LO1 Key Steps in Developing the Essay Plan

Essay Plan, Editing, Proofreading and General Student Assistance

For more information on analysing the assignment question and planning your essay, see .

Essay plans can also be useful, even if they are kept very brief, to remind you of important points that should be covered in your essay, as well as highlighting the final structure of your essay. This is particularly relevant to exam situations where it is all too easy to forget details if you dive straight into an essay without planning it first.

Try not to put too much detail into the plans: use keywords and phrases, make notes of important references and species names that should be included in the final essay. The plan is to serve as your reminder of what will go into the final essay and in what order.

The amount of time you should spend on an essay plan will depend on how much time you are given to construct the final essay. In exam situations, timing is crucial but you should still aim to spend at least 5-10 minutes working on your plan (assuming you are given a minimum of 45 minutes per essay).

A good essay plan helps you arrange your ideas logically and stay on track during the writing process.

Your plan should state how you're going to prove your argument, including the evidence you're going to use. Structure your plan around the different parts of an essay. To do this:

The essay plan - Monash University

It is really important to plan your essay before you begin writing. Planning will save you time later. It is also essential that you have a starting point to plan from, even if it is in a very rough form.

How to Plan an Essay Using a Mind Map - wikiHow

*Note: This book will show you how to teach this, but does not give the specific lesson plan. You can purchase our resource for teaching the paragraph and five paragraph essay or feel free to use other curriculum.

Essays can be a rewarding and challenging type of writing and are often assigned either to be done in class, which requires previous planning and practice (and a bit of creativity) on the part of the student, or as homework, which likewise demands a certain amount of preparation. Many poorly crafted essays have been produced on account of a lack of preparation and confidence. However, students can avoid the discomfort often associated with essay writing by understanding some common genres within essay writing.

Extended Essay Plan: Dubliners

How to Plan an Essay Using a Mind Map

Once you understand exactly what you have to do to answer your essay question, you're ready to start planning and researching. Do this well and you'll have no trouble writing your essay.


Essay planning and structure - OWLL - Massey University

2. Once you have established what exactly is required of you (see 1. above) it can help formulate your approach to the essay plan and subsequent final essay.

Essay planning and structure

3. Your essay plan should have a logical order, i.e. a beginning, middle and an end. It should reflect what you would end up writing in the final essay. In other words, by looking at your plan, a lecturer should be able to clearly see the approach you are taking to address the essay title.

It is really important to plan your essay before you begin writing

4. One way to start an essay plan is to think about possible definitions that may need to be given. For example, in an essay entitled 'Discuss animal locomotion', it would be logical to start your essay plan (and your final essay) with a definition of what 'locomotion' is. This can then help you to construct the rest of your essay plan.

ProEssayPlan | Student Assistance

5. Depending upon the subject matter, it can be useful to establish how many different approaches you can take to tackle the essay question. An essay plan (and subsequent essay) that shows a broad understanding of the subject matter and how it may be investigated from a number of different 'angles' where relevant (e.g. ecological, behavioural, physiological, morphological etc.) will often score highly, assuming the final essay is well written.

Essay Plan, Editing, Proofreading and General Student Assistance

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