Constructing an Essay

Formulating a thesis is a vital part of constructing an essay. Essay writing is a skill which can be learned, practised and improved. In addition to this general quiz, try our quizzes on specific aspects of essay writing, such as writing a conclusion, writing an introduction, constructing an argument and writing about literature.

This quiz is a good introduction to the mechanics of essay writing.

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  1. What does it mean to support your argument?
    Evidence includes quotations and other references to the text (i.e. to characters, themes, scenes, events, etc.)
  2. An effective essay structure depends on...
  3. How many paragraphs should you plan to write?
    Seven paragraphs is actually a perfectly decent length for an essay, but the number of paragraphs is dictated by the number of points which you plan to make (and you wouldn't skip the planning stage, would you?)
  4. Which of the following is NOT one of the advantages of planning your essay?
    Failing to plan an essay will nearly always lead to a poor piece of writing
  5. You should answer the essay question in...
    You should always answer the essay question in your first paragraph - the rest of the essay builds an argument to justify your answer
  6. Besides reading the text, what is the first thing you should do when writing an essay?
    Always read the question carefully to make sure you have understood it correctly. It can be helpful to underline key words, too
  7. Your writing should be coherent. What does this mean?
  8. Your answer to the question is called your...
    Your thesis is your main point. It must answer the essay question
  9. Which of the following is true?
    Wrong answers do exist. Texts can support many varying interpretations, but they are not endlessly adaptable and it is possible to have an interpretation which just cannot be supported by the text
  10. After you finish writing an essay, you should...
    It's so easy to make mistakes when writing, probably because writers edit themselves continually. Always check for mistakes

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