Upcoming SlideShare
×

# [Langmaster] visuals writing about graphs, tables and diagrams

33,381 views
33,169 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
3 Likes
Statistics
Notes
• Full Name
Comment goes here.

Are you sure you want to Yes No
• Be the first to comment

Views
Total views
33,381
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
195
0
Likes
3
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

### [Langmaster] visuals writing about graphs, tables and diagrams

1. 1. Visuals GRAPHS, ABOUT WRITING AN TABLES D DIAGRAMS Gabi Duigu
2. 2. @ Gabi Duigu 2001 All rights reserved Published by Academic English Press 9/13 Armstrong Street Cammeray NSf 2062 Australia Ph:02 94376330 email:g.duigu@unsw.edu.au Distributedby: Melting Pot Press 10 GraftonStreet NS( 2008 Chippendale Australia Ph: (5r) 29212 1882 F a x : 0 2 2 1 11 8 6 8 9 email:books@elt.com.au r s B N0 - 9 5 7 8 9 9 6 - 0 - 2
3. 3. . : : l i : : : i ; ; : : . .: : l : : . .: : . : : : : : : l : :!':::::::::::::::::|' : :: ::::!' ::-::::::::::::::::: l:l:::l::::::l.l.l| : :ltl lf::::r:::a:a:t:t::.t: : || .:.......:.......:........... ... Part1 t. The Purpose GraphsandTables of .. .. .. .2 Part 2 2. WritingaboutGraphsandThbles 2 . 1 W r i t i n g t hI e t r o d u c t i o n n 2.2 TimeExpressions 2.3 Expressions Measurement of ......9 ......10 .......13 . . . .15 Part3 3. TritingtheReport 3.1 Contrast.... 3.2 Tiends 3.3 Correlations ......25 ...,.25 ......32 ......35 Part4 4. Using the Right sryle . 4.1 Modifiers 4.2 Using the CorrectSryleand Avoiding Errors . . . .39 ...39 . . .48 Part5 5. Diagrams 5.1 VocabularyandGrammar 5 . 2 U s i n g a g o o d s r y.l e AnswerK"y.. ...55 ......55 ......56 ...59
4. 4. With thanks to Maryanne Sheafor making the book possible,and for her enduring patience and encouragement. Many of the graphs and tables in this book are basedon visualsfrom various issuesof the UNESCO Courier, to which very worthwhile publication grateful acknowledgment is made.
8. 8. Tables and Diagrams Writing about Graphs, Visuals: the 1.3 Understanding Purpose TASK3. Look at the following graph and the descriptions given underneath, and decide which one is the most suitable. Try to explain why you think so. Growth Rates Annual Urban Average ltsto-ts T--l 1995-2000 ffiil 2020-2025 Asia Europe North Latin America America annualurban groluth rate of 5 continentsfrom 1970 a) This gdph showsthe auerage annual urban groutth to 2025. According to the graph, Africa had about 5o/oauerage annual urban grozuthrate in 1995 and in 2025 rate in 1970 and ouer 4%oauerage to annual urban grou.tthrate is expected bejust ouer3o/o.For Asia the the auerage annual urban groutth rate wasjust ouer3o/o in 1970 and 1995 and it utas auerage annual urban to expected be about 2o/oin 2025. In Europe, by contrast,tlte auerage groutth rat€ was only about 1.5% in 1970 and it went down to about 0.5o/oin annual 1995, and in 2025 it utill be lessthan 0.2o/o.In Latin America tlte auerage urban groutth rate utentfrom just under 4o/oin 1970 to just ouer2%oin 1995 and it annual urban tuill probably bejust ouer 1o/oin 2025. In North America the auerage groluth rAte uAs about 1o/oin 1970 and 1995 and is ffiPectedto stay tlte samein 2025. b) Looking at the graph lae cdn seethat urban {ouath has happenedon all 5 to continentssince 1970 and that it is expected continue right up to 2025. The most tbesecontinentshaue dramatic grouth is in Africa, Asia and Latin America, becAuse and industrialisation since 1970, while Europe and the experienced most deuelopment they already started being more probably because North America show lessincrease are urbanised. In deuelopingcountriesmary)peoplefom the countrytside attrdcted t0 the cities to loohfor u,,orhand better opportunities in heahh and education, but this rapid urbanisation is causingmany problems and needsto be connolled.
9. 9. Visuals:Writing about Graphs, Tablesand Diagrams urban grotuth in all 5 that since 1970 there has beenconsiderable ) The graph shou,,s to continentspresented and that this trend is expected continue at least until2025. Houteuer,the ratefor eaclt continent ltas not beentlte same. The deuelopingcounnies of Afica, Asia and Latin America experiencedtlte most dramatic growth rates in 1975, with Afica hauing around 5o/oPer Annum, Latin America just ouer 4%oand Asia ouer3o/o. In 1995 theseratesdeneasedto just ouer 4o/oin Afica and doun to about 2o/o for Latin Anterica, but Asia remained tlte same. This grouth rate is by expected decrease about 1% for all three continentsbjt the year 2025. to p.a. ouer the to Mennuthile North America is expected maintain its groutth rate of 1o/o entire period, tahile Europe, hauing started theperiod at about 1.5o/ogrowth rate is to expected reducethis to only about 2% by 2025. a Ansuer Ke! and Tables typesof Graphs different 1.4 Understanding 7e now need to look more closelyat what graphs and tablesshow, and the differencesberween them. a) 'What features do the following graphs have in common? in Consumption China Cigarette 1950 World MeatProduction, - 90 Million Tons billions: 2000 t Pork 1500 ,.a( 40 20 't0 0 u Poultry -ta 30 / a Beef/Buffalo .---'-+/ R .A' ..,.8' F-.:::--.ts_+ 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 b) Vhat features do the following graphs have in common? How are they different from the previous ones? Percentage distributionof Internet-connected of July by of computers, income countlies, 1999 Waste1999 Household Paper & 21% Carboard High-income countries 95.1 =Plastic 8% Middleincome counldies4.7 / Low-incomecounti reso.z Metal 6% Glass 8% Other'l l% Food& Garden Materials 46%
10. 10. Tables and Diagrams Writing about Graphs, Visuals: c) 'What about these graphs? Percentaqe of all children 5 - 1 4 y e a - r sw h o w o r k 1 9 9 5 Water Consumption: Europe Annual World 150 Africa 120 tuia Latin America & Caribbean Oceania ffieoys Icitlt 9o Thousands of Litres 6o (percapita) 30 o d) 1950 1960 1970 1980 ',I990 2000 'What kind of information do the following tables provide? How does this differ from the graphs? computers Internet-connected worldwide,1981-1999 1987 1988 '1989 1990 '1991 1992 1993 1994 r 09s 1996 1997 1998 1999 28,174 s6,000 159.000 313,000 617,000 1,136,000 2,056,000 3,864,000 6,642,000 12,881,000 19,5r+0,000 36,739,000 56.218,000 of students country by Thelargest number foreign 1995 in of origin, the 50 majorhostcountries: 115,87'l China 69,736 62,324 45,432 43,941 41,159 39,626 37,629 36,515 34,908 32,411 28.280 27,749 Korea.Republicof Japan Germany Greece Malaysia lndia Turkey Italy Morocco France Canada United States a Ansuer Ke! Understanding graphs and rables involves understanding the following details: 1. X/hat is the information or data in the graph or table abo :ut? This [ infarrnation is norma\$t suppheA uith ilte graplt or tabla,J 2" r\$fhat are the units of rneasufemeflt used? 3. {hat is the area (place) involved ? 4. f,hat is the time-scale involved ? 5. What is the purpose of the graph or table?
11. 11. Writing Tables Visuals: about Graphs, and Diagrams Let us look at the graphs and tablesshown above once more, and answer the following questions: 'What 1. are the units of measurementused? 2.'W-hat is the area (place) involved ? 3. Vhat is the time-scaleinvolved ? 4. What is the purpose of the graph or table? After examining the graphs and tables above you will have noticed the following: In the caseof a line graph, the horizontal and vertical axes provide most of the information. Usually trends over a specific period of time are shown in this way. A bar graph shows the samekind of information but with the units presentedas bars or columns. Another kind of bar graph (also called a histogram) may show numerical distributions rather than changes. as Pie graphs show proportions, normally represented percentages. Thbles give detailed data and may be used to display changes over time or they may show distributions of variablesaccording to place, or rype. They usually require more interpretation than graphs do. Wedge-shaped Graphs 1.4.1 it There is one kind of graph that can causeconfusion because appearsto combine the featuresof both the pie chart or the bar graph and line graph. Look at these graphs and answer the questionsthat follow. TASK4 Region from Fuel by World Carbon Emissions Fossil Burning Economic Million Tons 7000 6000 s000 4000 3000 2000 1000 1990 1990
12. 12. Writingabout Graphs, Tablesand Diagrams Visuals: l. tVhat was the amount of emissions from industrial countries in 1950? 2.'What was the amount of emissions from developing countries in 1950? 3. How much did the Former Eastern Bloc countries emit in 1980? from 1985 2000 WorldSpending Advertising on (in5US millions) : : Total 33-olO90 ,,::,:::,:,:::America North ffi rrrop" c282,OOO ffi Asia/lacific I utinAmerica 242,000 .r9l,ooo 24ooo 11 I l J€4sog,,i: 4. Did the European countries spend more or less than the Asia/Pacific ones on advertising in 1985? 5. Did the Latin American countries spend more or less than the European ones in 2000? a Ansuter Ke! 1.4.2 CombinedGraphs It is is very common to find two or more graphs presentedtogether.This is usually done to show either a comparison, or a more complicated correlation than can be shown in one graph. A correlation is the way two setsof facts are related to each other. The relationship may be a change over a period of time, or it may be a possiblecauseand effect link. There is a section dealing with Correlations in more detail, starting on page 35.
13. 13. Writingabout Graphsand Tables This section is going ro deal with selectingthe right approach and sryle, learning to use the appropriate vocabulary,and becoming aware of the grammar related to this vocabulary. The languageof graphs and tables is divided, for convenience into: , introductory expressions time expressions terms of measurement In Part 3 we will deal with: expressions of comparison and contrast expressions for trends correlations to To use this languagecorrectly,it is necessary keep the following points in mind: 1. You must know the exact meaning and usageof the terms 2. You must know the collocations of the terms: i.e. you must know which expressions together, and which are never found in combination go 3. You must know the grammatical featuresof the terms 4. YOU MUST CAREENOUGH TO BEACCURATE
15. 15. Visuals: Writing Tables about Graphs, and Diagrams 2.1,1 What introductory expressions use to There are three possibleways to start. One is to refer to the visual directly (e.g. This graph shous thepopuktion ofAlia in the 20th centur!.) Howeve! this method is not advisable,since the instructions in the IELIS test will normally give you just this information. If you copy directly your English from the paper you are wasting time, since the examiner cannot assess from a copied sentence. The secondway is to refer directly to the main message conveyedby the visual (e.g. in Tltere was a sharp increase the population ofAlia in the 20th century.)This way is shows that you are able to recognisethe main concept or perfectly acceptable, and m€ssage that the graph or table shows. tbat there utasa sharp increase The third way combines the two (e.g. The graph shouts in the 20th century.)This is also acceptable, and is often in thepopulation ofAlia to used as a convenient way to start. In order to use this method, it is necessary use which refer to the text itself, like those below. a few fixed expressions, 2.1.2 Introductory Expressions The graph / table shows / indicates / illustrates / reveals / represents It is clear from the graph / table It can be seen from the graph / table As the graph / table shows, As can be seen from the graph I table, As is shown by the graph / table, As is illustrated by the graph / table, From the graph / table it is clear Notice that it is best to avoid using personalpronouns. Instead of saying We can see fom the graph.... it is better to use the passiveor impersonal constructions, as above. Do not forget that the secondway is also very acceptable(i.e., not referring to the text directly at all). There will be more examplesof this in the following pages. Most of the above expressionscan be followed by a clause starting with that. can be followed by a noun or noun phrase. Severalof the above expressions must be followed by a main clause. of the above expressions Several Tiy to identi\$' which is which by doing the next exercise. 11
16. 16. 12 Iables and Diagrams Writing about Graphs, Visuals: TASK5: Make all the possible matches between the expressions in the table on the left with those on the right: 1. The graph shows/ indicates I a) that thepopulationofAlia greu', 2. It is clear from the table 3. It can be seen from the graph I 4. As the table shows, I 5. As can be seen from the graph, I c) the PoPulation ofAlia grew in the i" the 20th centur! I O1tltt groutth in the size of the 6. As is shown/illustratedby the graph, | populationofAlia 20th century 7. From the graph it is clear o Answer KeJt 'Warnings: 1. Avoid using the phrase: according to the graph. This is becausethe phrase according to generally means that the information comes from another person or source, and not from our own knowledge. (For example,Accordingto tlte Handbook, lou cannot take the exdm more tltan oncein three months. According to my friend, the essay question aas not too dfficuh.) In the caseof a graph or table that is shown, the information is there right in 'knoJ it. That front of you, ,h."*rir.r, and.also the reader,and so you can both is, it does not come from another source. / as 2. Note that the expressions cAn be seenfrom the graph or as is shotttn illustratedby the table do not contain the dummy subiect ir. Avoid these if expressions you think you are going to forget this unusual grammar' is 3. The word preserutrs best avoided, since it requires a sophisticated an summarising noun ro follow. For example: ThegrdPhpres€nts oueruiewof the population gotath of Alia in the last 20 years.
17. 17. Tables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, TASK6 Which is the best introductory sentence for a description of this graph from the following? 1950 WorldMeatProduction, - 90 Million Tons 80 70 ,,r 60 o 30 ,r 20 ts-q tr l0 0 a Beef/Buffalo ./ 50 40 e-.,:::- 1950 /.n 1960 E Poultry ,,, . - -. , a ' -- E €. 1970 .4 1980 Potk Sheep/Goats ',1990 a) This graph sltotasthe changesin world rneatProduction betueen 1950 and 1990. b) From this graph we cAn seethat most meatProduction is a lot higher in 1990 than in 1950. c) Between1950 and 1990 meatproduction in the world rosesignifcantly for all sheep and goat meat. hinds of meat excePt that in 1950 production ofpoulny and sheepand goat meat d) The graplt shouts was less than 5 million tons, uthileproduction ofpork and beefand buffalo uas around 20 million tons. 1n€At rc Ansuter Ke! 2.2TimeExpressions you can start your description with a time fu you can seein the above exercise, phrasein some cases: significant[t... 1950 and 1990productionrose Betuteen Even if you do not begin your sentenc€with a time expression,in many cas€s, particularly those involving line graphs, the time frame is given and is an important elemenr of the visual and will need to be mentioned. For this reasonit is important of that you know how to use the common expressions time, and that you revise them from any normal grammar book if they causeyou difficulties. Here are the common ones: for in -and between during before from-to/until after 13
18. 18. 14 Writing Tables and Diagrams Visuals: about Graphs, in: In 1999... In the 20th century... In the first ten years... in tltere was a significant increase production for: For the first six months... For twenry years... the number of employes remained the same. during: During the first six months... During the first half of this century... During the remainder of the year... production was slouing down, while imports increased. from-to/until: From August tol until November... From 1950 to 1960... tltere was no changein energl use. between -and: Berween1950 and 1960... tltere uas no changein the rate offuel consumption. before I after: Before 1960 the number remained small,6u afrcr 1965 t/tere utasa sudden increase. around / about: Around / about l9B0 there was a changein the number offemale part-time employees. byt By the late 19th century the rural workforcehad declinedsignificantQ. at: At the end of the last century tltere utasa sharp increase manufacturing. in since: Since the 19th century there has beena steadyd.ecline. are: Orher usefulexpressions (in) the period from (in) the oeriod between to and in the first/last three months of the year to over the period the next years/ decades/ quarter ofa century etc. over over a ten year period throughout the 19th century from that time on after that then in the 1980s
19. 19. Tables Visuals: Writing about Graphs, and Diagrams Note that you can refer to a decade as the 1980s etc. There is no apostrophe before the s. 2.2.1Usingthe right tenses. It is important to selectthe correct tenses.Points to remember: a) For most visualsa specific time in the past will be given and you will need to use the past simple tense. If two things took place at the same time, you may use the past continuous tense for one of them. (Ylhilepoulny production uas rising during this period, tltere utasno changein mutton production). b) If you usesinceor recent(ly)it means that you are referring to events that have come up to the present.That means using the present perfect tense. ( The useof tlte Internet has risen enormouslysincethe 1990s.) . c) flith by you will often need to use the past perfect or the future perfect tense (\$t the end of the centur! tlte rate of urbanisation had doubled.) 7 TASK Look again at the graph ofVorld Meat Production (in Tirsk 6) and complete the following statements with a suitable expression of time: and goat meat remained almost unchanged 1. Theproduction of sheep 2. sharply. theproductionofpork rose slowly productionincreased 3. Pouhry and rose dramatically. steady 4. Beefand bffilo productionexperienced grouth a Answer Ke! of 2.3 Expressions Measurement it for Since graphs and tablesshow measurements, is necessary you to have a knowledge of the most common terms used to describequantiry and related expressions, and, as always,to know how to use them CORRECTLY. The followins lists are there to act as a reminder for you of nouns that you are probably aheady with, and the familiar with, and to show you the verbs that they are associated rypical phrasesused to describevisual aids. 15
20. 20. 16 Tables and Diagrams Writing about Graphs, Visuals: 2.3.1 Quantities quanuty number the total quantity the whole of the the majority the total the total number the whole amount the greatest amount the total amount all of the the full amount the greatest number the maximum the minimum amount figure It is best to use arTount and quantity for uncountable nouns, although both are used for countable nouns as well, particularly quantity. However, num'ber can generallybe safelyused for all countable nouns. in The amount of production increased the last 20 years' The number of cars on the roadsincreasedin the last 20 yearl However, you cannot say *The quantit! ofproduction increased. quantity is only used for items that can actually be measuredor This is because weapons), not for abstract terms. Sinceamount can be counted (e.g. iron ore, shares, / used more widely (e.g. the Amount of utealth / experience waste)it is generally safer to use this word if you are not certain. For number you must of course have a plural, countable noun following: the number people. of cars; tlte number of unemployed There is some confusion about whether the verb following thesephrasesshould be the noun in the singular or plural. Strictly speaking,it should be singular, because number is itself singular, so we should say: The number of carsbas increased.The number of unenployedpeople ltas drcreased. : But you may also come acrossthis kind of sentence Thereare a number ofpeople taho ltaue ashedfor this book. This is becausein this casewe are thinking about the people rather than the number. refersto the actual number itself, not the thing that the number refers ro: While tlte number of Internet usersu)Asonly 2.6 million in 1990, thisf.gure ltas more than doubled in the last tuo years. Thewordf.gure Note the combinations given in the table above (e.g. the total amounr)' A more g simple and idiomatic way of expressin the whole/ total amount is to say all of the or the utholeof the. However, note that all of the can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns (e.g. all of thepopulation; all of the people), while the uthole of the can only be used with uncountable nouns (e.g. the whole of thepopulation; the uhole of theproduction for that year). It is clearly safer to useall of the.
21. 21. and Diagrams Tables Writing Visuals: about Graphs, Warning! A common error is to omit the after expressionsIike all.of or tlte . whoh of Do not write Vll of population; "the tahole of energt used.k must be: All of the population; the utholeof the energyused. Remember also that many is used for countable nouns, while a great deal a/should be used for uncountable nouns. (For uncountable nouns a lot of can be used informally, but it should be avoided in formal writing.) Here is a summary of the in points made above.The expressions bracketsare the lesscommon ones: 07ith countable nouns With uncountable nouns (amount) amount (quantity) (quantiry) number all of the the whole (of the) a great deal of (a lot of) many (a lot o0 2.3.2 OtherMeasurements range rate level €xtent (i) scale ProPortion degree ratio distance volume height size Percent (ii) percentage altitude weight area frequency duration length The words in set (ii) above (and the adjectivesrelated to some of them) are very restricted in use, and you will be unlikely to need them in the IELIS Academic WritingTask 1. If you need them in universiry work, you will certainly know their meanings and use. they refer to t However, most of the words in se (i) are very widely used because else,and that is what changeof to the relationship of something to something graphs and tablesare usually designedto show.These terms, however,can present difficulties in usase. '17
22. 22. 18 Iables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, 2.3.3Usage Rnte is defined in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English as: a quantity such as aalae, cost, or speed, measured hy its relation to sonxe other am.ount, The Cambridge International Dictionary gives this definition: a leuel of speedwith uhich sometbing happens or changes,or the number of times it happens or changes utithin a particuhr period. So we can talk about the rate of grouth, or, more commonly, the groutth rate of the population; the birth rate; unemPloyment rate; diuorce rate etc. These are all measurements consideredin relation to the rest of the population, or involving changesover time. Leuelindicates lteigbt, as in the leuel of utater in a gl.ass,but it also has the meaning of amount. The Oxford Advanced Learner'sDictionary defines it as: a point or ltosition on a scale of quantity, strengtlt, ualue etc. Collins Cobuild English LanguageDictionary gives this definition: the am.ount of something at a particuhr time; Thus we can talk about rhe leuel of production| the leuel of expenditure; and also the leuel of unemployment. In all the examples given above, the word leuel could be replaced by the word rate. (i.e. the rate of production; tbe rate of expenditure; the rate of unemltloyment (or the it unemplolment rate).In most cases is probably safer,therefore, to use the word rateunless you especiallywant to refer to a particular point, rather than to make a comparison. by If you think of leuel6eing represented a bar graph, and rate by a line graph, it is with the verb rise and rate goeswith the verb easier to remember that leuel goes increase.(Go to the section on Tiends for further examples.) Most of the other words in the list are not quite so common, and you should not use them unlessyou are confident that you know them well. However, another very common and important term rspercentage. flhile percent means lircrallyfor euery hundred the word percentage is used more broadly to mean proltortion. Thus we can say that the percentage / proportion of uomen in the utorhforce has risen. The term proportion is also used to compare two things: The proportion of utomen to men in the uorffirce increased.
23. 23. Writing Tables and Diagrams Visuals: about Graphs, 2.3.4 RelatedVerbs be constitute equal include stand at make up comprise account for record consist of amount to represent reach become The verbs that show change are given in the next section - Tiends. 2.3.5 Usage It is usually correct to use some form of the verb to be. However, it is not good to keep repeating the sameverb. On the other hand, it is safer to use the sameverb repeatedlyand correctly than to use any of the other ones incorrectly. It is therefore Your above accurately. best to learn to use at least two or three of the expressions ESL dictionary will give you more examples,but here are some: The number of unemployedutas 10% of thepopulation. uas higher than in t/tepreuiousyear. Thepercentageof uomen in the u.,orkforce of Women madc up / constituted a signifcant Percentdge the uorkforce. *comltrise nearly half of all householdwaste. Food and garden materials Paper and cardboard amounted to 2lo/o of the total householdLuaste. Thepopulation ofAlia stood at 21 million at the turn of the centur!. accountfor the majority of greenhouse ga;es. Fossilfuel emissions The consumption offossil fuels reached the highest leuelsin recentlears. *Note: It is difficult to use comprise correctly, since it has several related meanings, and can also be used in the passive. It is best to avoid using this word, unless you are very confident. Check your ESL Dictionary for examples. 2.3.6 MathematicalExpressions halve vb. half n. treble vb. triple n. multiply vb. quarter n. / vb I average ad1. vb I n. total adj. / vb. fraction n. adj. / n.. equal double n. / vb. threefold adj. divide vb. partial adj. 19
24. 24. 20 Tables and Diagrams Writing about Graphs, Visuals: 2.3.7 Phrases Note especially the use of the prepositions at, in and,uith in some of the following, and try to learn these phrases, as they are very useful: production roseat a rate of 20o/oper yar / per annum / p.a. consumptionstoodat tlte sameleuel in thefollouing decade the annual increaseuas in / uithin the range of 10o/oand 20o/o by / production increased decreased 20o/o tbe innease taasuer! signifcant, at 50o/o producer, u.,ith 45o/oof the total production X was the largest tlte number remained steadyat 300 for tl'te next year Exports doubled, to reaclt 80o/oof imports in 1990 As tltree times as many users in thepreuiousledr There zuere The number of usersincreasedf.uefold TASK8 Graphs and tables often refer to common situations, and certain nouns often occur. Test yourself to see if you know how to use some of them by making all the possible matches between the words in the first column and those in the second. number amounr I population I GDP size l l degree I employees I unemployment quantiry | literary rate I production level I growth arms sales clgar€tt€consumptlon smokers income / expenditure years a Ansuter Ke! terms to avoid mistakeslike the Warning: Be carefulto usem€asurement Following: "In thepast 10 yearsthe carsrose insread of; In thepast 10 yearsthe numberof carsrose.
26. 26. 22 Tables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, TASK9 Fill the gaps in the following description of the table by selecting any appropriate expression from those given. Note that more than one choice may be correct! in Types Waste the University NSW 1996 of at of yoof total twastestream Waste type Auditarea : : 3096 40% Inside buildings A4 paper-used one side on ) A4 paper-used both sides l on paper other cardboard compostable material 22o/o 7o/o 520h 6% 30h (building Skips wastecontainers) comoostable materials cardboard paper and ferrous metal 40% 15% 9o/o Outside eatingareas FoodOutlets 30% 27o/o 30Vo 3% 3Vo ; cardboard compostable material i compostaDte mar plastic packaging glass ferrous metal in reported the UNSW suruey 1966, it was in Of all the waste found that 2 uaspaper whicb 52o/oof the utaste found in buildings. Both in outsideeating areasand in skips 3 4 compostable materials, uhich 5 total. Consideringthe 6 40o/o the of of waste collectedin the uniuersity, it is could be recycled re-usedin someuay. or clearthatT 1. a) the krgest amount of tuaste c) the majority proportion b) the greatest d) the biggestnumber 2. a) made up b) included 3. a) the most signifcant proportion d) utas c) accountedfor c) the highestleuel b) most d) the greatestpercentage. of 4. a) consisted b) uas c) amounted to 5. a) represented b) utas c) accountedfor percentage 6. a) u.,hole b) total dmount 7. a) the majority b) practically all of it d) most of it t) f"ll number d) accounted for d) stoodat d) majority Amount c) nearly the u.,hole
27. 27. Tables Visuals: Writing about Graphs, and Diagrams TASK 10 Read the following description of the pie chart given, and underline all the expressions of measurement, and put a circle around the verbs. Then write a description of the graph that follows, using as many of these expressions as you can. generation Australia fuel type,1996/97 in Efectricity by ffio,tt coal ffi Brown I c"' N Blackcoal fl Hyd'o It is clearfom thepie chart that in 1996/7 bfo, the greatestproportion of electricity produced wasgeneratedby oil, at 59o/o.Lesstltan half as muclt, namely 26%o, tuas Black coal and gastogether accountedforanother 15% of from brown coal. leauing hydropowerat only 0.3o/o.In other utords,uirtually 100% of generatioru, electricirygeneration in Australia at the time camefom fossilfuels, and only the source. insignif.cant amount of 0.3o/ocamefom a reneuable energJt WorldEnergy Sources Coal 23o/o
28. 28. 24 Tables and Diagrams Writing about Graphs, Visuals: 11 TASK Read the following description of the bar graph given underneath, then cover the description and try to fill the gaps in the version below. You do not need to use exacdy the same expressions as those given, but the meanings and grammar must be accurate. 1999 Countries The TopRice-producing Ten China: lndia: lndonesia: Bangadesh: Viet Nam: Thailand: Malaysia: Japan: Philippines: USA: 28,293 27,&6 23,240 16,600 12,53'l 10,000 8.r83 Thousands oftons Mne of the ten top riceproducing countriesin the world in 1999 tuerein Asia. As producer of rice, u.,ith nearfit 193 million one utould expect,China wds the greatest tonnes.It wasfollouted by India, uthichproduced ouer 122 million tonnes,w/tile producer, Indonesia, uAs responsible about one third of that the third lnrgest for Amount, at just ouer 46 million tonnes.Bangladesh,Viet Nam and Thailand had similar leuelsofproduction, i.e. between20 and 30 million tonneseach, while Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines ranged between16 and l0 million tonne* The only non-Asian producer on the list, the USA, accounted just ouer B for million tonnes. Nine of the ten toP rice-producingcounties in the utorld in 1999 uere in Asia. As one would expect,China was tonnes. b tuasfollowed by India, which of rice, tonnes, uhile the utas , Indonesia, responsibh for and Thailandhad similar Viet Bangladesh, Nam ouer46 m. tonnes. , A.t Just , i.e. between20 and 30 million tonn€seac/t,uhile Malaysia, Japanand the Philippines Droduceron the list, the USA, tonnes.The only non-Asian 8 million tonne;
29. 29. . : j j : : : : : : : : :: . : r : : : ; : i : : : : : : : : : :: j::::::::::::::l::. ' :: l j : : : : : : : : : " r r . . ::: : . :: :""::::::::: ::.:::. ..::::i::: .....:......i::: ...:::::..:,:::: .:::.r:: : ::.:.. ... .:.:::::::::.i:::i.::i:i::: ...,,,.:..,........:.-::: '.:::::t:::::::::::::::::. :: t..... : ::: l::l:l::,1::llll::::l:i::l:l:: t: .: :l ':::::r..::i:ili...i:.:: :...::::::::::i :r:. . ::::j::r::::*:::::::::::.:::::::::::::::::::::,air...:j:.;.:::::, Writingthe Report Graphs and tablesare generally intended to show comparisons,contrastsor a correlations.In some cases variety of things are compared or contrasted,while in items are compared at different times. This is done to show the same orher cases movement or trends. This section will deal with comparisonsof different items, while the next section, on trends, will deal with changesover time. 7e will then look at how correlations are used and interpreted. and Correlation Contrast 3.1 Comparison, Note that the verb to comParemeans to show both the similarities and the differences between two things, while to contrast means simply to reveal the There is, for differences.It is therefore enough to use corrlPare both Purposes. they may show a however,a significant difference in looking at correlations because -often a causeand relationship between two things happening at the same time further below. effect relationship.This will be discussed There are many ways of expressingcomparison. 3.1.1lmplicitContrast of a In some cases conrrast is implied because the way the ideasare juxtaposed, that For example: is, placed next to each other. president. Betastan is a military Alia is a republic utith a popukrly elected dictatorship. or In this caseit is not necessary, even desirable,to use a connector such as the contrast is so obvious. The sryle of writing is improved if By contrast, because connectorsare not overused,so implicit contrast is worth using at least from time to time.
30. 30. 26 Visuals: Writing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams 3.1.2 Explicitcontrast Contrast is shown explicitly by using various parts of speech,particularly connectors. The most simple comparisonsare expressed with the words: less fewer greater more lower larger smaller higher 3.1.3 Usage To use thesecorrectly you need to consider the nouns they are usedwith. Look again at the common measurementterms we have studied: number level amount rate quantity size degree proportion al greater lnumber Percentage amount quantiry smaller a greater larger a size greater higher lower degree rate larger I proportron higher I percentage smaller lower level l. More hss andfeuer do not combine with any of the nouns listed above. 2. More, greater, higherand lzssare usedwith uncountable nouns and the singular verb: There is more / greater / lessgrowth in GNP p.a.in Alia than in Bestastan. 3. More andfewer are followed by countable nouns in the plural: Tltere uteremore / fewer accidents last lear than tlte year before.
31. 31. Visuals: Writing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams TASK 12 The bar graph below shows the number of television receiversper 1,000 inhabitants in the world in 1970 and 1990. 'W'rite a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below. Developed counfles ffi rczo I rcaT First consider the following ways of expressing the same idea for an introductory sentence: a) In 1970 the number ofW receiuers 1000 inhabitants in the world zuas per muclt lessthan in 1997. in b) In 1997 tlte number of W receiuers the utorld uas muclt greater than in 1970. in c) There were nearly tltree times as mdny W receiuers the uorld in 1997 as in 1970. in d) There uterefar more W receiuers the utorld in 1997 than in 1970. in e) The outnershipof W receiuers 1997 utas200o/o (three time) higher than in 1970. Which of the above do you think are the best descriptions? Vhy? Now try to describe the rest of the graph using the most appropriate expressions you can, and avoiding repetition. a Ansuer Ke! 27
32. 32. 28 Tables and Diagrams Writing Visuals: about Graphs, Similarity can be shown by using: similarly likewise equally in the same way both.... and.... also the same as well as in a similar way I fashion not only... but also like x, y.... just as x, so y.... as....as.... too just as x, y... by Contrast -which is more common -can be expressed using: but however while whereas nevertheless although even though yet on the other hand as opposed to in contrast to by contrast instead of aPart from except for unlike 13 TASK Some of the above te conjunctions and are used within sentences, to connect clauses,while some are connectorsthat are used to join sentences.'lfhich are the ones that are used to start a new sentence?Some arc ltrepositions and must be followed by nouns. 7hich are these? rc Ansuter Key of 3.1.4Other Parts Speech Contrast can also be shown by using specificverbs, adjectivesand nouns: Nouns: compare (with / to) Adjectives: compared (with / to) contrast (with) contrasting differ (from) different (from) contrast ln contrast to difference (between) Verbs: differentiate (between) distinguish (bemeen) resemble vary (from / between) change (from / to) comparison rn comPanson wlrn distinct (from) as distinct from distinction (bemeen) same the sameas similar (to) resemblance(to / with) similarity (with) variation (between) change (from)
33. 33. Tables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, WARNINGI!! are Cornparedand carnparing often usedincorrectly. Look at thesesentences: uith x, y is morefficient. Compared Comparingx with y wef.nd that x is moreeficient. Comparingwith x, y is morefficient. Two of tlre aboveare ceffect and one is incorrect Can you seewhich is which? Peoplecomparethings (or people).If the activevoice is used(comparing)then it -i.e. people.Sowe say: must referto someone doing the comparing Comparingx with y wefind that... (by Comparingx with y it can beseen us)that,,.. If the personor peopledoing the comparingare not relevantto the ssntenc€, are must be used.So the first two sentences then the passive form (corupared) correct,but not the lastone. ^,?"! efficientis grammaticallycomect,but it with But note also:Co,mpared !: ! the srylistically. a comparison .For within a sentence, is not a verygood sentence and of useof an explicit expression comparisonis not usuallynecessary actually should only be usedin more clumsy.Suchexpressions makesthe sentence of between sentences, longersections text. Vithin a or complexcomparisons, it is normally enough to say:X is wore fficient thanjt. sentenq€, 29
35. 35. Visuals: Witing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams TASK 15 WorldMeatProduction, 1950 90 Million Tons 80 70 ,t 60 50 /1 ",'/ 40 30 Pork a Beef/Buffalo 4 Poultry tttn,/ 20 10 0 -4F n 6......:: - 1950 -\$ ...,w' --- 1960 € &. 1970 1980 in Worldproduction increased all typesof meat o Sheep/Goats 1990 sheep and goats betuteen1950 and 1990. There was a shw rise in theproduction ofporh and beeJ/bffilo meat to 1980, up afier thispork production nend. a increased morerdpidb. Pouhryproductionshowed Startingfom a lou baseofjust 5 million tons, it increasedrelatiuely slowlyfor the period. first 20 yearsof the reported ouer until by 1990 it had reached 30 million tons. sharply, , ortt, that it increased , the and goat meat remained steadyt/trougltout the period at around production of sheep 5 million tons. rc Answer Kel 31
36. 36. 32 Visuals: Writing about Graphs, Iables and Diagrams 3.2 Trends: Increaseand Decrease Graphsas Landscape Because the appearance graphs,the following geographic of of and descriptive er<pressions often usedt describe are graphs: Nouns: peak trough rop bortom highest/lowest rever point/ l;l"r*., ""0 "o::* steep(ly) dramatic(all)") sharp(ly) high steady/steadily gentle/gently low Verbs: climb fall plunge rise leveloff mount drop Thesetermsaregenerally usedwith thoseindicatingchange(see below). However,it is advisable avoid them unless to your generallevelof Englishis quite high, and you areconfidenrthat you can usethem correctly. They can soundstrange and exaggerated when not usedin the right way,and it is easy to avoid them. A very common kind of comparison is when one comparessomething with itselfi in other words, one describeschangesover time. Graphs and tablesoften demonstrate such changes.Graphs often have a time axis, while tablesalso often show variations involving time or place apart from other factors. NOTE: The noun nendis not to be confusedwith the verb tend although they have a similar meaning. There is also the noun tendcncyjust to confuse marters. Here are examples to show you the difference: Market resedrchers interestedin identif,ing trmds in consumption. are There is a tendencyfor consuTners follout fashions. to Youngpeople in particular tend to follou the ktest fashions.
37. 37. Tables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, of The changesover time normally involve increaseor decrease some factor and so that have thesemeanings. Here are it is useful to know a number of expressions some of the most common ones.As usual, it is essentialto know the grammar of thesewords, and their precisemeaning before it is safeto use them. 3.3.1Verbs increase go up rise expand double multiply grow j,t*p climb gain escalate raise accelerate go down reduce fall shrink drop lesse n slow down deplete develop decrease decline lower contract level off diminish remain / stay the same / unchanged / steady/ stable / constant fluctuate vary Usage 3.3.1. ll dawnlThe latter is only used Pleasedo not confusefallwirh for physical falls. In other words, a person or a vasecan fall down, but not the value of the dollar! Also do not confirse grout with grott up! Only a person c^n grotl) up to become VARNING: an adult, but not a whole population or an economy! Note: You must know the verb forms of the irregular verbs in the above Iist: rise; (rose; risen) with raise (raised; raised), fall; shrinh.In particular, do not confuse rise The other rwo are:fell; fallcn and shranh; shrunh although you can really forget it about the last one because is hardly ever used in the past or present perfect tense. Note that arise has the same forms as rise, but a very different meaning! Remember that it is very important to know which verbs are transitive and which are intransitive, since only transitive verbs can be used in the passive. 33
39. 39. Tables Visuals: Writing about Graphs, and Diagrams TASK 18 Note that it is very important to combine nouns and verbs correctly. Combine as many of the following as is possible: The quantity of (the) workforce (the) banking sector fell The proportion of (the) workers increased The rate of The level of The percentage of (the) consumption dzcreased dzclined The number of (the) production employment The sizeof The amount of rose geu) expandzd shranh dropped reduced fluctuated rc Ansuer Key 3.3Correlations One of the most interesting ways to use graphs and tables is to place two together that show a connection, or a correlation. This is often used in the IELIS to examination. In this caseit is necessary understand what the link is that connects the rwo. Correlations can often show an indirect causal link. For example, it has not been illness in the sameway that one can say that a possibleto say that smoking caus€s many people smoke without becoming ill. illness, because poison cAuses as Nevertheless, the example below shows, a strong correlation between smoking can show that tobacco is an indirect causeof illness from certain illnesses and death and death. Correlations can also be used to show economic or other activity where there is no one (as in the example about tourism causallink, or where the causeis a separate they can indicate trends and perhaps below). These are often interesting because to suggestfuture actions to be taken. In the IELIS examination it is necessary understand why the two visuals have been placed together, but you are not expected to discussthe implications in any detail. 35
40. 40. 36 Writing Visuals: about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams 3.3.1 Vocabulary and Usage There is no specialvocabulary to be used for describing correlatedgraphs and tables. There are two grammatical forms which are more likely to occur in this context: the superlatives of quantiry such as the greatest number, the louest incidence / occurrence etc. and the comparative form: the greater the..... the greater tlte...,etc. You will find examplesin the model given below. TASK 19 In the following description, underline all the useful expressions you can find and use them in your own description of the correlation of the graphs that follow. Tobacco related deaths 1 998 Total Africa TheAmericas Europe 5outheast Asia India Western Pacific China Male 125,000 I 12,000 s82,000 413,000 I,369,000 900,000 580,000 505,000 383,000 332,000 1,185,000 986,000 913,000 783,000 Female 13,000 169,000 469.000 75,000 51,000 200,000 130,000 Cigareftes consumeo percapita, 1995 480 1,530 2,080 4't5 't,200 1,945 1,800 There is a clear correlation betuteen number of cigarettes the smoked per capita and the number of tobaccorelated deaths. The table sltoutsthat the greatestconsumptiont cigarettes 1995 uAs to befound in Europe, China and theWesternPacifc, and in that eachof theseregionsalso had b fn the largestnumber of tobaccorelated deaths in 1998. Europe, with the greatestconsumptionper head of cigarettes, nAmely ouer 2000for 1995, also experiencedutellouer I million tobacco-related deathsbjt 1995. The region u.,ith the second highestconsumptionof cigarettes uas theVestern Paczfc, with nearly 2000 per ltead, and it ako recordedthe secondhighestnumber of tobacco-related deaths,namely 1. I 85 rnillion. In all regionsexceptSoutheast Asia it can be seenthat the higher the consumptionof cigarettes,the higher the tobacco-related mortality rate. It is interesting that in SoutheastAsia, uith the htuest leuel of cigaretteconsumption,at 415 per capita, the mortali4t rate LUas high as in the AmericAs,namely .58 million, abhough in the as Iatter the consamptionleuel was nearly tltree times as high. Clenly other heabh or economic factors must be inuolued. h is also interesting to note that in eaclt casetlte number offemale deathswas signifcantly lower than that of males,uhich seems be to a reflection of thefact that in generalfar fewer raomentltan men smoke.
41. 41. Tables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, 20 TASK Now write a description of the following, using as many suitable constructions as possible from the above model. In the IELIS test the question would typically be expressedas follows: The graph below shows the rate of women's literacy and population growth in selectedcountries from 1988 to 2000. 'Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below. YemenArab Rep. Afghanistan Mali Sudan Pakistan Dominican Rep. Jamaica Sri Lanka Colombia i Thailand 1 0 0 80 60 40 20 FemaleLiteracy(70) 012345 Population Growth(06) rc Answer KeJt 37
42. 42. Visuals: Writing Iables and Diagrams about Graphs, TASK 21 Study the following three graphs showing the top ten countries for W'orld Tourism and comment on the following in your description of the graphs: 1. The relationship between the top spenders and the top earners. 2.'Which countries made an overall profit on tourism. 3. The relationship between number of visitors and amount of income. Now treat this as an IELIS'W'riting Task 1.'Write about 150 words in no more than 20 minures. The tasks below show the top 10 countries in terms of tourist desdnation, revenue and spending.'Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below. Tourist Destinations1998 (arrivals millions) in France fzo spainE+z.z united statesf ttatyI:+.e United KingdomIzs.s china fz+ Mexico lts.r polandI tg.g canada ftal t7.3 Austria I +l.t Revenue fromTourisim (U55 billion) unitedstates ttaty : 0 . + I France fzs.t spain Zzg.o United Kingdom z r . i f Germanyr o . a ! chinaI rz.s Austria ltz.z s.r canadaI Austraria Ie.o Highest Tourism: Spending Countries, 1997 (USS billion) UnitedStates Germany Japan UnitedKingdom 5l.5 Is: fzt.t Italy f France f Canada ! r r . : Austria I r r Netherlands! China ! ro.or to.st ro.zr r o.r z rc Ansuter Ke! 38
45. 45. Visuals:Writing about Graphs, Tablesand Diagrams .Adverbs of degree or amount which can be used with verbs and often also in comparisons. (Many can be used in adjective form.) For example slightly: slightly. Thepopulation increased There utereslightly more doctorsthan dentists. Employrnentin indusny increased slightly more rapidb. hardly barely scarcely a little slightly somewhat marginally moderately partly substantially relatively particularly significantly exceptionally considerably remarkably dramatically mainly enormously largely to some extent mosdy a great deal very much to a small/ certain/ largel greail considerable extent Note: Iargely means nearly the sameas maircly,It does not rnean the same as uery, Note: Avoid using a bit and a lot as they are used only in informal and spoken English. The following can only be used in comparisonsor superlatives: far by far very much ( fa, mort inhabitants; b fo, the greatestnumber; uery much more raPid(b) ) Placement: The first three adverbs (hardly, barely starcely)go before the verb: increased the nextfeu years. in The number hardly / barely / scarcely In the caseof verbs with auxiliaries (e.g. the present perfect tense,the passive),or with modals (may, could, sltould etc.) they go between the auxiliary or modal and the main verb: The number of utomen in gouernmenthas hardly (barely, scarcely) increased in the lastfeu years. The number is so small it can hardfu be considzred. The rest of the adverbs will eo after the verb (The numbers increaseda little / significantly etc.). 41
47. 47. Visuals: Writing Tables and Diagrams about Graphs, .Adverbs which can only be used with adjectives or other adverbs, to intensi&' them or tone them down. They can not be used with verbs or comparativ€s (unless the verbs are in the adjectival form, i.e. as present or past participles (e.g. bigh b increased, hrsb ly increasing) : For example, highly: Tltere utasa highb noticeableincrease the number of complaints. in The increaseoccurredfairly mpidly. quite rather falLrly very highly extremely comparatively relatively .Adverbials which are used with nouns and expressions of measurement. For example: hardly an!; aPproximately: There utashardly any changein the number of readers. Tltere uere approximately 10 million inhabitants. hardly (any) less than about around approximately (just) under practically (just) over almost nearly some most (several)* (well) under exactly many (well) over precisely more than all For example: Hardly o-frfih of the uorkers tooh theirfull holidays. Nearly all of thepopuktion watcltesteleuision. Just under a quarter of all energt is produced by coal. to Note: It is generally not necessary give precisefigures when discussinga instead of saying: or table. For exa-mple graph The uorld GDP per capita in 1995 was \$US 5,990, it is better to say: The world GDP per capita in 1995 was about / around / nearly \$US 6000. *Nots You are unlikely to need to use t€a€rdl since it means rnore tltan afea bat not man! ^nd is so imprecise that it is not likely to be used when describing graphs or tables. 43
48. 48. 44 Visuals: Writing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams Common Error! Note that it is a common mistaketo write *Someof wastecomes fom agriculture. Sorne,many, most and a//should generally be used without the word f Sorneenergtis supplied hy utind generators. Most utastecomes from indusny. Many students make this mistahe. All cauntries ltaae increasedtheir use offox;lfuets the To use these words wirh of it is necessaryto write af thebiecause meaning is that all, rnan! or lnost af a patticular and knoan arnount is / are For example, if we being described, and so the definite article is necessary. refer to mostof the students then it must be clear that a specific group of studentsis meant. 4.1.3 Making Predictions. Occasionallya graph showing trends predicts what may happen in future. In that caseyou cannot say that something uillhappen, only that it may or could. The modals, mAl, might or could are generallytoo vague and uncertain to be used, however. The most common expressions discussingpossiblefuture trends are: for it ispredicted / forecast/ expected suggested likely / probable that... / / If theseare used, then the future tenseshould also be used, rather than may or could becausethe combination would be too weak. In other words, *It is predicted that the to population may increase 6 billion is too uncertain, and should be written as: It is predicted that the population utill innease to 6 billion. Another possiblestructure is: An increasein the population to 6 billion is expected.
50. 50. 46 Visuals: Writing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams 2.In fact the number of adult usershas doubled in that time. dramatic nzoretltan significant steadlr 3. After the year 2002 it is expected that the growth rate will decline a bit significant la.rge steady a Ansuter Ke! TASK 23 Select the best words from the list below to enter into the gaps in the description that follows this graph, changing the parts of speech where necessary. JoponeseMonioges 100 90 80 Lovemorrioges 7a o/o 60 EN 40 30 20 Arronged monioges t0 1950 1960 197Q t98Q 1990 2000 changein the type of maniage common in Tltere was a Japan between1950 and the 1990s.While in 1950 the numberof louemarriages 22%, by 1955 the numberof suchmaniages tuasonly to 50o/oand by the 1990s tltere zuas euen An ltad increased more declined to about dramatically trend azuay fom ananged marriages, uhich had lessthan l5o/o. nearly noticeably rather remarhably Now replace the words used above with other from the lists that would be just as suitable. (You will need a teacher or native speaker to check your work as there are too many variations possible to put in an Answer Key.)
51. 51. Visuals: Writing Tables and Diagrams about Graphs, TASK 24 Internet-connected puters com worldwide,1981-1999 213 235 562 1,024 1,961 5,089 28,174 56,000 159.000 313,000 617,000 1,1 36000 2,0s6,000 3,864,000 6,&2,000 12,881,000 19,540,000 36,739,000 s6.21 8,000 1981 1982 't983 '1984 1985 '1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 '1991 't992 1993 1994 '1095 't996 1997 1998 1999 Supply any suitable expressions for the gaps. computersbas risen The number of Internet-connected since 1981. Although the number more tltan doubledfom 1981 to 1983, the small, 213 to 552. goingfrom fgures at that stagewere Houteuer,as tlte rate continued to d.ouble,or €uenmore tltan double in the following years, tlte grout/t rate ruas. 1996 uas therea rapid.Onlyafier slouterrate of expansionas the grouth by rate no longer doubled eacltyear. Neuertlteless, 1999 the number of Internetconnectedcomputers in the utorld had risen, uithin a period of lessthan 20 years, ,fro* 200 to 56 million. rc AnswerKey and Note: Many studentsorreruse misusemodifiers.Rememberthat not every to noun or verb needs be modified,only thosewherethe modifier is really Sruden\$som€times meaningful. Another commonproblemis exaggeration. like to useth€ word.drantatic,for example,evenwhen the changethey are describingis not very striking at all, and the word signifcant would be more surtable. 47
52. 52. 48 Visuals: Writing about Graphs, Tables and Diagrams 4.2 Using CorrectStyleand Avoiding the CommonErrors. There are a number of common problems with style, vocabulary and grammar that we will discussin this section. First there are a number of stylistic errors to avoid: informaliry narrative style, redundancy and repetition. 4,2.1Avoiding Informality Here's a good example of what a lot of students do. And what they shouldn't do. A big number don't realisetheret a problem. The above is a typical example of a style which contains a number of informal usages. Can you identify them? a) abbreviations: ltere's; shouldn't; don't; there's.These should not be used. Write here is; should not; do not; tltere is. b) a ht of :This is a very common, informal expression.For countable nouns, use many ftuhat many students do...) and for uncountable nouns usea great dral of (there uas great deal of expansionin the 1990r. c) a sentencebeginning with And: You should also avoid starting sentences with But and So. d) an incomplete sentence:The last sentenceis not a complete sentence,since there is no main clause. e) big is not a formal word: large is. Similarly, Y litth number of studentsshould oe A small number of students. An improvement of the above two sentenceswould read: This is a typical exampleof a style which many studentsuse,and which should be auoided.A large number of studentsdo not realisethat tltere is a problem. Can you see the additional improvements as well as the corrections? f) The repetition of d.ois avoided. (Seesection below) g) The personalpronoun (they)is avoided and the passiveis used.This is a way of making the sryle more formal, but you need to be careful not to use the passive if the result sounds awkward. h) The weak adjective good is replaced by a more exact one: typical. Note: It is better to be a little informal and correct than to attempt to be very formal and make bad errors. Remember: walk before you try to run.
53. 53. Tables and Diagrams Visuals: Writing about Graphs, 4.2.2Avoidinga NarrativeStyle. A report is not a story and so you should not use a story-telling sryle. Here is an example of what to avoid: Here are two graphs. Thqt show that there taeremanJt cbangesin the kinds ofjobs In thepeople ofAl;a mostly did in the last centuryt. the 1920s mostpeople worhed. in agricubure, asfarmers, and tltey continued in this utayfor manlt years.Later, ltouteuer, changegradualfu happenedin the tuorkforce. a 4.2.3AvoidingRedundancy Redundant means more tltan is necessary. they are Students often use both redundancy and repetition either because translating from a languagewhere theseforms are commonly used, or to fill up they fear that they cannot produce 150 words about a graph or table, space,because as the test question requires.However, it is better to write down more about details than to fill up your paper with statementsthat contain no real information. There are two important reasonsto avoid using more words than necessary: a) it produces an unacademicstyle, being more suited to story-telling or literature; and there is no real information for the reader (or examiner) to focus on, b) because any grammatical or vocabulary errors in your writing become very noticeable. Redundant statements include the following: a) those that provide information that is so obvious it is not worth stating. Here is an example: Twentypercent of car accidentshappen afier darh, uthile the other 80%o happen during daylight ltours. (Only the first half of the sentenceis necessary.) (see3.1). b) those that make a contrast explicit, when it is not necessary Comparisons ( p. 25).Here is an example: just the oppositeto that of men. fn contrast,theposition of uomen ruas (Omit the introductory phrase,in contrast). 49
55. 55. Visuals: Writing Tables and Diagrams about Graphs, are Presentparticiple clauses also often used with prepositions and can include nouns and adverbs: the The deuelopingcounnies of Afica, Asia and Latin America experienced most dramatic growth, with Afica hauing around 5o/oper Annum. Other parts of speech,such as prepositions, and even punctuation can also be used to make your style compact. When you are describing a graph or table, you need to make a generalstatement (e.g. carbon emissions signtficantly) and also give the specific details to increased increased 6000 million tons).There to support that statement (e.g. carbon emissions are a number of simple ways to combine this information. Here are some examples: (Seealso section 2.4.7 under Measurements, for other examplesof common phrases.) Note the use of the comma in the following: increased significantQ, to 6000 million tons. Carbon emissions increasedby 600%, fom 1000 million to 6000 million tons. Carbon emissions to of Carbon emissionincreased 6000 million tons, an increase 600%. The prepositions at and u.,ith are also useful. By fo, the greatest proportion of electricity uas generatedby oiL at 59%. Australia ctme next, u.,ith a total of 42,215 students. Indonesia uas responsible about one third of that Amount of riceproduction, for at just ouer 46 million tonnes. sectorremained constantat around 10o/o Bettueenlg20 and 1970 the business ofthe utorkforce. Parentheses, either by using bracketsor commas, are also yery common: (ouer2000) uas... per head of cigarettes Europe, utith the greatestconsumPtion The greatestproportion of electricity, 59o/o, utasgenerated by oil. It is also useful to give details by using narnely and that is or i.e.: The region utith the secondhighest consumption of cigarettesu)astlte Western Pacif.c, utith nearly 2000 per head, and it also recordedthe secondhighest number of tobaccorelated dzaths, namely 1.185 million. etc. Bangladuh and Viet Nam and Thaiknd had similar leuelsof production, i.e. betueen20 and 30 million tonneseaclt. Lessthan half as muclt, namely 260/o, wasproducedfom brozuncoal. 51
56. 56. 52 Visuals: Writing Iables and Diagrams about Graphs, Note: A very common error is the use of such as instead of namely. The expression such as introduces examples, NOT a complete list. For a complete list, use namely. Look at the following examples: Thereare a number of utaysof auoiding redundancy,suclt as usingparticiple clauses and phrasesbeginning taith at. Therearefour tlpes of renewabh energ!, namely solar hydro, wind and biomass enerKy. TASK 25 Improve the following statements by removing the redundancy in any suitable way. You will need to reduce the number of sentences. l. From the graphs we cAn seethat there has beena changein the rate of useof email in the UK. The rate of changeof email useis sltounfrom theyear 1998 to theyear 2004. Email utasusedbyfeu people in the UK in 1998 but it was used by many people in 1999 and the number kept increasing.In 1998 the number of people using email in the UK was about 10 million and fu the yar 2000 the number had d.oubledto become about 20 million. The graph showsthis nend continuing until2002 and then a slight reduction in growth rate to 2004. 2. The graph shous the trend in two 4tpesof marriages in Japan benueen1950 and 1990. The ttuo typesof marriages are hue marriages and ananged marriages. Thepercentageof arranged marriagesdecreased and at tlte sametime the percentageof loue marriagesincreased dramatically betuteen1950 and 1990. In 1950 only 22o/oof the popuktion had loue marriages,uthile 650/outerein ananged marriages,but by 1990 this proportion uas inuerted, utith 83o/obeing in loue maniages and only 15% hauing arranged marriages. tc Ansuer Ke!