Academic Writing Task 1 #3 Line Graph – Telephone Calls

The graph shows the number of minutes of three types of phone calls in Australia between 1992-2000.
Summarise the information in the charts and make comparisons where appropriate.


The line graph shows the total daily call times for local, long distance and mobile calls in Australia from 1992 to 2000.

In 1992 the total time for local calls in Australia was approximately 72 million minutes per day and this increased by progressively smaller amounts and reached a maximum of 84 million minutes per day in 1996 before falling steadily to about 71 million minutes of calls per day in 2000.

In contrast, long distance and mobile call times increased throughout the period from 1992 to 2000. Long distance call times were around 32 million minutes per day in 1992 and increased steadily, reaching almost 49 million minutes of calls per day by 2000. In 1992 mobile call times were at only about 3 million minutes per day but this figure increased at an increasingly rapid rate reaching 10 million minutes per day by 1996 and 40 million minutes per day in 2000.

Overall, the number of calls increased with mobile calls appearing to replace local calls. In addition, increasing globalisation has probably led to a steady increase in the number of long distance calls.

Essay Notes

The aim of a strong Task 1 response is to allow a reader who has not seen the diagram to reproduce the graphs from the text. In this question there is a single graph with three types of telephone calls. The data has been logically broken up into two paragraphs; the first covers local calls and the second both long distance and mobile calls. The decision to logically group long distance and
mobile calls has been made because these two sets of data show a similar increasing trend while local calls show a very different trend (increasing to a maximum and then falling away).

The introduction is a single long sentence that allows the reader to understand the type of graph, the title of the graph and to add and label both axes, even if they have not seen the original graph.
The first body paragraph is short, contains only one sentence and describes local calls. The sentence lists the three key data points on the graph (initial point, the maximum and the final value) and describes the two different trends over the period. By listing the values for the key points on the graph the reader should be able to draw the graph accurately from the information provided,
even though it is described in a single sentence.

The second body paragraph describes long distance and mobile calls. The opening sentence describes the basic trend for both of these graphs allowing the reader to get a basic understanding of the common trend. This is followed by a single sentence for each of the two types of data. It is worth noting that the order of these two paragraphs is the same as described in the opening sentence to ensure that the essay is cohesive. For long distance calls, the initial and final data points are given as well as the trend (a straight line) allowing the reader to visualise the data. In the case of the mobile calls data, the graph has a more complex shape (roughly exponential) and in addition to the end points a middle data point is provided in the text to allow the reader to visualise the shape of the data more clearly.

Throughout the essay full units have been given by the writer to avoid any confusion. In this essay the units are long and many students will seek to abbreviate units, which can lead to confusion. Therefore students are encouraged to provide a full description of units at all times.

It is worth noting that the essay describes the data simply. The data is described one set at a time from the highest number of calls to the lowest and each set is treated individually imposing a strong structure on the essay.

Normally, the essay would end at this point; however, the efficient way in which the data has been described means that only 154 words were used to describe the graph and so the essay just meets the minimum word length for the essay. In this case the essay is long enough but by only 4 words and would probably not receive a penalty for failure to meet the word limit. However, a conservative approach has been adopted and to ensure the essay exceeds the word limit comfortably a short conclusion has been added. After the conclusion has been added the essay has a length of 186 words.