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Thursday, June 07, 2012


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hi simon.
just want 2 ask that can we compare the incidents of all types of transporation first and then injuries after that.,because organizing paragraphs in short time is quite tricky.what ever seems easy comes 2 our mind first.in your essay you have tried 2 describe both accidents and injuries side by side.if i try 2 start this way i think i will get stuck in middle.so is that approach right?

Hi Simon,

Should we mention about the correlation between incidents and injuries? Can you advise? Here below are two points I might add to my task 1 writing.

Although commuter rail had the least number of incident, it has highest rate of injuries from incidents.

Although there were 173 injuries recorded with Demand Response, its chance of injury from incidents was moderate compared with commuter rail and bus.

Hi Ayesha,

Your approach would be fine. I agree that you need to decide very quickly how you are going to approach the essay. The important thing is to make some good comparisons, and your approach allows you to do that too.


Hi Ed,

It's fine to compare incidents with injuries, but I chose not to do that because I thought that it was more important to focus on comparing the types of transport.

There is a danger that your sentences confuse the reader - when you write that commuter rail has the "highest rate of injuries from incidents" I know what you mean, but it's a bit misleading. It might be clearer if you wrote "although commuter rail..., the majority of those incidents led to injuries".

I'd still prefer to focus on comparing transport types.

Hi, Simon!
Can you write me, please, general form of construction Task 1?

Hi Lola,

Simon did that in a previous post. Take a look at the posts under the Writing Task 1 category.


hi simon,my question s similar to Ed,can u please tell if we dont compare incidents nd injuries would loose the marks,as examiner would be expecting it,,
last month i got same type of chart nd decided to opt-out the comparison , i got only 6 nd think it as one of the reasons for low marks,,

hello simon!
I just want to ask what is your technique in choosing specific details, because I'am having a hard time in doing it. i hope you'll give me some of your idea. Thanks. :))

Hi Raj,

You can't compare everything, but you must make SOME comparisons. As long as your comparisons are relevant, you should be ok.


Hi Jenny,

Just make sure you say something about each item (in this case, each type of transport). Look for the most noticeable things.

Hi Simon,

Would you please evaluate my writing on this?

The bar chart compares the numbers of incidents and injuries held per 100 million passenger miles travelled by different transportation type in 2002.

It is clearly illustrated that such occurrence happening rate is much higher on demand response vehicle than of any other transportation type.

A total number of 225 incidents and 173 injuries occurred in 100 million passenger miles travelled, on demand response transport service. In contrast of these, bus transportation service showed almost one third of the numbers. There were, 76 incidents and 66 injuries.

Rail transportation service had a less numbers of events than of the others. Light rail contained the same number of incidents of buses but theres were only 39 numbers of injuries which are almost half of the buses. Heavy rail had 51 incidents and 35 injuries. The computer rail had the lowest numbers of occurrences in 2002. Only 20 incidents and 17 injuries came off from computer rail.

Hello Simon,
You wrote
"These figures were nearly three times as high as those for the second highest category, bus services. There were 76 incidents and 66 people were injured on buses."

can I delete "as high as" and also use “where” to combine the two sentences?
“these figures were nearly three times those for the second highest category, bus services, where 76 incidents and 66 injuries were recorded. ”

thanks a lot.

Hi Ken,

Yes, those changes are possible.


Hi MAKsumon,

I'm afraid I don't offer essay checking or scoring. If I did this, everyone would send me their essays.

thanks Simon,,,

Hello simon
As mentioned by ED earlier he tried to compare the ratio of incident and injuries of different transport means, although it sounds logical to write that too its confusing for the reader at the same time. i do have similar problem during the exam whether to compare the correlation in bar graphs. Is is always better to compare the individual bar of different variables given in the question rather than confusing the reader?
i know it makes sense to keep it the simple way, but during exam its always a dilemma what to mention and what not?.
thanx simon
i have learned a lot from this site and i am still taking at least 2 more months before i appear for the exam this time.

Hi Simon... Thank u so much for your lessons

I had my exam on 26th May... in Sydney. In Writing Task 1, 2 pictures of a park was given.
1. Picture of a old park with less trees, few benches, one barbecue
2. Picture of a new park with additional barbecue, more trees, tennis courts etc.
And also north, south, east , west side was given in the diagram. Which tense should I have used to compare those 2 pictures. I am really confused. I hope you you will give me some advice.

Hi Josh,

There isn't a perfect way to answer. Just try to write comparison sentences that are clear and easy to follow. Keep practising!


Hi Sop,

Here's a similar question:


You probably need to use the past simple when describing the old park and the present simple when describing the park as it is now.

Thank You Simon,now I have the clear idea.

Here is my report:

The bar chart compares the number or incidents and injuries per 100 million passenger travelled miles (100m PTM) in five different means of transport in 2002.

The figure for incidents per 100m PTM surpassed that for injuries across all transportation categories that year. In addition, the number of issues faced by the Demand/Response category were substantially greater than those of the other categories.

The Light Rail and the Bus transport classes had the same number of incidents (76) per 100m PTM, but the latter suffered almost twice as many injuries per 100m PTM (66 vs. 39). Next comes the Heavy Rail class, whose figures doubled those of the Commuter Rail (51/35 vs. 20/17), the least problematic class in this study.

At the other side of the spectrum is the Demand/Response transportation type, which faced 225 incidents and 173 injuries per 100m PTM in 2002. These numbers tripled those of the second most problematic type, the Bus, and were ten times greater than those of the Commuter Rail.


One note, on the third paragraph you wrote that "[t]here were 76 incidents and 66 people were injured on buses". However, the bar chart does not state that. It shows the proportion of incidents and injuries per travelled unit (in this case, every 100 million Passenger Travelled Miles). Thus, if one ignores the number of travelled units, one cannot state how many incidents or injures in fact happened. I think that one should have added "per 100m PTM at the end of that sentence", to make clear that it is a proportion and not a number of cases.

Hi Ernesto,

I disagree with you a bit on this. The bar chart DOES show numbers - it shows exact numbers of injuries and incidents per 100 million PMT (this is not a percentage).

I DO agree that I missed the units (per 100 million PMT) a few times, but I established those units earlier in the essay, and didn't need to repeat them every time.


An analogous example would be that there were 34 murders per 10,000 inhabitants in county X in 2011. This does not mean that there were, in fact, 34 murders in that county that year, but only shows the proportion of them. If we increased the number of residents (or widened the period) in that proportion, that number would lower.
Because we ignore the total number of persons living in that county and the actual number of murders, we must mention the "unit" to express a proper comparison.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read this. I have been using your website extensively during last month, while preparing for the IELTS (I need a band 8 exam).


Hi Ernesto,

Yes, you are right about the reality of what "per million people" means.

I believe your point is that the meaning changes if we miss the units, and I see what you mean. Strictly speaking, I should have written "There were 76 incidents and 66 people were injured per 100 million PMT."

Although it's normal to occasionally miss the units when the reader already knows what they are, I agree that it's better to add them if there is a possibility of confusion over meaning. Either way, this wouldn't be something that the examiner would be looking to penalise in the essay above.

I'm glad you like the lessons, and thanks for pointing out an inaccuracy!

hello Simon,
Can we say in the general view :

It can be clearly seen that the incidents are more predominant than the injuries in the 5 different transportation types.


Yes, that's fine.

Dear Simon,
I always have problem with the use of :
The number or the numbers
The percentage or the percentage
The figure or the figures
For example :in your first sentence you said :
The bar chart compares the number of incidents ...
Why not the numbers?
Thanks in advance

Don't worry about that Hoda. Both singular and plural are usually possible. 'Numbers' would be fine in the example you found.

Hi Simon,
I must appreciate how wonderful is your teaching. I hope we all be successful in our endeavours. Anyway, in this task I want to know that you haven't mentioned about Y-axis of the graph in the detail paragraph,so,is it unimportant? Can we simply not relate with it?

Hi Simon,
I have a question about my introduction

The bar chart compares the number of incidents and injuries occured in 2002 in terms of type of transportation.

is it correct to say "in terms of type of transportation" ?

Your blog about IELTS writing is helpful to me. I have been learning IELTS course and now i have got important tips from you. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Essay writing is complicated things so student should write essay with proper grammar, sophisticated synonyms , constructive scheme and thus they can write creative essay .

sir i ask for para for conclusion....sir u wright the conclusion in 2nd para.....
conclusion is in last para is it necessary
or not conclusion in last para

Hi Nav,

Read this lesson:


Hi Simon, I have some questions:

1,"The bar chart compares the number of..." why not "numbers"?

2, can I use " travelled by " instead of "travelled on" in the first paragraph.

3, "These figures were nearly three times as high as those for the second highest category.." Does it make sense to use "three time high" to describe "figures"

Your blog about IELTS is helpful to me. I have been learning IELTS course and now i have got important tips from you. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

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