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May 27, 2011

How to Describe Data in IELTS Academic Writing Task 1
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Youth on Twitter
Photo credit: Pew Internet via Read Write Web.

In Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Writing Module, candidates are required among others to describe data. To be good in task 1, they should be able to recognize trends, be able to mention the supporting evidence and periods, and be able to comment to highlight the significance of what was recently described.

To provide an example of how these elements work, please consider the following excerpt from the Read Write Web article "As Facebook Ages, Gen Y Turns to Twitter":
"When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter's network."

A closer examination of the said excerpt would reveal that the trends were recognized, the supporting evidence and periods were included, and a comment on the data was stated. Note the presence of the said elements marked in bold. Thus:

Re: Trend

"When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter's network."

Re: Evidence

"When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter's network."

Re: Period

"When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter's network."

Re: Comment

"When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter's network."

To summarize today's tips for IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, try to include trends, evidence, periods, and a comment in your writing tasks. So candidates, do keep in mind the "trend-evidence-period-comment" format. This could help you improve your skills in IELTS Academic Writing task 1.

We hope that you find this post useful. Cheers!

Attribution to Sarah Perez and Read Write Web for the Article "As Facebook Ages, Gen Y Turns to Twitter."


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