How to write 2 main body paragraphs- IELTS Writing task 1, part 3.


Welcome back to IELTS Sharing community. Today, we’re going to learn how to write an IELTS WRITING TASK 1 ESSAY (part 3). These are some tips and common sentence structures to help you achieve high band score.

You know, a good IELTS writing task 1 essay includes 3 parts: introduction, overview and 2 main paragraphs. In previous lessons, we are talking about how to paraphrase the question to write a good introduction; and how to write a good overview for the essay.

In task 1 of the academic IELTS writing exam, you have to summarise and describe the information given to you in some kind of chart, such as describe a pie chart, a line graph, a bar chart, a table, a diagram, or a map. Remember that you don’t have time to describe everything as well as you’re not asked to describe everything.

Marking Criteria- IELTS Writing task 1

Before we get started learning how to write two main paragraphs, let’s have a look at marking criterion for IELTS Writing task 1:

+ Task achievement:

• Identify ALL the key features

• ensure accuracy when using data, or describing trends or processes

• write a clear overview – this means summarise the most significant trends or features from the data or information in the diagram.

+ Coherence & cohesion:

Coherence: Paragraphs which are appropriately organized.

Express one idea or set of ideas in each paragraph. Sum that theme in the first sentence of each paragraph – these become topic sentences. The remainder of the paragraph can be supporting explanations, evidence, or examples. A simple recipe for effective paragraphs – I-E-E (idea, explain, examples).

Cohesion: Linking words which connect ideas

Ex: Adding similar ideas “in addition…”, “another reason is…”, “equally…”

Contrasting ideas “in contrast…”, “on the other hand…”, “on the contrary…” “although…”

Giving examples or evidence “for example…”, “for instance…”, “to illustrate this…”

+ Lexical resources (Vocabulary):

Using a wide range of vocabulary with accuracy in terms of spelling and/or word formation.

+ Grammar:

Sentence structure



Grammar range and accuracy

Now let’s find out..

What tense to use in IELTS writing task 1:

First of all, using the right tense in IELTS writing task 1 is essential. Depending on the dates on the map, chart, graph or diagram which are showed in the test, you can easily identify the right tense should be used. For example:

Dates in the past –> Using past tense

Dates in the future –> Using future tense

Dates in both past and future –> Using both past tense and future tense

No dates –> Using present tense

Describe what happened before and up to a past time –> Using Past perfect tense

Ex: By 2018, food prices had risen by around 50 points.

How to select and report the main features, and make comparisons where relevant?-
IELTS Writing task 1

A. Main sentence structures that you can use in IELTS task 1 essay to describe main features.

There are eight common sentence structures that you can use in IELTS task 1 essay to describe the information. Don’t forget to note down and practice as much as you can because we don’t have much time to do task 1, just about 20 minutes.

(1) There + be + a/an + adj [significant/dramatic/slight/sharp/…] + N [increase/ decline/ decrease/..] + in

Ex: There was a significant increase in food consumption during the 1980s.

 (2) [The number/proportion/amount of] + N + V [increased/declined…]+ Adv [significantly/ dramatically/ slightly/ sharply/..] …by …%/ from…to…

Ex: The number of food consumption increased significantly from 10 to 25 tons/year in the 1990s.

(3) N + V [saw/witnessed/experienced/underwent/ was on/… ] + a/an + Adj [dramatic/ light/ sharp/…]+ N [rise/decline/ decrease] + in…

Ex: The 1990s saw a significant increase in food consumption

The amount of food consumption underwent a significant increase in 1990s.

(4) The increase + in + N + be + adj [dramatic/ light/ sharp/…], reaching [number].

The increase in food consumption was significant, reaching 25 tons/year by the end of 1990s.

(5) The increase + in+ N+ be + within the range of … and …

In 1990s, the increase in food consumption was within the range of 10 and 25 tons/year.

(6) Clause, followed by + Noun Phrase

There was a dramatic growth in the number of restaurants in the UK to 450.000 in 2010, followed by a sharp decrease to 30,000 in 2015.

(7) Clause, prior to/before  Verb-ing

The number of restaurants in the UK experienced an increase to 450,000 in 2010, before hitting a free fall to 30,000 in 2015.

(8) Clause, after Verb – ing

The figure for restaurants in the UK hit a free fall to 30,000 in 2015, after undergoing an increase to 450,000 in 2010.

B. Some good comparison sentence structures you can use to achieve high band score in this section

In IELTS Writing task 1, you are asked to make comparisons where relevant. So these are some good comparison sentence structures you can use to achieve high band score in this section.

(1) In comparison to/with  A, which verb, B verb.

Ex: In comparison with the number of restaurants in the UK, which witnessed a dramatic increase to 450,000 in 2010, the quantity in the US plummeted to 390,000 at the same time.

(2) Clause, Verb-ing, (which verb).

Ex: The quantity of restaurants in the UK went through a period of dramatic increase to 450,000 in 2010, exceeding the number in the US, which had only 390,000.

(3) Far/ much/ a little/ slightly/ number (ex: 30%) + more or less/fewer..+ N + than…

Note: Fewer + countable N; less + uncountable N.

Ex: The USA consumed and produced far more natural gas than any other country.

(4) Number + more or less/ fewer…


2 million fewer…

Three/ four…times

Ex: Australia consumed four times more gas than New Zealand.

(5) The most/ least/fewest…+ N + than

Ex: New Zealand consumed the least gas at approximately 5 million tones.

(6) (Fairly) similar..(to)…/ the same…as…

Ex: China’s consumption and production of oil were nearly the same at 24.3 and 25.0 respectively.

  • China’s consumption and production of oil had similar fluctuation in 1990s.
  • The UAE produced the same amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.

(7) Be + [greater/ higher/ smaller/ lower] + than….

Ex: The number of male doctors in this city was greater than the number of female doctors.

(8) Be + [greatest/ highest/ smallest/ lowest]

Ex: The oil prices reached the highest in 1981 during the war.

If you need any help, please comment below to let us know. Follow our lessons on 8.5 IELTS SHARING COMMUNITY Channel. You can also find out IELTS resources here.

IELTS Sharing Community Team.



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