Tips for Writing Essays: Key Words

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Tips for Writing Essays: Key Words

by Jonathan Lugo

paper pen

I think that it’s fair to say that not many students get excited about writing essays. Watching the calendar creep closer to an essay’s deadline is like watching a horror movie. The main character on the big screen is slowly wandering around a haunted house. We all know that just as they turn the corner a big hideous creature is going to appear from out of nowhere. We anticipate the scare, but no matter what, most of us still jump out of our seats when we see it happen.

The same goes for essays, we all know the deadlines, but still get caught off guard when we are told that an essay is due. As if that isn’t enough torture, sometimes we are required to write timed essays.

The best thing to do before you start writing your essay is to go over the prompt and highlight or underline key words.

The prompt for the assignment will contain key words or most often action words that will inform you what you need to do for that particular assignment. These key words could be action words such as summarize, analyze, persuade, or identify.

For example, the prompt might state that you need to identify the author’s subject, occasion, audience, or purpose and then explain the significance.

Remember, don’t panic and pay attention to key words. If you do, writing that essay will become a little less stressful.

Featured photo credit: Olivander via photopin cc


About Jonathan Lugo

Jonathan Lugo
Jonathan has tutored students in writing and literature at Fullerton College and Nova Academy.He currently attends Cal State Long Beach and is working towards a BA in creative writing and Rhetoric & Composition. He has many interests, to name a few: the beach, graphic novels, traveling, music, playing guitar, and writing creatively.