Writing Task 1 | Tips Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Academic writing task 1 is always a report on statistics, a process or maps.

In order to get a band  7+, the first line of your introduction must give the reader the basic information about the data, process or map.

The best way to start the introduction is to paraphrase (write in your own way) the information in the rubric (the statement written on the question paper).

In this class we are going to:

  • Learn to paraphrase the rubric for task 1
  • Learn synonyms for commonly occurring words in task 1 rubric

How do I paraphrase the information about the graph?

​To paraphrase, you must express the same meaning but use different words to those on the question paper.
​Example description of graph
The graph below shows population figures for India and China since the year 2000 and predicted population growth up until 2050.’

The graph illustrates how the populations of India and China have changed from 2000 and how they will continue to grow up to 2050.’


  • Instead of ‘shows’, the verb ‘illustrates’ is used.
  • Instead of ‘population figures’, ‘population’ is used.
  • Instead of ‘since’, ‘from’ is used.
  • Instead of ‘predicted’, ‘will’ is used to show prediction.

Some phrases such as ‘India and China’ and the dates ‘2000’ and ‘2050’ cannot be changed. It is fine to keep these key words the same.

Exercise 1

​You need to know synonyms which you can use to paraphrase the rubric. Match the pairs of synonyms below.

Match the synonyms

1. average (adjective)
2. percentage (noun)
3. show (verb)
4. number (noun)
5. amount (noun)
6. 10 years
7. 100 years
8. graph (noun)

1. information (noun)
2. about (preposition)
3. between (preposition of time)
4. change (noun)
5. predicted (verb)
6. diagram (noun)
7. made (verb)
8. table (noun)

​Exercise 2

​Use the words in the box to complete a paraphrase introduction sentence for each rubric below. You may use words more than once.
quantity   ·  typical   ·  over   ·  illustrate   ·  processes   ·  illustrates   ·  eaten   ·  alterations   ·  figures   ·  produced   ·  data   ·  proportion   ·  illustrates   ·  decade   ·  charts   ·  quantity  
Click or touch a word above
The graphs above give information about computer ownership as a percentage of the population between 2002 and 2010.
1. The provide concerning the of the population who owned computers an 8-year period.

The line graph below shows changes in the amount and type of fast food consumed by Australian teenagers from 1975 to 2000.
2. The chart the in the type and of fast food which was by Australian teenagers in the last quarter of the 20th century.

The first diagram shows how cement is produced. The second diagram shows the production of concrete.
3. The two diagrams reveal the industrial by which cement and concrete are .

The graph shows the average number of hours worked by single parents per week in 3 European countries over a 10 year period.
4. The chart the workload in hours per week of single parents in a number of European countries over a .

The tables show the amount of Fairtrade-labelled tomatoes and tea imported into 5 European countries in 2000 and 2008.
5. The the of fair-trade tomato and tea imported to certain European countries in two separate years.

Notice how the following phrases are used
…in certain countries              
can be used instead of giving a list or number of countries.

…the process by which ____ is produced
can be used to introduce what is produced in a process diagram

…in two separate years
can be used when the graph/chart/table has data on two different years

Practice using this language next time you write your paraphrase for your writing task 1. Want to find out more about how to write a high band task 1 essay?Check out more of our articles on this topic!