Essay Plan, Editing, Proofreading and General Student Assistance

An essay plan is simply a rough outline of what each paragraph in the essay is going to be about.

An example of a linear essay plan using key words and phrases

Experiment with different styles of planning essays and use the method that you find most useful. Make as many essay plans as you need to find the best sequence for your material. By separating the planning stage from the writing stage you will be better able to write an essay that is well organised and clearly expressed. The guide explores the key elements of an essay and shows you how to use these elements effectively.

There are a few crucially important things an essay plan will give your teen’s essays:

An example of a non-linear essay plan using key words and phrases

An essay plan is the basic tool students can use to write an essay on any topic. The plan would have to follow some tried and tested methods of coming up with a complete essay that informs readers as well as keeps them interested. Students have to cover many subjects in school. It would not be possible to write essays without having knowledge of how to write a good or prepare the groundwork for including valuable content. Knowledge of a topic can be gained through research while attempting an essay on it, but there are other elements a student would have to master in order to write a high-quality essay.

Making an essay plan should only take about 5 minutes, so timing certainly isn’t an issue here.

5. Depending upon the subject matter, it can be useful to establish how many different approaches you can take to tackle the essay question. An essay plan (and subsequent essay) that shows a broad understanding of the subject matter and how it may be investigated from a number of different 'angles' where relevant (e.g. ecological, behavioural, physiological, morphological etc.) will often score highly, assuming the final essay is well written.

The time spent on the essay plan and the results that follow will not be in proportion!


Essay plans can also be useful, even if they are kept very brief, to remind you of important points that should be covered in your essay, as well as highlighting the final structure of your essay. This is particularly relevant to exam situations where it is all too easy to forget details if you dive straight into an essay without planning it first.2. Once you have established what exactly is required of you (see 1. above) it can help formulate your approach to the essay plan and subsequent final essay.The amount of time you should spend on an essay plan will depend on how much time you are given to construct the final essay. In exam situations, timing is crucial but you should still aim to spend at least 5-10 minutes working on your plan (assuming you are given a minimum of 45 minutes per essay).4. One way to start an essay plan is to think about possible definitions that may need to be given. For example, in an essay entitled 'Discuss animal locomotion', it would be logical to start your essay plan (and your final essay) with a definition of what 'locomotion' is. This can then help you to construct the rest of your essay plan.3. Your essay plan should have a logical order, i.e. a beginning, middle and an end. It should reflect what you would end up writing in the final essay. In other words, by looking at your plan, a lecturer should be able to clearly see the approach you are taking to address the essay title.You’ll eventually decide that all the piles point to something. You might decide that a moon landing isn’t likely to happen in the next 30 years. You’ll decide this because you see it said, in perhaps several ways, in your information piles. That idea, that moon missions are all political fantasies for now, is the idea your essay plan will prove. First, examine what you have, and see where it clumps together, in similar kinds of information. Second, name those clumps, for the kind of information they contain. Third, extract the answer they all point to. Fourth, move the clumps into the best order for showing your eventual reader why they prove what they do. And fifth, write it up, in words no different from the ones you’d use in an oral explanation. I show how this works, in little steps, in my writing system. But let’s show you briefly how an essay plan forms. Another advantage of these sorts of graphics is that theyallow students to think about one aspect of the essay plan without having tohold all the other aspects in their short term memory.
Like I say, I show how to do this, down to sentence-level, in the writing system I sell. Suffice it to say for now that this general essay plan is the way it all works. And it does work.Most exams with essays will give space in the front exam booklet especially for planning. This is where your child should make their essay plan. Examiners are not only looking for an essay with sound content, they’re also looking for a well constructed essay. This is why writing an essay plan is something anyone should do before they write any essay.A good essay plan makes the most of your essay material by helping you to organise the content of the essay before you begin writing. This guide shows you the key steps in preparing and planning an essay effectively.