Writing Task 1 | Maps Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

We have looked at how to write an introduction for a task 1 map question. We have also looked at the vocabulary required for this specific type of task. In this class you will learn two effective ways which you can use to structure an IELTS Task 1 Maps task.

Exercise 1

This Maps task should look familiar to you. First study the task and sample answer below, then complete the true/false exercise.
The maps show the changes in the village of Wells-on-the-Water in the UK between 1985 and 2010.
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Ex 1 Sample Task 1 Answer

The maps reveal developments in the British village of Wells-on-the-Water over a 25-year periodOverall, it is clear that Wells-on-the-Water developed from a small, agricultural village to a larger and more commercial settlement.

The most notable development was that the forest north of Woods Drive was cleared and replaced with a new commercial area.  A new access road, Queen’s Drive, was constructed which connected Woods Drive to the area north east of the village. New shops were constructed along both Woods Drive and Queen’s Drive. In the south of the village, Mansion Lane was extended and a bridge was built allowing access across the river. New houses were constructed on both sides of Mansion Lane. All of this construction seriously reduced the amount of farmland around the village. The old farm house and the post office at the western end of Mansion Lane were demolished and replaced with a park. The post office was relocated to one of the new buildings on Queen’s Drive.

The largest building in the village in both years was the mansion. However, by 2010 it had been converted into a care home. Likewise, the old factory was converted into luxury flats.  Only Mansion Gardens remained unchanged throughout the period.

(204 words)

1. The introduction provides the name of the village and the timeframe of the maps.
2. The second sentence of the introduction provides an overview of how the village changed.
3. The introduction contains specific details of changes and locations of buildings.
4. Body paragraph 1 starts off with minor changes that occurred in the village and moves on to more important changes.
5. Body paragraph 1 starts with the most important changes that occurred in the village and then moves on to less important changes.
6. Body paragraph 2 contains the writer’s opinion about why the changes took place in the village.
7. Body paragraph 2 contains information about buildings which have not been demolished but have been converted for other purposes.

More INformation about the Structure

The writer of this task has moved from the major developments in the village to the minor developments in the village. In the final body paragraph, the writer has written about things which have not changed in the village.

​This is a well-organized and logical approach to the task and would get a good score for task achievement and coherence and cohesion.


Exercise 2

The maps below show Coco Island as it is now and plans for how it will be developed over the next 5 years.
The maps below show Coco Island as it is now and plans for how it will be developed over the next 5 years.
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​Ex 2 Sample task 1 Answer

The two maps show how Coco island appears today and how it is predicted to appear after development takes place over the next 5 years. It is clear that the currently uninhabited island will undergo many changes in order to make it into a resort island suitable for tourists.

Starting in the south of the island, a pier will be constructed, allowing passengers to easily access the island from boats.  Immediately north of the dock but still close to the southern coast, the hotel reception will be situated in a large building. On the northern coast of the island the hotel restaurant will be built, affording ocean views for diners.

Visitors to the resort will stay in villas situated in either the east or the west of the island. Those in the west will be in beach villas, which will be close to the islands only swimming beach. Those located in the east are to be constructed around an area of palm trees. All of the planned buildings will be connected by footpaths.

(174 words)

1. The introduction provides the name of the island and the time timeframe for the developments.
2. The second sentence of the introduction provides an overview of how the island will be developed.
3. The introduction contains specific details of changes and locations of buildings.
4. Body paragraph 1 starts with the most important changes and then moves on to less important changes.
5. Body paragraph 1 starts by discussing changes in one geographical area (the south) before moving on to discuss planned changes in another geographical area (the north).
6. Body paragraph 2 contains the writer’s opinion about why the hotel will be built.
7. Body paragraph 2 contains information about changes that are planned in two other geographical areas of the island (west and east).

More INformation about the Structure

The writer of this task has made use of a different structure to the first task that you read.

The writer has chosen to structure the report by first writing about planned changes to the south of the island, then the north of the island.
In the second body paragraph the writer writes about planned changes to first the west and then the east of the island.

This is another example of a logical, well-organised approach to the task so we would expect it to receive a high score for task achievement and coherence and cohesion.

Next time you write a practice Maps task, try writing it twice; first from most important to least important changes and second from different directions. See which structure you prefer but also be aware that some maps suit an answer of the first structure style (like Ex 1 here), while others may better fit the second structure style (like Ex 2). 

That completes our Maps activities for now. You deserve a break – maybe a holiday on that island – but if you want more, be sure to check out our Academic Writing Task 1 Page.