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IELTS Writing (Academic) Task 1 Sample 6


Top Ten Women in Business

Below is the list of the Fortune Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Business, 2020. Summarise the information along with your observations in at least 150 words.

Rank - 2020

Name

Organisation

Current Designation

Age (Years)

Rank - 2019

1

Julie Sweet

Accenture

CEO

53

9

2

Mary Barra

General Motors

CEO

58

2

3

Abigail Johnson

Fidelity Investments

CEO

58

3

4

Gail Boudreaux

Anthem

CEO

60

5

5

Carol Tomé

UPS

CEO

63

-

6

Jane Fraser

Citi

President

53

-

7

Ruth Porat

Google, Alphabet

CFO

62

10

8

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook

COO

51

6

9

Corie Barry

Best Buy

CEO

45

18

10

Judith McKenna

Walmart

President & CEO

54

15

 -

Sample Answer

Julie Sweet, CEO, Accenture, has emerged as the most powerful woman in business for the year 2020 in the Fortune Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Business list. She was ranked ninth in 2019. Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors, and Abigail Johnson, CEO, Fidelity Investments continue to hold their previous ranks at number two and three, respectively. Anthem CEO, Gail Boudreaux, has gained a position to reach rank four, followed by Carol Tomé, CEO, UPS, who debuted at number five.

Also making her debut to the list at rank six is the President of Citi, Jane Fraser; while Ruth Porat, CFO, Google, Alphabet, is at the seventh position. Popular Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg has slipped two positions from her 2019 ranking to number eight, whereas Best Buy CEO Corie Barry has improved her ranking significantly from 18 to nine in the 2020 list. Judith McKenna, President & CEO of one of the biggest global companies, Walmart, is the tenth most powerful business woman, 2020 in the Fortune list.

The youngest in the list is Corie Barry at 45 years, while Carol Tomé is oldest at 63. These leaders head businesses belonging to a variety of industries, from Information Technology to Finance and Retail, and they dominate the list owing to sheer hard work and stellar achievements.

-

Analysis

COHERENCE AND COHESION

  • The candidate plunges headlong into a summary of the information, articulating it in manageable chunks, while making comparisons and observations about the changing data from one year (2019) to the next (2020). This indicates an ability to absorb and incorporate all of the data and apply it comprehensively to a description. It is clear that the candidate took a little time (don’t take too much time!) to think about everything they could see in the chart.

  • The closing statement reveals some external knowledge on the part of the candidate, as they could not know how these women ‘dominate the list’ based on the information provided. Don’t be afraid to supplement your answer with your own knowledge or opinion (although be careful with the latter).

  • Further to the above point, the closing sentence opens with ‘These leaders…’, but given its position in the paragraph, it appears to refer solely to the two women referenced in the statement immediately preceding it. This paragraph could have been split for coherence. Remember that the purpose of paragraphs is to group information logically (and to assess it methodically), and connections between information may be (wrongly) inferred owing to their placement.

GRAMMAR

  • Note that the tense used throughout is Present Simple. This is the most common tense used for such things as news reports, informal storytelling, and observational humour. Using the Present Simple (or Simple Present) makes things imminent and relevant to the present moment, creating a sense of connection. In this case, the candidate delivers a description of the data that is not unlike a sports commentary, investing it with an engaging pace and tone.

  • Note the use of the semicolon (opening sentence of paragraph two). Many people do not know how to use this properly, but it is applied well here to separate two large chunks of information while maintaining the flow of the sentence to which they belong.

LEXICAL RESOURCE

respectively - a great word to use when commenting on lists of information. It helps to link two sets of interconnected data. For example, “A, B, and C are like 1, 2, and 3, respectively.”

debuted - one of those strange words in the English language, the ‘t' is silent. If something has 'debuted’ (day-be-ood), it has been seen or exposed for the first time.

whereas - related to the issue of Coherence and Cohesion, this word is used above to link related but opposing information. For example, ‘This good thing happened one day, whereas this bad thing happened the next day.’

stellar achievement(s) - a really nice turn of phrase here. This means that the achievement was ‘stunning’ or ‘dazzling’, essentially very impressive.


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