A summary of a line graph

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.

A summary of a line graph

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.


Worksheet154.78 KB

Language level

Average: 3.9 (9 votes)
Do you need to improve your English writing skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English writing skills with our live online classes and personal tutoring courses.
Profile picture for user sree.cs07

Submitted by sree.cs07 on Sat, 20/01/2024 - 06:45


This graphical representation depicts or illustrates the revenue generation status of three major activities which are relevant to music industry namely Streams, Downloads and CD purchases. The graph is plotted with respect to the percentage of above across the range of years from 2011 till 2018.
Detailed analysis of the statistics clearly indicate that the financial outcome obtained from CDs was highest during the year 2011 contributing about 50 to 60 percent of the revenue. However, the same has declined gradually over a period of time. On the contrary, the sales pattern of Streams depicts a consistent rise eventually leading to favorable profit margin. Both of these items have experienced significant variations.
As compared with above two, the cost returns from Downloads seems to be having potential variations with frequent rise and fall. It has produced a peak of profit margin somewhere in the year 2014. However, it has failed to maintain its stability in span of years.
The above study indicates a comparison of concrete statistical data in terms of music as an entertainment sector in the range of years.

Profile picture for user Ramiro Solana

Submitted by Ramiro Solana on Thu, 19/10/2023 - 15:51


I would like to take advantage of my age and go deeper back into the past until the eighties when I started to listen to music using cassettes we recorded from the radio! The quality was very bad but we liked it anyway, spending hours listening to songs interrupted by the voice of the radio's announcer or the surrounding noises of our home. In the nineties the CD appeared with its incredible high quality of sound. I spent a lot of money buying CDs because I thought they would last for a lifetime. But 20 years later all changed with the music streaming and I no longer use my almost 500 CDs that are now only a nice memory of my youth.

Submitted by Ensiye on Sat, 16/09/2023 - 21:27


As far as I remember I have been always fond of music. In any period of my life, I was attracted to a specific style of music based on my mental and emotional condition. Sometimes wordless, epic, happy, dance, meditation, and relaxing music. Listening to music has become one of my personality habits, so to speak. In fact, I think the music listening trend has been a constant line for me and only the styles have changed.

I usually listen to audio files, when I'm coding, taking a walk, meditating, controlling my anger, cleaning my room, in the bathroom, subway, in noisy places, and so on.

Of course, because my sense of hearing is strong and I generally learn many things through listening. besides music, I listen to lots of educational audio files.

But as it turned out, especially in the last five years, I have gotten really interested in wordless, meditation, and relaxing music. This type of music makes my mind orderly and calm and increases its performance.

About buying music, I have always downloaded music for free though if I like one that is paid, I will definitely buy it.

Submitted by inaki07 on Tue, 28/02/2023 - 18:51


Over the last five to ten years I have been listening and downloading music from various social media sites like spotifly tiktok or youtube.

Submitted by maythukhine on Sun, 11/12/2022 - 01:42


When I was a teenager, I would love to listen to the radio. During that time, FM radio, which aired trendy songs, were popular. Moreover, I did buy some copied CD from the illegal seller and listened to those English Songs. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I did not have much knowledge about copyrights and much thinking about how much effort that the artists had to put for their art pieces. Nowadays, I mostly stream on Spotify and YouTube for my favourite songs.

Submitted by daniannrhc on Wed, 31/08/2022 - 03:52


The Hallyu Wave of K-Pop obviously, started in 2016. For the past six years, I was listening to korean music, from alt/indie to k-pop and from r&b to ballad. But, if I may take the times to years before that, I was just listening to some mainstream pop and r&b, sang by famous pop stars. On the other hand, for the last 2-3 years, I have been listening to many artists from various genres. I like how quite diverse it turns my playlist to and I will probably keep up this trend for a while.

Submitted by Noldea on Fri, 05/08/2022 - 17:17


Through the years, all I do to find out music is watching YouTube. Recently I start watching rhythm gamers, and I found many good songs that I never heard of (started using internet since 2016 so yea), like Fallen Symphony or At the Speed of Light.

Submitted by Rita25 on Tue, 28/06/2022 - 03:30


I used to listen to music on a casette player, I remeber I would play my favorite song again and again, Nowadays due to the advancement of technology listening to music becomes more convenient and accessible.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Sun, 23/01/2022 - 23:28


Over the last five to seven years I have been listening and downloading music from various social media sites.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Mon, 08/11/2021 - 14:42


The trend in the world I'm seeing that future is all about streaming. I listen music on streaming not download and buying CD. In the future trends of streaming is dramatically rise.