Academic Skills

Linear plans / Bullet points

The important point about making a plan is to show connections. Put your core answer at the top and decide what you need to include in order to illustrate it. Then decide on a logical structure for the points you need to make. If you have followed the advice on Note-making, planning should be relatively straightforward.

Use colour coding, numbers or letters to organise your material. Write a topic sentence for each paragraph and think how each one links to the next as they progress towards your conclusion. For instance, if you were writing on ‘The Internet, a Blessing or a Curse?’ you could colour code advantages and disadvantages. You could then work out an order which dealt with all the advantages first, then the disadvantages, then the conclusion as to which was the most persuasive, or you could interweave the advantages with the disadvantages, e.g. freedom of information versus intrusion on privacy. At this stage you can also search through your notes for relevant quotes to support your points.

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