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FORMAL ESSAY - PLEASE HELP!!

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Tomorrow I am to write a formal persuasive essay of up to 500 words ONLY, within ONE hr ONLY, as a written portion of an application.

We are to be given a passage & then are to respond with a formal persuasive essay in response to a following given proposition arguing for or against it.

What my question is: what is the best way to begin this type of formal essay. They do NOT want someone who is "sitting on the fence"...it has to be a completely ONE-sided argument!
What is the BEST way to stay on topic, with extreme focus, when we are to be given ONLY ONE HR?!
Any tips/ideas?!!

It will be viewed as to if you respond precisely and perceptively to the task, indicating excellend analysis and evaluation of the reading and proposition...
whether you exhibit precise focus, coherent oragnization and interesting developemnt, with an excellent thesis stongly stating the taken position...etc...
and...exhibiting excellent control of expression (diction, tone, sentence structure, sentence variety, and sentense sense), grammar, punctuation, and mechanics....etc.

Is there any, somewhat, sure fire way to avoid random errors?!!

  • FORMAL ESSAY - PLEASE HELP!! - ,

    or even just:
    Is it still okay to conclude a formal essay using something like: "Thus, in conclusion, ..."; or, are there much better/higher levels to go about writing a proper conclusion...or even just a basic thesis stmt?

  • FORMAL ESSAY - PLEASE HELP!! - ,

    When I teach students to write formal timed essays, such as this, they have already had lots of experience and practice in the various parts of the writing process -- with emphasis on the pre-writing phase.

    Pre-writing is when you brainstorm, plan, and formulate that thesis statement. If you spend about 25% of your allotted time on the prewriting phase, the rest should come together well, too. If you skip the prewriting steps or skimp on them, your paper will probably show it. Planning is all important -- it's how you force yourself to stay on topic.

    http://www.angelfire.com/wi/writingprocess/

    http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/brainstorming.html

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/composition/brainstorm_outline.htm (You can click on INDEX on this webpage to see the vast array of other grammar and writing topics that may be of help.)
    from http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/
    Go into Essay & Research Paper Level for all topics dealing with writing papers, long or short.

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