Department of Education

How can I plan an essay?

How can I plan an essay?


Writing a plan for an essay is a good idea as it helps you to structure your thoughts and ensures that you cover all the main points. This can be very useful in an exam situation.

If you are in an exam you should spend only 5 to 10 minutes planning. You can spend longer if you are not in an exam situation.

How to plan your essay

  • Read the essay question carefully and think about what you are being asked to do. Do you need to persuade, explain, or compare?
  • Your essay plan should have a logical order, a beginning, middle and an end.
  • The beginning should introduce your topic and give a brief overview of your argument.
  • Think about each paragraph and how it will be structured. Each paragraph should state a new idea or opinion and give a clear logical argument to support your idea or opinion.
  • Finally conclude your essay by drawing together all the main points from your argument. Ensure that you answer the question clearly and give your essay a sense of closure.


Here are some websites that offer advice on how to write an essay:

BBC Bitesize

How to write an essay

Revision World


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