Essay Test

Here’s an efficient way to clean up your essay before you move on to the next one.

Scan through each sentence, then each paragraph, to see if the order makes sense and that each point ties together.

Depending on how many points a question has and how difficult it is for you to answer it, decide on how long you’ll take on each question.

You can write out those minutes on your sheet to remind you.

If pancakes for breakfast are enough to power people who chop down and lug heavy trees around for a living, then they are sufficient for the average American student.

See how the first and last sentences echo each other, while the middle two sentences provide an example?This helps with identifying grammatical errors and awkward wording that I couldn’t have picked up otherwise.From the first part of this article, you might recall that essay writing is the same as any piece of writing: Once you understand these two main principles for good writing, the rest of the rules – planning before writing, getting to the point, editing, and synthesizing – make better sense.Try to leave 10 minutes at the very end to tie up any loose ends and look over your answers.After you’ve decided how to tackle the test as a whole, pick up your pen and list out 2-3 bullet points for each prompt.If you followed Rule 3 closely, you shouldn’t see any gaping holes or questionable arguments, but it’s nice to have a sanity check.Note: In a written essay, it usually takes too long to fix faulty argumentation because you’ll have to cross things out and rewrite them, while computers will let you cut and paste paragraphs and sentences.Similarly, you want to front load your essay with the most important points because the person marking the paper is probably looking for key words and phrases; they won’t read the whole thing.You’ve probably read an essay where the arguments ran in circles and the same handful of ideas were repeated over and over again, except with different words. The thing is, on a timed test that’s marked by a TA who has to grade a hundred more, this method doesn’t go over well.Sandwiching your examples between the point makes it easier for your readers to form a picture of the message you’re trying to convey.After you’ve written your answers, you may or may not have time to edit it thoroughly.


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