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Week 1 – Plan

This week we will be focussing on study and essay planning. How do you prepare an essay? At the end we will asking you to post an essay plan or mind map on the group Facebook page. Once you have completed the content this week you will feel more confident undertaking these tasks and you can put any questions or comments you have on the group’s Facebook page.

Why essays?

Academic essays are used on most courses and to produce a high quality essay and you will need to demonstrate your ability:

  • to understand exactly what you are being asked to do and establish the title;
  • to source appropriate material to read;
  • to critically read that material;
  • to select the most relevant material to refer to in your essay;
  • to construct an effective argument; and
  • to arrive at a well-supported conclusion.

Essays also have a set word limit. This adds to the challenge by requiring that all of these skills be demonstrated within a relatively small number of words. Producing a well-constructed piece of written work within a word limit can be a challenge in itself but it is an important skill to learn.

Task 1 – Effective essay planning

The first thing to do this week is to explore the first step in our 5 step plan for ‘essay success’ below. Please work through the session on essay planning. Make notes on any areas you find useful or need clarification on. Feel free to ask the team or your peers questions using the Facebook group.

You will see mind maps and essay planning mentioned in the videos. For more information on mind mapping, have a look at this:

Task 2 – Create an essay plan

  • Imagine you are preparing for an essay on the importance of hand washing as a method of infection control.
  • This would be a 2,500 word piece of work – don’t worry you don’t need to write the whole essay!
  • Prepare a mind map or essay plan of how you might set the essay out and what you might include in each section.
  • Post a photoof your work to the Facebook group.
  • Review and comment upon each other’s posts, remembering the ground rules we set at the beginning of the course.
  • Reflecton what you have learnt about essay planning.

Dig Deeper

Want to explore some mindmapping apps? Take a look at this blog article for a great overview and examples.

Effective note taking can transform your day-to-day working and studying. As you go through this course, you will need to decide how best to take notes and keep a record of the skills you are learning. If you’re interested in using an online tool for note taking, have a look at these examples to decide which might be best for you: