Essay Prompts Practice Exercises 3
Essay Prompts Practice Exercises
When you write an essay under testing conditions, you should plan on using about the first one-fourth to one-third of the time you are allotted just for planning. Jot down notes about what you want to say about the topic, and then find a good way to organize your ideas.
- In his play, The Admirable Crighton, J. M. Barrie wrote, "Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes."
- Some people say that writing can't be taught. Educators debate the subject every day, while the teachers in the trenches keep trying.
Write an essay about a time in your life when you had the courage to do something or to face something difficult, or when you feel you fell short. What did you learn from the experience?
Write an essay in which you take a position on this matter. You may discuss any kind of writing, from basic composition to fiction. Be sure to back up your opinion with concrete examples and specific details.
The essay questions are scored on a 6-point scale, with 6 being an excellent essay and 1 being a poor essay. Guides like these are often used by teachers and evaluators of standardized writing tests to score essays.
Sample "6" Essay
Courage and cowardice seem like absolutes. We are often quick to label other people, or ourselves, as either "brave" or "timid," "courageous" or "cowardly." However, one bright afternoon on a river deep in the wilds of the Ozark mountains, I learned that these qualities are as changeable as mercury.
During a cross-country drive, my friend Nina and I decided to stop at a campsite in Missouri and spend the afternoon on a boat trip down Big Piney River, 14 miles through the wilderness. We rented a canoe and paddled happily off. Things were fine for the first seven or eight miles. We gazed at the overhanging bluffs, commented on the dogwoods in bloom, and marveled at the clarity of the water. Then, in approaching Devil's Elbow, a bend in the river, the current suddenly swept us in toward the bank, under the low-hanging branches of a weeping willow. The canoe tipped over, and I was pulled under. My foot caught for just a few seconds on the willow's submerged roots, and just as I surfaced, I saw the canoe sweeping out, upright again, but empty. Nina was frantically swimming after it.
Standing by cravenly, I knew I should help, but I was petrified. I let my friend brave the treacherous rapids and haul the canoe back onto the gravel bar by herself. But then came the scream, and Nina dashed back into the water. In the bottom of the canoe, a black and brown, checkerboard-patterned copperhead snake lay coiled. I don't know exactly why, but the inborn terror of snakes is something that has passed me by completely. I actually find them rather charming in a scaly sort of way, but Nina was still screaming. In a calm way that must have seemed smug, I said, "We're in its home, it's not in ours." And gently, I prodded it with the oar until it reared up, slithered over the side of the canoe, and raced away.
Later that night, in our cozy, safe motel room, we agreed that we each had cold chills thinking about what might have happened. Still, I learned something important from the ordeal. I know that, had we encountered only the rapids, I might have come away ashamed, labeling myself a coward, and had we encountered only the snake, Nina might have done the same. I also know that neither of us will ever again be quite so apt to brand another person as lacking courage. Because we will always know that, just around the corner, may be the snake or the bend in the river or the figure in the shadows or something else as yet unanticipated, that will cause our own blood to freeze.
Sample "4" Essay
Courage can be shown in many ways and by many kinds of people. One does not have to be rich, or educated, or even an adult to show true courage.
For example, a very heartbreaking thing happened in our family. It turned out all right but at the time it almost made us lose our faith. However, it also taught us a lesson regarding courage. In spite of his father's and my repeated warnings, my son Matt went ice-fishing with some friends and fell through the ice into the frigid water beneath. He is prone to do things that are dangerous no matter how many times he's told. Fortunately there were grown-ups near and they were able to throw him a life line and pull him to safety. However, when they got him onto shore they discovered he was unconscious. There were vital signs but they were weak, the paramedics pronounced him in grave danger.
He is his little sisters (Nans) hero. He is 16 and she is 13, just at the age where she admires everything he does. When they took him to the hospital she insisted on going that night to see him, and she insisted on staying with me there. My husband thought we should insist she go home, but it was Christmas vacation for her so there was no real reason. So we talked it over and she stayed. She stayed every night for the whole week just to be by Matt's side. And when he woke up she was there. Her smiling face the was first thing he saw.
In spite of the fact she was just a child and it was frightning for her to be there beside her brother she loves so much, and had to wonder, every day if he would die, she stayed. So courage has many faces.
Sample "3" Essay
Courage is not something we are born with. It is something that we have to learn.
For example when your children are growing up you should teach them courage. Teach them to face lifes challanges and not to show there fear. For instance my father. Some people would say he was harsh, but back then I didnt think of it that way. One time he took me camping and I had a tent of my own. I wanted to crawl in with him but he said there was nothing to be afriad of. And I went to sleep sooner than I would have expect. He taught me not to be afriad.
There are many reasons for courage. In a war a solder has to be couragous and a mother has to be no less couragous if she is rasing a child alone and has to make a living. So, in me it is totally alright to be afriad as long as you face your fear. I have been greatful to him ever since that night.
Sometimes parents know what is best for there kids even if at the time it seems like a harsh thing. I learned not to show my fear that night, which is an important point to courage. In everyday life it is important to learn how to be strong. If we dont learn from our parents, like I did from my father, then we have to learn it after we grow up. But it is better to learn it, as a child. I have never been as afriad as I was that night, and I learned a valuble lesson from it.
Sample "1" Essay
Courage is important in a battle and also ordinary life. In a war if your buddy depends on you and you let him down he might die. Courage is also important in daly life. If you have sicknes in the famly or if you enconter a mugger on the street you will need all the courage you can get. There are many dangers in life that only courage will see you through.
Once, my apartment was burglerised and they stole a TV and micro-wave. I didnt have very much. They took some money to. I felt afraid when I walked in and saw things moved or gone. But I call the police and waited for them inside my apartment which was brave and also some might say stupid! But the police came and took my statement and also later caught the guy. Another time my girlfreind and I were in my apartment and we looked out the window and there was somebody suspisious out in front. It turned out to be a false alarm but she was scard and she said because I was calm it made her feel better. So courage was important to me, in my relatinship with my girlfeind.
So courage is importand not only in war but also in life.
Sample "6" Essay
Writing can be taught, at least the kind of basic composition needed to be successful in school. The most important factor in teaching a basic composition class is a simple one for students who have been less than successful writers in the past. The student should be asked to write about something interesting in a context with a purpose beyond "English class." In other words, the student should want to learn to write. For students who have fallen behind for one reason or another, it's difficult to see a writing class as anything but an exercise in plummeting self-esteem. Many students believe that writing well is a mystery only those "with talent" can understand, and that "English class" is just something to endure. The first thing to teach students is that writing has a purpose that pertains to their lives. The teacher must appeal to emotion as well as to intellect.
I believe that the best approach is to ask students to keep a journal in two parts. In one part, grammar and style shouldn't matter, the way they have to matter in the formal assignments that come later in the course. In this part of the journal, the students should be asked to keep track of things they encounter during the day that interest them or cause them to be happy, sad, angry, or afraid. In the second part of the journal they should keep track of subjects that make them sit up and take notice. These can include things that happen in class or ideas that come to them when reading an assignment for class. These journal notes should whet the intellect and excite curiosity.
For teaching grammar, the teacher can present exercises in the context of a one-page essay or story because it gives writing a context. Too often in the early grades, students complete dry drill and skill exercises that take the fun out of writing. Diagramming sentences, identifying nouns and verbs, or labeling adjectives seems far removed from the skill of writing. Appeal to emotion, intellect, and curiosity will really succeed in engaging the whole student and awakening the urge to write.
Sample "4" Essay
I believe writing can be taught if we work hard enough at it as teachers. The important thing is to teach students that it can be enjoyable. Years of fearing writing lie behind a lot of students, and it's one of the biggest stumbling blocks. But it can be gotten over.
Having them break up into small groups is one way to teach writing to reluctant or ill-prepared students. Have the students discuss a topic they are all interested in—say a recent TV show or an event coming up at school, then plan a paper and come back and discuss the idea with the whole class. Your next step can be to have them actually write the paper, then get into their small groups again and criticize what theyve done.
Another way for students who don't like the small groups is one on one conferences. But dont just talk about grammar or sentence structure or paragraphing, talk about the content of his paper. I did a summer internship teaching in an innter city school, and I rememmber one young man. He hated small groups so we talked privately. He had written a paper on going to a city-sponsered camping trip and seeing white-tailed deer, which was his first time. He was excited about it, and I suggested he write a paper about his experience. He did and, except for some trouble with grammar, it was an A paper, full of active verbs and telling detail!
Finally, try to get your students to read. If you have to, drag them to the community library yourself. Not only will it help their writing, it will help them in life. Only by getting them interested in the written word and by helping them to see that it matters in their everyday lives can you really reach them and set them on the path of good writing.
Yes. Writing can be taught if you are willing to take the time and do the hard work and maybe give a few extra hours. No student is hopeless. And writing is so important in today's world that its worth the extra effort.
Sample "3" Essay
I dont think writing can be taught neccesarily, although if the students are half-way motivated anything's possible. The first thing is get them interested in the subject and give them alot of writing to do in class. They may not do it if it is all outside class as many poorly prepared students hate homework. I know I did as a kid!
Writing does not come natural for most people especially in the poorer school districs. Unless they are lucky enough to have parents who read to them. That is another aspect of teaching how to write. Assign alot of reading. If you don't read you can't write, and that is lacking in alot of students backgrounds. If your students wont' read books tell them to read comic books if nothing else. Anything to get them to read.
The second thing is to have the student come in for a conference once a week. That is one way to see what is going on with them in school and at home. A lot of kids in the poorer schools have conflict at home and that is why they fail. So give them alot of praise because thats what they need.
Finaly don't give up. It can be done. Many people born into poverty go on to do great things. You can help and you never know who you will inspire and who will remember you as the best teacher they ever had.
Sample "1" Essay
You will be able to tell I am one of the peopel that never learned to write well. I wish I had but my personal experience as a struggeling writer will inspire my students, thats the most I can hope for. Writing can be taught, but you have to be ready to inspire the student. Give them assignments on subjets they like and keep after them to read. Take them to the public libary if they havnt been and introduce them to books.
If you cant write people will call you dumb or stupid which hurts you're self-estem. I know from experience.
The next thing is have them come in and talk to you. You never know what is going on in there lifes that is keeping them from studying and doing there best. Maybe they have a mom that works all the time or a dad who has left the home. Be sure to teach the whole person. Also have them write about what is going on in there lives, not a dry subject like the drinking age. Have the student write about there personal experience and it will come out better. Writing can be taught if the student is motivated. So hang in there.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
WORKBOOKSMay Workbooks are Here!
ACTIVITIESGet Outside! 10 Playful Activities
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- Bullying in Schools
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working