The 3 parts of a Task 1 Academic report

The 3 parts of a Task 1 Academic reportOn this page, we will look at the 3 parts of a Task 1 Academic report – the introduction, the body and the closing statement. Each part of your report needs to meet certain criteria in order to get a good band score. Let’s start with the introduction.

The 3 parts of a Task 1 Academic report:

The introduction

When writing an introduction to Task 1, there are a number of points you need to consider. First, you need to show the examiner that you have a clear idea of what you are writing about, but this needs to be short. An introduction should be only one or two sentences long, and is simply a summary of the information you are writing your report about. The reason for keeping your introduction relatively short and only giving a basic overview is that you can describe the trends or main points in your body paragraphs and you will need a closing sentence in your essay.

The second point is that you should avoid using words from the title where possible. By copying from the question title, you are not showing the examiner your ability to use your own vocabulary. The third point is that you are required to transfer information, not give opinions. Remember that for Task 1, your aim is only to transfer information from what you see on the exam paper. The final point is that you should be using academic vocabulary and sentence structures.

The body paragraphs

The first point is to consider the tense you use when writing. If a time scale is given, you need to match your tenses accordingly. However, if no time scale is given, you can use either the present tense or the past tense. Remember that as you are writing, you should keep referring to your plan, and at the same time be supporting your sentences with data if appropriate. Another useful guideline is to count your words after each paragraph. This will give you an indication of whether you are on target for the word limit or if you need to extend or reduce your sentences.

As you are writing, you need to remember that you are being assessed on your ability to present accurate grammar and a range of sentence structures.  In addition, remember that you need to demonstrate a range of vocabulary. This can be done by avoiding repetition where possible. The final point to bear in mind is that you should present your ideas in clear paragraphs.

The closing statement

For the last part of the 3 parts of a Task 1 Academic report, it is very important that you don’t think of the ending of a Task 1 report as a ‘conclusion’. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. Somewhere in the report you need to include an overview of the main trends / information being shown.
  2. You need to clearly show the examiner that your report is finished to make sure it doesn’t look as though you simply ran out of time.

Here are some recommendations for what to do or avoid when writing your ‘end statement’ for Task 1 (Academic).

DON’T: Use ‘In conclusion’. ‘In conclusion’ is another way of saying ‘after considering the facts and the opinions expressed, this is my overall point of view’. The problem is that in Task 1 Academic you are NOT presenting opinions, nor are you required to show a personal point of view. You are only supposed to transfer the information given in the graph / chart / table /diagram, not provide any personal insight or point of view.

DO: Use expressions like ‘Overall’ or ‘To sum up’. These expressions do not imply any personal point of view, but they indicate to the examiner that this is clearly the end of your report. You can also use more direct phrases such as ‘This ends the report….’ (this must be followed by some additional information relating to the Task – see the examples below).

DON’T: Add a personal point of view. Ending your Task with a reason or explanation not given in the Task is definitely something to avoid. For example, if the Task was about income earned by different occupations, with nurses earning less than bank managers, DO NOT say something like ‘Overall, it is clear that nurses earn less than those managing banks, which seems unfair as nurses perform a more essential duty than those in the finance field.’

DO: Present an overview of the main points. For example, if the graph referred to sales and 2012 was a good year, but since then sales have fallen, you could say ‘To sum up, 2012 saw a peak in sales, followed by a gradual decline thereafter’. The most common problem with ending with an overview is that you may have already stated this in the body of the report. Don;t panic – you can repeat the information, just try to do so using different vocabulary.

DON’T: Write ‘The end’. Hopefully it should be clear why you shouldn’t simply finish your report with ‘The end’ -this is not an old movie and you’re not being assessed on whether you would be a good movie director! You need to demonstrate a better level of language ability than writing to simple words.

Examples of good ‘end statements’ for ending a Task 1 Academic report

  • ‘To sum up, it can be seen that sales were at their highest in 2012 and have fallen since that date’
  • ‘Overall, it can be seen that nurses had the longest working hours of all occupations given in the table’.
  • ‘This ends the report on the data provided in the chart, which clearly illustrates that studying in New Zealand and Australia are the least expensive options for international students.’

Want learn more? We have much more information on our IELTStestONLINE, where you can get your writing assessed, have live speaking practice sessions and get access to MUCH more information and practice resources.

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