Part 03 - Planning

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Part 03 - Planning

Post  studyaids on Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:25 pm

It is very tempting to omit this stage – don’t! Thorough planning saves time although it might seem to be wasting it at this point when you just want to start writing. However, even in an examination essay, a plan is essential to complete a structured, reasoned and researched response on any given topic.

Begin by looking back over the question and those ‘key words’ that you selected. Next, consider the evidence you have collected and consider how the two complement each other: if you have followed the instructions above carefully, this should be easy, as you will have been keeping the question in mind all the time you were conducting your research.

Nevertheless, it can be difficult to know which pieces of evidence best support your topic points as you can’t include everything. Make decisions now as to what you will use and what you will discard. This is harder than you might think because often interesting evidence you have unearthed has to be omitted simply because it isn’t relevant. Increasingly, students are penalized for exceeding the specified word count so ensure that all your evidence is really related to the points you are making and to the topic concerned.

It is useful to make a rough plan or diagram of your essay at this stage where you write down paragraph headings and which evidence you will use where. Later, when you are actually writing your essay, you will be able to look back at this to remind you of how your thoughts actually progressed and why you made the choices that you did. Structuring your essay in this way will also help with coherence as your argument will be more clearly developed and concise, with paragraphs flowing naturally to your conclusion. Doing this will also reveal any gaps in your evidence or linking which you can sort out before beginning to write.
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