Timed Essay Writing Attack it. Write it. Rock it.
When given a prompt: You need to remember your ABCDs • Attack the prompt • Brainstorm possible answers • Choose the order of your response • Detect errors before turning the draft in
Attacking the prompt: • The first half of the prompt sets the situation • The second half of the prompt contains the writing directions 1. Identify the portion of the prompt that contains the directions and mark that. 2. Highlight any words that ask you to do something (verbs). 3. Underline what the verbs ask you to do. 4. Summarize your directions under the prompt adding a spot for the author’s full name and your thesis. 5. Underline the author’s main pointsin the prompt and identify the author’s thesis.
Example: Attack it!! “Because of cell phones, hiking in wilderness areas may be safer than before, but it is also noisier than ever. Although people might bring cell phones with them to use in case of an emergency, emergencies are rare. More often, people receive incoming business and even social calls. Technology seems to be following us everywhere: into the wilderness, and then back into civilization. Anywhere at any time, everyone else present can be disturbed by one person’s call. Because more people in these circumstances are bothered by cell phones than are helped, these gadgets should not be permitted in certain public places or designated natural areas.” —Lois Quaide Explain Quaide’s argument and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with her analysis. Support your position, providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
Properly Attacked Prompt: • In groups—on board…
A is for “Attack”…B is for “Brainstorm” • Brainstorm your thesis • Brainstorm what your examples are • Brainstorm how your examples back up your thesis
Thesis Brainstorm: take a side! Brainstorm your thesis. The thesis answers “so what?” or why you are writing the essay. Your thesis should make a point which is proven by your examples. Your thesis drives the entire essay! • 1. I agree with Quade that cell phones should not be allowed in the wilderness area because they cause too much disruption. • 2. I disagree with Quade that cell phones should be allowed in the wilderness area because the chance of them being used for an emergency far outweighs the chance of them being a nuisance to others. Decide on the strongest thesis- or the one that you can write the most about.
Brainstorm Paragraph Support What (Examples) • Lost • Injured • Animal attack • Out of food/water • Health issues • (pregnancy, RX, allergy) How (prove thesis) • Could end in death if they can not call for help which is far more serious then someone feeling disturbed. • Could end in death or permanent disability if they do not receive help quickly which is far more serious then someone feeling disturbed. • Could end in death or serious injury if no help arrives which is far more serious then someone feeling disturbed. • Could end in starvation or death which is far more serious then someone feeling disturbed. • Could end in serious complications, injury or death if no help can be called which is far more serious then someone feeling disturbed.
Released SAT prompt from 10/2012 • Prompt 1 • Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. • The idea of caring about only the people of one's own country seems outdated. Some people still defend this attitude, claiming that if we are going to expend resources to help people, we should help those of our own country first. But national boundaries are meaningless lines that shift over time. There is no reason why a citizen of one country should not feel just as responsible for the well-being of people in other countries as for the well-being of those in his or her own country. • Assignment: Should we care just as much about people in other countries as we do about people in our own country? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
Released Essay Prompt from 10/2012 • Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. • Some say that high achievers—people who reach their ambitious goals because of their determination and skills—always get ahead at the expense of others. When one political candidate is elected, others are defeated; when someone wins in any kind of competitive event, others lose. But this view of achievers is too negative. By improving the world around them and providing an example for all to follow, achievers benefit others as well as themselves. • Assignment: Do the actions of high achievers benefit all people? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
Released prompt #3 • Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below. • People tend to consider the past unimportant. After all, why waste time dwelling on what has already happened? There is no way to go back and change events or their outcomes. But this way of thinking is wrong. People are too focused on the present; they should pay more and closer attention to past events. The lessons learned from examining the past are much more valuable than any lessons that people can learn from the present. • Assignment: Do people learn more from examining events in the past than from focusing only on the present? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.