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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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4 Planning an essay: the pre-writing steps

Before writing an essay, it is important to take the time to understand its structure as this provides a useful starting point. A typical essay includes an introduction, the main body of the text, a conclusion and a list of references (Figure 3).

The structure of an essay consists of the introduction, main body, conclusion and references.
Figure 3 The structure of an essay

While this is a simple structure, students often wonder what should be included in the main body of the essay. In this section you will learn how carefully reading the assignment question and carrying out some simple tasks can help you to plan the content of the main body of the essay.