The Essay
Practice Essay Prompts
Plan, write, and score your responses to these essays.
You may not want to give yourself a time limit on the first of the following essays you attempt. But note how long each step takes you. By the second or third practice essay, you should keep yourself to the following time limits:
Step Suggested Time (Minutes)
Read and interpret the prompt. 1
Brainstorm. 3–4
Outline. 2–3
Write. around 15
Proof/Edit. 1–2
Remember to construct your own Student Response Sheets. Get a normal-size pad of college-ruled 8 1/2"-by-11" paper. That’s about the size of your actual Student Response Sheet. Count off about 50 lines and give yourself left and right margins of about a half inch each. That’s about the size you’ll be given. You can use both sides of one sheet of paper, if you like, to be as realistic as possible.
Give yourself a reasonable amount of planning space. In addition to the 50 lines above, give yourself about two-thirds of a separate sheet of paper to plan your essay.
Don’t forget the two-column method. We suggest that you separate your planning space into two columns. Use the left column for steps 1 and 2, defining terms and brainstorming. Use the right for step 3, outlining. You’re much less likely to run out of space for your outline that way.

1. Essay Prompt:

Think carefully about the following statement. Then read the assignment below it and plan and write your essay as directed.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Assignment: Do you agree with this statement? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your position on this issue. Support your point of view with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

2. Essay Prompt:

Consider carefully the following statement. Then read the assignment below it and plan and write your essay as directed.

“It is as difficult to start things as it is to finish things.”

Assignment: Do you agree with this statement? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your position on this issue. Support your point of view with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

3. Essay Prompt:

Consider carefully the following quotation. Then read the assignment below it and plan and write your essay as directed.

“All art is an imitation of nature.”

                  —Seneca, Roman philosopher, c. 4 B.C.–A.D. 65

Assignment: Do you agree with this statement? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your position on this issue. Support your point of view with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

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