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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 25: Academic Writing


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Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

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Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

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Today on Study English we're going to give you some tips and strategies for answering

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Task 1 IELTS Academic questions.

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We'll look at what's involved in planning an essay, and then we'll try planning answers

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to some practice questions.

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Task 1 of the IELTS Academic module asks you to describe data.

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The key word is describe.

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That means you don't need to comment on or interpret the data. Your task is only to describe

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the data.

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When you're writing a description, it's important to know what the context is and who your audience

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is.

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In Task 1, the audience is usually a university lecturer or a teacher. So we know that it

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should be formal.

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Let's review what we know about task 1.

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The key word is describe, and the context is formal.

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There's a range of things you might be asked to describe. Let's have a look at some examples.

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You might be asked to describe data.

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That could be in a bar graph or column graph,

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a pie chart or a line graph.

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Or it could be presented in the form of a table.

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You might have to describe some kind of process or cycle.

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You could also be shown a diagram of a machine or object and asked to describe the parts

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or the function.

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Now, let's take a look at a practice question. Here's an example Task 1 question:

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This table gives participation rates in higher education, in New South Wales, for males and

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females according to home location, in urban, rural or remote areas, for the year 2004.

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We also have a graph.

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The graph shows the same information as the table.

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We can see that we have information about the number of men and women who go onto higher

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education, or university, in three different areas.

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Before we can describe this data, it's a good idea to think about how to organise our description.

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There are two options. It's up to you which one you choose, but let's look at each of

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them.

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With Option 1, you could divide your essay up into an introductory paragraph and two

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body paragraphs.

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One paragraph would describe male participation rates in each of the three locations, while

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the other paragraph would describe female participation rates.

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So our essay would be structured like this.

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The first paragraph is the introductory paragraph. It should only have 2 sentences.

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Sentence 1 should paraphrase the question, and sentence two should outline your approach

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to the data.

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The second two paragraphs are body paragraphs 1 and 2.

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In the first, you might address female participation rates for each location - urban, rural and

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remote.

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In body paragraph 2, you'd talk about male participation rates for each location - urban,

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rural and remote.

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Or, you could try Option 2, and divide the essay up into three body paragraphs, one for

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each of the locations.

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The essay would be structured like this: with an introductory paragraph, as always; then

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3 body paragraphs.

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Body paragraph one would discuss urban participation rates for males and females.

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Body paragraph 2 would discuss rural participation rates for males and females.

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And body paragraph 3 would be used to discuss remote participation rates for males and females.

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There's no clear answer as to which way is better. They are both correct.

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But remember that your essay needs to be at least 150 words.

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Now, let's take a closer look at how to structure your essay.

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The first paragraph is always the introductory paragraph.

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There should be two sentences in your introductory paragraph.

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Sentence 1 aims to paraphrase the question, by telling the reader what the topic is. It

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is important not to just copy the question. You can use the language of the question and

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build your own sentence.

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In sentence 2, outline how you will organise the data and therefore how you'll organise

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the essay.

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Let's try to write our introductory paragraph.

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It might look like this:

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The table represents data, supplied by the Department of Education, Employment and Training,

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on the participation rates in higher education for males and females in 2004. The data is

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for three locations: urban, rural and remote.

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So, our first sentence tells us about the question. It includes information about where

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and when the data has come from.

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Our second sentence tells the reader that we have divided the data into three sections.

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There will be three body paragraphs - one each about the urban, rural and remote data.

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This is an introductory paragraph for Option 2.

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The order of the paragraphs will follow the order given in our introduction: urban, then

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rural and then remote.

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So, let's review and take an overall look at the essay we're creating.

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Let's say we've decided to go with Option one.

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Remember, that was an essay with two body paragraphs, one describing female participation

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rates for the three locations, and one describing male participation rates.

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So, let's start with our introductory paragraph.

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We might write:

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The table presents data supplied by the Department of Education, Employment and Training (DEET),

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on the participation rates in higher education in 2004 from three locations: urban, rural

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and remote. The data is divided into two sets: female and male participation.

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Notice our second sentence tells the reader that the data will be presented according

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to female and male participation rates.

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So our first body paragraph will be about data for female participants.

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Here's the structure of body paragraph 1.

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It shows female participation rates in each of the three locations.

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Body paragraph 2 will describe male participation rates for each of the three areas.

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Now, let's finish with another example.

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Here's our data.

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It's a table. You can see that it shows data for the number of international students studying

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intensive English courses in Australia.

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We have the number of students in 2002, 2003 and 2004 for five countries: China, Korea,

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Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

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So, how could you structure this essay?

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One option is to have body paragraphs for each of the three years. Within those paragraphs

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you'd have to describe data for the 5 countries.

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You might be able to think of some other structuring options as well. If you want to practice with

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some more examples, just go to our study English website.

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It's at abcasiapacific.com/studyenglish.

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And that's all for today. I'll see you next time, for more. Bye bye

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