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Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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6 Planning

6.1 Why plan a piece of writing?

Planning is about creating a framework that will help you to make choices about what needs to be included in your assignment and what doesn't. Some people feel they don't need to plan: starting to write helps them know what it is they are going to say. If you recognise yourself here, we suggest you consider the points we raise in this section.

Activity 12

Why is planning a piece of writing important? Take a few moments to jot down your thoughts in your Learning Journal.


Your list probably includes at least some of the following:

  • helps me to separate what's essential from what's less so

  • enables me to express my ideas more effectively

  • ensures that what I want to say doesn't get lost

  • assists in building an argument

  • makes sure that I don't exceed the word limit

  • gets the sequence of ideas right.

Even short pieces require planning so that you are concise and to the point. As the required length and level of complexity of a piece of writing increase, so does the need to organise your ideas.