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rnrlover
03-19-2009, 01:08 PM
Ok...heres the situation.
For our high school we have regular classes and honors classes. I would REEEEEEEAAAAALLLLLLYYY like to be in the honors classes, but the thing is you are "invited" to take another test if do you well on the standardized testing. I'm thinking I did well on the tests.....but theres 1 problem. The next test you have to take to get in...the one you are "invited to do" is a writing test. And writing is one of my weak points. I have no idea what its going to be about, I just know they will give us a prompt and we have to write an essay about it. So you writers (and non writers) out there...do you have any tips for me to improve my writing so I have a fighting chance to get in. please. I beg of you. lol
thanks,
Laura

GoofysOnlyGirl
03-19-2009, 01:22 PM
I don't know when it is but definently increase your vocabulary, I don't mean go find extremly hard words that nobody would ever use in everyday conversation. I mean to just use different adjectives, and descriptions. Leave the word "very" out, completely. Taking words like that out, and putting in words that better describe what you are talking about will pull your paper together. Hmmm, also try and read a lot more. Read literature that will help you improve they way you view writing, and your vocabulary. Some books I have read in my AP Language & AP Lit classes that have helped A LOT are 1984 by George Orwell, Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte(I think?? haha, I was not to fond of this book...). Also study up on your grammer, and if you have time at the end REVISE! Just 5 minutes of revision can make your paper 10 times better I believe.

Good luck :)

::Snow_White::
03-19-2009, 01:23 PM
You might want to read up on some new vocabulary. Just a few words that you think might come in handy. Don't use got. lol. Don't use run on sentences that go on forever without a period, but don't make short choppy sentences either.
Make sure you don't write fragment sentences such as "Coach Dietz exemplified this behavior by walking off the field in the middle of a game. Leaving her team at a time when we needed her."
Make sure you know where your commas, periods, apostrophes, and all of those go.
Remember to use the proper words when using their, they're, there, or it, its, it's, etc.
Also make sure you try and spell everything correctly. If it looks wrong, try and spell it a different way. Usually if you spell it another way and it's right, it'll look more right than the word you used at first.
Make sure you're getting your point across, but also not repeating things you've already said in different words. If they give you a word limit make sure and hit exactly that many words. You want to do the best you can and doing exactly as they say, no more, no less, than it'll give you a better chance.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll help the best I can.
Good Luck!

Disney Dork
03-19-2009, 01:28 PM
I love writing, but it's always been my 'better' subject. I've never made below a 'B' in my English classes and actually USUALLY make A's.

The way I got better tho, was just forcing myself to write more often. There are random prompts on the net that you can use to practice or, if you want to, just come up with some random idea/topic and start writing random things about it. Sometimes that will get your muse going and all of sudden you'll be like "OH! I KNOW!" *cue light bulb moment* and be able to write PAGES over one, little idea. Also, as you write more, your vocabulary/grammar/punctuation will gradually start to improve on their own. Especially if you write your things on word, then eventually, after you've seen it correct things so many times, you just get the corrections stuck in your head and start doing things the right way without even really realizing it.

I know I was actually in the bathroom once. BRUSHING MY TEETH. When this random idea popped into my head. I had to get it out, so I did! And this is what I came up with (keep in mind, I wrote it in 5 minutes, at 2am, right after brushing my teeth. So it's not that great):

'We are known as many beings. To Christians, we are God. Muslims? They call us Allah. Animists believe we are a serpent and that our power is present in everything one sees. I believe that this may actually be closer to the truth than the rest, for we are everything. We are the creators of the earth, sun and air that flows through every living creature's lungs. We are the creators of the stars, planets and infinite amount of space that the human animals have yet to completely see the mystery behind. Luckily for us, they shall never learn of our existence- for we are invisible to all.'

I really should keep going on that. Because I still know exactly where I was going. Maybe I will....eventually.

But anyway! Yeah. Just come up with random ideas/look for things on the net and write more. The more you write, the better you'll get and eventually you should be able to get into that class no problem! ^__^

GoofysOnlyGirl
03-19-2009, 01:39 PM
OH another thing, I know when you are younger they tell you to use personal experiences in your papers, but if you really want to impress them use examples from other books/essays/poems/plays you have read. This will support your point by using credible writers and thinkers. Just make sure to put exactly where you got your information and by whom.

Axel
03-19-2009, 03:42 PM
OK...here's the situation.
For our high school we have regular classes and honors classes. I would really like to be in the honors classes, but the thing is you are "invited" to take another test if do you well on the standardized testing. I am thinking I did well on the tests, but there's one problem. The next test you have to take to get in (the one you are "invited" to take) is a writing test. Writing is one of my weak points. I have no idea what it is going to be about, I just know they will give us a prompt and we have to write an essay about it. So you writers (and non writers) out there, do you have any tips for me to improve my writing so I have a fighting chance to get in? Please. I beg of you.

Thanks,
Laura

I corrected your post to what I would want to see, bare minimum, in an honors student's writing. For a "professional" piece of writing, don't use contractions. And just for some basic grammatical points:

First off, start typing on here like you would write for an essay in class. I see it all the time on here; people type without care. Their sentence structure is horrendous and their grammar atrocious. Try and avoid that as much as possible. The more you use correct grammar, the more naturally it will come to you.

There=/=They're=/=Their. "There" is a direction or place. "They're" is the contraction of "they are". "Their" is possesive.

It's=/=Its. "It's" is the contraction "it is". "Its" is posessive.

Your=/=You're. "Your" is possesive. "You're" is the contraction of "you are".

Don't use the same words over and over again. Get a thesaurus and find out some synonyms for words you use a lot. For instance, instead of using "good" everytime to describe something, consider using "wonderful", "great", or "marvelous" instead. Don't go overboard and don't start using words that you don't really know the definition to. Use words you're comfortable with.

ohdisco
03-19-2009, 05:32 PM
The essay I had to write when testing for honors was about an article. It's probably not going to be a creative essay. The test is probably not only out to test your writing capabilities, but also your reading comprehension. From my time in high school I've learned that most of the articles they use for essays such as this are controversial. One of the essays I did focused on gay high schools and whether they should be state funded, or if they should exist at all.

My advice would be to research some topics that are in the recent headlines and try to analyze and form a written opinion about the article/topic. If you feel that writing endurance is one of your weaknesses (aka, not being able to think of more things to say when you only have a page written), don't fret. Just work your way up to bigger, longer analysis of articles.

For writing advice, steer clear of "obviously", "probably", "kind of", or any word that is similar to those. I use to get marked down all of the time because I use words such as those in my everyday speech, so they'd always end up in my essays as well. It tells the reader you're not completely confident in your opinion or the facts you are giving to back it up.

bananda
03-19-2009, 11:06 PM
basic essay writing

introduction/opening paragraph: this should be about 10% of your essay. you should relate it back to the essay question, stating whether you agree or disagree. you can agree and disagree. just make sure you support both sides of the argument. state your points in order and name the texts you will be using to support your argument. texts should be refered to in one of these ways:
"My Place" by Sally Morgan
OR
My Place by Sally Morgan


body: in the body of the essay, you expand on the points from the introduction. DO NOT make new points. only use the ones from the introduction. use the points in order. each paragraph should have an introduction, body and conclusion. only use one point per paragraph and make sure you support your argument with relevant texts. try to make the paragraphs flow.

conclusion: this is about 10% of the essay. its pretty much a re-cap of the essay. do not just repeat the introduction. im not very good at this bit so thats about all i can say about it, sorry


anyway, i hope thats helpful :)

also, i do not recommend reading "My Place" by Sally Morgan. my entire grade thought it was the most boring book ever.

BabyPiglet
03-23-2009, 12:06 AM
Work on your grammar and vocabulary. Don't use big words just because they're big; make sure you understand what they mean.

Introduction: Should start with an eye-catching sentence. If you use a quote, be sure to say who it is from. Try to funnel; start with a general topic and funnel it down to your thesis. Your these should be the last sentence in your introduction, and should state the main points your essay will discuss.

Body: Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence. They should flow into each other, but be careful about making a new paragraph everytime the subject changes. Avoid circular reasoning and be coherent.

Conclusion: Restate the main points in a new way. Either be expository or persuasive.

The title should be short and eye catching. No punctuations, underlines, quotes, anything.

Grammar is very important, so watch your commas/run-ons/fragments/comma splices. Revise and edit your paper as much as you can.

Also, understand the kind of essay you're writing. Is it narritive? Cause/effect? Descriptive? This will alter the way you're supposed to write.

Good luck. :)