Topics: China, Hong Kong, Chinese language Pages: 5 (1209 words) Published: September 29, 2014
to writing a
graph description

For the IELTS writing test, you are required to complete two writing tasks. Task 1 is some kind of data report, while Task 2 is an essay. You are probably already familiar with how to write an essay, but less familiar with the format and content of a report. So let’s look at an example of a graph description, then break it down into steps so you can practice writing your own graph description reports for IELTS Task 1 practice.

NB: Not every Task 1 asks you to describe a graph; there may be tables, charts, or even a diagram or flowchart for you to describe instead. However, the same principles of organization and steps for writing the report apply.



Mainland China


Other areas in








People (in millions)

Visitors to Hong Kong by country/area 2002-2009


Compiled from two sources (Last access date: August 3, 2009.): (Figures for 2009 have been extrapolated)

Prepared by Julie Groves


Sample Report 1 – Model Answer
The graph shows the number of travelers from various parts of the world entering Hong Kong for the years from 2002 to 2009. It can clearly be seen that there has been* a large increase in the number of Mainland Chinese visitors, while figures for visitors from Asia as well as other areas of the world have only shown* a slight growth.

The numbers of Mainland Chinese visiting Hong Kong have risen considerably over this time period. In 2002 there were nearly 7 million Mainland Chinese visitors, similar to the figure for other parts of Asia and just over double that for non-Asian travelers. This number climbed to approximately 8 million in 2003, then rose dramatically by 4 million to just over 12 million only one year later. Since 2004 there has been a steady increase, with around 18 million Mainland Chinese travelers visiting Hong Kong in 2009. This is more than double the number for that year of other visitors from Asia, and around four times the figures for non-Asian visitors. The figures for travelers from other parts of the world show similar trends: first a dip of roughly one-third the total number of visitors from 2002 to 2003, then slow growth until 2007 followed by a leveling out. Overall, the numbers of Asian tourists rose by 1 million from just under 7 million in 2002 to roughly 8 million seven years later, while the corresponding figures for visitors from non-Asian parts of the world were roughly 3 million and 4.5 million respectively.

To sum up, in recent years Hong Kong has become an increasingly popular destination for visitors, especially people from mainland China who currently outnumber those from all other parts of the world combined.

(287 words)
* Please note that this description was written in 2009, hence the use of the present perfect to describe trends which began in the past but which have continued up to the present time.

Stop and Think!
What is the function and content of:
… the red sentence?
… the blue sentence?
… the green sentences?
… the brown paragraph?
What verb tense(s) is/are used for each section? Why?
Now let’s read on and take a look at the steps that you could take to write a report like the above.

Prepared by Julie Groves


for writing a
graph description
Step #1
Read the title and labels on the graph as well as the instructions. Note down 2-3 synonyms for key words/phrases.
Write your introductory sentence, trying not to copy any phrases.

Step #2
Analyze the information in the graph, looking at the overall trend(s). Write the rest of your introduction, explaining the main trend(s).

Step #3
Plan your body paragraphs (probably one paragraph for each main trend). Draft a...
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