- Nep English School

Planning for an essay

This blog will give you some good tips on how to plan your essay effectively.


You have 45 minutes to write the essay:

  • Spend 15 minutes planning
  • 20 minutes for the main writing
  • and then 10 minutes to check your answers.

Write a list which can be checked off as you write it.

Read the question carefully!

Underline highlight the relevant words.

Think about the formality, who is the person reading your essay?

Compare contrast agree disagree and explain inform and give you reasoned opinion with examples.

Use direct and indirect questions to attract attention.

Think of the third idea, this is NOT your opinion. It is another idea that is different from the other two ideas but links to the question.

Brainstorm ideas you can write about. Some of them need to be abstract. Organise them into paragraphs.

The language used needs to be specific to the topic.  Use synonyms or pronouns so you do not repeat the same word.

Note down any complex grammar that can be used in your essay, such as:

— Relative clauses
— Reported speech
— Mixed conditionals
— Passive
— Verb patterns: Infinitive and gerund
— Modal verbs
— And different tenses

Improve your writing by using B2 connectors, for instance:

— However
— Moreover
— Furthermore
— Although
— In spite of, despite
— It may appear
— Such as

Think about the five paragraphs:

— Introduction, only 2 to 3 sentences
— Then answer the three questions. These should be roughly the same in length.
— The conclusion should also only be 2 to 3 sentences. It should summarise the three paragraphs.

When you have finished, read through, checking your spelling and punctuation. Make sure you have answered the question.

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