This session guides students through the process of essay planning from deciphering an essay title
using the verbs and context, to considering the stages involved in an essay and planning for an essay.
It could be used as an introduction to a formal essay on the course of study, or as a practice activity.
Learning Objective
Students will plan an essay using either a mindmap or a linear approach having first deciphered the
expectations conveyed in the essay title and considered the stages involved in writing an essay.
Learning Outcomes
1. Define and recall the expectations delivered through the use of verbs and context in an essay
2. Discuss, determine and list the stages involved in an essay.
3. Plan the structure of an essay from an essay title using either a mindmap or linear structure,
introduced in session 5 – notemaking.
Timings: 20 minutes
Resources: Student resource booklet, pages 2-5
Activity Outline
1. Lecturer explains that understanding the essay question is vital, and asks students to discuss
and define the keywords on pg. 2. They can then self-assess using pg. 3.
2. Students identify the key verbs and terms in the example essay titles on pg.2.
3. Students discuss and quickly draft on paper the stages involved in writing an essay. Compare
to pg. 4.
4. Using pg. 5, remind students that there are two ways they can plan an essay that were
introduced in session 5 ‘Notemaking’ (see the resources for this session if you wish to revisit
these methods) and introduce the idea of logic, progression and flow.
5. Using either a title that the lecturer supplies or the one on pg. 5, ask students to create an
essay plan for the given title. Peer review and take feedback.
Optional Self-study for extension of skills using Skills4study Campus
Writing skills
Skills4study campus can be accessed from: