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Writing a Timed Essay
Transcript of Writing a Timed Essay
Tips & Strategies
Plan Your Time
Pick the prompt that is most interesting to you; the more you care about the topic, the better your writing will be.
Write whatever comes to mind; it doesn't matter if your ideas "make sense" because you can pick out the good stuff when you're done.
Describe = use many examples and descriptive words.
Compare = find ways that 2+ things are similar.
Contrast = find clear differences.
Summarize = give brief overview, not a detailed account.
Explain = give the 'how' and 'why' or state what caused something.
Analyze = find the good and bad aspects of something.
Evaluate = find advantages and disadvantages of something.
Justify = provide reasoning for a decision, with evidence.
Carefully Read the Prompt
Check for two part questions.
The first paragraph should be a few sentences long and catch your reader's attention. The last sentence of the first paragraph should tell your reader what you're going to talk about in your essay.
Use your first paragraph to give an overview of your essay.
Write down your ideas on a piece of scratch paper.
Skip every other line to leave space for revisions.
If you don't know how to spell a word, practice spelling it on scratch paper.
Use transition words like first, next, then, also, in addition, however, finally, etc.
If you have time, re-read the prompt, then read what you've written. Do you answer the prompt completely?
Check for misspelled or missing words.
Check for consistent verb tenses.
Check capitalization (only proper nouns).
Eliminate any empty sentences or phrases.
It is interesting to find out that...
In today's society....
Since humans have been on the planet...
Because of the fact that...
Men and women have always....
Write a concluding paragraph or sentence, but don't repeat word-for-word from your intro. Give your reader something to think about after finishing your essay.
Circle key words & phrases
Think about a beginning, middle, and end for the essay.
For each main idea, come up with at least one example from your experiences, a story, news, history, etc. (You don't have to have an exact citation.)
Try to come up with at least 3 main ideas/points.
Write in pencil so you can erase.
Describe a time when you had to make an important decision. If you had the chance, would you make the same choice again?