STANDARD GRADE WRITING: HOW TO SUCCEED Effective time-management is vital for successful essay writing. You have 1 hour and 15 minutes to choose a question and plan, write and check over your essay. Your time should, therefore, be broken down in the following way: You should spend around 5 minutes choosing a question In writing it is important to make the right choice of essay as quickly as possible. You should ask yourself three questions to focus on the assignments: . Am I interested in this topic? .

Do I know enough about it? . Can I write in the required style? If the answer is "yes" to all three you can tackle that assignment - if not, look for another choice. You should take about 10 minutes to write a plan Writing a plan is essential as it helps you consider the structure of your essay as well as indicating to the marker that you have put some thought into your essay. Remember to put a cross through plan at the end of the exam. Take 50 minutes to write your essay It's a very good idea to decide in advance about the type of assignment you are looking for. Many people write well about personal experiences, because all the information is already in their head.

In this type of writing it is important to do more than simply retell a story. Talk about your thoughts and feelings and try to make the experience come alive for the marker. If you are good at short stories there is always a choice of topics. This genre of writing has clear features, however, and the marker will be looking for evidence of characterisation, plot, and setting.

Remember, also, in good short stories, something or someone changes in some way. Direct speech is a good ingredient to use in this style of writing. Opinion type essays are also presented as assignments. The key issue here is to be sure that you actually know enough about the topic to be able to write at some reasonable length. Most tasks will require between 600 and 800 words in order to be tackled effectively. It is essential that you leave 10 minutes to check over your essay for any spelling, grammar or punctuation errors In order to achieve a good grade you are expected to punctuate, paragraph and spell accurately.

A significant number of missing full stops, for example, could pull a good essay down to a grade 4. If, when you are checking over your work, you realise that it is not paragraphed adequately, simply put Np in the margin and your marker will give you credit for it. Whatever you do don't panic:.