Answering essay questions is definitely considered to be stressful and difficult, making it hard to write a profound answer. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that you can develop skills concerning answering essay questions. If you take your time to develop your ability to give perfect answers to essay exams, sooner or later you will celebrate the achievements. There is no doubt that this will require some time and effort. However, you can learn how to practice dealing with short answer questions. As a result, your answers will be more effective.
How to Understand the Question
Begin with identifying the keywords. It's a well-known fact that professors and teachers use particular keywords in their essay questions so that they can communicate the task they want you to do. These are the most frequently used key words:
- Analyze: You should explain who, what, when, where, how, and why. In addition, you might need to include advantages and disadvantages.
- Compare: It means that you are supposed to discuss the differences and similarities between two or several things. Keep in mind that you should also state why the comparison is actually useful.
- Describe: You are asked to list the traits or characteristics of something. Apart from that, you may also be supposed to summarize something, for example, an essay prompt that claims "Describe the most important events that caused the American Revolution."
- Discuss: Regarding this keyword, you should begin with describing something, presenting several arguments for or against it. What is more, you may be required to analyze the pros and cons of your subject.
- Evaluate: It means offering positives and negatives, the advantages and disadvantages of a subject.
- Explain: Make an attempt to explain how or why something has happened.
- Prove: Frankly speaking, it is believed to be reserved for objective or more specific essays. Apart from that, you may be required to include evidence, as well as research, for building a case for a certain position or setting of hypotheses.
- Summarize: As you have probably already guess, this keyword states that the main ideas and themes of a subject should be listed. What is more, you may be asked to present the most important ideas so that you can fully discuss them. Usually, most essay questions are not just about writing a pure summary and nothing more.
Bear in mind that you ought to ask questions if there is something that is not understandable or unclear for you. You might not get what the question is basically asking, but it doesn't mean that you should immediately give up. If you are not sure with regard to the meaning of some keywords, just don't be afraid to ask your professor or teacher. Otherwise, you may run the risk of providing the wrong answer.
- Why don't you raise your hand, wait some time for your professor to come over to you? Another option could be approaching your teacher's desk in order to ask your question.
How to Form Your Response
The most important thing you ought to do is to follow the instructions. You need to use them so that you are able to decide what should be included in your answer. Remember following them to the letter. Avoid improvising or including irrelevant and non-essential information. It is stated by professors that not understanding the instructions in a proper way is a main reason why so many students do not pass exams with flying colors.
Consider how you are supposed to structure your answer. In fact, the way you organize your answer is significant. If the question asks for a specific order for your answer, you ought to definitely take it into consideration.
- Take your time to make up your mind regarding your organization before starting to write your answer. Make sure you know what pieces of information need to come first, second, third, and so on.
Include only relevant figures and facts. A good essay question answer is supposed to provide a sufficient answer, simultaneously displaying how well you know a subject. So, take a moment to consider the most effective way of accomplishing this goal implementing relevant figures, as well as facts, you have got to know in your studies.
- One of the best ideas could be making a list of figures and facts that you would like to discuss in your essay answer. As a result, you can refer to it as you proceed with writing your answer.
- The best way to do this is writing down the most important key topics and ideas before you begin working on your answer.
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Recommendations: How to Keep Calm and Stay Focused
If you feel that you get too worried and anxious, taking a deep breath would be the most efficient solution to this problem. Make sure you stay calm while taking an exam since this is thought to be one of the most crucial secrets of getting a high grade in it. If you get confused and flustered, there may be a high possibility that you have difficulties with recalling essential information. In addition, you may make some stupid mistakes just because of your anxiety.
Make an attempt to use your time in a wise way. It is great if an exam suggests what amount of time you ought to devote to each question, giving you a time limit. Thus, you can indubitably budget your time. However, not all exams like this. If you are not provided with such perfect guide, then you can think about developing your own one as soon as the exam starts. For instance, if you have one hour and three questions, it means you should spend up to 20 minutes on each question.
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