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A summary of a line graph

Learn how to describe a line graph.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

The graph below shows how people buy music. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

The graph illustrates trends in music buying habits between 2011 and 2018. It presents three different methods: streaming, downloading and buying CDs.

Overall, both downloads and physical sales of music have steadily declined. The latter has slumped since 2011, while the downturn for the former began in 2014. However, there has been a sharp rise in people streaming music since 2013.

In 2011, the majority of music sales were of CDs, at 55% of all sales. In contrast, streaming was not common at all at only 5%. Also, although people had started to download music, it only represented 35% of sales. As sales of CDs began to fall, downloads started to rise. They rose steadily and downloads overtook physical sales in mid-2013. During the same period, streaming doubled to 10% but then it started to grow more dramatically.

Downloads peaked in 2014 at about 43% of sales but fell to 30% by 2018. This was slightly higher than physical sales, which shrank to 25%. Streaming, on the other hand, overtook both of them and accounted for just over 40% of sales in 2018.

Please note: This page was designed for writing practice only. Information in the graph may not be accurate.


  1. Change the words in the question to introduce your answer, e.g. This graph shows = This graph illustrates.
  2. The second paragraph should give an overview of the main points the graph shows (imagine you're describing the results to someone who can't see the graph).
  3. The following paragraphs should describe the main patterns or trends in more detail.
  4. Use precise vocabulary like steadily declined and a sharp increase to describe trends. Use linking expressions like while and in contrast to make comparisons.
  5. The question asks you only to 'Summarise the information'. Don't give reasons why these trends might have occurred, or your personal preferences on the topic.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


I prefer to buy CDs rather than to use streaming and downloading when I choose classical music works since sound quality of CDs is better than that of others in general.
However, I have to buy downloaded materials recently for the following reason.
For the past ten to five years, major electric-appliance makers except SONY and Yamaha in my nation closed or reduced their production lines of CD player because of the decline of its demand.
This tendency seems to be similar to the result of the line graph above.

in my country people download music applications and pay for their content.

Ten years ago, I listened to music with cd I had bought or borrowed in the library.
Sometimes I could download some music.
But I don t so this anymore,
I just listen on youtube.

I had a cassette player when i was a child. I listened to Decl every Day. After that i had a cd player and listened to Electric house. I membered it was silver and smooth. I liked it. After that i got a present. It was the smallest player i have ever had. It was a flash drive. And Don, t have to buy players now, cause we can listen to music with our cellphones. So we can see how the trends of devices for listening to music were changing.

When i was a teenager i used to buy CD for listening music then when i was at highschool the copy technology borned. So i bought illegal CD to the boy whom had the copy computer.
But since ten years i'm buying my music on the streaming platform Deezer. I love it because i have all my favorite playlists with thousands songs i like. I can listening the flow to discover news artits , it's perfect for me because i'm listening music all the time, and it's so less expensive than CD's. But i know it's not a good way for pay the artist ...

Telling the truth I'm a huge melomaniac. I always listen to music: when I do my domestic chores, wash the dishes or do my work out at the park or even on my way to the shop. I use my smartphone as a music player and watch video clips or full concerts on Youtube. My playlist contents many differnet bands and singers. Most of them from distant 60s-70s. I'm a die hard fan of british rock music.
What about buying? Honestly, I did buy all the music I have in my play list - most of them I took from my friends (we often share our buyings to each other). Another good sourse - numerous of mobile applications where you can listen to the music for free (of course I have to watch commercial adds but, well, at least, I mustn't buy anything they offer me).
Many years ago I had some good collection of music on cassettes but they spoiled for a long time - magnetic tapes aren't everlasting ((

I used to buy CDs in the past for supporting my favourite signer. However, I changed from physical to digital over the last five years. I subscribed some music streaming service such as Spotify. This decision is better for saving my place, also environmental friendly.

I remember ten years ago my music habit was to download music from the Internet to my hard drive, and then I could listen to music from anywhere through my headphones. Five years later, I could download music directly to my phone. Now I never download music. Instead, I can listen to music through streaming, but most apps aren't free for every song. In fact, every coin has two sides. We should follow the development of The Times.

Well,I’m not used to buying any music.I normally use the YouTube all the time and sometimes the free utilities of Spotify. I always listened to music.It is really part of my day.

In the last ten years I kept on buying CD, because I prefer these in place of the streams or the downloads. Perhaps I have remained behind, considering my age, but sometimes the old things become fashionable again, as the vinyl discs, which are achieving resounding success.