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How to plan an essay in 5 minutes

plan an essay in 5 minutes

This lesson contains everything you need to know about essay plans. Essay plans are about to become your best friend… They take only 5 minutes to create, and they’ll guarantee that you write the best essay you can every time!

Why make an essay plan?

An essay plan makes you decide what’s going to be in your essay before you write it.

This achieves a few very important things…

1 Your essay will have perfect structure and read in a logical order (examiners love this!) because you decided what each paragraph was going to be about first.

2 While you’re writing you won’t need to waste time trying to think of what you should write next – it’s all in your essay plan!

3 You won’t forget to include any important points because you jotted them all down in your essay plan before you started.

Proper Essay Structure

Introduction: Every essay needs an introduction (3-5 sentences), so at the top of your essay plan just jot down introduction or intro, so you remember to write one.

Paragraphs: Every essay must be written in paragraphs. Each paragraph should explain one main idea, and needs to have the SEXI structure:

SA Topic Sentence. This tells the reader what the paragraph is going to be about. You only need to write down the jist of the topic sentence for each paragraph in your essay plan.

EA full Explanation of the point you’re making in this paragraph. This should make up the bulk of your paragraph. In your essay plan jot down what you’re going to explain.

XeXamples or justifications that back up what you’ve said in that paragraph. Jot down what examples you’re going to include in your essay plan so you don’t forget to include them in your essay!

IWhy is this point Important? A really amazing essay would also explain why this point is important to the essay as a whole. What’s the significance of this point to the essay topic?

Conclusion: Every essay needs a conclusion that briefly summarises what’s been said in the essay. You can just write down conclusion or conc in your essay plan to make sure you write one.

The essay plan below is for a hypothetical essay question about the film ‘The Matrix’ and the film’s setting. It should give you a good idea of how to make essay plans for any subject you have to write essays for.


Paragraph 1:


The Matrix is set in the future… – TOPIC SENTENCE

Full description of the setting – EXPLANATION

Examples of how the setting is futuristic – EXAMPLES

Paragraph 2:


The costumes in The Matrix help to portray the setting…

Explain how the costumes did this

Examples of Neo’s costumes in the real world & the matrix

Why costumes are important to the setting – IMPORTANT

Paragraph 3:

Special FX

The special effects helped create the setting in a number of ways…

Explanation of the SFX used & how they helped create the setting

Example – wobbly screen when transitions into the matrix

Why the SFX are important to the setting

Paragraph 4:


The lighting effects used help show the setting is futuristic…

Explanation of the lighting effects used & how they portray the setting

Example of the lighting in the scene with the agents

Why the lighting is important to the setting




Don’t worry if you haven’t even seen The Matrix – just look at how we’ve made sure each paragraph follows SEXI. All we’d have to do to write the essay is expand each part of the essay plan. So easy!



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