Improving IELTS Writing Task 1 Introduction

This lesson focuses on improving your IELTS writing task 1 introduction for the academic paper. To write an introduction you must paraphrase and re-write the information given by IELTS about the chart of graph.

Below is a sample line graph sent to me by a student.

The line graph below shows the number of overseas students who came from six Asian countries to study in Australia from 1994 to 1997.

overseas students line graph ielts

Source: Graph above was not created by IELTS Liz.

Here are two introductions written by the student. Would you use one of these introductions or would you write a different introduction?

  1. The amount of students from six different countries in Asia, who came to study in Australia between 1994 and 1997.
  2. Between 1994 and 1997 the number of Asian students from six different countries, who came to study in Australia.

Decide how you would write your introduction, before you look at the model.  Model Introduction

The line graph illustrates how many students went to Australia to study from six different countries in in Asia (Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea) over a period of four years between 1994 and 1997.

How would you organise your task 1 writing for the above line graph? How many paragraphs would you have? What information would you put in the body paragraphs?  Answers

You should have 4 paragraphs: introduction, overview, body paragraph A and body paragraph B.

In body paragraph A, you can put information about Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea. In body paragraph B, you can put information about Japan and Hong Kong because they showed different trends from the others.

 

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Improving a Thesis Statement

This lesson will show you how to write a clearer thesis statement for a specific question essay. This is the introduction paragraph and is applicable to both the GT and academic paper.

Many people think that job satisfaction is important in work.

Do you think young people these days should be sure of getting job satisfaction before taking a new job or should they put salary first?

What can we see from this essay question?

  1. The essay question asks for your opinion (“Do you think….?”)
  2. The essay is about what people look for when they take a new job
  3. It is often thought that people should choose a new job for job satisfaction
  4. Others think that people should choose a new job for the salary

Here’s a student’s thesis statement for their introduction. How would you improve the thesis statement? Try to write this thesis statement again before you look at the models.

While work satisfaction should be a motive for a successful employee, I do not think that salary must be a priority.”

Model Thesis Statement

Here are two possible ways that the above thesis statement could be better written to make the answer clearer for the reader.

1. In my opinion, I think that work satisfaction should be the main motive for choosing a job rather than salary.

2. In my opinion, it is better for people to put satisfaction at work as a priority for choosing a job instead of aiming for a competitive salary.

Model Introduction

Below is a model introduction with both a background and thesis statement. This offers yet another way to write the thesis statement:

An increasing number of people are prioritising job satisfaction as one of the most important factors in their work. In my opinion, I think that job satisfaction should be the deciding factor when considering a new job instead of aiming for a competitive salary.

 

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Introduction Paragraph Feedback

The introduction paragraph below was sent to me by a student in response to the following essay question.

Essay Question

With an increasing population communicating via the internet and text messaging, face to face communication will become a thing of the past. To what extent do you agree?

Student Introduction

Face to face communication is become less important than the past, since increase and populate communication by the internet and text messaging. In my opinion, I agree that face to face communication will suffer as some small, develop new technologies but it is fishy that it is cause the death of traditional communicate.

Feedback

The ideas and technique in this introduction are fine. However, the grammar and vocaulary make it difficult for the reader. Let’s go through each mistake before seeing the model.

      1.  “Face to face communication is become less important than the past ….” There are two mistakes in this sentence. One mistake is with the grammar tense and one mistake is a missing preposition. Can you correct the errors? Answer
        Face to face communication has become less important than in the past.
      2. since increase and populate communication by the internet and text messaging. There is a problem with both vocabulary and grammar. Can you correct it? Answer
        …since the popular increase in communication by internet and text messaging.
      3. face to face communication will suffer as some small, develop new technologies Can you correct the problems? Answer
        …face to face communication will suffer due to the development of technology.. 
      4. …but it is fishy that it is cause the death of traditional communicateThere are a lot of errors with this part of the sentence due to the choice of vocabulary. How would you write it? Answer
        but it is unlikely that it will result in the disappearance of direct, face to face communication .

Comments

  1. “It is fishy that …” this is an idiom which means it is suspicious. Firstly, the meaning is not right for the above sentence. Secondly, it is not academic. Many idioms are not academic and therefore many shouldn’t be used in IELTS writing task 2. Don’t confuse idioms with idiomatic language. The student should use “it is unlikely to …” or “it is doubtful that …”.
  2. “..cause the death of …” this is also an idiom which can be used in academic writing but the meaning is not appropriate for this essay.
  3. “traditional communication” the writer is trying to paraphrase the words “face to face communication”. Unfortunately, it can’t be paraphrased. Not all words can be paraphrased in English.
  4. Many students try to paraphrase all words because they think they will get a high score. Unfortunately, the result is a lot of errors. If you have frequent errors, you will get band score 5  or 5.5 in vocabulary. You must be very sure of your paraphrasing or you will end up with more and more mistakes which will reduce your band score.

Model Introduction

As a growing number of people are choosing to communicate through the use of modern technology, such as the internet and text messaging, some people think that face to face communication will eventually die out. In my opinion, although I agree that face to face communication will become increasingly less popular, it is unlikely to disappear completely and will still be favoured in certain situations.

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Opinion Essay Introduction Feedback

Below is some feedback to an IELTS opinion essay introduction written by a student in response to the following essay question.

IELTS Essay Question

Due to the development and rapid expansion of supermarkets in some countries, many small, local business are unable to compete. Some people think that the closure of local business will bring about the death of local communities. To what extent do you agree?

Student Introduction Sample

Small business are unable to competition supermarkets, which are rapidly increasing and developing in a number of countries. It is believed that close small business will bring negative impact on local societies. In my opinion modern buildings and comfortable service are important for new societies. However, local business increased the number of job opportunity.

General Feedback

The student introduction does not give a clear answer to the statement and the main points introduced are not completely relevant. It is important to spend time:

  1. to understand the issues in the statement
  2. to find main points which answer the statement.

Below are detailed comments on both the background statement and thesis statement for the student’s introduction.

Background Statement Feedback

Small business are unable to competition supermarkets, which are rapidly increasing and developing in a number of countries. It is believed that close small business will bring negative impact on local societies.

The content of the background statement is fine. The student has paraphrased most of the statement given by IELTS. This means the student is attempting to use the correct technique for IELTS with an academic style. The student has also used a clause in the first sentence which is great to increase the band score for grammar.

Unfortunately, there are also some errors in grammar and vocabulary.

  • to competition = to compete (check the form of the word – don’t use a noun if a verb is needed)
  • to compete supermarkets = compete with supermarkets (check all verbs to see if there needs to be a preposition after them)
  • it is believed that close small business will … = it is believed that the closure of small businesses will … (check the form of the word – it should be a noun not a verb / check the use of plural nouns)
  • will bring negative impact = will have a negative impact (check the use of (a / the etc) articles / check which verb to use)

Here is a model background statement:

Many small, local business are closing, owing to a boom in large supermarkets, and, according to some, this will have dire consequences for local communities.

Thesis statement Feedback

In my opinion modern buildings and comfortable service are important for new societies. However, local business increased the number of job opportunity.

This thesis statement does not address the task or offer a clear answer to the issue. The thesis statement should provide a clear answer to the issue: Do you think the community will die because many small shops close down and people go to do their shopping in large supermarkets instead? Here are some comments on the thesis statement above:

  • The student thesis statement above does not answer this question
  • It gives information about modern buildings which is off topic
  • The thesis contains information about comfortable services which is also off topic
  • It gives information about local business offering jobs – this is also not relevant to the topic

To write the model thesis statement we must understand all aspects of this issue and think more deeply. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Why do people shop in supermarkets rather than small businesses? Answer
    The reason is that it is more convenient to buy everything in one large shop, for example a supermarket, than have to visit different shops to buy the same things. Supermarkets reduce shopping time and people can find what they want more quickly.
  2. What is the result of people shopping in supermarkets rather than small shops? Answer
    People no long need to go into the town center and walk around the shops to buy their goods. Instead, they can drive to a large supermarket, often located on the outskirts of town, to get what they want.
  3. How does this affect the community? Answer
    Local people no long need to go into the town center. This means that the town center no longer is a place to socialise and meet other people while shopping. As small shops close, town centers become empty and local people become more distant to each other.
  4. Is this the death of the community? Answer
    It certainly means that there are negative effects for communities but communities still survive through social events, through clubs, through schools and other institutions in society. Also there are a number of shops which will not be affected by supermarkets because they are not in direct competition for example, supermarkets do not offer top quality products so high end shops will not be affected by supermarkets.

Here is a model thesis statement:

In my opinion, I agree that communities will suffer as some small, local businesses close but it is doubtful that it will cause the death of local communities.

IELTS Essay Introduction for an Opinion Essay

This lesson looks at how to write an IELTS essay introduction for an opinion essay. The introduction is the easiest part of any IELTS essay as it follows a similar content for all IELTS task 2 types.

This lesson is a follow-on lesson from last week. Learn how to find main points before continuing with this introduction lesson: Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

How to write an IELTS essay introduction
  1. Write one statement paraphrasing the information given. This will be your background statement. Make sure you paraphrase the information exactly and don’t include any irrelevant or extra information in it.
  2. When you paraphrase, make sure you are using words that you are confident with. It is good to paraphrase but you will reduce your band score if you have too many errors.
  3. Introduce your answer in the thesis statement. The thesis statement follows the background statement. It should contain your answer, your main points.
  4. Don’t write more than 50 words for your introduction.
Model Introduction

Eating meat is considered by some to damage our health and for that reason they believe all people should adopt a vegetarian diet. In my opinion, although a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy option, having a balanced diet, which contains vegetables and some healthy meat, is the key.

Vocab Builder
  • cause serious health problems = damage our health
  • become a vegetarian = adopt a vegetarian diet

 

Next lesson, we will look at how to write the body paragraphs for this essay.

Recommended Lessons

Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay (Previous Lesson for this topic)
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: Connecting Sentences
IELTS Liz YouTube Channel

Opinion Essay Introduction: The Thesis Statement

In an IELTS opinion essay for writing task 2, your introduction has a background statement and a thesis statement. You should aim for between 40 to 50 words for the length of your essay introduction. While the background statement introduces the topics, the thesis statement is your answer to the task given by IELTS. It should introduce the main points and show the direction your essay will take. Below are two possible introductions with different thesis statements for the following IELTS task.

IELTS Task 2

The increase in the amount of traffic is responsible for growing problems in many large cities and this has resulted in more traffic congestion, particularly at rush hour. What measures could be taken to deal with this problem?

Essay Introductions

The introductions below have different thesis statements. Which one do you think is the best?

1. The growth in the quantity of traffic in most major cities has led to problems of congestion in the peak travel hours. There are a number of solutions to this issue which I will discuss in this essay.

2. The growth in the quantity of traffic in most major cities has led to problems of congestion in the peak travel hours. This can be solved by having a traffic free zone and improving the public transportation system offered to the public.

Answer

Number 2 is the best introduction.

Although the first introduction has academic language in the thesis statement, it is not appropriate for a high score essay in IELTS. IELTS is a test of your ability to use your own language not your ability to learn an academic sentence and use it in your essay. Therefore, introduction number 2 shows the main points and uses language directly relating to the task.

 

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Opinion Essay Model Band Score 9 , click here
IELTS Writing Task 2 Video: How to write an introduction, click here

IELTS Diagram: Introduction and Overview

For an IELTS diagram, you need an introduction and overall paragraph containing the main features of the diagram or process in your report. The overview is one of the most important parts of your report if you are aiming for band score 6 and above. See below for an example of how to write the introduction and overview for the process shown in the picture.

The InfoVisual.info site uses images to explain objects.

Source: The diagram above was not designed by IELTS Liz.

Introduction and Overview

  • paraphrase the information given about the diagram for the introduction
  • choose the main stages for the overview ( eggs, water, tadpole, land, adult frogs)
Model Introduction and Overview
The diagram illustrates the different stages involved in the life of a frog. Overall, tadpoles, which emerge from eggs in the water, pass through a number of phases before going on to land and maturing into adult frogs.

 

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Writing Task 1: Introduction Errors

Look at the graph and introduction below. Then answer the questions.

comp-ownership-graph

Source: The above chart was not created by IELTS Liz.

Introduction

The graph give the information about the number of computer ownership by education level in two different years.

1. How many mistakes are there in the introduction above?

2. How would you write the introduction?

Answer
  1. The graph = The bar chart
  2. give = gives (s)
  3. gives the information about = don’t need “the”
  4. the number  of = the percentage / proportion of
  5. computer ownership by education level = copied from graph
  6. in two different years = should give dates
Model

Model Introduction

The bar chart gives information about the proportion of people who owned a computer from five different levels of education in two years (2002 and 2010).

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