CATEGORIES:

# I. BASIC TIPS

Process diagrams show how something is done or made. They always show steps/stages. Here's some advice about how to describe them:

a) Try to write 4 paragraphs - introduction, summary of main points, 2 detail paragraphs. b) Write the introduction by paraphrasing the question (rewrite it by changing some of the words). c) For your summary (it is a good idea to put it in the second paragraph), first say how many steps there are in the process. Then say where/how the process begins and ends (look at the first and last stages). d) In paragraphs 3 and 4, describe the process step by step. Include the first and last steps that you mentioned in the summary, but try to describe them in more detail or in a different way. e) You could describe the steps in one paragraph, but it looks more organised if you break the description into two paragraphs. Just start paragraph 4 somewhere in the middle of the process. f) Mention every stage in the process. g) Use 'sequencing' language e.g. at the first / second / following / final stage of the process, next, after that, then, finally etc. h) Times (e.g. past dates) are not usually shown, so use the present simple tense. i) It's usually a good idea to use the passive e.g. 'At the final stage, the product is delivered to shops' (because we don't need to know who delivered the product).

II. 1st and 2nd para. INTRODUCTION (PARAPHRAZING) and OVERVIEW

Write the introduction by paraphrasing the question (rewrite it by changing some of the words). After the introduction, it is time for you to write an overview of the information shown on the chart. When the chart shows numbers, we look for the highest, lowest, biggest change, overall trend etc.

a) But how do you write an overview of a diagram that doesn't show numbers?

Here are some things you could put in a process diagram overview:

a) The total number of steps in the process. b) Where the process begins and ends.

And this is what you could write about for a comparing diagram:

a) The total number of changes or differences.

b) The main changes or differences.

c) The main similarities or what doesn't change.

b) Example of 'process' introduction and overview

The diagram below shows how coffee is produced and prepared for sale in supermarkets and shops.

Here's an example of introduction and overview:

The picture illustrates the process of coffee manufacture and preparation for sale on the market.

It is clear that there are 11 stages in the production of coffee. The process begins with the picking of coffee beans, and ends at the packing stage.

(Source: 'Meanings into Words Upper-Intermediate')

III. 3d and 4th para. LINKING WORDS & PASSIVE

a) The following paragraph describes the process of making cement.

At the first stage in the cement production process, limestone and clay are crushed to form a powder. This powder is then mixed and passed through a rotating heater. The resulting mixture is ground, and finally the end product, cement, is packed into large bags.

There are 2 things that make process descriptions special:

1. Phrases that order the process and link the steps (underlined)
2. Passive verbs (highlighted)

b) You might find it useful to read a real process description from the website about insulation manufacturing. The extract below looks very similar to a paragraph from an IELTS essay!

For glass wool, the raw materials are sand, limestone and soda ash, as well as recycled off-cuts from the production process. The raw materials are melted in a furnace at very high temperatures, typically between 1,300°C to 1,500°C. The smoke created during this process is filtered and flue gases are cleaned to minimise any environmental impact. The droplets of melt exiting the furnace are spun into fibres. Small quantities of binding agents are added to the fibres. The mineral wool is then hardened in a curing oven at around 200°C. The mineral wool is cut to the required size and shape.

Can you find the passive verbs in the paragraph above? If yes, underline them. Can you improve the paragraph by adding some sequencing words (firstly, then etc.)?

c) example of “process details” paragraphs:

Looking at the coffee production process in detail, coffee beans must first be picked in the fields. These beans are then dried, roasted, and cooled before being put in a grinding machine, which turns the beans into coffee granules.

At the sixth stage in the process, the ground coffee is mixed with hot water, and the resulting mixture is strained. Next, the mixture is frozen and then passed once again through the grinder. After that, the ground, frozen liquid is dried in a vacuum so that the water evaporates, leaving the coffee granules. Finally, these granules are packed into coffee jars for delivery to shops.

Did you notice the passives and sequencing phrases? Complete the list.

Passives: must be picked; are dried, roasted and cooled; is mixed_______________________.
Sequencing: then; and; at the sixth stage; next; after that; finally_______________________.

IV. Now let’s look at the final band 9 answer

The diagram below shows how coffee is produced and prepared for sale in supermarkets and shops.

The picture illustrates the process of coffee manufacture and preparation for sale on the market.

It is clear that there are 11 stages in the production of coffee. The process begins with the picking of coffee beans, and ends at the packing stage.

Looking at the coffee production process in detail, coffee beans must first be picked in the fields. These beans are then dried, roasted, and cooled before being put in a grinding machine, which turns the beans into coffee granules.

At the sixth stage in the process, the ground coffee is mixed with hot water, and the resulting mixture is strained. Next, the mixture is frozen and then passed once again through the grinder. After that, the ground, frozen liquid is dried in a vacuum so that the water evaporates, leaving the coffee granules. Finally, these granules are packed into coffee jars for delivery to shops.

Date: 2015-02-28; view: 812

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