Writing Task 1 | Line Graphs Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

In the first lesson on this topic we looked at some simple verbs that can be used to report changes in data. In this class you will learn

  • Some more specialized verbs to use with data
  • How to give more detail about changes in data with adverbs

The first step is to look at graphs and read descriptions of them. You can copy the vocabulary that you read while doing the activity and use it when you are writing.

Exercise 1

Look at the 12 line graphs below. How would you describe them?
(Scroll to make the images appear)

Exercise 2.1 | Graphs A-F

Look at the graphs and read the descriptions. Match the first 6 graphs with the descriptions.

IELTSLineGraph2A
Sales of apples increased steadily through the first part of the year but from August sales declined gradually.
Sales of apples fluctuated slightly and then rose steadily.
Sales of apples increased sharply in the first quarter of the year and reached a peak in March when sales started to gradually decrease.
Sales of apples fell significantly throughout the first half of the year but started to recover slowly from October.
In the first half of the year sales of apples rose steeply. However, in the second half of the year sales went down dramatically.
Sales of apples fluctuated wildly until October when they levelled off.


IELTSLineGraph2B
Sales of apples increased steadily through the first part of the year but from August sales declined gradually.
Sales of apples fluctuated slightly and then rose steadily.
Sales of apples increased sharply in the first quarter of the year and reached a peak in March when sales started to gradually decrease.
Sales of apples fell significantly throughout the first half of the year but started to recover slowly from October.
In the first half of the year sales of apples rose steeply. However, in the second half of the year sales went down dramatically.
Sales of apples fluctuated wildly until October when they levelled off.


IELTSLineGraph2C
Sales of apples increased steadily through the first part of the year but from August sales declined gradually.
Sales of apples fluctuated slightly and then rose steadily.
Sales of apples increased sharply in the first quarter of the year and reached a peak in March when sales started to gradually decrease.
Sales of apples fell significantly throughout the first half of the year but started to recover slowly from October.
In the first half of the year sales of apples rose steeply. However, in the second half of the year sales went down dramatically.
Sales of apples fluctuated wildly until October when they levelled off.


IELTSLineGraph2D
Sales of apples increased steadily through the first part of the year but from August sales declined gradually.
Sales of apples fluctuated slightly and then rose steadily.
Sales of apples increased sharply in the first quarter of the year and reached a peak in March when sales started to gradually decrease.
Sales of apples fell significantly throughout the first half of the year but started to recover slowly from October.
In the first half of the year sales of apples rose steeply. However, in the second half of the year sales went down dramatically.
Sales of apples fluctuated wildly until October when they levelled off.


IELTSLineGraph2E
Sales of apples increased steadily through the first part of the year but from August sales declined gradually.
Sales of apples fluctuated slightly and then rose steadily.
Sales of apples increased sharply in the first quarter of the year and reached a peak in March when sales started to gradually decrease.
Sales of apples fell significantly throughout the first half of the year but started to recover slowly from October.
In the first half of the year sales of apples rose steeply. However, in the second half of the year sales went down dramatically.
Sales of apples fluctuated wildly until October when they levelled off.


IELTSLineGraph2F
Sales of apples increased steadily through the first part of the year but from August sales declined gradually.
Sales of apples fluctuated slightly and then rose steadily.
Sales of apples increased sharply in the first quarter of the year and reached a peak in March when sales started to gradually decrease.
Sales of apples fell significantly throughout the first half of the year but started to recover slowly from October.
In the first half of the year sales of apples rose steeply. However, in the second half of the year sales went down dramatically.
Sales of apples fluctuated wildly until October when they levelled off.


Exercise 2.2 | Graphs G-L

IELTSLineGraph2G
Sales of apples rocketed to a peak of 7 thousand tons in July and then gradually decreased until they levelled out at 5 thousand tons.
Despite fluctuating wildly, sales of apples increased over the period.
Between March and June sales suddenly plummeted. Following this, sales slowly rose.
The general trend in sales over the period was downward even though sales fluctuated slightly.
Sales of apples dropped steadily and hit a low of 2 thousand tons. From this point sales gradually recovered.
Sales of apples rose rapidly in the first quarter of the year and then levelled off before declining suddenly in the final quarter.


IELTSLineGraph2H

Sales of apples rocketed to a peak of 7 thousand tons in July and then gradually decreased until they levelled out at 5 thousand tons.
Despite fluctuating wildly, sales of apples increased over the period.
Between March and June sales suddenly plummeted. Following this, sales slowly rose.
The general trend in sales over the period was downward even though sales fluctuated slightly.
Sales of apples dropped steadily and hit a low of 2 thousand tons. From this point sales gradually recovered.
Sales of apples rose rapidly in the first quarter of the year and then levelled off before declining suddenly in the final quarter.


IELTSLineGraph2I
Sales of apples rocketed to a peak of 7 thousand tons in July and then gradually decreased until they levelled out at 5 thousand tons.
Despite fluctuating wildly, sales of apples increased over the period.
Between March and June sales suddenly plummeted. Following this, sales slowly rose.
The general trend in sales over the period was downward even though sales fluctuated slightly.
Sales of apples dropped steadily and hit a low of 2 thousand tons. From this point sales gradually recovered.
Sales of apples rose rapidly in the first quarter of the year and then levelled off before declining suddenly in the final quarter.


IELTSLineGraph2J
Sales of apples rocketed to a peak of 7 thousand tons in July and then gradually decreased until they levelled out at 5 thousand tons.
Despite fluctuating wildly, sales of apples increased over the period.
Between March and June sales suddenly plummeted. Following this, sales slowly rose.
The general trend in sales over the period was downward even though sales fluctuated slightly.
Sales of apples dropped steadily and hit a low of 2 thousand tons. From this point sales gradually recovered.
Sales of apples rose rapidly in the first quarter of the year and then levelled off before declining suddenly in the final quarter.


IELTSLineGraph2K
Sales of apples rocketed to a peak of 7 thousand tons in July and then gradually decreased until they levelled out at 5 thousand tons.
Despite fluctuating wildly, sales of apples increased over the period.
Between March and June sales suddenly plummeted. Following this, sales slowly rose.
The general trend in sales over the period was downward even though sales fluctuated slightly.
Sales of apples dropped steadily and hit a low of 2 thousand tons. From this point sales gradually recovered.
Sales of apples rose rapidly in the first quarter of the year and then levelled off before declining suddenly in the final quarter.


IELTSLineGraph2L
Sales of apples rocketed to a peak of 7 thousand tons in July and then gradually decreased until they levelled out at 5 thousand tons.
Despite fluctuating wildly, sales of apples increased over the period.
Between March and June sales suddenly plummeted. Following this, sales slowly rose.
The general trend in sales over the period was downward even though sales fluctuated slightly.
Sales of apples dropped steadily and hit a low of 2 thousand tons. From this point sales gradually recovered.
Sales of apples rose rapidly in the first quarter of the year and then levelled off before declining suddenly in the final quarter.

Exercise 3

​Match the verb phrases in bold italics in the descriptions above to the definition below.

1. To increase very fast.
2. To decrease very fast.
3. The highest number that was achieved.
4. The lowest number that was achieved.

Grammar Note

Look at these descriptive sentences with an adverb and a verb.

  • Sales of apples increased steadily from March to May
  • Sales of apples steadily increased from March to May

Which sentence is correct? The answer is that both are correct. We can swap the positions of the adverb and verb to show the examiner that we understand this grammar.

Exercise 4

​Look at the adverbs in bold in the graph descriptions in exercise 1. These adverbs add detail about how the data changed over time. Categorise the adverbs by adding them to the chart below.

sharply   ·  slightly   ·  gradually   ·  suddenly   ·  significantly   ·  wildly   ·  steeply   ·  slowly   ·  rapidly   ·  steadily   ·  dramatically  
Click or touch a word above
1. A large or fast change
2. A small or slow change
3. Constant change by a similar amount
4. Large/unpredictable movement

​If you can use these adverbs effectively then you will improve you Task Achievement band and Lexical Resource band.

In the next of our lessons on line graphs we look at how to change the verb/adverb collocations that we have already learnt into adjective/noun collocations. Using a range of different collocations will further help to boost your Lexical Resource band.

This lesson is part of our Academic Task 1 Writing Course. Join the course for more lessons like this, tests and writing assessment.