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Module 1: Grammar Module 2: Sources Module 3: Structure
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Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively
 

Planning the overall structure

This sections looks at the next step in planning for your essay - making a plan for the overall structure.

Before you start this step, planning the overall structure, you should have already completed the following steps:

  1. Interpreting the question (Section 2 of this unit).

    In this step you have seen how to identify and interpret the key components of your essay question to ensure you focus on the task you have been set.


  2. Grouping your source material (Section 3 of this unit).

    In this step you have seen how to get a quick overview of your topic, the key researchers and their perspectives, and the areas of agreement and dispute by using a synthesis grid. This note-taking technique helps you to see useful groupings of research, approaches, arguments and evidence.


  3. Constructing a working thesis (Section 4 of this unit).

    In this step, you saw how to develop a working thesis for your essay using the information in the synthesis grid.

However, unless your synthesis grid is extremely comprehensive and detailed, you cannot go straight from the synthesis grid to writing your essay.

There is an important further step. This involves:

  1. Planning the overall structure
    • developing the main arguments to support your working thesis.
    • ordering these arguments in the most effective way.
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