How to answer IELTS Academic Writing task 1?

We’ll study how to give a band 9 answer for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 in this lesson.

You should follow this response structure to earn the highest score:

  1. Introduction
  2. A Broad Overview
  3. Characteristics

Now we’ll look at each portion of the answer separately. You can also watch a video instruction on how to answer the first task of the IELTS Academic Writing:

Let’s have a look at the following topic as an example:

Between 2005 and 2015, the line graph below depicts household recycling rates in three separate nations.

Select and summarize the most important elements of the data, and draw comparisons where appropriate.

IELTS task 1 line graph

1. Provide an introduction

Your introduction should be the first paragraph you write. Simply summarize the material from your topic for the opening (make sure that you mention what your graph shows and for what period of time). It should be no more than two sentences long.

And here’s an example of how you could start your introduction:

From 2005 to 2015, the line graph depicts regional household recycling rates in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

2. A general overview

You should not state any precise specifics while giving a general summary; instead, simply express what is happening on the graph overall.

Before delivering a summary, it’s a good idea to write ‘Overall.’

This is how it could be done in this case:

Overall, the recycling rates in the United Kingdom and Germany increased steadily but significantly during the time, whereas the percentage of recycled garbage in France decreased.

Essentially, you’re claiming that the rates in the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as those in France, are comparable. It is critical to provide a summary; else, your essay will receive a considerably worse grade!

3. Specific Characteristics

You should group data by some feature and provide specific details after you’ve presented an overview. You can categorize data in this line graph in two ways:

  1. Country by Country

In a separate paragraph, describe each country’s recycling rates 

  1. In terms of a comparable pattern.

As you can see, the UK and Germany followed a similar pattern: their recycling rates increased over time, whilst France’s recycling rates decreased.

So, in the first paragraph, you can explain a “increasing pattern” and in the second paragraph, you can describe a “drop pattern.”

The final option is preferable. 

Here’s an example of specialized information:

In 2005 the recycling rates of the UK and Germany were nearly 35% and 20% respectively. Germany’s rate increased sharply throughout the period, exceeding France’s rate in 2009 and reaching almost 60% by the end of the period. In the meantime, the percentage of recycled waste in the UK grew to 40% in 2007, and then remained steady until 2009. During 2009-2011 it experienced a rapid surge to more than 50% and continued with a gradual increase to 60% in 2015.

In early 2005 the recycling rate of France (50%) was the highest among these three countries. However, it dramatically declined to 30% in 2013. Then, there was a growth of 10% in 2015, but France’s recycling rate was the lowest at the end of the period.

Remember that you should never write a conclusion in Writing Task 1 because you are only describing the data, not offering your opinion.

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