2 How to Read and Analyze a Writing Prompt Timed writingHave to rushNo revisingTime pressureNo help from peers, parents or teachersProcess WritingTime to reviseCan get help from peers, parents or teachersUsually longer in lengthBOTHNeed a clear thesis statementNeed an organizing structureNeed a clear introduction and conclusionMust respond to the prompt
3 Step I: Dissect the Writing Prompt Underline or circle key words and phrases in the prompt.Rewrite the prompt in your own words, stated as a question of possible.Draw an organizer or create a visual representation showing how the key words and ideas are related to one another.
4 Step 2: Brainstorm and Choose a Topic List or cluster topic ideas for the essay.Select a topicHOW MUCH TIME SHOULD YOU SPEND PLANNING YOUR ESSAY BEFORE YOU WRITE IT?
5 Step 3: Plan the EssayCreate a cluster, write an outline or jot down notes detailing information that will be included in the essay.Make sure you are addressing the writing prompt—go back and check your outline against the prompt!If the questions asks for facts, give them facts! Make a quick list of facts that relate to the subject or question.If the question asks for an opinion, give your opinion! Put your main opinion in a center bubble and draw smaller bubbles with ideas, feelings and support.If you’re asked to compare and contrast, try a Venn-diagram to get you started.Put your thoughts in order BEFORE you start writing!Identify your main points and supporting details in a way that works for you! A formal outline can only help! Successful college students use them all of the time!
6 Practice Essay: 1,2, 3Choose a character from a story or movie with which you are very familiar. Analyze this character’s development and discuss how he or she changes over the course of the story. Be sure to give specific examples and support.You will have 30 minutes to write this essay! Please use the first five minutes to complete the pre-writing strategies.Step 1: Dissect the writing prompt.Step 2: Brainstorm and choose a topic.Step 3: Plan the essay.
7 Step 4: Write the EssayKeep your audience in mind, and write to your audience.Do not write a lengthy introduction! Get right to the heart of your essay with a clear thesis statement!Completely explain each point you are making before going on to the next one. If you skip around, your answer will seem confusing and incomplete.Make sure each topic sentence related to your thesis!Support your topic sentences with details, examples and facts, even in a short essay. If you only have to write two sentences, the first should be a thesis and the second should be an example.Don’t be afraid to “think on paper”—great ideas often develop as you write! WRITE TO LEARN!When you finish making a point, use transition words to make it clear that you are moving on to your next idea.Make sure you have a conclusion, but do not spend too much time on your introduction or conclusion. Most of your time should be spend defending your thesis!Stay aware of your time—it will run out!!!!
8 Step 5: Reviewing, Editing and Revising Reread your completed essay, and make sure you have answered the question and have not strayed from the prompt.If you find mistakes, draw a line through the old information and write the corrections above it. Don’t scribble it out or try to start over.Check for complete ideas, clear thoughts, and adequate details and explanations.Be sure that your essay is easy to read so that your ideas stand out clearly.Proofread to the best of your ability, and keep the corrections as neat as possible!
9 ADVICE ON TIMINGUSE 1/6 of your time to read the prompt, brainstorm and plan your essay.Use 4/6 of your time to actually write your essay.Use 1/6 of your time to revise your essay.
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