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Discuss Essay Plan Example

Planning an essay

Planning starts with understanding your task, how much time you have, the number of words you have to write and what direction you're going to take.

Before you embark on research, give yourself realistic goals for the amount of material you need by sketching out a plan for length. Download an essay plan template

Check the title, idea or plan with your tutor. He or she might have expectations you haven't realised and may spot a problem with the basic idea. (Luke Martell, Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Sussex).

As soon as you have done some reading and thinking, you can begin planning the content of your essay.

Allow yourself to change your plan but remember it gives you a structure for your argument, so if you change the plan you will have to check your line of reasoning and the evidence you use.

Your tutor may give you specific guidance about the structure of your written assignment.

Tabular Plan

Making a tabular plan can help visualise your argument and is useful for a comparative essay - see the example below (click on the image to enlarge).

Example plan

Is globalisation a new phenomenon? [pdf 22kb]

Linear Plan

A linear plan helps you think about structure. Your tutors may ask to see an essay plan but even if you do not need to hand it in, it is essential to your essay.

Here is a linear plan: (click on the image to enlarge).

Second year student: Molecular Cell Biology essay outline:

What are peroxisomes? What do they do? And, how are proteins targeted to them? [pdf 65KB]

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Before you start writing your essay, it is important that you plan it. Below is an example of what an essay plan should look like (including explanations and tips), and how much detail it should contain. You can use this as a guide for your essay plans.

Click Here to Download a Free Essay Template

Essay Question: Was the Russian Revolution a genuine revolution or was it a coup?

Word Limit: 2,000 words

Introduction (10% of word limit): 200 words

Introductions should never be longer than 500 words, so this 10% guide only applies to essays shorter than 5,000 words.

To be considered an Introduction, an Introduction must do two things:

Answer the question – It was a genuine revolution.
This must be done first. An Introduction must answer the question. This is how you put forward a strong argument.

List the evidence your essay will put forward to prove your answer – This can be seen through an examination of the sections of society which supported the revolution. workers, peasants, soldiers, national minorities. Any major topic or subject that you plan to discuss in your essay must be introduced in the Introduction.

Body of the Essay: 400 words each

How long you spend writing about each subject should reflect the importance of each subject. If all four topics are of equal importance, write roughly the same amount of words on each. If a topic is more important, write about it first and write more words on it. If a topic is less important, write about it last and write fewer words on it.

Topic 1: workers

Topic 2: peasants

Topic 3: soldiers

Topic 4:  national minorities

Conclusion (10% of word limit): 200 words

Conclusions should never be longer than 500 words, so this 10% guide only applies to essays shorter than 5,000 words.

To be considered a Conclusion, a Conclusion must do two things:

Answer the essay question again (using different words than in the Introduction, don’t repeat yourself exactly) –  It was a genuine revolution.

Recap (repeat, summaries) all the evidence you have given to prove your answer during your essay– workers, peasants, soldiers, national minorities

A conclusion must not contain any new information, you are only summarising what you have already written.

Click Here to Download a Free Essay Template