This IELTS Academic Writing Task 1 post can help you write a great answer for task 1 question with maps. In this post we will look at three maps of the same area with some changes happening in different times. The post will also help you learn some vocabularies which are important to describe locations and changes in a place. You will find a model answer for the given question at the end of the lesson with bonus tips.
When describing maps in IELTS Writing Task 1, the biggest mistake that low scorers in Writing module does is that they write some simple sentences to show what every picture shows. Often they use phrases like ‘there is’ or ‘there are’. They also use some familiar words over and over again. A plane or simple answer always affects the answer badly. Organisation also plays an important role here. Good paragraphing is as essential as a good response. Candidates must also be attentive to the task achievement (what the question asks you to answer). Being aware of these facts can improve score in writing.
Vocabulary for describing maps:
To describe changes in a map, here are some vocabularies that you can try to practice with.
|converted||transformed, changed, renewed, transmuted, altered,||The building was converted into a shopping center.|
|renovated||repaired, restored, mended, rebuilt,||The government has recently renovated the old Public Hall.|
|constructed||built, made, erected, assembled,||A new shopping mall was constructed near the Main Road.|
|reorganized||restructured, updated, modernized, rearranged||The plan to build the city center has been reorganized by the committee.|
|connected||linked, interconnected, interrelated,||A steel bridge connected the two sides of the town.|
|increased||augmented, enlarged, improved, expanded,||The car park increased in size.|
|decreased||diminished, declined, reduced,||The café decreased in size.|
|named||entitled, termed, called,||The tower was named ‘the Lambard Tower’ after Professor Rick Lambard.|
|located||situated, placed, positioned,||The stadium is located near the bus station.|
|demolished||destroyed, smashed, damaged, wrecked,||The parking was demolished to give way for the hospital.|
|cleared||cut-down, removed,||The small bushes near the shops were cleared.|
|witnessed||saw, observed, experienced,||The city witnessed a massive change.|
|massive||huge, humongous, gigantic, immense, colossal,||The city witnessed a massive change.|
|proposed||planned, projected, suggested,||Some major changes have been proposed in the map of 2040.|
|surrounding||adjacent, adjoining, close, nearby,||The surrounding areas also observed a humongous change.|
|untouched||unchanged, unaffected,||The left portion of the field was left untouched.|
The description of the maps is mostly in passive voice as the changes are man-made. So, you must have a clear understanding about how active and passive voice work.
Now, let’s look at a sample question.
The maps below show the changes that have taken place at Forton Valley City since its construction in 1990.
The maps portray Forton Valley City at three different stages in its development: 1990, 2000 and 2010. Overall, major renovation took place in the area over two decades.
In 1990, Forton Valley City, which was located to the south of Sheffield Road, was divided into two parts, the eastern part and the western part, as Daisy Road went through the city. The western side had a shopping center and a big farmland. The eastern side had a large city hall and a kindergarten school with a big round park behind it.
In 2000, some minor changes took place in the city. The eastern half of the farmland was converted into a dairy farm. Both city hall and the round park declined in size. Moreover, a small car park had been built on the south side of the city hall.
In 2010, more improvements were made. The farmland and the dairy farm had been transformed into playground and K.G. School respectively. A small toy shop was also included beside the school. The eastern side experienced a massive transformation as both city hall and K.G. School were replaced with Public Library and Forton University. Another car park had been added with the old one. Additionally, a Varsity Café was constructed with the university building.
Use of synonyms:
Use of synonyms can make a major difference in earning a great band score. So, try to use synonyms as much as possible and avoid repeating the same words. However, don’t be too worried about repeated articles and prepositions. They will appear often in your writing. Follow some 8.0-9.0 band answers and see how many articles and prepositions have been repeated.