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How to write an essay for exams

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So, how do you learn to write an essay whose structure will correspond to the exam task? When preparing for the exam, you can go two ways. The first involves carefully studying the structure of the types of essays that will be required of you. Wikipedia distinguishes about 14 types of essays, but it is enough to get acquainted with three basic types for the test:

"Pros and Cons" - A type of essay in which, in the main body, you give the same number of arguments "for" and the same number of "against" and support them with evidence or examples. Equal numbers of ideas are important to create a balanced position, and your own opinion is only allowed to be voiced in the conclusion.

"Own Opinion" is a type of essay in which you express your position on a canadian writings topic, and in the main body you write about why you think that way and give examples or justifications.

"Problems and Solutions" - you describe your vision of a certain problem, present several ways to solve it and the consequences of their implementation.

The second way to approach any exam assignment is to analyze what is required of you and accomplish it as much as possible. Here is an example:

Modern technology is destroying the culture of communication. Do you agree with this statement?

In this case, we are asked to express our opinion and provide arguments to support it. We need to convince our reader of the correctness of our view on this issue. Compare with the following statement:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of constantly using modern technology in daily life? Justify your answer.

Here we are asked to look at the problem from different angles, providing arguments in favor of modern technology and against its constant use.

In both examples, we found words that relate directly to the format of our thesis statement (Do you agree, advantages and disadvantages) and words that highlight the area we will write about (Modern technology, culture of communication and use of modern technology, everyday life). According to our classification, the first essay should be written according to the "Own Opinion" type, and the second essay should be "Pros and Cons."

So, only when we have fully understood the objectives do we move on to the writing process. So what are the stages in writing an essay?

Brainstorming - we write down everything that comes to mind about our topic. At this stage it is important for us to develop our thought process and generate enough ideas.

Selection - we select from the previous notes only those ideas that directly relate to our topic. Ideas for "pros and cons", for example, it is convenient to write down in two columns, simultaneously writing down the proofs (or arguments) and making sure that there are as many ideas "for" as "against".

Plan - we create an outline of the future essay: we select from a preliminary list the ideas that we will use in the introduction, the main part, and the conclusion. In the main part, we plan 4 paragraphs, in which each idea will be expressed in the first and second sentences, and the remaining sentences we will devote to proofs or arguments.

Draft - we write the essay according to the plan, not forgetting about graceful grammatical constructions, complex vocabulary, formal style and appropriate word-links.

Proofreading and final version - thoroughly proofread the written essay for the presence of errors, correct, check, all thoughts logically connected to each other, and form the desired reader response.

Writing an essay during an exam takes place in a tight time frame, so students often choose to skip some of the stages in order to buy time - for example, they start writing right away, hoping that relevant ideas will come up on their own in the process of writing. Or they don't check the essay for errors. Of course, an illogical and incoherent text with a lot of elementary level errors cannot count on a high score from the examiner. Nevertheless, it is also necessary to watch the time, so as not to leave your opinion incomplete.

So, to summarize: the key to writing a correct essay is a clear understanding of the requirements of the examination task, observing the structure of the essay and passing through all the stages of its writing, and clear time-management. Unfortunately, it is impossible to learn how to write an essay just by reading an article and becoming acquainted with the basic principles of writing; you need practice and preferably criticism from a teacher or native speaker.
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  1. Cameron_Dudley's Avatar
    Thank you for these tips. Personally, I learned how to write essays using Youtube videos in which the authors tell you how to do it. Many videos on this topic had posted by accounts that have about 26 thousand of views and I think their authors often used the services of the to achieve such a result.
  2. sawyerrobinson's Avatar
    On your place I would make a video for youtube about it. You can get subscribers for your channel from here