After writing your introduction and overview paragraphs, you need to describe the information in detail. Here are my tips for describing line graph details:
- Try to write two paragraphs. This isn't a 'rule', but it's a good idea because it forces you to group the information, and this should improve the organisation and coherence of your report. One big paragraph full of numbers can look messy, whereas two separate paragraphs will look neater and be easier to read.
- Aim for just two or three sentences in each 'details' paragraph. Some of your sentences will be quite long, because you'll be comparing several numbers, so two sentences can sometimes be enough.
- Always compare the lines; never describe each line separately.
- Select key numbers only. You won't have time to describe every number in every year.
- Start at the beginning, with the first year on the left of the x axis. Compare the numbers (i.e. all lines) in that year.
- Then choose an interesting point towards the middle of the graph, and compare the figures at that point.
- OR: Summarise the line trends over the first half of the period (to somewhere around the middle of the graph).
- Then start a new paragraph for the second half of the time period.
- Compare the figures for all of the lines at any key points. Or summarise the line trends over the second half of the period.
- Finish at the end, with the last year shown. Compare the numbers (i.e. all lines) in that year.
Here's a short version of the advice above:
Compare the lines (giving numbers) in the first year shown, then describe any significant numbers or overall trends in the first half of the time period.
Describe any significant numbers or overall trends in the second half of the time period, then compare the lines (giving numbers) in the last year shown.
See if you can follow this advice to write two 'details' paragraphs about the line graph in last week's lesson.