Originally created 09/19/06

The essentials

Want some tips on how to study for a test? Need advice on how to balance a checkbook?

Each week, Essentials will offer practical advice for teens on some aspect of life.


It's almost fall - time for the leaves to start changing, the weather to get cooler and the mad scramble to write quality essays for college and scholarship applications. Here are some essay writing tips from Westminster Schools of Augusta English teacher Dr. Jane Blanchard.

- Answer the question. Show that you can complete the task by fully answering the question you are given.

- Structure your ideas logically. Show that you can use your brain. Don't scribble whatever pops into your head onto the paper. Organize. The standard essay format is very helpful (i.e. introduction, followed by supporting paragraphs and a conclusion).

- Use correct grammar. Make sure your sentences make sense, that you use proper grammar and that you check over your essay after you write it. It helps to have someone else check over it also, but make sure it's your work.

- Reveal your personality. In the struggle to answer, organize, and write correctly, don't forget to include yourself! It is very important to show who you are in the essay, because that's what the college or scholarship application board is looking at. Make your essay your own, not a textbook answer.


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