How to Answer a Writing Prompt. Students of all kinds, from elementary school to those applying for post-graduate educations, are tested on. In this video, learn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment. Then find out how to spot where you may have strayed. Some assessments include writing prompts. You may be asked to write a short response, a paragraph, or a complete essay. Read the prompt and then analyze .
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Browse information on some of our top tutors and teaching faculty of the highest calibre. We are delighted to have received several prestigious awards and accreditations. In fact, it might be better than anything that would have responded to the question. The grade your teacher has scrawled at the end is nowhere near what your essay deserves. If asked a question about Keats, you should write about Keats. Or even if I can see why, the thought of taking it out is wrenching.
It should make my essay stand out, if anything! And an examiner would probably be happy not to read yet another answer that makes exactly the same points. If you recognise yourself in the above, there are two crucial things to realise.
The first is that something has to change: Writing a top essay is a very particular and actually quite simple challenge. It sounds obvious, but a good essay should have the title or question as its focus the whole way through. It should answer it ten times over — in every single paragraph, with every fact or figure. Now, this is all very well, I imagine you objecting, and much easier said than done.
But never fear! Structuring an essay that knocks a question on the head is something you can learn to do in a couple of easy steps. Sussing out a question is a two-part process, and the first part is easy. The second part involves identifying key words and phrases. However, the detail of the phrasing of the question will significantly affect the way you write your essay.
You would draw on similar material to address the following questions:. How does Shakespeare figure the supernatural in Macbeth? Are we supposed to believe in the three witches in Macbeth? The first group are pretty open-ended: You can decide what the focus should be. The second group are asking you to evaluate, constructing an argument that decides whether, and how far something is true. Good examples of hypotheses which your essay would set out to prove for these questions are:.
The final question asks you to respond to a quotation. The first step is breaking down the quotation into its constituent parts- the different things it says. I use brackets:. Examiners have a nasty habit of picking the most bewildering and terrifying-sounding quotations: This quotation, for example, is asking exactly the same thing as the other questions.
The trick here is making sure you respond to all the different parts. You want to make sure you discuss the following:. Make sure your plan contains a sentence at the end of each point about how that point will answer the question. My final sentence highlighted in red shows how the material discussed in the paragraph answers the question.
Writing this out at the planning stage, in addition to clarifying your ideas, is a great test of whether a point is relevant: This 16th century English illustration shows a witch feeding her familiars. This bit relies upon getting the beginnings and endings of paragraphs just right.
To reiterate what I said above, treat your reader like a child: This need not feel clumsy, awkward or repetitive.
The opening sentence from the paragraph I planned above might go something like this:. Contemporary suspicion that witches did exist, testified to by witch-hunts and exorcisms, is crucial to our understanding of the witches in Macbeth. To the early modern consciousness, witches were a distinctly real and dangerous possibility — and the witches in the play would have seemed all-the-more potent and terrifying as a result. Set aside a few hours, choose a couple of essay questions from past papers, and for each:.
You can get your teacher, or a friend, to look through your plans and give you feedback. It can seem depressing when your perfect question is just a minor tangent from the question you were actually asked, but trust me — high praise and good marks are all found in answering the question in front of you, not the one you would have liked to see.
Teachers do choose the questions they set you with some care, after all; chances are the question you were set is the more illuminating and rewarding one as well. Your email will not be shared and you can unsubscribe whenever you want with a simple click. Image credits: April 9, at Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe all is accessible on net?
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Underline the stand-out points and trim the rest. Describe your personal growth. When discussing an activity or event in your life, ask yourself what you learned or took away from it. Be specific about each institution. If asked why you want to attend a particular school, make sure to reference any times you visited the campus, met with admissions counselors, or spoke with current students or alumni. Talk about programs that interest you and how you think they will benefit you in the future.
Tell your readers why the idea of being a student at their institution excites you. Consider these steps for producing a well-written, thoughtful response to any essay prompt: Get moving. The best way to activate your mind is to activate your body.
The act of moving forward, whether you are on foot or on a bike, can help you work through the ideas that might feel stuck. Read the prompt thoroughly, and then see what comes to you as your move through your neighborhood. Write down your ideas. When you get home, write down the ideas that stood out. Simply put the pen to paper or your hands to the keys and write without worrying about sentence structure or grammar. Construct an outline or two.
At most, you will be able to use words to respond to the question, so every statement you make must serve your overall objective. Choose a topic or two from you list and give yourself plenty of time to outline each idea. Use bullet points and separate each section by paragraph. You may realize that one topic is too broad and you need to narrow your focus. If you make two outlines, ask a trusted adult to help you decide which one is stronger than the other.
Even if you're not a fan of outlines and prefer to write organically, writing down your ideas in a consecutive list and creating a pseudo-outline can still help you maintain organization and flow between ideas when you actually fill in the blanks. Fill in the details with positivity. You are now ready to begin your first draft of your essay. Walk away. Ask for the appropriate amount of help. While it is okay to have a parent or teacher read over your essay to make sure that the points you want to make are coming through or to offer minor suggestions, it is under no circumstances acceptable to allow anyone else to make significant changes, alter the voice or message, or write the essay for you.
A dishonest application will be noticed and dismissed by admissions officers. For the initial proofreading, read your essay out loud or backwards, sentence by sentence.
Then, ask for one family member or friend to read the essay out loud to you. Together, you can listen for things you missed with your eyes. The Personal Statement Goal: The personal statement should be a window into your inner life.
It is a chance to show schools who you are beyond your grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. An honest, thoughtful reflection will help admissions officers understand your passions, goals, and relationships with family, friends, and other communities.
If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Instead, try to pick one significant experience to elaborate on. Use details to paint a picture for the reader. Talk about how you were affected and what changed about your perception of the world. How did the experience bring you to where you are today? Use your essay to tell a different one.
Think of it not as a place to impress, but as a place to reflect. While almost anyone could say that they struggled with history in high school, few could describe the influence that their great-grandfather had on their understanding of U. Picking an experience or topic that will set you apart from other applicants is key to catching the eye of the admissions team. The School Statement Goal:
Writing Prompt (Composition)
Short answer questions are almost harder to write than a personal essay, (You can find the – application platform personal essay prompts here, but. There are many questions on a college application that may seem like they are not straight forward and meant to trick you. But really, these. Extended-response or essay questions take care and thought, but they are nothing to fear. In fact, the more you show what you know about a topic, the more .