How to Write a Timed Essay

How to Write a Timed Essay

Writing a timed essay can be a nerve-wracking experience, particularly if you are not comfortable with writing or if you are not good in testing situations.  In order to write a good essay every time, however, you can follow this "magical formula."

The easiest way to start off a report is to ask the reader a question, which can be done by simply turning the topic you have been provided into a question.  For example, if you are to write an essay comparing dogs to cats, you might ask "Have you ever wondered about what dogs and cats have in common?" By starting your essay off with a question, you can quickly and easily grab your reader's attention.

In addition to the question in your introductory paragraph, you will also need to develop a thesis.  Since you do not have a great deal of time to develop the perfect thesis, just come out and say what the report will be about.  In this example, you might say something like "Cats and dogs have many traits in common, though they do have their differences, as well."  You can then go on to briefly summarize what you will discuss in your essay, so as "Although both cats and dogs are animals, their personalities and methods of care are quite different."

After writing your introduction, you should then write three paragraphs for the body.  Each paragraph should introduce one topic that supports your thesis statement and should contain additional sentences to support that topic sentence.  Be sure each of these paragraphs supports what you have stated in your introductory paragraph.

Your last paragraph is your conclusion.  When writing under pressure, you should simply make the first sentence of your last paragraph a re-statement of your thesis.  In this example, you might simply say "There are many characteristics that dogs and cats share, though they are still different in several ways."  Then write one sentence that summarizes each paragraph you wrote for the body of your article.  In other words, the second sentence of your conclusion should summarize the second paragraph, the third sentence should summarize the third paragraph, and the fourth sentence should summarize the fourth paragraph.  

After completing this very basic essay, you should go back and reread the report in order to check it for clarity and errors.  Since you are writing under a restricted amount of time, you want to be certain to give yourself plenty of time to check for these errors.  In addition, check the report for a logical flow.  Add transitional sentences and additional details to add interest to your article.  If time still permits, try to find a final sentence to add to your conclusion in order to leave a lasting impression on the reader while still tying into the introductory paragraph.  Something simple can suffice, such as "Although these animals have many differences, they both make great pets and companions for those that love them."

Orwell in "Why I Write," George Orwell

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