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IELTS Reports - Analysing a Table

IELTS Reports - Analysing a Table

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Published by Dominic Cole
A commentary on how to analyse a table for IELTS task 1 writing
A commentary on how to analyse a table for IELTS task 1 writing

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Published by: Dominic Cole on Jan 10, 2010
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IELTS academic task 1 - analysing a table
The table below shows the proportion of different categories of families living inpoverty in Australia in 1999.Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and makecomparisons where relevant.Write at least 150 wordsFamily TypeProportion of people from each household typeliving in poverty
single aged person6% (54,000)aged couple4% (48,000)single, no children19% (359,000)couple, no children7% (211,000)sole parent21% (232,000)couple with children12% (933,000)
all households11% (1,837,000)
Analysing the table
How can you summarise the figures?
As a first step you need to organise the information in the table. Here it is fairly easy thereare 6 categories that can be broken down into 3 pairs:ageno childrenchildrenEach pair is divided in terms of marital status. Clearly, marital status is a key factor to behighlighted in the report.
Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog
Understanding the numbers
Always be careful with numbers. Here there are two sets of numbers and you need to referto both sets. Note that only 12% of couples with children were in poverty, but this categoryaccounts for half the total figure.
What comparisons can you make?
The next step is to see what comparisons you can make. Again, this is not too hard to seein this example.age:1)no significant difference depending on marital status2)the category least affected by poverty - account for a small proportion of the totalno children:1)the largest difference
either likely or unlikely to be in poverty depending on maritalstatus2)account for approximately a third of the total figurechildren:1)a similar difference
either considerably above the average or just on the averagedepending on marital status2)much the largest category, accounting for well over a half of the total
How can you organise the report?
There is no one way to do this, but whatever you do must be logical and include the keyfacts and comparisons. Think how you can divide your report into paragraphs - oneparagraph is not an option, it will look disorganised and you would lose marks forcoherence.The obvious and simple solution is to divide the report into two main paragraphs. Oneparagraph relating to percentages, the other overall figures.
Dominic Cole’s IELTS Blog

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