A general essay planner for high school, ESL or tertiary studies. Brush up on structure, content and language appropriate for General Academic Essays.more
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Learnatic® Essay Planners

What Are Learnatic® Essay Planners?

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  • Have trouble starting an essay?
  • Confused about what goes where?
  • Ever been told there's not enough detail or relevant content in your essays?

No matter how many impressive words you know, the only way to write a good quality essay is to follow a clear structure, respond to the question or topic specifically, and provide relevant, detailed evidence to back up your response.

Learnatic® Essay Planners ensure all these steps are covered before even beginning to write your essay. In addition, the planners will ensure you are comfortable and confident at each stage of the essay writing process by guiding you, step-by-step through the stages of:

  1. Analysing the question/topic
  2. Brainstorming ideas
  3. Organising and structuring the content
  4. Reviewing and proofing the essay

Each double-sided A3-sized essay planner contains everything you need to know to help you complete a well-structured and thoughtful essay response.

Learnatic® Essay Planners come in convenient tear-off packs of 30 planners and are available in three graded levels for English text studies (Basic, Standard and Advanced). For all other school subjects, ESL courses and tertiary studies, our General Academic Essay Planner is the perfect tool for learning or revising academic writing skills. The planners cater for all abilities, from those who are learning academic writing for the first time right through to those completing senior secondary exams and even tertiary studies. The text-study planners are designed to build upon the skills in previous levels and the General Academic Planner is flexible enough to suit a wide range of ages and abilities.

Every A3 essay planner contains the following sections:

  • Eight Easy-to-Follow Steps to Completing an Essay (excluding Basic level)
  • A Revision Guide to Essay Structure
  • An A3-Sized Content and Structure Scaffold (to be filled in by students)
  • An Interactive Checklist for Proofing Essays (tailored to the level of the planner)

Each section of the planner is explained in more detail below.

Why Are Learnatic® Essay Planners Such Valuable Educational Tools?

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Essay writing must surely be one of the biggest anxiety-causing activities experienced by English students. Our research has shown that many students lack confidence in writing essays for two main reasons; either because they feel they were never clearly taught essay structures or conventions in the first place or simply because they have forgotten what was taught many years ago.

In order to address both these issues, Learnatic® Essay Planners provide the opportunity for students to learn and revise correct structures and conventions of essay writing while also increasing the depth and sophistication of responses through regular practice.

Designed to be used as a pre-writing tool, the planners provide an intermediate step that allows students (and their teachers or peers) to review content and structure and make any necessary changes or improvements before writing the essay in full. The opportunity to collect constructive feedback in the planning stages of essay writing is one of the most valuable but overlooked aspects of improving essay skills. With a strong emphasis on content, structure and conventions, regular use of the planners is sure to reduce the fear associated with putting pen to paper and significantly improve the quality of essay responses.

Each section of the planner is designed to teach and reinforce valuable skills of academic writing while also addressing various aspects of Learnatic®'s Four Keys to Success.

The learning principles behind each section are outlined below.

1. "8 Steps to a Great Essay" (excluding Basic level)

Learnatic Essay Planners

These simple-to-follow eight steps ensure that students can work independently through the entire planning and writing stage with confidence. These steps, written on the front cover of the planner (when folded to A4 size) guide students through the entire writing process from analysing the question or topic, brainstorming ideas, and filling in the various sections of the planner, right through to writing the essay in full and then reviewing and proofing the completed essay. When followed regularly, these steps will become the automated process that students will adopt for all academic writing tasks, even those required by other subjects.

2. "Essay Structure"

Also conveniently positioned on the front of each folded essay planner is a clear and concise summary of what should be included in each section of the essay; Introduction, Body and Conclusion. The summary is written in simple point form so that students can quickly and easily revise the structure of an essay before beginning to plan the content. The bold, visual representation of this structure section will assist with future recall and the language used is tailored to suit the level of the planner and learner.

3. "A3-sized Content and Structure Scaffold"

This A3-sized scaffold planner allows students to maintain the visual structure of an essay while inserting the required content into the relevant sections (Introduction, Body and Conclusion). By arranging the content on one large sheet (in point form) students ensure they:

  • Maintain the flow of the essay
  • Develop cohesion and balance within the essay
  • Provide adequate detail and examples for each point
  • Visually identify links between ideas or texts (particularly in Advanced essays)
  • Stay focused on the question or topic (without veering into irrelevant territory).

In addition to enforcing the requirements of essay writing listed above, thoughtful planning carried out in this way also helps students to focus on and develop a number of general higher order learning skills such as:

  • Information Processing (sorting, classifying and sequencing information, comparing and contrasting)
  • Reasoning (giving reasons for opinions, drawing inferences, making deductions, using precise language to convey particular views)
  • Evaluation (judging the value of their own and others' work)

Before students begin to consolidate points into the Introduction, Body and Conclusion sections of the planner, there is considerable emphasis placed on analysing and 'unpacking' the question or topic. One of the main reasons we believe students do poorly on essay tasks is a failure to understand or respond specifically to the question or topic they have been set. The Basic planner emphasises the importance of understanding the requirements of the essay question or topic by having students identify aspects of the question using tick-a-box options. This emphasis is continued in the Standard, Advanced and General Academic planners by encouraging highlighting in the question or topic as well as the important process of identifying and clarifying various parts of the question.

Learnatic Essay Planner

While the space provided for content in the Body section of the planner may appear minimal, it is important to recognise that the ability to summarise ideas into 'brief note form' is an important skill required for learning and will be developed effectively with regular use of the planners. The aim of the A3-sized scaffold is not to create a first draft of the entire essay. Rather, the aim is to use brief notes to formulate an argument or response to a topic using points and examples that will later be expanded into full sentences and paragraphs. The important skills of minimising and simplifying will develop with practice.

4. "Essay Checklist"

Even with the best intentions, it is often difficult to evaluate one's own writing. The proofing process has been made fast, easy and hands-on with the Learnatic® Essay Checklists. Each essay planner contains a proofing and editing checklist on the back page (when folded to A4 size) providing prompts and reminders to assist in the reviewing process. This interactive tick-a-box checklist ensures that students do not skip this vital step in the writing process. The checklist is designed to be used once the entire essay has been written using the completed planner. It instils within students the solid practice of always checking work for spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as ensuring that appropriate content, essay structure and conventions have been incorporated. Once the checklist has been completed, students are encouraged to fine-tune any areas where improvements can be made before submitting their final essay for marking.

Once again, this section of the essay planner is tailored to the level of the planner. The Basic checklist uses mnemonics (in rhyming verse) to encourage memorisation and recall with Basic level learners. Each tick-a-box item reinforces the basic requirements of formal English which are then further developed in the Standard and Advanced versions of the planner and then continued though into the General Academic planner.

Who Will Benefit From Learnatic® Essay Planners?

Learnatic® Essay Planners can be used by students as young as primary level through to senior high school exam level and even university level. In fact, anyone at all who is required to write essays for academic purposes will be likely to benefit from these products. The age and skills of individual students, as well as the purpose of the writing task will determine the most appropriate level on which to begin.

The names of each level (Basic, Standard, Advanced and General Academic) are unrelated to any particular course or school level, however as a rough guide, the standard of each level could be described in the following way.

  1. Basic Level
    Learnatic Basic Essay Planner
    The perfect introduction to academic essay writing, tailored to the level and maturity of those learning structured writing for the first time at school (expositions, discussions and information reports). This level introduces students to the core elements of essay content, structure and conventions, and provides a solid foundation of skills that will ensure writing confidence in the future, right through to senior exams and beyond.
    (Perhaps most suited to upper primary students)
  2. Standard Level
    Learnatic Standard Essay Planner
    The ideal planner to consolidate and reinforce essay writing skills for English text studies; designed to expand upon the skills introduced in the Learnatic® Basic Essay Planner. This level is suitable for those looking to develop greater confidence in their writing and analytical skills while reinforcing essay structure, styles and conventions.
    (Perhaps most suited to junior and intermediate secondary students e.g. Years 7 -10 NSW)
  3. Advanced Level
    Learnatic Advanced Essay Planner
    The ultimate planner to fine-tune your 'text-study' essay writing skills and develop greater depth and sophistication in your content and analysis. This level is most suitable for secondary students who have a solid knowledge of essay structure and conventions. The Advanced level is designed to follow on from the Basic and Standard essay planners in the Learnatic® range. Used regularly, this planner will not only help students consolidate and reinforce skills learned in previous levels, but will encourage greater accuracy, depth and synthesis skills required by more advanced secondary and tertiary writing tasks.
    (Most suited to senior secondary and tertiary students with essay writing experience)
  4. General Academic Planner
    Learnatic Advanced Essay Planner
    A versatile planner for those who require essay writing skills for broader, interdisciplinary purposes rather than the 'text-study' approach of the other Learnatic® Planners. This planner is perfect for subjects other than English at school or anyone wanting to brush up on writing skills for ESL studies, college or university.
    (Most suited to adolescents and adult learners who require assistance with formal essay writing skills for general academic purposes)

How to Use Learnatic® Essay Planners

Learnatic® Essay planners are designed to be used both individually and in the classroom.


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Ideally, we recommend that each student purchases their own pad of Learnatic® Essay Planners tailored to their level of ability or the level recommended by a class teacher or tutor (check with your school, whether or not the planners are available directly through your school's textbook shop or educational resource outlet). Once a student owns their own pad, they are free to use the planners for every essay task set during the school year as well as additional essays completed for home study and exam revision.

Below are some ways to maximise the benefits of your own personal essay planners.

  • Use as a pre-writing step for all essays you are required to write at school (Follow the "8 Steps to a Great Essay" each time you are given a question or topic).
  • After completing your essay plan, ask a teacher, tutor or a friend to review the plan and provide feedback before you write the essay in full.
  • Save time studying (particularly for senior exams) – complete as many essay plans as you can using various types of questions. This will give you plenty of practice in constructing arguments using three main ideas and recalling evidence and examples, without having to write complete essays for every question or topic you encounter.
  • Fold your A3 planners into A4 size and store in your study folder for future reference as a form of study notes.
  • Use your essay plans to study for exams by reviewing the questions or topics you have covered and the three main ideas you used to formulate your responses.

In the Classroom

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  • Learnatic® Essay Planners come in tear off pads containing 30 planners to allow teachers to distribute planners to all students for guided essay writing activities in the classroom.
  • Use the planners as a classroom activity to introduce students to the structure and conventions of essays.
  • Complete the planner as a joint, guided class activity in easy-to-follow steps.
  • Ask students to complete planners and hand them in for comments and feedback before they attempt the writing stage of an essay. This will be extremely valuable in correcting potential problems that are much more difficult to address once the essay has been written in full.
  • Ask students to complete planners in class and then have students review each other's work, providing feedback and comments. This will not only improve the quality of the final essays but will help students develop greater insight and understanding of the topic and consider different ways of addressing topics and questions.

Essay Planners Available

Currently there are 4 Learnatic® Essay Planners available:

  • Basic Essay Planner
  • Standard Essay Planner
  • Advanced Essay Planner
  • General Academic Essay Planner

Each comes in a tear-off A3-sized pad containing 30 double-sided essay planners, detailing everything you need to know to be able to structure and organise an essay response.

If you are unsure which level would be most suitable for you, please read the section, "Who Will Benefit from Learnatic® Essay Planners"

How to Purchase Learnatic® Essay Planners

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Click the Buy Now button to purchase Learnatic® Essay Planners and other Learnatic® products and packages online. Alternatively, please leave us a message on our Contact Us page if you have further questions regarding purchasing our products in larger quantities for schools or other educational organisations.

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