On the topic of planning, it`s important to sketch out an idea of how long you want to spend on each section of your essay. If you know the number of paragraphs you`ll need to write ahead of time, you can do this before the exam even starts!
Perfecting paragraphs is a time-consuming process, and, if you spend too much time editing before the essay is finished, you might have to rush through the last few sections or leave them out entirely. For this reason, it`s best to focus on producing a complete first draft before you worry about edits and revisions.
Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You`ll use these as evidence for your points.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader`s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
Define a topic: If you`re allowed to choose your own topic, try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
It`s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don`t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.