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Essay responses to test questions

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  1. Essay responses to test questions Uses and Abuses Prof. Judith Vandegriff UMUC/GVPT/History The Turtle Can Help Vandegriff Research 2008

  2. Abstract for Writing Conference Presentation: The presentation “Essay Responses to Test Questions: Uses and Abuses” is designed to help students and faculty refresh their memories on writing responses to questions using complete sentences. It covers 3 or 4 sentence response to an identification question, a 1-3 paragraph short essay response and a long essay 1000-1500 words) response. It includes uses/abuses of a short essay response. Also,key words to look for in an essay question as a guide to the response, and helpful long essay writing tips such as an executive summery in a long essay response. Prof. Judy Vandegriff, UMUC GVPT/History, May 25, 2008 Vandegriff Research 2008 The Turtle Can Help

  3. The 1 paragraph essay response: can be used to answer Identification (IDs) and information questions. The paragraph has three parts I.Topic sentence - why - pull from key word in question II. Body of paragraph -facts who where what when III. Summary sentence Vandegriff Research 2008 The Turtle Can Help

  4. Look for Key words in question: define: provide an exact meaning . state: present something with confidence (usually requires support with facts and examples). identify: define or describe something so it cannot be confused with anything else. describe: show what something looks like (including physical features). The Turtle Can Help Vandegriff Research 2008

  5. Short Essay - 1-3 paragraph response - usually written in expository essay format Expository: 3 functions: can explain, describe, or inform Grammar essentials:(source: Center for Independent Language Learing http://elc.polyu.edu.hk/cill/exercises/sva.htm/) Sentences - What is a sentence? A group of words containing a subject and a predicate that expresses a complete thought. Must Have: agreement of subject, verb, tense and voice Example: People in the bar often (order, orders) beer. People is a plural noun so correct verb is order. source: http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/sentences.htm Vandegriff Research 2008 The Turtle Can Help

  6. 4 Types of sentences according to function. Most of the sentences we use have a subject (noun) and verb and object Declarative -statement “Mary caught the ball.” Interrogative - asks a question “What is your name?” Imperative - gives a command “Don’t Drink That!” Exclamatory - out cry “There’s a fire in the kitchen!” The Turtle Can Help Vandegriff Research 2008

  7. - Occasionally acceptable in writing is the stylized sentence fragment where the subject or verb is understood Mary? Go! The Turtle Can Help Vandegriff Research 2008

  8. Uses of a short essay response - for the student - response to a short question in English, Social Studies, Math, Science - for the teacher - evaluate if the student has mastered the subject matter. - evaluate if the student has mastered the mechanics of correct grammar in writing. The Turtle Can Help Vandegriff Research 2008

  9. Abuse of a short essay response - For the teacher, over emphasis on sentence and paragraph format than with paragraph content - For the student, well developed sentence and paragraph structure devoid of factual content Vandegriff Research 2008 The Turtle Can Help

  10. Elements of the long essay response Utilizes any one of the several types of essays Narrative, Informative, Compare/Contrast, Descriptive, Analysis, Argumentative Grammar essentials are the same as for the short response First:Write outline for the 3 parts I. Introduction-respond to key words in question.and include a sentence on each of the topics covered in the body of the essay II. Body - It differs from the short essay in that each topic supported by facts is a separate paragraph III. Conclusion-guided by the type of essay format Second: write the essay following the outline Vandegriff Research 2008 The Turtle Can Help

  11. Key words to look for in essay questions The Turtle Can Help Vandegriff Research 2008

  12. Long essay writing tips - First - write the body paragraphs, topic by topic. Second- write the introduction - topic sentence and statement of the topics that appear in the body paragraphs. Use a sentence for paragraph. Third - Write the conclusion summarizing the facts, process of research, viewpoints and writer opinions. Uses:Long essay gives the instructor a chance to ask a question that tests a student’s knowledge of facts, analysis of concepts, critical thinking skills, ability to utilize creative thinking and cognitive organization.Givesstudent a chance to demonstrate lessons learned and the extent to which the informative has been valuable (internalized). Abuses: Runs the risk of student not understanding the question and writing 1000-1500 words reflecting student’s own opinion on a topic and not analysis or criticism of factual content. Vandegriff Research 2008 The Turtle Can Help

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