Reading for Task One Writing

Reading to Improve Writing (Task One)

A good way to improve your writing skills and reading skills at the same time is by picking up a newspaper once a week and finding a useful article. Look for articles that talk about issues related to the IELTS test, for example the environment, crime and social issues.

Often newspapers publish the results of polls and surveys. These kinds of articles have lots of language for data description which you can "recycle" in your Task One writing.

Keep reading for an example and task...



Children want to learn about the environment, survey finds

Have a read of THIS article from the Guardian newspaper. It describes the results of a survey of children about environmental issues. I have underlined the most useful parts of the article for you below. 

Children want to learn about the environment, survey finds

Children are so concerned about the environment they would rather learn about it than traditional subjects such as science and history, a survey found today.

The survey of 1,027 youngsters aged seven to 14 revealed that 82% of children rated learning about green issues as important, putting it ahead of science, history, IT and art, and only slightly behind English and maths.

Two-thirds want to learn more about wildlife and nature, almost as many (62%) want to learn about green issues, and almost half (47%) want to learn more about where food comes from.
This compares with just 37% who want to learn more about art, 36% for IT and 35% for science, the survey found.

Almost all the children (96%) were either very or a little bit worried about people damaging the planet, and almost as many (93%) said they recycled, while 85% turn off the tap when they brush their teeth and three-quarters (77%) turn off lights and appliances.

Almost two-thirds (64%) say they have an influence on their parents' green behaviour and a poll of 1,002 adults who have children aged seven to 14 suggests the children are right.
Six out of 10 parents say their children persuade them to be greener.

But with 41% of parents saying they did not learn about the environment at all when at school, half of those quizzed struggle to answer their children's queries on the subject.

And parents are confused about what causes climate change, with two-thirds thinking it is the result of the hole in the ozone layer, more than half (55%) think carbon monoxide is involved and 34% think acid rain has a role.

NB: The language of newspapers is NOT exactly the same as for Task One Writing. For example, the cohesives here (And... / But...) are too easy for IELTS writing. Use Furthermore, / However, instead)


Try drawing your own PIE CHARTS or BAR GRAPHS based on your understanding of the sentences in the article. Then remember useful phrases and use them in your writing practice to talk about surveys and questionnaires.