Academic Writing task 1 | How to write an overview in a processes question


butterfly metamorphosis

To write a good overview in a processes task, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What's at the beginning of process?

  • What's at the end?

  • Are any stages in the process more important than the others?

  • Are there any words that I can use to describe the whole process?

Here are some ideas for the last question: simple/complex, with many stages/with few stages, cyclical/linear.

Once you've answered these questions, you should have some good ideas for your overview. Try it with the process below:


writing task 1 diagram sample

This task has two processes:

Cement production

  • What's at the beginning? Limestone and clay.

  • What's at the end? Bags of cement.

  • Are any stages in the process more important than the others? No. All the stages have equal importance.

  • What words can I use to describe the whole process? Complex, with many stages.

Concrete production

  • ​What's at the beginning? Cement, water, sand and gravel.

  • What's at the end? Concrete (I know this because of the title at the top of the process: 'concrete production').

  • Are any stages in the process more important than the others? Only one thing happens: Mixing.

  • What words can I use to describe the whole process? Simple.

​Now that I have the answers to these questions, I can write my overview.

"In general, we can see that limestone and clay are used to create cement in a complex process involving multiple stages. The cement is then mixed with water, sand and gravel to produce concrete."

Let's use the same questions in another process task. Take a look at the task below:


writing task 1 diagram sample 2

This task also has two processes:

Life cycle of the silkworm

  • What's at the beginning? Eggs.

  • What's at the end? A moth.

  • Is there any stage in the process that's more important than the others? Yes. A cocoon is made. (This is especially important because the cocoon is used in the production of silk cloth).

  • What words can I use to describe the whole process? cyclical, natural.

Production of silk cloth

  • What's at the beginning? A cocoon.

  • What's at the end? Silk cloth (I know this because of the title at the top of the process: 'production of silk cloth').

  • Is there any stage in the process that's more important than the others? Yes. The first stage: a cocoon is selected. This is especially important because the cocoon is made in the first process (the lifecycle of a silkworm).

  • What words can I use to describe the whole process? multiple stages ('multiple' means 'more than one'), intricate (this means the process is difficult and requires care and attention).

Now that I have the answers to these questions, I can write my overview.

"In general, we can see that the silk worm develops from an egg to an adult moth and creates a cocoon in the process. The cocoon is then used to create silk cloth in an intricate process involving multiple stages."



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