Similarities to a take-home essay



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SIMILARITIES TO A TAKE-HOME ESSAY

  • Decide on your audience and your purpose
  • Start with a solid thesis statement
  • Provide relevant support for your thesis
  • Write a scratch outline
  • Include transitional words and expressions for cohesion and clear organization
  • Proofread and edit

DIFFERENCES FROM A TAKE-HOME ESSAY

  • More important to budget your time and watch the clock
  • Leave time (at least 10 minutes) to edit
  • Concentrate on getting down information

Preparation for the Essay Exam

  • List common themes of course readings, discussions and other materials
  • With common themes in mind, predict and list possible essay questions and topics
  • Practice writing some of these essays

AT THE ESSAY EXAM ITSELF:

  • STEP ONE:
  • Make a plan to budget your time. Stick to it!

STEP TWO

  • Read the directions, the questions and topics carefully. Be sure you know EXACTLY what is being asked!

STEP THREE

  • Look for key words that will tell you what to write about and how to organize the essay:
  • Compare: Write about similarities
  • Contrast: Write about differences
  • Summarize/Sum up/Outline: Write about the main ideas
  • Evaluate/Critique: Write your opinion, giving the arguments for and against the issue and why your position is stronger
  • Classify: Write an explanation of into which category your topic falls
  • Define: Write a definition- what does the topic mean?
  • Describe: Write about the characteristics of the topic

STEP FOUR

  • Establish your thesis statement.

STEP FIVE

  • Write a scratch outline.

STEP SIX

  • Write the essay, following the outline.
  • Do not worry about grammar and mechanics--- just get your ideas on paper.
  • Use all your resources (the readings, lectures, discussion ideas) to develop the essay.
  • Write one paragraph per supporting idea. Focus each paragraph with a very clear topic sentence to express the main idea of the paragraph and to focus you on the point.

STEP SEVEN

  • Go back and revise:
  • delete ideas
  • add ideas
  • move ideas to more logical paragraphs
  • add transitions where needed

STEP EIGHT

  • Proofread and edit for:
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Word choice

This is NOT RECOMMENDED! BUDGET YOUR TIME! BUT, if you run out of time…

  • Take the last minute or two to outline or list the points you planned to cover. Not all professors will give you credit for this attempt, but some will.

PRACTICE PROMPTS

  • Many people look to the famous as heroes. Think of a famous individual who deserves this kind of idolization and one who does not. Contrast the two figures.
  • Define “hero.”
  • Compare two celebrities who both deserve our respect.
  • Summarize the ways technology has changed your life.
  • Describe the most beautiful place you have ever seen.
  • Evaluate the quality of a film you have recently seen.


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