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Useful tips and vocabulary to describe a graph or chart in IELTS Writing Task 1

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    IELTS Forum Master Staff Member

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    Anh Ngữ ZIM giới thiệu với các IELTS Learners một số tips và từ vựng hữu ích cho bài thi IELTS Writing Task 1:

    1. Viết câu introduction
    • One sentence is enough for the introduction.
    • Replace words in the general statement with synonyms or paraphrases where you can.
    • If you cannot quickly write your introduction in your own words, do not waste time.
      Write out the words in the rubric, but remember to change them later.
    • Use one of the following four prompts to help you write an introduction:
    – The graph shows/illustrates the trends in … between .. and…
    – The graph gives/provides/reveals/presents information about (the differences/changes …)
    – The graph shows that (there is a number of differences between…)
    – The graph shows/illustrates how the sales have differed/changed…
    • Vary noun phrases, e.g. sales/purchases of different cars: sales/purchases of private vehicles, the number of various types of cars sold/purchased, the number of various types of cars sold/purchased, car sales/purchases.
    • Use general words for the introduction: information, data, difference(s), similarities,
      changes, trends, results, numbers, percentages, figures, statistics, breakdown.
    2.How to write the main part of the text
    • Divide your text into 3-4 paragraphs, including the introduction.
    • Divide the information into broad/general groups/categories or trends.
    • Describe the main or most striking/significant/noticeable/outstanding/remarkable
      feature(s)/charateristics differences/trends/changes. Avoid writing lists of detail. Write about general trends and support what you say with specific data.
    • Describe the three general trends: is/was upwards/downwards/flat or say what happened: …(sales) rose/fell/remained flat/fluctuated…
    Use appropriate synonyms:
    – rise (vb): climb, go up, increase, improve, jump, leap, move upward, rocket, skyrocket, soar, shoot up. pick up. surge, recover
    – rise (n): increase, climb, jump, leap, pick up, surge (in)
    – fall (vb): collapse, decline, decrease, deteriorate: dip, dive, drop, fall (back), go down, go into free-fall, plummet plunge, reduce (only in the passive) slide, slip (back), slump, take a nosedive
    – fall (n): decline, decrease, deterioration, dip. drop, plunge, free-fall, slide, slip, dive, reduction, slump
    – fluctuate: (noun: fluctuations) be erratic, be fitful, vary, rise and fall erratically
    – flat: no change, constant
    Add suitable adverbs: dramatically, erratically, gradually, markedly, significantly, slightly, slowly, steadily.
    Add specific information or examples:
    – (increasing, decreasing, etc) from … to …
    (eg: The oil price experienced a period of sharp rise, increasing from 120$ to 320$ over a decade. )
    – between…and…
    – with an increase from … to… /to… from …​
    Use: …followed by… to add more information
    (eg: The oil price increased dramatically to 120$ in 2001, followed by a slight drop to 100$ over the next year)
    Add time phrases
    – between … and…
    – from … to… (inclusive)
    – in the year (1994)…
    – during/over the period… to…
    – over the latter half of the year/century/decade/period
    – over the next past/previous five days/weeks/months/years/decades​

    3. How to compare and contrast
    • Repeat the process for each general point, but vary the sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary
    • Compare and contrast the other items. Use some of the following:
    – more/less than…
    – (bigger) than…
    – (not) as big as…
    – twice as big/much as…
    – rather than. ..
    – as against/as opposed to/compared with/in comparison with
    – in (sharp) contrast to the biggest/smallest (change)…
    – more (women) dted/achieved/participated/took part in/were involved in … than .
    – there were more (men) than (women) who …
    • To quote from the results of the survey, you can use:
      – … percent quoted/cited/mentioned/considered …as important ..
      – …was quoted/cited/mentioned/considered as the most/least important factor by…
      – … came top/bottom/second/next, followed (closely) by…..at… and…. respectively.
    • Use conjunctions like: while/whilst/whereas/but
    • Use linkers: however/in contrast/by comparison/meanwhile/on the other hand
    • Focus on an item in the graph:
    – As regards (sales), they …
    – With regard to/Regarding/ln the case of/As for/ Turning to (sales), they…..
    – Where is/are concerned/it/they…
    – When it comes to………, it/they…​
    • Use these words and phrases to describe predictions:
    – It is predicted/forecast(ed)/estimated/expected/projected/anticipated that …..will…
    – … will have… by…
    – The projection is for… to…
    – … is/are predicted/forecast(ed)/estimated/expected/projected/anticipated to
    – … is/are set to​
    • Use the present perfect to describe the recent past to the present: …has risen, etc.
    • Write a conclusion. One sentence is enough. You can use the following phrases:
      Generally. …; All in all. ; On average. …; Overall, It is clear/evident/obvious that,…
    • Other verb sequences stages you can use:
    – … rose from … to …
    – … rose… and increased… from… to…
    – … rose…., increasing from … to…
    – … rose…., overtaking… in…. and outstripping…. in …
    – Rising from … to… (sales) overtook… and outstripped.
    – .. rose … overtaking … in …» and reaching a peak … in …
    – … rose … before leveling off…
    – ….fell…, before rising….
    – …..fell…, after rising.. /after rising fell…
    – …..rose/fell.. from … to…. while/whilst/whereas/… rose/fell…
    Tips for IELTS – McCarter
     

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