Timed and Untimed Essay Writing Strategies: Writing Review Practice Exercises (page 2)

Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Practice Exercise: Timed Essays

  1. Which of the following would NOT be a good way to prepare for your timed essay?

    1. eat a good breakfast
    2. read this book
    3. bring a pencil or pen
    4. wear a watch
    5. stay up late


  2. Make a time budget for a two-and-a-half-hour essay.

  3. Give yourself 20 minutes and plan what you would write for the following essay topic.

      Think of a person who is a good leader. What makes that person a good leader? Explain what qualities a person needs in order to be a good leader.


  1. Make a Plan
  2. Brainstorm

    Start to Organize

    Make an Outline


    Revise and Edit

    Turn It In

  3. b. If you worry too much about what grade you will receive, you'll lose your focus. Just concentrate on doing the best you can by following all the steps outlined in this book.
  4. bad plan
  5. This plan leaves absolutely no time for revision. Revising and editing your essay is crucial, because it gives you a chance to go back and correct any errors you've made along the way. And as perfect as you try to make your essay, you're bound to make mistakes. It's okay to make mistakes, as long as you build in time to fix them.

  6. good plan
  7. This plan doesn't allow a lot of time for prewriting, but that's okay. You may feel that you don't need that much time. As long as you do the prewriting and leave yourself plenty of time at the end for revision, you'll have a good plan.

  8. bad plan
  9. Like the first plan, this one leaves no time for revision.

  10. good plan
  11. This plan breaks up the month a little bit differently, but still leaves time at the beginning to prewrite, time at the end to revise, and a good chunk of time in the middle to write.

  12. bad plan
  13. This plan has no prewriting scheduled. Without prewriting, you'll find it extremely difficult to start writing. What is your thesis? What are your supporting ideas? What will you say about those ideas? If you don't prewrite and organize your thoughts, you'll have to make it all up as you go along, and you'll most likely end up with an unclear and unorganized essay.

  14. e. It would not be a good idea to stay up late the night before your timed essay. You may end up being tired while you're trying to write. Or, even if you don't really feel tired, your brain will not be up to its maximum thinking abilities.
  15. 20 minutes = Organize
  16. 1 hour 50 minutes = Write

    20 minutes = Revise

    This is a good time budget for a two-and-a-half-hour essay. It starts off with 20 minutes to organize your thoughts, which is plenty of time but not too long. It includes ample writing time and leaves you 20 minutes at the end to revise. The 20 minutes for revising is key. You'll have time to fix any mistakes and not be rushed at the end.

  17. Thesis = To be a good leader, a person should be charismatic, intelligent, and funny.
  18. Support =

    1. charismatic to attract followers
    2. intelligent so people believe what he or she says
    3. funny to entertain so people will be captivated

    This is just an example of what your thesis statement and support may look like and one way that you may jot it down. The thesis statement is strong, explaining the necessary characteristics for a good leader. Support for the thesis is an explanation for each characteristic. Why would it be good for a leader to have that characteristic? Of course, if you were to write this essay, you would want to think of more reasons that each characteristic is important and maybe even give some examples of its importance.

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