Useful tips and vocabulary to describe a graph or chart in IELTS Writing Task 1
1. How to write the introduction
- One sentence is enough for the introduction.
- Replace words in the general statement with synonyms or paraphrases where you can.
- If you cannot quickly write your introduction in your own words, do not waste time.
Write out the words in the rubric, but remember to change them later.
- Use one of the following four prompts to help you write an introduction:
– The graph shows/illustrates the trends in … between .. and…
– The graph gives/provides/reveals/presents information about (the differences/changes …)
– The graph shows that (there is a number of differences between…)
– The graph shows/illustrates how the sales have differed/changed…
- Vary noun phrases, e.g. sales/purchases of different cars: sales/purchases of private vehicles, the number of various types of cars sold/purchased, the number of various types of cars sold/purchased, car sales/purchases.
- Use general words for the introduction: information, data, difference(s), similarities,
changes, trends, results, numbers, percentages, figures, statistics, breakdown.
2.How to write the main part of the text
- Divide your text into 3-4 paragraphs, including the introduction.
- Divide the information into broad/general groups/categories or trends.
- Describe the main or most striking/significant/noticeable/outstanding/remarkable
feature(s)/charateristics differences/trends/changes. Avoid writing lists of detail. Write about general trends and support what you say with specific data.
- Describe the three general trends: is/was upwards/downwards/flat or say what happened: …(sales) rose/fell/remained flat/fluctuated…
Use appropriate synonyms:
– rise (vb): climb, go up, increase, improve, jump, leap, move upward, rocket, skyrocket, soar, shoot up. pick up. surge, recover
– rise (n): increase, climb, jump, leap, pick up, surge (in)
– fall (vb): collapse, decline, decrease, deteriorate: dip, dive, drop, fall (back), go down, go into free-fall, plummet plunge, reduce (only in the passive) slide, slip (back), slump, take a nosedive
– fall (n): decline, decrease, deterioration, dip. drop, plunge, free-fall, slide, slip, dive, reduction, slump
– fluctuate: (noun: fluctuations) be erratic, be fitful, vary, rise and fall erratically
– flat: no change, constant
Add suitable adverbs: dramatically, erratically, gradually, markedly, significantly, slightly, slowly, steadily.
Add specific information or examples:
– (increasing, decreasing, etc) from … to …
(eg: The oil price experienced a period of sharp rise, increasing from 120$ to 320$ over a decade. )
– with an increase from … to… /to… from …
Use: …followed by… to add more information
(eg: The oil price increased dramatically to 120$ in 2001, followed by a slight drop to 100$ over the next year)