this is the glue that binds everything together

Once you have made your plan you need to decide how to arrange your ideas within the paragraphs and also how to move from paragraph to paragraph.

(Within the paragraph is a matter of coherence and this involves grammar and vocabulary - look at keeping control for advice.)

A well formed plan will give us the overall structure now we need to balance this.

  • introduction - keep this short, in an essay of 250 words it need only be 3 sentences maximum. If you have more you've probably started the essay
  • balance your paragraphs - if you have 3 points in paragraph 1 try to have a similar number in the 2nd paragraph. Also, if you have 2 paragraphs 'for' have 2 'against'
  • keep similar ideas together - this helps you to develop your ideas clearly and control the language
  • conclusion - this should mirror your introduction in length and content The reader should not be surprised by your conclusion. NEVER introduce a new idea in your conclusion!!

pencil buttonA simple 'rule of thumb for paragraph content;

  • make your point
  • back it up with evidence
  • give an example where appropriate
  • signal the next paragraph


pencil buttonOverall structure

  • intro: 2/3 sentences
  • 1st para: point 1, evidence, example, point 2, evidence, point 3 evidence, example
  • 2nd para: point 1, evidence, point 2, evidence, example, point 3 evidence, example
  • Conclusion: 2/3 sentences


This should give you around 250 words.

Go to list of introduction and conclusion sentences

Go to list of linking words



Planning your writing

woman at laptop

tips on planning


balance scales

How to keep a balance in your writing

Keeping control

gymnast in control on bars

Making sure the language is key

Checking Your Work

dictionary page

The final frontier!

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