Writing effective essay questions

The number of alternatives can vary among items as long as all alternatives are plausible. Plausible alternatives serve as functional distractors, which are those chosen by students that have not achieved the objective but ignored by students that have achieved the objective. There is little difference in difficulty, discrimination, and test score reliability among items containing two, three, and four distractors.

Writing effective essay questions

Prepare and Practice Writing a good essay requires synthesis of material that cannot be done in the minutes you have during the exam. In the days before the exam, you should: Look at the question from the last exam. Did the question ask you to apply a theory to historical or contemporary events?

Did you have to prove an argument? Imagine yourself in the role of the instructor--what did the instructor emphasize? What are the big ideas in the course? You may decide to write a summary of each theory you have been discussing, or a short description of the historical or contemporary events you've been studying.

Focus on clarity, conciseness, and understanding the differences between the theories. Memorize key events, facts, and names. You will have to support your argument with evidence, and this may involve memorizing some key events, or the names of theorists, etc. Knowledge of the subject matter is only part of the preparation process.

You need to spend some time thinking about how to organize your ideas. Let's say the question asks you to compare and contrast what regime theory and hegemonic stability theory would predict about post-cold war nuclear proliferation.

The key components of an answer to this question must include: A definition of the theories A brief description of the issue A comparison of the two theories' predictions A clear and logical contrasting of the theories noting how and why they are different In the exam Many students start writing furiously after scanning the essay question.

Do not do this! Instead, try the following: Perform a "memory dump. Read the questions and instructions carefully. Read over all the questions on the exam. If you simply answer each question as you encounter it, you may give certain information or evidence to one question that is more suitable for another.

Be sure to identify all parts of the question. Formulate a thesis that answers the question. You can use the wording from the question. There is not time for an elaborate introduction, but be sure to introduce the topic, your argument, and how you will support your thesis do this in your first paragraph.

Organize your supporting points. Before you proceed with the body of the essay, write an outline that summarizes your main supporting points. Check to make sure you are answering all parts of the question.

Coherent organization is one of the most important characteristics of a good essay. Make a persuasive argument.

Essay Tips: 7 Tips on Writing an Effective Essay | Fastweb

Most essays in political science ask you to make some kind of argument. While there are no right answers, there are more and less persuasive answers. What makes an argument persuasive?

A clear point that is being argued a thesis Sufficient evidenct to support that thesis Logical progression of ideas throughout the essay Review your essay. Take a few minutes to re-read your essay.

Correct grammatical mistakes, check to see that you have answered all parts of the question.Although essay questions are one of the most commonly used methods for assessing student learning, many are poorly designed and ineffectively used.

Writing effective essay questions requires training and practice. There are subtle characteristics of effective essay questions that are often difficult to discern for those without adequate training.

to Writing Effective Test Questions. Is This a Trick Question? A Short Guide to Writing Effective Test Questions Designed & Developed by: Ben Clay TRUE Due to the extent of time required to respond to an essay question, only a few essay questions can be . Coming up with a good writing topic can be one of the hardest parts of composing an essay.

These writing topic suggestions can make that job easier. Writing a good essay requires synthesis of material that cannot be done in the minutes you have during the exam.

Writing effective essay questions

In the days before the exam, you should: Anticipate test questions. Mar 03,  · English Essay Topics. Updated on November 10, Kearney. more. Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

About This List then it really isn't a good essay question. I do think that "crazy" is a bit of a vague term, although it would make Reviews: PREPARING EFFECTIVE ESSAY QUESTIONS A Self-directed Workbook for Educators by Christian M.

Reiner student learning, many are poorly designed and ineffectively used. Writing effective essay questions requires training and practice. There are subtle characteristics of effective an effective essay question, reconstruct the question in .

IELTS Essay Questions