Responding to Prompts Responding to Prompts

Keys to writing a well-organized essay: 

1)  Respond directly to the prompt. 
2)  Make your writing thoughtful and interesting. 
3)  Organize your ideas so that they are clear and easy to follow.
4) Develop your ideas thoroughly by using appropriate details and precise language. 
5)  Stay focused on your purpose for writing by making sure that each sentence you write contributes to your composition as a whole. 
6)  Communicate effectively by using correct spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, usage and sentence structure.

Steps in writing an essay:

1) Identify key words which will indicate the purpose, the form and the audience 
2)  Complete pre-writing notes in any form which is comfortable for you 
3)  Write a draft of the composition giving great attention to the introduction. Avoid simply re-stating the prompt, yet when space is limited, try to be succinct. 
4)  When writing the body of the essay, please make sure that directions are followed. For example, if the prompt is asking for a position on a topic plus supporting information, you must not present both sides of the issue. This would be off-topic and would be considered a failing composition. If the prompt is asking for examples from both personal experience as well as literature, please make sure that your examples come from both sources.

   Once your composition is written, step away from it for at least a few minutes. If this is for the TAAS Writing Test, then either complete the objective portion of the test or if you've completed it, then proof it. Take a bathroom break to clear your mind and then begin with the revision portion of the writing process. For this you will need to check the following areas:

    1) Do your ideas flow logically? 
    2)  Are there appropriate transition sentences from one idea to the next? 
    3)  Is every sentence complete? Is every sentence necessary?
    4Do you have a variety of sentence types? (Example: simple, compound, complex, compound/complex) 
    5)Is correct grammar used? Are words spelled correctly? 
    6)Is every use of punctuation correct? Is there any punctuation that might be missing? Are vivid, specific words used?
    7)Should all the words capitalized BE capitalized? Are there any words which are not capitalized but should be?

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