Academic Writing Task 1 #6 Bar Graph and Scatter Plot – Fast Food

The graph shows the monthly expenditure on three types of restaurant food in Australia. The plot shows the annual number of restaurant visits for the same types of food between 1965 and 2015.
Summarise the information in the charts and make comparisons where appropriate.



The bar graph shows the expenditure of different income groups in Italian, Indian and Chinese restaurants in Australia, while the scatterplot shows the number of annual visits per person to the same type of restaurants between 1965 and 2015.

The proportion of money spent on Chinese and Italian food is similar for high ($42 and $20), medium ($35 and $14) and low ($13 and $8) income groups. As people’s income becomes higher, the proportion of money that is spent on Indian food drops from being the most to least favoured style of food. This suggests that Indian food is preferred because it is the least expensive option.

In 1970 the total number of restaurant visits per year was approximately 5 visits per person, which was made up of 3 and 2 visits per person to Chinese and Italian restaurants, respectively. The total remained low until 1985, but after that time increased steadily to around 50 visits per year by 2015. After 1985, the number of visits to Chinese restaurants increased in a continuous upward trend reaching 22 visits per person per year by 2015, while visits to Italian and Indian restaurants initially followed a similar trend but the number of visits began to level out after the year 2000 reaching 15 and 12 visits per person per year by 2015, respectively. People having higher disposable incomes and less free time are probably the causes of the dramatic change in eating habits.

Essay Notes

The aim of a strong Task 1 response is to allow a reader who has not seen the charts to reproduce the graphs from the text. In this question there are two distinct graphs that allow the question to be neatly divided into two paragraphs.The two separate graphs mean that there is a significant amount of information to cover in the essay and reaching the word limit should not present a problem.

The introduction is a single long sentence, but could be written as two shorter sentences that describe the title of the graphs. After reading the first paragraph the reader should be able to suggest a title for both graphs.

The first graph is challenging and could be described in many ways. In this case the body paragraph is very unusual as it contains no direct reference to individual values for Indian food and this means that the reader would find it difficult to be able to reproduce the scale on the left hand side of the graph accurately. This was a deliberate choice to keep the word limit down and
complete the essay within an acceptable time limit.

The second paragraph is also challenging as the graph has an unusual shape. The first two sentences of the paragraph focus on the overall changes because these are quite dramatic. In the second half of the paragraph the number of visits to individual styles of restaurants is described. Chinese restaurants have the highest number of visits and are described first. Italian and Indian restaurants are grouped together as both show a flattening trend after 2000. It should be noted that the data is presented in order of importance – total visits, followed by visits to Chinese restaurants and finally visits to Italian and Indian restaurants. It is worth noting that for all three foods, the first and last values are provided as well as the shape of the graph. This allows the reader to draw the graph accurately and is a good strategy to adopt. Providing both the shape and start and end values should allow the reader to reproduce this graph very accurately. The paragraph concludes by offering a suggestion for the reasons for the changes.

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