IELTS academic writing task 1: C02 emissions line graph
Updated: January 2023
Line graphs are very common in IELTS academic task 1 writing. In this lesson, we will look at a Model Answer for CO2 emissions for 4 European countries and an analysis.
This line graph comes from Cambridge IELTS 11 academic. Use only official IELTS material when doing practice tests as there is a lot of fake IELTS material out there on the web.
Source: Cambridge IELTS 11 Academic.
See a lesson on the grammar used in this type of task click here
Keep your report at under 190 words. I have seen many task 1 reports with over 200 words which is far too long. Remember that you only have 20 minutes to write this. For task 1 academic it’s a good idea to aim for about 170 to 190 words to cover the task well. 150 words is considered the minimum but there is no penalty for going under this. However, you don’t get a higher band score for writing a very long report.
It is important to understand how the task is marked to give the examiner what they need for a higher band score.
Writing Task 1 is marked on 4 criteria:
- Task Achievement (accurately write about the information presented)
- Coherence and Cohesion (easy to understand, clear and logical)
- Grammatical range and accuracy (using the correct grammar to describe the trends, numbers, comparisons)
- Lexical Resource ( accurate clear vocabulary that is relevant to the task, good paraphrasing skills)
Grouping the information
You need to spend at least 3 minutes analysing the task and planning where to put the information. Grouping the information is crucial for a coherent logical response and a good band score in coherence cohesion.
I have paraphrased the task question here. You can use synonyms or you can change the grammatical structure of the sentences so that it retains the same meaning. Paraphrasing is not just about synonyms, you can re-arrange the sentences, this is a very important skill to practice.
The overview is also an important feature in task 1 academic and your report must have one. The overview should not include any numbers, statistics or dates. Leave those details for the body paragraphs. You will need to look at the main trends of the graph and write briefly about those. Pick out the main trends and give a summary.
Now we can write in more detail about the graph and the trends. Also, remember to be selective and do not write about everything in the graph. Grouping the information is very important in this part of the task. Take the 2 main trends and separate them into 2 body paragraphs as below.
Language of approximation
In the graph, there is no figure in between the lines so you will need to use approximation for a better band score in vocabulary. It is important to notice this as it is common in many IELTS graphs or charts.
Using more academic vocabulary
For a higher score in vocabulary use more academic vocabulary when describing the data. such as: ‘proportion, figure, accounted for, amounted to, totalling, stood at, comprising’
- The proportion of C02 emissions stood at around 7 metric tonnes for Sweden in 1967.
- The figure for C02 output for Portugal totalled nearly 6 metric tonnes in 2007.
- The UK had the highest amount of emissions comprising nearly 11 metric tonnes in1967.
- C02 output for Italy accounted for just over 4 metric tonnes in 1967.
To see lessons on the vocabulary to use in writing task 1 click on the links below: