Business Writing Tip #69—Describing Graphs and Charts

chart_apiOften when we write reports we need to include graphs and charts and we need to describe what is happening in them.

Here are some nouns and verbs that might help you add variety to your text.

 

Verbs

Nouns

For upward trends (i.e. when lines are going up on a graph)

Rise

Increase

Grow

Go up

Improve

Jump

Surge

Shoot up

Soar

Rocket

Recover, stage a recovery

Expand

A rise

An increase

Growth

An upward trend

An increasing trend

A rising trend

An improvement

A jump

A surge

A recovery

An expansion

For downward trends

Fall

Decrease

Drop

Decline

Go down

Slump

Plummet

Reduce

A fall

A decrease

A decline

A downward trend

A falling trend

A decreasing trend

A slump

A reduction

When things aren’t changing

Remain constant

Remain stable

Stay at the same level

Stabilise

Level out

Plateau

When there is a frequent change

Fluctuate

Fluctuation

When the line hits its lowest level

Bottoms out

Reaches a low

Hits a low

Reaches its lowest point

Hits its lowest point

Lowest level

When the line hits its highest point

Peaks

Reaches its highest point

Reaches a peak

Highest level

 

We can also use a range of adjectives and adverbs to describe how the movement is occurring.

Adjectives

Adverbs

Considerable

Dramatic

Gradual

Marked

Moderate

Rapid

Sharp

Significant

Slight

Slow

Steady

Steep

Sudden

Considerably

Dramatically

Gradually

Markedly

Moderately

Rapidly

Sharply

Significantly

Slightly

Slowly

Steadily

Steeply

Suddenly

Now you can’t use all of these words all of the time, but with the help of this vocabulary you should be able to explain your graphs and charts in a clear and meaningful way, indicating the direction and speed/magnitude of the movement without just saying ‘went down’ and ‘went up’.

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