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Written Dec. 18, 2013 Over this 20-year period, total female student numbers, both part-time and full-time, increased dramatically from a combined 0.81 million in 1970/1 to 1.35 million in 1990/1, an overall increase of more than 65%. On the other hand, while the number of full-time male students increased by 150,000 between 1970/1 and 1990/1, it was almost counter-balanced by a 10% fall in male part-timers from 1 million to 0.9 million, resulting in a relatively minor 4.5% increase in total male numbers of 50,000 over the two decades.

Part-time figures for females showed substantial growth from about 0.75 million to 0.82 million between 1970/1 and 1980/1 while, in contrast, the equivalent figures for males show a substantial fall from 1 million to 0.86 million. Although the following decade saw a minor recovery of male part-time numbers to 0.9 million, the growth of female part-time numbers not only continued but accelerated greatly from 0.82 million in 1980/1 to 1.1 million in 1990/1.

The full-time numbers for females increased a spectacular 260% between 1970/1 and 1980/1, from 60,000 to 220,000 students, while the equivalent male figures only increased by 50%, from 100,000 to 150,000. However, the growth of male full-time figures accelerated to reach 250,000 in 1990/1 while the growth for females decelerated to show almost no growth in that period.

Word count = 217

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NOTES

For those students who are worried about this essay not having any real "introduction", I suggest reading the notes I wrote for Writing Blog 15. That tells you where the idea of an "introduction" for Task 1 came from.

Curve shapes

Female part-time – increasing at an accelerating rate

Female full-time – increasing at a decelerating rate

Male part-time – decrease + increase

Male full-time – increasing at a slightly accelerating rate

For essays based on his type of data, the writer needs to be careful not to use wording that strongly seems to be interpolating between any two points in time. This is because we don’t know what the figures were for points in time between those three points – they may have been quite different to the trends shown. That is, the wording should be more in the form of comparison between two points, rather than specifically writing what happened in the middle area between any two points. For example, to write that the decrease in male part-time numbers occurred “in the 1970s” seems inaccurate based on the given data – this increase or decrease might have occurred only between the actual time points of 1970/1 and 1980/1, while it is possible (although unlikely) that the figures for the years 1972-1979 were all higher than those for 1970/1.

For this type of data, I found it easiest to see and compare differences, and remember figures, by quickly drawing up a table of figures, as shown below.

Males

 PT FT total 1970 1000 100 1100 1980 860 150 1010 1990 900 250 1150

Females

 PT FT total 1970 750 60 810 1980 820 220 1040 1990 1150 250 1350

Percentage Calculations

“ ... increased dramatically from a combined 0.81 million in 1970/1 to 1.35 million in 1990/1, an overall increase of more than 65%.”

1350-810 = 540

(540/810)% = about (550/800)% = about (110/160)% = about (11/16)%.

1/16 = about 6%, so 11/16 = about 66%. Say, “more than 65%”.

"a relatively minor 4.5% increase in total male numbers of 50,000"

(50/1100)% = (5/110% = (1/22)%

1/11 = about 9% so 1/22 = about 4.5%

"The full-time numbers for females increased a spectacular 260% between 1970/1 and 1980/1, from 60,000 to 220,000 students"

220 - 60 = 160

(160/60)% = (40/15)%

1/15 = about 6.5%

6.5x40 = 260, so (40/15)% = about 260%

I suggest you memorize the figures for approximate percentages shown below

1/6 = 17% and 1/17 = 6% and 1/16 = 6%

1/7 = 14% and 1/14 = 7% and 1/15 = 7%

1/8 = 12.5% and 1/12 = 8%

1/9 = 11% and 1/11 = 9%

From above, 1/13 = 7.5% (half way between 7% and 8%)