Writing Essays

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A quick slideshow to encourage my students and help them succeed at writing historical essays.

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  • Writing Essays

    1. 1. Writing Essays 23 February 2010
    2. 2. Clarity counts Make your writing strong the 1st time! Care about capital letters, periods, and spelling.
    3. 3. Use precise language It’s not a “rock with writing on it.” It’s the Rosetta Stone. Use a word-bank related to your topic.
    4. 4. Focus your Lens Is your topic economics? Use words like “buy”, “sell”, “money”, names of money types, purchase, revenue, income, taxes... Is your topic war? fight, battled, contest, conquer, invade, defend, muster, skirmish, scout
    5. 5. Write Actively Have a hero at the center of your story, like Alexander the Great. Tell the story as well as you can. Don’t waste words telling someone else’s story.
    6. 6. Set a Timeline Let readers know when things happened Give them dates, and even times where appropriate. Write in the past tense. Use your time wisely, too. Write a bad first draft, and then edit.
    7. 7. Give Directions Tell your readers where your heroes came from. Tell your readers where your heroes are going. Give place and country names.
    8. 8. Explain Cause & Effect Like ripples in a pond, historical actions have consequences. Ripples have causes too: thrown rocks, or sticks. Things happen for reasons. Explain them.
    9. 9. Be clever! Write something people will want to read. Be funny, not crude. Tell stories and joke on-topic.
    10. 10. Pick an Editor Have a friend or an adult (or both) read your essay. Follow their advice about changes. Write for an audience of more than 1. Turn it in AFTER someone else reads it.

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