To describe a line graph, you must use give accurate descriptions of main changes over a period of time. IELTS require you to use a range of language and sentences to relate the informtion given in the graph.
Below is useful language and also a check list for you to follow to describe a line graph.
Adverbs: steadily, gradually, sharply, rapidly, steeply, slightly, dramatically, significantly, considerably
Adjectives: steady, gradual, sharp, rapid, steep, slight, dramatic, significant, considerable
Nouns and verbs: vocabulary for a line graph
The number of cases in Someland increased steadily from 100 to 200 between 1983 and 1988.
There was a steady rise in the number of cases in Someland to reach 200 from 1983 to 1989.
Time phrases: over the next three days, three days later, in the following three days, the next three days show, over the period, from…to… / between … and…, the last year, the final year, the first year, at the beginning of the period, at the end of the period
- Have a clear introduction
- Put all main trends in an overview statement – this should be contained in one paragraph
- Don’t have a conclusion
- Make sure you are using adjective + noun or verb + adverb
- Don’t repeat language of change – use a variety of words
- Use a range of time phrases
- Don’t always give from … to … for the amounts, sometimes you can give the difference “it increased by double..”
- Add numbers or percentages to your sentences in the body paragraph
- Organise your body paragraphs logically so it is easy for the examiner to read
- Write 150 words or more. Don’t write under the word count.
Line Graph Model
The graph illustrates the number of cases of a particular disease (disease X) in Someland over 10 years from 1983 to 1992.
Overall, the number of cases of disease X remained below 200 over the period given except for a considerable surge between 1989 and 1991 when the figures doubled. The disease was completely eradicated by the final year.
In 1983, the number of cases of the disease stood at 100 which then rose steadily over the following 4 years to reach 200 in 1987. In the following year, 1988, the figure returned to the original number of 100.
There was a dramatic growth in cases to a peak of 400 in 1989 after which it experienced a slight fall to 350 in 1990. Over the following year, the number remained stable at 350. In the last year, the number of cases plummeted sharply to zero with no cases being reported.
Take time to read through the model and pay attention to:
- the content of each paragraph
- the use of verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives
- the logical order of information in the body paragraphs
Please note: this is a practice exercise lesson. It is rare for IELTS to give a one-line graph. So, use this to practice language and technique.