Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Paragraphs for IELTS Writing Task 1

Learn how many paragraphs you should have in IELTS Writing Task 1 and also learn where to put your overview statement. Learn This video lesson below explains the correct way to structure your writing task 1 report for IELTS to do well in the criteria of coherence and cohesion which is 25% of your marks. If you want to see a bar chart lesson which organises information into paragraphs, follow the link after you watch the lesson below. Under the video, you will also see a link to a lesson explaining the overview paragraph. Transcript

Hello my name’s Liz. Let’s have a look at the structure you need to use for your IELTS writing task 1 report. The structure is very important, you have to organize all the information into a logical order and put them into different paragraphs this is very important and the examiner will check your structure and organization.


Now there are four main paragraphs that you need to use for task one. The first paragraph will be your introduction and that contains a description of the graph, what it shows. IELTS will always give you a  description and you can use that information for your introduction but don’t copy it. That is a mistake. You need to  paraphrase it. So write it again using your own English. The next paragraph after the introduction is the overview and the overview is a very important paragraph. It is often not too long but it contains all the key features of the graph or the chart – so the highest point, the lowest point  – all main features you put in your overview, after the introduction.

After that you’ve got the body paragraphs. And we’ve got body paragraph A, body paragraph B and this is where you put the detailed information. That will be the dates and the numbers and all the comparisons you can put that in the body paragraph. So they are the 4 main paragraphs that you need to use.

The overview statement I normally put that after the introduction because it’s important. I like the examiner to get that information out soon as he starts reading after the introduction but it is possible to also put it at the end. But make sure you don’t run out of time. That overview is very important. Well, that is the structure of your report. If you want more IELTS lessons just follow me on Facebook. That’s all I’ll see you again in another IELTS lesson. 

Video Tutorial: Organising Paragraphs for Writing Task 1


Recommended Lessons for Writing Task 1

Get my free lessons by email

Subscribe for free to get my new IELTS lessons sent to your email inbox.


  1. Nguyen Hoang Phuc says:

    Hello Liz, i’m a member of EssayForum and the primary contributor uses the term “summary overview” and that includes the introduction and 1-2 trend statements similar to an overview all in 1 paragraph. Is it advised to do this? She seems a bit strict about this but it’s different from what i was taught.

    • It is possible to put your introduction and overview in one paragraph. But there must be a distinction between which sentence is your introduction and which one is your overview. The first sentence should be an introduction. The second sentence should start with “Overall” and be your overview. Otherwise, put your overview either after your introduction in a separate paragraph or at the end of your task 1.

  2. Mam
    Is it okay to write 3-4 bodyparagraphs in task 1,excluding introduction and overview?

  3. hi Liz! i just watched the video regarding the four paragraphs for writing task 1. I wasn’t able to catch up the specific details to put in the last two paragraphs. Thanks a lot!

  4. Romoke says:

    Hi Liz,

    This implies that there is no place for conclusion in task 1

    • This is a report, not an essay. It is short, it contains an overview rather than a conclusion. A conclusion is a paragraph that repeats (re-states) the main points – there is no need to repeat information in a short report.

  5. Hi, Liz! Thanks for your lessons! I’d like to clearify smth: is overview supposed to stay seperately? I think overview must stay within the introduction. Also, is it necessary to have at least 3 paragraphs?

    • The overview can be put with the introduction in the same paragraph. But the statements must be separate, even though they are in the same paragraph.

  6. BILAL ASHRAF says:

    Hi Liz,

    I am appearing for General Training on 07-03-2018, the video task 1 has confused me about the overview, Do we need to write an overview for General Training Task 1 ?

  7. Hi Liz,

    Do I have to use listing such as, firstly, secondly at the start of my body paragraphs when writing the task 1 (report) in academic writing? Like how we do in task 2? or can I just start with the factual information?

    Appreciate your response as my exam is on 23rd March in the morning. 🙂 Thank you very much for your lessons Liz. Truly grateful.

    – Madhu

  8. Hello Liz Ma’am,
    I am trying to subscribe you, but I don’t get any confirmation emails.
    What do I do?

  9. Hi Liz, I had my IELTS exam past weekend.
    Thank You for the guidance and bits of advice you’ve given throughout the time.

    Writing task 1 was describing a map.
    Writing task 2 was about online shopping and its impacts on environment and job opportunities.

    Speaking test, cue card was about an incident which you were pleased to have the mobile phone with you. and the rest was about mobile phones.

    I’m glad to share my exam experience.

    I wish all my friends the Best of Luck to achieve a high band score!

  10. hello liz, i have a question:
    can i use this same structure when writing a line graph, table or other type of charts??
    thank you

  11. Hi Ms. Liz. Regarding the overview for task 1, is it necessary to write it as another paragraph? or we can just include the overview in the introduction? thank you

    • The overview can be put with the introduction but you must make sure that the overview statement is very clear. You don’t mix them. The introduction is one statement and the overview is another statement that starts with Overall – make the two distinct. However, in most cases, it is best to separate them.

  12. Hi Liz,

    I am going to take IELTS general test in next month, Do you have a tutorial on General writing task 1 (paragraph and sentence structure)?

    Waiting for your response..

  13. Hi LIZ
    I m still confused as what will come in GT tests? In writing no graphs etc are included , only letters are there . Is it right?

    Can you send me all the links for GT reading,writing , listening and speaking. Thanks

  14. Hello, Liz. In the process diagrams, do I need to write an overview?? Especially that it doesn’t have anything standing out in particular; it’s a normal process.

  15. Indra Kusyanti says:

    Hi Liz, please give more posts on Map, Describing process, and Multiple task for writing task 1. I really need it

  16. Hello Liz,
    Firstly I want to thank you from my bottom of my heart for all your IELTS tips and preparation .I have a question for you -I’m really confused whereas the overview in task 1 should be after the introduction or in the last paragraph of the essay,because I have seen many task1 essays with band 9 score that have their overview at the end .Also can we use for the overview phrases such as :to sum up,in summary,to summarise or not .Once more thank you so much!!!!!!
    I’m looking forward to your reply!

  17. Bahman amin9 says:

    Great job
    Your nice as well as simple elaboration on developing the task one is absolutely conducive for the enthusiastic language (English) learner’s. Great thanks to u

  18. very helpful and useful in every content. Thank you Liz

  19. Liz your website is not responsive and I am unable to watch it on my mobile properly, please do something this error could be resolved by a web designer so please do it as soon as possible. Its half content is cut from right side.

  20. Is two body paragraphs required or they could’ve combined into one? If it is required, how should they be separated? By time, groups or it doesn’t matter? Thank you

  21. Hi, Liz!
    Is it important to compare all the categories compared on the bar charts?
    I am concern with the time, and I have seen some Task 1 writing samples that only compared the most remarkable features.
    Thanks for all your work.

    • It depends on the chart you get. Some charts contain little information and to write over 150 words, you will need to include everything. Other charts contain so much information that you must choose what to put in your task 1 report. You will be marked on being selective of information when you have a lot to choose from.

  22. Hi Liz,

    Does overview mean the conclusion?

  23. I wanted to ask you mam that do we write numeric information in an overview or conclusion

    • It is common to put totals in, for example for a table. However, the detail and figures usually go in the body paragraph. There is no fixed rule, it is just a recommendation.

  24. Muneeb ur Rehman says:

    I had my speaking test today.
    topic was: to discuss on a place that i recently visited.
    a: what sort of place was that.
    b: which type of people can go there.

    It went good. hoping for a good score.

  25. dear madam

    i have follow up your lessons , its so clear , i was keep watching you tube to get more knoweledge about ielts. always keep smiling face and very clear words ,very easy to catch the ielts exam for all students.
    many thanks

  26. You are the perfect teacher ,when I watch you lecturing it’s like watching the Mona Lisa, you are fascinating .THANK YOU.

  27. Lismi joplin says:

    Mam, can we use furthermore in task 1???

  28. Varun Thoonoli says:

    Hi Liz,

    With all due respect, I had earlier requested you to review an essay that I had written for writing part 1 but did not receive any reply for it. It would be rather encouraging if you could assist me in how I could improve on my writing band score for part 1. Please do reply at the earliest as my test is scheduled for next week.

  29. I;m writing for the first time so it is hihgly appreciated, how I can to develop my self in writing particula in reporting ( statment structure )
    could you please increase my enthasisum

  30. hi mom, i love all of your video……
    your explanations is very clearly and very helpful for my IELTS preparation
    thanks a million

  31. michael s jose says:

    Dear Mam,

    Writing task 1 (academic) we need to use past tense or present tense?

  32. sivasankar says:

    Hi Liz,

    I’m attending GT in next week.In Writing Task-1 does it get only a letter or there is a chance of getting charts/Table?? Kindly reply me @ earlier

  33. is it possible that i share my own writing so that you point out me my deficiencies?

  34. Sandeep says:

    Hello Mam
    Are you available to give classes or tuition for ielts.i am from Luton.Thanks.Love to hear from you.

  35. hi liz….your lessons are very helpful…..can u please guide me where can i get my writing task s checked,,,,please if there is any online source,,,help me,,,,i need a band 7+,,,

  36. Hello mam,
    I’m from india,as i have an ielts exam after 1 month but i do not know from were to start and how to do the practise from home as i need a 7 band in academic so kindly help me out from this stuff as i’m quite scared,

  37. Hi liz
    Is it compulsory to write a conclusion in task 1. Also is it OK to write a conclusion for task 1 diagrem. Thanks.

  38. vikramjeet singh says:

    hello mam…..

    mam i have one question. you said in your lecture that task 1 should be written in different paragraphs like introduction, overview……now we have to mention these subheadings before writing actual paragraphs or not???

  39. hello liz,

    one of our instructors advise is to 3 – 4 paragraphs is enough for task 1. he usually merge the introduction (paraphrasing) and overview and key points into one paragraph, and that is paragraph one.. is this okay? thanks..

    • You should always divide the detail into two body paragraphs. If you fail to do that you will get a lower score for coherence and cohesion.

      • Yes Liz, I have no problem with regards to dividing the body paragraphs to two details.. My prob is do I still have to separate the introduction (paraphrasing) from the overview? Because our teachers here always tell that the introduction and overview are merge to paragraph one.. Thank you so much for your help Liz..

  40. Thanks! You explained it well. But im still confused because some of ielts teacher has an overview after their intro and has a conclusion at the bottom part. How’s that?

    • It’s a bad example. You are being marked on your ability to organise information into paragraphs. Firstly, you should not repeat information in a short report. Remember this is a report, not an essay. Secondly, you should not divide key features into two different places, you should collect it and present it as one overview. Thirdly, the examiner is look for an overview in task 1 and a conclusion in task 2. The main problem is that many IELTS teachers have not completed the IELTS examiner training which is why they are not clear about how to organise the report and what the examiner is looking for.
      All the best

  41. Hi Ms. Liz. I just want to ask how will i know if my essay contains 150 or 250 words already. Thank you and God bless you.

  42. Nour Mohammad says:

    Can I use pencil for writing task 1 and 2???

  43. Nour Mohammad says:


    I can’t express how much grateful to you for your charity on teaching IELTS!!!!!!!! Really I’m what I can say…………………. Thanks a lot ………………….

  44. Dear Liz, I am so grateful to what you have done for IELTS candidates, including me , of course. I browse your website very often, especially, your youtube channel. I am reviewing for my next exam which may be in the end of this year. My target is 7.0 overall, but in my last trial, I got 6.5. Could you gimme some advice on how to improve from 6.5 to 7.0. Again, thank you so much for your useful lessons.

    • Please see the band score pages to see the difference between band scores. All tips given on this blog are for the higher scores – band 7, 8 and 9.

  45. Hi!
    Thank you very much for the comprehensive IELTS lessons and video tutorials you are sharing which are indeed very helpful especially to us non-native English speakers. I have learned so much from you and I really appreciate the effort you put into it. God bless you, ma’am.

  46. Aswathi Vijayan says:

    Hi Mam,
    i should say your videos are really really helpful to someone like me who is preparing self for the ielts exam. i do have some doubts regarding the writing part of the general test because I’m misguided by many. Does the task 1 ask for letter writing or does it include graphs too? Looking forward for your guidance.

  47. Lakhvir says:

    Hi Liz, Actually I had given ielts exam twice but both of time I am scored 5.5 in writing.

    • The reason is due to your level of English. If you make many mistakes in English and have limited control of the language, it will be difficult to get over band 5. For example, in the sentence you wrote above, there are 4 mistakes. Frequent errors will reduce your score significantly. You will need to improve your level of English to be able to produce more accurate language in order to get a good score.
      All the best

  48. Teketel says:

    Hi Madam,
    really you are excellent English language teacher. your tutorial on you tube helped me very well not only for IELTS but also for my academic writing. Really God bless you !

  49. Dear teacher,
    You explained that for writing task 1 it should have 4 paragraph, so is it important to have conclusion for writing task 1? Please could you explain about this? Thanks a million!

  50. Hi Liz ur blog really good . I am regular user . I don’t like simon blog but I like ur blog cz here easily has given with details …

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.