Essay Mapping Tool
Effective writing at university is a process:
Analyse the task → Gather content → Plan → Draft → Edit
This tool may help you to bridge from planning to drafting by helping you arrange your sentences in a logical order. It also provides tips for each component of an essay – the introduction, body, and conclusion. It can be used to improve your understanding of essay writing in general or as a planning tool for one of your university assignments.
Because this tool is for your personal use only, you may decide to write in bullet points, but we recommend full sentences. Once you have filled in each section, a complete essay overview will be generated which can be printed.
Three paragraphs planning spaces have been provided for you. You can add or delete as necessary.
The purpose of the body is to logically develop the points made in your thesis and outline statements. There are no rules about the number of paragraphs required in assignment, but in general, you are advised to develop one idea per paragraph. This is done with a clear and coherent structure which introduces the topic in a topic sentence, defines or clarifies which aspect of the topic you are going to discuss, develops and supports your discussion and (optionally) concludes your discussion.
A topic sentence generally has two parts. You may refer to the overall essay topic and also introduce the specific aspect you plan to discuss in this paragraph. This is referred to as topic + controlling idea . You can also use a topic sentence to link to or contrast with the previous paragraph. This is an effective strategy to use with the second body paragraph onwards. You may choose to conclude the paragraph with a summary sentence; however, you are advised not to overuse this type of sentence as it may seem repetitious.
Cohesion and coherence refer to how effectively sentences are connected and how smoothly the writing flows. This is not simply achieved by following a logical paragraph structure, but also by using linking words (e.g. however/furthermore/consequently ) and referring words (e.g. this/that/these/those )
When you develop your argument, remember to use a range of support. You can use examples, logical reasoning, speculation, statistics and citations
Write the topic and controlling idea (one sentence).
Support your controlling idea using evidence, examples, elaboration or explanations. Do not go off topic. Do use in-text references.
Sum up the paragraph and link to your thesis OR link to the next paragraph (one sentence).
Paragraph 3, 3. conclusion.
The purpose of the conclusion is to summarize the key points you have discussed; however, it often contains a paraphrase of the thesis statement. This helps link the whole essay together. A conclusion may also contain a statement which links the essay to the broader topic or suggests a future action.
You can begin with the phrase ' In conclusion, ' but there are other phrases you could consider: In summary/This assignment has…/In this essay, I have… . Avoid Finally/Briefly/
Remember to reference any sources you have used. Refer to CDU Library for more information on referencing.
To save as a PDF, click the Print button and then change your printer destination to "Save As PDF".
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How to plan an essay: Essay Planning
- What's in this guide
- Essay Planning
- Additional resources
How to plan an essay
Essay planning is an important step in academic essay writing.
Proper planning make your essay writing faster and focused more exactly on the question. As you draft and write your essay, record any changes on the plan as well as in the essay itself, so they develop side by side.
One way to start planning an essay is with a ‘box plan’.
First, decide how many stages you want in your argument – how many important points do you want to make? Then, divide a box into an introduction + one paragraph for each stage + a conclusion.
Next, figure out how many words per paragraph you'll need.
Usually, the introduction and conclusion are each about 10% of the word count. This leaves about 80% of the word count for the body - for your real argument. Find how many words that is, and divide it by the number of body paragraphs you want. That tells you about how many words each paragraph can have.
Remember, each body paragraph discusses one main point, so make sure each paragraph's long enough to discuss the point properly (flexible, but usually at least 150 words).
For example, say the assignment is
Fill in the table as follows:
Next, record each paragraph's main argument, as either a heading or topic sentence (a sentence to start that paragraph, to immediately make its point clear).
Finally, use dot points to list useful information or ideas from your research notes for each paragraph. Remember to include references so you can connect each point to your reading.
The other useful document for essay planning is the marking rubric .
This indicates what the lecturer is looking for, and helps you make sure all the necessary elements are there.
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- Last Updated: Nov 29, 2023 1:59 PM
- URL: https://libguides.newcastle.edu.au/essay_planning
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- How to structure an essay: Templates and tips
How to Structure an Essay | Tips & Templates
Published on September 18, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
The basic structure of an essay always consists of an introduction , a body , and a conclusion . But for many students, the most difficult part of structuring an essay is deciding how to organize information within the body.
Table of contents
The basics of essay structure, chronological structure, compare-and-contrast structure, problems-methods-solutions structure, signposting to clarify your structure, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay structure.
There are two main things to keep in mind when working on your essay structure: making sure to include the right information in each part, and deciding how you’ll organize the information within the body.
Parts of an essay
The three parts that make up all essays are described in the table below.
Order of information
You’ll also have to consider how to present information within the body. There are a few general principles that can guide you here.
The first is that your argument should move from the simplest claim to the most complex . The body of a good argumentative essay often begins with simple and widely accepted claims, and then moves towards more complex and contentious ones.
For example, you might begin by describing a generally accepted philosophical concept, and then apply it to a new topic. The grounding in the general concept will allow the reader to understand your unique application of it.
The second principle is that background information should appear towards the beginning of your essay . General background is presented in the introduction. If you have additional background to present, this information will usually come at the start of the body.
The third principle is that everything in your essay should be relevant to the thesis . Ask yourself whether each piece of information advances your argument or provides necessary background. And make sure that the text clearly expresses each piece of information’s relevance.
The sections below present several organizational templates for essays: the chronological approach, the compare-and-contrast approach, and the problems-methods-solutions approach.
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The chronological approach (sometimes called the cause-and-effect approach) is probably the simplest way to structure an essay. It just means discussing events in the order in which they occurred, discussing how they are related (i.e. the cause and effect involved) as you go.
A chronological approach can be useful when your essay is about a series of events. Don’t rule out other approaches, though—even when the chronological approach is the obvious one, you might be able to bring out more with a different structure.
Explore the tabs below to see a general template and a specific example outline from an essay on the invention of the printing press.
- Thesis statement
- Discussion of event/period
- Importance of topic
- Strong closing statement
- Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages
- Background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press
- Thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation
- High levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe
- Literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites
- Consequence: this discouraged political and religious change
- Invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg
- Implications of the new technology for book production
- Consequence: Rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible
- Trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention
- Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation
- Consequence: The large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics
- Summarize the history described
- Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period
Essays with two or more main subjects are often structured around comparing and contrasting . For example, a literary analysis essay might compare two different texts, and an argumentative essay might compare the strengths of different arguments.
There are two main ways of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay: the alternating method, and the block method.
In the alternating method, each paragraph compares your subjects in terms of a specific point of comparison. These points of comparison are therefore what defines each paragraph.
The tabs below show a general template for this structure, and a specific example for an essay comparing and contrasting distance learning with traditional classroom learning.
- Synthesis of arguments
- Topical relevance of distance learning in lockdown
- Increasing prevalence of distance learning over the last decade
- Thesis statement: While distance learning has certain advantages, it introduces multiple new accessibility issues that must be addressed for it to be as effective as classroom learning
- Classroom learning: Ease of identifying difficulties and privately discussing them
- Distance learning: Difficulty of noticing and unobtrusively helping
- Classroom learning: Difficulties accessing the classroom (disability, distance travelled from home)
- Distance learning: Difficulties with online work (lack of tech literacy, unreliable connection, distractions)
- Classroom learning: Tends to encourage personal engagement among students and with teacher, more relaxed social environment
- Distance learning: Greater ability to reach out to teacher privately
- Sum up, emphasize that distance learning introduces more difficulties than it solves
- Stress the importance of addressing issues with distance learning as it becomes increasingly common
- Distance learning may prove to be the future, but it still has a long way to go
In the block method, each subject is covered all in one go, potentially across multiple paragraphs. For example, you might write two paragraphs about your first subject and then two about your second subject, making comparisons back to the first.
The tabs again show a general template, followed by another essay on distance learning, this time with the body structured in blocks.
- Point 1 (compare)
- Point 2 (compare)
- Point 3 (compare)
- Point 4 (compare)
- Advantages: Flexibility, accessibility
- Disadvantages: Discomfort, challenges for those with poor internet or tech literacy
- Advantages: Potential for teacher to discuss issues with a student in a separate private call
- Disadvantages: Difficulty of identifying struggling students and aiding them unobtrusively, lack of personal interaction among students
- Advantages: More accessible to those with low tech literacy, equality of all sharing one learning environment
- Disadvantages: Students must live close enough to attend, commutes may vary, classrooms not always accessible for disabled students
- Advantages: Ease of picking up on signs a student is struggling, more personal interaction among students
- Disadvantages: May be harder for students to approach teacher privately in person to raise issues
An essay that concerns a specific problem (practical or theoretical) may be structured according to the problems-methods-solutions approach.
This is just what it sounds like: You define the problem, characterize a method or theory that may solve it, and finally analyze the problem, using this method or theory to arrive at a solution. If the problem is theoretical, the solution might be the analysis you present in the essay itself; otherwise, you might just present a proposed solution.
The tabs below show a template for this structure and an example outline for an essay about the problem of fake news.
- Introduce the problem
- Provide background
- Describe your approach to solving it
- Define the problem precisely
- Describe why it’s important
- Indicate previous approaches to the problem
- Present your new approach, and why it’s better
- Apply the new method or theory to the problem
- Indicate the solution you arrive at by doing so
- Assess (potential or actual) effectiveness of solution
- Describe the implications
- Problem: The growth of “fake news” online
- Prevalence of polarized/conspiracy-focused news sources online
- Thesis statement: Rather than attempting to stamp out online fake news through social media moderation, an effective approach to combating it must work with educational institutions to improve media literacy
- Definition: Deliberate disinformation designed to spread virally online
- Popularization of the term, growth of the phenomenon
- Previous approaches: Labeling and moderation on social media platforms
- Critique: This approach feeds conspiracies; the real solution is to improve media literacy so users can better identify fake news
- Greater emphasis should be placed on media literacy education in schools
- This allows people to assess news sources independently, rather than just being told which ones to trust
- This is a long-term solution but could be highly effective
- It would require significant organization and investment, but would equip people to judge news sources more effectively
- Rather than trying to contain the spread of fake news, we must teach the next generation not to fall for it
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Signposting means guiding the reader through your essay with language that describes or hints at the structure of what follows. It can help you clarify your structure for yourself as well as helping your reader follow your ideas.
The essay overview
In longer essays whose body is split into multiple named sections, the introduction often ends with an overview of the rest of the essay. This gives a brief description of the main idea or argument of each section.
The overview allows the reader to immediately understand what will be covered in the essay and in what order. Though it describes what comes later in the text, it is generally written in the present tense . The following example is from a literary analysis essay on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein .
Transition words and phrases are used throughout all good essays to link together different ideas. They help guide the reader through your text, and an essay that uses them effectively will be much easier to follow.
Various different relationships can be expressed by transition words, as shown in this example.
Because Hitler failed to respond to the British ultimatum, France and the UK declared war on Germany. Although it was an outcome the Allies had hoped to avoid, they were prepared to back up their ultimatum in order to combat the existential threat posed by the Third Reich.
Transition sentences may be included to transition between different paragraphs or sections of an essay. A good transition sentence moves the reader on to the next topic while indicating how it relates to the previous one.
… Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.
However , considering the issue of personal interaction among students presents a different picture.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
- Choosing Essay Topic
- Write a College Essay
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- Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay
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The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.
The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.
Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:
- The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
- The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.
It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
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Essay Planner template
Helpful for Education Idea Generation Mind Mapping Planning .
Ayoa’s Essay Planner template simplifies the process of writing an academic essay by allowing you to brainstorm great ideas, then put your arguments into a clear and defined structure ready for you to turn into a cohesive and well-researched paper.
Ready to get started with this template? It’s ready and waiting in Ayoa! Create your account , then simply open the app , select ‘create mind map’ from the homepage and choose this template from the library.
What is included in the Essay Planner template?
Writing an essay can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task for any student, whether you’ve written dozens before, or this is the very first time you’ve put pen to paper for this task. You could have plenty of great points ready and waiting, but no idea how to start your essay and actually begin writing. On the other hand, you could be struggling to generate ideas in the first place! Whatever the issue, Ayoa’s Essay Planner template provides you with the perfect canvas to brainstorm ideas for various types of essays, flesh out your arguments, then put them into a clear and defined structure.
No matter the subject or topic you’re writing about, every essay should follow the same basic structure with an intriguing introduction, a body that contains a number of points or arguments to be explored in detail, and a concise conclusion that sums up the findings of your essay. Our Essay Planner template (which is formatted in the style of a colorful, visual mind map ) provides you with prompts for each of these sections, so you can determine what you’ll be exploring and conduct some helpful research before you begin writing.
The reason you should use a mind map to plan an essay is because they are well-known for their ability to boost idea generation, organization and memory.
Why should you use the Essay Planner template?
Our Essay Planner template provides you with prompts for each of the sections of your essay to help you establish what you want to write before you get started. You can also use our template to make notes of helpful information (such as quotes, excerpts, statistics and links to articles) that you want to include or reference in your essay. By having this information all in one place, and knowing exactly what points you’re going to make, you can make the process of getting your words down both quicker and easier when the time comes. This is because you won’t be interrupted by needing to conduct additional research, and you’ll also be less likely to run out of steam halfway through writing.
The reason that our Essay Writing template is in the style of the mind map is due to the fact that they are proven to boost our ability to think creatively. The interconnecting branches of a mind map mirror our brain’s natural thinking processes, which can help us to generate more creative ideas. Our brains also love visuals, and the different visual cues you can include in a digital mind map (such as shapes, colors and images) can also help our brains to make associations and get out creative juices flowing.
The interconnecting branches of a mind map also perfectly demonstrate the way a process (in this example, writing an essay) should flow and the way various ideas connect to each other, which can make structuring your work incredibly simple. You can also add attachments, notes, comments and checklists to individual branches of your mind map, so everything you need to start writing is in one place!
How to use our Essay Planner template
Unsure of how to write an essay or struggling to find inspiration for your next report? Using our Essay Planner template will get you ready to get started as quickly as possible! Discover how to use our template below.
To access the template, sign up to Ayoa . Once you've signed up, navigate to the homepage to create a new whiteboard , mind map or task board and choose this template from the library .
When you open the template, you will see that we’ve already included examples to help you get started. Beginning with the central idea (the circle in the middle of your mind map), briefly outline what topic you will be exploring in your essay. To do this, double click on the text to bring up a menu of options. From here, you can change the color and size of your text, make it bold, underline it, add emojis, and more.
Tip: You can also click the paintbrush icon to bring up a side panel with options to change how your central idea looks by changing the shape and image.
Now it’s time to start planning your essay. Navigate to the ‘introduction’ section of the mind map and use the attached sub-branches to briefly outline the summary of your essay and what your goals are. Ask yourself: what are you hoping to achieve? What are you expecting the outcome of your essay to be? Use your answers to form the basis of your introduction. To edit an existing branch, double click on the text. To add a new sub-branch, click on the branch you want it to be connected to, then click the green arrow that appears.
Use the next few branches to determine what points you will argue in your essay. In as few words as possible, write what these are in the ‘argument’ branches. You should then use the sub-branches to go into more detail – you may want to include statistics, quotes and excerpts to back up your argument.
Mind maps should contain singular short sentences to avoid it becoming ‘cluttered’ or overwhelming. If you want to go into more detail, you can easily attach files, comments, notes and checklists to individual branches of your mind map. To do this, click on the branch you want to add more detail to, and this will bring up a menu of options. To discover what each one does, simply hover over the icon with your mouse!
Once you’ve outlined what you will cover in the body of your essay, it’s time to plan your conclusion. This will be a concise summary of everything you covered and what you have discovered from your research and analysis. In some cases, you might not know what your conclusion will be until after you’ve covered the main points and arguments of your essay. If this is the case, feel free to fill out this section of the map after you’ve done this.
Now that you have your plan, it’s time to start writing! Use the hierarchical structure of the mind map to structure your essay, developing the branches into sentences and paragraphs. Keep your mind map open so you can keep referring back to it and ensure that you’re staying on track.
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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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Essay Planner Template
This great planner will help you make an argumentative, persuasive, and informative essay from introduction to expository moments. Pick a paper size that suits you, download the PDF template, and print it as you start writing your story with pre-prepared materials and creative ideas for your essay.
Sections available in this template:
- Possible Title (1, 2, 3);
- Ideas & Key Points.
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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 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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FigJam Build a strong foundation with our essay plan template
No shaky arguments here. Whether it’s a class assignment, personal statement, or a missive on the company blog, FigJam’s essay writing plan will help you construct a stronger essay outline from the ground up.
Essay plan template
Share ideas, hone arguments, and refine your writing with our collaborative essay plan template.
Nail down your message
Organize evidence, strengthen supporting arguments, and hammer your main point home with our essay planning sheet.
Create flow: Maintain a cohesive writing process with an essay planning template that clarifies how one section leads to the next.
Evaluate your argument from all sides: Crystallize your claim and test it out from new angles in a visual format.
Do your research: Fact check your work and sources before writing by laying out supporting evidence on an easy-to-read outline.
FigJam Make a statement together
Writing doesn’t have to be a solo act. FigJam’s Community-built widgets make it easy to draft with collaborators and source feedback from trusted peers. Fold in new ideas and fine-tune existing arguments with Badge, Storymapper, and Lil notes.
Break it down, then build it up
Perfect the nuts and bolts of your essay with a well-organized essay plan example. Next, find new ways to tell your story with templates from our Community.
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If you’re wondering how to plan an essay or how to write an effective essay plan with important points and supporting details, just tap into our free essay plan example to get started. From there, you’ll be prompted to break your essay down into the following sections:
- Body paragraph #1
- Body paragraph #2
- Body paragraph #3
Fill in each of these sections with relevant information and credible sources. Then, share it with your trusted collaborators and peers to make sure your argument sings.
The 5 aspects of planning an essay correspond to the 5 main sections of your essay: the introduction, the 3 body paragraphs, and the conclusion.
- Introduction – Planning an introduction involves writing a thesis statement and a brief list that outlines the order of your supporting arguments.
- Body paragraphs (3) – As you plan your 3 body paragraphs, you’ll collect evidence—from credible sources—that backs up any supporting detail, arguments, and thesis.
- Conclusion – While you conceptualize this final section, consider how you can open up the floor for further conversation after the essay ends. Are there any related questions you wished you’d asked? What makes this a relevant topic—today? Jot down all of your ideas on a planning sheet for essays.
Many essays follow the classic 5-part structure—the introduction that states your main argument, the 3 points supporting that claim, and the conclusion that wraps everything up.
Keep in mind, however, that you don't have to follow this essay planning example exactly. Some of the best essays break the mold—so don’t be afraid to customize your essay planning sheet or collaborate on a creative structure as you outline.
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7 Steps for Writing an Essay Plan
Have you ever started writing an essay then realized you have run out of ideas to talk about?
This can make you feel deflated and you start to hate your essay!
The best way to avoid this mid-essay disaster is to plan ahead: you need to write an Essay Plan!
Essay planning is one of the most important skills I teach my students. When I have one-to-one tutorials with my students, I always send them off with an essay plan and clear goals about what to write.
Essay Planning isn’t as dull as you think. In fact, it really does only take a short amount of time and can make you feel oh so relieved that you know what you’re doing!
Here’s my 7-Step method that I encourage you to use for your next essay:
The 7-Step Guide on How to write an Essay Plan
- Figure out your Essay Topic (5 minutes)
- Gather your Sources and take Quick Notes (20 minutes)
- Brainstorm using a Mind-Map (10 minutes)
- Arrange your Topics (2 minutes)
- Write your topic Sentences (5 minutes)
- Write a No-Pressure Draft in 3 Hours (3 hours)
- Edit your Draft Once every Few Days until Submission (30 minutes)
I’ve been using this 7-Step essay planning strategy since I was in my undergraduate degree. Now, I’ve completed a PhD and written over 20 academic journal articles and dozens of blog posts using this method – and it still works!
Let’s go through my 7 steps for how to write an essay plan.
Prefer to Watch than Read? Here’s our video on writing an Essay Plan.
how to write an essay plan
1. figure out your essay topic. here’s how..
Where did your teacher provide you with your assessment details?
Find it. This is where you begin.
Now, far, far, far too many students end up writing essays that aren’t relevant to the essay question given to you by your teacher. So print out your essay question and any other advice or guidelines provided by your teacher.
Here’s some things that your assessment details page might include:
- The essay question;
- The marking criteria;
- Suggested sources to read;
- Some background information on the topic
The essay question is really important. Once you’ve printed it I want you to do one thing:
Highlight the key phrases in the essay question.
Here’s some essay questions and the key phrases you’d want to highlight:
This strategy helps you to hone in on exactly what you want to talk about. These are the key phrases you’re going to use frequently in your writing and use when you look for sources to cite in your essay!
The other top thing to look at is the marking criteria. Some teachers don’t provide this, but if they do then make sure you pay attention to the marking criteria !
Here’s an example of a marking criteria sheet:
Sample Essay Topic: Is Climate Change the Greatest Moral Challenge of our Generation?
Now, if you have a marking criteria you really need to pay attention to this. You have to make sure you’ve ticked off all the key criteria that you will be marked on. For the example above, your essay is going to have to make sure it:
- Takes a position about whether climate change is a serious challenge for human kind;
- Discusses multiple different people’s views on the topic;
- Explores examples and case studies (‘practical situations’);
- Uses referencing to back up your points.
The reason you need to be really careful to pay attention to this marking criteria is because it is your cheat sheet: it tells you what to talk about!
Step 1 only takes you five minutes and helps you to clearly clarify what you’re going to be talking about! Now your mind is tuned in and you can start doing some preliminary research.
2. Gather your Sources and take Quick Notes. Here’s how.
Now that you know what your focus is, you can start finding some information to discuss. You don’t want to just write things from the top of your head. If you want top marks, you want some deep, detailed and specific pieces of information.
Fortunately, your teacher has probably made this easy for you.
The top source for finding information will be the resources your teacher provided. These resources were hand picked by your teacher because they believed these were the best sources available our there on the topic. Here are the most common resources teachers provide:
- Lecture Slides;
- Assigned Readings.
The lecture slides are one of the best resources for you to access. Lecture slides are usually provided online for you. Download them, save them on your computer, and dig them up when it’s time to write the essay plan.
Find the lecture slides most relevant to your topic. To take the example of our climate change essay, maybe climate change is only discussed in three of the weeks in your course. Those are the three weeks’ lecture slides you want to hone-in on.
Flick through those lecture slides and take quick notes on a piece of paper – what are the most important topics and statistics that are relevant to your essay question?
Now, move on to the assigned readings . Your teacher will have selected some readings for you to do for homework through the semester. They may be eBooks, Textbooks or Journal Articles.
These assigned readings were assigned for a reason: because they have very important information to read ! Scan through them and see if there’s any more points you can add to your list of statistics and key ideas to discuss.
Next, try to find a few more sources using Google Scholar. This is a great resource for finding more academic articles that you can read to find even more details and ideas to add to your essay.
Here’s my notes that I researched for the essay question “Is Climate Change the Greatest Moral Challenge of our Generation?” As you can see, it doesn’t have to be beautiful #Studygram notes! It’s just rough notes to get all the important information down:
Once you’ve read the assigned lecture slides and readings, you should have a good preliminary list of ideas, topics, statistics and even quotes that you can use in step 3.
3. Brainstorm using a Mind-Map. Here’s how.
Do your initial notes look a little disorganized?
That’s okay. The point of Step 2 was to gather information. Now it’s time to start sorting these ideas in your mind.
The best way to organize thoughts is to create a Mind-Map. Here’s how Mind-Maps often look:
For your essay plan Mind-Map, write the essay question in the middle of the page and draw a circle around it.
Then, select the biggest and most important key ideas that you think are worth discussing in the essay. To decide on these, you might want to look back at the notes you took in Step 2.
Each key idea will take up around about 200 – 350 words (1 to 2 sentences).
Here’s a rough guide for how many key ideas you’ll want depending on your essay length:
- 1000-word essay: 3 to 4 key ideas
- 1500-word essay: 5 to 7 key ideas
- 2000-word essay: 6 to 8 key ideas
- 3000-word essay: 9 to 12 key ideas
Once you’ve selected your key ideas you can list them in a circle around the essay question, just like this:
Last, we need to add detail and depth to each key idea. So, draw more lines out from each key ideas and list:
- Two sources that you will cite for each key idea;
- A statistic or example that you will provide for each key idea;
- Any additional interesting facts for each key idea
Here’s how it might look once you’re done:
4. Arrange your Topics. Here’s how.
You’re well and truly on your way to getting your essay down on paper now.
There’s one last thing to do before you start getting words down on the manuscript that you will submit. You need to arrange your topics to decide which to write first, second, third, fourth, and last!
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Start and end with your strongest points;
- Ensure the points logically flow.
To ensure your points logically flow, think about how you’re going to transition from one idea to the next . Does one key point need to be made first so that the other ones make sense?
Do two key points seem to fit next to one another? If so, make sure you list them side-by-side.
Have a play around with the order you want to discuss the ideas until you’re comfortable. Then, list them in order. Here’s my order for my Climate Change essay:
Each of these key ideas is going to turn into a paragraph or two (probably two) in the essay.
5. Write your topic Sentences in just 5 minutes. Here’s how.
All good essays have clear paragraphs that start with a topic sentence . To turn these brainstormed key points into an essay, you need to get that list you wrote in Step 5 and turn each point into a topic sentence for a paragraph.
It’s important that the first sentence of each paragraph clearly states the paragraph’s topic. Your marker is going to want to know exactly what your paragraph is about immediately. You don’t want your marker to wait until the 3 rd , 4 th or 5 th line of a paragraph before they figure out what you’re talking about in the paragraph.
So, you need to state what your key idea is in the first sentence of the paragraph.
Let’s have a go at turning each of our key ideas into a topic sentence:
6. Write a No-Pressure Essay Draft in just 3 Hours. Here’s how.
Okay, now the rubber hits the road. Let’s get writing!
When you write your first draft, don’t put pressure on yourself. Remind yourself that this is the first of several attempts at creating a great essay, so it doesn’t need to be perfect right away. The important thing is that you get words down on paper.
To write the draft, have a go at adding to each of your topic sentences to turn them into full paragraphs. Follow the information you wrote down in your notes and Mind-Map to get some great details down on paper.
Forget about the introduction and conclusion for now. You can write them last.
Let’s have a go at one together. I’m going to choose the paragraph on my key idea “Is climate change caused by humans?”
I’ve already got my first sentence and my brainstormed ideas. Let’s build on them to write a draft paragraph:
- “Most scientists believe climate change is caused by humans. In fact, according to the IPCC, over 98% of climate change scientists accept the scientific data that climate change is caused by humans (IPCC, 2018). This figure is very high, signalling overwhelming expert consensus. This consensus holds that the emission of carbon from burning of fossil fuels in the 20 th Century is trapping heat into the atmosphere. However, a minority of dissenting scientists continue to claim that this carbon build-up is mostly the fault of natural forces such as volcanoes which emit enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere (Bier, 2013).”
Your turn – have a go at your own draft paragraphs based on your Mind-Map for your essay topic! If you hit a rut or have some trouble, don’t forget to check out our article on how to write perfect paragraphs .
Once you’ve written all your paragraphs, make sure you write an introduction and conclusion .
Gone over the word count? Check out our article on how to reduce your word count.
7. Edit your Draft Once every Few Days until Submission. Check out this simple approach:
Okay, hopefully after your three hour essay drafting session you’ve got all your words down on paper. Congratulations!
However, we’re not done yet.
The best students finish their drafts early on so they have a good three or four weeks to come back and re-read their draft and edit it every few days.
When coming back to edit your draft , here’s a few things to look out for:
- Make sure all the paragraph and sentence structure makes sense. Feel free to change words around until things sound right. You might find that the first time you edit something it sounds great, but next time you realize it’s not as good as you thought. That’s why we do multiple rounds of edits over the course of a few weeks;
- Check for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors;
- Print out your draft and read it on paper. You notice more mistakes when you read a printed-out version;
- Work on adding any more details and academic sources from online sources like Google Scholar to increase your chance of getting a top grade. Here’s our ultimate guide on finding scholarly sources online – it might be helpful for this step!
Before you go – Here’s the Actionable Essay Plan Tips Summed up for you
Phew! That essay was tough. But with this essay plan, you can get through any essay and do a stellar job! Essay planning is a great way to ensure your essays make sense, have a clear and compelling argument, and don’t go off-topic.
I never write an essay without one.
To sum up, here are the 7 steps to essay planning one more time:
The 7-Step Guide for How to Write an Essay Plan
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 10 Secondary Data Sources
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 13 Secondary Data Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 31 Instinct Examples (In Humans and Animals)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ Montessori vs Reggio Emilia vs Steiner-Waldorf vs Froebel
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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…
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- Accent vs Dialect
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- Social Interaction
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- Technological Determinism
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- Manner of Articulation
- Nasal Sound
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- Phonetic Accommodation
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- Place of Articulation
- Sound Spectrum
- Source Filter Theory
- Voice Articulation
- Vowel Chart
- Complementary Distribution
- Sound Symbolisms
- Communication Accommodation Theory
- Conversational Implicature
- Cooperative Principle
- Deictic centre
- Deictic expressions
- Figure of Speech
- Grice's Conversational Maxims
- Politeness Theory
- Semantics vs. Pragmatics
- Speech Acts
- Aggressive vs Friendly Tone
- Curious vs Encouraging Tone
- Feminine Rhyme
- Hypocritical vs Cooperative Tone
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- Stress of a Word
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- Tone English Langugage
- Analyzing Informational Texts
- Comparing Texts
- Context Cues
- Creative Writing
- Digital Resources
- Ethical Issues In Data Collection
- Formulate Questions
- Internet Search Engines
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- Print Resources
- Research Process
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- Action Verbs
- Adjectival Clause
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- Appositive Phrase
- Argument from Authority
- Auditory Description
- Basic Rhetorical Modes
- Begging the Question
- Building Credibility
- Causal Flaw
- Causal Relationships
- Cause and Effect Rhetorical Mode
- Central Idea
- Chronological Description
- Circular Reasoning
- Classical Appeals
- Close Reading
- Coherence Between Sentences
- Coherence within Paragraphs
- Coherences within Sentences
- Complex Rhetorical Modes
- Compound Complex Sentences
- Concrete Adjectives
- Concrete Nouns
- Consistent Voice
- Counter Argument
- Definition by Negation
- Description Rhetorical mode
- Direct Discourse
- Extended Metaphor
- False Connections
- False Dichotomy
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- Faulty Analogy
- Faulty Causality
- Fear Arousing
- Gustatory Description
- Hasty Generalization
- Induction Rhetoric
- Levels of Coherence
- Line of Reasoning
- Missing the Point
- Modifiers that Qualify
- Modifiers that Specify
- Narration Rhetorical Mode
- Non-Testable Hypothesis
- Objective Description
- Olfactory Description
- Parenthetical Element
- Participial Phrase
- Personal Narrative
- Placement of Modifiers
- Post-Hoc Argument
- Process Analysis Rhetorical Mode
- Red Herring
- Reverse Causation
- Rhetorical Fallacy
- Rhetorical Modes
- Rhetorical Question
- Rhetorical Situation
- Scare Tactics
- Sentimental Appeals
- Situational Irony
- Slippery Slope
- Spatial Description
- Straw Man Argument
- Subject Consistency
- Subjective Description
- Tactile Description
- Tense Consistency
- Tone and Word Choice
- Twisting the Language Around
- Unstated Assumption
- Verbal Irony
- Visual Description
- Authorial Intent
- Authors Technique
- Language Choice
- Prompt Audience
- Prompt Purpose
- Rhetorical Strategies
- Understanding Your Audience
- Auditory Imagery
- Gustatory Imagery
- Olfactory Imagery
- Tactile Imagery
- Main Idea and Supporting Detail
- Statistical Evidence
- Communities of Practice
- Cultural Competence
- Gender Politics
- Intercultural Communication
- Research Methodology
- Object Subject Verb
- Subject Verb Object
- Syntactic Structures
- Universal Grammar
- Verb Subject Object
- Author Authority
- Direct Quote
- First Paragraph
- Historical Context
- Intended Audience
- Primary Source
- Second Paragraph
- Secondary Source
- Source Material
- Third Paragraph
- Character Analysis
- Citation Analysis
- Text Structure Analysis
- Vocabulary Assessment
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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
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Essay Planner Template
More PESTLE Analysis Template
About the Essay Planner Template
- Prompts of introduction
- Prompts of the main body
- Conclusion prompts
- Visual assistance tools
Why should you use the essay planner template?
How to use our essay planner template.
- First of all, you need to choose whatever template you like. So first, go to the homepage and choose the create a new option. There you find the dashboard and the library to choose the templates present there.
- Secondly, start to open the template. Most of the sample examples will already be there to help you to write. Start writing the main idea and brief the subject of the essay by clicking on the menu of the dashboard. Now you will be presented with multiple options to change the sizing and outlook of your writing. You can change the colors, add emojis, and format as well.
- Now start with the introduction segment and use the mind map option on the dashboard. There you would find branches that can help you map the essay and specify the vision of the essay's introduction section. This is where you want to ask the following questions: What is the main goal of this segment of the essay? Or what is the desired outcome? Use the other branches to specify the goal of the essay. Make sure that it is brief. This would be the main argument of the essay. If you want to get into more detail, you can choose the subbranches as well. With those, you can add up various quotes and other data to back up your argument.
- When it comes to mind maps, make sure that the sentences are not long and stuffy because stuffy sentences can overwhelm the readers. At this point, you can add up various other things such As pictures, comments, sidenotes, points, etc. If you want to add up things to your mind map, you can go towards the menu of options and choose whatever you desire to add. Choose the file and add it.
- Now that the body line of your essay is ready, can you have filled up all their content within the essay? You need to write the conclusion now. While working on the conclusion, make sure to make it as short as it can while making sure all the important points are added into it according to the research in data. In few cases, conclusions are not that visible and hard to write; however, you can just summarize what you have written in the essay and come up with the best conclusion. You can edit the conclusion with the additional options in the dashboard to make it seem more professional.
- Now it is time to write the final draft of the essay since you have come up with all the technical structure of the essay. Now gather all the branches you have come up with and change them into essay content and paragraphs. Finally, open your mind maps on the side so you can be on track.
Essay Planning & Writing Tips
- The thesis statement should be captivating and comprehensive: it is important to create a captivating PC statement as it provides the purpose and need of the topic of your essay. It is the core of the essay that holds all the scopes and limitations of your writing skills. You need to make sure it is short and up to that topic's need.
- Every paragraph must have a topic sentence: a topic sentence is important to guide the scheme of sentences. A topic sentence can also be an argument or just an idea statement. Once you state the topic sentence, all you need to do is provide evidence in that paragraph to support it.
- Create a brief and effective conclusion: the conclusion should be well structured and planned because it is important, as it encompasses all the data within the context. There should be the addition of important points with brief closing lines. This way, your piece would be professional-looking and strategically right.
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The PEEL essay plan helps you write an essay in a structured way to cover all the key points. PEEL is used in many schools and universities to guide students to better essay writing.
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Regarding the inability to write essays, experts clarified why students lean toward AI Essay Writer and use the tool frequently. Our experts have highlighted that inability to write somehow increases the lack of confidence in students. It not only lessens their interest in writing but also negatively impacts their grades. Their grades often deteriorated significantly. Other than this, students often find that the professor has less time or it is not possible for them to find reliable writing experts offline. Hence, they opt for the TutorBin essay writer tool, which solves these concerning areas.
Types of Tasks Online Essay Maker Can Handle
Essays it can write. That's for sure, but it's not just restricted to certain kinds of essays. This AI essay generator free tool can provide students with different types of essays for their colleges and universities. This TutorBin Essay Typer offers a wide variety of automated essay writing topics available in your academic coursework. Below, we have mentioned some essay categories covered under this essay typer free tool. We can promise that this essay typer free tool generates essays without taking much time.
- Expository Essay Typer
- Analysis Essay Generator
- Argumentative Essay Typer
Compare and Contrast Essay
- Evaluation Essay Generator
- Persuasive Essay Writer
- Narrative Essay Maker
TutorBin Free Essay Generator: Instant Essay Maker for Students Free
Smart essay writing is not just an art. It's much more than that. TutorBin essay generator is a wise choice for students who like to make smart moves in their academics, especially when assigned to create an essay. It is designed to understand your requirements and fulfill them accordingly. It's the best way to start writing essays with the help of AI technology. TutorBin essay maker is not just a tool that helps you write smartly but a process that supports your academic activities tremendously. For well-structured and immaculately articulated essays, TutorBin essay maker for students does wonders.
The super advanced technology, AI essay generator free, has been tested by writing experts to ensure the tool works fine and creates essays depending on your instructions. Our tech team ensures that this tool is accessible to students and delivers the result within the quickest possible time frame.
TutorBin Essay Writer AI- How You Can Use it Efficiently
We have discussed above why students prefer TutorBin essay maker AI rather than writing independently, though it's just an overview. Our essay writer helps students with the process of essay writing. Now, we are going to explain how you can use this essay typer free tool efficiently. It not only simplifies the entire process but also boosts your scope to achieve academic success in multifold.
Effective Workflow Management
Our automated essay AI bot permits students to achieve a well-constructed essay instantly. You will get your essays completed as per your instructions, irrespective of the topics and subjects. The steps to obtain those essays are simple and easily accessible. It effectively manages all the workflow needed to be done for creating essays. You don't have to walk the extra mile to ensure the accuracy of spelling or sentence constructions and formats. Even students often get essays for complex topics. Nothing is difficult when it comes to this upscale essay typer.
Students often get overwhelmed when they get multiple essays. They feel stressed due to limited time and knowledge. Essay maker AI offers an excellent experience of essay creation through automation. All the steps students follow takes minimal time and show the maximum result. Getting impressive and flawless essays makes your whole academic help experience better than before.
One of the extremely important aspects of this TutorBin essay typer is its extensive database that offers you unlimited information regarding your essay topics. Students often struggle to get relevant information on essay topics, but this tool has successfully done that due to its AI-enabled feature. It handles every little part of essays, from necessary key phrases to headings, content, and outlines. This way, the essay maker tool ensures students deliver quality content that's thoughtful and relevant to the context.
Essay Typer Benefits That Helps To Have an Advantage Over Competitors
We have given you some glimpses of why students use this essay writer free online. Now, our team highlights what you can expect if you use TutorBin essay maker. It's specially developed for students. They can enjoy these advantages if they opt for the TutorBin essay typer.
Essays At One-Click
The best thing about essay writer is its one-click accessibility, which makes essay creation easy. It also enables students to submit their essays on or before their assigned deadline. You don't need to do anything regressive. Just search for the essay generator, and you will get what you are looking for.
Quickest Essay Delivery
One of the major benefits you get from theTutorBin essay writer is that it can complete your essays in a few minutes. It might sound overwhelming that writing an essay takes only a few minutes instead of hours, but it's true. It doesn't matter how tight the deadline is; you can submit your copy just on time.
Covers All subjects
It's quite common for our essay typer to produce extensively high-quality essays, irrespective of whether your topics are complex or require different types of content requirements. It happens due to its seamless databases. It happens because our essay ty per covers all the subjects.
Essay Formatted as Instructed
You don't have to worry about the structure or formatting of essays. In most cases, students face challenges while formatting the essay. But when you use the essay generator tool from TutorBin, you see that producing structured essays becomes easier than anticipated. The tool will format essays as per your given instructions.
Options for Diverse Content
Our essay typer tool keeps an extensive amount of information usable for students in their diverse fields of study and relevant to their coursework. It does not have any limitations on the type of content it delivers. The variance in content and accuracy is promised. It not only enhances your academic performance but also optimizes the workload of your coursework.
Customer Reviews For AI Essay Generator
Compare & contrast essay, machine learning or deep learning.
At first, I found out about essaytypers from one of my classmates. Ours is a big class, and the professor couldn't assist much. I was in desperate need of an essay generator. This tool saved me from the research needed for writing a comparison essay. I got edited and informative essays as per my instructed format.
Why should schools teach financial literacy.
If you are pursuing higher education, putting your academic troubles behind you is not always possible. But thanks to this essay generator, I've completed my essays successfully on time, and luckily I don't have to do anything extra for that. I will surely use this tool again in the future.
How to get rid of gambling addiction.
I have checked some websites, but very few offer all the facilities needed for essay writing. This essaytypers is one of the best thing I came across. It is simple but comes with many features that support me to make my essay well-composed. Surely impressive, Thanks TutorBin, for such a useful tool.
Last year's rugby world cup as an event.
It's purely coincidental to find this site while I was searching Google. I searched it and found out that it offers an essay typer, which also allows me to compose my essay in a record time, and the accessibility is really easy. I used it and got a good grade on my essay. It's amazing, I must say.
Has the internet made society better.
I used this platform for homework help before, and it offers good service. I tried the essay maker this time. The essay created here is grammatically correct and formatted just the way I wanted. The outline and the title are perfect. It's helpful. I would definitely recommend this tool to my friends.
Vaccination vs Medication
My bestie in college recommended this excellent essay-maker tool when I was looking for essay help. I am glad that I listened to him. I couldn't take essay help from freelance writers for the hefty charges, but this tool was absolutely free. I have composed my essay with its help at no cost.
The toughest decision i ever had to make.
I needed assistance with essay citations, titles, and information. I discovered this tool suddenly and tried to write a 2000-word essay. It generated the essay and appeared like written by a real person. Got the outline done, title and the quality are also good. It's really effective, pals.
Power and inequality.
Essay writing was a hell of a job until I got this mind-blowing essay generator tool. It created my essays within a few minutes, and Yes, all of them are grammatically correct. I don't have to do anything. I've given the instructions, and it created the essay without making me wait for ages.
Other Services Offered By Us Along with TutorBin Essay Writer
Team TutorBin offers accurate and plagiarism-free homework help from experts. Round-the-clock homework help for on-time submission.
1-0-1 tutoring from live session experts offer thorough subject understanding, clears doubts and also help students to get rid of their academic problems.
Lab Report Writing
TutorBin experts come with a lab report writing facility that helps them to develop precise, structured, and 100% accurate lab reports.
Project Report Writing
Submit detailed and unique projects to achieve better grades with TutorBin project report writing help from experts.
Speech Report Writing
Leave a long impression on your professors and achieve an A+ with this impactful speech writing help from TutorBin.
Let our essay writing help service aid you in delivering well-thought, excellently composed, and written essays from experts.
Opt for our presentation help today and submit the best Visually-Appealing and well-organized presentations in your class.
TutorBin Video Solutions is the right choice for you if you need step-wise explanations of your homework problems.
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