How To Answer Essay Questions

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As students, it’s your role to know how your teachers want their essays answered.

Mentally go through your lecture notes before writing anything on your paper.

Some questions can be tricky so make sure you understand it to the letter.

Familiarize yourself with your professor or teacher’s style of organization, if you can. Do I make clear and sensible transitions between major points? Is my answer clear to someone who knows nothing about this?

Words such as ‘explain’, ‘evaluate’ or ‘analyse’ – typical question words used in essay titles – provide a useful indication of how your essay should be structured.

They often require varying degrees of critical responses.Create an outline of thoughts and related topics in connection with the essay question. By doing this you are helping yourself create a more organized answer. Go back to your essay outline if you think you are repeating yourself or not making sense at all. Be professional in knowing what type of words to use in a particular topic or subject. What are my major points and how am I going to present them? Does the reader know, just from reading the first sentence of my essay, both the question and how I will answer it? Learning these terms is a key step in successful completion of most essay exams. Make yourself visible – sit near the front of the class and attend regularly. Have I proofed my essay for common spelling and grammatical errors? Below you will find some common terms used on essay exams. Introduce yourself so that they know you and are aware that the course is vital to you. Lacking this understanding is a pitfall many students tumble into.But our guide on essay question words below should keep you firmly above on safe, essay-acing ground.For example, if you are asked to compare the French and British upper houses of parliament, you won’t get many points by simply highlighting the differences between the two parliamentary systems. We advise you start by reading this guide – we’ve divided the question words either by ‘critical’ or ‘descriptive’ depending on their nature, which should help you identify the type of response your essay requires.These are the question words we will cover in this blog: Essay questions that ask you to ‘analyse’ a particular topic or argument expect a thorough deconstruction of the essay subject.In other words, this word requires you to break the essay topic down into its fundamental parts.Once you have done this, it’s also important that you critically (more on this word later) examine each part.


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