writing - How to write a good short-answer essay Writing is...

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How to write a good short-answer essay Writing is a valuable skill: it allows you to communicate ideas to others, but it also forces you to clarify ideas for yourself. Good writing is not simply a matter of choosing good words and using appropriate grammar. Far more important is choosing a way to present your ideas in such a way that they follow each other in a logical manner and lead inevitably to the desired conclusion. Acquiring this skill requires practice. You will have plenty of opportunities to work on this skill in this class, but recognize that it takes work. I encourage you to practice as much as possible. For instance, when you are reviewing the notes you have taken in class or from the book, practice writing your thoughts in paragraph form. You will get practice writing, and you will find that you develop a better context for the information you are learning. When your are writing short-answer essays, there are a few steps that you can follow that will that help you to write coherently. It may seem mechanical, but it produces writing that works. 1. Read the question carefully. You will be graded on how well you answer this question, so be certain you don't overlook part of the question itself! 2. Looking at the question, jot down a few ideas that may be relevant. You won’t necessarily use all of these, but they can prevent ideas from escaping. 3. Looking at the question and your ideas, formulate a topic sentence. Very often, the topic sentence is in the question. This is the main thought that your writing will try to get across. As such, it should be clear and present one idea; if it is too general, your thoughts will get lost, but if it is too narrow or focused on a single detail, you won’t be able to bring in further facts to support it. 4. Look over the ideas that you’ve jotted down. Not all of them will support your topic; understand that information may be correct, but still not supportive of or relevant to your topic. Arrange the relevant in an order that makes sense. 5. What is the conclusion of your argument? At this point, you have (hopefully) proved your point, and now you can show how it relates to a larger topic (for this class, biology). This is a good way to conclude.
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2011 for the course MIC 102 taught by Professor Appleman during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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writing - How to write a good short-answer essay Writing is...

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