Writing Task 1 | Maps Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

The introduction for an IELTS academic writing task 1 map question should consist of only two to three sentences.

In the previous Maps Intro Paragraph class we looked at how to write the first sentence. The first sentence should paraphrase the information in the question and give details about place and time.

In this class we will look at how to complete the introduction paragraph with an overview sentence.


​What is an Overview?

An overview is typically a single sentence that describes the important elements of the map or maps. It is important to give this overview of the main trends or features in order to get a higher band for task achievement. You must report what major changes the maps show without giving too much detail. Detail to back up your overview should be included in the body paragraphs.
Note: An overview is important for all IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 task types.


​First let’s look at some key vocabulary for discussing changes in maps.


Exercise 1 | Map Vocabulary

​Complete the definitions with a key adjective from the box.
tourist   ·  natural   ·  high-rise   ·  urban   ·  commercial   ·  residential   ·  industrial   ·  entertainment   ·  financial   ·  rural  
Click or touch a word above
1. A area is defined as an area of countryside consisting of villages and farms.
2. An district is a district which consists of factories and warehouses.
3. An area is an area which contains bars, restaurants, cinemas and live music venues.
4. A area is an area in which people live.
5. An district is one which is full of buildings, for example, a town or city.
6. A area is an area which contains facilities for visitors.
7. A district is a district in which can be found shops and malls.
8. A area is an area of the city where banks and services and businesses connected to money can be found.
9. A area is an area which is unaffected by people.
10. A district is a district which consists of tall buildings.
Notice that we can call a part of the city a ‘district’ or an ‘area’

​To write a successful overview you need to make sure you mention the major change or changes the maps show.

Exercise 2 | Overview Sentences

​Look at the following 5 maps and complete the overview sentences with the appropriate adjectives from the box.
Picture
Click or touch a word above
1. The maps illustrate a change from a mainly to a largely area.
Picture
Click or touch a word above
2. The maps reveal development from a mainly to a largely entertainment area.
Picture
Click or touch a word above
3. The maps present a transformation from a mainly to a largely area.
Picture
Click or touch a word above
4. The maps illustrate an alteration from a mainly to a largely area.
Picture
Click or touch a word above
5. The maps reveal a change from a mainly low-rise town to a largely area.
Notice that we don’t need a noun after the first adjective, as long as the noun is after the second adjective:

Rather than
The maps present a transformation from a mainly industrial area to a largely commercial area.

We can shorten this to
The maps present a transformation from a mainly industrial to a largely commercial area.


Exercise 3

​We have now seen how to write a complete introduction paragraph of two sentences. Use the prompts below to write a complete introduction for the following question.
The maps below show the town of Greenwood in 1985 and 2005.

​Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant
Picture
Make 2 sentences using the words provided, then compare your answer to ours.
Sentence 1: Maps / reveal / developments / 20-year period / town / Greenwood
Sentence 2: They / illustrate / transformation / rural / industrial / high-rise / town
Our Introduction Paragraph

 The maps reveal developments over a 20-year period in the town of Greenwood. They illustrate a transformation from a mainly rural to an industrial and high rise town.

Well done so far! Let’s learn more Maps Vocabulary