By Teachers, For Teachers
As a student, staring at a blank piece of paper while you’re expected to write an essay can be very intimidating, especially during timed in-class writing and standardized tests. You can put your students at ease with these simple essay classroom management prep tips.
These tips will outline a simple and effective way to write a timed essay, as you might have to do for the WSAL, PSAT or SAT. This is just the tip of the essay-writing iceberg, but you can get the whole picture in my book, KISS: Keep it Short and Simple.
Aside from writing the essay, it is important to be mentally and physically prepared to take a timed test.
1. Carbo-load: Have something to eat that is high in protein and carbs, but not a heavy meal before the test.
2. Hydrate yourself, but not overly so, or you might be concentrating on the restroom break instead of your essay
3. Wear comfortable clothing.
4. If you're stressed, just breathe; oxygen allows the brain cells to function.
5. Come prepared: Have a comfortable writing instrument; i.e., a sharpened pencil, a reliable pen, and lined paper.
6. Put your name and date on the paper, and it is no longer blank.
7. Center the title.
8. Read the question
9. Carefully consider what the topic, or subject is, before you start writing on it.
10. Remember the Rules of Three:
a. Every sentence has a beginning, middle and an end. A sentence has a topic with three elements: a noun, a verb and an object.
b. A paragraph has at least three sentences: the most important is the topic sentence, telling the reader what subject is; and at least two sentences of description, the last sentence of the paragraph being the one to transition into the next paragraph.
c. An essay has at least three paragraphs: an introductory paragraph, a middle paragraph, or paragraphs, defining the topic, and the last, concluding paragraph.
11. Remember the formula CCI: Compare, Contrast and Interrelate©
a. Compare: think similar characteristics of the topic.
b. Contrast: think opposite characteristics of the topic.
c. Interrelate: think how the similar and opposite characteristics make a whole.
12. Just write: it’s simply that easy!
What writing tips and strategies do you share with students? Share them with us in the comments section!