The Chart Below Shows How Frequently People in the USA

Lilie King

Lilie King

Scored a 7 on the Writing Test Twice

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

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 12 Test 7 Writing Task 1.

Frequency of eating at fast food restaurants among
people in the USA (2003-2013)

The Chart Below Shows How Frequently People in the USA

Sample Essay

The bar chart displays the frequency with which people in the USA ate in fast-food outlets between 2003 and 2013.

Overall, in all three years, the two largest groups were those eating in fast-food restaurants once a week and those eating there once or twice a month. Those eating there daily and those never eating there, in comparison, accounted for the smallest proportions.

The majority of people ate in fast-food outlets weekly in both 2003 and 2006, at about 31% and 33% respectively. However, the percentage dropped to 27 in 2013. The proportion of those in the “once or twice a month” category first fell from 30% to 25% between 2003 and 2006. It then went up significantly to 33% in 2013, making these people the largest group that year.

The proportion of those eating in fast-food restaurants several times a week varied between 15% and 20%, while the proportion eating there a few times a year showed an increase from 13% to 15% over the period. By contrast, in none of the three years were more than 5% of people ever in either of the “every day” or “never” categories.

189 words

How to Vary Your Language

Every day->Daily

Example     The proportion of people who ate in fast-food restaurants daily was never as high as 5% in any of the three years.

However, there is no justification to use “on a weekly basis”. It’s unnecessary verbiage.

Once a Week

Please don’t change it to “weekly”. “Weekly” is too imprecise for the chart because it can mean once a week or several times a week.

Proportion of People

When writing your essay, you may say something like “the proportion of people who…increased.” You can use the constructions below to avoid repeating “proportion of people” too many times.

  • Largest/Smallest Group

Example     In all three years, the smallest group was those eating in fast-food restaurants daily.

  • Majority

Example     In 2003, the majority of people ate in fast-food restaurants once a week.

  • Start Your Sentence With a Number

Example     No more than 5% of people were in either of the “every day” or “never” categories in any of the three years.

How to Group Data

I don’t think the most obvious features of the chart are which categories increased in 2013 and which decreased. That’s why I didn’t group them by trends. Instead, I grouped them by which ones have big figures and which ones have small figures.

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9 Responses

  1. Would you please provide a band for my essay?

    The chart gives data about frequency of eating fast food in the USA restaurants in the period of 10 years.

    it is noticeable that the highest and the second highest percentage is related to restaurant customers who ate fast food once per week or once or twice monthly. The lowest levels are dedicated to everyday customers and people who never ate fast food.

    looking at the largest percentages, we can see that around 30% of the USA citizens ate fast food once a week in 2003. This amount rose to a peak of 33% in 2006 and then fell to 28% in 2013. Around 30% of the USA residents ate fast food once or twice per month in 2003. It decreased to 25% in 2006, and increased considerably to 33% in the last year. People who ate fast food several times a week and a few times per year are ranked in the next places, by about 15% to 20% and 10% to 15%, respectively.

    Turning to the lowest percentages, it is clear that around 4% of people bought fast food everyday in 2003. It dipped to 3% in 2006 and 2013. We can see a roughly similar patter about citizens who did not eat fast food in restaurants at all. The related figure is 5% in 2003, which decreased to 4% in later years.

    1. Hi, both are okay but I personally like to write the overview paragraph immediately after the introductory paragraph.

  2. “… while in 2006 and 2013 majority preferred to ate from fast food more frequently, i.e. once a week …”
    Is it ok to use “i.e.”?

  3. Can you please provide band for my task.

    A glance at the column graph provided reveals some striking changes in the frequency of eating at fast foods restaurants among people in the USA from 2003 to 2013.

    Overall, it is evident that percentage of people visiting “once a week” and “once or twice a month” at restaurants tops the chart.

    Proportion of people visiting fast food restaurants “every day” in 2003 were at approx 4% which slightly fell to about 3% in 2006 and 2013. Similarly, when we make comparison to the frequency of visitors who had “never” ate in fast food restaurants marked almost similar fall in levels, 5% in 2003 and 4% in the both years.

    It is interesting to note that frequency of people eating at restaurants “once a week” in 2003 was 30% which significantly climbed to around 33% in the year 2006 at its peak, after which it plunges to 27% in 2013. However, fluctuations were noticed in the frequency of people going to restaurants “once or twice a month”; firstly, in 2003 the graph indicates 30% which decline dramatically to 25% in 2006 and lastly it jumped to at its peak of 33%. Likewise, variations were notice in the frequency of people visiting “several times a week” between 15% and 20%. Percent of people visiting “a few times a year” increased and remained stable until 2013.

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