Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Preparation (Part 1)

IELTS Writing Preparation: Academic IELTS Writing Task 1 Preparation:

Things you should know about Academic Writing Task 1:

You are asked to describe information presented in graph/ table/ chart/ diagram.
You have 20 minutes to finish the task and you have to write at least 150 words.
If you are asked to use the information presented in the graph you must be careful not to copy it.


In Academic Writing task 1, candidates are assessed on their ability to:
Organise, present and possibly compare data.
Describe the stages of a process or procedure.
Describe an object or event or sequence of events.
Explain how something works.


The general format for writing academic writing task 1 is as follows:

Introduction + Basic/General Trends + Details Description + Conclusion/Summary (Optional).


The IELTS Academic writing task 1 requires several vocabularies. Each of these parts has a specific format and therefore being equipped with the necessary vocabulary will help you to write the task 1 efficiently and will save a great deal of time. Before you go through the details of how to write Academic Writing task 1, you must learn the necessary vocabulary and words first to write a better answer. «Click here to learn the vocabulary»

Well, now you know the structure and vocabulary for the Academic Writing Task 1. Continue ahead...

Four steps should be followed to write a better Academic writing task 1:

1. What type of presentation it is and what it is asking.
2. Collecting data/information.
3. Planning for writing.
4. Representing in an organised form.

First Step: Analise.
Analise the question first .Look whether it is a diagram / table /figure / illustration / graph / figure / chart / flow chart or a picture. Now look what the question is asking to do. For example, the question might ask to compare, contrast, analyse, summarise or more than one thing.

Second Step: Collecting data/information.
You must collect/ understand the following data and information from the figure.

a) Time: Be sure whether the time presented in the graph/ figure are present/ past/ future or a mixture of these three. Your writing has to be in the correct Tense according to the time presented.
b) Theme: Be sure what the figure/ diagram/ picture is trying to represent.
c) Place and Position: About what place or field the data are all about?
d) Main Point: What's the central idea of the presented graph/ diagram?
e) General Trend: Figure out the General Trend(s).
f)  Effects & Result: Find out the effects and results.
g) Conclusion: Plan what you should include in the conclusion.


You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The graph below shows the unemployment rates in the USA and Japan between March 1993 and March 1999. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant.

Unemployment rates in the USA and Japan

You should write at least 150 words.

First Step (worked out): Analise:
It is a line graph with 2 lines. The graph is asking to summarise the main features of the unemployment rate.

Second Step (worked out): Collecting data/information:
Time: From March 1993 to March 1999.
Theme: Unemployment rates of USA and Japan.
Place and Position: USA and Japan.
Main Point: The unemployment rate has decreased in the USA and has increased in Japan.
General Trend: Initially unemployment rate was higher in the USA than Japan but over the period the USA managed to reduce the rate and in case of Japan the reverse was true.  
Effects & Result: Effects: unknown. Result: as General Trends.
Conclusion: Unemployment rate was higher in the USA than Japan but over the period the USA managed to reduce the rate and in case of Japan the reverse was true.

Third Step: Essay Planning:
You should make a plan after you are done with the first 2 steps. This step involves the following orders.

a) Writing a balanced Introduction.
b) Writing a general trend
c) Detailed description of the figure and supporting the description.
d) Describing the results.
e) Writing the conclusion.

How to write a balanced introduction:
The introduction part of a writing is very important hence it reflects your skill of writing. Readers decide whether to read further or completely avoid the whole writing after reading the introduction. So in every writing introduction part should be very organised. In case of IELTS academic writing task 1, you should use the following structure and vocabularies to write a balanced introduction.

What it is (table/ graph/ chart/ diagram/ picture/ flow chart) + What it does (presents data/ shows comparison/ summarize / contrast/ give projection or prediction) + What about (in this case the unemployment rate) + Place (in this case US and Japan) + Time (in this case 1993 to 1999) + Presentation of X and Y axis (here X axis represents time and Y axis represent percentage of work force) + Other relevant information.

Example: The provided line graph provides information on unemployment rates in USA and Japan from March 1993 to March 1999. Here the bold line represents the unemployment rate of Japan and the dotted line for the USA. In the provided line graph the X axis shows time with one-year interval and the Y axis represents unemployment rate.

How to write a better general trend:
The general trend part should be immediately after the introduction part. It is recommended to write the general trend parts in the same paragraph with the introduction. The general trend part should focus the main point of the presentation and should not be too large with lots of information. However you should not give the specific figure, time, amount or data presented in the graph, rather try to use daily life English to make the main reader interested about the whole writing. You can use phrases like As is presented/ as is observed / in general / in common etc. to start this part.

Example: As is observed from the graph, initially in 1993 the unemployment rate in the USA was significantly higher than that of Japan. But over the 6 years,  the USA managed to reduce this rate and the reverse was true for Japan where unemployment rate increased in these 6 years.

How to write an attractive details description:
The Detailed description part comes after the introduction and general trend and should be written in the second paragraph. In this part, you should describe the graph / table / chart / diagram etc. While describing, keep in mind that, you are not expected to write down all the data provided in the question, rather your ability to describe the presentation in general English.

The things you should follow in this part :
» Use appropriate tense to describe the data.
» Use transitional words like, besides, as well as, likewise, in addition, additionally, again, on the other hand etc. to make your sentences relevant and coherent.
» Try to mention the initial, highest, lowest and projection points.

Things you should avoid in this part:
» Do not describe all the data and facts presented in the graph.
» Don't include your own opinion, imagination or solution.
» DO NOT use contractions (can not=can't, do not =don't etc, will not=won't) in your writing.
Example: As is presented in the line graph, in March 1993, United States had about 7% of their workforce unemployed, which might not seem high unless it is compared to to the unemployment rate of Japan in the same year, where only 2.5% workers were unemployed. However, the unemployed rate in the USA began to decrease slowly having a fluctuation till 1996 and reached to around 5%. On the contrary, the unemployment rate in Japan got an upward trend and doubled in 5 years. The unemployment rate of both countries intersected in the middle of the year 1998. Afterwards, the unemployment rate in the USA remained roughly the same (about 5%) having a similar ratio to that of Japan.

How to describe the results:
If you want to and really need to describe the result of the graph, then write it at the end of the detailed description. However, if  results-writing makes something repeated ( those that has already been described), then you do not need to write the result apparently.

Example: The USA managed to decline their unemployment rate from 7% to almost 5% in 6 years but on the other hand the rate has increased in Japan from only 2.5% to approximately 5%.

How to write a good and efficient conclusion:
The conclusion is an important part of the whole writing and that is why you must be careful to write a better conclusion. The conclusion part of the Academic IELTS writing 1 is also knows as summarising. So write down the main point/theme of the graph in short. You should never include your own point of view, personal opinion or suggestion to solve a problem in conclusion. In some cases of Academic IELTS writing task 1, it optional to write the conclusion, hence the data are already described and summarised before the conclusion. However, if you need to write the conclusion part, use one of the following words to start the sentence:

In conclusion / in short / to conclude / to sum up / in brief / in summary etc.  

Example: It conclusion, the unemployment rate in the USA decreased in 6 years and the opposite scenario was true for the Japan.


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.15 (95 Votes)
Chang b. Ju
I’m happy now knowing this and expecting that I’ll learn a lot.
Samad Mahmud
This manner is so useful for a new person.
Bro, you should write at least 180 words and not less than 150 words. But using frequently same words matters a lot as it may reduce your band score completelyNote: do not repeat the same words more than 1 or times.
Sahil Nirmal
Try to write at most 170 words and avoid repetition of sentences in order to get more bands.
Dharmendra Singh
Astounding method of explanation. Thank you very much for sharing all this indispensable information...
Smitha said :
Thank you. This information is very useful for me.

Hi, IELTS Mentor, I have seen all writing topics, but I can not batter this. So please help me in this.
Arslan Aslam
In this task, you wrote more than 150 words. Is it possible to write 200 words in this task? And you are too repeating same sentences again and again. Tell me please in reply.
Very best tasks.
The graph depicts the changes in the rates of unemployed population in Japan and the USA. The analysis was done from March 1993 to March 1999. As can be seen from the graph, the unemployment rate in the USA was 7% during the start of the study period. This figure was nine-fold higher than that of Japan. The percentage of jobless people sharply dropped to 5.5% over the next two years and remained almost constant until 1996. After this period, unemployment rates in the USA continuously depicted a downward trend despite some fluctuations. By March 1999, the number of unemployed people in the USA was exactly the same as with that of Japan until it further dropped to about 4% at the end of the study period.On the other hand, the unemployment rate in Japan depicted a negative trend. A gradual increase was noted from about 2.5% to 3.5% between March 1993 - March 1998. From this point, a dramatic rise in the number of unemployed Japanese was noted until it reached approximately 4.7% in March 1999.Based on the information given, it can be concluded that while unemployment rates in the USA dropped, this inversely rose in Japan.