Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Writing Part 1

This line graph demonstrates the amount of goods conveyed carried to their destination via four different ways means of transport in the United Kingdom between 1974 and 2002, as indicated in the x-axis. The y-axis quantifies the millions of tonnes of commodities transported by four different types of transport, According to the legend, the four different modes of transport through four media which are the road, water, rail and pipeline. 

(the last is illustrated by a solid line, road is demonstrated by a segmented line and the others are shown by dotted and semi-doted lines.) —-> unnecessary

It can be seen from the graph that goods which were transported on boats and trains were about 40 million tonnes in 1974 and stayed there remained as such until 1978. Interestingly, goods transported on water surpassed those which conveyed on sent by rail and gradually rose to 65 million tones in 2002, while at the same time goods transported on rail were almost 20 million less. As can be seen in the graph, commodities transported were 70 million tonnes in 1974, while those which transported in pipeline transports were about 5 million tonnes. Surprisingly, road transferred goods gradually rose until 1994 and from this year to 2002 they increased sharply and reached 100 million tonnes. On the other hand, those products which carried by pipelines moderately grew to 20 million tonnes in 2002. 

It is clearly illustrated from the graph that the largest proportion in transported goods in the United Kingdom took place on roads, while the pipelines were the least preferred medium last. The basic conclusion to be drawn is the flourish in the shipping industry steadily flourished ,which surpassing both pipeline and rail transportation, but stayed below road transported goods all the way through.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Writing tips

Writing task about traffic and pollution problems

Increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree? What other measures do you think might be effective?

Nowadays we are going through a crisis, a crisis greater than political (and) wider than cultural. It’s the economic crisis which was intensified by the dramatic increase in fuel’s price. Individuals (people/ the government) may believe that this is the best way to solve the growing traffic and pollution problems. There is no doubt in my mind that (no comma) this statement will only scratch the surface of the main problems, and there are more beneficial and efficient solutions which will (old use: avail) benefit the society substantially.

(More and more nations are choosing to increase the price of petrol for many and different reasons. ---> unnecessary sentence, your topic sentence could be the next one) One of the repercussions (no comma) of raising the price of petrol is that petrol stations will turn into chaos with citizens who will try to fill their fuel tanks early enough, in order to be on time for a lower price. Consequently, this (measure) will only affect the civilians financially and not the petrol stations’ owners who will only have profits (make profit) from this situation. Moreover, from an environmental perspective, the whole hazardous situation, will not raise any awareness on environmental issues. For instance, despite what many people might say, our (people's) pursuit will only be on how we/ they can decrease the gas consumption we/ they had last month.


To alleviate the situation, the government ought to provide citizens with cleaner and alternative fuels such as natural gas and diesel. Additionally, rarely do we see citizens using hybrid cars which seems to be a great solution to pollution problems. The government also needs to organize advertising campaigns so that individuals start using public transport (more)or take their rides circulate on foot. Last but not least, a valuable idea would be if government establish some special courses at schools in order to educate the younger generations on certain pressing environmental issues.

On balance, the drawbacks of increasing fuel prices outweigh the advantages, so I (always capital) am inclined to believe that governments need to start prioritizing their reforms and think about the common good.

Comment: Well done Germanos! I can see you have understood the writing guidelines I have given you and with a little more practice you will more than ready for the exams! 6/ 9

3 helpful videos on IELTS speaking

Mock IELTS Speaking Test #1 (Version 1): Amazing vocabulary and structure in the answers provided

IELTS Speaking Score 8.5 with Native English Speaker subtitles: To get acquainted with the beginning of the procedure

IELTS BAND 7 vocabulary for speaking test (part 1): Vocabulary tips

The amazing future candidates!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Writing Part 1: Cement and concrete production (describing a process)

The two diagrams clearly show all the materials and the processes, for the creation of cement and concrete.
                Cement production begins when we place limestone and clay into the crusher, in order to produce powder. Subsequently, powder is placed into a mixer and falls through a rotating heater. Inside this pipe (heater) it melts (no commas here) and after that it is ground in order to become cement and finally be packed in bags.
                According to the concrete production diagram, a wide variety of ingredients are required for this process. More specifically, a modicum amount of water is needed, around 10%, and approximately 15% of cement. Finally, (comma) mixing the above materials with an enormous amount of gravel (which amounts to/ constitutes 50% of the final product), and a medium quantity of sand, at 25%, into a concrete mixer, which rotates clockwise, completes the final part/ stage of concrete production.
                Taking everything into account, both processes seem to be excessively time consuming. (This conclusion cannot be drawn based on the diagrams/ no exact time is included) Additionally, the concrete-making process demands twice the materials than the cement production process.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing Task 1: tips

The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

The Introduction

You don't need much here. You only have 150 words to fully answer the question and this is not much. So, you need 1 or 2 sentences describing the following:
The type(s) of graph you are describing
The titles of the graph(s)
The date of the graph(s)
The scale (see the paragraph above)

You might not have all this information but you should report what you do have. So, for example, your beginning could look like this:

In this report I am going to describe 2 graphs. The first one is a bar chart showing the relationship between age and crime and the second is a pie chart showing the types of reported crime in the UK in 2002.

Describing Graphs for The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

What you need to do here is factually describe the graphs. You don't need to analyse the data, For example you don't need to give reasons for why figures are high or low. Sometimes, when there is more than 1 graph, there is a relationship between the two and you can bring in some comparison but more than this is not necessary. In the same way, no specialised knowledge of your own is needed or wanted nor your opinions.

Remember the function of many graphs is to describe a trend so be sure that you describe the trends. A trend is how values change generally over time and it is important to describe the changes along with some of the individual values. We will look at trends a bit later under line graphs.

One important issue with The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing is how much detail to include in your report. This depends really on how much detail there is in the question. If there is only 1 graph and it doesn't have much numerical data in it, then you will be expected to include all or nearly all of the numerical detail. If, however, you have 2 graphs, both of which are very complicated with lots of values, you will not be expected to include everything as you only have 150 words to do the job. What you will have to do is to include a selection of what you feel is the most important and significant detail that needs to be included to accurately describe the graph. With practice from good IELTS practice tests, you will improve at including all the necessary detail with the right amount of words.
You must always have some numerical detail though.

Now let's look individually at the types of graph that you are likely to meet in the exam and how to describe them.

Bar Charts for The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

Hopefully you will have described the title of the bar chart in your introduction so you can go straight into the description. Basically, with a bar chart, you need to describe the bars and their values. When describing a bar chart you first have to decide in what order to describe the bars, highest value to lowest value or lowest value to highest value. It may be a mixture of this. If there are very many bars, you can sometimes group together for description 1 or 2 or 3 bars which have similar or the same values. If there are very many and you can't group them, then just describe the ones that are the most significant.

Pie Charts for The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

Pie charts are relatively straightforward as they only usually have a few sections though this is not always the case. You need to describe the segments and their values. If there are very many then just describe the ones that are the most significant. The values are often expressed in percentages but not always so be careful what scale you are using.

Tables for The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

These can sometimes be tricky as they provide a lot of information and it is often awkward and difficult to describe every piece of information. You have to decide and describe the values and sections that are the most significant.

Line Graphs for The IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

The function of a line graph is to describe a TREND pictorially. You therefore should try and describe the trend in it. If there are many lines in the graph(s), then just generally describe the trend. If there is only one or two, then use more detail. So, describe the movement of the line(s) of the graph giving numerical detail at the important points of the line.

To describe the movement, there is some language which will always be useful. Below is a list of language you can use. Check with your dictionary words that you don't understand and practice using the words/phrases so you use them in the right way. As you will see, there are a number of words which are similar in meaning. This means that you will be able to use a variety of vocabulary which gives a good impression to the examiner who will read and mark your writing. The words below are particularly useful for line graphs but they can also be used where appropriate to describe the other types of graph.

Expressing the Movement of a Line
Rise (to), a rise, Increase (to), an increase, Go up to
Grow (to), growth, Climb (to), a climb, Boom, a boom, Peak (at), (reach) a peak (at)
Fall (to), a fall (of), Decline (to), a decline (of), Decrease (to), a decrease (of), Dip (to), a dip (of), Drop (to), a drop (of), Go down (to)
Reduce (to), a reduction (of), A slump
Level out, a leveling out, No change, no change, Remain stable (at), Remain steady (at), Stay (at), Stay constant (at), Maintain the same level

Describing the Speed of a Change

Describing a Process for the IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

We have looked at the various types of graph that you might be asked to describe but you also might have to describe a diagram representing a process.

First of all, the introduction and the ending should be more or less the same.
Then, work out the various stages of the process. Take each one separately (it's only probably going to have a limited number of stages) and describe them fully. Fully is the important word as reaching the word limit has proved harder in this task. If you have this problem, don't be afraid to use your imagination to add to detail about the process.
Other Hints for the IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing

DON'T copy any part of the question in your answer. This is not your own work and therefore will be disregarded by the examiner and deducted from the word count. You can use individual words but be careful of using long "chunks" of the question text.
Don't repeat yourself or the same ideas. This gives a bad impression and the examiner realises that it isn't adding to the content of your report.
If you are weak at English grammar, try to use short sentences. This allows you to control the grammar and the meaning of your writing much more easily and contributes to a better cohesion and coherence mark. It's much easier to make things clear in a foreign language if you keep your sentences short!
Think about the tenses of your verbs. If you're writing about something that happened in the past, your verbs will need to be in the past tenses. If you're describing the future, you will need to use the future tenses. If it's a habitual action, you'll need the present simple tense and so on. If you have time, a quick check of your verbs at the end of the exam can help you find errors. For describing graphs you will probably need past tenses whereas, for describing a process, you will probably need the present simple. Think about the verbs while practising and then it will become easier when you do the exam.
Don't be irrelevant. Although you can use your imagination to expand on your answer, if any part of your report is totally unrelated to the question and put in to just put up the word count, then the examiner will not take it into account and deduct it from the word count.

Writing task 2: role of parents and school

It is generally claimed that people should be (learned or taught?) values from their childhood values in order to become valuable members of the society. However, (comma) there is an argument if this cultivation/ kind of education should be done/ given by from school or parents.


Many people think that it is the parents' duty to teach their offspring s how to be positive members of the society by giving them the appropriate virtues. This argument is maintained because scientists support the view that parents have a significant impact on their children's behavior and this is a partly true, since most of the children tend to imitate their parents' characteristics. For instance, most of the children would like to adopt/ have achieve the same occupation as with their father or mother. (You overused introductory phrases, but did not explain your argument fully, eg with an example)


On the other hand , it cannot be denied that many families do not have the adequate educational levels for this purpose, thus they are unable to cultivate their children. As a consequence, the only capable institute to do this is the school, whose imperative duty is to teach their pupils how to become acceptable citizens of the society. (Why is education necessary for values like respect to be taught to children? Your argument here does not add up.) And: how can schools teach values? (Read the comments on Germanos' essay)


However, there is another group of people arguing that neither school or parents could teach the children how to be (good?) members, but the society through the communication and interaction with their peers would/will teach them.


Although However, from a social aspect, it is true that statistically the most of the criminals have less educational experience or descend from families which didn’t give them the appropriate tools and knowledge. Needless to say that the economic crisis has contributed to the low quality of the educational system that drives children to the wrong direction. (Is this part of the writing topic?)


Taking everything into account, it appears to me that children have to be cultivated by both parents and educators in order to become excellent members of the society. My opinion is that society should build strong institutions and organizations that would mentor families and teachers how to guide children into the appropriate direction. (The conclusion is OK)