IELTS Academic Writing Course: Task 1
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IELTS Academic Writing Course: Task 1

A guide to help you prepare for the academic IELTS test, for students who want to go from an IELTS 5.0 to a 6.0 or 6.5
4.3 (24 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,076 students enrolled
Last updated 8/2017
Price: Free
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 10 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Reach a 6.5 or above in the IELTS academic writing exam
  • Respond quickly and comfortably to data given in the IELTS academic writing exam
  • Deal with all IELTS academic writing task 1 question types
  • Be prepared for university entry on most course in English speaking countries
View Curriculum
  • An IELTS 5.0 level BEFORE starting
  • A minimum IELTS score of 4.5 in any one skill area
  • Students looking to progress to a 6.5+ IELTS band score

This course is all about the skills and techniques you need to use to succeed in task 1 of the IELTS Academic writing test. It will be evolving over time to include new videos and course materials to help you to complete the test with confidence.

This course will show you:

  • A suitable IELTS academic writing style.

  • What to include in every paragraph.

  • How to write about data analysis.

  • How to use patterns of analysis.

  • Smart tips for exam writing success.

This course is for: 

  • International students hoping to study in an English speaking university.

  • Non native English speakers looking to work in an English speaking country or organisation.

  • Students who have passed the IELTS writing exam and are looking to improve their academic writing skills.

Who is the target audience?
  • Students taking the IELTS academic writing exam soon
  • Students looking for university entrance through an IELTS exam
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
31 Lectures
Unlocking Academic IELTS Writing Success With this Course
6 Lectures 17:39

Useful advice for success in any IELTS writing exam.

Stu: 10 Tips for Writing Success (2:40)

Considering your use of contractions is an easy first step to improve your formal writing style, something needed for both IELTS academic writing tasks 1 and 2.

Steve: Formal Style - Contractions (2m 08s)

The IELTS official website tells us many of the key points we need to reach a band 6.5+ in the academic writing but it is written for examiners and teachers. 

This lecture guides you through the goals in simple language so you know what to focus on.

Steve: Clear Goals in Simple Language (3m 43s)

Remember - this course will only help you if you commit! 

Follow the tips in this video to get through the course in good time so that you can prepare for your IELTS and get the highest band possible.

Steve: How to get through this course BEFORE your IELTS exam! (3m 22s)

Make sure you get all the tips from this video for getting through the course in record time with maximum engagement - don't skip it!

Steve: How to Fly Through This Course!! (4m 59s)

Don't skip this one!

Things to do before going further!
IELTS Academic Writing Exam Tips
4 Lectures 12:15
  • If it can’t be read it can’t be marked!
  • Use simple lettering
  • Avoid cursive writing unless it is clear.
  • These letters are commonly confused:

    • a, o, and u
    • n and r
    • m and n
  • Practise, practise, practise writing by hand and within the time for the task.
Stu: Handwriting and Presentation (2m 26s)

By the end of this lecture you will have an in depth understanding of what paraphrasing is, how you can practise it and why you need to do it.

Here are some tips for paraphrasing:

  • Use synonyms to make your writing more interesting and to demonstrate knowledge of range of vocabulary.
  • Use a variety of time phrases. 
  • Change the word order.


Modern technology is changing the lives of people around the world.

Nowadays, people across the globe are able to live very different lives thanks to technology.

These two examples both have a similar meaning but use the following tricks to avoid repetition:

  • synonyms for the key words and time phrases, 
  • a change in the word order

How to practise paraphrasing:

  • Use a thesaurus or word processor.
  • Use model questions and practise paraphrasing when writing answers.
  • Use model answers to identify paraphrases used by others.

You can use Google Drive or to identify useful synonyms.

Why do we need to use paraphrases?

  • Helps you to broaden your English usage and understanding.

  • Encourages critical thinking.

  • Demonstrates an ability to acknowledge the work of others.

Paraphrasing: What is it? How can you do it? Why do you need it? (7m 28)

Paraphrasing Tips: Key Takeaways

A quick guide for timing of your IELTS academic writing tasks. This is based on weighting of the two IELTS academic writing tasks and suggests splitting your time accordingly.

Steve: Timing task 1 (and 2!) to perfection (2m19s)
Task 1 Paragraph by Paragraph
9 Lectures 13:36

After this lecture you should have a clear understanding of what task 1 involves.

Stu: Task 1: What to Expect (3m 02s)

Task 1 - What to Expect: Key Takeaways

After this lecture you should have a clear of how to write a paraphrase sentence in task 1. 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the essay requirements.

  • Use synonyms to restate the essay question.

Example scenario

The graphs below give information about computer ownership as a percentage of the population between 2002 and 2010, and by level of education for the years 2002 and 2010.

Example paraphrase

The bar charts show data about computer ownership, with a further classification by level of education, from 2002 to 2010.

N.B. A good paraphrase sentence is essential for getting a Band 7.

Watch the lecture titled paraphrasing for more on how to paraphrase effectively.

Stu: Task 1: Paragraph 1 - Paraphrase Sentence (2m 41s)

After this lecture you should have a clear understanding of paragraph 2 the overview.

Stu: Task 1: Paragraph 2 - The Overview (1m 09s)

Overview Paragraph: Key Takeaways

By the end of this lecture you will have learned about the different language you can use in the 3rd and 4th paragraphs of task 1.

Stu: Task 1: Paragraphs 3 and 4 - Details

Paragraphs 3 & 4: Key Takeaways

This video covers some very useful tips to follow when preparing for and completing task 1 of the IELTS academic writing paper.
Stu: Task 1: General Tips on Language for Paragraphs 3 and 4 (2:38)

General Tips on Language for Paragraphs 3 & 4: Key Takeaways
How to Easily Analyse the Data Given in Your Task 1 Question
8 Lectures 17:11

This is the method I always recommend to students - 3 techniques to remember which can save you time and increase your IELTS band.

Steve: 3 Simple Ways to Analyse ALL Data in Task 1 (3m 08s)

A key part of improving your IELTS academic writing band is to look at different ways of expanding your vocabulary. This video shows you how to start using a variety of word forms for talking about graphs and charts.

Steve: Task 1 Data Analysis: Language for General Trends (2m 10s)

Steve: Task 1 Data Analysis: Synonyms for increase (1m 24s)

To go the opposite way in a trend, we also need to cover the movement down. This lecture builds on previous vocabulary and provides nouns and verbs for a downward trend. 

Steve: Task 1 Data Analysis: Movement down & synonyms for 'decrease' (1m 08s)

The videos on data analysis provide the vocabulary here, see the bar charts about GDP for 2005 and 2010 for the context.
Write 2 sentences for task 1 to describe a general trend
2 questions

The next technique mentioned for dealing with task 1 data is the language of extremes. This lecture guides you through making these sentences and how to do it for a strong IELTS score.

Steve: Task 1 Data Analysis: Extremes (3m 44s)

To add another dimension to your data analysis, surprising points can help you to improve your IELTS band. This lecture details language to help you with them.

Steve: Task 1 Data Analysis: Language for Surprising Points (1m 47s)

Stand out from the IELTS crowd and use language to show surprising points from the data given to you in task 1. Not many students do this - here's how to do it well!

Steve: Task 1 Data Analysis: Surprising Points - Examples (3m 41s)

Academic Word List
Practice Question & Model Answers: Walkthrough
4 Lectures 09:48
Write ONLY an outline for the practice task 1 question under test conditions. Take notes on the question and data you see before doing so. Maximum time allowed here is 5 minutes, but you should aim to complete all of this in 3 minutes in future.
Task 1 Example Question Practice
1 question

Let me guide you through the first steps to answering a free task 1 practice question - this is how I would start!

Steve: Task 1 Example Question: First Look & How I Would Approach It (8m 05s)

This follows on from the previous video lecture on the example question about computer ownership.

Steve: Task 1 Example Question with Handwritten Notes

One thing you should do before leaving!

Steve: One Thing (1m 53s)

Steve: Easy Links

Only complete this after taking the previous assignment as it is part of the same process. Here, you will need to answer the same question, about computer ownership, and write your complete answer for it.
Task 1 Example Question Practice: Write Your Essay
1 question
About the Instructor
Stephen Beale
4.3 Average rating
91 Reviews
5,191 Students
4 Courses
Academic English Tutor, Linguist, Educator

I am an academic English for university tutor currently working at a UK university and am an expert in the field.

I am also a graduate in Spanish & French from the University of Exeter, UK, and a keen language learner.

I have many years' teaching experience, having taught in both Europe and Asia with students from all over the world.

I do this every day to help students like you improve and achieve your goals - I look forward to helping you on your journey to success!

Stuart Beale
4.3 Average rating
71 Reviews
4,128 Students
3 Courses
Academic English Tutor

I am an Academic English Tutor employed in a UK university. I possess a wealth of experience in preparing university students for their prospective university courses, and future careers. These experiences have included providing guidance in writingreadinglisteningspeaking and project research skills.

In addition, I am a PGCE qualified secondary teacher and have almost ten years experience in teaching, training and coaching across a range of disciplines including: English as a Foreign Language, literacy coaching, ICT training, design technology teaching and even surf coaching. I love teaching and learning every day!