Ch 9: Essay Writing Basics

About This Chapter

The following study guide has been designed to help you prepare for the GMAT's essay section. These video lessons and self-assessment quizzes will show you how to organize, construct and focus your writing.

Essay Writing Basics - Chapter Summary

Use this chapter's lessons to improve your essay writing skills in preparation for the GMAT's analytical writing section. You'll learn to organize an essay, write a solid thesis statement and use reasoning and examples to make your point. Another lesson shows you how to write in response to an essay prompt. Topics that will help you get ready for the GMAT include the following:

  • Organization: the 5-paragraph essay
  • How to develop ideas by using supporting reasons, examples and details
  • Recognizing examples of focused, concise and well-development writing
  • Focusing the essay
  • Responding to an essay prompt

The concise video lessons will help you develop the writing skills needed to create a focused, well-developed essay. You can assess your learning with the quizzes that accompany each lesson.

Essay Writing Basics Objectives

Many colleges use the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to assess applicants to their graduate business programs. The GMAT contains 90 multiple-choice questions, and one essay section. This essay section, the Analytical Writing Assessment, calls for an analysis of an argument. You will be asked to read a brief passage and compose an essay that critiques the argument being made. There is a 30-minute time limit for this section. The essay will be rated on how you:

  • Organize, develop and express your ideas about the argument that was presented
  • Provide sound supporting reasons and examples
  • Utilize standard written English

7 Lessons in Chapter 9: Essay Writing Basics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Organize an Essay

1. How to Organize an Essay

In this video, we will cover the steps involved in organizing an essay. We'll talk about titles, introductory paragraphs, concluding paragraphs, main points, transition statements and editing.

Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

2. Basic Essay Structure: The Five-Paragraph Essay

Working with an established essay structure provides writers with the necessary elements of a successful essay. In this lesson, we'll work through the drafting process for the five-paragraph essay and make note of important dos and don'ts.

Point of View: First, Second & Third Person

3. Point of View: First, Second & Third Person

Just who is telling this story? In this lesson, we'll look at point of view, or the perspective from which a work is told. We'll review first person, second person and third person points of view.

Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

4. Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

Learn how point of view, or the angle from which a story is told, impacts the narrative voice of a work of literature. Explore, through examples, how point of view can be limited, objective, or omniscient.

How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

5. How to Use Sources to Write Essays and Evaluate Evidence

When writing an essay, you will often be asked to utilize appropriate sources for evidence, including facts and definitions. In this video, we will talk about the ways we can utilize and evaluate sources and evidence.

Supporting Your Writing with Examples and Evidence

6. Supporting Your Writing with Examples and Evidence

Watch this lesson to learn how to make strong arguments and write better papers by using evidence effectively. It's not just about piling on a bunch of facts!

How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

7. How to Focus Your Essay and Respond to the Essay Prompt

In this video, learn how to ensure that your writing responds directly to your assignment. Then find out how to spot where you may have strayed from the paper's point and how to get back on track.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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