In today’s lesson we are going to talk about a bar chart in A. Writing Task 1. In a previous lesson I have shared with you the strategy you should follow in Task 1 using a diagram as an example and you can check it out by clicking here.
In this lesson, let’s see how a bar chart would look like and how we can read it. Here’s the task:
This bar chart has a lot of information and this could confuse you but not if you take it step by step. Firstly, let’s underline the important information in the topic: the keywords (studying hours, boys and girls, subjects, 2003-2008). Also, don’t forget to underline what you have to do: “Summarise“, “selecting and reporting“, “main features“, “make comparisons“. In this way, we get familiar with the task.
Now, let’s go and read the bar chart very carefully. The first thing we want to do is to see what the two axes represent. So, the vertical one shows the subjects–that’s clear–and what about the horizontal one? It shows the number of hours that are spent studying each week.
Ok, so far so good. Now what do these colours represent? And why do they change as we move on? Let’s see.. The blue colour is common for both boys and girls and when it changes to green it represents only the hours spent by the girls. So, the first thing we notice is that girls consistently study more in every subject.
In the end, the chart also gives you the average of studying for all the subjects, ok? What about 2003-2008? Do you need it? Is it important in this case? No, it doesn’t affect any main data. You will only use it in your introduction. Other than that, you just care about subjects and hours for boys and girls.
So, first of all, you write your introduction by just paraphrasing the topic given. Nothing more, nothing less. You don’t care about the details in the bar chart at this point. If you need help in paraphrasing the topic for Task 1 in order to form your introduction, you can read this lesson by clicking here.
Now, let’s go and see the most important points you need to consider for your next 2 paragraphs!
In your first paragraph after your introduction, you care about describing only, so don’t worry about comparisons at this point. Just start by checking the highest and the lowest values for studying.
So, the hours of studying Maths and Latin are the most as a total and the hours of studying for Literature and Chemistry are not as many. The hours spent for Language are more than those spent on Physics and History but less that those spent on Latin. Overall, we can see that the hours spent on practical subjects such as Maths, Physics, and Biology are more than the hours spent on theoretical subjects.
Well, these are the main things you should focus on in this paragraph. Don’t start talking about boys and girls at this point because you’ll eventually get confused and your paragraph will be convoluted with no cohesion. Just take it one step at a time.
Now, your third paragraph. Time to compare! Start with comparing girls and boys in relation to subjects. It will be easier for you. As a whole, we can see that girls study more in all subjects. So, start with the general and then move on to the specific. You can talk about the average and state that girls on average study more by 1h and 30 minutes: Start your paragraph with that and then move on by saying
“More specifically, it is clear that in subjects such as Maths and Physics the girls study more than the boys, almost 2 hours more, as traditionally girls are better in theoretical subjects at least the majority of them, so they study more in relation to practical subjects”.
Then, you write your conclusion and your essay is ready! Even if it is a graph, a diagram, a bar chart, a pie-chart–you name it–with lots of information, don’t panic! If you take it step by step, you’ll see that Task 1 is quite easy to be written as long as you follow an organised strategy.
If you prefer the video lesson, here you go: