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❶While writing an essay for an English class may seem overwhelming, it does not have to be.

AP English Literature Multiple-Choice Tips

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AP English Language Course Study Tips

While writing an essay for an English class may seem overwhelming, it does not have to be. If you give yourself plenty of time to plan out and develop your essay, however, then you will not have to stress about it. To write an English essay, start by collecting your notes and sources to brainstorm a thesis, also known as your main argument. Once you have an argument, begin your essay by writing a paragraph that introduces your topic and thesis.

After the introduction, write out body paragraphs, which should each start with a topic sentence and develop your thesis by providing specific examples.

Finally, finish your essay with a conclusory paragraph, then, edit it for grammar, clarity, and any filler content.

Set aside time to write. You cannot write a quality essay in 10 minutes. Try to factor in some time for breaks between drafts as well. Sit down and write. Remember that you can always go back and make improvements later, and that revisions are part of the writing process.

Draft a tentative thesis. Your thesis is one of the most important elements of your essay. A thesis statement summarizes the main argument or position of your essay in one sentence.

It lets readers know what the essay will attempt to show or prove. Everything in your essay should be connected to your thesis in a straightforward way.

Place your thesis at the end of your first paragraph. This is an important concept that will keep coming up in courses where you have to write papers. Once you have a compelling thesis statement, craft the rest of your introduction around it. Some effective strategies for creating an introduction include: Jot down an outline for the remainder of your essay.

Outlining involves developing a basic structure for your essay, which can help you stay on track while writing drafts. Look over your notes and invention exercises and think about how you can organize this information in an outline. Think about what information should come first, second, third, etc. Just try to get the major ideas on paper. Collect all of your notes and materials. Before you start to write, gather together all of the notes, books, and other materials that you will need to reference in order to answer the essay prompt effectively.

Support is essential for an effective English essay, so do not try to write your essay without these materials. If you have time, read through your notes before you begin. Make sure that you have your outline handy as well. You can build on your outline by expanding on each of the points in the order that they are listed in.

Include topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph. Topic sentences signal to readers what a paragraph will discuss. Start each of your paragraphs with a topic sentence so that your instructor will be able to see that your ideas progress in a clear, direct manner.

Develop your ideas as much as possible. Make sure that you include as many details as possible throughout your essay. Remember that padding filling in with meaningless text or using extra wordy sentences is not an effective strategy for writing essays because instructors can see right through it. Fill your essays with details that make your essay useful and insightful instead.

If you get stuck, some good strategies for developing your ideas include: Returning to the invention stage. This includes exercises such as freewriting, listing, or clustering. You can find a writing lab on most college campuses.

They are free to students and can help you improve your writing at any stage in the writing process. Talking to your instructor.

Meet with them and discuss ways that you can improve your essay before you hand it in. Cite sources using MLA style citations. If you use any sources at all in your essay, then you will need to cite them using the style that your instructor prefers. MLA style is the most common citation format used in English courses, so you will need to know how to use it. Provide in-text citations as well as a works cited page at the end.

An MLA style works cited page starts on a new page at the end of the essay. Provide entries for each of the sources that you used. These entries should include the information necessary to allow the reader to find the source with ease. Work towards a conclusion. The general structure of an essay usually goes from broad to specific. You could visualize this tendency as an upside-down pyramid or as a funnel. By the time you get to your conclusion, it should feel as though the information in your conclusion is inevitable.

You may find that you want to use your conclusion to: Qualify or complicate the information in your essay Suggest a need for further research Speculate on how the future will change the current situation. Give yourself plenty of time. Leaving your essay to the last minute is not a good idea.

Try to allow yourself at least a couple of days to revise your work. It is important to take a one to two day break from your essay after you have completed it. Then you can come back to it and revise with a fresh perspective. Focus on improving the content of your essay first. Some people only focus on the grammar and punctuation when revising an essay, but this is less important than the content of your essay.

Answer the essay question in as much detail as possible. Reread the essay question or assignment guidelines and ask: Do I have a clear thesis? Is my thesis the focus of my essay? Do I include adequate support for my argument? Is there anything else I could add?

Is there a logic to my essay? Does one idea follow the next? If not, how might I improve the logic of my essay? It is also useful to use transition words in the topic sentences to make the essay flow better. Include specific evidence and explain it. You should include quotes and examples within body paragraphs to prove that your thesis sentence and each topic sentence is true.

Evidence gives your essay credibility, because other people and circumstances agree with you. Evidence is how you convince a reader to agree with your argument.

Make sure you frame each quote or example so that it connects to the topic sentence. Avoid using quotes longer than 4 lines. This formatting can take valuable time away from your writing, and you need every moment you can spare.

Write a strong conclusion. When you get to the conclusion, it is wise to restate your thesis and the main idea of each body paragraph. However, be careful not to simply swap out words you have already used for new words that mean the same thing. Restate the thesis in new words entirely. The same goes for summarizing body paragraphs. Finish the conclusion paragraph with a sentence that challenges the reader without bringing in new ideas. This sentence can push the reader to think about your topic for themselves.

Vary your sentence length. Your writing will be very choppy and not flow well if you do not use sentence length variety. Such variety displays an understanding of writing and reading. Ensure that your vocabulary fits. The AP English essay is a good time to employ your knowledge of vocabulary, of course, but make sure that each word makes sense when you use it.

Using them appropriately is just as important for scoring a 9 on this essay. Make sure you use proper grammar.

Whenever something you write sounds wrong, this is usually an indication of incorrect grammar. Proper grammar is imperative for making a 9 on this essay. Grammar is learned over time through reading and school classes, but a basic review of grammar during your AP studies is helpful. Review things like sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and so on.

How many body paragraphs do I need? Can I write only two and still score a 7 or 8? If you have two strong, well-developed paragraphs, then that could probably still make a high score. However, three paragraphs shows that you have more evidence to support your thesis, and it affords more wiggle room in case you have one weaker piece of evidence. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 8. What is the best way to keep the reader interested, and on topic? Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Use metaphors and life experiences you actually enjoy to bring an element of passion to the piece.

Become an avid reader of all different types of literature in order to get a good sense of how to use vocabulary and grammar usage to its advantage in your writing.

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