Essay Guide

Our comprehensive guide to the stages of the essay development process. Back to Student Resources

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What planning and structure mean and why you need them

Reasons to be structured

Have you ever got a bad mark for an essay because your tutor said she couldn’t follow what you were trying to say? Have you ever started writing an essay and found you’d used all your words on one point? If you answered ‘yes’ to one or both of those questions then you probably hadn’t thought about making an essay plan and then using that plan to structure your essay. This section will show you how to do both.

Three parts

The underlying principle of this section is that an essay has three parts – a beginning, a middle and an end – or as they are more usually termed: an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. The section will also look at different types of structures for different questions. This section should also be read in conjunction with the section on argument because how you decide to structure your argument determines how you structure your essay and vice versa.