If you do run out of ideas, go back to the clue board.
Look at it and think about what bits of it now belong with your overall answer. Write down some things that stand out to you. There should be something on there that gives you a thought.
You might have to do some more research.
What can I say? Life is like that sometimes.
In the case of a Bolt and Grommit essay, you might just have to watch the movies again and take more notes. But research isn’t always as fun as that. You might have to read books or webpages and do more printing, photocopying and highlighting. Add it to the clue board.
When you have noticed some things on the clue board, go back to the fireplace and think again. When an idea feels important, write it down.
I repeat … don’t fuss about the actual words at this point.
And don’t … DO NOT … stare at the clue board or at a blank screen or at the essay plan.
Whenever you start to feel stuck, close the notebook and put your phone back under a pillow and …
Eventually you should have a bunch of ideas.
Choose which ones you think are important enough to be paragraphs.
So, if you have three middle paragraphs, choose the most important three ideas.
Think about the essay question and the verb you wrote in the middle of the board. Compare, discuss… try to get some paragraphs that do that.
For each paragraph, think about the overall statement that the paragraph is going to make. Write a sentence or some notes that sum this up.
(Don’t worry about the conclusion paragraph. Just the middle ones.)
You can write these sentences or notes into the blue topic sentence boxes on the Templates for Middle Paragraphs.
And now, look! You have the skeleton of an essay.
That’s a whole packet of Iced Vo Vos for you!
No it isn’t. That was a joke. Sugar is bad for you. Have you seen that movie about sugar? Sugar is an addictive and harmful drug and it is a treat. One Iced Vo Vo is enough.
Now you can have a whole …. ummmm…. avocado! And some cashews!
Anyway, you have planned your essay.
And that, my friends, was the hardest part.
What? Oh yeah. I mean …
And that, my friends, was the second hardest part.
Thanks to these people for the images.
“The Spoiled Child” by Meadows. By Meadows, illustrator; O. A. Lawson, engraver 1847, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Anxious Face graffiti in Hobart. In Christine Dew, Uncommissioned Art, 2007, Melbourne University Press.
“Adult Sea Otter in Morro Bay” “Mike” by Michael L. Baird [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons