IELTS Line Graph Model (Band Score 9)

This model line graph for IELTS is estimated at band score 9. The model answer below is for IELTS writing task 1 academic paper. Use this sample writing as a template for structure, key features and language for any IELTS line graph. There are also some tips given below to guide you and help you understand how to describe this type of graph.

IELTS Line Graph Sample Task

The graph below shows the consumption of 3 spreads from 1981 to 2007.

consumption of spreads line graph

Source: Graph above not created by IELTS Liz. Source unknown.

IELTS Line Graph Answer

The line graph illustrates the amount of three kinds of spreads (margarine, low fat and reduced spreads and butter) which were consumed over 26 years from 1981 to 2007. Units are measured in grams.

Overall, the consumption of margarine and butter decreased over the period given, while for low fat and reduced spreads, it rose.ย  At the start of the period, butter was the most popular spread, which was replaced by margarine from 1991 to 2001, and following that low fat and reduced spreads became the most widely used spread in the final years.

With regards to the amount of butter used, it began at around 140 grams and then peaked at 160 grams in 1986 before falling dramatically to about 50 grams in the last year. Likewise, approximately 90 grams of margarine was eaten in the first year after which the figure fluctuated slightly and dropped to a low of 40 grams in 2007.

On the other hand, the consumption of low fats and reduced spreads only started in 1996 at about 10 grams. This figure, which reached a high of just over 80 grams 5 years later, fell slightly in the final years to approximately 70 grams in 2007.

Tips for Line Graphs

  1. Paraphrase the line graph information for your introduction.
  2. Put main trends and any other key features in an overall statement.
  3. Make sure each body paragraph sentence has numbers and dates to support it.
  4. Check the video lesson below to learn how to write a complex sentence for an IELTS line graph report.
  5. Practice!! Click here: Practice Line Graphsย to get a selection of sample line graphs to practice writing for your writing task 1 preparation.

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  1. Bhavna Ashok Joshi says

    Hello Liz, needed to confirm little something –

    This was my try at writing the body 1 paragraph:

    In 1981, butter consumed was slightly over 140g, while margarine was only approximately around 90g. The amount of consumption of butter rose to its peak nearly in the middle of the year 1986, which was almost 160g, the highest ever hit by any spread during the complete period. However, from there, there was only constant fall in its consumption. Margarine on the other hand, had quiet stability in its trend of consumption, since it only varied between 40g to 100g, also because it hit a plateau at 100g for considerably long period of time from around beginning of 1991 to near end of 1996.

    I used Grammarly, it showed me many suggestions on missing “a” and “the”. No matter how much I try, I tend to skip them and it seems completely normal to me.

    Do you think my marks will be deducted for the missing articles based on the paragraph I shared above? Are there not sufficient articles in it? Please let me know if possible! Thanks very much for your website, Liz ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. PLEASE EVALUATE. Many thanks in advance.
    The graph shows the usage of three different kinds of spreads (Margarine, butter, low fat and saturated spreads) over the span of 26 years from 1981 to 2007.
    Overall, the usage of margarine and butter reduced over the period of time as compared to low fat and reduced spread, whose consumption increased.
    At the starting year, butter being the widely used spread its consumption rose from about 140 grams to just below 160 grams in the time of five years (1981 to 1986) after that it dips to around 50 grams in the final year. Likewise, margarine was the second most used spread after butter, its usage was approximately 90 grams in the first year thereafter the figure fluctuated a little and then finally get down to 40 grams in the last year.

    On the other hand, low fat and reduced spreads even being the latecomer in the market but its consumption rose considerably from approximately 10 grams in 1996 to just above 80 grams in 2001 after drops slightly about 70 grams at the end of the period.

  3. Priyamvada says

    If there is anyone who can check and tell me where I stand by reading graphโ€™s discription. I would be thankful.

    The given line graph illustrates the utilisation three kinds of spreads (Matgarine, Low fat reduced spreads and butter) over the period of 26 years(1981 to 2007). The units are measured in grams.

    Overall, it can be seen that the consumption of low fat and reduced spreads saw upward trend in last year while butter and margarine had reverse pattern during the same time. Initially, butter was consumed at the highest rate but later this was overcome by low fat and reduced spreads.

    At the start of the period, the butter was used abundantly that was recorded nearly 140 grams which was peeked to around 160 grams and then dramatically reduced to approximately 50 grams in 2007. Similarly, between 1981 and 2007 Margrineโ€™s consumption fluctuated between 90 grams to 40 grams.

    On the other hand, low fat and reduced spreads started consuming during the period about 1996, although it was consumed in negligible amount that means near about 10 grams that quantity rose drastically and reached to 90 grams approximately and thereafter there was a little drop in 2007 but the consumption was still the highest (around 70 grams) that was noticed as the largest utilisation among the three.

  4. The given line graph illustrates the information about the amount of three different kinds of spreads (Margarine, Low fat & reduced spreads, Butter) which were consumed between 1981 and 2007. Units are measured in grams.

    Overall, it can be seen that the consumption of Butter and Low fat & reduced spreads saw an upward trend, while that of Margarine had a reverse pattern. It is noticeably that The largest consumption was on Butter in 1981, but in 2007 Low fat & reduced spreads’ consumption was most preferred.

    Butter ranked first among the 3 surveyed kinds of spreads in the first year of the period. In the year 1986, the number of Butter consumed reached the highest point of around 160 grams. Thereafter, it dipped dramatically and hit the lowest point of about 50 grams in the final year.

    In 1981, Margarine was the second most spread with around 90 grams. Over 5 years later, there was a gradual decline in the amount of Margarine by 10 grams. However, It increased moderately at 100 grams and leveled off until 1996. After that, the figure of Margarine fell considerably and hit a low of 40 grams in 2007. About Low fat & reduced spreads’ data, starting nearly 10 grams in 1996, it went up rapidly and caught up with Margarine in 2001. After this, there was a minimal decrease in the amount of Low fat & reduced spreads, yet, it was the most well-noted in the final year.

  5. The line graph depicts a change in consumption of three spreads, Margarine, Butter, and Low fat and reduced spreads. The comparison is over the course of 26 years, from 1981 to 2007. At first glance, it is observed that the consumption of butter and margarine declined over the period, whereas low fat and reduced spreads had increased consumption during the time frame.
    Consumption of utter was the highest in the year 1981, which is slightly above 140grams, it then went on to peak at 160grams in the next five years before plummeting to 50grams at the end of the period. In 1981, Margarine was consumed at 90grams and by 1996 it overtook butter as the most popular spread consumed. Eventually, Margarine ended as the least popular spread at about 40grams in 2007. Low fat and reduced spreads were first consumed in 1996, starting at 10grams and rapidly increasing above 80grams falling slightly down to 70grams in the final year.
    In summary, the consumption of low fat and reduced spreads instantly became a popular choice among the other two spreads. Whereas, Butter and Margarine consumption decreased over the period.

  6. The linear graph showcases the amount of margarine,butter and low fat and reduced spread consumed in grams between1981 to 2007.

    By and large, while the butter and margarine showed erratic patterns on their demands over the years surveyed, the free-fat and reduced spreads were dramatically increasing in the span of 11 years.

    There were multifolds of notable changes on the demand of margarine and butter , one of this was, while the use of margarine sharply inclined by 20 grams the consumption of butter recorded slightly dip from 90grams to 80 grams. Another recognizable changes was the butter made a tremendous slumped that reached well within 60%, leveling off with margarine on 1991. On the other hand, while margarine stabilized at 100grams for half decade,the butter experienced further drop to 70grams . For 11 years left, both demands forementioned above recorded their lowest how much which reached 40 grams .

    Meanwhile,although free-fat and reduced spreads started it popularity on 1996, the inflated demand of its skyrocketed by 8 folds and slightly reduced by 10 grams as the year ends.

  7. Can someone read my answer and score it. Thanks in advance. Need a reference of where I am standing right now for giving IELTS.

    The given graph illustrates three different type of spreads (margarine, Lowfat and reduced spreads, and butter) consumed in years 1981 to 2007.
    Overall, the use of margarine and butter spreads decreased between the above mentioned years while the consumption of Lowfat & reduced spread increased placing it in the first place in the year 2007, although people started to use this type up until the year 1996.
    Initially, the consumption of butter started from just above 140 grams in the year 1981, increasing this count to just below 160 in 1986, after this, the number started to decrease over the period until 2007, where it ended up at around 50 grams. Around 85 grams of butter spread was consumed in the year 1981 which varied significantly over the period and ended up 40 grams for the year 2007.
    The lowfat and reduced spread was not introduced up until the year1996 when the consumption was marked at around 10 grams from here the number started to increase drastically ending the record at around 65 grams in the year 2007.

    • Hi harshit,

      Score 7

      1. Low fat are two separate words
      2. At one place you wrote (, and) whereas in the other you didn’t. (, and is the right way to address it)
      3. Between the above isn’t the right sentence; rephrase it
      4. In the paragraph that starts with initially, you don’t have to emphasize too much on years
      5. Do not repeat the words in a sentence (eg: just above, just below)
      6. No comma after “after this”
      7. Space needed in the last paragraph between year and 1996
      8. The last sentence is too lengthy and incorrect grammatically. Advise you to rephrase it

      Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. The line graph depicts the intake of three different spreads(butter, margarine and low fat & reduced spreads) in grams over two and a half decades from 1981 to 2007.
    At the outset, it is evident that both margarine and butter consumption have declined over the said period, with the butter experiencing a steep fall.The popularity of butter was replaced by margarine in the 90’s, which then gave way for low fat & reduced foods in the later years (2001).
    The butter consumption reached an all time high in 1986 to as high as 160gms from the initial 140gms in 2001. However, this hike was followed by a rapid and a consistent downfall to 50gms in 2007. Although margarine followed the same course, it fluctuated initially to reach a maximum of 100gms in 1991 and remained stable over the next five years.Thereafter, it gradual dipped to 40gms by 2007 .
    Conversely, the intake of low fat & reduced foods began at a meagre 10 gms in 1996. Figures peaked by 2001 over 80 grams with a marginal decrease afterwards.

  9. IELTS-5 Writing Task-1

    The line graph illustrates the trend of old people (โ‰ฅ65years) living in Japan, Sweden and USA over a century starting from 1940.
    Overall, it is evident that initially USA had the highest number of people aging 60 and above, followed by Sweden and then Japan. Supposedly, in 2040 Japan will come on the top.
    It can be seen that Japan had the least percentage of old people (5%), which were lower than Sweden and USA. It decreased further over the next two decades until 1980. After that the percentage started to rise gradually and reached 10. The following year experienced a sharp jump from 10 to 25%, thus Japan overtaking Sweden and USA after 2020.
    On the other hand, Sweden and USA saw a similar trend of increasing percentage of people aged 65 and above. There were many fluctuations with Sweden surpassing USA just before 2000, finally reaching at 25% in 2040. Meanwhile USA stood just below Sweden.

    WORDS: 155

  10. Hi Liz, can i please get a review on this?
    The graph illustrates the consumption of 3 spreads (margarine, low fat and reduced spreads and butter) between 1981 and 2007.
    Overall, the consumption of margarine and butter seemed to have reduced over the years while the consumption of low fat and reduced spreads increased.
    In 1981, butter was the most famous spread used by consumers, followed by margarine, while low fat spreads weren’t even introduced yet. This value changes over the years and in 2007, low fat and reduced spreads became the most famous spreads used by people.
    The consumption of butter has decreased over the years, starting at just above 140 grams in 1981, reaching a peak of 160 grams in 1986, but then having a great fall to reach a low of about 50 grams in 2007. On the other hand, margarine consumption started at about 90 grams in 1981, this value stays almost steady, although with a few fluctuations, until 2001 when there was a significant drop in its consumption to about 40 grams.
    Low fat and reduced spreads were introduced in 1996 starting at just about 5 grams i 1996, and rising to over 80 grams in 2001, these were in great favour of the public. This value drops to about 50 grams in 2007, but they were still the most used of all 3 spreads that year.

  11. Hi Liz,
    thank you for all the good work you are doing and the amount and quality of material you provide. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just a quick question, although it may have been answered before. I’m taking a computer-based test and I was wondering about the structure of the paragraphs in the written tasks. I know that there should not be any gaps in the beginning of the paragraphs or on the left side of the text, but what about the right side? Should I choose it to be the same or do you think this will affect in any way the presentation of my essay? Thank you in advance :))

    • As you see, I write my model answers on a laptop. Follow the way I present paragraphs ๐Ÿ™‚

      • The line graph illustrates the usage of Magarine, Low fat and reduced spreads and butter over the period of continuous twenty six years starting from 1981.
        Overall, consumption of Magarine and Butter decreased while use of Low fat and reduced spreads has increased.
        In 1986 Butter was able to marked the highest consumption over the considered period which was 160 grams in number. It has decreased dramatically by the rest of the period.
        Although, within first five years, consumption of the Magarine has fall down its usage was increased at two-fold rate within next five years. From 1991 to 1996 it was stable and then its demand was lowered very sharply and by the end of the period it was the lowest consumed spread.
        Low fat and reduced spreads seemed had a high demand over first five years, starting from 1996 and was able reached to the level of Magarine which was at the top at that time. After 2001 people interest to it too has fell down as same as other two and was 70grams in 2007, marking it as the top most consumed spread at the end period.
        (Report ends.)
        192 words

        Is this work suit for get band score 7.0 ?

  12. The consumption in grams of three different spreads namely: margarine, low fat and reduced spreads, and butter for 26 years is illustrated in the line graph.
    Although the utilization of the spread, specifically the butter was greatly used from 1981 to 1900 reaching up to nearly 160 grams, its consumption never been the same after 1990. The consumptions since after the said year have continuously dropped until 2007. Similarly, the used of low fat and reduces spreads hiked up in the year 2001 reaching just over 80 grams and slightly yet consistently decreased over time.
    On the other hand, the utilization of margarine has a different trend, it started with over 95 grams in the starting years then had a slight decreased by 1986, then it gradually increases up to 100 grams and stayed with same measure over 6 years from 1991 until 1996, from that year little by little the consumption rate dropped to 40 grams in the year 2007.

  13. Hi Liz
    I want to ask that if we start our introduction writing ‘a glance at the line graph or given is line graph illustrating smth’ , does it bring higher score? What about using inversion in overview, body part? Thanks in advance

    • No, it doesn’t help your score at all. Using “AT a glance” is actually completely inappropriate considering you are supposed to analyse and not glance at the chart. Just stick to the standard language for report writing. Task 1 is formulaic and can be easily learned.

  14. Does the overview have to start with ‘Overall’ ?

    • The examiner is looking for appropriate and logical linking words – this is the most logical and most appropriate way to start an overview. Why would you not want to use it?

    • I had gone through many ieltes coaching websites but yours is the best .I am starting to learn using this.Thank u so much

  15. Dear Liz,I am your big fan
    Your explanation and sentences are excellent and you are my master
    I love you

  16. Hi Liz
    In all your sample writing tasks the first sentence says illustrates. can we use elucidates or exhibits instead of illustrates?

    • Why do you want to change the word? You only need to write one report in the test. IELTS usually use “gives information about” and you paraphrase as “illustrates” – nothing more is needed. Don’t give yourself extra work for no reason when you prepare for IELTS. There are many more important aspects to learn and prepare for.

      • Harwinder singh says

        I agree , what i understand after following the way you explain the things (which is amazing) , we need to learn the basic about representing the information. going for extra attractive words can make the things more complicated

  17. The graph also has a minor error in that it should say “Low- & reduced-fat spreads,” and not, “Lowfat & reduced spreads,” since “lowfat” is not recognized by any dictionary as a single word and “reduced spreads” is really more of a concept than a thing that actually exists and whose consumption can be measured. I’d like to get to the bottom of who this “unknown source” is. Just (mostly) kidding. My mom’s an editor and I can’t help myself. More importantly, I love this site! It’s a huge help with those of my students who are prepping for the IELTS. Thanks, Liz!

    • Thanks for your input, Todd. The problem here is that this is all about IELTS. You can’t alter the category titles given on a graph. You can adapt capital letters to make sentences grammatically correct, but you can’t alter the category headings. Just as you can’t alter data because it doesn’t make logical sense (which has happened in an IELTS graph before – you’d be surprised at what has turned up in IELTS tests). So, for this, candidates must stick with what has been given in the graph and work with it. About the source, there are many IELTS graphs floating around online without a known source of origin – this is one of them. It provides a useful lesson for candidates to see how to tackle a line graph report. Glad you like the site and that it’s helping your students ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Your the best teacher

  19. Thanks Liz. You are a great teacher.
    Bless you.

  20. Hi, Liz! I am grateful to ensure myself with your materials, posts, suggestions and etc. My question is related to calculation.
    1. Units are/were measured in grams…? Are or were? Which one is correct? Since, nowadays, such index maybe be measured in another type of calculation. The line graph is given in the past simple. Thanks in advance for your explanation.

    • How the units are measured is always in the present because it refers to what you see rather than the data given in the past. It will always be “Units are measured in …”. However, you only use this if you haven’t already given the units in the previous statement. For example, “The graph illustrates the proportion of …” – this already shows the units are in percentage so you don’t need to repeat it.

  21. Hi, Liz! I am grateful to ensure myself with your tips, materials, posts and etc. My question is concerning overview point and the sentence related to calculation.
    1. Can I start mine overview like this “Overall, a glance at the graph reveals that…”””
    2. The line graph or bar chart is given in thepast simple, for instance in 2000. Under this circumstance, how should I say “”the statistics were/are measured in smth”””” which one is best option were or are?

    • “a glance at the graph” is not recommended to use. Firstly it seems as though you are trying to push unnecessary language into your report, which is supposed to be a highly focused report. Secondly, your task is not to glance but to analyse. Always try to avoid using words that are not necessary – it won’t help your score in IELTS.

  22. hi! Liz hope you doing good
    i just wanna ask that i have given IELTS test 3 times and still not getting good bands in reading and writing i have worked so hard but i m loosing hope for getting good bands and i don’t know my mistakes so what should i do

  23. Hi Liz,
    Pls give me a reply.
    For a graph with no dates we use present tense. But if it’s a survey report with no dates??? The survey is done already, then is it past tense or present tense?

    I’m totally confused, i don’t have any tutor to ask. Pls give me a reply and thank you in advance

    • If there is any mention that the data in the table, graph, map, chart etc is in the past, you use past tense. If there is no indication, you use the present tense. IELTS is not a trick test. Just apply logic and common sense in all situations. English grammar rules are not different because it is IELTS.

  24. Hi Liz
    why you have not compared the figures through body paragraphs?

    • Because it is not necessary to do so with a line graph. A comparison can be given in the overview. This is similar to diagrams – they frequently do not contain comparisons. You only compare where necessary.

  25. Praise Alikor says

    Thank You Ma, your website have been of great help to me.
    Pls Ma how should i construct the paragraph when writing.
    Should i leave a full line and start a new paragraph or should i go to the next line then give a few space before writing.

    • Your aim is to make it easy for the examiner to see your paragraphs. There are no fixed rules on how to do that. Leaving an empty line between paragraphs is the most effective way.

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