Paragraphs for IELTS Writing Task 1

Learn how many paragraphs for your IELTS Writing Task 1 with tips about where to put your overview statement. The 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.

Video Tutorial: Organising Paragraphs for Writing Task 1

Summary

The structure for writing task 1 (academic paper) is based on report writing and not on essay writing. IELTS writing task 1 is not an essay, it is a report. You have to organize all the information into a logical order and divide it into different paragraphs. The examiner will check your structure and organization.

Paragraphs

There are four main paragraphs that you need to use for task one. Only occasionally will there be five. 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. You need to  paraphrase it. So write it again using your own English.

The next paragraph after the introduction is the overview. It is the most important paragraph. It is often not too long but it contains all the key features of the graph or the chart – 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. Body paragraph A and body paragraph B. 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. If necessary it is possible to add one more body paragraph depending on the data you are given.

The overview is possible to put at the end of the report instead of after the introduction. But don’t miss it or run our of time to write it. It is a VITAL paragraph. If you want more IELTS lessons just click on the RED BAR and access the Writing T1 section of this site.

Recommended Lessons for Writing Task 1

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Comments

  1. Hi Liz.

    I purchased all your video lessons for task 2. Do you also have paid videos for task one? I find it very difficult because the tasks/charts/graphs are greatly varied. Some charts have a lot of important information/points. If i put them all in the report, I will be left with few minutes in writing task 2. Are ielts examiners really strict about the IMPORTANT information from the charts? For instance, in some tasks, there are a lot of IMPORTANT pieces of information and it’s difficult to select only few. But if i write them all, i’d lose time for writing task 2. If the examiners see nine/9 IMPORTANT pieces of information from the chart/graph etc., but I only put 6 because of the time limit, will my band score be affected? I am aiming for a band score of 7. I find task 1 really depressing. Thank you Liz.

    • Part of the marking criterion of Task Achievement is your ability to select information. You should have about two or three key features for the overview. You should have about two body paragraphs. Given that you will not write more than 200 words – I’m sure you can calculate how much information you can put in your body paragraphs. Look at ALL my model answers for task 1, count the sentences and this will help guide you as to how much information you can put in it.

  2. Hi Liz,
    Can we put both of the introduction and the overview in the same paragraph? Usually, the introduction is only two sentences and so is the overview. It seems a bit odd to me to put them into seperate paragraphs. I would really appreciate your insight on this.

  3. Michael Eshun says

    Hello Liz, is it possible to send you my work so you Mark for me? I don’t mind paying any required fee. Regards.

  4. Medhat Grace says

    Hi mam,
    My English will never be enough to thank you for you,r effort in you,r website . i,m going to have the test when i,m sure that all the types of the questions are familier to me but till now i want to thank you again for the help you give for free especially for citizens of devoloping countries like mine and and i want to do it in a practical way .So whenever you decide to visit Egypt you can ask me to be you,r free tour guide and that will be a very little thing to do for you .

    • It’s always best to take IELTS when you feel completely ready and you are sure of what you are doing. I wish you lots of luck! Thank you for your offer – Egypt is a fascinating country 🙂

  5. Tnx liz for teaching us am really proud on u may god bless u😇☺🤗

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ?

  12. 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

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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..

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Indra Kusyanti says

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

  21. 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!

  22. 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

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. Hi Liz,

    Does overview mean the conclusion?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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

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

  32. Lismi joplin says

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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

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

  36. michael s jose says

    Dear Mam,

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

  37. 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

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

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

  40. 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+,,,

  41. 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,

  42. 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.

  43. 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???

  44. 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.
      Liz

      • 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..

  45. 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
      Liz

  46. 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.

  47. Nour Mohammad says

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

  48. Nour Mohammad says

    Liz,

    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 ………………….

  49. 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.
      Liz

  50. 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.

  51. 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.
    Regards
    Aswathi

  52. 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
      Liz

  53. 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 !

  54. 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!

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