Although it may seem like a waste of time – especially during examswhere time is tight – it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay. This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas – rather than simply the first ones that come to mind – and position them in your essay accordingly.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.
Without a clear plan, you run the risk of realizing partway through that you`ve drifted off topic or written yourself into a corner, and fixing these mistakes will consume a ton of extra time.
You should formulate your thesis statement—the central argument you`re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long.
Take note of the amount of time allotted for the exam and split it into reasonably-sized segments, leaving some time at the end for revision if possible. Without a schedule to follow, it`s easy to become too focused on a single paragraph and run out of time to finish the essay.
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!