How to write a good essay question

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.

how to write an essay question for an exam

This way your students will have a guideline to use as they write, and they will have a better chance of earning a good score on their essay tests. Formulate a thesis that answers the question.

Focus on clarity, conciseness, and understanding the differences between the theories.

essay type questions ppt

Instead, try the following: Perform a "memory dump. Some essays ask students to "discuss" a topic, but that gives them little direction as to how they should approach that topic.

Organize your ideas. You may draw a blank, run out of time, or find that you neglected an important part of the course in studying for the test. This helps the students because it gives them a chance to write on a variety of topics; if their understanding of one topic is deficient, they can still earn points for the other topics.

How to write a good essay question

Most essays in political science ask you to make some kind of argument. When you write your questions, think about how you want your students to answer them. Look at the question from the last exam. As Indiana University reminds teachers, "Clearly stated questions not only make essay tests easier for students to answer, but also make them easier for instructors to score. Some things to keep in mind as you write your essay include the following: Avoid excuses. Avoid writing essay questions that require factual knowledge, as those beginning questions with interrogative pronouns who, when, why, where Avoid vague, ambiguous, or non-specific verbs consider, examine, discuss, explain unless you include specific instructions in developing responses Have each student answer all the questions Do not offer options for questions Structure the question to minimize subjective interpretations Directions: Present the assignment both verbally and in writing. Read the questions and instructions carefully. Do not ask essay questions that only ask students to remember or summarize. Did the question ask you to apply a theory to historical or contemporary events?

Students never want to take tests, but they especially don't want to take a test that makes little sense or seems to have been thrown together. When you write your questions, think about how you want your students to answer them. Did you have to prove an argument? As the Utah State Office of Education notes, "It will be easier to prepare scoring guides for several short items and your scoring will be much more reliable than on one long item.

Memorize key events, facts, and names.

Essay questions and answers

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. Step 1 Use clear, directional verbs. Read over all the questions on the exam. Bloom's Taxonomy provides sample ideas of what students should know and be able to do at each level of understanding; take these samples and turn them into essay questions. 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. Rather, ask questions that require students to analyze, synthesize or explain a topic within a new context. Avoid writing essay questions that require factual knowledge, as those beginning questions with interrogative pronouns who, when, why, where Avoid vague, ambiguous, or non-specific verbs consider, examine, discuss, explain unless you include specific instructions in developing responses Have each student answer all the questions Do not offer options for questions Structure the question to minimize subjective interpretations Directions: Present the assignment both verbally and in writing.
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How to Write Good Essay Test Questions