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In-Class Essay Writing
Transcript of In-Class Essay Writing
In-Class Essay Writing:
Studying and preparing for an in-class essay
Making the best of the time you have
Today we’ll be going over…
Brainstorming and getting started
Writing your essay
Proofreading and revising what you’ve written
Abraham Lincoln once said that if he had 6 hours to cut down a tree, he would spent 5 hours just sharpening the blade.
Most of your success on the day of a timed in-class essay comes from your preparation.
So how can you prepare?
Depending on the type of class you are writing for, there are many different ways to prepare for an in-class essay. Here are a few:
Study the course material, textbooks, handouts,
and class notes.
This is especially helpful if you know the topic in advance.
Familiarize yourself with the topic.
Read about the topic, research it, and talk
about it with peers, teachers, and others.
The more comfortable you are with your topic, the
easier it is to write about.
Practice makes progress!
Find a quiet place to practice
writing timed essays.
Give yourself 90 minutes to prewrite, write your essay, and proofread your work.
You can also review the essays you wrote in class.
Look at your writing and ask yourself these questions:
Do I have a clear thesis?
Did I stay on topic throughout the paper?
Is the paper well-organized?
Did all my paragraphs have clear topic sentences and support evidence?
Was my conclusion well-developed?
Planning for the Time
Before you begin writing your essay in class,
think about how much time you have to complete your writing.
Based on your practice timed writings and how much time you have on The Big Day, come up with a plan to pace yourself.
Estimate your time
Give yourself at least 10 minutes to plan your essay in the beginning.
Give yourself at least 10 minutes at the end to revise your essay.
Divide your steps into "chunks."
How many steps do you
have for the whole essay?
Make sure to give every paragraph its own "step."
How much time do you have to finish?
Divide your time by the amount of steps you have.
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
Read the topic question and reflect on what you know about it.
Choose a topic or question to answer.
If there's more than one question, ask yourself which topic you know more about.
Consider your relationship to the topic.
What have you experienced that would help you form your ideas?
Turn your assignment question into a working thesis statement.
Think of 3 support ideas related to your topic and commit to it.
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
Let's try it!
Let's look at an old English 79 mastery topic.
Think about what you already know about this topic.
Choose ONE question to focus on.
Practice turning the topic question into a working thesis statement.
Consider your relationship to this topic.
What sorts of experiences have you had that you can use in your essay?
Choose your question, write out a working thesis statement and stick to it.
Come up with 3 supportive ideas to connect with your thesis.
Do a bit of prewriting to get you started.
and you're ready to go!
How to Come Up with Ideas
Sometimes it's a lot of pressure to come up with
ideas on the spot. Here are some tips to help yourself
generate ideas at the drop of a hat.
Ask yourself what your essay will say. Look
for key words in the prompt to help you come up with your main idea.
For example, look at some of the words in this essay question:
"Do you believe that Stockton's bad reputation is well earned and that Stockton is generally a bad place to live?"
How can we use the phrase "well earned" to lead our discussion?
Prewrite to come up with main points.
Write a list, draw a cluster, make an easy outline, or if you feel "stuck," try freewriting to get your ideas moving. Don't be afraid to let ideas come and go until you find what works best for your essay.
When should you write your thesis statement?
Writing the Essay
Remember to follow the standard rules of essay structure.
When you feel like you're finished...
Check to make sure your ideas are clear
Check for grammar mistakes.
Read through your writing carefully, one sentence at a time, to catch any sentence-level mistakes.
Neatly revise anything you found wrong or unclear,
slap a title on it, and you're ready to...
Turn it in!
might work better
How do you plan