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Academic Writing Sample Task 1 #79

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

The table below shows the monthly expenditure of an average Australian family in 1991 and 2001.

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

Write at least 150 words.

  1991 2001
Australian Dollar Per Month
 Food 155 160 
 Electricity and Water 75 120 
 Clothing 30  20 
 Housing 95  100 
 Transport 70  45 
 Other goods and services* 250  270 
 Total 675 715
*Other goods and services: non-essential goods and services


You cannot include all the data in your answer, so you need to select the most interesting data related to the key features to illustrate your summary.

Model answer

The table shows changes in the spending patterns of an average Australian household between 1991 and 2001. In general, Australian household spending was high in 2001 than in 1991 but the difference was not significant (AUD $715 per month and AUD $675 per month respectively).

The amount of monthly spending on electricity and water saw a dramatic increase over the 10-year period from $75 to $120. Yet in terms of the expenditure on non-essential goods and services, the rising trend was less obvious with a minor increase of $20. At the same time, the amount of money spent on food and housing rose only slightly from $155 to $160 and $95 to $100 respectively.

However, there was a decrease in expenditure on the other two items. Australians spent one third less on clothing, which fell from $30 to $20. Similarly, expenditure on transport dropped from $70 in 1991 to $45 in 2001.

It seems that food and “other goods and services” were the two biggest items of expenditure. Altogether, they accounted for more than half of the total household spending. By comparison, Australians spent little on dressing up.

(188 words)