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Essay writing guide: Home

A general guide to writing all kinds of essays, for exams or for research papers and assignments.

Unpacking the question

A Study Smarter guide from the University of Western Australia.

A sample essay mind map

Take a few minutes to explore the possibilities of your essay by creating a mind map.

Note the

  • central thesis

  • need to define terms

  • linking of examples and research


  •  the consideration of main ideas/arguments

From James Cook University.

A sample essay outline/plan

A brief outline will make it easier to develop topic sentences and to arrange your paragraphs in the most effective order.

1. State your thesis.

2. List the topic sentence for each paragraph. Note that these derive directly from the thesis, and explain, prove or expand on each of the thesis' claims.

3. Expand on topic sentences using examples/case studies.

4. Link the material in your paragraph back to your thesis.

5. Conclusion - Plan to finish strongly, what you have learnt from the investigation, future directions, a personal response to the issue.


University of Ottawa.


An example to work through - Year 12 Geography

Our guides list

Structure your paragraphs with PEEL

Image from: Classroom freebies

PEEL sentence starters

Image from: Teacherspayteachers

PEEL paragraph organiser

Essay and assignment writing guide