Rephrasing: Academic Writing Task 1

June 8, 2017 by Ashlee Fisher

When writing an Academic Writing Task 1, there are four major components to your sentences: the subject, trends, numbers or data, and the period of time within the diagram.

It is best to write this information in a variety of ways to show that you understand the diagram as well as have a good grasp of the English language.

Here are some ways to write each of these components so that your writing does not end up being repetitive.


The subject of this graph is 'Average Household Expenditure of Selected Cultural Items'.  You can write the subject in a few different ways:

  • The amount of money Australian households spend on…per week…
  • Weekly spending on…per household…
  • The amount spent per household per week on...
  • The amount of money spent on…per week per household...
  • The average household expenditure per week on…
  • The amount of weekly spending on...
  • Average household spending on...

This demonstrates that you understand the subject and can write it in multiple ways.


Depending on the diagram, you will need to note the trends that are happening based on the information. When describing line graphs, and bar/pie charts that have multiple time periods, you want to use adjective/noun combinations as well as verb/adverb combinations. Here are some common examples:

When describing specific points on bar and pie charts, on a graph, and in tables that show one period of time, you can use comparatives and superlatives. For example:

There are a variety of lists that will provide you with a range of vocabulary for Task 1 writings. When researching or using these lists, make sure they are appropriate for the task at hand.


Taking the numbers, amounts, percentages, or any other specific type of data directly from the diagram is acceptable. However, writing it in various ways proves that you actually comprehend that data.

You can be specific:

  • increase/decrease by $500
  • increase/decrease to 10,000
  • increase from 100 to 300
  • stood at 10%
  • 50% higher/lower than
  • 2/3 higher/lower than
  • a third of
  • twice as much as
  • half of
  • three times as much as
  • four times higher/lower than
  • twofold

You can also be general:

  • just over/under 50%
  • well over/under 1000
  • approximately/roughly/about/around one million
  • between 5 and 10

Using a variety of language when writing about the data in the diagram shows that you are not only able to read the information, but you can also convert it into other forms.

Period of Time

Many of the Academic Task 1 Writings are set in the past, but they may also be in the present. Here are periods of time written in several ways.

Again, you can be specific:

  • last October
  • before 2000
  • between 2005 and 2010
  • on June 5th
  • since 1998
  • during 2003
  • over the previous decade
  • for the last six months
  • from 2007 to 2008
  • in March
  • on Thursday
  • in five years' time
  • in the same year

Or you can be general:

  • at present
  • at the moment
  • up to now
  • currently
  • nowadays
  • over the period
  • during the period shown

Academic Task 1 Writings may also be set in the future, so you must show that you understand that this information needs to be written accordingly.

Here are some examples:

  • is predicted
  • is projected
  • is estimated
  • is forecasted

Task 1 writing can be a daunting experience for some candidates, but showing that you understand the diagram through a variety of language may just be the trick to getting the score you need. Below is a link to access printed resources that may help you get there:


Ashlee has been involved in the ESL world for over ten years and has now planted her roots in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nothing gives her more pleasure than watching students and candidates reach their language and IELTS goals.

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