How to write a good essay

The subject of the invention: “Imagine the rest of the text of the corpus by putting yourself in the shoes of the character. Use personal anecdotes or short personal stories”

Food for thought: “Why is it important to learn throughout your life? Argue your answer.”

Students are assessed on the quality of written expression, appropriate use of language and spelling, as well as their ability to organize their arguments.

First step: understand the subject

To write a good essay Before embarking on the current drafting, it is necessary to clearly delimit the subject and to understand it. Do not hesitate to reread the instructions several times so as not to get lost and get off-topic. You can underline important words, copy them, circle them, rephrase the instructions … Do whatever helps you better understand what is expected of you.

write a good essay
write a good essay

Start by noting the theme of the topic. The instruction asks you to imagine the rest of the text of the corpus. Is it poetry? A play? A novel excerpt? For the subject of reflection, what is the link between the text and the question? First, rely on the shape of the text.

What exactly does the locker require?

For the imaginary subject, you will be asked to write the rest of a story, to tell the same scene by changing your point of view (internal, external, and omniscient), to imagine another scene on the same theme, or relate a personal experience describing your feelings.

The instructions are clear on the type of text requested: narration, letter, a story with dialogues, description, portrait, poem, speech … The writing time is sometimes indicated (present, past). If not, use the corpus text time. You will be told whether to write in the first or third person.

For the subject of reflection, writing consists of expressing your opinion on a question asked. It is an argumentative text that you are asked to produce by justifying your point of view. Most of the time, the text takes the form of an essay, but you may be asked to write your argument in a letter or in dialogue.

Follow the instructions carefully to hope to obtain the maximum number of points. Perhaps the homework plan is provided to you as well. Take the time to think it over before you start!

Second step: collect the information

After having clearly defined and understood the subject, it is time to gather the information at your disposal. Take the time to identify the situation that leads you to write your text:

What is the target? If you write a letter, to whom is it addressed.

What is the goal to achieve? Do you have to inform, tell, argue, convince?

To help ensure that you don’t forget anything, clearly write down the seven questions in a list form and answer them: what, who, when, where, why, how, how much?

Gather your historical, geographical, technical, literary, and personal memories according to the subject. From the start, imagine the situation you want to write up and put together specific examples. If your story includes a hero, make him an identity card with his name, his physical portrait, and his character traits.

write a good essay
write a good essay

Write down everything that comes to your mind in the draft, any ideas you have without making sentences: a word or an expression will remind you of what you want to develop. However, be careful to write everything down clearly, so that you can classify, sort, and number your ideas so you do not forget anything later.

Third step: classify the ideas

Now is the time to select the information relevant to your topic. Here I have described the Chicago essay format. Unless you are given the outline, a Chicago essay format generally follows a three-part outline: introduction, development, and conclusion. This step is used to structure the selected information according to the chosen plan.

Introduction

The introduction has 6 to 8 lines in a single paragraph (to be adapted according to the length requested from the drafting, the introduction should barely represent 1/5 of the whole text). It serves to recall the subject, to present the initial situation and the hero.

Assume that the examiner is not supposed to know the topic. He must therefore be able to understand what you are talking about thanks to the introduction. Use the what, who, where, when questions to write this section.

Development

For the development, you have several possibilities:

Keeping a chronological order:

The most common for a story but it is still possible to make ellipses or go back,

Choose a logical order:

If you make a description, a comparison, a portrait, or a speech, the development will follow a logical order.

In the draft, group the ideas of the same category then classify the categories in relation to each other to progress little by little towards the conclusion.

Conclusion

The conclusion is roughly the same length as the introduction. It is used to finish the story properly. Depending on the subject, you can end with a thought or a moral: the general impression of duty, the expression of your feelings/emotions… or with an opening to the future by taking a more distant point of view.

General remark

The introduction/development/conclusion plan lends itself perfectly to the subject of reflection. On the other hand, for the subject of imagination, you can move away from it somewhat even if you will have to introduce your characters and end on a logical end.

Fourth step: write in draft

Make a specific plan and stick to it until the end!

After having worked on his subject from top to bottom, the student can move on to draft writing.

For the topic of reflection, just write the general outline and main ideas of each paragraph without making full sentences. On the other hand, take the time to write the entire introduction and conclusion in draft.

For the imaginative subject, it is better to write the entire text in the draft. Write in pencil, skip lines, leave a margin so that you can correct and jot down interesting expressions to use. The work of style is much more important in the subject of imagination. However, your writing should also be organized into paragraphs even for the subject of the invention.

You can switch paragraphs with every scene change, when a new character appears, when an action, a place, or even an era suddenly changes.

When you’re done drafting, take the time to rework your text. Check that the sentences flow together logically and without repetition. Take the opportunity to correct mistakes.

These first four steps seem long and they should be. Spend half of the test on your draft, or 45 minutes for reflection.

Step five: write clean

The clean writing must be able to be done in thirty minutes in order to leave you fifteen minutes to proofread your production at the end.

Take the time to copy slowly and legibly for the imaginative subject, while correcting poorly worded sentences and repetitions. Take care of the presentation by using spaces and forming your letters well. Use as little proofreader as possible (hence the importance of the draft).

For the topic of reflection, write each paragraph without deviating or developing each part too much. Be sure to give each item a size commensurate with its importance. Focus on the essentials and just quote the rest.

The drafting text of the English patent must be at least 600 words (i.e two pages) unless otherwise indicated in the instructions on the day of the test.

In all cases, be sure to use appropriate vocabulary in the correct language. Build short, logical sentences and connect them with logical connectors.

The last fifteen minutes are devoted to careful proofreading of your essay. A first rereading must be done in the skin of the reader to verify that he has all the information he needs. The second proofreading is used to correct any inattentive errors that may have crept into your copy.

Some tips for writing better

Reading alone is not enough to improve your writing.

Practice, again and again

To write better during the patent, there is no secret: training is necessary. To write well, it is often said that you have to read a lot. This is especially true for improving your spelling. Indeed, to improve your writing, you have to write a lot! It is only by practicing that you will be able to improve your style and especially gain in efficiency to write quickly and well during the test.

If you don’t know what to write:

  • Review of films you have seen,
  • Summaries of books you have read,
  • Stories out of your imagination,
  • Moments lived in your daily life …

It does not have to be perfect, no one is going to read what you write (unless you want to) so put your fears aside and get started!

The literary formulas to use

  • Avoid starting a sentence with a coordinating conjunction,
  • Forget familiar vocabulary (unless instructed to do so),
  • Avoid the verbs to have, to be, to do apart in compound tenses.
  • Keep it simple

Do not make sentences too long: a two-line sentence is hard to read. Alternate long sentences (one line) and short sentences to give rhythm to your writing. You can also use non-verbal sentences if it’s relevant.

Don’t blab: don’t fool if you have nothing more to say. Choose a simple style and precise vocabulary, and don’t use words you don’t know the meaning of just to look pretty. Avoid repetitions as much as possible.

Pay attention to punctuation, which can change the meaning of a sentence on its own. In writing, we use a more sustained style than orally. Don’t write like you speak!

Also, don’t include too many characters in your story or risk getting lost and losing the reader. For two pages, if you have two or three characters maximum, that’s more than enough.

Avoid science fiction. It is much easier to relate actions that can take place in real life.