- Academic Research and Writing Tips / Tutorial

Writing Timed Essays

Timed essay! Oh, no. That is the feelings of many students when they know they are having a timed essay. A few keys to timed essay will help youin the success of becoming a better writer for these essays. The five-paragraph essay is the most common form of essay used for timed essays.

Timed Essay

First, begin by selecting a topic if there is a choice. If not, then begin to think about what you know about the subject. What do you know that will answer the questions the instructor has provided? Jot down every thing you know about the topic. Here are some sample questions to ask during a timed essay:

- Why is the topic important?

- Who is the audience?

- What do you know about the topic?

- What is interesting about it?

- What did you learn in class?

- What are the pertinent facts?

Asking yourself questions and writing the answers will help you quickly prepare for the essay. Are there any interesting facts you could use as an attention-grabber? What about an anecdote related to the topic? Once you write the attention grabber or hook the next step is to create your thesis statement. This is one of the most important parts of an essay. What is the problem? What key instruction words can you use to make the thesis? Write your thesis statement. Remember a five-paragraph essay has an introduction, three paragraphs making up the body, and a conclusion. Once you write the introduction the body is next.

What can you use as evidence in the body of the essay? What points clarify the thesis? What do you know that is related to the thesis? List three main topic sentences to begin each paragraph. Jot down ideas and key points that can be used in these three paragraphs under your main topic sentence. How can you support these with examples? Remember it is important to build each topic sentence to back the thesis while answering any questions the instructor may have asked in the question for the timed essay.

The conclusion should summarize what you have stated in the thesis and the main topic sentences in the body of the essay. How can you summarize this while adding a take away value for the audience? What was the most important point the instructor wants to see in the timed essay? What do you know about the question? Have you used this information to form the first four paragraphs? Close with a statement that will allow your instructor to see that you are still thinking about the material taught in class.

Read the timed essay to yourself. Have you used effective words to make your points? Are the statements clear? Have you carefully constructed your points where they give clear understanding to the questions and topic statements? Have you presented the main points of the question the instructor has asked? Have you left anything out that is important in answering the question given by the instructor? Are you main points linked together with smooth transitions? Take time to read the essay over again. How you made any grammar errors? Have you used commas where they are needed? Look for any mistakes if you have time.

Timed essays are usually written with the five-paragraph essay form. The first step in writing the timed essay is to carefully select the topic if you have a choice or to carefully consider the question asked by the instructor. Write down key ideas and facts you know about the question. Create your thesis statement. Write your three main paragraphs using facts you know as evidence. Close the essay with a summary of what you have stated. Review the essay for any mistakes. The key to writing timed essay is to follow the five-paragraph form.