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IELTS Task 1 Report on UK Telephone Calls

Question: The chart below shows the total number of minutes (in billions) of telephone call in the UK, divided into three categories, from 1995-2002.

Summarise the information by selecting a reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

Band 9 Sample Report

The bar graph indicates the time spent on telephone calls (in billions of minutes) in the United Kingdom, from 1995 to 2002. The data is segregated into three categories: Local Fixed-line, National and International Fixed-line, and Mobiles.

As an overall understanding, it can be observed that the figures for local fixed-line calls increased for the first half of the period; however, they dropped back to their initial level by the end of the period. Besides, both National and International Fixed-line and Mobile calls had shown an increase. While the former showed a gradual increase, the latter saw a dramatic rise by the end of the period.

Firstly, local fixed-line usage was a bit erratic during the said period. In the year 1995, it stood slightly higher than the 70 billion mark. As time progressed, this category reached its peak, at 90 billion minutes, in the year 1998 and 1999. However, by the year 2002, figures had declined and it reached its initial mark (around 70 billion minutes).

Secondly, National and International calls steadily rose during the said period. In the year 1995, it was around 35 billion. During 1998 and 1999, the figures levelled off at around 50 billion minutes; nevertheless, the trend picked up and grew to 60 billion by the end of 2002.

Finally, mobile conversations had significant growth in the second half of the slot. In 1995, it stood at a humble figure of around 3 billion minutes. Throughout the years, the figures slightly grew and crossed the 10 billion mark by the year 1999. Interestingly, since 1999 the growth had been exponential and it closed its numbers at around 45 billion.

How to write a band 9 report?

Ideally, there are only two body paragraphs in a report, which makes for a total of four paragraphs. However, the above report has 5 paragraphs, with one introductory paragraph, one overview paragraph, and three body paragraphs. This is done so that the three data points (Local Fixed-line, National and International Fixed-line, and Mobiles) are all accommodated with an equal stance. Let me also say this out: doing so is not wrong, rather it might help you score higher in Coherence and Cohesion.

The introduction paragraph (1st paragraph of the report) starts with a paraphrase. A paraphrase is a sentence that is build using your own words and it may have a different grammatical structure. The first line of our intro paragraph is nothing but a paraphrase. The second sentence usually describes the legend in the graph. These two lines are more than enough to present an introduction. Do not write a third sentence here.

The overview paragraph (2nd paragraph) summarises the data in the graph. It focuses on the highs and lows, trend(s), exception(s), and contradiction(s). It does not talk about numbers as such but rather focuses on the direction of growth/decline. Try and find 3 to 4 such important points in the graph and frame these as sentences. Do not mention figures(numbers) in here.

The body paragraphs (3rd and 4th paragraphs) are all about numbers. Write at least two body paragraphs. Three body paragraphs are also fine, as long as the data set requires it. Always start with a topic sentence. Do mention the data (numbers) in the paragraph. In many cases, not all the information could be included in a report, the data may be overwhelming. In such cases, use your discretion and select a few essential points from the graphs. You do not have to mention everything in the graph. Again, limit the paragraph to 3-5 sentences.

Finally, limit your report to 180 to 190 words. Nobody wants to read a lengthy report. Do remember that the purpose of a report is to select and summarise essential information. Thus, don’t bother to add any explanation or reasoning in the report.

Justus Joseph

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