Here’s a highly requested insight into my process for planning formative and summative essays!
1 – Pulling Apart Question
Starting at the very beginning (a very good place to start), DIGEST the question. Pick out key words, understand the legal definition and ask yourself WHY you are being asked the question.
Is the question a general statement arguing a view point?
TOP TIP: Play devils advocate with the title.
2 – Splurge Page
Write down EVERYTHING that could be relevant. I call it a ‘splurge page’ because I quite literally just splurge everything onto the page. Cases, academics, content etc. Type up a page that has it alllll on using your notes. Now you have your ultimate source of information that’s SPECIFIC to the question – it may take a bit of time, but grab a coffee and thank me later.
3 – Rough Outline
Using the splurge page, work out your argument. Aim for 3-4 persuasive points that align with the question and your view point, separate them into headings on a page and bullet point underneath them the content that you would include in the paragraph. The first step to making a great plan!
4 – Academics
Work out where academics fit / contradict your argument. This is SO important for analysis and use of resources in an essay! Read around the question – and write into your plan the quote you want to use with the author’s name and source – so that it is easy to implement into your essay when you come to writing it up.
5 – Finalise Outline
The final step to creating that amazing plan. Add to your list of headings an introduction, and a conclusion – also bullet pointing under each of these the points you want to include.
TOP TIP: To reach those higher marks, lay out your parts and overall argument in the introduction!
To finish it all off, colour code! Make the text for your academics and cases stand out from the page – so that you can visually see how much authority you’ve included and whether you need to add in any more. If it all looks good and balanced – you’re ready to start writing!
Stay tuned for a post coming soon on how I finalise my essays once they are written up!