Writing about Charts, Graphs, and Diagrams

by , under IELTS and TOEFL

Make sure to organize your IELTS Task 1 essay so that the reader can navigate it easily.

Step 1: Give a clear overview of what the figure is about, showing that you understand the main message it conveys.

Step 2: Describe the data in a systematic way (left to right, top to bottom, biggest to smallest) using numbers and words from the figure.

Step 3: Compare significant elements of the figure, mentioning any trends or changes in the past, extrapolating for the future if you can.

Useful chart, graph, and diagram vocabulary

Some words are likely to appear in a discussion of a chart, graph, or diagram. Use the target structure checker with the following list of common chart, graph, and diagram vocabulary to see if you are using the vocabulary your readers (the examiners) are expecting to see.

above, according to, apparent, are compared, are presented, bar graph, below, can be seen, chart, climbed, comparable, compares, considerable, considerably, decline, decrease, demonstrates, detailed, details, difference, dipped, diving sharply, downward, dramatic, dropped off, evident, falls, fell, fluctuation, fluctuations, gap, gradual, graph, greater, grew, grows, high, higher, highlighted, highlights, highs, histogram, illustrated, illustrates, increase, indicates, jump, leads, led, level, leveled, levelled, leveling, levelling, levels, lists, low, lower, lows, moderate, narrowed, note, number, observe, peak, peaks, period, photo, pie chart, pinpoints, plummeted, presents, proves, rapid climb, rates of, reports, reveals, remained, remains, rise, rises, rose, shown, shows, significant, slid, slight, steady, summarizes, results, value of, to every, to the left, to the right, total, trend, upward, we can see, widened, widening, widens