IELTS Writing Task 1: Describe a Process

IELTS Writing Task 1: Describe a Process with Sample Answer

IELTS Writing Task 1: Question

Today’s example of a process diagram is just for fun. It’s unlikely that you would be asked to describe a process this difficult in the real test!

The illustration below shows the process of tying a bow tie.

Write a report explaining to a university lecturer how to tie his bow tie.

Write at least 150 words.

IELTS Writing Process


IELTS Writing Task 1: Model Answer

The diagram illustrates how to knot a bow tie in eight stages.

To begin with, the tie should be placed around the neck, with one end slightly longer than the other. Then place the longer end over the other and pass it upwards and behind the point where the two ends cross.

Next, take the other end of the tie and bend it twice to form an ‘S’ shape. Bring the longer end down and in front, so that it holds the ‘S’ curve in place. Now comes the trickiest part of the process. Take the long end of the tie and form a similar ‘S’ shape before passing it through the narrow gap behind the other end. This creates a knot and the bow should now be held securely in place.

Finally, adjust both sides of the bow to make it symmetrical and prepare to be the envy of your friends.

(152 words, IELTS 9.0)


Why does this Task 1 answer get an IELTS Band 9 score?

Task achievement: The model answer fully satisfies all requirements of the task by describing each stage in the process.

Coherence and cohesion: The model answer uses a range of sequencing expressions to describe the order in which the actions should be carried out. The answer is divided into several paragraphs for ease of understanding, with the inclusion of a general sentence – Now comes the trickiest part of the process – to aid coherence.

Lexical resource: A range of appropriate vocabulary is introduced, including action verbs such as knot, bend, pass and adjust.

Grammatical range and accuracy: The correct forms – imperatives, modals – are used to give instructions. Sentence patterns vary and are always grammatically accurate.


Teacher’s Notes

IELTS TeacherAs I mentioned in my introduction above, this IELTS Writing Task 1 question is not entirely serious. It would be quite shocking to have to describe a process like this one in the real exam. It does illustrate a serious point though. Almost every diagram in IELTS Writing Task 1 contains some vocabulary in the form of labels. The vocabulary is there to help you, not to make the task more complex. So be grateful for all those labels!

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