Final Exam Exit Essay Advice

by   |  04.23.10  |  Final Exam Essay

To begin preparing for the final exam essay, I would like everyone to read the following 6-page excerpt from A Brief Guide to Writing from Readings titled “Timed Writing Assignments” before class on Monday.

On Monday, the class identified the following tips on writing timed essays from the reading linked above:

  • Respond to the exact question asked. Use the exact number of sources requested, and provide an argumentative (persuasive) response
  • Be textual – make claims about the text’s argument and provide quotes from the text to support your claims (graders will absolutely expect you to integrate quotes from your selected texts into your essay)
  • Have an interesting beginning to your essay (remember your audience is English professors who have already read numerous blue book essays on your assigned topic)
  • Your essay should have a solid beginning (including a thesis), middle (body), and end (conclusion)
  • Use appropriate parenthetical references when quoting your text; cite the page number when quoting a short story or essay; cite line numbers when quoting poetry
  • Use clear and concise language and develop your argument with effective reasoning
  • Prepare outside of class in study groups
  • Anticipate essay questions and possible responses ahead of time
  • Planning and drafting the essay is important (perhaps develop an outline and a thesis before drafting)
  • Have a title for your essay

Also, don’t forget to check out the handouts Exit Essay Information and Exit Essay Advice that are linked to the Pages sidebar. Additional advice appears below:

  • Begin paragraphs with topic sentences that focus the paragraph on a single idea
  • Write in present tense
  • You may need to remind or explain to your readers how certain evidence relates to your thesis