Friday, 10 August 2018

IELTS Writing Task 1 Vocabulary Paragraph 2 & 3

IELTS Writing Task 1 has very common vocabulary, and it can all be learned. After finishing the first paragraph of the Writing Task, it is now the time to start working on you second and third paragraph. These paragraph is very detailed, comprising of information which covers the general trend (the most striking part of the data) such as the highest number, the lowest percentage, the steady increase, the dramatic decline, et cetera. It also contains comparison, like when you compare the upward trend of teenagers who start smoking before the age of 17 to the number of teenagers who are actively involved in some outdoor and physical activities. Although there are many things that we need to explain in paragraph two and three, I’ll try to break it down to make it easily understood.

Let’s start with the opening of your paragraph two and three. Here are some of the most common opening in the second and the third paragraph

  • As presented in the graph
  • It can be clearly observed that...
  • The diagram reveals that...
  • It is important to notice that..
  • As can be seen in the...
  • It is interesting to note that...
  • According to the...
  • It can be seen that…
  • As shown in the illustration...
  • It is quite apparent that
  • Now, turning to the details....
  • It is apparently seen that...
  • The data clearly shows that...
  • It is worth noticing that...
  • The data suggest that...
  • It is obvious that…
  • As the diagrams suggest...
  • It is clear that
  • It could be noticed that...
  • Going back to the detail (paragraph three)

Paraphrasing for the word increase and decrease
Trend of the data
Write it as a Verb
Write it as a Noun
Rise/ raise/ uplift / increase/ go up /climb/ move upward/ rocket / upsurge / soar/ jump/ leap/
A rise/ a raise/ an upward trend/ a growth/ an increase
decline/ reduce/ go down/ fall/ dip/ decrease/ plunge/ plummet/ drop/ collapse/ deteriorate/ slum/
a decline/ a reduction/ a fall/ a downfall/ a decrease/ a downward trends/  a drop/ a collapse/
unchanged/ level off/ plateau/ remain constant/ remain steady/ remain static/ remain the same/ remain stable/ remain unchanged/ indicates a consistency
a plateau / a steadiness/ a static/ a stability/ a consistency
Gradual increase

a ceiling trend/ an upward tendency/ an upward trend
Gradual decrease

a downward trend/ a downward tendency/ a descending trend

  • Don’t use the same word over and over again nor similar sentence structure. Writing –for most part, is a matter of creativity. If you already use the word ‘increase’ as a Verb, change it into a Noun the next time you use the word. A complete illustration of the use of Verb and Noun can be seen in the table above.

  • Maximize the function of Adjective clause and the reduced version in the form of gerund and past participle. Take a look at an example below:

There is an upward trend of the number of train user in metropolitan cities like Jakarta, and it is dominated by commuters from nearby cities.

  1. There are two Noun(s) that can be paraphrased here. You can change the word ‘user’ by using the very general Noun ‘people’ and additional information in form of Adjective clause ‘who use train’
  2. You can also change the word ‘commuter’ with the exact same method. Replace the word ‘commuters’ with the word ‘passengers’ and add a reduced Adjective clause in form of gerund so that it becomes ‘passenger commuting from nearby cities’

After changing those two words, the sentence will eventually look like this:

There is an upward trend of the number of people who use train in metropolitan cities like Jakarta, and it is dominated by passenger commuting from nearby cities.

  • Use various sentence structure

This can be done by many ways, like changing active voice into passive (and vice versa), or changing the Subject ‘there’ with another subject (see example below).

There is an upward trend of the number of train user in metropolitan cities like Jakarta, and it is dominated by commuters from nearby cities.

This sentence has the word ‘there’ as a Subject, but it is still possible to re-arrange the sentence so that it becomes like this:

The number of train users in metropolitan cities like Jakarta indicates an upward trend and is now dominated by commuters from nearby cities

Or like this
The number of people using trains in metropolitan cities like Jakarta indicates an upward trend and is now dominated by passengers commuting from nearby cities

"This simple method of re-placing and re-arranging words and sentences can boost your Lexical resource score in IELTS, and it is indeed worth trying"

  • Use the word accurately

Sometimes it becomes a little bit confusing to decide the choice of word that we use in Writing Task 1. The word ‘increase’ and ‘improve’ are two examples of Verbs that cannot be used interchangeably. While the word ‘increase’ is more likely to be used when explaining numerical data, the word ‘improve’ is usually used to explain data which is a-way-more-qualitative in nature. Take a look at examples below:

The number of families owning more than one car steadily increases, and now there around 68% families in big cities which own more than two private vehicle – you see that the word ‘increase’ in this example refers to ‘the number’ and ‘68%’.

Compare it to an example below:
There is a significant improvement in terms of standard of life in some developing countries – you see that the word ‘improvement’ (or improve, if it is written in Verb form) refers to ‘standard of life’ in which the betterment is not explained in figure, yet explained as a more qualitative categories like high standard or low standard.

Adverb and Adjective for the word increase and decrease
When talking about increase and decrease, it’s not just about increase and decrease. Increase and decrease can be of different level (slight, moderate, or drastic), and this is explained by using Adjective and Adverb. You probably have known that the function of Adjective is to give additional information for Noun while the function of Adverb is (mainly) to give additional information for Verb. We explain increase and decrease in both Verb and Noun form, but their combination with Adjective and Adverb is not interchangeable. Noun cannot be combined with Adverb just the same way Verb cannot be combined with Adjective. For more explanation about the possible combination of certain words in English, click here

Here are some of the Adverb and Adjective that are commonly used in IELTS Writing Task 1
Use the Adverb
Use the Adjective
Rapid change
Moderate change
Steady change
Little or no change

There are also several Verbs representing rapid change of the data, such as:
Rapid Change
Undergo/experience/witness ups and downs
Ups and downs

  • Do not include all explanations given in the data. The purpose of presenting a data in form of visual graph or diagrams is so that we can draw a pattern, find out the most significant trends, and compare/contrast the findings.

  • Other than explaining increase and decrease, you also use a lot of numbers (or percentages) in the second and the third paragraph. Please remember that number should not be written in exactly similar style. You have to paraphrase them, and these are some of the most common ways

Using number and percentage
15% growth

Reduced by 12%

Drop by 1,2 millions

Using Fractions
5% = A tiny fraction.

23% = Almost a quarter.

25% =A quarter.

27% = Roughly one quarter.

29% = Nearly one-third, nearly a third.

30% = A third

49% = Around a half, just under a half.

50% = A half.
51% = Just over a half.
74% = Almost three quarters.
78% = More than three-quarter.

Using Proportion
2% = A very small proportion.

4% = An insignificant proportion.

16% = A small portion.

70% = A large proportion.

74% = A significant majority, A significant proportion.

92% = A very large proportion. 

 In some cases, we also need to use approximation

Just about


Just around



A little less than.

Just below



A little more than

More or less

Just over

Just under

  • IELTS Writing Task 1 is better written in three to four paragraphs. If you write more than four paragraph, there is a possibility that you will digress, become too specific, or run out of time
  • Do not put all your ideas in one paragraph. A writing that consists of only paragraph cannot be categorized as a writing, it is a paragraph.
  • Conclusion part is optional and should be used only as a mitigation step. If you already write at least 150 words, you may want to skip conclusion and focus your time and energy on IELTS Writing Task 2