Sum and substance exam skills essay writing

These subjects are divided by the major division of law school courses: First-year courses are organized by semester; upper-level courses are organized alphabetically by subject. In addition, this Guide provides a listing of resources devoted to improving law school success and resources for exam preparation. This guide is not intended to offer advice on how to study during law school or how to prepare for law school exams.

Sum and substance exam skills essay writing

In this tutorial you'll first learn what skills the AWA section is designed to measure. Later you'll review some useful GMAT-essay strategies; specifically, you'll learn how best to prepare for the AWA section and how to organize and write an essay that will earn you a high score by making a distinctly positive impression.

Measurable sub-skills of second language (L2) essay writing in analytic approaches have been extensively researched to the present day. There exist different construct definitions but the models postulated are not entirely homogenous (Weigle, ). Sum and Substance Audio on Exam Skills:Essay Writing (CD) by Steven Bracci This audio lecture provides step-by-step guidance through the process of writing successful essay exams. It allows you to assimilate the essentials of the course at your convenience. Longer exam answers will need to include a short introduction and a conclu- sion. follow a different set of requirements to essays – a different set of ‘golden rules’. it is under- stood that you are writing at speed and that you may not communicate as effectively as in a planned essay. with the assumption that all readers will read the.

How does the AWA, in which your task is to analyze and argument, differ substantively from the Critical Reasoning questions you'll find on the exam's Verbal section? And as the term suggests, your task during the minute AWA section is to critique a stated argument, pointing out problems with the evidence and line of reasoning used to draw a conclusion.

One key difference, of course, is that the AWA also gauges your writing skills — specifically, how effectively you organize and your present your ideas. Another key difference is that for the writing task you need to provide your own analysis rather than simply pick from among five choices.

As for which is more difficult — Critical Reasoning or Argument Analysis — most test takers find the latter more challenging because essay writing is inherently open-ended. Just deciding what to say and how to organize your thoughts can be very challenging if you haven't adequately prepared for the task.

Most test takers are more comfortable with the Critical Reasoning format because there is a correct answer right in front of you, among five choices; your job is simply to recognize it as such. Nevertheless, some GMAT test takers are actually quite comfortable writing critical essays; so it's a very individual matter.

Evaluating an essay inherently involves a degree of subjectivity. How does the testing service minimize subjectivity in the scoring process — to ensure fairness?

GMAT readers, who are college and university faculty hired by the testing service for this purpose, evaluate GMAT essays on a scale. What they boil down to, though, are four basic criteria: Content — the strength, relevance, and persuasiveness of your ideas and supporting examples Organization Sum and substance exam skills essay writing how clearly your ideas flow and connect together from one to the next Language — your facility with the vocabulary of the English language Mechanics — grammar, syntax sentence structurespelling, and so forth None of these four areas is most important per se.

The testing service instructs the readers to evaluate GMAT essays holistically — to look at an essay as a complete package, without undue emphasis on any single criterion. So an essay that demonstrates competency in all four areas will probably earn a higher score than an essay that contains brilliant ideas but rambles incoherently from one awkward sentence to the next.

It might be useful here to draw an analogy to the scoring system for the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GMAT. The scoring system for those two sections accounts for the range of cognitive abilities covered among your correct responses — so all else being equal between two test takers, the one who demonstrates a broader set of skills will score higher.

The same goes for the GMAT essay, even though it's a human who is evaluating the essay, and no mathematical formulas are employed in the essay-scoring process. Aren't GMAT essays also graded by a computer program?

Sum and substance exam skills essay writing

How is this possible, and does this suggest any test-taking strategies for composing a GMAT essay? Yes, every GMAT essay is evaluated not only by a human reader but also by a computer program, which the testing service refers to as E-Rater. This program evaluates each essay for grammar and spelling errors, syntax, repetitiveness, as well as sentence and paragraph length — much like the grammar-checkers and spell-checkers built into word-processing programs, except a bit more refined.

E-Rater obviously can't evaluate your ideas or how well you've organized those ideas. But test takers must not assume that content should be of secondary concern to mechanics in composing GMAT essays. The best way to think of E-Rater's role is as a way for the testing service to flag an errant score awarded by a human reader.

If E-Rater's score for an essay differs from the human reader's score by more than one point on the 6-point scalea second human reader will read and grade that essay, and the final AWA score will be the average of the two human readers' scores. Thus the testing service's use of E-Rater should simply not enter into a test taker's strategy when it comes to composing his or her GMAT essay.

Given that E-Rater checks spelling, doesn't the test discriminate against poor typists, especially considering the time pressure involved during the test? For that matter, aren't slow typists, as well as people who are not proficient at using word processors, at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to the GMAT essays?

Yes, and that's one of the chief criticisms of the GMAT essay section. Slow and inaccurate typists are at an inherent disadvantage. But it's important not to make more out of the spelling issue than you should. The testing service has assured test takers that they will not be penalized for occasional misspellings, and that spelling problems will adversely impact your score only if those problems substantially interfere with the reader's understanding of your ideas, Besides, a human reader can tell the difference between words that are inadvertently misspelled — such as the word "between," which many people often inadvertently type as "bewteen" — and words such as "fallisy," instead of the correct "fallacy," which show that the test taker is a poor speller.

E-Rater's computerized spell-checker is also programmed to make this sort of distinction, at least for commonly used words. Your GMAT reader s will pay far more attention to how you use words your diction than to how you've spelled those words.

And don't think for a second that GMAT readers don't notice poor diction. Since E-Rater cannot detect most kinds of diction errors, the human readers look closely for two types of diction errors: Improper word choice — for example, the use of the superlative "best" where the comparative "better" is proper, or vice versa Improper word usage — the use of vocabulary in context that shows that you misunderstand the word's meaning No matter how impressive a GMAT essay might be otherwise, if it contains frequent word-choice and usage errors it's unlikely to earn a score of 6 — or even 5.

Speaking of word usage, what about vocabulary level? Is it to a test taker's advantage to impress the reader with a strong vocabulary? Only to a point.

There's nothing wrong with demonstrating a strong vocabulary in your GMAT essay by using the sorts of words that only well-read, highly educated people are likely to use. But don't overdo it; using too many such words can wave a red flag to the reader that you're attempting to use high-brow words as a smokescreen — to divert attention from what is otherwise a poor essay.Sum and Substance Audio on Exam Skills by Steven Bracci, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

West Online Study Aids has a downloadable audio guide on essay writing for law school exams: Sum and Substance Audio on Exam Skills: Essay Writing by Steven Bracci There are two chapters in Law School Materials for Success covering law school exams.

Example of descriptive paragraph about yourself. The conclusion, of course.. strengths, example of descriptive paragraph about yourself. Words 1 Pages. Further, you must go beyond the paragraph of descriptive sources to determine the relationship among yourselves.

Students can example what with essay writing, example. Concluding. Sum & Substance Audio Series: Torts, 4th (Audio CD) By Steven R. Finz; Lawrence C. Levine Publisher: West/Thomson/Foundation Press (August ). Product Overview: This audio product provides step-by-step guidance through the process of writing successful essay exams.

It allows you to assimilate the essentials of the course at your convenience, while working, commuting, exercising, or just relaxing.

Just following my tips to add transition words to your essay can often make your essay much better and will probably improve your grade. Inevitably, as soon as I tell my classes about this technique their writing improves dramatically.

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