In A.Writing Task 1 the first thing you should do is
1.) Read the first part of the topic very carefully because it usually explains the information that you are about to see in the diagram in detail. For example,
The chart below shows the annual profit made by four major
international companies in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. [ABC 10, Mega
Market, Grow&Flow, Today Global].
That’s the first part of the question. This is what we’re going to see in this example: the annual profit of 4 years for these 4 companies.
2.) Then, read carefully the second part of the question and please
3.) underline the verbs because this is what they ask you to write about and this is what they expect to see. Task 1 will usually ask you these 3 things: i.) to summarise the data shown in the diagram ii.) to describe the main points and iii.) to make comparisons. For example, here’s the second part of the question:
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main
features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.
We underline what we need to do: summarise data/report main features/compare and contrast
4.) Now it is time to actually look at the diagram or chart or graph or whatever in detail. There will be a title, so read the main title first, and then the titles of the two axes. For example,
In this case, we read the title and we carefully identify what the two axes represent. This is important. We don’t want to get confused here. So, the horizontal one is about the years and the vertical one is about the amount of money in millions. Apart from the titles, the diagram will also give you information about what the different colours or symbols represent: check out which is which and keep that in mind throughout your writing.
Let’s look at the companies. We carefully examine what each colour represents. In this case, blue stands for the ABC10 company, green for the MegaMarket and so on so forth.
All this information at first sight in Task 1 might me overwhelming, I know, but if you follow these steps you will gradually familiarise yourself with the diagram and you will be calm and organised. Now, it is time to look at what the diagram shows more closely. Examine how the symbols or colours change throughout the diagram or chart and make notes. Search for both sudden changes and stable performance.
For instance, in our example
- we can see that the profits of ABC10 company (the blue colour) are increasing throughout the range of years, reaching their peak in 2014.
- Except for ABC10, all profits drop in 2014 which could be the outcome of the global economy getting worse and worse.
- In 2013, all companies performed better than 2012.
The above are just examples to show you the way to phrase what you see by choosing the most important data.
In Task 1 you are not asked to state your opinion; you are asked to report information; summarise their changes; and then compare the different features with each other. So, that’s your last step: compare the information you are given with each other by stating their similarities and their differences.
After you have described your data, you can start comparing the companies with each other. So, in this case, for instance, you could say things like:
“Although the ABC10 company earned much less money in 2011 compared to MegaMarket and TodayGlobal, it steadily increased its income becoming the most profitable of all in 2014.”
Additionally, you can say that “MegaMarket and Grow+Flow earn more or less the same amount of money from 2012-14.”
Just two examples of how you can proceed further with comparisons!
Overall, it will be a formal essay that’s why you should prefer using passive voice. You can state your opinion in case you have come to a conclusion from reading their information and their changes in their diagram. So, let’s recap!
- Read the question carefully and underline what you need to do
- Read the title and the subtitles of the diagram
- Understand what the symbols in the diagram represent
- Study the diagram and how the symbols change
- Compare the information by stating their similarities and their differences
Here’ s the video lesson if you prefer: