Writing task 1 academic process diagram.
Updated: March 2023
Describing a process needs specific grammar, such as the passive and sequencers for showing how something is made or processed. In this lesson, we will look at how to use the vocabulary and grammar, the correct structure, and a model answer for a diagram showing how milk, cheese and butter are made for commercial sale.
In this lesson we will look at:
1. Example of a process diagram task.
2. IELTS academic writing task 1 structure.
3. Grammar needed for a process diagram.
4. Example task and Model answer.
Example process diagram.
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The diagram below shows the production and processing of milk and dairy products for commercial sale.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.
IELTS academic writing task 1 always has the same structure. In writing about process diagrams we are mainly describing how something works or how something is made.
Grammar for an IELTS process diagram.
This type of process needs the present simple passive and active to describe what happens in each step, also you will need sequencers such as ‘Firstly, subsequently, next, following this, after that, then, finally etc.’ .to show this as a step by step process. Another grammar point to help link sentences is the present perfect passive. Take a look at the examples below.
Present Simple Passive.
object + to be + past participle: This is used to describe a process where the person is not important, also the passive is used for the stages of production.
- The cows are milked by a milking machine twice a day.
- The milk is put into refrigeration storage.
- The milk is delivered by tanker to the dairy.
- Cream, cheese and butter are produced from the milk.
- The items are packed into boxes
- The tea leaves are picked.
Present Simple Active.
object+verb: The active is used to describe natural processes.
- Cows graze in the fields.
- Cows eat grass every day.
- The sun shines.
- Flowers grow.
- Tea grows in India.
- The moon rises in the evening.
These are necessary when describing the stages in academic task 1 process diagrams for better cohesion and flow.
- First of all
- To begin with
- at this point
- after that
- following this
- after which
- the next step is
- the last step is…
In the first four stages, cows graze in the fields.
After that, the cows are put into a milking machine twice a day.
Following this, the milk is put into refrigeration storage, after which it is transferred to a tanker.
Subsequently, it is pasteurised, processed and made into cheese
The last step is the milk and dairy products are sent out to supermarkets.
Present Perfect Passive.
object + to be + past participle: We can use once and when + present perfect passive to join two processes together.
Once the milk has been transferred to a tanker, it is then delivered to the dairy.
When the milk has been delivered to the dairy, it is subsequently put through a pasteurisation process…
As soon as the milk and dairy products have been processed and packaged, they are then sent out to supermarkets where they are then stacked onto shelves ready for purchase.
Paraphrasing hint: In the question, it says “The diagram below shows the production and …” this needs to be paraphrased by changing the word “shows” to “indicates” or “illustrates”. The word Diagram is not paraphrased because there is no way to paraphrase that word. It will always be a diagram.
Grouping the information.
In IELTS task 1 academic it is important to group the information logically as this improves overall coherence. In this case, the main body paragraph one is about the first four stages and main body two is about the last four stages. I included the stage where the cows graze as that is part of the whole process.
Let’s look again the task question and the process diagram and have a look at the model answer I have made. Notice the paraphrased introduction with a short overview and the use of the passive with sequencers.