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What is the Importance of Planning in Essay Writing?
- May 17, 2021
- Blogs , Essay Writing Guideline
Planning is considered indispensable to accomplish any goal, no matter what industry you operate in or what a critical task you have to perform.
In every field or every task, planning is essential if you want to get success. Additionally, planning is also essential if you want to achieve success in your academic homework and tasks.
Planning everything will be important for your success in everything you do, whether it is homework or academic assignments, or essay writing. This is why students ask the same question every time: What role does planning play in essay writing?
An essay is one of the assignments that greatly affect a student’s performance in an academic setting, so it becomes imperative to write an essay well.
Students must take some time to plan for essay writing to write a successful, effective, and winning essay before the deadline.
What is Planning in Essay Writing?
Writing a plan is the process of figuring out what you ought to include in your essay. Therefore pre-planning is a necessary process for essay writing.
Having an essay that is well-organized and planned makes many essential things important such as, you can organize your thoughts and make everything logical and clear.
When well-structured, a well-planned essay allows the reader to understand the writer’s thoughts and opinions quickly.
The Importance of Planning in Essay Writing
Many students seem to have difficulty when it comes to planning an essay and asks the same question regarding why planning is important.
In this article, we will be discussing the importance of planning in essay writing. These include the following points:
Planning can make a huge difference
If you intend to write an impressive, informative, and good essay, you must plan accordingly before you write.
Planning includes brainstorming for gathering ideas, organizing your articles into logical paragraphs, and building an elaborate structure for incorporating all information you acquire from different sources.
Afterward, change them so that they are as clear as possible for the reader. If you do good planning, you will be able to achieve successful and effective writing.
Planning gives a good structure to your essay
A plan is crucial for providing your essay with a greater sense of structure. When you plan your essay, the first thing you do is organize all your thoughts and ideas before you analyze them.
Now you need to review the evidence you have to back up your argumentative statements and main ideas. Whenever any student is tasked to write an essay, he lays out his main ideas and finds evidence.
Therefore, you are composing an essay after great planning. This gives your essay an obvious and logical structure. Examiners can easily catch your thoughts and ideas presented in your paper.
Planning helps to create the main arguments
Moreover, if you plan your work well, it increases your chances of success. Thus, if you write an essay after conducting thorough research and planning, you can write an impressive essay.
Actually, when planning or seeking information, the students find unique and credible information regarding the topic and many significant and persuasive arguments .
Hence students can use this argument in their writing that can support its essay topic. Therefore planning in essay writing is also helpful for students for developing new or original arguments.
Planning makes essay writing very easy
In writing an essay with proper planning, students can easily and quickly put their ideas into action. By planning, they can collect relevant material to write their essay.
Therefore, when you have everything in place, perfect writing will not be a problem.
But if you are writing an essay without proper planning and research, then you have to collect information and do writing at the same time.
The planning is important to complete the essay before the deadline
A good essay writing plan encompasses both the selection and submission of essay topics. Our plan is made according to the directions of our teacher and the deadlines that the teacher gives us to submit each essay.
So, writing a good essay with proper planning is imperative to ensure that we can meet our essay deadlines.
The Step-by-Step Process of Planning in Essay Writing
Before beginning the writing of an essay, students must take some time to plan their essay to ensure that they write an appealing and worthwhile essay before the deadline.
There are several steps in the pre-planning process for essay writing, and these steps show just how important planning is when writing an essay.
Understand the Question
Take your time to understand the questions provided. Remember that you can always ask your teacher for clarification if you’re unclear on anything.
What is the question’s purpose? If open-ended, you need to consider which aspects to focus on in your answer. Keep in mind you may have to explain the reasoning behind your decision to focus on this aspect in your essay introduction, so take notes on the reasoning.
When responding to a closed question, your response must refer to and stay within the boundaries of the question (i.e., specific dates, texts, or countries).
Finally, organize your assignment questions by breaking them down into parts. Find out what the task word means (ex: discuss, argue, describe) and determine what to write about.
It frequently happens that teachers complain about students not answering the questions in the essays they assign. Usually, teachers give their students essay writing assignments on a specific topic. Students can be assigned essay writing on any question or problem.
When writing an essay, you must make sure that there is no confusion regarding the topic or question of your essay .
Your teachers and seniors should address any difficulty or confusion. Once you understand the question, you should begin the essay writing.
Keep in mind the instructions and deadlines
Teachers often give their students some instructions or deadlines when it comes to essay writing. In this case, be sure to take these instructions or deadlines into account when planning your essay.
Write your essays based on the deadline and instructions your teacher gives. It would be best to plan essay writing according to the deadline and directions you receive from your teachers.
If you have a due date for submitting your essay paper , you must check how much time you will have left to complete your essay. After that, you may begin your planning according to the time you will have left.
Brainstorm for Ideas
This stage will include brainstorming all your ideas about the essay writing topic. After this, you should acquire knowledge about everything you need to write the essay successfully.
To do so, find out which facts concerning the topic you are already aware of and which facts you do not know about.
In short, here you have to answer 4 questions-:
How much do you know about the topic?
What is it you require to know about the subject?
Do you have any thoughts on the conclusion?
Are there any reliable resources on the topic?
Make a Plan and draft an outline
You must make a plan and make a clear outline for your essay. By doing so, your essay will have a more cogent argument and allow you to work out a logical structure that emphasizes your claim before beginning to write.
Now you have to do effective planning and strategy for your essay writing to write a successful essay. Only with successful planning and strategic thinking can you write a successful essay.
The planning makes the essay coherent, and it also allows a logical structure and strong statements for your argument before starting essay writing.
Planning is one of the easiest ways to lessen your fear of essay writing. Planning will help you choose the right words to say what you mean.
The key to making your audience understand your argument is by having your points discussed in a logical order. To do this, you can write out each point on index cards or sticky notes and then physically move them around until they make sense, especially the progression of your argument.
Please do not skip any of your points, and make sure the reader knows the connection between them. In short, continue to guide the reader through and communicate with them every step of the way.
Drafting Your Outline
Introduction: Here, you are supposed to address the question, why it’s important, and what the essay will accomplish. Develop a clear mission statement.
Main Body: You need to sequence your arguments to make a convincing argument. Remember to write each paragraph with one main point.
Start with a topic sentence to introduce your main point for the paragraph; then explain it further; provide evidence for your claim; interpret your conclusions based on your evidence; conclude by summarizing your points and providing evidence to support your claim.
Each paragraph should be linked to the next with transition words or phrases such as ‘in addition,’ ‘in consequence;’ and ‘furthermore….’
It is beneficial to arrange the paragraphs logically and consistently and test out different sequences until you find the best flow.
Conclusion: Write a summary of your arguments, and show how they address the original question.
Write Your Essay
After you’ve completed your outline, you’re ready to write your article. Remember, you need to make sure that you proofread your essay, get others to read it over, and read it aloud for spelling and grammar mistakes.
As soon as you have gotten feedback from others and highlighted the areas for refinement, you can begin writing the final draft of your essay. Do not fear doing this multiple times until you are satisfied with your work!
Tips for Planning on Essay Writing
To get your message across, you will need to plan to produce a clear and coherent paper.
Ask questions first
When planning your paper, ask yourself the following simple questions:
What is the subject of your paper? The answer to this question can help you plan further and develop a thesis statement.
Is your paper likely to contribute significantly to the sphere in which it’s written? Have you come across anything similar to your paper in the past? Is it expected to connect to any of the previous findings in that sphere?
How will your findings influence the discipline? Do they present new perspectives, words, or theories?
What is going to be interesting in your work? What is your target audience?
Getting these answers before you make a writing plan will give you a better sense of what direction to take in your research. These answers are likely to change your entire writing process from what you expected it to be earlier.
Determine how much time you’ll devote to writing the paper
By setting smaller deadlines, you will be better prepared to complete everything on time and by your paper plan.
Prewriting should be 50% of the total time. Take this into consideration when choosing a due date and you can split the time equally in half. Once you receive the due date, stop preparing and begin writing.
Any of these strategies can be used for writing the research paper or an essay, as well as any other assignment.
Be aware of all the subtasks
The prewriting process encompasses lots of subtasks. Planning your paper involves doing lots of research.
Besides the research itself, planning a paper also includes one or more of the following:
Make sure you closely follow all the instructions concerning your paper. Knowing the editing and formatting requirements and the word count will make it simpler to create your paper.
Select the topic that is most interesting to you. That way, you can be fully engaged in the writing process.
Take the time to collect all the recurrent terms and ideas so that you can organize them strategically.
Don’t miss the outline
A paper plan won’t be complete without an outline. You’ll use the outline to summarize everything you can find to figure out what to write about.
In addition to allowing you to see your paper as a whole, an outline will also allow you to re-evaluate your research. You can assess all the facts and information and determine what needs to be changed.
Structure your paper correctly
While creating your outline, you can avoid one common mistake many students make. The structure of your paper must be independent of the structure of the source material.
Consequently, if you are writing a paper about a certain historical period, for instance, you do not have to explain events chronologically.
Your paper should present your own argument but not merely repeat what is already stated in the source material.
With the free structure of your paper, anyone reading it can skip to the parts they care about without reading the entire thing. Instead of following a set plot, you can deliver your arguments compellingly and persuasively .
Plan the entirety of your work
Even though the prewriting portion takes most of the time, you’ll spend on your paper; this does not mean you can’t plan the tasks you’ll do after that.
And there are plenty of things to focus on. As with setting a prewriting deadline, you can also set deadlines for the rest of your tasks, including drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading. This will help you stay on the right track and estimate how much time is left.
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Answering the question
Generating ideas, planning your essay, different planning methods.
- Writing your essay
- Developing your essay writing
Useful links for writing essays
- Study Advice Guide: Essay Writing Download a printable PDF version of this guide.
- Study Advice Helping students to achieve study success with guides, video tutorials, seminars and one-to-one advice sessions.
- Academic writing LibGuide Expert guidance on punctuation, grammar, writing style and proof-reading.
- Guide to citing references Includes guidance on why, when and how to use references correctly in your academic writing.
- Reading and notemaking LibGuide Expert guidance on managing your reading and making effective notes.
- Academic Phrasebank Use this site for examples of linking phrases and ways to refer to sources.
- Ten stages of assignment success (Prezi) Based upon Burns and Sinfield, Essential Study Skills.
- Critical Thinking A short video on Critical Thinking that the BBC have prepared in partnership with The Open University
The first thing to do when preparing to write an essay is to make a plan. You could just rush in and write everything that comes into your head, but that would make it difficult for your marker to read and would reduce the effectiveness of your ideas. These will make much stronger arguments if you group them together than they would do on their own.
The guidance on this page will show you how to plan and structure your essay to produce a strong and focused response to the question.
A very common complaint from lecturers and examiners is that students write a lot of information but they just don't answer the question. Don't rush straight into researching – give yourself time to think carefully about the question and understand what it is asking.
Underlining key words – This is a good start point for making sure you understand all the terms (some might need defining); identifying the crucial information in the question; and clarifying what the question is asking you to do (compare & contrast, analyse, discuss). But make sure you then consider the question as a whole again, not just as a series of unconnected words.
Re-read the question – Read the question through a few times. Explain it to yourself, so you are sure you know what it is asking you to do.
Try breaking the question down into sub-questions – What is the question asking? Why is this important? How am I going to answer it? What do I need to find out first, second, third in order to answer the question? This is a good way of working out what important points or issues make up the overall question – it can help focus your reading and start giving your essay a structure. However, try not to have too many sub-questions as this can lead to following up minor issues, as opposed to the most important points.
- Answering the question and planning (video) Watch this brief video tutorial for more on the topic.
- Answering the question and planning (transcript) Read along while watching the video tutorial.
The kinds of things to note briefly are:
- What you already know about the topic – from lectures, seminars, general knowledge.
- Things you don't know about the topic, but need to find out in order to answer the question.
- Initial responses or answers to the question – what you think your conclusion might possibly be.
This helps you start formulating your argument and direction for answering the question. It also helps you focus your reading, as you can pinpoint what you need to find out and go straight to the parts of books, chapters, articles that will be most relevant.
After reading - After your reading, it is often good to summarise all your findings on a page. Again, a spider diagram can help with this.
Bringing together the key points from your reading helps clarify what you have found out, and helps you find a pathway through all the ideas and issues you have encountered. If you include brief details of authors and page nos. for key information, it can act as a quick at-a-glance guide for finding the evidence you need to support your points later.
It also helps you see how your initial response to the question might have changed or become more sophisticated in light of the reading you've done. It leads into planning your essay structure.
- It enables you to work out a logical structure and an end point for your argument before you start writing.
- It means you don't have to do this type of complex thinking at the same time as trying to find the right words to express your ideas.
- It helps you to commit yourself to sticking to the point!
You need to work out what to include, and what can be left out. It is impossible to cover everything in an essay, and your markers will be looking for evidence of your ability to choose material and put it in order. Brainstorm all your ideas, then arrange them in three or four groups. Not everything will fit so be prepared to discard some points (you can mention them briefly in your introduction).
Outline what you are going to include in each section:
- Introduction : Address the question, show why it's interesting and how you will answer it.
- Main body : Build your argument. Put your groups of ideas in a sequence to make a persuasive argument. One main point in each paragraph.
- Conclusion : Summarise your arguments and evidence, and show how they answer the original question.
Writing a summary - Some people plan best once they have written something, as this helps clarify their thinking. If you prefer to write first, try summarising the central idea of your essay in a few sentences. This gives you a clear direction for working out how you are going to break it down into points supported by evidence. You can then use one of the methods below to write a more detailed plan.
- Structuring your essay (video) Watch this brief video tutorial for more on the topic.
- Structuring your essay (transcript) Read along while watching the video tutorial.
Bullet points / linear plans - This type of plan lists the main points using bullet points or numbers. It can be a brief outline of the main point per paragraph, or a more detailed plan with sub-points and a note of the evidence to support each point (e.g. source and page no.).
No plan is perfect, so be prepared for your ideas to change as you write your essay. However, once you have an initial plan it is much easier to adapt it and see where new things fit if your thinking does change.
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Why Planning Your Essays In An Exam Is So Important
- April 25, 2017
- Liberty Dawson
You’ve got an hour and a half to write a well structured, thought out, top-mark-worthy essay. You open the paper, read the questions, panic and start writing.
Many students end up with a disorganised, incoherent essay after delving in without stopping to think about what they’re going to write. When you’re covering essay preparation in class, you’re always told to spend the first 5-10 minutes thinking about the question and planning your response. It’s surprising how many students do not take note of this.
Writing down everything you know about a specific topic and avoiding the question is easily done. It may seem like a good thing to do at that time; after all, you’re up against the clock. But this can show admissions officers that you’re either someone who simply blows off directions and instructions, or who can’t understand how to follow them. It’s not a good first impression on your marker.
It is through planning that you can prevent this. Spending that time thinking about what ideas you have will ensure that you engage and reflect upon the question properly, and that is what the marker is looking for.
There’s no doubt, if you’ve revised a specific topic too well and see it pop up in the exam, you’ll get excited. You won’t even read the question because you’ve already seen the one thing you’ve been hoping for. Yes, this can be a great thing, but knowing and being able to recite the entire plot to Of Mice and Men doesn’t mean you’ll be able to discuss the shifts in power relations in the novel. A quick mind map will help you realise this and help you to make a better decision.
Do the maths
If it’s a 90 minute exam and marked out of 60, then on average you’ve got 1.5 minutes to get each mark. An hour and a half may sound like a lot of time, but realistically it is not. You must plan time accordingly. You need to watch the clock but not religiously, and you still need to remember the plan is not the exam. Remember what your tutor said: 5-10 minutes. More time spent on this is wasted; it’s there to get your initial thoughts down so that you can end up with a well structured essay.
Structure is probably the most important element of an essay, alongside the content. However, a lot of the time, it is the structure of your essay that needs work. It’s usually the one thing your tutors are constantly commenting on and it’s the one thing you’re telling yourself you need to improve on. This is because if you don’t structure your sentences correctly, your writing will sound strange and your marker will not be able to make sense of your ideas, leading you towards a bad grade.
Planning your essay allows you to write strategically, and having some basic knowledge means you can come up with your key points before deciding on an order. So, if structure is your weakness, always plan and clarify your ideas before you begin. Fixing problems with your overall structure will fix 80% or more of the problems with your essay. Result!
Another reason you should plan is because brainstorming the topic is almost essential for you to know what you’re going to be talking about. There is nothing worse than getting half way through an essay and realising you’ve got nothing more to say. Having a rough idea of some key points will not only put your mind at ease but also aid your structure. You want to feel as comfortable as you possibly can in an exam, and having this sense of direction, it’ll make writing your essay a lot easier. If you know what you’re talking about, you’re also automatically going to write faster so there is no need to worry about that 5 minutes you’ve spent beforehand.
For the cost of a few minutes and a quick mind map, why wouldn’t you want to write an organised, well structured, essay that could push you up a grade?
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Academic Writing: Planning Your Writing
- Reading and Note Taking
- Structuring Your Writing
- Descriptive Writing
- Critical Thinking
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Planning your writing
Before you begin the writing process, it is a good idea to make sure you understand your task and have a good idea about how you will manage your time as you work through your assignment.
Planning is useful because it can help you organise your thoughts and prioritise the way you present information. By planning your writing:
- It is more likely that you will end up with a coherent argument
- You are enabled to work out a logical structure and end point for your writing before you start the process
- You won't have to do all of your complex thinking about arguments, structure, etc. at the same time you are trying to find the right words to express your ideas
- You are more likely to become committed to sticking to the point
- Spider diagrams / Visual Plans
- Bullet Points / Linear Plans
- Simple Essay Plan
- Serial Essay Plan
- Chronological Plan
Also known as mind maps, this method involves getting all of the main ideas down on a page with key words and phrases around your central question. This method is flexible and creative- you don't have to worry about putting your ideas in order, it's more important to get all of your ideas out first. For more information, have a look at the video below:
Bullet points / Linear Plans For some students, creating lists or bullet points is a more effective way to plan their writing. This method may include a brief outline of the main points for each theme of the writing, or a more detailed plan with sub-points and a note of the evidence to support each point (including sources, page numbers, etc.). Using outlines or bulleted lists will allow you to see how ideas follow on from each other.
The following tabs show some examples of essay plans associated with using a linear plan:
Planning and writing assignments (Nottingham)
Planning and writing (Oxford)
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Professional Writing Success
Almost every student has somebody who they are inspired by; who they aspire to be like. However, it is significant to be mindful of the fact that a popular of these prominent personalities have structured daily routines and schedules. They do what they do best according to a set timetable. If there is anything that you need to learn from these personalities, it is that you need to let go of aloofness, and establish some control in your life. Or alternatively, just ask the best essay writing service UK to ‘cheapest write my essay’ and all your projects will finished on your behalf.
A good place to start is your writing homework. Instead of winging it, try completing it according to a schedule. You will see your essay automatically improving in numerous facets. Here are some of the benefits you can reap.
On-Time Every Time
The biggest bane of students is the ever-omnipresent deadline. There is always one project or another begging for attention, lest its submission date pass by. You are expected to meet this deadline, with an outstanding paper or a dismal one, regardless of anything. Because at least if you submit subpar essays on time, you will still receive some marks. Miss a deadline, and all of the hard work that you have put into your paper so far will be for naught.
Therefore, plan out the schedule of your essay in advance so that you are one-hundred percent sure that it will be completed on time. Make it comprehensive; account for any delays and leave space for breaks. You should also ensure that there is plenty of time at the end for proofreading. This preparation will help you ensure you always cross the finish line with an academic paper of the highest standards.
By calculating your research methods, and gathering information in a strategic way, you will be able to compose work that is intriguing, as well as plagiarism free. Consider looking into disproving counter arguments, or working back from your thesis’ conclusion. There are numerous tactics you can deploy to research on your essay, instead of going about it in a nonchalant way.
Avoid Logical Fallacies
Writing quality academic documents is all about your ability to convince your readers of your view. If you present your theories and analysis in a convincing way, you can turn in your piece with confidence in the fact that it will achieve great grades.
However, finishing irrefutable essays is no simple task either. The most surefire method of going about it is to map out your paper before doing it so you can see how each point will be presented and broken down. This way, you will be able to identify any argumentative flaws in your writing, and rectify them before working on your project.
Of course, all this can still not be enough because of the immense pressure of academics. If you find yourself unable to manage your studies irrespective of how hard you try, then consider hiring an essay writing service. They will complete all your papers on your behalf so you can divert resources and tune towards other endeavors.
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This page is the first of two that describe the processes involved in producing an essay for academic purposes, for school, college or university and covers the planning stages of essay writing, which are important to the overall process.
The second page, Writing an Essay , provides more information on the steps involved in actually writing an essay. We recommend you read both pages to gain a full understanding.
Developing the skill of essay writing takes practice, time and patience , your essay writing skills will improve and develop the more you write.
With the help of your course tutor (teacher or lecturer) and peers (other students) and from constructive feedback from the marker of your work, writing an essay will become easier as you progress through your studies and your confidence increases.
This page details general good practice in essay planning, including what you should do and what you should try to avoid. It is important however, that you understand the specific requirements of your school, college or university.
Writing an essay helps you to consider the issues raised in your course and to relate them to your own experience, way of thinking, and also any wider additional reading and research you may have undertaken in order to tackle the essay topic.
Writing an essay (or other assignment) is an important part of the learning process. In the writing of an assignment, learning occurs as you think through and interpret the points raised (together with those of other writers on the subject).
Presenting your experience and showing understanding within your assignment will, from the marker's point of view, demonstrate your knowledge of the subject area.
The Purpose of an Essay
The original meaning of an essay is ' an attempt ', or a try, at something. It is therefore appropriate to consider writing an essay as a learning exercise.
Essays, and other academic writing, focus the mind and encourage you to come to conclusions about what you are studying.
Writing is often the best possible way to assimilate and organise information. Writing helps to highlight any areas that you have not fully understood and enables you to make further clarifications. It develops your powers of criticism, analysis and expression, and gives you a chance to try out your and other writers' ideas on the subject.
The feedback you receive from the marker of your essay should help to advance your study skills, writing, research and critical thinking skills .
What is the Marker Looking For?
As an essay - in the context of this page - is an assessed piece of work, it can be very useful to consider what the person who will be assessing the work, the marker, will be looking for.
Although different types of essays in different subject areas may vary considerably in their style and content there are some key concepts that will help you understand what is required of you and your essay.
When marking an assignment, a marker will look for some of the following elements, which will demonstrate you are able to:
Find relevant information and use the knowledge to focus on the essay question or subject.
Structure knowledge and information logically, clearly and concisely.
Read purposefully and critically. (See our page: Critical Reading for more)
Relate theory to practical examples.
Analyse processes and problems.
Be persuasive and argue a case.
Find links and combine information from a number of different sources.
Answer the Question
One main factor, always worth bearing in mind, is that a marker will usually only award marks for how well you have answered the essay question.
It is likely that the marker will have a set of criteria or marking guidelines that will dictate how many marks can be awarded for each element of your essay.
Remember it is perfectly possible to write an outstanding essay, but not to have answered the original question. This will, in all likelihood, mean a low mark.
Planning Your Essay
Planning is the process of sorting out what you want to include in your essay.
A well-planned and organised essay indicates that you have your ideas in order; it makes points clearly and logically. In this way, a well-planned and structured essay enables the reader, or marker, to follow the points being made easily.
Essay assignments are usually formulated in one of the following ways:
As a question
A statement is given and you are asked to comment on it
An invitation to ‘ outline’ , ‘ discuss’ or ‘ critically assess’ a particular argument or point of view
Remember always write your essay based on the question that is set and not on another aspect of the subject. Although this may sound obvious, many students do not fully answer the essay question and include irrelevant information. The primary aim of an academic essay is to answer the task set, in some detail.
To help you do this, you might find the following list of stages helpful.
Producing an Essay Plan
The essay plan below contains ten steps.
It is often useful to complete the first six steps soon after receiving your essay question. That way information will be fresh and you are more likely to be thinking about your essay plan as you do other things.
Study the essay question intently.
Write the essay question out in full.
Spend some time, at least half an hour, brainstorming the subject area.
Write down your thoughts on the question subject, its scope and various aspects.
List words or phrases that you think need to be included.
Note the main points you should include to answer the question.
If, at this point, you feel unsure of what to include, talk to your tutor or a peer to clarify that you are on the right track.
Once you have finished the first six steps and you feel sure you know how to proceed, continue to expand on your initial thoughts and build a more in-depth essay outline.
Skim through any course material or lecture handouts and start to build up a more detailed outline. Scan through your own lecture notes, and if anything strikes you as relevant to the assignment task, write where to find it on your detailed outline
Write down where you will find the necessary information on each of the points in your detailed outline (lecture notes, course handouts etc.). Indicate on the outline where you feel that some further research is necessary.
Be careful not to allow your outline to become too complicated; stick to main points and keep it relevant to the question.
If you have been given a reading list or a core text book then check the relevant sections of that.
See our page: Sources of Information for more ideas of where you can find relevant information for your essay.
Academic essays usually have a word limit and writing within the word limit is an important consideration. Many institutions will penalise students for not writing the correct amount of words – for example, the essay question may call for a 2,000 word essay, there may be a 10% grace, so anything between 1,800 and 2,200 is acceptable.
Think about the main elements that need to be covered in the essay. Make sure you allocate the greatest number of words to the 'main body of the essay' and not to a subsidiary point.
Decide how much space you can devote to each section of your outline. For example, a third of a page for the introduction, half a page for point 1 which has two sub-points, one and a half pages for point 2 which has five sub-points etc. Although you will not follow such a space scheme rigidly, it does enable you to keep things under control and to know how much detail to put in, keeping the balance of the essay as you originally planned.
Of course, you will make minor adjustments to your essay plan as you actually write. However, do not make major adjustments unless you are absolutely certain about the alternative and how it fits into your original scheme.
Having a strong essay plan makes the actual task of writing an essay much more efficient.
Continue to: Writing an Essay Sources of Information
See also: Essay Writing Tips Note-Taking for Reading Finding Time To Study
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- Joseph Robinette Biden
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Essay On Advantages Of Planning
The myth of the business plan.
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Back in 2006, Daktronics faced a strong three-year growth period since 2003. To-tal sales increased by 74% from $177M to $309M. To maintain this growth, Daktronics set the goal of eliminating manufacturing and capacity constraints. Before 2006, Daktronics followed the main strategy of replication (increasing number of facilities, equipment and people). They decided to expand their first facility in Brookings and add two more (Redwood Falls and Sioux Falls). Increas-ing pressure on cost reduction led the company to think of different methods of growth management. The main problem they had to face was the scalability of the replication method. One example for this problem were the difficulties of hiring new workers for the Brooking factory due
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A good essay doesn't appear out of thin air — it develops from a plan. Essay planning is essential to ensure your essay is organized and coherent. Using a plan to begin your essay writing process will help you figure out your main idea , topic sentences, and details. Luckily, tried and tested essay planning sheets and templates can assist you with outlining your essay and improving your writing skills.
How to Begin Planning Your Essay
You need to take a few steps to begin planning your essay.
Decide on an Essay Topic
If your teacher didn't provide an essay topic, consider some questions, events, or ideas that you feel are important and would like to expand on. If they did provide an essay topic, identify keywords and phrases to focus on. You should strive to use these keywords throughout your essay and as a basis for your research plan.
Essay Plan: Research Your Thesis and Take Notes
Your teacher may have already provided you with some reference material or links to reputable sources. If so, plan on using this material to kickstart your research on the topic. Supplement this with your own findings as needed. If you're starting from scratch, use reputable sources to research your topic, and keep a list of references as you do this if you are required to cite your information. Some credible sources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and many websites with .edu or .org domains.
Essay Plan: Organize Your Research and Ideas
You can use a mind map, essay plan sheet, or other essay planning tools to organize your research and main ideas. See the essay plan sheet in the "Structuring your Essay" section for an example. Organizing your research and ideas will help you plan out your main topic sentences for each paragraph and the order of these paragraphs. You'll also use this step to structure your research into supporting sentences for each main topic. Write a concluding sentence at the end of each paragraph to summarize how they contribute to the main topic.
Essay Plan: Write Your First Draft
Once you've organized your ideas using an essay planning tool of your choice, you're ready to write your first draft. Use your essay plan sheet to form your introduction, the topic sentence for each paragraph, supporting details, concluding sentences, and your overall conclusion. Remember, your first draft doesn't have to be perfect.
Essay Plan: Edit and Revise
Once you complete your first draft, it's time to re-read, edit, and revise your essay. Use this time to cut out unnecessary details and restructure your essay. Here are some helpful tips to improve your editing skills:
- Print out your essay and read it out loud slowly. Listen for ways to improve the clarity and overall flow of your essay.
- Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors.
- Ask a friend or schoolmate to read your essay and give you suggestions and corrections.
Structuring Your Essay
Because structuring your essay can seem daunting, the best way to help you is to use an essay planning sheet.
Essay Planning Sheet
An essay planning sheet (sometimes called a template) is a document that gives you some suggested categories to organize your essay topic and main points. These plans will help to improve your essay formatting skills. Planning sheets have different formats and offer different suggestions, but most include the following:
- Thesis /Essay Topic
- Topic Sentence
- Supporting Details
- Concluding Sentence
You can find free essay plan sheets online or create your own. You can also use a mind map or box plan to organize your writing. Here is an example of an essay planning sheet for a general five-paragraph essay:
Essay Plan: Introduction
In the introduction, you'll want to ensure you present your argument , idea, or thesis in this section. Do your best to start with an attention-grabbing hook or introductory statemen t that will keep your reader interested in your essay. Thought-provoking questions, interesting quotes, or controversial statements can be good tools to use in your introduction. After you have drawn your reader in, it is important to state your thesis statement (a sentence or two summarizing the main argument of your essay). Your order of topics comes last and gives your reader an overview of the main supporting points you will make in your essay. This will help your reader to follow your argument from the get-go. Improving the quality of your introduction is a skill that comes with time and is a crucial part of the writing process.
Essay Plan: Paragraph Structure
Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that presents a main idea or argument that supports your main point. You should include at least three supporting details in each paragraph. These details should provide quotes from reputable sources, data, verifiable facts, or other information that gives weight to your topic sentence. Finish with a concluding sentence to summarize the overall argument in each paragraph.
Essay Plan: Conclusion
Writing an effective conclusion is an important skill to help your reader remember the main idea or argument of your writing. You should restate your thesis, main points, and key findings from your supporting paragraphs . Finish off your essay with your concluding statement . Similar to the concluding sentences you have created in your previous paragraphs, the concluding statement wraps up your essay and signals to the reader that you have completed your argument. Don't include any new information in your conclusion. This paragraph is intended to summarize and restate what your reader has already learned in your essay.
Remember, readers often remember the first and last few sentences of an essay more easily than the overall text. Use quotes, questions, or statements that will grab the attention of your readers and leave a lasting impression on them.
Essay Plan Example
Let's create an example essay plan using the planning sheet we previously discussed. First, if you don't already have an essay topic or thesis, take the time to choose one. For this example, we'll use the topic "intercultural awareness."
Your first step in the writing process would be to research intercultural awareness. There are many aspects to this topic, so it might be helpful to think of a question regarding intercultural awareness that you'd like to answer. A mind map can help organize your thoughts and discover what you already know about this topic. After completing your research and mind map, use this information to figure out your main topic sentences. Take the time to arrange these main topics in a logical order and ensure these topics relate to your thesis.
Now that we have our main topic sentences, we can use our research to add supporting details and form our paragraphs. Be sure to add references to the end of your essay if these details include quotes, data, paraphrased text, or facts. Once you've completed the body of your essay, you can flesh out your introduction and conclusion. Be sure to use attention-grabbing sentences and paraphrase your main idea and topic sentences in these introductory and concluding paragraphs.
Here is an example of a completed essay planning sheet:
Essay Topic: Why is intercultural awareness important for business?
Don't forget to add your references to your essay and cite them in the required format.
Essay Planning Next Steps
Once you've filled out your essay planning sheet, it's time to write your first draft! Using an essay planning sheet or template and looking at other essay examples can help you to organize your writing logically and coherently. These tools will help ensure you've included all the necessary parts for a successful essay in your writing process.
Essay Plan - Key takeaways
Decide on your thesis if your teacher hasn't provided one.
Use credible sources to research your thesis .
Use a mind map, essay planning sheet, or other essay planning tools to organize your ideas.
Write out your first draft.
Re-read, edit, and revise your essay.
1 Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989).
Frequently Asked Questions about Essay Plan
--> how to plan an essay, --> how do i structure an essay plan.
Make sure your essay plan structure includes space to note down your:
- topic sentences
- supporting details
- concluding sentences
--> When planning a narrative essay what should the writer do?
Look for an essay planning sheet or template designed specifically for a narrative essay. This type of planning sheet can help you make sure you've included the necessary details and used the right structure in your essay.
--> How do I plan an essay outline?
First, decide on your thesis or main topic if you haven't been provided one. Next, use that as the basis for your research. Use an essay outline tool or make your own to organize your thoughts into the key parts of your essay.
--> How to plan an expository essay?
Look for an essay plan sheet designed specifically for an expository essay. This type of planning sheet can help you make sure you've included the necessary details and used the right structure in your essay.
Final Essay Plan Quiz
Essay plan quiz - teste dein wissen.
What areas should you check while proofreading your essay?
Grammar, spelling, and typography.
What grammar points should you look for while proofreading?
Make sure your verb tense is correct, subject and verbs are in agreement and you've used the correct pronouns.
What tips can improve your proofreading?
Print your essay, read it out loud slowly and have a friend check it for errors.
What common spelling errors should you look for?
Check if you've properly used its vs. it's or you're vs. your. Also be careful about using their, there or they're.
How can you check your spelling?
Use online proofreading services or editing tools to check your spelling. Read your writing out loud. Have a friend read your essay and look for errors.
How can you make sure your verb tense is correct?
Print out a copy of your essay. Circle the verbs in each sentence. Make sure they are all in the same tense.
How can you make sure your subject and verb agree with each other?
Print out your essay. Find the subject and verb in each sentence. Check if they are singular or plural and make sure they are the same.
What typographical errors should you pay attention to?
Look at the punctuation you use at the end of your sentences and make sure it's correct. Read your paper out loud and add commas where appropriate. Make sure you've capitalized all proper nouns.
Which sentence had been proofread and corrected?
David wants to swim at the swimming pool.
Which sentence correctly used a modifier?
With my camera, we took pictures of a cow and a goat.
How do you know if a sentence is complete?
Make sure your sentence contains a subject, verb, and phrase. Read your sentences out loud and listen for these three parts. If your sentence is incomplete, add information or combine it with another sentence.
Which sentence is complete?
The boy is running to school.
How can you check if you've used the correct pronoun?
Circle the pronouns and antecedents in your writing. Make sure the gender and number of both words agree
Which sentence correctly used a pronoun?
The puppy was recognizable by its markings.
Which sentence uses the correct verb tense?
When I woke up I went to wash my face and then I ate breakfast
What are some essential parts of an essay?
An essay must include a thesis statement, introduction, topic sentences, supporting details, concluding sentences, and a conclusion.
What should you do if you don't have a thesis for your essay?
Think about some questions, events, or ideas that you feel are important and would like to base your essay on.
Which research sources are credible?
Dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and many websites with .edu or .org domains.
What can you use to organize your research and ideas?
A mind map, essay plan sheet, or other essay planning tools.
How many supporting details should each paragraph contain?
What should your introduction include?
An introductory statement, your main argument or idea, and the order of the following topics.
What should your conclusion include?
Restate the main idea, present your findings, and give a concluding statement.
What should you include in your introduction to grab your reader's attention?
A thought-provoking question, interesting quote, or controversial statement.
What is the main point of a conclusion?
To help your reader remember the main idea or argument of your writing.
True or False: You should include new information in your conclusion.
What should you do after filling out your essay plan sheet?
Write your first draft using the essay plan sheet as a guide.
Where can you find essay templates?
You can find essay templates online or in word processors. You can also make your own template.
How can a mind map help you plan your essay?
A mind map can help you organize your thoughts and discover what you already know about your topic.
What information should supporting details contain?
Quotes from reputable sources, data, verifiable facts, or other information that gives weight to your topic sentence.
What information does a topic sentence provide?
It presents one of the main ideas or arguments that support your thesis.
"Home Store has the lowest cost hammers." Is this a thesis statement?
No. "Lowest cost hammers" among what? Always be specific. This position is also not complex. There is only one way to attack or defend this position.
When taking a position...
Avoid personal positions
Is a prompt more like an open or closed question?
Open. This means there is room for debate.
"How does a balloon stay afloat?"
Is this a closed question?
Yes. The answer is known science.
What is the strongest type of position, in terms of writing an essay?
A thesis statement.
What is a non-position?
A non-position is a brief personal decision regarding an inconsequential topic. This decision lasts mere moments.
What is a position?
Your stance on an open question or prompt.
If your position is arguable, have you created a thesis statement?
Not yet, as a thesis statement needs to be complex. It has many ways to attack it and defend it. It has a lot of room for discussion.
You can write a whole essay about your position. Are you headed in the right direction?
Of course you are! Writing an essay is kinda the point here, after all.
A position is stated in the first body paragraph.
Clarity is a secondary concern when taking a position.
Do not exaggerate your position in an essay.
Where does your position belong, first and foremost?
In the introductory paragraph.
When should you not reassess your position?
If you find that it is weak.
Your position is defensible and has no possibility for argument. Is it a strong position for an essay?
No. If your position cannot be attacked, it might answer a closed question.
What is the definition of a prompt?
A writing prompt is an introduction to a topic as well as instruction on how to write about it.
True or false, a prompt could be a picture.
What type of writing prompt would require a response that tells a story?
What type of writing prompt would require a response that formulates a hypothesis and uses evidence to support it?
What should you do after reading the prompt several times for information and with a critical eye?
Summarize the prompt in a sentence
- Key Concepts in Language and Linguistics
- Single Paragraph Essay
- Text Comparison
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