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

Summary: Planning your essay

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A major key to successful essay writing is planning.

  • Read and interpret the question carefully.
  • Read in a focused way.
  • Organise, and be strategic with, your notetaking.
  • Look for relationships between pieces of evidence.
  • Develop a position in response to the question (thesis statement).
  • Work out individual arguments.
  • Sequence arguments for maximum effect (use an organising principle).
  • Structure the individual arguments.

When selecting evidence to support your arguments, you need to select the evidence that best lends weight and credibility to your arguments. Refer to Module 2, Unit 2: Evaluating sources for strategies to do this.

Only after you have gone through these steps are you ready to seriously begin writing your essay.

Never forget that you are writing for your readers. The more time you spend planning a coherent, logical approach to presenting and developing your arguments, the easier it will be for your readers to follow your line of thought and appreciate the strength of your arguments.

You have completed Module 3, Unit 1: Planning your essay.

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