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Academic Writing Task 1

Academic IELTS Writing Task 1: Writing an introductory sentence

When writing the report for writing task 1, you should begin with an introductory sentence. In your own words, you should briefly describe the input material. (Click here to see information about the different input types).

Typical introductory sentences

A typical introductory sentence will look like this. [Pay attention to subject verb agreement (see the bold ‘s’s). Remember, this is probably the first sentence the examiner will read.]

The pie chart
bar chart
line graph
provides information about
[paraphrase the prompt to describe the WHAT, WHERE and WHEN of the input material]


The pie charts
bar charts
line graphs
provide information about
[paraphrase the prompt to describe the WHAT, WHERE and WHEN of the input material]

Steps to paraphrasing the prompt

  • Read the prompt and any other accompanying text and write down the key words.
  • Circle any key words which cannot be expressed in different words, e.g. proper nouns.
  • For each of the other key words, brainstorm a list of related words or phrases. Think of synonyms, similar words, antonyms, and other parts of speech.
  • Without looking back at the original prompt, write your introductory sentence. Remember that you may wish to change the order of the information.
  • Look back at the prompt and check that the meaning of the sentence is the same and that you have included all the key points. You should have said what the chart shows. You should also, where possible, have specified the time period covered and any particular place or group of people.
  • The examiners will not assess any phrases which have been copied from the prompt. Check that you have used your own words as much as possible.


The chart below shows time use on an average weekday for university and college students.

time use spend time, divide up time, do activities
average typical, normal, usual
part-time not full-time
university and college students students in higher education, people studying and university and college / in higher education, students in higher education
weekday day during the week, 24-hour period during the week, mid-week day
2003-07 between 2003 and 2007, from 2003 to 2007

Possible introductory sentences

  • This pie chart illustrates the way that students who were studying full time in university and college from 2003 to 2007 divided up their time in a typical day during the week.
  • This pie chart shows how people who were in full-time higher education between 2003 and 2007 usually spent their time over a 24-hour period during a typical week.
  • The pie chart shows how full-time students at universities and colleges between 2003 and 2007 spent their time during a typical mid-week day.


6 thoughts on “Academic IELTS Writing Task 1: Writing an introductory sentence

  1. A good article – students often get stuck on the first sentence. This clearly shows them how to begin a Task 1 IELTS essay

    Posted by Super Fast Guides (@SuperFastGuides) | October 3, 2011, 6:44 pm
    • I think it’s the fear of the blank page. In any type of writing, once there’s a sentence down on paper, the rest of it seems to flow more easily. The good thing about Academic IELTS Writing Task 1, is that writing that first sentence can actually be quite straightforward …

      Posted by help4ielts | October 25, 2011, 11:44 am
  2. Hi,

    This is such a good article, very informative and would be very beneficial to people whose into IELTS writing. This clearly shows how to begin an IELTS essays task since the article gives relevant tips about how to start an introductory sentence in making an essay.

    Thank you.

    Posted by TheIELTSSolution | October 25, 2011, 1:54 am
  3. it’s very useful article… really i had enough information 2 start writing my task1 on ielts..

    thx alot

    Posted by rawan | March 20, 2012, 5:35 pm


  1. Pingback: Academic IELTS Writing Task 1: Writing an introductory sentence | IELTS Writing Task 1 Practice | Scoop.it - October 4, 2011

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