IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: Line Graph

8/31/2015 4:32:22 PM
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Line graphs are one of the most common tasks in the IELTS Writing test. Line graphs always show changes over time.They are used to describe a trend or trends pictorially.
A number of key. points have to be covered to produce a good answer:
  • Try to write an introductory sentence, a body. and a concluding sentence.
  • For your report, look at the “big picture” - what changes happened to all of the lines from the beginning to the end of the period shown, i.e. from the first year to the last, or is there a trend that all of the lines follow, e.g. an overall increase?
  • Do not mention specific numbers or figures, which are details. Just mention general things like overall chance, highest and lowest.
  • Never describe each line separately as the examiner wants to see comparisons.
  • If the graph shows years, you will not have time to mention all of them. The key years to describe are the first year and the last year. You should also mention any special years, e.g. the year with a peak or a significant rise/fall.
  • Start describing details in the body with a comparison of the lines for the first year shown on the graph, e.g. In 1990, the number of
  • Use the past simple tense, e.g. increased, fell for past years, and will or is expected / predicted to for future years.
  • Do not make grammatical mistakes, such as the wrong use of the passive, e.g. the number was increased, continuous, e.g. the number was increasing, or perfect tenses, e.g. the number has increased.

Essential Expressions

Below are useful sentences for describing falling and rising changes in line graphs.
Case 01  Rising
line-graph1 1  Basic Sentence Patterns
  • The price rises[increases, goes up].
  • The price is rising[increasing, going up].
  • The price ends up higher.
  2  Expanded Sentences (steady growth)
  • The price continues to rise[increase, go up].
  • The price is climbing upward.
  • There is an upward trend in the price.
  • There is continuing growth in the price.
Case 02  Falling
line-graph2 1  Basic Sentence Patterns
  • The amount falls[decreases, goes down].
  • The amount is falling[decreasing, going down].
  • The amount ends up lower.
  2  Expanded Sentences (steady decrease)
  • The amount continues to fall[decrease, go down, decline].
  • The amount is falling[decreasing, going down].
  • The amount is descending.
  • There is a downward trend in the amount.
Case 03  Failing then rising
falling-then-rising 1  Basic Sentence Patterns
  • The number of items falls and then rises.
  • The number of items decreases and then increases.
  • The number of items goes down and then goes up.

Expanded Sentences(first, later)
  1. The number of items falls[decreases, goes down] at first and then begins to rise [increase go up].
  2. At first, there is a downward trend in the number of items, and then it turns into an upward trend.
  3. In the beginning, the number of items decreases, and after a while there is an increase.

Case 04  Describing different degrees of falling or rising
falling-or-rising 1  Basic Sentence Patterns
  1.  X:  The rate rises[increases, goes up] very rapidly.
  2.  Y:  The rate rises[increases, goes up] steadily.
  3.  Z:  The rate rises[increases, goes up] slowly.

Expanded Sentences

1  X: A sudden rise
  • Type A From 1990 to 2005, the rate increased dramatically.
  • Type B Starting from 1990, there was a fast rise in the rate.
2  Y: A steady rise
  • Type A During the period of 1990 to 2005, the rate increased steadily.
  • Type B Until 2005, there was a regular increase in the rate.
3  Z: A slow rise
  • Type A Over the years. the rate goes up slowly.
  • Type B Throughout the period. there was a gentle increase in the rate.

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