Common structure in task 1(Collected by Toàn Zim)

The introduction:

Simply paraphrase the general description of the graph given by the task

The overview : (1-2 sentences)

Describe the overall trend of every line (Increase, decrease ..)

Describe the most remarkable feature of the graph (which line represents the fastest increase or decrease, the highest or lowest point …)

The first body paragraph:

Give data of all lines during the first year of the period.

Describe the trend of all lines until the key point(give data for that particular year)

The second body paragraph:

Describe the trend of all lines from the key point to the end of the period.

Give data of all lines during the last year of the period


-The Introduction

What the graph is about: birth rates

Where the figures are taken: China and the US

When: between 1920 and 2000

What the general trends or the most remarkable features are: Both figures greatly fluctuated before seeing a gradual decline. Both figures peaked at 1950.

-Detail paragraph 1:

Data in the first year: 10% for China and 12% for the US

Trends until 1950: Fluctuation

Other main features: highest number in 1950: 20% for China and 15% for the US

-Detail paragraph 2:

Trend from 1950 to 2000: Decline

Data in the final year: 3% for China and 7% for the US

Sample answer

The graph shows how the birth rates in China and the USA changed from the year  of 1920-2000(WHAT ,WHERE and WHEN) . Overall, after many years of considerable fluctuation , both figure gradually declined until the end of the examined period. Remarkably, the birth rates in the two countries peaked in 1950.

(Data in the first year)In 1920, the Chinese birth rate was 10%, a little lower than that of the USA which was about 12%.( The trend of all lines)  However, after 30 of moving up and down, the figure of China surpassed the USA’s and reached its highest at 20%, compared to only 15% for the American birth rate(make comparisons where possible) .

In 1955, there was a sharp fall in the Chinese rate of birth to roughly 9%, followed by a steady decrease until the year 2000 when the figure was only 3% (the trend of all lines from the key point to the end of the period). Meanwhile,  the USA’s birth rate  experienced the same downward trend but still remained higher than Chinese for the rest of the period.(Data in the final year) In 2000, the American figure was approximately 7%.


Don’t give numbers in the summary sentence.

Try not to describe the lines separately. Try to make comparisons where possible.

Use past tenses for past tenses for past years, and use future tenses for future years.

Don’t use the passive, continuous or perfect tenses.

Other tip


The general format for writing academic writing task 1 is as following:

Introduction + Basic/ General Trends + Details Description + Conclusion.

Each part has a specific format and therefore being equipped with the necessary vocabulary will help you to write the task 1 efficiently and will save a great deal of time.