Tips for Writing Timed Essay

This is an article that I created to give you some tips to help write essays in a timed setting, it’s based on the WPT so it assumes that you have two hours to write your essay. If you have more or less time you’ll want to adjust accordingly in the WPT.

You have to read the article, do your prewriting write the actual essay and then leave some time for editing and proofreading assuming the article is 2 to 3 pages. I suggest you spend maybe 5 minutes or a little bit longer but not too much reading, then you want to spend 10 to 15 minutes prewriting, 90 minutes on your writing and then another 10 minutes on editing and proofreading. The total times 120 minutes or 2 hours.

With the prewriting you want to start by giving your gut reaction to the question then list as many reasons as you can think of to support that they can be reasons from the article or they can be reasons from your own head. Then you want to think about the other side of the issue enlist as many reasons as you can for the opposition’s argument. Take a look at your lists whichever one is longer is the one you want to use even if you don’t necessarily agree with that argument you want to go with what you have more information for regardless of your own feelings once you’ve decided which side of the argument you want and organize the supporting points that you’ve listed. You want to group the ones that are similar together you want to put them in order of least important two most important or weakest to strongest, always go from least to most, not the other way around you want to end on a high note and leave your reader with a lasting impression of a strong argument. If you have more than three reasons on your list, choose the two to four strongest points and take the rest out.

The next step is the actual writing of the essay. I give a suggested breakdown at the time how long you should spend on each paragraph you should spend about 10 minutes on your introduction and another 10 minutes on your conclusion, which leaves you 70 minutes for the body. If you’re doing a typical five paragraph essay that would mean three body paragraphs at about 23 minutes per body paragraph, you have more than that like for then, it’s 17 or 17 and a half minutes per paragraph. To make sure you stay within the time limit, you want to stick to that timing that I just outlined that means literally writing down at what time you should be at each point in your essay. Take a minute at the beginning before you even read the article to write down at what time you should be at each stage. If you start the essay at 7 o’clock you should finish your prewriting by 7:20 assuming that you take some time in there to actually read the article and then 10 to 15 minutes to pre write.

You should finish your introduction by 7:30 you should finish your first body paragraph around 750 your second around 810 your third by 8:30 and the fourth. If you have forth by 8:50 which leaves you another 10 minutes to proofread. At the end make sure you stick to those time limits that you set.