The Overview is the most important part in a Task 1 essay. In order to get a good band score, you must be able to write a good Overview.
I have a simple technique for writing the Overview: Write 2 sentences, and in each sentence, you write 1 noticeable feature from the graph. So, in the Overview, you need to analyse the graph carefully, select 2 noticeable features and then write them in your Overview.
So, how do you analyse the graph and select the main features? Overall, you need to look at these things:
- The main trends of the figures in the graph (do all the figures increase, or decrease?)
- Are there any important or special figures to mention? (you need to pay attention to the highest or lowest figures in the graph).
- Are there any remarkable changes? (for example, if there is a number that changes dramatically, you should mention it in your Overview).
To sum up, when looking at a graph, you need to analyse the points above to find 2 noticeable features, and then write them with 2 sentences in your Overview.
Let’s look at a couple of examples.
The graph below shows the proportion of the population aged 65 and over between 1940 and 2040 in three different countries.
When analysing the graph above, we can see that there are 2 noticeable features:
- All these three figures are expected to increase in the research period. (We need to look at the overall trend, don’t look at individual years). I use the “prediction tense” because there are predictions for future years in this graph (2040).
- The line of Japan is expected to change most dramatically (from the lowest in the first year to the highest in the final year).
So, I can write my Overview with 2 sentences like this:
“It is clear that the percentages of people aged 65 and over in all three countries are expected to increase during the research period. Additionally, the figure for Japan is predicted to experience the most dramatic change.”
Looking at this table, I can see 2 main points:
- The proportion of boys in the 6-11 group playing sports was higher than the other group.
- Football was the most common sport (played by the most boys).
Based on this analysis, I write the Overview:
“It is clear that boys aged 6-11 played sports more than those in the older group. Additionally, football was the most popular kind of sport for both age groups.”
In conclusion, this is a simple and effective way to write the Overview for a Writing Task 1 essay.