Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

You’ve definitely heard us talk about topic sentences for Task 2.

They are a MUST for a 7 or higher.

However, you also need to think about this for Task 1!

Listen up today for a very important IELTS lesson.

Today’s question

A listener sent in an excellent question that we are answering in today’s episode.

Hey. Wassup? I’ve a question related to writing task 1.

How can we write a topic sentence in body paragraphs of academic writing task 1?

I’d be grateful if you made a video on this topic.

I know how to do it in task 2 but I’ve never written it in task 1 so thanks a ton in advance.

As this student realizes, topic sentences work differently for Task 2 and Task 1.

Today we’ll explain the difference and share examples.

Task 2 vs. Task 1

If you’ve done any academic writing, Task 2 will feel quite familiar.

It’s a classic 4-paragraph essay.

When anyone learns how to write a body paragraph, there is always a topic sentences.

However, Task 1 is often less familiar.

It can be difficult to understand how to organize it.

We’ll clarify this today with a 3-step process for Task 1 topic sentences.

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What is a topic sentence?

It introduces the main idea of the body paragraph.

It is like a map for the Examiner to follow.

Ideally, it should start with a linking phrase.

This helps you to link it to make your ideas connect naturally.

Why are topic sentences necessary?

Your Cohesion/Coherence score is all about logic and organization.

Your ideas have to be logical and make sense.

The Examiner needs to be able to read the essay from start to finish and know what to expect.

These will be different in Task 1 essays.

There are specific steps that need to be taken in order to organize a Task 1 essay.

Step #1: Organize the information

You should have everything organized before you start writing.

This is true for both Task 1 and Task 2.

All of the information on the charts or graphs in your Task 1 should be organized into 2 groups.

The first group will be discussed in your first body paragraph.

The second group should be covered in your second body paragraph.

Make it simple!

For example, if the charts show numbers according to gender, divide it into the 2 groups of males and females.

If the information covers popularity for several categories, divide it into most popular and least popular.

With the information divided into 2 groups, it will be clearer to you what to discuss in which paragraph.

This creates clear organization and boosts your Cohesion/Coherence score.

3-step process

There are 3 parts to each topic sentence in a Task 1 essay.

Make each one its own step!

In Task 1, you won’t have a whole topic sentence, but instead will have a topic phrase.

After this phrase, you will introduce the most important number.

Example #1:

As to the important trends reflected in the numbers for males, they spent the largest proportion of their budget on gardening supplies.

  • Part 1: Transition phrase: ‘As to’
  • Part 2: Topic: ‘male numbers’
  • Part 3: most important number

Example #2:

Turning to the data for females, the most massive amount of money was spent on gym memberships.

  • Part 1: Transition phrase: ‘Turning to’
  • Part 2: Topic: ‘female numbers’
  • Part 3: most important number


It’s all about the scoring system!

Topic sentences increase Cohesion/Coherence scores.

They are a map for the reader.

You need these at the beginning of every body paragraph so the organization is clear.

For every strategy you need for IELTS Writing Task 1, sign up for our IELTS course!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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