How to Write an Essay Plan

An essay is a short piece of writing on a subject, which is designed for the writer to show their knowledge surrounding the subject, giving opinion and backing it up with academic research. Without an essay plan, an essay will appear to wander aimlessly, from point to point, without clarity and logic, and not giving the author chance to properly display their knowledge. An essay plan provides the essay with a firm structure, which in turn will make the essay clear and coherent, making the best of the information the author has gathered. This is vital when trying to successfully portray a point, as if the information is not clear, the reader will not fully understand the suggestions the author is making, and the essay will be graded lower. To write a successful essay, an essay plan is essential.

Once the essay subject has been chosen, the topic fully researched and the authors opinion on the matter decided, it is time to begin planning the essay. The essay plan does not have to be written as long as the essay itself, it must only provide the skeleton of the essay. A successful and easy to follow essay plan is broken down into three sections. The first section is the introduction, the second section, which will make the bulk of the essay, is the argument. The final section is the conclusion. It is helpful to break down the information into bullet points in the essay plan, choosing the most relevant information and noting down how it can be expanded on when the essay itself is written. The essay plan may be written in note form to save time, or it can be written in full sentences, depending upon whichever the author feels most comfortable with.

The Introduction

The essay plan must begin with an introduction, as an essay must always begin with an introduction. Introductions do not have to take up a huge amount of the word count, it may simply introduce the subject, and what the author is intending to write about it. One paragraph is usually sufficient for this. Essay plans for essays with a larger word count may take into consideration the extra words they have, and the author may plan to add additional information, such as which academic opinions they will be referring to, and the information which the essay will establish. The introduction is designed to inform the reader of what they are about to read, and the opinion the author has arrived at on the subject.

The Argument

The next stage of the essay plan is the main body of the argument, which will take up the majority of the essay. It is in this part of the essay the author will state their ideas, and back it up with an academic’s perspective. The author’s opinion is important to an essay, however, it is made more persuasive by developing and discussing the evidence, and then backing it up with academic research. To do this successfully, in the essay plan the author should choose the most relevant information to the argument they are going to make, and put it into bullet points. Each paragraph should include three bullet points, with the first bullet stating the point the author is making. The essay plan should follow this structure to keep the essay simple and easy to follow. The paragraphs should be broken down as follows:

State the point : It is important the argument being made is presented clearly and concisely. By doing this, it will lead logically into the next point
 Say why : The author must express why they are making the argument, as this proves they have an opinion on the subject and are not simply re-writing something which they have previously read.

Back up with academic opinion : To prove the author has done research around the essay topic and give the argument more credibility, academic opinion is then used to support the argument the author is making. It is important in an essay plan for the author to note down quotations from academic resources so they do not have to be searched for when the time comes for actually writing the essay. It is also helpful to note down the references next to the quotations in the essay plan, to avoid any mistakes and plagiarism.

The three bullet points, when transferred into the essay, will provide one point towards the argument, and give an explanation as to why that point has been made. When placed together, this should be managed in one paragraph. This format should be repeated throughout the main body of the text, for each point the author wishes to make. Sticking to a structure will portray to the reader the author is able to write coherently, and present information well. At this point in the essay plan, effort should be made to ensure that each paragraph links smoothly to the next, creating an even flow in the information the author is presenting. By doing this, the author is preventing the essay from sounding disjointed.

The Conclusion

The essay plan must then include a conclusion, which summarises the arguments made in the essay. The conclusion provides a sense of closure to the reader, so the essay is not left open ended. In the essay plan, the author must plan the conclusion as one paragraph, brief and straight to the point, similar to the introduction. The conclusion may also suggest other areas which can be referred to within the subject, which are of interest but the author has not approached. This will give evidence the author has thoroughly researched the topic, and was able to pick out and use the relevant information for the essay subject.

If an essay plan is followed, it provides evidence to the reader that the author is knowledgeable in the subject in which they are writing upon, and can transfer the knowledge onto paper. When information is well organised, it is written clearer and the reader will find it easier to understand. An essay plan makes it easier to provide a well written essay, which in turn, guarantees higher marks than a badly structured essay.


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