How to write an Overview paragraph

How to write an Overview paragraph

In task 1 essay, a well-developed Overview is a must! It comes after an Introduction paragraph. In order to be able to write this paragraph you need:

  • Look for the overall change in the graph starting from the first year (day/week/month) to the last one.
  • Look for the main trends or highest and lowest number in the group.
  • Look at the “big picture”. For example, Difference between categories than exact numbers.
  • Sum up key groups /trends/exceptions
  • DO NOT give figures in an Overview paragraph!


See below samples:

The table below shows the figures for imprisonment in thousands in five countries between 1930 and 1980.


Here is a how I would write an Overview for this chart:

While the figures for imprisonment fluctuated over the period shown, it is clear that the United States had the highest number of prisoners overall. Great Britain, on the other hand, had the lowest number of prisoners for the majority of the period.


More samples:



It is clear from the graph that the proportion of people who use the Internet increased in each country over the period shown. Overall, Mexico had the lowest percentage of Internet users, while Canada experienced the fastest growth in Internet usage.


Next sample:

The graph below shows the differences in wheat exports over three different areas.


It is clear that Canada exported more wheat than Australia and the European Community for most of the period shown. However, while Canada’s wheat exports fluctuated and Australia’s fell, wheat exports from the European Community rose steadily. (37 words)


Next sample:


The number of computer terminals available to students in different faculties of a university



Overview paragraph:

It can be concluded from the given information that there are not enough computer terminals in comparison to the number of students in different faculties. It is clear that some faculties with a higher number of students have fewer computer terminals compared to some less populated faculties. (47 words)



Language to start Overview paragraph:

  • It can be seen from the graph that…
  • It can be concluded from the graph that …
  • It is noticeable that …
  • We can see that …
  • It is clear that …
  • Overall, …