How should I structure my essay when in an exam?

Always remember that the aim of your essay is to communicate your knowledge to the marker. The best way to do this is to have pre-planned ideas ready before you step into your exam. These ideas will be the base of your essay and should help you in structuring any essay before you see even the question. A basic essay structure though is essential in helping you articulate these ideas. This essay structure should be easy to remember. I used a simple essay structure of a short introduction, approximately 3-4 paragraphs and then a conclusion to finish. Breaking this down even further, your paragraphs should also have a clear internal structure. You may have heard your teachers talk about a PEEL structure or a PEELEEL structure before, in which you state your Point, give Evidence, Explain and then Link to your next point. This works really well as a foundational way of thinking about what you are going to say. By sticking to this structure whenever you feel stuck in an exam you also make life much easier for yourself. Furthermore, this base structure can be built upon to improve the fluency and level of your essay. For example, by expressing the views of relevant critics and extending your argument through counter-examples or more nuanced examples an essay can be made to appear more confident and developed.

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