Answering an Essay Question by ps94506


									                    Answering an Essay Question

An essay question is often referred to as a “prompt.” A prompt tells you what you
should be writing about.
   • Some prompts may ask you to do more than one thing.
          o For example:
                               “Most novels have five parts.
                               First, identify what those five
                               parts are, then describe what
                               happens in each part.”

   •   Some prompts can be answered in a brief paragraph.
          o For example:
                          “Describe the appearance of our
                          American flag.”

   •   Some prompts may require you to respond with multiple paragraphs.
          o For example:
                          “Explain the effects the fast food
                          industry has had on the following:
                          consumer spending, obesity, and

   1. First read the entire prompt carefully and slowly.
   2. Next, underline the key word(s), so that you will know what type of information
      the answer must include.
           o For example:      “Explain why you feel the U.S. should withdraw all its
                               troops from Iraq and call an end to the war. Use
                               specific details to support your answer.”
   3. It is usually a good idea to put the prompt into your own words and restate its
      key information in the first sentence of your response. This will help you keep
      your focus as you compose your answer.

          o   Your answer: After many years of lost lives, billions of
                           dollars in war spending, and a very low
                           president approval rate, perhaps it is time for the
                           U.S. government to withdraw its troops from

                                                                                             S. Faber
                                                                            Reading Specialist, PNHS
                  Answering an Essay Question

Here are some general tips:

      Be aware of how much time you will have to respond.
      Jot down a brief outline of the main points you want to cover.
      Consider using an attention-grabbing sentence before you restate your prompt.
      When you make a statement/point, make sure you provide evidence/support to
      back it up.
      Use transition words
          o To move from one point to the next.
          o To move smoothly from one paragraph to the next.
      Reread your response before handing it in.
          o Correct misspelled words.
          o Add words that were left out.
          o Remove unwanted repeated words/phrases/sentences.
          o Edit sentences where you have strayed from your topic.

                                                                                  S. Faber
                                                                 Reading Specialist, PNHS

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