Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • How To Describe A Line Graph For IELTS

  • Hello there.

  • Welcome to this new episode.

  • I just finished recording.

  • This is a really good episode because we're going to go into some great detail

  • how to describe a line graph for Academic Task 1.

  • And you're going to get the instructions,

  • the structure,

  • and some phrases to use

  • and of course, some tips.

  • First of all, I've got some information for you:

  • 5 things you can do to increase your chances of passing the IELTS exam.

  • 1. Sign up for free weekly tutorials and awesome practical guides.

  • So go to the website: ieltspodcast.com and sign up. You'll get lots of information there.

  • 2. Fill your phone up with podcasts or the mp3s, and listen to them constantly, all the

  • time.

  • On the bus

  • When you're having breakfast

  • When you're waking up

  • Fill your head up with this information

  • You'll not only going to be practicing English, you're also going to be getting lots of practical

  • advice to help you get through,

  • to help you achieve the grade that you need.

  • 3. Subscribe to the YouTube channel, as well.

  • That's massive help because you can usually see the words in front of you, and you can

  • associate sounds with the words you see

  • and start increasing your comprehension levels, and improving your pronunciation if you're

  • repeating it as well.

  • 4. Subscribe in iTunes, get all the podcasts there are well.

  • 5. If you've got time, leave me a review.

  • So let's get to it...

  • Now, part 1 is how to describe a line graph.

  • We're going to look at what you need to do on the exam day,

  • how to group the information,

  • what to do for your introduction,

  • what to do for your summary,

  • and then the 5 tips.

  • Then the 2nd part, we're going to look at what you need, which would be:

  • Good control of transferring from the active to the passive voice.

  • You need a good control of adverbs.

  • There's a big list of verbs.

  • Some nouns.

  • Then you've got some phrases for the introduction.

  • Some phrases for summaries.

  • And some phrases for describing change.

  • And you'll also get an exercise, so if you don't have a pen and paper with you go and

  • grab one now. 'Cause it'll be definitely beneficial.

  • Let's get crackin'.

  • Decide what will be in each paragraph.

  • This is what you need to do:

  • You need to group the information.

  • Now, you can't see it (of course, 'cause you're listening to the podcast). However, if you

  • go to the website you'd be able to find the post.

  • Go to podcast number 66 and you'll be able to see all the graphic information.

  • You'll be able to see the whole presentation.

  • There's a graph I'll be using to describe as an example and it's basically UK supermarket

  • sales between 2001 and 2009, in million pounds sterling.

  • I'll just briefly describe it.

  • There's 5 lines. Each one representing a supermarket: Sainsbury�s, Tesco, Asda, Morrison�s,

  • and the Co-op.

  • Now in this stage, when you see the graph, what you need to do is group it.

  • And I recommend doing 4 paragraphs in total.

  • One for your introduction.

  • One for your main body paragraph #1.

  • Then main body paragraph #2.

  • And then for the conclusion (final paragraph).

  • When you're grouping the information...

  • I'm telling you about grouping the information first because when you're in the exam room,

  • what you need to do is get a solid plan together, and then follow the plan.

  • So I always recommend that you plan your essays.

  • You plan your body paragraphs,

  • get a rough idea about what you're going to do,

  • and then when you start writing, you start off with your introduction (which I'll tell

  • you how to do in a second)

  • then you transfer your notes from your plan (body pragraph#1, body paragraph #2)

  • and then you stick in your conclusion.

  • So that's why I'm trying to teach you now how to group the information.

  • With the graph, I can see (in front of me) the 2 companies that represent more or less

  • similar evolution.

  • So in the first paragraph, I'm going to talk in detail about these 2 'cause they're the

  • ones that have basically just increased all the way.

  • And then in the next paragraph, I'll talk about the second grouping, which is the ones

  • that haven't done as well, which have levelled off and just remained stable.

  • For the second part, and I'll mention one (which is the exception; the co-op, which

  • rolls, stabilized, and then sank or levelled off).

  • So I get a rough plan in front of me.

  • Then you keep it apart and then go straight into the introduction.

  • So for the introduction, what I strongly recommend you do is:

  • You write 1 sentence that describes the graph and the general idea.

  • So in this case, if I'll describe the graph I'll say "The line graph shows the sales of

  • 5 UK supermarkets between 2001 and 2009."

  • Now, that's one description. But what I recommend is that you do both.

  • Where you describe what the graph is and the general idea of what the graph is trying to

  • communicate.

  • So this is another introduction you could use:

  • "From the line graph, it is clear that the majority of the UK supermarkets saw sales

  • grow over the ten-year period."

  • And that's general; it's almost like the summary. But also described what the actual graph is

  • showing.

  • So just summarize, describe what the graph is (what it's showing) and what it's trying

  • to describe as well.

  • Now, sometimes you won't be as fortunate and you'll get one that just has lots of different

  • data, and there's no clear pattern.

  • So you just basically say that. You can say:

  • "From the lie graph, it is clear that there is no constant pattern with regards to student

  • enrollments in the United States, over the period shown (or over the 50-year period)."

  • And I described what's roughly on both axis, what the graph is showing, the actual subject

  • of the graph (in this case the companies, or in here the case of students, the enrollments)

  • and what it's trying to describe.

  • Now, for your summary, they do pretty much the same but you don't have to describe (or

  • course) the graph.

  • But you can go into a little bit more detail.

  • Now, in this case what I would say is, I would go in and mention the major players.

  • Not all the major players but it depends on the graph here (if I only go about 5 so I

  • can mention them all).

  • If I had more I would probably just group them and say "The northern countries..." or

  • let's say, "The majority of the western suppliers..." or whatever.

  • In this case (because I've got 5), I can go into a little bit of detail.

  • And basically summarize each one.

  • So here, I'll say:

  • "Overall, it is clear that Tesco and Sainsbury's increased sales the most, followed by Asda

  • and Morrison's, the Co-op undoubtedly performed the worst."

  • So just to quickly summarize, this is the process:

  • Step 1: Identify the information, group it, and start planning your body paragraph 1 and

  • 2, write a rough plan for each one.

  • Step 2: Write your introduction (describe briefly what the graph is and the general

  • idea).

  • Step 3: Write your body paragraphs, following very closely the plan you wrote before.

  • Step 4: Write your summary. If you can, include the maximums, the minimums and even the exceptions.

  • But what I'm trying to say is in the summary, go into a little bit more detail than in the

  • introduction.

  • Now, some 5 tips:

  • 1. Your opinion is not necessary.

  • Maybe you know the reason why the sales failed or why gold prices increased, but do not mention

  • it; it's not necessary.

  • Because what you have to do is a purely objective task (which is describe the bar chart in front

  • of you).

  • 2. Check to make sure the subject and verb agree.

  • That's a very common problem.

  • 3. Avoid basic words (big, small, good, bad... words like these).

  • You can usually use more sophisticated vocabulary.

  • 4. Unlike your IELTS Task 2 essay, you do not need a topic sentence in the introduction.

  • You just need to do it like I said before.

  • 5. In the final paragraph (this is your summary paragraph, not your conclusion). Do not use

  • "To conclude..."

  • Use "In summary..." or "Overall, we can see... blah blah blah."

  • Now then, let's have a look at the grammar you would need, and verbs and the nouns and

  • all the rest of it.

  • First of all, a good skill to have to show the examiner you know a variety of structures,

  • is to transform the words and the sentences from active to passive.

  • Let's go through 3 examples here, and I want you to try and transform them before I do:

  • Sales crashed to new levels.

  • How would we transform that to the passive?

  • We would say, "There was a crash to new levels in sales."

  • Now, if we wanted to change, "The sales rose quickly," how would we change that?

  • We would say, "There was a quick rise in the sales." or "... quick rise in sales.)

  • Another one, "Employment failed drastically."

  • We could say, "There was a drastic fall in employment."

  • Some more. Let's go from passive to active. And this is basically doing the same but in

  • reverse.

  • Here's the first one for you to transform, "There was an incredible decrease in output."

  • "There was an incredible decrease in output."

  • How would we transform that?

  • We would say, "Output decreased incredibly."

  • I'll say a few more. Write them down and then try and change them.

  • "In 2010 there was a plunge in turnover." Transform that.

  • "In 2010 there was a plunge in turnover."

  • Of course, "Turnover plunged in 2010."

  • "After the crisis there was a crash in profit."

  • Transformation, "Profit crashed after the crisis."