Academic Task 1 : Describe, Explain, Relate

Academic Task 1 : Describe, Explain, Relate

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A lot of candidates feel uncomfortable when they first look at task 1 of the academic writing exam. 150 words using technical language can seem a bit of a mountain to climb. So here’s a simple template you can use for every question you may get whether it’s a graph, table, pie chart, or diagram.


Your first job is to tell us what the graph is about. Not what’s happening in it. Not where you think it came from. Not what you think we can  conclude from it. Just – What. It. Is.

You’re going to need a couple of sentences for this. One to describe the big picture, and one to talk about the details.

Big picture


The graph shows/represents/illustrates the percentage of unemployment rate and the percentage of GDP growth between 2001 and 2011.




The red line shows/represents/details the percentage of unemployment rate
The blue line shows/represents/illustrates the percentage of gdp growth
The horizontal axis represents/shows/indicates the period given/in question is 2001 to 2011
The vertical axis shows/represents/corresponds to the percentage of growth



Tell us exactly what’s happening with each component in that infographic. NOT how they relate together. Use words like:


Overall, the unemployment rate dipped during the period in question, starting in 2003 at 12% and ending in 2011 at 5.5%. A decrease of 5.5%. In contrast, the GDP growth fluctuated dramatically during the same period, starting in 2001 at -0.5% and ending in 2011 at 3%. An increase of 3.5%.

The lowest point for GDP growth was in 2009 which decreased significantly, reaching/hitting -0.5.

In 2010, there was a peak in GDP growth, reaching/hitting 7%.



Help us to understand how each component interacts with other components:


In 2010, the GDP and unemployment rate met at 6.5%.

The greatest distance between the two metrics was in 2003 when the unemployment rate peaked at 12% and the GDP growth was at 1%.