Some students react to the time pressure of essay exams by scribbling down their introduction as soon as they`ve read the question and figuring out their points as they go. While it might seem counter-intuitive, taking five or ten minutes before you start writing in order to draw up a plan will be an enormous time saver.
For example, if you`ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you`ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the other hand, you`ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you`re going to say it.
For this reason, it can be helpful to simulate the conditions of a timed exam before the actual day: pick a practice question, find some lined paper, set a stopwatch, and see how you do!
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence. The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.