English Corner (October)

By: Lisa Li, PhD student of the Department of English, FAH│ ISSUE82 October2018 MyUM

A Few Tips on IELTS Writing—Task 1

Are you overwhelmed by all the pie charts, bar charts, line charts, flow charts, tables and maps in task 1? No worries. Whether or not your IELTS exam is approaching, I hope the following tips may help.

First of all, let’s talk about the general structure of task 1. Basically , task 1 contains three parts, namely, introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. The introduction generally consists of one or two sentences, which often comes from paraphrasing the question. Next are the ma in body paragraphs, where relevant data and information are expected be presented and comparisons are needed in most cases. The number of paragraphs in this part depends either on the number of charts and tables or the way you categorise different charts and tables. For instance, when there happens to be too many charts and tables, grouping skill is essential i n deciding the number of paragraphs. As for the conclusion, it should be in a separate paragraph, reiterating the most prominent feature.

Secondly, figures need to be shown in most cases. However , it is neither possible nor necessary to describe all the figures. Therefore, maximum and minimum are often preferred alongside description of trends as seen from figures.

Besides, try to diversify your expressions. For example, the word peak is in often used in a noun phrase such as reach a peak. However, the word peak can also be used flexibly as a verb followed by a preposition, such as: peak at. Also, adjectives and adverbs can always be used to help describe tendency in graphs. For example, we can use words like gradual, slight, moderate, modest, sharp and dramatic or their corresponding adverbs to modify trends shown in certain graphs.

Last but not least, always bear in mind that conjunctions are vital in making your writing more coherent. And most importantly, practice makes perfect. Why not grab your pen and start writing?

Contributions to this column are from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities