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Ch 8: PERT: Writing Essays

About This Chapter

Solid writing skills are powerful tools in your academic toolbox, and will be extremely important to you in college-level classes. Enhance your skills as you prepare for the PERT test using the lessons in our Writing Essays chapter.

PERT: Writing Essays - Chapter Summary

Regardless of your major field of study when you become a college student, you will be expected to write fluently, coherently and correctly. Whether you're writing essays or short stories for an English class or a research paper for a psychology professor, our lessons can help you polish your abilities and produce quality written work. The lessons cover the following material:

  • Brainstorming ideas for writing
  • Understanding the main idea/thesis
  • Developing and organizing your essay
  • Writing powerful opening and closing paragraphs
  • How to move from point to point smoothly
  • Sentence and paragraph structure and variation
  • Choosing the right words to say what you want to say
  • Understanding tone, mood, diction and voice
  • Mastering grammar, syntax and avoiding frequently misused words
  • Editing and revision for quality and correctness

Find your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses using the chapter tests and quizzes that follow each of our lessons. These will give you a clear idea of exactly where you stand, so that you know how best to target your review in order to meet your specific needs. The quizzes link back to the lessons for quick and easy reference, and you can keep track of your progress on your dashboard.

PERT: Writing Essays Objectives

The PERT test is a college readiness assessment. By scoring well on the PERT, you demonstrate that you have the skills necessary to meet the demands of most college-level coursework. Our Writing Essays chapter aligns directly with the criteria specified in the writing subtest.

There are three subtests that make up the PERT exam. The test is computer-based. You will be tested in math, reading comprehension and writing. Each subtest consists of 30 multiple-choice questions.

15 Lessons in Chapter 8: PERT: Writing Essays
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Is Brainstorming?

1. What Is Brainstorming?

You may have been told that it's important to brainstorm before writing an essay. This video explains why it's well worth your time to make brainstorming part of your writing routine.

Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

2. Writing: Main Idea, Thesis Statement & Topic Sentences

What exactly is your essay about? Writing great thesis statements and topic sentences that align with your main idea will help readers to understand the theme, ideas, and central focus of your essay.

Developing the Essay Topic

3. Developing the Essay Topic

The backbone of any essay is a strong and engaging main idea. Learn how to turn an essay prompt into a well-developed topic by watching this video lesson.

How to Organize an Essay

4. 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.

What is a Thesis Statement?

5. What is a Thesis Statement?

Before we can talk about how to write a great thesis statement, you need to be able to identify a great thesis when you see one. Contrary to what you may have been taught, a thesis is so much more than just the last sentence of the opening paragraph of an essay.

Introductions and Conclusions: Best Practices and Advice

6. Introductions and Conclusions: Best Practices and Advice

Take the opportunity in your introductory and concluding paragraphs to create good impressions. This lesson walks you through a variety of methods for making the most of the first and last paragraphs in your academic essay.

How to Write Strong Transitions and Transitional Sentences

7. How to Write Strong Transitions and Transitional Sentences

Transitions are the words and sentences that tie a work of writing together. They guide the reader from idea to idea, making connections that turns pieces into a whole. Find out more in this lesson.

How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

8. How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but we are just unsure of the best way to write it. In this video, we will cover ways to structure sentences in an essay.

Varied Sentence Structure in Writing

9. Varied Sentence Structure in Writing

Learn the meaning of sentence structure and the importance of varying sentence structure in writing in this lesson. Four strategies to help you vary your sentence structure will also be described.

How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

10. How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

When structuring a paragraph, you shouldn't just go throwing together a few sentences. The sentences that make up a paragraph should all flow together and represent the same topic to make up a strong paragraph. This video explains how to put together your sentences and paragraphs to maximize their impact.

How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

11. How Word Choice and Language Sets the Tone of Your Essay

In this video, we will discuss how word choice sets the tone for your essay. This includes letting the reader know if you are angry, happy or even attempting to refrain from bias. These tools bring your 'voice' into your writing.

How to Write With Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone & Point-of-View

12. How to Write With Good Diction to Develop Style, Tone & Point-of-View

Developing a good writing style starts with developing good diction. You can't craft an essay or story the way you want without being able to choose the right words first. Here's how.

Active and Passive Voice

13. Active and Passive Voice

You may have heard your teachers toss around the terms 'passive voice' and 'active voice'. But if you've never really understood what it means to write actively or passively, stick with us -- and learn how to turn to awkward passive sentences into bright, active ones.

Commonly Confused Words in English

14. Commonly Confused Words in English

Is it 'accept' or 'except?' 'Affect' or 'effect?' How do you know when to use 'there,' 'their,' or 'they're?' Watch this video lesson to learn about some confusing words in English and how to properly use each one.

Writing Revision: How to Fix Mistakes in Your Writing

15. Writing Revision: How to Fix Mistakes in Your Writing

Writing is an important skill, but revising your writing is also. In this lesson, learn the basics of self-editing, including editing for content and for mechanics, such as grammar and misspellings.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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