The analytical structure format as a plan for writing

The analytical structure format is different from (and, for purposes of smart thinking, much better than) a mind-map or narrative plan. The ideas that underpin it are used as the basis of the analytical questions that will guide every stage of thinking, researching, and writing. The actual written-on-paper format, with its list of claims and diagram, is then used, after initial research but before we think about the narrative sequence. It can either guide further research or guide the actual writing or presentation of our argument or explanation. It allows us to externalise the analytical relationships between ideas that are the heart of reasoning. Once on paper, these relationships and ideas (the diagram and the claims) can be checked to see what mistakes we are making, where more work needs to be done, how well we are analysing the

Now, throughout this book we have been using the analytical structure format mainly as a way of understanding better what goes on within arguments and explanations. When we use it as a planning tool, we need to be careful that it does not 'take over' our project and become an end in itself. Always remember that, like any planning tool, the analytical structure format simply provides another way of helping to clarify and express your ideas in a form that assists you to complete the final task: writing the full, narrative expression of your reasoning. We must make sure that what is written in the plan can be easily translated into

With this in mind, I will use an example from chapter 6 to show how a written essay or report might develop from an analytical structure plan:

4. If something benefits the economy, then the government should

5. The best way for the government to encourage Australians to be well

6. In our complex technological society, one requires university study in

10. Any cost that the government imposes on people attending higher

11. If numbers are reduced, then Australians are obviously not being

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