Writing Task 1 Line Graph Sample Answer (US Consumption of Energy)

Below is a sample task 1 question on line graphs. It uses the following structure.

Paragraph 1

Paraphrase question

Paragraph 2

Overview of 2 main features. You will notice that I have included no numbers and used very general language.

Paragraph 3

Details of first main feature. Here I have gone in to more detail about the first general point I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Paragraph 4

Details of second main feature.

You will notice that I have wrote a lot more about the first feature. I did this because I think the most used fuels and more significant. You will also noticed that I shortened ‘Quadrillion units’ to ‘q’. This is acceptable if you tell the examiner this by putting it in brackets like I have done.


Don’t look at the answer yet and try to do the question without any help and then compare with my answer.

The graph below gives information from a 2008 report about consumption of energy in the USA since 1980 with projections until 2030.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and making comparisons where relevant.


The line graph shows energy consumption by fuel type in the United States from 1980-2008, with projected use until 2030.

Overall, fossil fuels have been the dominant type and will continue this trend in to the future. Nuclear and renewable energy sources have represented a small but significant proportion of total energy use and despite small projected gains; it is projected that they will continue doing so.

Petrol and Oil command the biggest share with 35 quadrillion units (35q) in 1980, rising to approximately 40q in 2008 and this trend is set to continue with a projected value of nearly 50q in 2030. In 1980 natural gas and coal came in second and third, with around 16q and 20q respectively. However, coal overtook natural gas in 1990 and despite some fluctuation, is set to be the second most used fuel in 2030 with just over 30q. It is predicted that natural gas will level off and remain relatively constant at about 25q.

Nuclear and the renewable energies all represented around 4q in 1980 and fluctuated up until 2008.  It is speculated that nuclear energy will reach 10q by 2030 and solar/wind around 5q, with hydropower dropping and then remaining constant at approximately 2q.

I hope you have find this useful and if there are other questions you would like me to answer, just let me know in the comments section below.

For a more detailed post on how to answer IELTS task 1 chart questions, please click the link.

You may also find my grammar guide for IELTS task 1 useful. It has lots of phrases to help you describe data.

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  1. Tuyết Linh says

    Thank you very much. I’ve learned a lot from your lesson.

  2. Quan Dang says

    Hi Christ,
    Thank you for the great sample answer! However I still have some questions about it.
    1) 1st sentence of paragraph 2: would it be better to write “into the future” instead of “in to the future”?
    2) 2nd sentence of paragraph 2: I don’t quite understand the meaning of the expression “despite small projected gains; it is projected that they will continue doing so.”. Did you mean ” despite small gains (up) until 2008, it is projected that they will continue doing so.”? Also, why is the semicolon used instead of a normal comma? Furthermore, using two “projected” words close to each other seems to be repetitive.
    3) 1st sentence of paragraph 3: should we use “commanded” instead of “command”?

    1. christopherpell444 says


      Thanks for your detailed feedback.

      1) You are correct. This is a typo. Always use ‘into the future’.

      2) No, it means that small gains are predicted in the future but they will continue to represent a small proportion of the total.

      Here is a link to use of the semi-colon- https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Semicolons.html

      Repetition- Repetition only becomes a problem when the word is repeated at a high frequency. Here it is not really the case. A synonym would be better but examiner’s understand if you use a word twice in the whole essay.

      3) In this case you could use either past or present tense. Present simple because you are stating a fact and past because we are talking about 1980.

      I hope that helps.

  3. doichuoinon says

    Thanks Christ. Your posts are very meaning for me

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