Back to Writing
Writing about Graphs and Charts
- First, read this general information about graphs in ADMC HD Year 1.
- Read about the two types of graphs - time and comparison - here at Writefix.
- Download a PowerPoint file on the two types of graphs - time and comparison - here.
- Read this two-page step-by-step guide to writing about graphs, or download in Word, or PDF
Note: Don't forget that as well as graphs, tables, and charts, you may get maps, pictures, and diagrams. These seem to be appearing more often in IELTS Task 1. Click here for some examples.
Read this introduction to Pie Charts.
Try the following exercises with ONE pie chart
- Class Grades
- Moving House
- World Populations with Gapfill Exercise
- How Americans Spend their Money
- The Food We Eat
- Water Use in Toronto, Canada
- US Food spending with Matching exercise
- Do this Hot Potatoes quiz on Electricity in the US
- UK Budget 1996
- It's not a pie-chart - it's a diagram, about coffee production. But it could be a pie-chart.
- Yes- it's the apple piechart!
- US Agriculture Exports 2002.
Try the following exercises on TWO (or more) pie charts
- Valentine's Day Gifts
- Area and Population in the UK
- Causes of Disease
- Changes in Diet in the US
- Hours per Subject in HCT
- Electrical Energy Production
- Australian Immigration
- UK Family Expenditure 1990
- UK Family Expenditure - the same graph, but comparison between 1990 and 2000
- Population and Density in East Africa new!
- Student Preferred Means of Communication
- Imports to Britain, 1780 - 1980 (listening and graphing exercise!)
- UK College Leavers- where do they go?
- A useful exercise from the Oxford Student's Dictionary of English. (Right-click, save to your desktop - Acrobat file, 80kb) Comparison of two pie graphs - see page 3 of the file.
- A version of a graph about changes in world population (two pie-charts) from a commercial text
- Car Ownership in the UAE. Two pie charts comparing ADMC students and Emiratis. new!
- A pie-chart AND a bar chart: Egypt's economy and tourism earnings, 1983-2002. With sample text. new!
Check your work with this PieChart Writing Checklist activity.
- Look at the line graph about the London Underground. Move your mouse over the graph to find suggested sentences.
- London Underground: Change verbs to nouns, by TJ Everest. Try the Hot Potatoes exercise online, or download in Word or Acrobat.
- An easy two-line graph + models about changes in the amount of milk drunk in the US.
- The site www.writefix.com/graphs/index.htm has many examples of line graphs, as well as other charts.
- Try this exercise about the price of wool in New Zealand.
- Compare two line graphs: the number of farms in the US and the number of farm workers, 1910-2000. See a suggested answer and short reading with questions on industrialised farming (pdf, 134 kb, includes key).
- Write a description of this graph about the age of marriage in the USA.
- Fill in the gaps on this exercise about gold sales.
- Population Growth: line graph compares population growth in poorer and richer countries
- Population Growth in the future. How many kids should we have?
- Fuel: which fuels does the US government think we will be using in the next 20 years?
- The US army - how big is it now compared to the past?
- Weather in three African cities: Cairo, Mombasa and Cape Town.
- Platinum: line graph showing the rise in price.
- London Underground: Change verbs to nouns, by TJ Everest. Try the Hot Potatoes exercise online, or download for printing in Word or Acrobat
- Gold Price 1990 - 2010 gap-fill exercise showing the huge rise in price. new!
- Another easy one, this time on Horses and Tractors in the US, 1910 to 1960. new!
- This is a much more complicated version with THREE line graphs about changes in US farming. new!
- Immigration to the UK, 1982-2002 new!
- Introduction to bar charts
- Cars comparison Model Answer
- Top ten date-producing countries. With sentences and error-correction exercise.
- An excellent set of exercises from OneStopEnglish.com: Reasons for choosing a University. Bar charts giving reasons why foreign students choose to study in the UK.
- Had your orange juice today? World exports of juice 2002 barchart.
- Who Uses the Internet? Internet Use by age. Barchart
- Graduates of the HCT by college, 2009-2010. Barchart new!
- Spending on electronic goods and services in the UK. Barchart
- Spending on holidays in the UK. Barchart
- Origin of Immigrants to New Zealand, 2001-2004. Barchart
- Spending on public transport in the UK. Barchart model answer
- US Car and Light Truck Sales 2002 Barchart
- Population growth of world cities, 1950 to 2015. Barchart.
- Mobile Phones and Landlines, Selected Countries. Barchart, with gapfill exercise.
- Consumer Goods in China: Increases in ownership of washing machines, TVs, mobile phones, etc.
- Public Transport in US cities: Changes in number of users
- Televisions and Computers, Selected Countries. Try the one above ("Mobile Phones & Landlines") first, and then this one. model answer
- Women, education and family size. Barchart
- Access to Water 1985 and 1997. Barchart
- Test your knowledge of US states with this animated bar graph! Wheat, corn, soy and oat production over the last 70 years.
- New Zealand household spending, 1988 to 1998 (bar graph)
- Check out some bar charts and other graphs about Dubai tourism from www.dubailand.ae. () ,
- This graph gives figures for the number of obese (very overweight) people in some countries.
- Accident rates per capita and Numbers of accidents, selected Mediterranean countries (two bar charts)
- Literacy rates for men and women, selected countries, 1990 and 2000,
- Changes in type of meat eaten, USA, 1950-2000, preposition gapfill model (pdf, 88 kb)
- Obesity, UAE Women, 2000. From Bahrain Medical Bulletin
- Salaries and costs of a Big Mac compared in several Asian countries
- Dubai Tourism: where visitors come from, number of visitors, and hotel and apartments compared.
- Top ten countries with high-speed Internet lines: 2004 and 2005
- Changes in US households and family type, 1970 to 2000.
- UK marriages, remarriages and divorces, 1961 to present.
- Internet Users in the Middle East, 2000-2010. new!
- Household spending in Brazil and Egypt, 2011. TWO bar charts. new!
- Introduction with Model Answer
- Some excellent tables by students - Cars, Phones, SUVs, etc
- Car Comparison Table and model answer
- Modes of Transport in Wales, 1985 & 2005 new
- Sports Injuries
- African Statistics
- Changes in China's population 1950 - 2050
- Household appliances 1980 -2005
- Energy requirements in selected countries. Model answer here
- Hurricanes & Tornadoes Table comparing two storms.
- Spot the Mistakes Exercise! Oil Production and Quotas
- Broadband and Internet in the UAE, 2005
- Age of Marriage: UAE. Compare a table and a bar graph
- UK leisure activities (PDF) new! See a suggested answer here.
Now, what other things could be compared in a table?
- Cars? Cities - Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc
- Phones? - Nokia, Samsung, Siemens, etc
- Companies? - Dell - Microsoft, Apple, etc
Hmmm! Use your imagination to think of more tables!
This section has some pictures, diagrams and other ways of showing data. These seem to be becoming more common as tasks in the IELTS writing exam (Academic track, Task 1).
- Fonton and Meadowside. Maps showing changes in two villages since 1965. new!
- Seawater Desalination. A diagram showing how salt is removed from seawater. new!
- How Hawaii's islands were formed. A diagram with a model answer. From http://www.ielts-exam.net (External site)
- Recycling Car Batteries. The lead, plastic and sulphuric acid in old car batteries can be recycled and reused. new!
- How pencils are made. A diagram describing a process, and a student-submitted answer from http://www.ielts-exam.net (External site)
- Coffee Production. Look at the map, do the writing, read the background. Recommended
- You can find many examples of writing describing a process here
- See this excellent site from Abu Dhabi Women's College about the language of graphs.
- Do a quiz on the language of graphs here
- Here is a review page for vocabulary
- "Trends Bingo" - Match the graphs with the sentences. (Right-click, save to your desktop, Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 72 kb. From OneStopEnglish.)
- Three pages of very useful exercises from the Oxford Student's Dictionary of English. (Download to your desktop - Adobe Acrobat file, 80k b.) Examples of line graphs, and comparison of two pie graphs (page 3). and (different exercises)
- Scrambled sentences for comparison graphs (University of Bath)
- A download from OneStopEnglish.com. Match the line graphs with the phrases.
- A page from Linguarama, an English language school, in which you have to complete sentences describing trends in line graphs.
- Two more vocabulary pages from Writefix.com: using words and using numbers. (Both )
- Try this crossword with Up & Down verbs
- Try this prepositions exercise
- Here is a PowerPoint file with scrambled descriptions of the graphs. Download it and sort it out!
- Reading statistics: fruit and nut statistics from the US in 2003. Good examples of how to describe changes.
- An easy exercise. Match the verbs and nouns with the drawings.
- A more difficult exercise. Match the sentences with the drawings.
- This time, you have to match paragraphs to graphs.
- Gapfill on graph prepositions, verbs, and adjectives: UK leisure. Download in PDF, or in Word. new!
- The same sentences (UK leisure) as above, but with a writing exercise: sentences with numbers, sentences without numbers. PDF or Word new!
A gap-fill quiz about the value of Hong Kong dollars. new!
Changes in Chinese Food Consumption. Complete the line graph, write shorter sentences. new!
- Try this sentences quiz. You are given a table and a graph and have to decide if sentences are true or false.
- An easy exercise: write about world sources of electricity. A table and a pie-chart.
- Graph Writing Check List (MS Word)
Nationmaster (http://www.nationmaster.com has thousands of customizable graphs on dozens of topics. Generate your own charts and tables. (recommended)
Most large countries have websites for their national statistics office. Here are some starter links
- United Nations
- US Health statistics
- US Business statistics
- UAE statistics (from Unicef)
- UAE statistics links (HCT)
- A huge list of links to country statistics
- EarthTrends: another site with tons of statistics. You can make your own graphs.
- An Acrobat file with dozens of UK household statistics, from the UK Make your own activities. The link to the original file is here, with Excel charts so you can reformat.
Writing Checklist: Check your graph writing with this checklist. Get higher marks! (MS Word - right-click to download)
Download this Acrobat *.pdf file which has an activity on comparing two pie-charts ("Leading causes of death in young people and older people in the US.") By Julie A. Ellsworth, hosted on the Darmouth College website: http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/~mqed/UNR/Cancer/Cancer.phtml
An Acrobat file with dozens of UK household statistics, from the UK Make your own activities. The link to the original file is here, with Excel charts so you can reformat.
Great compare/contrast materials on California and South Africa - good for graph writing or for environmental/social discussion. From the Population Reference Bureau. (Pdf Acrobat file - right-click and save to your desktop.) http://www.prb.org/pdf/california_southafrica.pdf
Pie chart comparison: Communication activity for two partners from TJ Everest. Microsoft Word file - right-click and save to your desktop.
Graphs for fun. Warning: songs and other cultural references! new!