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I very much dislike these prompts too, as I am very bad at writing personally. When asked to write prompts like this, I often instead of writing about actual experience, I act as if I am writing as the Generic American. I write in broad general terms, thinking as generically as I possible can. I usually use facts and logic instead of experience to explain my ...


0

I suggest that, instead of following the instructions exactly as written, that you write the essay to a particular imaginary person who will be grading the test. For a standardized high-school essay test, the essay will probably be checked by a piece of software for so-called "errors." A human reader, probably an underpaid teacher with a Master's in ...


2

One good strategy for standardized test essays is to think of topics that you can write strong essays on in advance, rather than trying to answer a given question directly. For instance, for each of these points, think of something you could write a short essay on: a time you overcame a difficulty an important historical figure or event a favorite book or ...


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If you're feeling spiteful or subversive, you could try genie-twisting the prompt to write something that technically satisfies the prompt, but in an unconventional or unexpected way. Example by maximum-overboner: in primary school we had a creative writing assignment where we had to ‘write about a character in a new, strange situation!’ and i wrote ...


0

Make stuff up. Be creative. Have fun with it. Is there a book that you feel should be required reading for everyone? Write an essay persuading your audience to read this book. Create a fictitious book about whatever you want it to be about. Some people think of the United States as a nation of “couch potatoes.” Write an essay persuading readers to ...


11

As a teacher, I never look at the examples given as 'correct answers' when we're talking about personal writing topics. Let me elaborate with two examples: a) Write an essay about Romeo and Juliet. Whatever you write, you must include specific content (characters, plot, etc) for you to get a good grade. No amount of excellent writing style will save you. ...


6

Good writing isn't good because of the specific words or style used. Good writing is good because it communicates an idea clearly, in a well-organized structure, and with a style that is pleasant to read (whatever form that takes). I still freeze up and feel self-conscious when I sit down to write myself. How do I know the words I'm picking aren't awkward? ...


4

Remember that the prompts are basically an excuse for you to practice writing. Of course, it's much easier to write well if it's about something about which you have an opinion, while those prompts are usually about things you don't care much about. There are two good ways around it, and both use mainly one of the two aspects of oratory: eloquence and ...


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Answer: To answer these sorts of prompts, particularly in the case where example answers trigger a negative response in you, I recommend the following. 1. Look for the structure of the 'perfect answer' and apply that structure to your writing. 2. Identify the specifics that you dislike, in this case that make a passage sound like fan fiction. The example ...


6

I used to do exactly the same thing. In jr. high school, I would routinely turn in blank sheets when faced with this kind of assignment. My solution was to get over myself. It took a long time. I can tell by your question that you have very high standards for yourself. I do too, and trust me, it doesn't do us any favors to demand total perfection of ...


63

You can and should answer these prompts in your own style and voice. I do have my doubts and concerns about these kinds of tests, but if there is any legitimacy to the grading at all, it won't be based on you writing in the style and voice of the sample. (In other words, you're focusing in on the wrong aspects of the sample.) You should be able to ask for a ...


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