At the start of every well developed essay is a plan–the “road map of the essay”. A writer must know what the main topic is, what the main ideas are, and what supporting details can be used. If a student neglects to take the time to brainstorm and map his or her essay, the result is often a very unorganized, unclear essay. Unfortunately, many student struggle with the brainstorming and outlining process and as a result may skip this step altogether. If your student struggles in this area (much like I did), ReadWriteThink offers a great tool for helping your students learn to create an essay map. This interactive tool guides students through the process of creating a map of the essay’s topic, introduction, main ideas, supporting details, and the conclusion. Your student can either complete the map online and print out the finished copy, or print blank copies to use at any time! Also be sure to check out ReadWriteThink’s Compare & Contrast and Persuasion maps!