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Step 4: Finalise the Essay Plan

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What should be finished before I start writing?

In Step 2 of the essay writing process, you would have drafted a rough essay plan before you began your research. During the research process (as explained in Step 3), you would have developed this plan further as you learned more information on your topic.

The first draft of your essay plan may have looked like this:

Introduction (150 words)

  1. Thesis statement: Through an examination of the evidence, it is clear that Critical Thinking is highly relevant to the role of a Registered Nurse for a number of reasons.
  2. Introduce main points or topics to be discussed: accuracy of diagnoses, patient outcomes, prevent and solve problems, communication

Topic 1: Accuracy of diagnoses (300 words)

Topic 2: Patient outcomes (300 words)

Topic 3: Prevent and solve problems (300 words)

Topic 4: Communication (300 words)

Conclusion (150 words)

  1. Concluding statement: Thus, it can be seen that the concept of Critical Thinking is invaluable and highly relevant to Registered Nurses.
  2. Sum up main points or topics that have been discussed: accuracy of diagnoses, patient outcomes, prevent and solve problems, communication

However, as you were collecting, organising and analysing information in your research document, you may have found that Topic 2: Patient outcomes and Topic 3: Prevent and solve problems were far more important than you thought. You might have decided that Topic 4: Communication is not something that should be discussed in the essay. Importantly, you would also have found out what information or points needed to be discussed under each of your topics. All of these changes would have affected your essay plan, and you would have made these changes to your essay plan (and the organisation of your research document) as you went along.

Once you have completed your research, and before you begin writing your first draft, you need to re-think your essay plan and write a final version based on what you discovered during your research. Your final essay plan will contain more detail than your first draft and be a very specific guide to how to write your essay. It might look like this:

Introduction (150 words)

  1. Thesis statement: Through an examination of the evidence, it is clear that Critical Thinking is highly relevant to the role of a Registered Nurse for a number of reasons.
  2. Introduce main points or topics to be discussed: patient outcomes, prevent and solve problems, accuracy of diagnoses

Topic 1: Patient outcomes (450 words)

  1. Assessment
  2. Planning of care
  3. Implementing care plan
  4. Evaluation of care and outcomes

Topic 2: Prevent and solve problems (450 words)

  1. Types of problems
  2. Prevention of problems
  3. Solving problems

Topic 3: Accuracy of diagnoses (300 words)

  1. Problems with inaccurate diagnoses
  2. How critical thinking allows improved diagnoses
  3. Benefits and outcomes of accurate diagnoses

Conclusion (150 words)

  1. Concluding statement: Thus, it can be seen that the concept of Critical Thinking is invaluable and highly relevant to Registered Nurses.
  2. Sum up main points or topics that have been discussed: patient outcomes, prevent and solve problems, accuracy of diagnoses

(Please note that this sample essay plan is intended only to serve as a guide for how to develop and write an essay plan, and should not be used as an essay plan by students writing an essay on this topic.)

Once you have completed the final draft of your essay plan, you are ready to begin writing the first draft of your essay. You might like to print out the essay plan and have it sitting next to you as you write. Depending on the length of your research document, you might print that or simply have it open on your computer. Your essay plan will let you know what information from your research document needs to be included in your essay as you write.

This guide relates to the fourth step in writing an academic essay. There are five other steps, so please ensure that you read each guide in the series How to Write Distinction Essays Every TimeOnce you have written your essay, we suggest that you use our professional essay editing service to improve your essay. Please read about our editors and our editing and proofreading services to ensure you obtain all the assistance you need.

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