2. Final Timed Writing Information

As we have said earlier, the concluding activity for this course is the final timed-writing. Remember, you need to have passed one of the in-class writings to pass the course. You all know by now how you’ve done on your first two in-class essays, so you know where you stand for this one. Also, if you do not pass this final timed-writing, you can not receive a grade above C for the course. So I want to emphasize, again, the importance of this essay.

This is a departmentally administered¬†timed writing, meaning that everyone taking English 101 will take the final. The final essays will be graded by two other instructors at the college. Using a rubric (which I will explain fully in the next section), they will determine if the paper is passing or falls short of what is expected of college students moving beyond English composition. If they can’t agree, a third reader will be used to determine the quality of the paper.

You will have 50 minutes to plan, draft, revise, edit and produce a final copy. You will choose one of five prompts (questions). I have included in this module a sampling of past timed writing prompts. I would suggest you practice with some, boost your confidence that you can tackle this kind of assignment.

Use the tools we’ve discussed this semester. Make sure you have a clear thesis statement in an opening paragraph. Use a series of paragraphs (three is a good target) to develop your body. Make sure each paragraph has substantial specific evidence to prove what you are saying is valid. Have a strong concluding statement that will make your reader feel satisfied that this paper is thorough, clear and informative.

Following is a check-list of things to do during the exam:

  • Read the prompt carefully. What are you being asked to write about?
  • Plan what you will say. Write a thesis statement and then plan the main points you will use to prove and support it. Then add details, examples, and specifics that will help explain each main point.
  • Draft the paper. Include an introductory statement, body paragraphs and conclusion. REMEMBER TO PERIODICALLY SAVE YOUR DOCUMENT.
  • Edit (proofread) your draft. Check for:

– accurate word choice/phrasing

– correct and effective sentence structure

– correct very usage

– correct use of pronouns

– consistent point of view

– appropriate punctuation

– appropriate capitalization

– correct spelling

Evaluators will be examining the following characteristics:

  • Unity

– a clear opening statement of the subject and point of your paper

– all ideas and facts support that opening point

  • Support

– specific evidence and explanation

– enough details to be convincing and to develop the thesis

  • Coherence

– organization is logical

– ideas are easy to follow

– transitions are used to connect ideas together

– the paper has a clear beginning, middle and end (intro, body, conclusion)

  • Sentence skills

– grammar, spelling, typos, etc.

Move on to the next section for an explanation of the grading rubric.