Timed Writing (Revising)

The nature of timed writing means that you are extremely limited in your ability to review your work and make changes. However, even just 5 minutes reserved at the end to check your writing can make a big difference. Don't be tempted to submit an essay early when those remaining minutes could help you catch some easy to fix mistakes.

Writing Revisions

Before you take a test with a timed writing question, look at feedback your writing teacher has given you on your writing.

Looking at the patterns of feedback you have received in the past will help you focus the short revision time you have on looking where mistakes are most likely to occur in a first draft. Since that is what a timed writing response is, it's a good place to start with your revisions. Meet with your teacher during office hours before a test if possible to get tips for how to recognize and resolve those errors during the test.

Grammar Revisions

In addition to the writing feedback you have been given, take some time to review the feedback you get from your grammar teacher about your grammar accuracy in writing.

Meet with your grammar teacher during office hours before if possible to get tips for how to recognize and resolve those errors during the test. It might be as simple as checking that all of your sentences start with a capital letter or looking for subject-verb agreement. Knowing the mistakes you make most frequently can empower you to make quick changes.

Claim Revisions

One of the common concerns that readers have when they read an opinion essay is that there are logical errors (also known as fallacies; you can click here to learn more about logical fallacies) that weaken your supporting ideas. This is a complex topic, so we will just address common issues with logic that happen in timed writing.

Revising claims that are weak can take much more time than you will have in a timed essay. However, knowing the common types of mistakes can help you to avoid them or quickly notice and replace them.

Developing strong logical supporting details is a skill that takes time and practice, so don't get discouraged if this is feedback you get from your teacher. Keep trying and ask for advice on how to improve!

Exercises

Exercise 1: Review Feedback

For this exercise, you will need to have access to recent feedback on your writing and/or grammar assignments.

Exercise 2: Timed Writing Practice

You have 30 minutes to respond to this prompt. Your answer should be around 300 words long. Remember to save the last 5 minutes to check your writing.

Prompt: What are the causes of poverty? Explain two major causes of poverty in your answer. Be sure to use examples and clear explanations of how your points lead to poverty.