Preparing An Essay

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The point of these types of exams is to show how well you understand the bigger picture and can connect the concepts you’ve learned.

Obviously, if your instructor has provided sample questions, you have a head-start on this part.

You will want to devote most of your time to the questions that are worth the most points, perhaps answering those questions first. outline: What are the main points and essential details? trace: What is the sequence of ideas or order of events? Jot down the main points you intend to make as you think through your answer.

On the other hand, you might want to answer first the questions that you are best prepared for. Take a few minutes before writing your essay to read the question carefully in order to determine exactly what you are being asked to do. Then, you can use your list to help you stick to the topic.

Outline your potential answers to the sample questions, and make sure you know enough to fill in the details.

However, if you’re in the dark in terms of specific questions, start by reviewing the main topics listed on your syllabus and then consider common themes that seem likely to turn up on the exam.You may often be asked in college to take essay exams.In certain ways, the same principles for writing good out-of-class essays apply to writing good in-class essays as well.It can be the stuff of nightmares: Pages of blank space waiting for you to fill them as the minutes tick away.An essay exam may be daunting, but don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t prepare if you don’t know the questions in advance.In this context at least, quality is always preferable to quantity.Also check sentence structure, spelling and punctuation.You want to show your instructor that you have mastered the material. Although you will be working under pressure, take a few minutes to plan your time.Determine how many minutes you can devote to each answer.Otherwise, try to anticipate questions your instructor is likely to ask and practice those.At the very least, outline how you would answer the test questions; however, it's better to actually write out the answers.


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