Organising Your Ideas

Begin organising your research and ideas into an answer.

Essay plans II

After you’ve researched and your ideas are more developed, write a second essay plan. It will help you work out how to answer the question and how the essay will be structured.

  • Decide on a possible answer to the question (in terms of the research you have done)
  • Decide on the information you will use to answer the question
  • Look through your notes and choose examples to provide evidence to support your answer
  • Decide which points you will discuss, and in which order
  • Write all this down in point form and this will be your essay plan

See The Learning Centre guide Essay and assignment planning

Thinking it through

Essay writing requires both creative and critical thinking.

  • Creative thinking encourages you to broaden your ideas. Try techniques like brainstorming or mind mapping.
  • Critical thinking encourages you to narrow the focus or scope of your ideas (for example, asking why an example is important to your argument).

Your essay should be balanced: that is, it should include a range of information and viewpoints from different authors that explore the key arguments and relevant aspects of a particular topic. Don’t only include evidence that agrees with what you are arguing; if there are different or opposing views, then they need to be examined.

You need to evaluate differing arguments - explain why one argument is more convincing than another and how they relate to the conclusion your essay arrives at.

See next: Writing your essay