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An essay requires you to really think about the material you have been studying. An essay is often the best evaluation of how well you understand the material.
Answers to essay questions are always written in paragraph form. › You must give more than a one-word answer. › You must give more than a series of sentences that answer the questions.
Sometimes an essay question will ask for facts. Other times it will ask for your interpretation of facts.
The key to knowing exactly what type of answer you should give is to look at the verb used in the question.
CCompare CContrast DDiscuss DDefine EExplain DDescribe TTrace PProve
Compare: Show how two things are alike.
Contrast: Show how two things are different.
Discuss: Give the facts and tell how they relate to one another.
Define: Give the meaning of a term.
Explain: Tell how or why something is done.
Describe: Give a word picture of something.
Trace: Give all the events in sequential order and tell how they are related.
Prove: Give evidence to show that something is true.
It is important to analyze each essay question that you are given in order to determine what kind of information is being asked of you.
› Two key words: list; explain List – a signal that factual information is being requested Explain – indicates that a personal interpretation is also required › Facts: Three services performed by monasteries of the Middle Ages. › Interpretation How did those services help people of the Middle Ages?
› Provide a topic sentence so that the reader knows that you are addressing the question. Three services performed by the monasteries of the Middle Ages were 1.caring for the sick 2.copying manuscripts 3.and providing lodging for travelers and pilgrims.
› Study the question to find out what it asks you to do. › Decide if the answer is factual, interpretive, or both. › Map or outline your answer, making sure all information is related to the question. › Restate what is asked in the question and make it the topic sentence, which is often the opening sentence. › Give your information in a well-constructed paragraph and using appropriate transition words. › Reread your paragraph to make sure you have given the information that the question requires
› Read the question quickly to get its general idea. › Reread the question to find out what you are being asked to do. › Underline words that give directions, like explain or compare. › Reread the question to make sure you understand what it is asking you to do. › Circle key words like World War II or gravity.
› You may need to gather information from notes you may have taken while preparing for the assignment. › Make a word map to record the ideas and facts from your notes and also any that you remember that you did not write down. › There are several ways to do this.
› An essay always begins with a topic sentence. › Always use the key words in your topic sentence. › Imagine that your reader has not seen the question.
› The details in the body of your essay are the most important part of your answer. They prove that your topic sentence is true. The number and quality of your details show that you understand what you learned. › Complete your essay answer with a sentence that restates the idea in your topic sentence and sums up your ideas.
› Write the first draft quickly. › Write your draft while all your prewriting ideas are fresh in your mind. › Keep your notes in front of you.
› Don’t worry about correct spelling or punctuation at this point. › Do not be afraid to add things to your draft that are not in your notes. You can always take them out later. › Remember: Your draft should not be perfect. The point of a first draft is to get your ideas down on paper quickly.
› After writing your draft, put it away for several hours or a day. › Reread it and make edits. › You may also have someone else read it and give feedback. › You should make edits first, however, before seeking another opinion.
› Write a second draft. › Reread it several hours or a day later. › If you are satisfied, then that will be your final copy. › Make sure it is in proper form for a final copy and that it is neatly written.
› If you are not satisfied, revise the essay again until you are satisfied. › You may make as many revisions as you like, but don’t overdo it.
Do not hand in work that you have not put effort into. It takes time to write a good essay. As you write more essays, you will get better at it and essay-writing will become easier. And maybe even………………………..
WWait for it……….. WWait for it……….. WWait for it……….. You might have FUN!!!!!!!!!
As a class we will write this practice essay. List three services performed by monasteries of the Middle Ages, and explain why these services were important to the people of that time.
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