Planning Directed Writing
If you make good use of your highlighter to identify the ideas from the passage in Question 1 that you want to use, that will go a long way to shaping the structure of your response. You need to develop each new idea in a new paragraph, sequencing your sentences within the paragraphs. This will make your argument logical.
Planning Descriptive Compositions
If you choose a descriptive essay for the second question, a spider diagram may well be the best way to plan, as you can include all the ideas you want to describe. Once the ideas are down on paper in the spider diagram, number them, so that the description flows smoothly through space or time, depending on which format you are using.
Planning Narrative Compositions
A narrative essay must be planned to the end, before you even write the first sentence. Too often, candidates will peter out or flounder around, searching for a suitable ending after writing a good story. Unfortunately, it’s too late to do a good job of the ending by then. Plan the final sentence before starting the first sentence. Plan to use an interesting or unusual narrative device, but make sure it is well constructed within the plan. This will help your writing be more purposeful and you can afford to be a little more free with your imagination, because you have an overall structure to work within, which will keep you on track to the end.
It always shows when a candidate fails to plan. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can get away without planning. It’s too much of a risk.