Essay Basics for Timed Writing

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Starting Basics for Writing Essays
Six basic rules to rock at writing essays!!!
1. Find your voice!!
o Show your personality in your writing; capture the voice in your head with your words on the paper – just make sure it is written in a clean, crisp, and correct way. o Write the “one liners” that pop into your head when you’re thinking about something, as long as they fit the topic and flow of your essay. o Don’t be afraid to use upper level vocabulary as you write your essay, especially if it fits with the topic and flow of your writing. Commonly used words should be spelled correctly, but you won’t be penalized for misspelling an upper level vocabulary word, as long as you use it in the correct context.

2. Count on the facts and ANALYZE!!!
o Break apart your topic and explain it, piece by piece. o If you are asked to analyze a passage that has been provided, chose an angle, stick to it, and use examples from the passage to prove your point of view (POV), including direct quotes! o Remember – don’t assume the reader knows what you are talking about – you have to completely explain what you mean and why it is important. o Always back up what you say by using examples and details. o If you are writing a persuasive essay, make sure your supporting details/examples are plausible (realistic), whether they are true or not. Don’t use examples that are too “out of this world,” you might lose credibility with the reader. If you do feel the need to pick an angle that is “out of this world” – such as writing about a field trip to Saturn – write the essay in a realistic manner (taking off from NASA, booster rockets, astronaut food, etc…).

3. Use those adjectives, adverbs, and figurative language!!
o Be as descriptive as you can – let the reader know the color, the number, the style, the way, the speed, etc… Remember, you are creating a picture in your reader’s mind. o Be creative in enhancing your...
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