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  • 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.

  • Here's a short sentence about this. It begins with a linking expression to show that we're

  • 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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