In this podcast you get a complete tutorial on how to describe a diagram for IELTS Academic Task 1. 🙂

Writing Task 1 (Academic)

Skill 1: Writing diagram descriptions

You should write at least 150 words.

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

Strategy:

When preparing for the IELTS Writing task 1, let’s consider writing a report on a diagram. These techniques will help you gain more points in your final result.

Firstly, study the title of the diagram so you know what it is. Remember that you have to describe the diagram, not why it is used.

Next, examine the diagram itself. Study:

the main parts or sections of the diagram

the relationship between these parts

any further explanations

Organize the plan for your description of the diagram. Don’t worry if you don’t know the technical words. Use your own words to describe it.

In the introduction, briefly describe the purpose of the diagram.

In the main body of your text, outline a step-by-step explanation of the diagram.

To outline the facts of this process, you should use sequencing language. These words are very important: Firstly, Next, Then, After, Afterwards, Before, Once

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Example:

Read the title and image of the diagram:

Now, we understand that this image that illustrates the carbon cycle.

This image clearly illustrates the carbon cycle.

Note the parts of the process:

Carbon-dioxide is released into the atmosphere by aquatic and terrestrial life respiration or the decomposition of plant and animal life.

This CO2 Is used in photosynthesis for the growth of plants and nourishment of animals.

These organisms die and decompose. This decomposition and waste are transformed into carbon.

Carbon-dioxide is diffused into the ocean through precipitation when gases in the atmosphere are transformed to water.

If the decomposition of carbon in the seabed and land is interrupted, it leads to the development of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas.

These fossil fuels are extracted from the earth for human use.

During manufacturing processes, factories release fossil fuel emissions (including CO2) back into the atmosphere.

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Using Sequencing Words

In the main body of your text, let’s use sequencing words to connect your descriptive sentences:

Firstly, Carbon-dioxide is released into the atmosphere by aquatic and terrestrial life respiration or the decomposition of plant and animal life.

Next, this CO2 Is used in photosynthesis for the growth of plants and nourishment of animals.

Once these organisms die and decompose, this waste and decomposition is transformed into carbon.

Additionally, carbon-dioxide is diffused into the ocean through precipitation when gases in the atmosphere are transformed to water.

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Using the Passive Form

Note the frequent use of the passive form in the description to define an action that is done.

In the ocean, this CO2 is converted into sedimentation in the seabed.

Passive form

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Using Paraphrase

Note the use of paraphrase in the second and third lines to avoid redundancy:

Next, this CO2 Is used in photosynthesis for the growth of plants and nourishment of animals.

Once these organisms die, they are transformed into carbon.

Plants / animals = organisms

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Using Conditionals and Adverb Clauses

Conditionals (If) and Adverb Clauses (Once) are also important to indicate possible outcomes when describing the diagram.

Adverb Clause

Once these organisms die, they are transformed into carbon.

Real Conditional

If the decomposition of carbon in the seabed and land is interrupted, it leads to the development of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas.

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Writing a summary: sum up the principle idea of the diagram in one short paragraph. Use the expressions Clearly or To summarize to make this conclusion:

This graph clearly indicates the cycle of carbon through the land and oceans.

The final step is to skim through your written work to check for errors.

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Text

Now, let’s read through your final draft!

Firstly, carbon-dioxide is released into the atmosphere by aquatic and terrestrial life respiration or the decomposition of plant and animal life.

Next, this CO2 Is used in photosynthesis for the growth of plants and nourishment of animals.

Once these organisms die and decompose, this waste and decomposition is transformed into carbon.

Additionally, carbon-dioxide is diffused into the ocean through precipitation when gases in the atmosphere are transformed to water.

In the ocean, this CO2 is converted into sedimentation in the seabed through the decomposition of marine animals.

If the decomposition of carbon in the seabed and land is interrupted, it leads to the development of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and gas.

These fossil fuels are extracted from the earth for human use. During manufacturing processes, factories release fossil fuel emissions (including CO2) back into the atmosphere.

This diagram clearly indicates the cycle of carbon through the land and oceans.

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