Here’s how to do well on English exams from someone who learned the hard way.
Avoid making grand sweeping generalizations about all of humanity since the beginning of time. Narrow your scope and focus on the topic. Look at how the little details paint a bigger picture.
Read the questions carefully. Make sure you actually answer the prompt. Reread your own work. Sometimes your hand writes the opposite of what your head wants.
Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point. Make a clear argument. Support your thesis with evidence. Be clear. Don’t be confusing or convoluted. If you can’t comprehend what you’re saying, how will anyone else?
It is not the time to try to write like someone else. You have your own voice. You’ve been developing it for years. Give yourself some credit. You’re better than you believe, so prove that.
Your word choice won’t be flawless. Your sentence structure won’t be impeccable. That’s not the point. This exam is in a test of your ability to write perfectly.
Best of luck!
I know there are no real rules to writing. But, more often than not, I follow the ones below.
- Be concise. Time is too precious to waste any of it not getting to the point.
- Be consistent. Because nothing’s worse than inconsistency.
- Be precise. I hate ambiguity almost as much as I hate ads.
- Be right. I lied. Nothing’s worse than being wrong.
When you know the rules, even and especially the ones you impose on yourself, you’re more than allowed to break them too.
Look at it this way:
More thinking = More drafting
More drafting = More writing
More writing = More rewriting
More rewriting = More editing
More editing = More formatting
More formatting = More publishing
Short, quick, concise.
Me, for the most part.
Long, unhurried, detailed.
Not me, normally.
In their own world.
Me on bad days.
In everyone else’s world.
Me on better days.
Do your characters drive your plot?
Well, that was quick. Heh, I’m being
lazy…I mean concise.
Keep writing. You can do it.
Next question: has your story run its course?