Unit 12: How to write an impressive opening essay for Writing Task 1 – Online Writing exam preparation

The opening sentence in the first paragraph should give descriptive information about what, when, and where the object is described. The fastest way to write an opening sentence is to paraphrase the topic. Practice writing different openings for the following chart:

For example:

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the proportions of different categories of families living in poverty in Australia in 1999.

Summerise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Write at least 150 words.

Family type

Proportion of people from each household type living in poverty

Single aged person

6% (54,000)

Aged couple

4% (48,000)

Single, no children

19% (359,000)

Couple, no children

7% (211,000)

Sole parent

21% (232,000)

Couple with children

12% (933,000)

All households

11% (1,837,000)

Sample opening:

Here are three opening sentences using the paraphrase method. Note that sometimes the words used right in the table help you a lot in terms of vocabulary when rewriting the problem.

1. The chart compares percentages of Australians from six different family types who were classed as poor in 1999. (18 words)

2. The table gives information about poverty rates among six types of households in Australia in the year 1999. (18 words)

3. The table compares different categories of Australian families in terms of the proportion of people living below the poverty line in each one. (23 words)

Practice writing for Task 1

The introduction for Task 1 should be short and easy to understand. Rewriting the question with different vocabulary is the easiest way to apply it, helping you to be more confident when facing any writing problem. The phrases in the table below can help you write a better introduction:

Useful introductory phrases: Simple changes you can make:

● The table shows changes in…

● The table gives information about…

● The bar chart compares…

● The graphs show…

● The chart shows data about…

● The pie charts compare…

● The diagram shows the process of…

● The figure shows how…is produced

● The line graph shows changes in…

● The line graph compares…

Graph/line graph/chart/bar chart

● Diagram/figure

● Shows/illustrates/compares


information = data

● the number of/the figure for/the proportion of

● people in the UK/the British

● from 1999 to 2009/between 1999 and 2009/over a period of 10 years

● in three countries = in the UK, France and Spain (iename the countries)

For example:

The graph below shows the figures for imprisonment in five countries between 1930 and 1980.

We can change 3 elements in the problem:

1. graph shows = bar chart compares

2. figures for imprisonment = number of people in prison/prisoners

3. between … and … = over a period of … years

Open sample post:

The bar chart compares the number of people in prison in five different countries over a period of 50 years, from 1930 to 1980. (24 words)

Effective phrases

The phrases introduced below are very useful phrases that you should apply when writing the opening of Task 1.

● The… gives information about…

● The… compare(s)…

● The … makes a comparison between … and…

● The… shows changes in…

● The… shows….

● The… shows data about…

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