We know what you are thinking of – another wordy article with some general yet useless tips about essay planning. Not at this time! Coolessay writers have gathered for you actual guide on how to write an essay plan. Are you looking for some examples to understand the whole process of the planning? You are at the right place. Let’s get straight to business!
We do not want you to explain why an essay plan is crucial for your writing, we want you to show how it actually works if you do not have a plan. So, you read the question, you start writing, and then you think about what to write next. All of a sudden, the voice in your head says “Oh my Gosh, am I writing the correct thing? Did I misunderstand the topic of the essay?” So, you go back, check the question again, and continue writing. You understand that you do not have enough time now. What happens next? You get stressed, and your mind goes blank. Let’s take a look at the alternative.
Why Write a Plan for an Essay?
So, what happens when you have an essay plan? Firstly, you read and analyze the question, brainstorm ideas, and make your plan. Then, you start writing. Like before, you understand that you do not have enough time or the teacher says: “You have 5 minutes to complete your essay”. But compared to the previous situation where your mind goes blank all of a sudden, this time, you will check your essay plan and see exactly what you need to do.
In case we have not convinced you already, there are three more reasons why you should plan the essay before writing.
First of all, it guarantees that you have a good organization. If you have a plan on paper, there is no chance your essay structure is going to get messed up while writing. It just can’t because it is right there for you to check any time.
Secondly, you will have a system. Being able to follow the same thought process every time will help you to speed up and be more accurate. Whether you have a problem-solving, discussion, or an opinion question, you will know the system that will get you from the start to the end and the best score possible.
And, finally, if you have not noticed already, essay planning, actually, saves time. When you take the time to plan first, you won’t get stuck later. Even if you get stressed, you are going to have something right in front of you to check at any time.
How to Write a Plan for an Essay?
Like any skill, planning requires practice. It can have a tremendous impact on how effective you are at writing. Since the time is so short, how often do you feel pressured? How often does your mind go blank? Believe it or not, but essay planning can make all the difference for you. It is difficult to think of ideas or details while you are writing, but if you divide the thinking and the writing time, you will be much more efficient, faster, and effective.
Sorry for the tautology, but here is a plan of how to write an essay plan (with examples).
Step 1. Analyze the Essay Question (2 minutes)
To analyze the topic, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What kind of essay is it: opinion, discussion, problem-solving, or two-part?
2. What is the general topic of the essay?
3. What is the specific topic?
Example: Someone thinks healthcare should be free for everyone. Others claim that everyone should pay their own medical costs. Consider both sides of this question and explain your opinion. So, let’s analyze the question by using the structure above.
1. This is a discussion essay.
2. The general topic is healthcare.
3. The specific topic here is whether healthcare should be free for everyone or people should pay for themselves.
A quick note – even if you don’t do any of the planning from this article, there is one thing we want you to remember: you have to ANSWER the question, discuss both sides and give your own opinion. Do not slack on either one of these parts.
Step 2. Write a Plan the Skeleton (2 minutes)
1. Introduction: paraphrase the topic (you are going to do that is your actual writing, so don’t waste your time doing it in your plan) and give your answer (in this case, whether basic healthcare should be free or not). Why can’t you decide it later? When you get started writing, you want to be focusing on doing the best to express your argument, checking the language and grammar. So, here is where you are doing all the thinking.
2. Body Paragraph 1: Basic healthcare should be free for everyone
3. Body Paragraph 2: People should pay their own medical costs
4. Conclusion: rephrase the introduction
Step 3. Generate the Body Paragraph Details (6 minutes per 2 body paragraph)
Being able to generate ideas and details like this is like exercising one of your muscles, you have to do it consistently to be good at it. So, start practicing right now. You have three minutes to think of why basic healthcare should be free. This is what we came up to.
Plan for Body Paragraph 1: Basic healthcare should be free for everyone because:
- everyone pays taxes;
- healthy society means better productivity;
- all people have the right to a healthy life;
- people have a responsibility to help each other (rich to the poor)
Now, you notice that not all of these ideas in this plan are groundbreaking, some of them are actually pretty dull, and that is okay. This is a brainstorming phase. Think first, judge later, and that is what you are going to do next – judge the ideas. The third one is actually a weak argument, so cross that idea out of your plan.
Plan for Body Paragraph 2: People should pay their own medical costs because:
- more responsibility means people are more likely to take care of themselves;
- healthcare is too expensive for the government;
- healthy people do not have to take care of lazy ones or drug addicts;
- people need to be responsible for themselves, not rely on others.
Again, judge and group your thoughts. You can keep all of the ideas or, in this case, group the first and the last one as they are pretty similar.
Step 4. Write!
Altogether, writing the plan takes you about 10 minutes. Now, at this point, you might be thinking “You guys may be professional writers, but you are a little bit crazy”. If it is an exam or test, we only have 40-50 minutes to write the whole essay, how can we take 10 minutes to write a plan? This is one of those things you have to try for yourself and give it a shot. Of course, you do not want to try it for the first time on your test day, you need to do it during your practice. And believe us, you can take ten minutes to plan your essay, and still finish with time to spare at the end.
So, if you have made it this far, you should have lots of ideas for your essay arguments, a complete understanding of the essay topic, a rock-solid plan you can refer back to whenever you have trouble. This is what your score will thank you for.