In the past couple of articles, we have been discussing the components of various types and styles of exams, as well as the different techniques a student can employ to succeed on them.
A major component that we have yet to discuss is the craft of writing, specifically essay writing. This can be a very difficult undertaking for many students to embrace.
For many students the "writer's block phenomenon" sets in and their paper is left with erase marks, scribble and incomplete sentences and thoughts.
In today's society many students of the current generation face challenges when it is time to translate their thoughts to the paper.
The advent of email, instant messaging and texting has placed a burden on traditional methods of communication, such as writing. I feel that this modern technology has been a great asset to the world, but it also has hindered our children's abilities to write effectively.
It is extremely important that our students know how to write and how to write well, especially if they are college bound.
In this article we are going to assume that the writer (student) knows what they need to write about in the essay and essentially has the correct answers.
You will find that most essays require a response of about 400 to 500 words. So where do we begin? The first item is to take a separate piece of paper and construct a basic outline.
The outline does not have to be elaborate. It should contain main ideas, topic sentences and supporting data. This is essentially the roadmap to writing your essay.
Once you have constructed a basic outline, start to formulate a solid introduction. The introduction should address the general purpose of the essay. The wording should contain phrases that catch the reader's eye and intrigues them to want to read more of your work. Your introduction should not expose the fine details of the essay. These details will be better placed in the body.
The body of the essay should contain information that pertains to the question(s) being asked or the topic that has been provided. Make sure to incorporate supporting evidence into the body that is relevant.
To many times the writer will write for quantity and not quality. You should remember to be precise and to the point. Instructors can easily tell when the student is rambling on and is not strong in their response. Try not to wonder off the topic with irrelevant information. This actually will hurt your essay grade in the end.
Our final portion of the essay is the conclusion. Many times the student will forget to write a conclusion. Every strong essay has a conclusion that restates the introduction and summarizes the "high points" of the essay.
Don't get into a habit of writing a conclusion that is longer than the body of the essay itself. This makes for an improperly formatted essay.
Some basic practices that the writer can perform are to check their work for grammar, spelling and legibility.
If the reader-instructor cannot understand your writing, then you have just wasted your efforts. The final step for the writer is to read their own work.
This may very well be one of the most important steps. If your essay does not make sense to you as the writer, then it most likely will not make sense to the grader, either.
As you can see, writing a strong and informative essay takes some basic planning. Don't be caught writing before you have planned and thought-out your topic.
In the next article, I will focus on the process of writing an informative research paper.
Cordell is the owner of Excell Tutoring Services, 1020 Arthur Road, Montoursville.
He may be reached at 506-9998 or email@example.com.