Fast food bar chart Cambridge 12

IELTS Writing Task 1: ‘fast food’ bar chart

Let’s have a look at another task from Cambridge IELTS book 12:

The chart below shows how frequently people in the USA ate in fast food restaurants between 2003 and 2013.

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Before you write anything, think about the overall trend that the chart shows us. For example, how often did most people in the USA eat in a fast food restaurant, and did habits change over the 10-year period?

The bar chart compares the figures for Americans who ate in fast food restaurants in terms of frequent visits during a period of 10 years from 2003 to 2013.

It can be observed that most people had meals in fast food restaurants once a week in 2003 and 2006, also once a month in 2013. In contrast, there was the lowest percentage of people having this eating habit daily.

In 2003 and 2006, more than 30% of people ate outside once a week and the proportion of those declined to 27% in 2013. While the figure for people who had fast food meals at restaurants once or twice a month fell by 5%, there was a significant increase in the percentage of those eating this food in 2013, roughly 33%.

The figure for people who ate fast food in restaurants several times a week was erratic from 15% to 20%, minimal higher than those eating this food a few times a year. People who had that meals per day and did not have this eating habit accounted for the smallest slice, just from 3% to 5%.

The bar chart illustrates how often Americans had meals in fast food establishments from 2003 to 2013.

It is clear that the majority of people in USA ate in fast food restaurants once a week and once or twice a month. By contrast, People eating fast food daily accounted for the lowest percentage in all three years during the years 2003 – 2013.

From 2003 to 2013, over 27% of Americans ate at fast food restaurants once a week. The proportion of Americans consuming fast food once or twice a month decreased by 5% between 2003 and 2006 before increased to approximately 33% in the year 2013.

Between 2006 and 2013, the total proportion of Americans who ate in fast food establishments several times a week decreased by almost 10%. Throughout the period 2003-2013, daily eaters and those who had never eaten in fast food establishments before accounted for very small percentages, with below 5%

The chart illustrates the figures for America who ate in fast food restaurants with different frequencies in a period of 10 years.

It is clear that the largest percentage of people choose fast food about once a week and once or twice a month. By contrast, people ate daily at fast-food stands at the lowest percentage in all three years.

In 2003, 31 % of people went out to restaurants once a week, and there was an increased frequency in 2006, 33%. after it experienced a decrease to approximately 5% in 2013. By contrast, compared with the percentage of people who choose fast food once or twice a month which reached the highest level in 2013, about 33%.

Following the lowest percentage, the number of people who consume fast food at restaurants every day steadily remains about 3 % during 10 years. Similarly, the second least level reached by people has never been fast food the period given. It reached 5% in 2003 and was slightly decreased over following years.

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IELTS Writing Task 1: introduction paraphrasing

When writing your task 1 introduction, there are two types of paraphrasing that you can use:

  1. "Word by word" paraphrasing: Use the task statement (from the question paper) as your template. Change the main words but keep the same sentence structure.
  2. "Loose" paraphrasing: Rewrite the task statement in a completely different way, making sure that the overall message is still correct.

Let’s have a look at how we might paraphrase the task statement below using these two methods.

Task statement
The chart below shows how frequently people in the USA ate in fast food restaurants between 2003 and 2013.

1. Word by word paraphrasing
The bar chart illustrates the frequency with which Americans ate in fast food establishments from 2003 to 2013.

2. Loose paraphrasing
The bar chart gives information about fast food eating habits in the US over a 10-year period.

The first method ensures that we include all of the information, but the resulting sentence might seem a little ‘forced’.

The second method is less precise (we haven’t mentioned frequency or restaurants). However, we have shown that we don’t need to copy the task statement, and the sentence might seem a bit more ‘natural’.

Both methods are equally acceptable. Which one would you use? Or is there a way to blend the two methods?

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IELTS Writing Task 1: bar chart overview

How would you write an overview of the information in the bar chart below? My tip is to look at two things: 1) every year 2) across the years.

  1. In every year: what can we say was true in all three years on the chart? One possible answer: most Americans ate in fast food restaurants between once a week and once a month (the two middle categories have the highest bars in all three years).
  2. Across the years: is there a change or trend across the 10-year period? One possible answer: Americans ate in fast food restaurants less frequently in 2013 (once or twice a month instead of once a week).

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Here’s an overview paragraph using the ideas above:

It is clear that the majority of Americans ate in fast food restaurants between once a week and once a month in all three years shown on the chart. We can also see that there was a shift towards eating in these restaurants less frequently by the end of the 10-year period.

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Here’s my full sample answer. Fill the gaps to complete it.

The bar chart illustrates the frequency with ______ Americans ate in fast food establishments from 2003 to 2013.

It is clear that the majority of Americans ate in fast food restaurants between once a week and once a month in all three years. We can also see a shift ______ eating in these restaurants less frequently by the end of the 10-year period.

In each of the years shown on the chart, ______ to 60% of people in the US ate in fast food restaurants between once and four times a month. Roughly 15 to 20% of Americans ______ eating in fast food outlets several times per week, while 3 to 4% of people ate in these outlets daily. At the other ______ of the scale, around 4% of people avoided fast food restaurants completely.

Between 2006 and 2013, the total proportion of Americans who ate in fast food establishments either once a week or several times a week ______ by almost 10%. At the same time, there was an ______ of around 8% in the ‘once or twice a month’ category. In other words, the weekly fast food habit that was ______ in 2003 and 2006 became a monthly or twice monthly habit in 2013.

Use the following words:
end, close, increase, which, reported, common, towards, fell

IELTS Writing Task 1: ‘super cohesion’

If you go back to this lesson,

Islip town center Cambridge IELTS 12 - IELTS Writing Task 1 Samples - 8IELTS - Học Tiếng Anh công nghệ cao

you’ll see some advice about “developing the overview”. The idea was that you write two sentences in your overview paragraph, and then you write each ‘details’ paragraph (3 and 4) by developing one of these overview sentences.

I’m calling this ‘super cohesion’ because it creates a very logical and connected structure. There is cohesion across the paragraphs, as well as within them.

I tried the same technique when I wrote last week’s task 1 answer. Here it is again, with the ‘super cohesion’ highlighted:

The bar chart illustrates the frequency with which Americans ate in fast food establishments from 2003 to 2013.

It is clear that the majority of Americans ate in fast food restaurants between once a week and once a month in all three years. We can also see a shift towards eating in these restaurants less frequently by the end of the 10-year period.

In each of the years shown on the chart, close to 60% of people in the US ate in fast food restaurants between once and four times a month. Roughly 15 to 20% of Americans reported eating in fast food outlets several times per week, while 3 to 4% of people ate in these outlets daily. At the other end of the scale, around 4% of people avoided fast food restaurants completely.

Between 2006 and 2013, the total proportion of Americans who ate in fast food establishments either once a week or several times a week fell by almost 10%. At the same time, there was an increase of around 8% in the ‘once or twice a month’ category. In other words, the weekly fast food habit that was common in 2003 and 2006 became a monthly or twice monthly habit in 2013.

Can you see what I’ve done? The first sentence of the overview (green) is developed in paragraph 3, and the second sentence of the overview (blue) is described in more detail in paragraph 4.

Tip: Try reading all of the ‘green’ sentences together, then read the ‘blue’ sentences separately. This should help you to see how the overview and main paragraphs are connected.

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IELTS Writing Task 1: about ‘super cohesion’

Here are a few things to remember with regard to the ‘super cohesion’ technique that we looked at in last week’s lesson:

  1. I chose the name ‘super cohesion’ for two reasons: first, because I think it’s a great way to structure a task 1 answer; and second, because it’s a name that I hope people will remember (nobody remembers the word ‘good’, but maybe you’ll remember ‘super’).
  2. You’ll need to practise this way of writing several / many times before you become confident enough to use it in a real exam.
  3. I don’t always use the ‘super cohesion’ structure myself. It’s a nice option, but it’s not something that you must do.
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The bar chart gives information about the frequency of eating fast food habits in the US between 2003 to 2013.

It is noticeable that the major of US people had habits on eating fast food either once a week or once or twice a month. There was a change in the percentage of people ate at fast food restaurants over 10-year period.

We can see that nearly 60% US people ate fast food from once to four times per month during the period shown. The proportion of Americans who ate in fast food restaurants several times a week was almost 16% to 20%. Roughly 12 to 15% people ate in fast food outlets a few times a year, while only 3% to 4% of people ate daily. Close to 4% of US people ate in fast food establishments never used fast food in the restaurants.

From 2006 to 2013, the percentage of people who ate fast food in the US once or twice a month rose by about 8%. There was a 10% fall in the once a week or several times a week category. Finally, we can see a shift towards eating in these restaurants from weekly in 2003 and 2006 to monthly or twice monthly habit in 2013.

The following bar chart illustrates how often people went to fast food restaurants in the USA in 3 different years.

Overall, the proportion of people having their meals at fast food restaurants only once per week was the most significant between 2003 and 2006. It was replaced by the percentage of consumers who ate there either one or two times a month in 2013. Furthermore, the lowest percentage was reached by people eating there on a daily basis.

In 2003, people having fast food once a week stood at just over 30% and rose to around 33% in 2006, after which it experienced a drop to approximately 5% in 2013. In contrast, the group comprised of those who went to restaurants once or twice a month witnessed a decline of 10% between 2003 and 2006. Following this, it surpassed people eating fast food every week by rising to roughly speaking 33% in the final year of the period.

Regarding the lowest percentages, people consuming fast food at restaurants every day remained below 5% throughout the period given. Similarly, the second least serious percentages were reached by people who have newer been to fast food restaurants over a 10 year period. Initially, it settled at 10% in 2003 and dwindled slightly over the following years.

The bar chart describes the proportion of Americans who had meals at fast food restaurants in three separate years.

Overall, most Americans went to fast food restaurants once a week in 2003 and 2006 and once or twice a month in 2013. People eating fast food daily accounted for the lowest percentage in all three years.

In 2003 and 2006, more than one third of Americans enjoyed at fast food restaurants once a week, but the number went down to around 27% in 2013. The proportion of Americans consuming fast food once or twice a month decreased by 5% during the first three years before rising to 33% in 2013.

The proportion of people who had fast food several times a week fluctuated between 16% and 20%, and these percentages were slightly higher than the figures for those eating this food a few times a year. Daily eaters and those who had never eaten in fast food establishments accounted for very small percentages, ranging from 3% to 5%.