Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Interpret the Diagrams in the IELTS Writing Exam

Writing an essay is honestly difficult. But what’s more difficult is interpreting diagrams? How can one do it?
The IELTS or the International English Language Testing System Writing examination is different from both Academic and the General Training modules. It is known that the Academic module has a more difficult task compared to the General Training. What makes this module difficult is its first task where candidates need to interpret a diagram. 

Diagrams are pictures that can show charts or processes. In the first writing task, the candidate needs to describe the diagram on his or her own interpretation. Let us discuss the example below.

Task: The diagram illustrates the process that is used to manufacture bricks for the building industry. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparisons where relevant. Write at least 150 words. 

Given the task and diagram below, let us learn how to interpret this diagram.

1. Candidates should start the essay with an introduction of the diagram.

Since it is a process diagram, there will be stages in a step-by-step order. In writing an introduction, paraphrase the task. Do not repeat the question. Read the task and write an introduction based on your own understanding of the task.

2. After the introduction, focus on the main point of the diagram. 

Provide an overview of what the diagram is all about. Like in the example, you can write that how many steps are involved in creating a brick.

3. Provide the important details found in the diagram. 

Since this is a process diagram, the essay should show the order of how bricks are manufactured. Using transition words are very helpful in this. Transition words are signal words that guide the reader in the essay. For example, in this diagram, transition words like to begin, next, following, finally can be used. 

In writing an essay, be sure to have these details in separate paragraphs. The introduction should be one paragraph. In providing details, it will be best if the steps are in introduced and given more explanation in different paragraphs. By doing this, the reader is guided that he or she is reading a process paragraph. Take note on the proper usage of transition words, sentence construction, and of course the overall grammar in your essay. 

Furthermore, always remember to use the right words in the essay. Using the right vocabulary for the essay will help the response explain or describe what it wants to interpret. Hence, use the right vocabulary and expressions for intelligent responses.


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