How do I structure my essays under timed pressure/in an exam?

The best way to keep an essay structured is to do a rough plan before you start writing. Spend about 5-10 minutes on it (or less if the exam isn't generous with time) in order to collect and organise your thoughts. Many students suffer from having too many ideas all over the place, with no clear indication of how to present them. By having a quick plan, one can refer back to it to make sure all ideas are in order. You can also treat it like a checklist - with each idea written into the essay, you can cross them off to keep track. Most plans include an outline introduction to lay out your argument and the ideas you want to present, followed by a small explanation of what will be detailed in each paragraph. Under pressure, a lot of students can forget great ideas, so jotting them all down not only clears headspace, but allows for a logical train of thought and a well structured essay. Just don't forget to cross it all out at the end of the exam!

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