Do I Need a Conclusion for the IELTS Task 1 Writing?

By | June 2, 2015

Most IELTS students want to know if they need a conclusion for the IELTS Writing Task 1 – Summary.

Before answering this question, know that the IELTS Writing Task 1 is NOT an essay. It is a summary. Your summary is different from an essay. An essay needs a conclusion, but your Task 1 summary needs something different.

Every IELTS Task 1 Writing summary has 3 parts.

They are:

Part 1 – Description of the chart

Part 2 – Important information in the chart

Part 3 – Overview of the chart

To remember the 3 parts, remember the letters D-I-O (Description, Important information, and Overview).

Did you notice that the Overview is the last part? Like the conclusion, the overview is the last part, but the two are NOT the same.

First, I will tell you how to write the first 2 parts, the Description and Important Information. Then I will explain how to write the last part of your summary, the Overview.

Here is how to write the 3 parts.


The description is the first sentence of your IELTS Writing Task 1 Summary. To write your description, you rewrite the first sentence in the Writing Task 1 question.

How do you rewrite the IELTS Task 1 question? Underline the most important words in the IELTS question to help you rewrite. Write your own description. DO NOT COPY THE QUESTION!

Here is an example Writing Task 1 question:

The graph below shows the percentage of overweight people in China and England, from 1985 to 1995. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

The most important words from the first sentence in the Task 1 Writing question are underlined. Here they are:

The graph below shows the percentage of overweight people in China and England, from 1985 to 1995.

You need to rewrite the question using the most important words.

Here is one example of how to rewrite the question into a description:


The line graph gives information about the proportion of people who are overweight in England and China, for a ten-year period.

Ielts blog - how to write an overview


In Part 2, write about the most important parts of the chart, what is most noticeable. In this part, you use specific data, such as numbers and percentages. For example, you can write about highest, lowest, most, least, similar, different, most change, and least change.

What you choose to write about will be different from one chart to another.

For more on what to write about in Part 2, check out this post and this post.


You are finished writing about important parts of the chart, so you know the chart well. Now, you are ready to write the last part, your overview!

Is an overview the same as a conclusion? An overview is different from a conclusion. A conclusion is for an essay, but you are writing a SUMMARY. Your overview is for your summary.

What is an overview? The overview gives the overall pattern of the data in the chart. The data could be numbers, percentages or something else. The overview is only 1-2 sentences and it is general. Do not give specific information in the overview. Write ONLY about the general patterns or trends in the chart.

How can I get the general patterns and trends?

To better understand the general patterns, look at what is happening in the chart(s) overall.

Here are some questions to ask yourself, when trying to get the general patterns of the chart.

-Are the numbers going up or down, or both?

-Did one group go down and another go up?

-Did any set or group stay the same?

-Is one set of numbers higher than another?

-What are the most noticeable parts in the chart?

-What are the most important differences in the different sets or groups?

-What is similar in the data?

-What is the overall trend for each set of data (numbers, percentages, etc.)?

How do you start an overview?

When you write the overview, you can start with one of these phrases or words:


In general,

As the chart shows,

Ielts blog - house sales - how to write an overview

Here are some example overviews:

-Overall, housing and car sales declined considerably, while sales of electronic equipment showed little change.

– In general, teenage females spent the most on books and clothing, while teenage male spending was the highest for sports equipment and video games.

– As the chart shows, visits to fast food restaurants increased in the period, while visits to fancy restaurants declined considerably. The number of visitors to family restaurants remained stable.

So, to answer to your question, ‘Do I need a conclusion for the Task 1 Summary?‘, the answer is ‘no‘. Instead, you need an overview for the IELTS Writing Task 1.

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