Shortcut - Writing Course 2: Planning Your Text
These six steps will help you get started on writing a good essay:
- Read the text carefully. Underline the key words that tell you what to do.
- Find the purpose. Do you have to discuss, compare and contrast, explain, summarize? What do these things mean?
- Choose the style of writing. Should your text be informal or formal? Are you going to write a letter, report, speech, etc.?
- Find good sources. Find texts that back up your ideas. Use what you find in your sources and your own ideas to make an interesting discussion.
- Brainstorm your ideas. Take five minutes and write down everything you can think of about the topic.
- Look at your brainstorming ideas again. Pick out the key words and ideas to put in your essay. Then sort them into groups. These groups will be part of the structure of your essay. To organize your essay, you could make a mind map, a timeline or a Venn diagram (see pages 141-142).