Planning your essay

This article reminds students about the importance of essay planning early on in the stages of writing

Planning is an essential first step to writing your essay. You are not ready to start writing until you have a plan.

Imagine building a house without designing it first! What would it look like?! The plan is essential because you need something to follow.

But that’s not all – if somebody gave you a plan do you think you could write a good essay from their plan? Well, I think not, or not a very good one. Why? Because if you took somebody else’s plan then you wouldn’t have gone through the framing process which is so important to good essay writing.

Imagine trying to find your way around a new town without a map. Pretty hard!

Now imagine that you have a map to examine before you go. You look at the map, you build a mental representation of the place, you see the big roads and where they meet and how all the streets tie in with each other.

After this framing process you are ready to get out and see the sights. You will have the framework in place before you get out there.

Alternatively, imagine you didn’t have a map. Or you didn’t have a map until you got out there. Then you would have to stop, scratch your head, turn the map round and round and try to make sense of it. You can be sure that everyone in the street would keep bumping into you and there would be nowhere to put the map down flat so you could see it properly.

There are several good guides about essay writing on the internet and this one at the University of Sussex is very good.

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