atashzamzam_sr_ielts_writing_tutorial_academic_module_with_a

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A comprehensive reference

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to refer to the following sources as their illustrations were used here in
this pamphlet:
Page 4 pics A and D adopted from IELTS graduation, page 4 pic B adopted from focus on
academic skills for IELTS, page 5 pic D adopted from improve your writing for IELTs, page 5 pic E
adopted from insight into IELTS, page 7 exercise 1 pic adopted from improve your writing for
IELTs , page 1 1 pic adopted f rom focus on academic skills for IELTS, page 1 2 exercise 4 pic
adopted from instant IELTS, page 1 4 exercise 5 pic adopted from focus on academic skills for
IELTS, page 1 7 exercise 6 pic adopted from focus on academic skills for IELTS, page 2 0 exercise 7
pic adopted from improve your writing for IELTS, page 2 2 pic adopted from New insight into
IELTS, pages 2 3 to 2 5 pics adopted from improve your writing for IELTS

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Describing Diagrams
Unit aims
 Different types of diagrams: man -made or natural
 The elem ents of a good diagram description
 Describing picture of an object
 Maps
 Question bank

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Different types of diagrams: man -made or natural
Diagrams generally fall into 2 categories. Man - made and natural. However, there are often
different forms of diagrams in IELTS test. The following ones are among the most common
types. Match each type with the correct picture on the following page .
1. Linear process
2. Cycle
3. Maps
4. Natural phenomenon
5. Machinery
A. B.

.







C.

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D.








E.

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The language and overall paragraphing used for diagrams is different from the ones for graphs,
charts and tables. The following table summarises the key diffferences.

Diagrams Graphs, charts, and tables
Overall paragraphing and
structure

Introduction
+
Body
+
Conclusion (optional)


Introduction
+
Body
+
Conclusion
Vocabulary
Words describing steps are
used (is made, is produced,
etc)
Words describing changes
(rise, fall, etc)
Ten se Present tense is normally used Variety of tenses are used
Voice Active and passive Active

The element s of a good diagram description

The following elements should be included in a good piece of writing. These points will be
elaborated upon in the following pages.
 Analyzing the diagram
 Passive or active?
 Sequence words, purpose, cause and result
 Relative clauses
1. Analyzing the diagram

Firstly, make sure that you know where the diagram starts, how it continues and where the
ending is . If you ha ve difficulty with understanding the beginning or ending then the question
itself is a good help. In fact, when the question, for instance, says that the diagram shows
how…X..is produced then it means that the final step is the production of …X…..

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E xer c i s e 1 : a n a lyzi n g d i a g r a ms
Look at the following diagram for a careful analysis. Try to answer the questions to see where
to start and how to develop your description.














a) How do you think the process starts?
b) What is the coal mixed with before entering the furnace?
c) After this mixture is heated what kind of gas is produced and what is removed
from this gas?
d) What product is obtained after this removal?
e) Where does this purified gas go to and what does it do?
f) Where do the hot exhaust gases come from and what happens to them?

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2. The use of active or passive voice
Depending on the type of process you need to change between active or passive voice. If the
diagram is man -made then the most common voice is passive and when the diagram is
natural then active is the main voice.
Remember that the most common tense used either in active or passive is present simple.
Present simple passive
To be + past participle

Example:
After beans are c ollected they are transported to the factory using lorries.


E x e r c i s e 2 : a c t i v e o r p a s s i v e ?
Read the following sentences and complete them with either active or passive form of the
words given in brackets.
When the sun …….1…....(heat) the earth, water f rom rivers, lakes and seas
…………2……..(evaporate). When this evaporation……..3……….(move) to higher levels, cloud
……..4……..(form) due to cold weather. Wind ………5……..(push) these clouds even higher
causing rain to fall.
In normal conditions the winds which …….6… …..(blow)from the east are stronger than the
winds from the west. These winds ……….7……… (force) warm water westwards bringing rain
to Australia.







Common mistake:
Subject - verb agreement is important and many learners often have
problem in this area..
If there is no subject or doer of the action, you need to use passive.
The book publishes every six mon th. (The book itself cannot do the action
of publishing so passive is needed.)
The book is published every six months. (Correct)

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3. Sequence words, purpose, effect and result
Since you need to describe different steps, the following words can be used to organize them.

Useful language: Ordering, purpose and result


First stage


Purpose
The first stage is when + noun + verb
To begin with,
The process commences with
The process starts when + noun + verb
A is done (so as) to provide / produce B.
A is done in order that B can be done /
produced.
A is done so that B is provided / produced.
The aim in this step is to + verb
The main purpose of this stage is to + verb

Middle stages


Cause and result
In the next stage of the process
On ce A has finished, B is able to start.
After this stage is complete,
This step involves +verb(ing)
At the same time,
The next step is when + noun + verb
A happens. As a result, B is produced.
A happens. This results in + noun
A happens, which results in + noun
A happens resulting in + noun
A happens which leads to/ causes B
A happens, with the result that B is produced.


Last stage

In the final stage of the process,
The final step is when + noun + verb
Finally/ lastly,
Once the final stage has been com pleted,

4. Relative clauses: a technique for making complex structures
Who, which, that are the most common relative pronouns . These words often follow a noun
and they give further information about this noun. The following examples can help to clarify
the purpose of relative clauses and how they are used.
Example:
The first stage is collecting beans.
Beans are taken from cocoa trees.

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Notice that the second sentence above gives more information about the beans so you can join
these two short statements to p roduce a much more complex structure.
Example:
The first stage is collecting beans which are taken from cocoa trees.
Ex er c i s e 3: r e la ti v e c la u s es
A.Now try to link the following statements to produce complex structures using relative clauses.
1. The product is heated. This product is taken to factory by Lorries.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2. The information is sent to the team of proof readers. This information is collected from
different sources.
………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………

3. The paper is finally published. The paper is corrected.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

4. Coal is mixed with oxygen in this step. Coal is carried to factory using conveyor belt.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………

5. In the next stage of the process this liquid is heated in a furnace up to a certain
temperature. The temperature is normally 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

NOTE that an ing clause can also be use d to create more complex structures in writing. They
also avoid repetition of some words. Look at the following example based on the pictures
below which compare normal and El Niño conditions.
Strong winds blow warm water westwards. This process causes sto rm clouds to form and
brings rain to Australia.
Strong winds blow warm water westwards, causing storm clouds to form and bringing rain to
Australia.

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B.Now try to join the pairs of sentences about the pictures above using ing clauses.
1. Th e warm water builds up in the west. This process allows cool water to rise to the
surface in the east.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2. The cool water brings rich nutrients to the surface. This process enables the numbers of
fish to in crease near Peru.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

3. In El Niño conditions, warm water flows eastwards. This process brings rain to Peru.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Ex er c i s e 4: wr i ti n g a fu ll ta s k 1 di a gr a m
Th e following samples help you gain an insight into how to integrate all these four items into
writing.
 First try to analyze the diagram
 After that try to put the sentences in the correct order.
 Finally underline all passive forms, relative clauses, sequence words and purpose
phrases.













a. The process commences when a strategic advertising plan is developed which contains
the objectives of the campaign as well as the messages which the company intends to
send to the customers.
b. After that it is put i nto production and when the definitive version of the advertisement
is produced it is finally published.
c. In the following stage, the client looks at and then chooses the best idea which he
considers as the most suitable.
The diagram shows the process by which advertisements are produced. Write a report
for a university lecturer describing the in formation. You should write at least 150 words.

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d. The diagram shows the steps involve d in the process of producing advertisements by
agencies.
e. In the next stage, the plan is passed to the advertising agency’s creative team where a
number of possible ideas are frequently brainstormed to be selected by the client.
f. The client and the agency t hen review and more adjustments or changes are made in
order to meet the company’s demand.
g. Next, the creative team of the agency develops the idea further so that it forms a
concept framework.



















Common mistake:
Many students confuse the use of next and then
 Next is used at the beginning of a new sentence as a sequence word.
This is often followed by a comma .look at the example below:
Next, the cre ative team of the agency develops the idea further so that it
forms a concept framework.
 Then is used in the middle of a sentence and NOT at the beginning
and it often marks the effect of sth on sth else. Look at the example
below:
In the following stage, the client looks at and then chooses the best
idea which he considers as the most suitable.

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Ex er c i s e 5: ma s t er i n g a c ti v e a n d p a ss i v e
Now look at the following model text and try to fill in the gaps with either active or passive
form of the verbs given in brackets.





















The diagram shows a structure that is used to generate electricity from wave power. Write
a report for a university lecturer describing the information. You sho uld write at least 150
words.

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The two diagrams illustrate how electricity can ………1……..(produce) from the power of sea
waves.
The process …….2…….(involve) a structure which ………3……….(build) onto the side of a cliff or
even sea wall. This structure ……..4…… … (comprise) a large chamber with one of its ends
being open and the other leading into a closed vertical column. A turbine ……...5………..
(position) inside this column and this ………6………..(use) to generate electricity in two phases.
The first diagram depicts t hat when a wave …….7…….(enter) the mouth of the chamber,
air……..8……..(force) up the column and this movement ……..9………..(turn) the turbine,
thereby producing electricity.
The second diagram shows that when the wave retreats, air ……10……….(suck) out of the
co lumn and chamber. This movement similarly turn s the turbine in the same direction, and
this ……….11……..(generate) electricity.
Overall, we can see that this structure assists in producing electricity from waves as they both
advance and retreat.

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Describing a picture of an object

In task 1 of the writing module you may hav e to describe a picture of an object or objects. This
may involve describing and comparing shapes and sizes. The following table gives you a number
of words which can be useful in such descriptions.

Vocabulary for object description

Shape

Round, oval, rectangular, circular, spherical, cylindrical, shaped like a
square/ cube/ sphere, long, thin, flat, curved, pointed

Qualities

Colored, striped, spotted, sharp

Parts

Head, face, eye, neck, top, main/ outer/ inner part, side, handle, bottom,
end

Position

On one/ both side(s), in the middle, on/at the top, above, below, around,
inside, horizontal, vertical

Material

Woo d(en), metal, paper, glass, leather, plastic, rubber

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Ex er c i s e 6: ob jec t des c r i p ti on
Now look at the following senten ces. The underlined words are used incorrectly. Try to correct
them.













1. A picture frame is consists of three main parts: the frame itself, the glass and the
backing.
2. Its overall high is 30 cm, and its overall width is 20 cm.
3. The frame shown in d iagram C is also rectangular, and it is approximate the same size,
but it is made of wood instead of silver.
4. It is therefore clear that the first frame would be use for a large picture while the second
would be suitable for a small picture.
5. However this fr ame is much more wider than the first one so the space left inside for
the picture is only a fraction of the size of that in diagram A.

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Now try writing four sentences of your own.
1.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
2.
……………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
3.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
4.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Maps
Maps often depict changes. To describe such changes in location, di rec tion, places and
developments you need to learn the language first.

Words showing location and direction


 Left/ right
 To the left/ to the right of
 At the top of / at the bottom of
 In the right hand corner
 In the top left corner
 In the center/ in the mid dle
 Along
 Across from / opposite
 Next to / close to/ adjacent to
 Beyond (the border, etc.)
 From (the station, etc.)
 Facing (the station, etc.)
 At the mouth of…
 …x….runs to the north of….
 (Place A) is situated/ located/ positioned
around B.

 (Place A) is pl aced to the right of B.

 (Place A) is covered with B.

 (Place A) is connected to B by means of
C.

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Ex er c i s e 7: d es c r i b i n g a ma p
Now read the follow ing model text to gain an understanding of how to use these words,
phrases and clauses into writing.












Words describing places / changes / development

 (Place A) was first opened / established.
 A bypass and an industrial estate were built around B.
 The mos t noticeable difference between place A and B is …X…
 The town has become more / less residential in the year…compared to ….
 Some of the changes are negligible but ……(a change) … is dramatic over these years.
 The biggest change occurred to the north of (plac e A).
 …X…has experienced a transformation since more ….X… is constructed in the area.
 (Place A) has undergone considerable changes in ….X…. and ….Y….
 The (place A) was a much greener residential area with a large number of trees and
individual houses.
 (Pla ce A) experienced a number of noticeable changes. The greatest is that….
 (Place A) was knocked down / destroyed/ demolished/ cleared and replaced by….
 …X…. sprang up around the area.
 Only a few….X….remained and further facilities including…X… and …Y… were added.
 Further developments in the area included construction of ….X….near (place A) and a
new stretch of …..Y….near the southern corner.
 A comparison of both maps reveals a shift / change from……. to ……..
The map bel ow shows changes in the coastal town Youngsville in two years 1980 and 2005.
Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information. You should write at least 150
words.

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Question Bank






















The maps illustrate the developments occurring in the coastal town of Y oungsville between
1980 and 2005.
Regarding the first year, the town proved to be a much greener spot with densely planted
trees besides individual houses, but during the next 25 years this place experienced a number
of major changes. The most substantial one is that all of the trees south of the river Alanah
were cut down and at the same time the houses along the railway were demolished and
replaced by towers and skyscrapers. What is more, a new industrial site accommodating
factories and warehouses sprang up around the airport.
A small number of trees north of the river remained. The woodland was cleared to pave the
way for further facility development including a park, a golf course, and car park. Moreover, a
stadium was constructed near the north – east corner of the lake. Also, from the river runs a
new stretch of railway directly to the north. In addition to these a marina was also built at the
mouth of the river.
Overall, a comparison of both maps reveals the fact that a rural area has been transformed
into a mainly urban landscape. (196 words)

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The diagram below shows how cocoa are prepared for export to the countries that make
chocolate. Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information. You should
write at least 150 words.

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The dia gram below shows how salt is removed from sea water to make it drinkable . Write
a report for a university lecturer describing the information. You should write at least 150
words.

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The map below shows the changes that have taken place at the seaside res ort of
Templeton between 1990 and 2005 . Write a report for a university lecturer describing the
information. You should write at least 150 words.

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The diagram below shows how rain water is reused . Write a report for a university
lecturer describing the in formation. You should write at least 150 words.

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Answer Key

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exercise 1
a) It starts by transporting coal to company using
conveyor belt.
b) Oxygen
c) Raw syngas – CO2, Mercury, Sulphur are
removed
d) Purified syngas
e) It goes to gas turbine and produces electricity
f) They come from the gas turbine and go to heat
recovery section where steam is produced.
exercise 2
1. Heats
2. Transpires
3. Moves
4. Is formed
5. Pushes
6. Blows
7. Force
exercise 3
A.
1. The product which is taken to factory by
Lorries.is heated.
2. The information which is collected from
different sources is sen t to the team of proof
readers.
3. The paper which is first corrected is finally
published.
4. Coal which is carried to factory using conveyor
belt is mixed with oxygen in this step.
5. In the next stage of the process this liquid is
heated in a furnace up to a certain temperature
which is normally 300.
B.
1. The wa rm water builds up in the west, allow ing
cool water to rise to the surface in the east.
2. The cool water brings rich nutrients to the
surface, enabling the numbers of fish to
increase near Peru.
3. In El Niño conditio ns, warm water flows
eastwards, bring ing rain to Peru.

Exercise 4
The order of statements is:
1. D
2. A
3. E
4. C
5. G
6. F
7. B
exercise 5
1. Be produced
2. Involves
3. Is built
4. Comprises
5. Is positioned
6. Is used
7. Enters
8. Is forced
9. Turns
10. Is sucked
11. Generates
exercise 6
1. Consists
2. Height
3. Approxi mately
4. Used
5. Much wider

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About the author


Mr. Reza Atashzamzam is an MA graduate of English language teaching.
He has been working as a lecturer at university, te acher trai ner and teacher in Shiraz and
Tehran , Iran since 2004. He has been internationally trained by McMillan University on
teaching IELTS . He has spent time on holding workshops for IELTS candidates both in perso n
and online. His teaching career includes:
 W ork ing as lecturer at Shiraz University, the International branch (Qeshm University )
 Teaching at Dibagaran Complex, Shiraz, Iran
 Teachin g at Aptech College, Shiraz, Iran
 Teaching at Navid English Institute, Shiraz, Iran
 Teaching at Shokuoh English Institute, Tehran, Iran
 Teaching at Tarbiat Moallem University, Tehran, Iran
 Teaching at Shiraz Azad University, Shiraz, Iran
 Teaching at Isiran Institute, Sh iraz, Iran

For more practice on IELTS and info rmation about the author visit
www.facebook.com/ieltsacademy2013
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