Breaking Down thePromptStep 1 to the Perfect Essay
Writing an essay is hard;writing an essay that properly addresses a specific prompt iseven harder. Getting the essay prompt right, and making sure you are addressing it is half the battle, albeit a complicated half. But believe it or not, we have all been there. Every student who gets an essay prompt, at one point or another, has had the experience of clutching her head and groaning in horror, with absolutely no idea how to tackle this monstrosity called an essay prompt.
Step 1: Read the PromptThat’s right; make sure you read itfrom start to finish. Then, look it overone more time for good measure.Make sure you know what isexpected of you in this essay.
Step 2: Break it DownBreak the prompt down to itssimplest format. Many essayprompts are long, wordy, and easy toget lost in. We have a hard timeknowing just what the question weare supposed to be addressing is!So do bullet points, short sentences,whatever works for you. Just find themost basic way to re-phrase theprompt in your own words.
Step 3: Figure out what type of prompt you’re dealing withWhat type of essay are you supposed to write? Is it a research paper, an argumentative essay, a response paper? Determine what you are dealing with, so you know what type of answer to give!
Step 4: Know your Role and your AudienceIt is important to know your role as the writer. Figure out if you are trying to persuade your reader to your point of view, or simply present facts! It is important, and makes a difference on how you present your essay! And, don’t forget…who are you writing for? Gear your answers and your tone towards the audience that will be reading your essay.
Step 5: Answer the QuestionMake sure that you answer thequestion that theprompt gives you.Don’t get so lost in your ideas thatyou forget the point of the essay!
Step 6: Make an OutlineA brief outline is a great way to organize your ideas, work on your thesis, and make sure you are answering the essay question.
Step 7 (optional strategy): Create NotecardsAs you read, write down important facts, main ideas, or quotesthat youmay wantto include(one per notecard). Then, mix and match. Move the notecards around until you have a nicely organized essay. (Hint: you may not use all of them.)
Essay Prompt Choice 1Tone is the literary device involvingthe mood or feeling the authorintends the reader to experience.Using your chosen novel, write anessay in which you identify andexplain the overall tone of the work.Use direct and detailed examplesfrom the text to support yourargument.
Essay Prompt Choice 2The climax of a work is when all ofthe events come to a breaking point.Using the piece you have chosen,explain the events that lead to theclimax, what happens in the climax,and the significance of this event onthe outcome of the novel.