2D 2014: Critical Writing Response Prep

On Tuesday, June 17th, you will write the Critical Writing Response component of your final 30%. It is worth 10% of your final mark. You will write this in class; you will have 75 minutes to complete it.

General Strategies:

  • use the first 5-10 minutes of the time to create an outline. Quickly identify a thesis, your topic sentences, and your proof. Don’t waste too much time on word choice and language; get your ideas on paper!
  • Aim for three (at most, four) sub-topics. Writing less will make it difficult for you to develop your ideas; creating more will lead to either short paragraphs or, worse, an incomplete essay!
  • Quickly double-check your thesis and your topic sentences. Do they give you something to prove? Do your topic sentences connect to your thesis?

How to Write an Introduction for an Essay Exam

  • aim for 3-4 sentences, including your thesis
  • choose the general to specific approach. This is the safest (and easiest) method. To write this intro, apply the basic topic to the world at large, and narrow it down to your book, and then finally your thesis.  For example, if the topic is betrayal, do this:
    • write your first sentence about betrayal as a bigger issue (why it is bad, or what it does to people generally)
    • write your second sentence about betrayal as an issue in your novel
    • write your thesis

How to Write Your Body Paragraphs

  • make sure your topic sentence gives you something to prove! (this is usually where students go off track)
  • dedicate the rest of the paragraph to proving your topic sentence is true
  • include 2 specific examples to support your claims. Make sure you explain the examples fully; 2 sentences or so for each should work.

How to Write Your Conclusion

  • aim for 3-4 sentences, including your restated thesis
  • choose the specific to general approach. This is the safest (and easiest) method. Again, if the topic is betrayal, do this:
    • restate your thesis about betrayal in your book
    • write your second sentence about the consequences of betrayal in the book
    • write your last sentence about “big picture” betrayal. This could include the consequences of betrayal on a large scale (or perhaps even a personal scale). Whatever strategy you use, focus on the human consequences.



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