Once you have thoroughly thought about your evidence, it is time to consider your plan. Planning your essay is as important as writing it or finding the evidence that you need to create your argument. Your plan is important because without it you will go into your essay unprepared – you need a plan to convert your ideas and evidence into an argument, rather than attempting to present a series of somewhat linked ideas. A plan means your essay will have not only structure but consistency and when you are dealing with a subject like parliamentary sovereignty it is important to have both; when dealing with complex legal and philosophical issues it is vital to ensure that you don’t lose the reader at any point or else you will likely to not receive the marks that you would otherwise get if you essay was more consistent. Here are the main points that you should focus on when planning:
- Focus. When planning your essay, focus is vital. Focussing on the question is important as many students fail to properly understand the question and instead answer the question that they think they are meant to answer. This results in all sorts of problems, not simply a loss of marks but also making the essay confusing and lacking in cogency. Make sure that when you are planning and writing your essay that you ensure that you are fully focussed not only on answering the question but ensuring that you use evidence that is relevant to the question so that your answer has credibility to it and you will be certain to do well.
- Order. When writing your essay, it is important, as with any essay, to ensure that you use your strongest argument first and then follow through your essay with your sub arguments or weaker argument. This will give your argument a feeling of order and substance, that argument after argument naturally follow on from one another. This will also mean that if you are writing your essay under timed conditions that you will have more time to spend on your stronger arguments and that, if you must, you can be broader with your weaker arguments. This does not mean, of course, that you should brush over these arguments naturally. This should only be done if you are working against the clock and don’t have enough time to complete them to the highest possible standard. You must ensure that you write your essay to the highest possible standard and ensure that it is not filled with any lack of evidence or order; failing to maintain a level or order and evidence in your essay will only weaken it and make it not as strong as it otherwise would be.
- Persuasive Writing. When writing your essay, it is important to remember that though you are using an argument you are attempting to persuade, not to lecture. You must make sure that your language is persuasive and isn’t seen as overly argumentative. You aren’t trying to force the reader into agreeing with you – you are attempting to convince them that you are right and that they should agree with you because you have provided evidence that counters other argument to the contrary and ensures that the person reading your essay wants to agree with your rather than being forced to accept that you are right. This cannot simply be achieved through the use of evidence, but you must also use persuasive writing; you must make your argument sound reasonable, make it sound as if it is the only possible solution to the question and ensure that the reader truly believes that you are right, that there isn’t a reasonable arguments against what you are stating. This will also allow your criticism of other argument or points of view to be reasonable and therefore you will be able to ensure that your essay is seen as not only authoritative because of its use of evidence but also reasoned and well argued.