Planning and Structuring Writing

Brainstorming Ideas and Organising Them Logically

When you set out to write, the first step is to let your mind flow freely and generate an array of ideas. Consider using some of the following brainstorming techniques:

  • Free Writing – Write continuously for a set amount of time without worrying about grammar or punctuation. The goal is to let your thoughts flow freely.
  • Mind Mapping – Start with your main idea in the centre of a page and draw branches out to related ideas. This can help you see connections between ideas.
  • Listing – Write down all your ideas in a list. This can help you get all your ideas out quickly.
  • Questioning – Ask yourself questions about your topic. This can help you explore different aspects of it.

Once you have a list of ideas, start organising them. Group related ideas together and order them in a way that makes sense. This could be done chronologically, by importance or in any other way that suits your topic.

Developing a Clear Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the main idea of your piece. It should be clear, concise and convey exactly what you’re arguing or discussing. It’s usually one to two sentences long and is placed at the end of your introduction.

For example, if you’re writing about digital privacy, your thesis statement might be: “Digital privacy is an important concern in our increasingly interconnected world and requires immediate safeguarding measures.”

If you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, your thesis statement might be: “Regular exercise not only improves physical health, but also boosts mental well-being and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.”

Structuring Writing with an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

Your writing should have a clear structure:

  • Introduction – This should introduce your topic and thesis statement. It sets the stage for your argument or discussion.
  • Body Paragraphs – Each paragraph should focus on one point or argument that supports your thesis. Start with a topic sentence, provide evidence or examples and then explain how this supports your thesis.
  • Conclusion – This should summarise your main points and restate your thesis in a new way. It’s your final chance to persuade your reader or make your point.

Using Paragraphs to Separate Points

Each paragraph should focus on a different point or stage in your argument. This helps your reader follow your argument and keeps your writing organised. Remember to use transitions between paragraphs to guide your reader through your argument.

Planning and Structuring Writing Under Exam Conditions

In an exam, you’ll need to plan and structure your writing quickly and efficiently. Following these tips will help you achieve this:

  • Use Your Time Wisely – Spend the first few minutes brainstorming and organising your ideas. This will make the actual writing process smoother and more efficient.
  • Outline Your Essay – Before you start writing, jot down a brief outline. This should include your thesis statement and the main point for each paragraph.
  • Stay Focused – Stick to your plan and stay focused on your thesis. Don’t go off on tangents or include irrelevant information.