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Strategies for Timed Writing

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Timed Writing"— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Timed Writing
Test Tips Strategies for Timed Writing

2 Prepare Ahead of Time Read the assigned material!
Review – know the names of characters and recall key elements and specific details or episodes. Talk about the text. Imagine possible essay questions or even research on-line examples!

3 Analyze the Prompt Be sure you understand what the writing prompt, the question, is asking! Mark important parts that clue you in to what needs to be covered. Reread the questions – Don’t be in a hurry at this point!

4 Analyze by Noting Key Words
Most prompts contain one key verb. Identify the key literary concepts. …for the prompt example Key Verb = Analyze Key Literary Concepts = tone; stylistic devices (rhyme, rhythm, diction, figurative language)

5 your opinion about or position on the topic!
Thesis Statement …after analyzing the prompt and reading the selection…PLAN! Thesis Statement – half the battle! Goes beyond naming the topic! More than a statement of fact! Must give the topic PLUS your opinion about or position on the topic!

6 Thesis Statement On scratch paper write out a sentence stating the purpose of the essay. Use the words “This essay will prove / show / argue / etc. Advances students should then edit “This essay” ouct.

7 Introductions must always answer the prompt!
Now – Write an introduction! The thesis could be the first sentence of the timed essay so you and the reader focus on what you will argue or analyze. OR The first paragraph can be used to draw your audience in and then end with the thesis sentence. Suggested ways to draw your reader in include:

8 Introductions Count! Begin with an anecdote.
Technique Begin with an anecdote. Begin with an analogy or a contrast. Use a question or series of questions. Use an appropriate quotation.

9 Quotations and Text References
…always respond to reading passages with support taken from the text! Guidelines: Summarize episodes or give details specifically! If you use quotes, Make sure the quotation supports your thesis! Introduce each quotation by providing background information. (Don’t drop in quotes!) Explain how the quotation relates to your thesis. (Make connects for your reader! Don’t expect the quote to “say it” all for you!)

10 Conclusions …leave time to wrap up timed writings!
Leave the reader with a sense of completeness. (Think of this as a formal goodbye.) Reinforce the thesis. (Revisit your main point for emphasis and reinforcement.) Short statements hold power! Circle back to your opening technique!

11 Ways to Wrap Up: A prediction A reason for dismissing an opposing idea A solution to the problem A call to action An analogy that clarifies a key point in the body A strong contrast A warning A quotation that applies to the topic A final illustration or anecdote

12 Leave Time to Proof Read!
Yes, even in timed writings, save the last three to five minutes to reread and edit the draft! Though instructors realize you are under pressure, essays with glaring errors will suffer in the end. Check for the kinds of errors you have made in the past. Make certain your ideas flow – add transitions in. Make changes neatly – cross out once and write above or insert wording using the /\ mark and write above. If you must add an entire sentence use the * and write the sentence at the end of the page as a footnote.

13 Reminders Leave margins! Capitalization counts.
Note titles by underlining or quoting appropriately. Write out simple words like “and” / “with” Remove praise words – great, wonderful, delightful, etc. Use indentions for paragraphing Personal testimony is not evidence – edit all “I think”/ “I believe” /etc. wording

14 Plan Ahead! What Register are you using?
FORMAL for an Educated Audience! This not a friendly note – edit “I” throughout Words that show the writer has not taken a stand or does not know the material – “maybe” / “sort of” / “kind of” / etc. Summarizing the plot throughout is not using evidence! ( Use plot details to make a connection between ideas and the text reading.) Edit “YOU” Write out contractions! Use Present Tense when writing about literature!

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