Three steps to keep up
2. Consider the details of what is being shown – the units of measurement and the time frame – and decide how much you need to include.
3. Consider the language to use – the introductory expressions, the tenses of the verbs, the correct expressions of time and I or measurement etc.
Three possible ways to start
2. Refer directly to the main message conveyed by the visual (e.g. There was a sharp increase in the population of Canada from 1867 up to 2007.) This way is perfectly acceptable, and shows that you are able to recognise the main concept or message that the graph or table shows.
3. Combine the two (e.g. The graph shows that there was a sharp increase in the population of Canada from 1867 up to 2007.) This is also acceptable, and is often used as a convenient way to start. In order to use this method, it is necessary to use a few fixed expressions, which refer to the text itself, like those below.
Most of the above expressions can be followed by a clause starting with that.
Several of the above expressions can be followed by a noun or noun phrase.
Several of the above expressions must be followed by a main clause.
In the case of a graph or table that is shown, the information is there right in front of you, the writer, and also the reader, and so you know it does not come from another source.
2. The expressions as can be seen from the graph or as is shown/illustrated by the table do NOTcontain the dummy subject it. Avoid these expressions if you think you are going to forget this unusual grammar.
3. Avoid using the word presents. It requires a sophisticated summarising noun to follow. (For example: The graph presents an overview of the population growth of Canada between 1867 and 2007.)