Writing Task 1 | Pie Charts Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

This is an example lesson from our Academic Writing Task 1 Course. This lesson will give you an opportunity to study linking words and how they are applied to a pie chart task. It will…

  • present 5 important linking words
  • present a pie chart task and its model answer
  • include an exercise to apply linking words to the model answer.
Let’s see first study 5 key linking words.

Exercise 1

What is the meaning of each linker?
1. Respectively
At the same time
Shows a contrast
Organizes data or examples in a sequence
Adds further evidence or supporting ideas
Gives a reason
2. Meanwhile
At the same time
Shows a contrast
Organizes data or examples in a sequence
Adds further evidence or supporting ideas
Gives a reason
3. Furthermore
At the same time
Shows a contrast
Organizes data or examples in a sequence
Adds further evidence or supporting ideas
Gives a reason
4. Whereas
At the same time
Shows a contrast
Organizes data or examples in a sequence
Adds further evidence or supporting ideas
Gives a reason
5. Since
At the same time
Shows a contrast
Organizes data or examples in a sequence
Adds further evidence or supporting ideas
Gives a reason




Exercise 2

​Study the IELTS writing task 1 question and pie charts below.
The pie charts below show the average number of books on loan from a university library per week to undergraduate students, PhD students and junior lecturers.
Picture
Now answer the following true or false questions.
1. The data is about more than one university.
2. The data should be described in the present tense.
3. The data shows a change over time.
4. Phd students borrow more books than the other groups.
5. 80% of PhD students have 6 to 10 books on loan on average.
6. Undergraduate students individually borrow less books than the other the members of the other groups.
7. A majority of junior lecturers borrow 1 to 5 books a week.
8. On average, two thirds of undergraduates borrow 1 to 5 books a week.



Top Tips for a Band 7 Response
  1. Because the rubric (question) is written in the present tense and no year is given, you should use the present simple to report the data.
  2. The data doesn’t show a change over time, it shows average numbers of books on loan. Vocabulary used for describing line graphs and bar charts (rise, fall, fluctuate etc.) should not be used to describe this data.
  3. Write 3 paragraphs. An introduction and 2 body paragraphs.
  4. An overview of the main trends or features should be included in the introduction. The overview should state which group, on average, borrows the most books.
  5. The body paragraphs should provide details in the form of statistics.
  6. Compare and contrast the data about the three different groups of students.


Exercise 3

Now spend 20 minutes writing a full response to this task. Use what we have learned about grammar, vocabulary and structure, as well as the linking words from the start of this lesson. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to use these linking words yet, you will see them used in context in exercise 4. When you finish, complete exercise 4 below and compare your answer to ours.
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Exercise 4

​Now it's time to use linking words in an band 9 model essay. Click/touch a word in the box and then on a gap in the text to complete the passage.
Meanwhile   ·  which   ·  but   ·  while   ·  Overall   ·  Furthermore   ·  whereas   ·  Looking at the data   ·  since   ·  respectively   ·  that   ·  However  
Click or touch a word above
The data shows the average number of books on loan to individual undergraduates, PhD students and to junior lecturers from a library at a university. , it can clearly be seen PhD students individually borrow the highest number of books followed by junior lecturers, undergraduate students on average borrow the fewest books.
in more detail, 11 or more books are on loan to the vast majority of those studying for a doctorate compared a very small minority of those studying at undergraduate level. The proportions are 80% and 12% . , on average two thirds of undergraduate students have 1-5 books on loan, for PhD students this figure is only 5%.
, for junior lecturers the pattern appears to be a little different 6 or more books a week are on loan to 99% of individuals in this group. , out of this group 24% borrow 11 or more books, is only a third of the figure for PhD level students is double the figure for undergraduate students.

In your comparison of your answer from exercise 3 to our model answer, think about…

  • your structure: Do you have three paragraphs, with a paraphrase, an overview and two logically divided body paragraphs?
  • your linking words: Are they used accurately (‘however’ is used between two contrasting pieces of data. etc)?