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How in-depth do essay plans need to be?

*I know this is probably the wrong forum but I've had no replies on the right one.

I am a first year undergrad currently working on an essay proposal on the Arab Conquests that is due for this Monday coming. The first essay at uni, may I add.

When it comes to how much I know about what I need to do, we were told we needed the following:
- Title
- Plan
- Indicative bibliography
- Has to be done on 1 page

The biggest problem for me is the essay plan. I am extremely pedantic when it comes to this stuff and I don't know how much detail it has to be in. It's getting to a point that I am already over-analysing the sources I read and am adding for and against arguments for each section.

I recognise that this will take forever to do if this is the case, which is why I think I am overthinking it majorly.

That is why I am writing this because I just want some assurance from people who know more about this than me, and also maybe a few pointers to what I should do.

Thank you all in advance!
Original post by henryrollings
*I know this is probably the wrong forum but I've had no replies on the right one.

I am a first year undergrad currently working on an essay proposal on the Arab Conquests that is due for this Monday coming. The first essay at uni, may I add.

When it comes to how much I know about what I need to do, we were told we needed the following:
- Title
- Plan
- Indicative bibliography
- Has to be done on 1 page

The biggest problem for me is the essay plan. I am extremely pedantic when it comes to this stuff and I don't know how much detail it has to be in. It's getting to a point that I am already over-analysing the sources I read and am adding for and against arguments for each section.

I recognise that this will take forever to do if this is the case, which is why I think I am overthinking it majorly.

That is why I am writing this because I just want some assurance from people who know more about this than me, and also maybe a few pointers to what I should do.

Thank you all in advance!

Hello,

I’m a literature postgrad and from what I’ve experienced from my undergrad essay plans don’t need to be incredibly detailed and wordy. If it’s one page what they want I imagine is an essay focus.

An essay focus is basically what your essay actually looks at in a tight-knit paragraph or so. If it were a dissertation it would be a lot different but since it’s your first year I imagine they just want a paragraph to show that your essay won’t feel too broad or vague.

Hope this helps,
Dom
Reply 2
When it comes to how much I know about what I need to do, we were told we needed the following:
- Title
- Plan
Introduction (approx word count - if a 2000 wrd essay, will usually be 150-250 wrds)
3 themed sub-sections in the order you will cover them, with word counts for each - if a 2000 wrd essay approx 500-600 wrds each
Conclusion (approx word count if a 2000 wrd essay, will usually be 150-250 wrds)
- Indicative bibliography
- Has to be done on 1 page
Original post by henryrollings
*I know this is probably the wrong forum but I've had no replies on the right one.

I am a first year undergrad currently working on an essay proposal on the Arab Conquests that is due for this Monday coming. The first essay at uni, may I add.

When it comes to how much I know about what I need to do, we were told we needed the following:
- Title
- Plan
- Indicative bibliography
- Has to be done on 1 page

The biggest problem for me is the essay plan. I am extremely pedantic when it comes to this stuff and I don't know how much detail it has to be in. It's getting to a point that I am already over-analysing the sources I read and am adding for and against arguments for each section.

I recognise that this will take forever to do if this is the case, which is why I think I am overthinking it majorly.

That is why I am writing this because I just want some assurance from people who know more about this than me, and also maybe a few pointers to what I should do.

Thank you all in advance!

Hey!

I'd generally agree with the above that if they've asked for all of that on one page then they aren't looking for a lot of detail! Most of the time when I've submitted essay plans it's generally been a vague run-through of what my underlying argument will be, with some sources that'll back this up. It also normally includes the 'journey' the essay will go on, AKA how I've got from point A to B and why I've come to my argument.

You then use the essay itself to go into your sources in depth and consider their strengths and weaknesses! :biggrin:

Best of luck, I'm sure you'll smash it!

Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep (PhD Psychology)
Original post by henryrollings
*I know this is probably the wrong forum but I've had no replies on the right one.

I am a first year undergrad currently working on an essay proposal on the Arab Conquests that is due for this Monday coming. The first essay at uni, may I add.

When it comes to how much I know about what I need to do, we were told we needed the following:
- Title
- Plan
- Indicative bibliography
- Has to be done on 1 page

The biggest problem for me is the essay plan. I am extremely pedantic when it comes to this stuff and I don't know how much detail it has to be in. It's getting to a point that I am already over-analysing the sources I read and am adding for and against arguments for each section.

I recognise that this will take forever to do if this is the case, which is why I think I am overthinking it majorly.

That is why I am writing this because I just want some assurance from people who know more about this than me, and also maybe a few pointers to what I should do.

Thank you all in advance!

Hiya,
(Slightly late, sorry!)
I agree with the general advice mentioned in this forum, however, I would like to add that first year essays are generally your practice run essays before you start getting into more advanced levels of essay writing and eventually your dissertation. You're not really expected to have it down to a T so to speak, so don't stress yourself too much and over analyse. My biggest advice (Something my profs constantly tell me) especially for formative assessments is to make all of your mistakes now rather than later so you can get feedback from them, so don't worry about getting it perfect (Especially for your essay plan), now is the time to make mistakes and learn from them.

In regards to essay plans, generally prof are looking to see what direction you're going with in regards to your essay, so what are the arguments and counterarguments, evidence (and evidence for counterarguments) and which sources of information you're going to use. Most importantly, they want to see your essay structure and chronology and how you plan to structure your argument. And essay plans don't need to be detailed, and it's best to stick to bulleted short and concise points when drafting up the plan, and adding a reference to the source of evidence you'll be using for that specific point/argument. This way they'll get a general understanding of where your head is at in terms of your argument.

There are various online sources that can assist you with drafting a plan and drafting an essay, so have a browse and see what you can find :smile:

Goodluck and hope this helps!

-Ghala
(Official DU Rep)

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