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The essay plan

Many students, after having analysed an essay topic, are inclined to go straight to the library and read extensively on the subject. It is only after doing this research that they feel confident enough to start thinking and planning out their answer. Such an approach can be a mistake however, with some students producing a myriad of notes and then finding themselves at a loss about how these notes can be transformed into a coherent piece of writing.

Before you read too much (or if possible, before you read anything), it is a good idea to do as much thinking and planning around the topic as you can. The benefit of this approach is that right from the start you can begin to get a sense of the shape your essay will take. It also means you can be more strategic in your reading, allowing you to search for specific reading materials rather than collecting a mass of material that may ultimately have limited relevance to your work.

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