IELTS Writing Rules

Describing a graph/table/a chart/a pie diagram can be very challenging. It requires good analytical skills too. Yes, you will have to focus on what it is about. You will have to understand what it says. You will have to pay attention to important features of it. And then after careful analysis you will have to describe it making use of effective words.

You will have to write at least 3-4 paragraphs. These paragraphs should be crisp and short. Remember that word length. It shall not be more than 150 words. In some cases, the word length may go a little higher up to 160-170 words. But, not more than that. You will not be given any extra marks for the extra words that you will write. But, yes, if you write less than 150 words, you will be penalized for it.

In the first paragraph, it is important to paraphrase the question. Yes, read the question carefully and try to rewrite what you have understood. You are not expected to make use of the same words or the sentences. At least, you should have the skills to jumble them up or give the sentence a new shape.

It can be easy for you to paraphrase by making use of these sentences. You can use them in the beginning of the first paragraph.

  • The graph/table/pie chart shows the trends
  • The graph/table gives an idea of the trends in field of
  • The table/graph perfectly illustrates /the rise and fall of the
  • The chart describes how the values have changed over the past five years.

After paraphrasing it is important that you should try to present the overview. But, it should not be repetitive in nature. If your first sentence that you have paraphrased using the content from the question is good and describes the same then you do not have to talk about it in the second sentence.

To add the overview, you can check the beginning and the ending of the graph, table, chart, etc.

Often, you will have to compare two, three or four things.

While making a comparison it is important that you make use of different words or phrases. Do not just use the same words again and again. For instance, most of the candidates describe the trends by using words such as increase, decrease, high, low, etc. and they use these words more than needed. Therefore, it is suggested that you should use as many different words as possible to provide comparisons.

The following words or short phrases you can use in your IELTS Writing task 1 to compare two or more ideas, items, etc.

  • In contrast to
  • Also, to
  • Same as
  • As opposed to
  • Different from
  • Like/Likewise
  • As well as
  • Unlike
  • Whereas
  • Though
  • Although
  • Despite/In Spite of
  • Even though
  • Nonetheless

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