How to prepare and write a good in-class essay – tips for high school students

In class essay assignments put a lot of pressure on students, but with these simple tips, anyone can write a great in class essay. In class essays are generally assigned so that the professor can assess the student’s knowledge with a time limit imposed upon them. They’re also common, for this very reason, when taking tests and exams. Here’s how to write a great in-class essay:

  • Don’t skip the outline.
  • It’s tempting, when trying to write as quickly as possible, to skip creating an outline for the essay. However, that’s not a good idea. The outline can be a great help, especially when there’s a time limit and it’s easy for one’s thoughts to become scattered. It will also help to stave off any threat of writer’s block, which can be disastrous when writing under a strict time limit.

  • Outline and write the body paragraphs first.
  • There’s typically little time to proofread or edit an in-class essay. For this reason, it’s very important to focus on the body of the essay. Outlining the body paragraphs first will aid the student in maintaining the same flow and structure throughout the essay. It will also help to avoid having to go back and tweak the introduction or rewrite it entirely, should the essay stray from the student’s initial intentions. There’s usually not time to do that when writing an in-class essay. Another positive aspect of outlining and writing the body of the essay first is that if the student does run out of time and has not finished their essay, the most important parts of it will be completed and they’ll get a better grade than they would if they had started with the introduction.

  • Outline and write the introduction and conclusion.
  • Using the finished body paragraphs, the student should identify the main themes of the essay. They should then outline an introduction and conclusion that state their thesis and summarize the themes which they’ve already covered in the essay.

  • Edit and proofread.
  • For most students following this method, there will be some time left over—use it wisely, to edit and proofread the essay. Check for mistakes and correct any awkward sentences or problems with the essay’s flow of ideas at this point. Once that’s done, read over it once more, if there’s time, and turn it in.

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