writing - Guidelines for Writing Effective Essays Can you...

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Guidelines for Writing Effective Essays Can you read and digest a series of articles assigned to you? Next, can you extract the essence out of each article and summarize it in no more than a few sentences? Okay, you can read, you can summarize, but can you pull together the threads that connect each of the articles together and create a new idea? Can you offer thoughts and insights on the ideas in these articles? We want to know. So, you have been given an essay to write. We design essay questions in order to challenge you in many ways that we believe you will be challenged while you are at MIT and beyond MIT. But, where do you begin and how do you know when you’re done? Task 1: Review and review again the essay question. Sometimes you develop the questions yourself – thesis questions. Most of the time, however, you will be handed questions that were written by your professors and you will need to respond. Examine the question. Think about the question. Brainstorm answers and otherwise get into that create space inside you. Some essay questions are really broad. Broad questions can be helpful but sometimes they can make you want to tear your hair out because you are not sure what the professor expects. Try to think of these types of questions as an opportunity because they may signal that the door is wide open and you can pick and choose what you really want to say. Usually what broad questions really mean is that the professor is not exactly clear about what s/he wants in terms of an answer.
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