2021/10/14 Tips For IELTS Writing – Describing Graphs

Tips For IELTS Writing – Describing Graphs

Lenard Lee

    For those students who are keen in improving their IELTS writing testing score, this is the  GLOBAL TALK, you don’t want to miss!

   1. Writing 3 to 4 paragraphs is the key, make sure you stay within 150 words or else, you would be penalized with a slap on the wrist.

    2. In the introduction, you need to paraphrase and answer the question… what the graph is trying to tell the audience.  Start paraphrasing with one of the following phrases:  e.g. 1) The table shows/illustrates the trends in …. between …….        2) The chart shows how the …. have changed ……

    3.  Write an overview following the introduction. Look at the beginning and the end of the chart to help determine your overview.  An overview is like a preview, but without specific data or stats.

    4. Decide if the graph you are describing is a comparison, progression, or both. You will need to use the appropriate language for each type. For example, if it is comparative, use ‘the same as’ or if it is progressive, use “increase slightly”.

    5.  To bring more dynamic range to your writing.  Change nouns and adjective phrases into verbs and adverbs to create a range of expressions, for example ‘a slight increase’ to ‘increase slightly’. Also, try to learn a few different ways to say the same thing so you don’t have to repeat yourself with the SAME VOCABULARY (‘increase’, ‘go up’, ‘rise’). Mix it up a little bit, remember you will be marked on your language range and accuracy.

    6. Describe the most striking characteristics and trends in the body paragraphs.  Keep it short and concise.

    7. You need to add “linking words” to improve cohesion and coherence; in other words, it’s about how it flows.   Here are some useful linking expressions: in addition, furthermore, however, although.

    8. In the 3rd body paragraph, you need to give a more detailed description.  You still need to focus on main trends but focus more on elements within each part of the graph (For 10 years, there was a gradual upward trend until it peaked at 250 units in 2002, followed by a dip.). Add data and figures to support your writing.

    9. Don’t describe all small details, keep it brief and get to the main points.  Writing in small details make your writing sound robotic and less natural.
  E.g. Instead of writing: It went up by 2% and then dropped up 5%, then rose again for 2 years, and again dropped by 2%.  
  Write: It fluctuated between 5% and 2% for the first quarter of the year.

    10. Be sure you have a conclusion at the end!!!  This is a must for a “completed” masterpiece.

    11. Don’t forget spelling and punctuation count towards accuracy.  


10 Words to Learn


penalize (v.)

(英) to cause someone a disadvantage
(日) 罰則を適応する
(中) 使處於不利地位
“The present tax system penalizes poor people.”

a slap on the wrist (idiom) 

(英) a warning or mild punishment
(日) 軽い罰
(中) 輕微的警告(或懲罰)
"We’re hoping that she gets off with a slap on the wrist from the judge."

accuracy (n.)

(英) the fact of being exact or correct
(日) 正確さ
(中) 準確;精確
"Her paintings are almost photographic in their details and accuracy."

striking (adj.) 

(英) very unusual or easily noticed, and therefore attracting a lot of attention
(日) 目立つ、印象的な 
(中) 異乎尋常的;引人注目的
"There are striking similarities between the two cases."

trend (n.)

(英) a displayed pattern
(日) 傾向
(中) 趨勢;傾向
"There has been an upward trend in the number of accidents reported."

concise (adj.)

(英) giving only the information that is necessary and important, using few words
(日) 簡潔な
(中) 簡潔的;簡明的
"She gave us clear and concise instructions."

cohesion (n.)

(英) the act or state of keeping together
(日) 團結
(中) 結合、凝聚(力)
"The lack of cohesion within the party lost them votes in the election."

coherence (n.)

(英) the situation when the parts of something fit together in a natural or reasonable way
(日) 筋が通っていること
(中) 連貫性,一致性
"There was no coherence between the first and the second half of the movie."

fluctuate (v.)

(英) to change, especially continuously and between one level or things and another
(日) 変動する
(中) (尤指持續)波動,起伏不定
"Her weight fluctuates wildly.”

masterpiece (n.)

(英) a work that is made with great skill
(日) 傑作
(中) 傑作
"Leonardo’s “ Last Supper” is a widely regarded as a masterpiece.”