R ead the question.
  • Read all parts of the question. Many essay questions include multiple parts. Be sure to answer all parts.
A pair of eyes reading a question.
U nderline key words.
  • Key words for essay tests are: analyze, categorize, classify, compare, contrast, criticize, defend, define, discuss, describe, enumerate, evaluate, explain, illustrate, justify, prove, relate, summarize and trace.

  • Define the key word to yourself before answering the question.
Underlining key words.
L ist or outline the major points.
  • Write out the major points you studied related to this question.
Listing an outline of the major points.
E mphasize the details for each of the points.
  • Under each of the points, write at least 2 details.

Emphasizing the details of each point.

rite the answer.
  • First read over your outline and organize the major points and details.

  • Write an introduction to the major points.

  • Check off each of the major points and details as you include them in your answer.

  • Write complete sentences for each of your major points and details.

  • Write an ending that summarizes or wraps up the ideas from your outline.

A paper with the answer being written on it.

valuate your answer.
  • Re-read the question and then read your answer to make sure that your answer matches the question.

  • Add information to clarify points that were not adequately explained.

  • Correct any grammatical or spelling errors.

Benjamin Franklin evaluating an answer.



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