It’s true: finals have begun! Everyone is hard at work studying their note cards, polishing essays, and perfecting outlines for in class essays and presentations. A little stressed? That’s understandable; finals are hard!
Here are some last minute tips to help you prepare:
–>Many students have been stopping by to work on outlines for in class essays. If you are allowed to prepare an outline, super! Take advantage of this opportunity to completely plan out your essay. Most important: thesis statement and quotations/pieces of evidence. You don’t want to be stuck during your final trying to brainstorm an argument, nor do you want to be floundering to line up examples for your well-thought out thesis. If you have time: do a practice essay at home with your outline. Give yourself an hour to see how much you can write out. Then you can revise your outline based on where you got stuck, or what you found to be the weakest part.
Even if you are not allowed to bring in an outline, generating some thesis ideas and supporting evidence for the works you’ve read in class can go a long way to helping you when test-time comes around. Better yet, stop by the Writing Center for a last minute chat and help brainstorming thesis ideas!
–>Other classes are focused on a final essay instead of an in-class writing assignment. If you’ve already had to turn in a rough draft to your teacher, my number one suggestion is revise, revise, revise! If you understand the difference between revising and editing your paper, you’ll probably be in better shape when it is time to turn in your paper.
Remember: revising means making significant changes to the overall clarity and effectiveness of your argument. Editing instead focuses on smoothing over grammar and conventions, but does not address larger issues. Make sure you are revising your rough drafts to arrive at a final draft that is effectively argued, organized, and clearly communicated.
Good luck, everyone!