On Demand Writing for Students: Coaching Yourself for the SAT, ACT, and AP Essays

By Lynette Williamson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Understanding Prompts from the
Inside Out
Part of the anxiety clouding the on demand writing experience is the unpredictable prompts that remain a mystery until the clock starts ticking. While you can’t predict the precise topics addressed by the prompts, you can decipher the expectations of various types of prompts and coach yourself to recognize them.
Does the prompt want me to tell a story?
Does it want me to use examples from a selected piece of reading?
Does it want me to argue a point?
Am I expected to evaluate an argument?

The more comfortable you become with different types of prompts and their formulaic nature, the better you will be able to meet the expectations of the test.

One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the specific expectations of various prompts is to analyze professionally written prompts in order to craft some of your own. Of course, you’ll be cordially invited to then practice responding to these prompts.

In this chapter, you’ll be encouraged to think like a teacher (a frightening prospect, to be sure!) and to generate your own writing prompts, then you’ll be coached and cajoled into responding to prompts with a qualified thesis statement—guaranteed to both strengthen your critical thinking and improve your organization. Finally,

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