The Graph Below Shows the Number of Shops That Closed and the Number of New Shops

The graph below shows the number of shops that closed and the number of new shops that opened in one country between 2011 and 2018.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 17 Test 4 Writing Task 1.

Number of shop closures and openings 2011– 2018

the graph below shows the number of shops that closed and the number of new shops

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Sample Essay

The line graph displays the number of store closings and openings in a single country between the years of 2011 and 2018.

Overall, the number of shops that closed and the number that opened both saw large fluctuations during the specified period of time. However, closings outpaced openings in all years except for 2011 and 2015.

The number of shops that closed fluctuated between roughly 6,000 and 7,000 during the first four years of the period, after which it fell sharply to its lowest point, about 600, in 2015. However, this number rose significantly to approximately 5,000 the following year and stayed at this level until the end of the period. 

In 2011, around 8,500 shops opened, which resulted in 2,000 net openings. After a steep drop down to 4,000 in 2012, openings made a rebound, reaching nearly the same level as closings in 2014 at just over 6,000. This figure then dropped again to its 2012 level in 2015, where it remained until it fell further to an all-time low at 3,000 in 2018. (183 Words)

Closures vs Closings

“Closures” is British English whereas “closings” is American English. I speak American English so I used “closings” throughout the essay.

Except vs Except For vs Except In

They are all correct.
  • Closings outpaced openings in all years except for 2011 and 2015.
  • Closings outpaced openings in all years except in 2011 and 2015.
  • closings outpaced openings in all years except 2011 and 2015.

Should I Describe the Two Lines Separately or Mix Them Together?

The answer is obvious if you think about it from the perspective of a reader. Your essay would be hard to follow if you first compare the two lines, and then go on to describe the first line, and then compare it to the second line again. Therefore, it’s better to separate the two lines into two different paragraphs. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t compare the two lines. Note how I compared them in the last paragraph.

  • In 2011, around 8,500 shops opened, which resulted in 2,000 net openings: the blue part is a comparison between openings and closings because you have to compare them to get the net openings (6000-4000=2000).
  • Openings made a rebound, reaching nearly the same level as closings in 2014.

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