In the first installment of this October’s Essay Month we did an extremely thorough overview of how to structure high school essays. Today we’re onto the next crucial part of mastering essay writing — making Essay Plans.
Essay Plans are one of our ALL TIME FAVOURITE study techniques, with good reason.
Essay Plans are like a full cover insurance policy taken out against your essay. They ensure three very important things:
- Your essay has proper essay structure, including each element of S.E.X.I.
- Your paragraphs follow in a logical sequence
- You don’t forget important points
All of these points are just as important as the content of an essay. In other words, if your teen’s essays don’t hit these three points, they’re cutting very precious marks off their essay grade.
Oh — and because of these three huge benefits, Essay Plans will also save your teen tonnes of stress!
So what actually is an Essay Plan?
You can think of an Essay Plan as the blueprint for an essay. You wouldn’t start building a house without a plan, and your teen’s essays are no different in that sense.
An Essay Plan is simply an outline of what each paragraph of the essay is going to be about. If you’ve read last week’s article on essay structure, an Essay Plan is an outline of Overall essay structure AND Paragraph structure.
Like essay structure, Essay Plans are incredibly important, but thankfully, very simple! They might take your teen somewhere between 1 to 5 minutes to make, but they save a LOT more time than that overall.
Let’s take a look at an example.
This Essay Plan is from a real essay that we wrote in high school (when we studied The Matrix).
You can see we have first written down that there will be an introduction, followed by three paragraphs each dedicated to one main point, and ending with a conclusion.
If your teen’s Essay Plans stop there (ie they only plan out the Overall structure), that’s a million times better than no Essay Plan. But if they want to write an A grade essay, their Essay Plan should also map out the S.E.X.I. of each paragraph.
You can see in our Essay Plan above that for each paragraph we have jotted down what the S.E.X.I. for each paragraph will be: The Statement, the Explanation, the Examples we’re going to use, and why that paragraph is Important.
Now your teen can write beautiful essays without all the frustration
A lot of teen’s get penalised, even if they’ve studied hard, because their essays aren’t well presented. When you don’t plan out your essay in advance, it is inevitably going to be difficult to maintain a clear structure and to not forgot any of the points you wanted to make.
This is especially true in the high pressure environment of an exam, which we all know is when you need to bring your A game, and also when pressure can make your brain misfire and forget something you know perfectly well!
The beauty of an Essay Plan is that it simplifies all of the tricky parts of essay writing (structure, wondering what to write next…). Your Essay Plan tells you what to write and in what order, so all you have to do to actually write your essay is ‘fill out’ your Essay Plan.
Let’s be real, not every Essay Plan we ever made was as thorough as the one above. Here is a photo of one of our REAL high school exam papers:
You don’t need to know what this essay was about to see that, clearly, it’s not as complete as the first example above, but taking into account the high pressure environment of an exam it’s a realistic example of the type of Essay Plan your teen might make in an exam.
The important thing is that we wrote down the main points we wanted to make and in what order as well as several examples to include. We got a top grade for this essay and we have the Essay Plan to thank for keeping the essay on point and on track.
Send us your teen’s writing and we’ll mark it for free.
We’re here to help your teen write the best essays they’re capable of, so make sure you send us a sample of their essay writing (or maybe an Essay Plan!) and we will send it back to you with personalised feedback in just 3 days (for free of course). Just email it to Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org 😊
Can’t wait to hear from you and happy essay planning,
Chris & Clare
Photo credit: Eduction photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com