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45 minute essay tips?

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Hey all,

I've been having a lot of trouble writing the 45 minute essays that are assigned in HL History (year 1). Does anyone have any tips or strategies, or possibly well written exemplars, that I could use to improve my style of writing? I think I end up giving too much narrative and not giving as strong of an argument as I should be, but any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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In timed essays, dividing time and writing speed is the key. What I do during timed essays is I take at least 3-5 minutes to plan. It is a very rough plan of course. But those few minutes of planning are essential as you can get arguments down rather than just writing aimlessly 

Then it is important to mentally plan out. Such as " I might take 5 minutes on the intro, 10 minutes on the first argument, and 5 minutes on the counter-argument paragraph". And while writing, those arguments that you wrote down in your initial planning may even become developed, as your brain will be "sleeping on it" 

I know these are general tips, but I do hope these help as it's the little things that do! :)

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Hey,

So you need to write fast, obviously. Something I like doing is warming my hands up. Whether running hot water over them, sit on them or run them under a hand dryer. It prevents my hand from hurting.

The other thing is practice. Your hand develops strength.

 

Now that is done. Plan your essays in 5-10 minutes. Don't make it elaborate but like, say 3 key points, examples and historian view. Keep it simple and ensure it stays on point.

Best of luck.

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I would have to respectfully disagree with King112 on one particular point. For a 45 minute essay, 5 to 10 minutes of planning is way too much. You should be able to have a rough plan/ outline of the essay in 3 minutes or so. By using any more time, you are penalizing yourself in terms of time. Also, like what the rest had said, you have to practice writing your essays with 45 minutes; do not expect yourself to be able to write at such a fast speed without any practice. 

Hope this helps! :D 

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Hey! There are a lot of super good tips and comments in this forum already, but here are some tips that I've gathered because I used to always run out of time. No joke.

 

  • Make an outline in the corner of your sheet for 5-10 minutes, but if you know the topic beforehand, plan it out during your study time. Write the main points with a few subpoints under so you can have a flow and thought process when actually writing the essay. 
  • For me personally, I can write a lot and ramble a lot (causing me to slow down and run out of time because most things I write are irrelevant) so figure out if you have that same problem and try your best to minimize it. 
  • Try doing a couple of timed essays on your own as if you were taking a legit timed essay and then mark yourself or ask one of your peers to. Make notes on which part/s took you the longest or what part/s you need to strengthen and figure out why you need to. It also helps to figure out what parts you're struggling with the most. 
  • Adding to the above tip, practice on a couple of different essay types - ie, persuasive, expository, and narrative. 
  • Also, if you all of a sudden have an idea that works really well in your essay, write it down. Who cares if it's like not that organized because it must be a great point that you have to make and so better risk the chance of getting an extra point for another good idea than nothing, right?
  • BE TIME CONSCIOUS. Believe it or not, most of my classrooms don't have clocks so I suggest wearing a handwatch rather than relying on your phone cuz then your teacher will think you're cheating. In addition, don't spend that much time on your outline because then you'll have to rush and cram the actual essay in a few minutes. 
  • Write down what evidence / examples you have gathered and then group it into themes. Once you do that, you then can build your paragraphs around said themes. Don't forget though, to leave a space for an introduction and conclusion, making sure you actually complete it once you  have finished writing the body paragraphs of the essay. With your introduction, it's more "professional" and stuff to have a questions that links to the essay topic (duh). Start each paragraph with the main point, as learned in like grade 8 english class, and then back it up with at least 3 reliable evidence that links back to the question in your introduction. Add in a bomb kicking conclusion, and then boom. Done!
  • Pre-writing is key as you can figure out your main thesis  points first. That helps you separate the different subtopics you want to write about.

 

 

 

 

Hope this helps!!! 

-Charlotte :) 

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