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IELTS Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image

Posted on April 5, 2011 by

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.

2 Responses to “IELTS Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image”

  1. Faiz says:

    Your videos are excellent and helpful, Can you make video (Task 1 – How to describe a cyclical image).
    Thank you

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Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 16.53.50

The two pie charts display the fatality rates of 6 infectious disease categories as percentages of overall infectious disease deaths in Canada in the years 1900 and 1930. The corresponding table outlines the number of deaths due to infectious diseases per 1000 people in Canada for the same years.

Deaths caused by 3 of the 6 infectious disease categories shrunk as percentages of overall infectious disease deaths between the years 1900 and 1930. Diphtheria dropped from 37% to 24%. Typhoid and scarlet fever dropped from 29% to 18% and 9% to 5%, respectively. Measles was the only disease that held a consistent proportion of overall infectious disease deaths at 12%. Whooping cough grew from 11% to 15% and other, non-pandemic diseases swelled from 2% to 26%.

However, the table adds significant context to the above values. It appears as though the overall death rates due to infectious diseases fell tremendously over the period in question. In 1900, 86 out of 1000 people died of infectious diseases in Canada. In 1930, however, this figure was only 32. Thus, because overall death rates from infectious diseases shrunk so dramatically over the 30 years in question, any trends observed between the two pie charts can be assumed less intense than they appear.

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