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November 05, 2017


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I'll add that I know examiners who are quite strict about the 'highest and lowest' overview (as it is called) so I agree that it should be generally avoided. Another way you can adapt it is to use a small 'grouping'. For example in this task you could refer to Greece AND Ireland as having the lowest recycling and highest landfill rates. It's also a 'natural' grouping because they additionally have the fewest waste management methods in the chart.

"presents a clear, overview of main trends, differences or stages"

Does this mean:
either main trends (for graphs/chart showing time),
OR main differences (for charts with no time series),
OR main stages (in a process diagram/flow chart) ?

I'll write in general points first and try to group the same point for an overview paragraph.
I think it will be more useful to let readers understanding the overview in briefly before they read detail paragraph.

I would write the overall part like this:
Overall, it is clearly seen that almost a half of all waste in the EU countries was sent to landfill sites, while only a mere percentage was used for other options (except recycling/composing and incineration).


Disagree; we cannot determine the figures or percentages for the EU overall from this chart, as not all the countries are the same size or have the same tonnage of waste.

I suggest the following would provide a true and fair overview:

Overall, the waste disposal processes used are quite diverse, with no clear pattern throughout. In nearly half the countries landfill was the main method. Equally, landfill was also a minor choice in most of the other countries. In two countries incineration accounted for over 50% of rubbish treatment, whereas in two other countries it was recycling that was the major mechanism employed, and in yet another two countries all three methodologies were utilized in roughly equally proportions.

".. roughly equal proportions." !


I suppose our mission is not to analyze this topic so deeply. We just need to transfer our thoughts and if you cross a line from the bottom to the top - it is more than 50% for "landfill". It seems that Simon agrees with this view in today's lesson.
By the way, your overview looks like a body section, there are so many details included.



In 2014 landfill was just 47.4% of EU waste as a whole. In Greece landfill (at 88.4%) accounted for just 53.1 million tonnes, whereas in Germany landfill (at 19.2%) represents more - over 71 million tonnes.

This suggests that the bar-chart in the question is open to mis-interpretation; of course it is for Simon to explain what best to write in the time available.

Dear Simon,

This is my first time to post a comment on your blog. Thank you for your sharing. Concerning the overview, if I put it after the introduction and before the details, is it necessary to add one conclusion at the end of the whole writing?

Thank you.

Hi Max,

No, you shouldn't write a conclusion. Read this lesson:


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