Writing: Planning Your Answer

Entry Level 3FS Level 1AQACity & GuildsEdexcelHighfield QualificationsNCFEOpen Awards

Writing: Planning Your Answer Revision


You should always plan how you will answer a question before you start writing.

Take a few minutes at the start of the exam to read the question and work out what it is actually asking you.

Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing:


Planning your answer to a question will usually mean it will be better!


For example, planning will:

  • Give structure to your answer (a clear beginning, a middle and end)
  • Prepare points that are relevant to the question
  • Allow you to write down rough notes that will help you, but won’t be marked
  • Give you time to work out the audience and what the format of your answer should be



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Possible Forms of Text – Planning and Answering



  • Work out who the audience is – should the letter/email be more informal or more formal?
  • The opening paragraph of your letter/email should directly address its purpose.
  • Your plan should list the reasons behind the purpose – this will be the main body of text in your letter/email.



  • Work out who the audience is – for an article/report, think about where it will be featured/printed.
  • Articles/Reports are intended to explain or inform the audience on a certain topic.
  • Use headings and subheadings to help guide your answer



  • A leaflet usually has the aim of persuading, informing or giving advice.
  • List relevant points in your plan – start with the most important point.
  • End with a ‘take home‘ message for the audience.
  • Use heading, subheadings and bullet points to allow the audience to follow more easily.



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Answer Templates




  • Emails must start and end with an appropriate greeting/sign off
  • A comma must succeed the greeting and sign off
  • The email address of the person who the email is for goes in theTo box.
  • The email addresses of anyone else who should read the email go in the ‘CC box.
  • The topic of conversation goes in theSubjectbox.
  • Paragraphs should be used for the structure of the email like in the image.






  • The sender’s address should be at the top right of the page.
  • The address of the person who the letter is for should be above the main body of text on the left like on the image.
  • A comma must succeed the greeting and sign off.
  • The date when the letter was written should be put under the sender’s address.




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Example: Planning



Let’s try applying our knowledge!


Read this question carefully, noticing how many marks it is worth, and the bullet points which tell you what your answer need to include.


These will guide us as we plan our answer.


Follow along as we go through the process step by step!



If you were faced with this question in the exam, your plan might look something like this:



 A spider diagram is a useful way of getting your ideas down on paper quickly.

But, it is also organised, as you can link your ideas together with lines!

You begin in the middle with your main idea, connect it to the sub sections, and then add details to these!

Can you spot each of these stages on the example?




Constructing your answer well is important too!

Your text will need to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.


In this next stage of planning, the student has put all of the ideas from their spider diagram into this structure.

This will ensure that their answer flows well and makes sense to the reader.

Planning out your answer structure like this also makes it easier to be sure that you have covered all of the necessary areas!



Entry Level 3EdexcelCity & GuildsNCFEOpen Awards

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Writing: Planning Your Answer Worksheet and Example Questions

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