The BBC method has never been bested;
advise of what you are going to tell them,
tell them, then remind them
of what you’ve just told them.
This method is ideal for essay writing.
As an example, suppose you were going to
write an essay on Robin Hood.
In your first paragraph you would touch on
the facets you intend to explore in your essay.
Depending on how you deal with Robin Hood;
a) a legend to be examined, where it began,
who and what perpetuated it, and how it is
considered in modern times
b) as a historical figure with reference to
the Crusades and the political situation in
England of the time;
your first paragraph would make your treatment clear.
An examiner would know where you were going with
your essay and what can be found within.
The succeeding paragraphs would explore each aspect
of the points raised in the first paragraph.
If you had chosen (b) you would write a paragraph on
the background to the Crusades, a paragraph on the
political situation before Richard II’s departure,
a paragraph on what transpired during his absence.
You would then introduce Robin in a paragraph which
described his background, his participation in the
Crusades and his return to England.
The next paragraph would describe why he became an
Outlaw and the next his ‘Merry Men’.
This would be followed by paragraphs covering the
various exploits, and the final paragraph would be
almost a mirror of the first.
This makes the reading of the essay simple, but
simpler still it the writing of it.
If you decide to include or omit something, you know
your first and last paragraphs must be changed.
There will be no unexplained points, no unexpected
intrusions. The essay hangs together.
When you edit it, you have a virtual ‘template’ in
your first paragraph so if you find your prose has
deviating towards the (a) treatment,
(Robin Hood as legend), you can rework it.
Many essays are jammed with discordant bits of
information that seem to belong in a stream of
Others spend forever stagnating in one point made
three different ways.
By deciding on your first paragraph, you create
the order your essay will follow.
Easy to write, to read, and grade.