How To Write A Report On A Line Graph Type of Question in IELTS

Line graph is another kind of question in IELTS Academic Writing Task – 1 and the strategy to write a report on...

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IELTS Line Graph

Line graph is another kind of question in IELTS Academic Writing Task – 1 and the strategy to write a report on such questions is very similar to the bar chart questions. In this type of question, you may find two types of line graph: simple and complex.

In the simple type of line graph question, you may find one line in the graph (Fig.1), on the other hand, in the complex graph, you may get two or more lines in the graph (Fig. 2).
These lines can be of different colors or different types. For such complex line graphs, labels / legend are given on one side of the graph for you to identify which line corresponds to what data.


Let us now find in detail how to write a report on line graph type of questions in the Academic IELTS Writing Task 1.

Step 1: Read Question Properly to Write The Introduction

The introduction is the first few lines you write in your report and the following sues can be used to write it:

  • Reading the questions thoroughly. If you don’t so so, you would be missing out something important. You can begin your introduction by paraphrasing the line graph question.
  • Next, have a look at the line graph carefully and check its heading since the heading may give you better idea of what the line graph is about. For example, in the simple line graph in Fig.1 is about Gold Sales in Dubai in 2002.  
  • Lastly, look at the labels on its x-axis and y-axis to find out the units. We will need to include the units in the introduction, for example, “in the period of 5 years from 2017-2022” or “from Jan to Dec 2002” etc.

The three points above will help you write an appropriate introduction to your report.

Step 2: Analyse The Line Graph to Write The Body Paragraphs

You can write one body paragraph in detail if you have got a simple line graph, where you can mention the starting point of a line, the peak points and the trends such as gradually decreasing, constantly increasing, stable etc.

However, if you have been given two or more lines in the graph, you can prefer writing two body paragraphs so that you are able to mention enough details about them. You can first write about the individual lines in the first body paragraph similar to the simple line graph description. In the second body paragraph, you can compare and contrast the multiple lines together (discussed in Step-3).

Different words to describe the Line graph:

Use some of the following essential words to describe the line graph:

S.NO Line Graph Tend Words Used To Explain Line Graph Trend
1 Upward Trend Rise, Rose, Increase, Peak, Grow, Go Up, etc
2 Downward Trend Fall, Decrease, Dip, Drop, Come down, etc
3 Constancy Level out, Remain constant, No change
4 Adverbs Steadily, Slowly, Slightly, Gradually, Steeply, etc

Adverbs used in line graph with meanings

S.NO Adverb Used In Line Graph Meaning
1 Slowly Small increase
2 Steadily Little or no variation
3 Slightly Small increase but not considerable
4 Gently Increasing at constant pace but not abruptly
5 Gradually Small increase with variation
6. Steeply A quick and sharp increase

In the body paragraphs make sure to use numbers / data / dates, etc to support your description of the graph.

For Example:

The below sentence can be taken as an example to explain the line graph with clear explanation about rise and fall in the graph. It is important that you notice the rise, fall or other trends in the graph and then use respective words to represent the graph.

“The sale of gold in Dubai in 2002 rose sharply from 200 million dirhams in January to 350 million dirhams in March.”   


Based on the above example we have taken, we have explained how the graph works and how we can make use of words listed in the table to use.

  1. In the above example, we see that “Sale of gold in Dubai” is the what the graph is about while it is being represented by two axis or lines X and Y which are year and sales in million.
  2. Now we see that the sale of gold was increased sharply from 200 million to 350 million that shows an upward trend in the graph.
  3. So, we can check the table for Upward trend and use alternate word or meaning to describe the line graph easily.

Step 3: Compare and Contrast to Find Important Highlights

In order to write about the highlights of a line graph, you should compare the data represented by the lines. For example:

“The sale of gold in Dubai in 2002, rose sharply from 200 million dirhams in January to 350 million dirhams in March. However, in the next four months, the sales dropped down constantly and by July reached almost half of the gold sales in Jan.     

In complex graphs with multiple lines, you may like to bring out the intersection points of the lines or if two lines are following same trend or opposite trends over a period of time. Also mention the peak points at the start and at the end along with the corresponding data and also write whether it was at maximum or at lowest. These important highlights are nothing but the key features that make your writing task very scoring.

For example:

“While the population of bears increase tremendously from near zero to nearly 200,000, that of Dolphins witnessed the opposite trend with their numbers dropping from 150,000 in 2011 to being decimated by the year 2016.”  

Step 4: Include A Main Summary of The Line Graph

A writing task response needs to have a paragraph with the main summary or overview of the line graph, without which one could lose bands. This can either follow the introduction paragraph or be the last paragraph in the report. For example:

“Overall, the monthly sales of gold in Dubai in 2002 fluctuated throughout the year. Whereas the average monthly sale of gold remained between 150 and 200 million Dirhams, it showed an exceptional surge in March to 350 million dirhams and two dips to 100 million dirhams in July and September. It ended the year with the same amount as sale as it had begun with at 200 million dirhams.

Guidelines For Writing A Report On Line Graph

Thus, the guidelines for writing a report on a line graph question is as follows:

  1. Have a clear introduction based on the question.
  2. Describe the line/s in the body paragraphs mentioning the trends, etc using appropriate vocabulary.
  3. Have a main summary or overview in one paragraph, which should have all the main trends of the graph.  

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