Plan - Now you have to organise the 'mess' that was your brainstorm into a well structured essay. Decide whether the question is asking for a thematic approach, or chronological. Is it asking for causes to be evaluated or for a discussion of two sides of an argument? Once you have a general approach, you need to decide what each paragraph is going to include. Look at your brainstorm and begin to group ideas, include any more relevant factors or points that may come to you as you are planning. Start to order the paragraphs and try to see natural links between points or paragraphs to help the flow of the essay.
When I visited the Duke campus last fall, I immediately felt at home. The Gothic architecture and tree-shaded walks created an atmosphere of peaceful but serious reflection. The place is at once Southern—which, as an Alabamian, is important to me—and universal as it reflects the traditions of Europe and the classical world. The Trinity College liberal arts curriculum also reflects this unique pairing of the modern South and the global past. For example, I am considering a major in history, and am very interested in the combination of geographic and thematic areas of study offered by Duke’s history program. The combinations of areas offer seeming endless areas of specialization. One interesting possibility is a focus in the geographic area of the . and Canada, combined with a thematic study of Women and Gender or African Diaspora. By juxtaposing and intertwining these two foci, my understanding of the American South—and much more—would be greatly enriched. This innovative and flexible approach to both traditional and non-traditional subject matter is greatly appealing to me. I know by reputation and from a friend currently enrolled in Trinity College that the liberal arts curriculum is very challenging, but also rewarding. I believe I am more than prepared for these challenges, and that I will thrive in this climate. Duke University’s campus already feels like home; I believe that its academic opportunities will also provide a stimulating environment in which I feel I belong.
The conclusion is where you sum up what you have said in your essay. It is absolutely vital – never fail to write one. This is the last thing an examiner reads and counts for a great deal: a good conclusion can rescue an indifferent essay and set the seal on a good one. It is here that you draw together the threads of your argument and hammer home your points, leaving the reader in no doubt as to your answer. You should refer explicitly to the key words of the question and reinforce the points you made in the main body. Above all it should contain nothing new – it is simply a restatement of your argument. If there is anything you have not already said it is too late now!