5: Plan the Essay
Step 5: Plan the Essay
You may think we're spending too much time planning the essay, but believe me, it's worth it. The more time you spend in the prewriting and planning stages, the easier it will be to construct the paragraphs for your essay.
In this section we will be focusing on the three body paragraphs. We will look at two different types of plans: the topic web and the sentence outline. Sometimes just doing one of them is sufficient; however, if you want to do a really thorough job, you should do both plans.
Let's go back to the "favorite pet" prompt. We have a lot of good ideas ready to go, now we just need to organize them.
The topic web is a graphic organizer that helps to get your ideas in the right place. I doesn't include a lot of detail; it contains words and phrases. It's like a map, guiding you towards an organized essay.
The sentence outline is a more developed version of a topic web. It can work as a first draft for your essay, since you will be writing complete sentences.
A sentence outline allows you to see the structure of each body paragraph to make sure your ideas are developed clearly and logically.
Make a sentence outline for your three body paragraphs.
As you work on your outlines, remember that you can always change and refine the ideas you generated during your prewriting. Consider the best order for presenting your examples, reasons, and facts. Remain flexible as you look for support for your major points. You may also find that you need to rework your major points. Always be looking for ways to improve what you've written as you work through the writing process.