Step 4: Developing your structure
Step 4: Update your Plan & Develop your Structure
- As you research, your understanding of the topic area will shift and change. Now that you have completed the necessary research and work towards a foundational structure, it is time to update your plan and structure with the new information you have gathered.
- Ideas and concepts may have changed since the beginning of your assignment, this is a good thing! It proves that your research was thorough which allowed for your original ideas to develop.
- Gather all the information that you have found and, by using either bullet points, spider diagram or any other form of planning tool you wish, structure this information in a coherent and logical way.
- Be aware of the arguments you plan to build while updating your assignment plan. The structure of each paragraph should focus on one point that supports your argument. Remember: each paragraph and section must link back to the question! When making your plan, roughly use a topic sentence for each paragraph that illustrates the main idea of that paragraph so that it will be clear and easy to follow.
- Make sure you keep the breakdown of the question to hand as you plan out your assignment. Remember the limiting scope and the focus of the question: ensure that what you plan to write is on target for the question as it was asked. When you begin to write your first draft, you will be able to use your plan to guide your writing.
- It’s important to bear in mind the structure and flow of your assignment when updating your plan. Does each section flow naturally into the next? Each section should build on the last in so far as possible: don’t state something in your second section that is only explained properly in a later section.
- Additionally, if you are going to incorporate counterarguments in your assignment, these should come after you have stated your own claims. Consider how much word count you are dedicating to each section.
- Each section doesn’t need to be dealt with equally, but if one section is dramatically shorter or longer than the others, you may want to reconsider your structure, or you may need to do some more research.