IELTS Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image

by Ryan

Cyclical images are images that depict a process that repeats, for example the life cycle of a butterfly or the process nature goes through to create rain. In this post, I’d like to go over some of the language you can use to accurately write the opening broad sentence in your IELTS Task 1 response. (Please note: this is the second sentence in your response following your data type description sentence. If you are unfamiliar with how to structure your Task 1 response, please view my Task 1 structure tutorial here.)

Let’s take the following diagram as an example. Here, we can see an image outlining the life cycle of a frog:

(Image source: infovisual.info)
(Image source: infovisual.info)

-From start to finish, the life cycle of the frog appears to have 7 stages. (Ryan’s note: The exact number of stages may depend on how you wish to dissect the image. Personally, I would break this image down into 4 stages: early growth, first physical changes, terrain adaptation stage and full development.)
How can we describe the overall process of this image? Take the following sentences as examples:

-The common frog undergoes a number of physical changes over the course of its life.

-From an egg to a fully-grown adult, the common frog experiences a number of radical physical changes.

-Adapting from a water-dependent creature into one capable of surviving on land, the frog undergoes a tremendous transformation over the course of its life.

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