Drawing up a plan before beginning an essay is the best idea. It can assist in the formulation of ideas and it helps to confirm that the essay makes sense and the answer fits the essay title.

It is of particular use to have an essay plan, however short it is because, it reminds you of the fundamental points that should have included in your essay, along with identifying the actual  structure of your essay. This has specific relevance to examinations as this is when it is particularly easy to omit important details if you start writing an essay without planning it in the first place.

The plans should not be overloaded with too much detail. Also, it is not necessary to write down full sentences but the use of keywords and phrases will do, take down notes of the best references that should be added into the final essay. The plan is there to remind you of what you will put into the essay and in the order in which they will be written.

The length of time spent on an essay plan will be linked to the amount of time you are allocated to complete the final piece. In exam scenarios, timing is at a premium but the intention should be to spend no less than 5-10 minutes writing out your plan. The normal time given for an exam essay is about forty five minutes.

There are a number of straightforward rules which can assist in making your essay plan simpler to lay out:

  1. The essay title should be read with care and at least twice. Then you should work out whether the title is requiring you to discuss, synthesize, explain, evaluate, or review.
  2. Establishing what is actually required in the essay will prompt you into putting into action your angle which can then bring about the plan of the essay and then the resultant essay.
  3. A plan should be presented in a logical order which will include what you are going to write in the introduction, the main body and the conclusion. It should include everything that you intend to include in the final essay. Put more simply, by viewing your plan, a professional should be able to see exactly what angle you are utilising to answer the question embedded in the essay title.
  4. To begin with, in an essay plan, you should write down anything that needs to be defined in the process of the essay writing. For example, if global warming is in the title then this term should be defined in the essay. The rest of the essay will follow in logical steps from the definition. One way to start an essay plan is to think about possible definitions that may need to be given.
  5. Some essay questions can be answered from different angles so it will be a good idea to outline the different angles first. Including these in an essay will add credibility to your answer and you may end up with a higher mark as this shows a much more complete understanding of the topic. Of course the essay still has to be well written in order to gain the highest possible mark.

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