Part of the requirement for the new syllabus is that students should create their own plans. The 15-5-1 methods (of devising 15 ideas, reducing to 5, and then reducing to 1) is useful for this, I think.

In an exam, I structure an essay best by selecting quotations pertinent to the theme, and then structuring an answer around the questions. In the limited time available, this is a safe option. However, should there be more time available, for example, for an extended essay, then the quotations should instead serve a more personalised (yet coherent) focus.

See in the exemplar folder in teacher’s work files for examples of this plan.