## Subtitles section Play video

• In Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Writing Test, you're given a visual that presents some

• information. You need to analyse and describe this information clearly and accurately. When

• your paper is marked, the examiner will be assessing your grammar and vocabulary. In

• this video we'll focus on the language you'll use to write your sentences.

• Often you'll need to describe the trends in the data, that is how the figures change over

• time. You will also need to make comparisons between different elements given in the graph

• or graphs. This means you'll write about how data is similar or different. Let's

• look at an example.

• This line graph is about global energy consumption since 1970 by generating method. The vertical

• axis shows percentage figures, and the horizontal axis shows the years since 1970.

• We can identify two overall trends: the slight decrease in consumption of energy from petroleum

• and coal, and the slight increase in energy generated by gas and nuclear energy. We would

• mention these overall trends in the overview.

• Now, we need to write about this in more detail. When we do this, we must mention the data

• to support the description. Let's begin with the energy source with the highest consumption,

• petroleum. We'll use three expressions: 'peaked at over 50%', 'gradually declined';

• and 'has remained stable'. Let's use these to make our sentences. The consumption

• of petroleum peaked at over 50% in 1973, then gradually declined over the next 12 years.

• Since 1985, global petroleum consumption has remained stable at 40%. Remember, it's very

• important to include data from the graph.

• Now, let's look at the global consumption of nuclear energy. Can you think of some words

• to describe this pattern? Did you think of these phrases? Notice that you need to carefully

• choose your tense to match the time. We'll use past simple for finished time in the past.

• And we'll use present perfect for time beginning in the past, but continuing until now. Let's

• put these phrases together.

• For the first decade after 1970, the rate of nuclear energy consumption was unchanged

• at around 5% worldwide. After 1980, it slowly increased, and since 1995 it has plateaued

• at 12%. Notice that rather than repeating 'the rate of nuclear energy consumption',

• we can say 'it'. This improves cohesion.

• So, we've looked at how you might describe trends, that is, how something changes over

• time. Usually, we'll see this in line graphs like the one we were looking at, but we could

• also see trends in charts or even tables. Next, we'll focus on how to make comparisons

• by describing similarities and differences in something in fixed time. For this, we'll

• look at a pie chart.

• This pie chart shows us which languages English originated from.

• It's important to note that pie charts give information about the whole of something,

• in this case, the English language. We can see the parts which make up the whole, or

• 100%. In an overview we would try to group the data to make a statement. We could say

• that three languages Germanic Languages, French and Latin, had the greatest influence in roughly

• equal proportions, and much less influence came from Greek, Other Languages and the names

• of people and places.

• So, let's look at how we would compare each of these six influences on English. We'll

• write about the dominant group first. We can see that the influence of French and Latin

• is exactly the same at 29%, and that of Germanic Languages is almost as much at 26%. All three

• of these languages together make up more than 80% of the origins of English. Let's write

• this into sentences.

• Remember that it is very important that we give data from the chart in our sentences.

• Also look at how we change the use of the word 'influence' from a noun to a verb.

• This shows the examiner that you are flexible in vocabulary use.

• We still need to mention the smaller sections of the pie chart. Clearly, the influence of

• these groups is smaller than French, Latin or Germanic Languages. We should think

• of words to say how much smaller. We could say considerably smaller, or significantly

• smaller.

• moving from the more influential languages to these smaller groups of languages.

• The beginning of this sentence lists three parts of the pie chart: Greek, other languages

• and proper names. Then at the end, we gave the percentage figures for each of these languages

• or language groups. Notice that these figures were given in the same order as the languages.

• So the figure for the first language, Greek, is the first figure, 6%, and so on.

• To make this clear to the reader, we use the word 'respectively' at the end of the

• list. This technique works well for two or three items, but not more than that.

• In this video we've looked at language for describing trends, or changes over time, in

• the example of a chart about energy consumption, and we've seen the example of the pie chart

• where we needed to compare the influence of languages on English. I've shown you just

• a small sample of the kind of language you will use in Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Writing

• Test. It's a good idea for you to build your vocabulary for this kind of writing before

• you do the test. Now you will have the chance to practise some language for describing data.

In Task 1 of the IELTS Academic Writing Test, you're given a visual that presents some

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B1 UK consumption chart pie chart energy data pie

# Writing: Unit 2: Focus on Language: Describing Data

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ben posted on 2018/07/27
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