A summary of a line graph

Learn how to describe a line graph.


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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.


Worksheet154.78 KB

Language level

Average: 5 (3 votes)
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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.

Submitted by Kibidango on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 02:13

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.

Submitted by YED on Tue, 06/04/2021 - 01:33

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.