Avoid these 5 common mistakes in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
The introductory paragraph in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 is a short part of your report that tells the reader “what the visual information in the question shows”. This is a paragraph that you can easily and quickly put together! However, there are a few pitfalls that you need to be aware of. In this post, we will look at a few common errors that candidates often make.
Let’s examine the first Intro written by a student:
(Faulty Intro 1)
The graph shows the number of people who attended five various universities between 2010 and 2012 in the UK.
What do you think is wrong with this intro? The error has to do with the word “various”. The student probably thinks “various” means “different”. This is not correct! “Various” means “of many kinds”. Therefore, the word “various” cannot be paired with “five universities”. In IELTS Writing Task 1 on the Academic module, it is crucial that you pick your words with a lot of care.
Now let’s look at another problematic Intro in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:
(Faulty Intro 2)
The graph displays the proportion of people who attended five different university programs.
The issue with this intro is that the candidate has misused the word “display”. This word means “to arrange things so that they can be seen by the public’. For example:
Family photos were displayed on the wall.
Instead, the candidate could have simply used the word “shows”
Now let’s turn our attention to the visual information given in the table below. It shows the number of hours spent on reading in the UK.
A candidate has written the following introductory paragraph for this task:
(Faulty intro 3)
Given is a table showing how many hours British men, women and teenagers spent reading over a decade.
What is the problem with this paragraph? The data correspond to “four separate years” which is not a decade! We simply do not have any information about the years “in between”. Therefore, the more accurately written paragraph is:
Given is a table showing how many hours British men, women and teenagers spent reading in four individual years.
For the same table, another student has written the following faulty introduction for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:
(Faulty intro 4)
The table includes information about the amount of time (in hours) spent on reading in three categories corresponding to the UK.
What is the problem with this seemingly well-written paragraph? The word “include” means “have something as a part of something else”. Simply put, if we write “The table includes information on something”, our sentence means the table shows other pieces of information too (which clearly is not the case).
Let’s have a look at the last introductory paragraph for today:
(Faulty intro 5)
The table shows which group of people among men, women and teenagers read the most and the least in the UK.
The problem here is the fact that the statement above only points to “one aspect” of the data i.e. the maximum and the minimum values. Your introduction, however, must introduce the focus of the whole data set, not just certain aspects of it.
I hope you avoid the mistakes on your IELTS Academic Writing Task 1.