Many thanks to the many people on MFL Resources and Twitter as well as in Grosvenor who have contributed to these essay writing ideas:

FORMAT

INTRODUCTION
A lo largo de esta redacción, a examinar / considerar..
+ outline/headline of key paras
Put the question in context. How about starting with a quote?
Then say what you are going to do in your essay.

BODY OF ESSAY
One idea per paragraph and for each paragraph:
1. What is my point
2. Where is my evidence?
3. How does this answer the question? Analysis
4. How can I link this to the next point?
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Keep your reader with you. You are taking them for a walk - don’t let them go!

CONCLUSION
Sum up the main points you have made throughout the essay – DON’T introduce new ideas. Give your opinion if possible.
Este tema nos exige una reacción personal, a pesar de nuestros esfuerzos de resistir/ alejarnos
Es un propósito que arriesga provocar reacciones bastante profundas...
- use in the conclusion.......good linguistic development to try and avoid using 'yo' form!

Finally
Do a systematic error check.
Check for fabby phrases, etc

GENERAL ADVICE
The "Voy a explicar.." type of phrase is fair enough if you want to signal to the busy examiner that you realise a clear structure is needed."In my opinion" phrases are fine. I would avoid "I think that..", but in Spanish "imagino que, me parece que, considero que" are fine. An A-level MFL essay is less subtle than an English one.

SYNONYMS

pensar

  • razonar, discurrir, cavilar, meditar, estudiar, reflexionar, recapacitar, concentrarse
  • creer, entender, opinar, considerar, concebir, juzgar, sospechar, suponer, presentir, calcular
  • proyectar, planear, inventar, idear, imaginar