The Essay
What Does the Essay Look Like?
What follows is a testlike example of a Student Response Sheet. We’ve inserted numbered boxes that comment on each part of the Student Response Sheet. Match up these numbers to the explanations on pages 14–15.
  1. Biographical information, signature, and date go here.
  2. Your score will be written here.
  3. Instructions—note it says plan and write, not just write.
  4. Note that clarity and effective communication are mentioned. Being specific and thorough gives you points.
  5. This blank space is all-important—we’ll teach you how to use it.
  6. Use all the space you have; don’t rush your writing, as that will make your handwriting harder to read. You may print if you like.
  7. Up to you.
  8. They’re trained to ignore handwriting, but your essay must be legible.
  9. Second mention of this space…hint, hint!
  10. The only way to get a zero is to write on another topic. So, don’t even think of preparing an essay beforehand.
  11. Essay prompt: general instructions to think carefully followed by one or two quotes or statements. Note that the theme is very broad.
  12. Assignment: the specific question you need to answer is stated here. You are told for the third time to plan, and then write, an essay. You’re also told to develop a point of view. This type of persuasive writing is the main goal of the essay. Finally, note that you are told to support your position, and that you may use any reasons or examples (i.e., evidence) from your ENTIRE LIFE.
  13. Here’s that all-important planning space.
OK, now you know what the essay looks like. We’ve also given you a few hints about the Student Response Sheet, which we’ll flesh out in the sections that follow.
(We’ll be using this essay prompt throughout the book, so stay tuned.)
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