Choosing the right details in a bar chart
This lesson is designed to help you think about how part 1 IELTS writing works. The idea is that many of the problems with task 1writing are caused by the thinking part – analyzing the data. That matters because the goal in task 1 is not just to describe the information in the chart, but to summarize it by selecting the key data. To do this, you need to spend time thinking – it is not simply a vocabulary exercise.
I’d add that time spent thinking is rarely wasted. If you spend 3/4 minutes thinking of what details to include, the report actually becomes easier to write. All the “ideas” are there (good for your Task Response score) and it becomes much easier to organise the report (good for your Coherence and Cohesion score).
Test yourself first
This is a simple bar chart similar to one you might find in task 1. Your task is to analyze and decide what information you would choose to include in your writing.
1. Look at the chart and think for 3/4 minutes
2. Make notes of what details you would include
3. Try the test – how many of the details I suggest did you find?
Have problems? Disagree with me? Read on below.
Try the quiz
Start with the obvious
Sometimes it is easy to forget to include a detail because it looks too simple. Don’t do that. Simple matters. If you don’t include these simple details, your writing will lack clarity. The tip here is to look at the simple (that word again) things like colors and line lengths – let the visual help you. Do that and you get something like this?
1. there are 6 countries
2. some bars are longer than others – there are significant differences in the proportion of proficient second language speakers among the different countries
3. there are two colours of bars – males and females are included in the study
4. the green lines are typically longer – generally more females than males are proficient in a second language
Look at the key – use it to organise your...