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If your planning techniques are effective and your ideas are organised into a strong and logical argument, but you are still getting feedback on your structure, it may be that you have moved away from your plan when you were writing it up. In this case, you should think more about how you might also integrate planning strategies into your work at later stages of writing or when you edit your work (see the section on Effective Planning for more information). However, it may be that you are not communicating it clearly to your reader through your writing. Structure needs to be constructed in the text, and, as a genre with its own conventions, academic writing does so in particular ways. Your reader, being familiar with these conventions, will expect your writing to conform to them to some extent. As a literature student, you are well placed to identify these conventions and begin to employ them.

Structure is created in writing on a broader, 'macro' scale in places such as your introduction, conclusion and at the beginnings of sections, and also at a 'micro' level, in paragraphs and between sentences. The following pages will offer guidance on this key aspect of academic writing convention.