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Planning and Writing Essays

In: English and Literature

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What do tutors want to see in an essay?


What are the key stages in writing an essay?


What is an essay?


The structure of an essay


Analyse the task


Make a structure plan


Reading and researching


Reflect and evaluate – refine your plan


Writing the first draft


What is a paragraph?


Signalling words within paragraphs


Linking ideas between paragraphs


Writing the introduction


Writing the conclusion


Academic writing style – a very brief guide


Planning an essay – a mindmap with an overview



What do tutors want to see in an essay?

that you have understood the question

that you have structured the work clearly and logically

that you show evidence of relevant reading

What are the key stages in writing an essay?

analyse the task

ask yourself what you know and need to know about the topic

make a plan of the structure of essay

read and research and note-take

reflect on and refine your plan

write the first draft – main body, then introduction and conclusion

plan your time and set goals

This leaflet will outline the key stages you need to go through and will also show you how to write a good paragraph, an introduction, and a conclusion.
Subject preferences may vary. It is always a good idea to check the preferred format for your assignment.


What is an essay?

Essays allow students to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a topic based on research and reading. The skill of good essay writing is to be able to critically discuss and evaluate ideas within a set word limit. The focus of an essay is usually on developing an argument or analysing ideas rather than on description. The essay is written in paragraphs and…...

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