadrillion
Btu. The latter began the period at the same level as wood but experienced more
substantial growth. However, it also fell back to around 2 quadrillion Btu, with a
particularly sharp drop in the late 1990s.
◦ Finally, wind power emerged late in the period but showed a gradual rise to
around 0.5 quadrillion Btu, suggesting that it, along with biofuels, will replace wood
and hydroelectricity as the main sources of renewable every in the future.
10. Why does this Task 1 answer get an
IELTS Band 8 score?
◦ Task achievement: The model answer describes the overall trend first, followed by an
analysis of the different energy sources. Numerical evidence is used carefully to
illustrate the trends. The main trends are used as the basis of a prediction in the final
◦ Coherence and cohesion: Trends are explained in general terms first, followed by
supporting figures. Some energy sources are grouped together for ease of
understanding. It and this are used throughout as cohesive devices, and the writer
uses the former and the latter to refer back to information in a previous sentence.
◦ Lexical resource: The writer uses a wide range of vocabulary to describe change,
including adjectives and adverbs such as limited, substantial and particularly sharp,
and verbs such as doubled, slipped and emerged.
◦ Grammatical range and accuracy: The model answer is free from grammatical errors.
Sentence forms are complex and include relative clauses and linking words such
as with. The candidate makes use of past, present and future tenses. Punctuation is also
used carefully and accurately throughout.
13. IELTS 8.5, 187 words
◦ The bar chart compares the energy consumption and expense of operating 16 different
items of household equipment. Overall, we can see significant differences in both cost and
◦ To begin with, there are some common household items which consume relatively little
energy. These include an electric blanket (approx. $10 or 100kwh/year), a microwave
oven (approx. $15 or 150kwh/year) and a television (approx. $17 or 170kwh/year).
◦ By contrast, devices that might be classified as ‘luxury’ items such as a pool pump or spa are
comparatively expensive and energy-intensive, at nearly $125 or 1500kwh/year and around
$190 or 2225kwh/year respectively.
◦ It is interesting to note that even among household items normally considered alike, such as
a microwave and refrigerator, there are enormous discrepancies in cost and energy use.
The former uses only around $15 or 150kwh/year, while the latter consumes at least six times
that amount at $90 or 1150kwh/year.
◦ In conclusion, it appears that there is no clear pattern in the relative energy consumption of
domestic equipment, although households had better be aware of the high running costs of
luxury items such as a pool pump and spa.