In Writing Task 1, you are going to be given either a graph, a diagram, a pie-chart, or a table that shows information based on statistics and basically, what you need to do is to
1.) Summarise the information you are given through reading the data on the diagram.
In your summary, you should refer to the most important information and then, you should
2.) Compare and contrast the changes in the data you are given.
You have 20 minutes to write your answer in approximately 150 words. You can write more than that but definitely not less!
Task 1 takes the 1/3 of the marks of the Writing section; the other 2/3 go to Task 2.
In Task 2, you should write 250 words or more (again, not less!) in about 40 minutes. You will be given a topic to discuss in your writing by stating your opinion. Here, you don’t have to describe something; you are expected to form your own opinion. Mainly, in each paragraph of the main body of your essay you
1.) Give a reason that supports your statement
2.) Analyse it a little bit
3.) Use facts and examples to justify it
Now, In Academic Writing both Task 1 and 2, the language you should use is formal. I am sure that you hear that a lot, but what does it mean in practice?
1.) To begin with, when you write a formal essay, contractions such as “don’t, won’t, aren’t, isn’t etc” are out of the question. Always use “do not, will not, are not is not etc”.
2.) Secondly, in a formal writing we prefer using passive voice whenever we can instead of everything else. We will use all syntactical forms of course, but if there is a choice, always prefer passive voice. For example, instead of using “I argue that smoking is very dangerous”, you can use “It could be argued that smoking is very dangerous”, especially in Task 2 where you state your own opinion.
3.) You should be very careful with your spelling! Don’t think that minor spelling mistakes shouldn’t matter much. They do. They consider spelling extremely important, so you’re going to lose points from these mistakes especially if they are repetitive. So, on the day of the exam, if you are not absolutely sure about the spelling of a word, try to use another one (especially if this word is repeated throughout your essay).
4.) Be careful! Whenever you use an idea make sure that you elaborate on it a little bit with further analysis and examples. Do not just throw ideas randomly out there. This is what cohesion is all about: one idea should follow the previous one smoothly.
5.) Organisation is extremely important, too. Divide your essay into paragraphs. Preferably, 4 paragraphs should be fine. You need an introduction, 2-3 paragraphs in the main body, and a conclusion.
6.) Last but not least, use useful connecting linking phrases to connect paragraphs and ideas.
If you prefer video, watch the lesson here: