Answers to Organising Bar Chart Paragraphs

I can see that some of you are not clear about paragraphing and organising information in writing task 1.


You must have an introduction and an overview. They are usually separate paragraphs.

You CANNOT have one body paragraph and you CANNOT have four or more body paragraphs.

Your structure should be:

  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3 (optional and not common)

Can the overview go at the end of the report? See this page: Paragraph Structure

Can you have a conclusion? See this page: Conclusion or Overview

Organising Details in Body Paragraphs

When you organise your body paragraph details, you must choose a simple, logical system. It should be easy for the examiner to understand your organisation. Your body paragraphs should help highlight main features.

The bar chart below shows the hours per week that teenagers spend doing certain activities in Chester from 2002 to 2007.

Source of Bar Chart:

Option 1 Body Paragraphs

Body Paragraph 1 = categories that increased over time

  • going to pubs/ discos
  • watching TV
  • shopping

Body Paragraph 2 = categories that decreased over time

  • doing homework
  • doing sport
  • bowling

Body Paragraph 3 = categories that fluctuated

  • watching dvds

Option 2 Body Paragraphs

Body Paragraph 1 = highest and lowest

  • watching TV
  • bowling

Body Paragraph 2 – all other categories

  • going to pubs/discos + shopping = increase
  • doing homework + doing sport = decrease
  • watching dvds = fluctuate

Which is best?

Both options are excellent. They both highlight key features and are organised logically.

Paragraphs do not need to be equal in length. This is not an essay, it is a report.

Model Writing Task 1

If you would like to see model answers for different writing task 1 as well as tips, click here: Main Writing Task 1 Page

All the best



  1. Tajudeen Balogun says

    Thanks Liz

  2. Hi Liz, thank you for that lesson! Are you planning to write a full model answer for this task? That would be very helpful! Thanks, Mona

  3. Is it possible to combine paragraph 2 with paragraph three in OPTION 1? In this way, it would not be necessary to write three paragraphs. What I mean is that fluctuating trends as well as falling ones can be wrtitten in one separate paragraphs.

  4. Prudence ushele says

    This is very helpful. Be blessed liz

  5. Hi Liz,thank you for the useful lessons..much appreciated,looking forward for some more model lessons for WT1

  6. Grace Iheji says

    Thank you very much. I find this lesson quite helpful.

  7. Thanks so much for this lesson! It’s useful for the writing plan practice! I am glad to see I did the same as option 1 you suggested! Looking forward to practicing more with you!

    • Well done 🙂 It means you have a logical mind and that is a great benefit for both writing task 1 and writing task 2 🙂

  8. Hi Liz, thanks alot for your help but can the questions be answered exactly the way you did above?

    • A band score 9 answer can be written using both paragraphing options. That is the reason for this lesson – to show you how to organise your paragraphs.

  9. Can the introduction and overview be written as on paragraph

  10. Hi Liz,
    Is it meaningful to include the overview section in the introduction ?

    • It is possible to put the introduction and overview in one paragraph – but they must be clearly separate sentences.

  11. Thanks a lot for tips and lessons. They are all amazing, I enjoy it!

  12. Anunkor Chisom says

    Thank you very much Liz. Your explanations on how to organise the parahrsphs are simple. God bless. I wil do well to check the model answers for diff task 1 questions.

  13. Hello liz,cant we describe the whole information in one body paragraph instead of two.will it effect my band score?. other thing is some youtubers tell us to only write one body you suggest me a good structure for writing task one.

    • It will affect your score to write only one body paragraph – it shows lack of paragraphing. The details of the bar chart must be selected and organised into paragraphs. This shows organisational skills which the examiner is looking for. You MUST have two body paragraphs (sometimes three). This is a criteria of IELTS marking. I have suggested two structures on the page above. And there is a link above to full model answers and tips.

  14. thank you Liz for the update

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