Essay Writing 101

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Are you being asked to write a persuasive essay in favor of or against the institution of size restrictions on sodas?

Or are you perhaps being asked to put together a thoughtful analysis of the strong points presented by both sides?

Sometimes when I feel that I don't have enough time to get something done, I get so frantic that I end up not being able to do anything right.

Just last week, I had to get my two young kids to their swim lesson.

Does the prompt ask you whether you completely support or oppose the stated position?

Or does it ask to what degree you support or oppose it?Imagine also that you have opinion pieces presented by writers on both sides of the issue.Before you jump in and begin writing your impassioned argument explaining why such legal limits should or shouldn't be put in place, stop and take a minute to go back through the question.We were running late, and all I could think about as I drove to the lesson was the clock.Distracted, I ended up missing the right intersection and having to drive far out of our way.Then, as I scrambled to get everyone out of the van, I completely forgot to close the back passenger side door. By the end of the day, I felt lucky just to have gotten the right two kids out of the pool and back to the house.If I'd just stopped panicking about the time and paid attention to where I was heading, things would have gone a bit more smoothly.That extra step, with all of the Roman numerals and letters and indentations, may have seemed like a real pain at the time - just a lot of extra work.But taking the time to sketch out an outline of your major points when you're writing under time constraints can be invaluable.So, as you read the essay prompt, really pay attention to what it's asking.For example, if you are presented with a and you're asked to provide your opinion on the expressed position, be sure that you're clear on what you need to write about.


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