Writing the in class essay pointers
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Writing the In-Class Essay: Pointers. Preparing for the Mid-session Exam. Remember that writing an in-class essay is a technique, a skill, and a process that you will develop . Here are some strategies and tips that will help you

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Writing the In-Class Essay: Pointers

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Writing the In-Class Essay: Pointers

Preparing for the

Mid-session Exam

Remember that writing an in-class essay is a technique, a skill, and a process that you will develop.

Here are some strategies and tips that will help you

Of course these will transfer over to the writing of essays in general.

Do not just speed-write (driving insanely without headlights). Rather, reflect on a structure, framework, or an outline that you created moments before you started the paper.

Use a map (it’s amazing how much calmer you will feel having this next to you).

Take the time to examine your map (tree/bubbles/point form); in other words, take the time to think through your topic.

Drive cautiously and carefully. Follow your outline. We are visual learners. Have direction. Take your reader along in the paper. Use transitions.

Ask yourself these questions:

TOPIC? What will you be writing about?

PURPOSE? What will be the purpose for writing?

*Purpose: Inform and/or persuade your reader. There should be a clear sense of purpose.

*Find a focus, and develop what you want to say.


  • It will enable you to easily edit your work.

  • Re-reading and editing a single-spaced handwritten can be difficult and frustrating.

  • Double-spacing will encourage you to go back and add some discoveries that you may have made by the time you reached the end of your paper.

  • Further contextualisation of the texts at hand

  • Do not just scratch the surface. Watch generalizations. Watch plot summaries.

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the text

  • Use references/instances/specifics from the text to support what you are saying

The thesis sentence reflects how you will inform and persuade your reader regarding your focus.

Make your thesis clear.

  • Time Management

  • Go back and re-read your body paragraphs – and what they developed. Do they correspond with your thesis? Was your thesis addressed? After reading your conclusion, does it have anything to do with your opening paragraph and thesis?

Often at times, the concluding paragraph can serve as the introduction, because after writing your body paragraphs, you may have discovered your thesis at the very end. If this is the case, go back and change or alter your thesis sentence.

TIP: Try doing the in-class writing for your remaining essays. Write for one hour (non-stop) and surprise yourself.

No interruptions. No talking. No computer. No Internet. No MSN. No phone. No friends. No text messaging.


  • Final Thoughts

  • Conclusion – re-iteration, wrap up argument

  • Key topic sentences

  • Indent

  • Avoid being too general & vague

  • Be more assertive; take ownership of your argument; have confidence; take control

  • Avoid shorthand (w/, @, w/n etc.)

  • Aim for clarity

Good luck!

See you on the 16th! 

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