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Academic Writing Sample Task 1 #35

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the consumer durables (telephone, refrigerator, etc.) owned in Britain from 1972 to 1983.
Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information shown below.

You should write at least 150 words.

Consumer durables 1972 1974 1976 1978 1979 1981 1982 1983
Percentage of households with:
central heating 39 43 48 52 55 59 60 64
television 93 95 96 96 97 97 97 98
video               18
vacuum cleaner 87 89 92 92 93 94 95  
refrigerator 73 81 88 91 92 93 93 94
washing machine 66 68 71 75 74 78 79 80
dishwasher       3 3 4 4 5
telephone 42 50 54 60 67 75 76 77

Model answer

The table shows that the percentage of British households with a range of consumer durables steadily increased between 1972 and 1983. The greatest increase was in telephone ownership, rising from 42% in 1972 to 77% in 1983. Next came centralheating ownership, rising from 37% of households in 1972 to 64% in 1983. The percentage of households with a refrigerator rose 2 1% over the same period and of those with a washing machine by 14%. Households with vacuum-cleaners. televisions and dishwashers increased by 8%, 5% and 2% respectively. In 1983. the year of their introduction, 18% of households had a video recorder.

The significant social changes reflected in the statistics are that over the period the proportion of British houses with central heating rose from one to two thuds, and of those with a phone from under a half to over three-quarters. Together with the big increases in the ownership of washing machines and refrigerators, they are evidence of both rising living standards and the trend to lifestyles based on comfort and convenience.


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