Archive Lessons Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

For upgraded material, please go to our new, more complete Maps Introduction Lesson.

For the old lesson, continue reading.

Today’s lesson is concerned with writing about maps. This is a task type which sometimes crops up (is found) in Academic Writing Task 1 and so it is important to be prepared for it. Look at the example task below.

The following questions about the two maps are designed to help you plan your essay. Take a pen and paper and note down your answers. When you are finished, click on the questions to see the answers. 

1. How long and wide is the island?

The island is roughly 250 meters long and under 100 meters at its widest point.

2. what can be found at the western end of the island?

There is a beach at the western end of the island.

3. how could the island be described before the construction of tourist facilities.

It was an uninhabited desert island.

4. what are the main changes that OCCURRED?

The construction of tourist accommodation at both the western end and the center of the island as well as the construction of a reception building in the center of the island are major developments. The coast has also seen development; on the northern central coast a restaurant has been constructed and on the southern central coast a pier.


Yes,  footpaths and vehicle tracks have been constructed.

6. Have any areas of the island remained undeveloped?

Yes, the eastern end of the island.

7. How will the beach be used?

The beach will be used for swimming.

8. were the changes man-made or natural?

They were, of course, man-made and so the passive voice should be used.

9. What verb tense should be used to describe the island before development?

The past simple should be used.

10. What verb tense should be used to describe the changes that have OCCURRED on the island?

The present perfect simple should be used because we don’t know when the changes occurred. If we are describing the island NOW (at the present time), then we can use the present simple.

We have analysed the map and in the analysis we have used some great vocabulary for discussing maps, we have also thought a little about grammar. Now you should try and write your essay. Take no more than 20 minutes and make sure you write 150 or more words.

If you would like some FREE FEEDBACK, then copy and paste your essay into the comments section below. If you would like some detailed feedback to help you get a band 7 or above, then get in contact with us and get great savings on personalized IELTS lessons with Tom and Sam.

For more Maps practice, go to our Vocabulary for Maps Lesson.