In this task you will be given research findings in some kind of visual representation and you will be asked to describe the findings using words instead of numbers.
A bar graph uses vertical or horizontal bars to show comparisons.
Vertical Bar Graph
Horizontal Bar Graph
Horizontal Bar Graph
The graph below contains some information on the types of errors students make in their class and home compositions. Study the graph and write a text of approximately 250 words describing the findings presented in the graph and explaining them by taking into account the possible explanations offered below.
Kroll, Barbara. 1990. What does time buy? ESL student performance on home versus class compositions. In Barbara Kroll (ed) Second Language Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 140-154.
Your response to the task on interpretation of data should be in the form of a well-structured essay which consists of an introduction, main body paragraphs and a conclusion.
Introduce the general topic of the study and refer to the kind of information reported in the graph/table; refer to the source (in-text documentation) appropriately, e.g. In a study conducted by Hall (1998)…
Describe the graph/table, e.g. the horizontal axis presents…, the vertical axis….(Jordan, unit 11)
Here are 4 possible different plans you may follow (all of which acceptable) in terms of different classification criteria you may use.
Of course, other plans are also possible.
Information from the table may be classified according to:
Use generalations + factual language
3. Change numbers and percentages to generalizations and qualification. However, do not use cautious language when you report research findings since they present factual information.
Use possible explanations + cautious language
4. Explain the findings presented in the graph/table using some of the possible explanations given to you (do not add your own explanations). Link the following explanations to the findings by using cautious language
5. Throughout your main body paragraphs use linking words to indicate the sequence of significant findings (e.g .first, second, moreover, furthermore, on the contrary) and their findings (e.g. interestingly, surprisingly, as expected, it is worth mentioning)
Use the language of comparisons
6. Use comparative forms in order to compare (present similarities) and contrast (present differences) information from the graph/table.
7. Use exemplification expressions when you refer to specific examples.
e.g. illustration, for example, for instance, a case in point, such as, etc
Expressions for graph description
8. Use vocabulary which refers to the table/graph, describes change/trend and the information in the table/graph, e.g.