5 STEPS IN PREPARING ESSAYS FOR STANDARDIZED TESTS
The essay for international exams such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS does not require literary talent, but rather a mastery of the technology of its writing.
Almost any international test for admission to a foreign university contains a section devoted to writing an essay. Is homework market legit? There is a general approach to essay writing for standardized tests, which includes five main steps.
DETERMINING THE TYPE OF ESSAY
First, you need to determine what type of essay you are required to write. Standardized tests more often ask you to write a “problem essay,” when you need to present an opinion on a given problem, and an “argumentative essay,” when you need to analyze the arguments presented against or in defense of a particular point of view.
DETERMINING THE LENGTH OF AN ESSAY
The length of the text affects the complexity of the essay, the number of paragraphs. A basic three-paragraph essay consists of 300-500 words. It is referred to as a “short” essay in standardized tests. A “long” essay is a minimum of 500-800 words and consists of five paragraphs.
Each paragraph should contain at least three sentences. It is important to understand that it is not the length of the typed text that is assessed, but the structure and content of the essay.
FORMULATION OF THE MAIN IDEA, THESIS AND ARGUMENTS
The main idea is what the essay is about. The thesis is what the author thinks about the main idea of the essay. Arguments are logical statements in support of the author’s thesis. Each of these elements should consist of at least one sentence.
If you put these elements in order, you will get an introduction. You can use the wording from the text of the assignment as the main idea.
If the text of the assignment is formulated as a question, in most cases, the thesis should be formulated as an answer to the question posed.
STATEMENT OF THE MAIN BODY OF THE ESSAY
In an essay of up to three thousand words, one paragraph each is allocated for the introduction and conclusion. The rest of the essay consists of the main body. For example, in an essay of five paragraphs, the main part should consist of three paragraphs, i.e. one paragraph for each argument.
In a three-paragraph essay, only one paragraph remains to present all three arguments, which makes it even more difficult to write. After a brief outline of the main body, one introductory sentence should be written for each paragraph.
The introductory sentences tell the reader what the paragraph is about. This is followed by arguments that justify the essence of the introductory sentence and examples (a quote or a life case). The introductory sentence, argument, and example together make up one paragraph in the main body.
Since the arguments have already been presented in the introduction, there is no need to use semantic transitions in the main body – all that remains is to set them out in the order in which they are presented in the introduction.
The conclusion is usually the most difficult part of the essay. The conclusion should include a paraphrase of the thesis in light of what was said in the main body, i.e., an explanation of how the arguments support the thesis put forward, and a final sentence that draws a line under the main idea of the essay.
The clearer and more definite the thesis statement is, the easier it is to write the conclusion. Difficulties in writing the conclusion means that most likely the thesis statement is too unclear. In this case, you can try to rewrite the introduction and then go back to the conclusion.
The main recommendation for writing essays for standardized tests is to quickly sketch out an initial version of the essay. If you run out of time, at least you will have a finished, albeit imperfect, product.
In any case, a finished essay is always graded higher than an unfinished one. If you have some time left, however, you can easily improve the essay with small changes.