Process for Taking the WR121 Final


On the first day of the WR121 Final, you will be given two essay excerpts to read and two questions. Read both excerpts. Select one question.


Prewriting and planning (allow about 10 minutes)

  • READ the excerpts and the question.
  • Identify KEY WORDS that you must respond to in your essay.
  • UNDERLINE passages in the excerpts that you want to summarize or quote.
  • BRAINSTORM (make a list of) the ideas you want to write about (You might think of a supporting example.)
  • ORGANIZE the ideas by numbering (so you know what will come first, second, etc.).

Drafting (allow about 40 minutes)

  • Begin with an ATTENTION-GETTING opening.
  • Make sure your introduction includes SUBJECT and PURPOSE (otherwise known as the thesis).
  • Write the body, remembering that readers look for:
    • CONTENT: Is your writing thoughtful?
    • ORGANIZATION: Is the essay logical, well-balanced, tied together with transitions?
    • DEVELOPMENT: Is each idea supported by facts, examples or anecdotes?
    • STYLE: Are the ideas expressed clearly?
  • End with a CONCLUSION that connects back to the main point of your paper. Is it thoughtful?

You will need to turn in all work at the end of the hour.


On the second day of the WR121 Final, Start by reading over your rough draft from Day One. Today's goal is to revise and edit your draft essay.

  • Revise CONTENT, looking for completeness.
  • Revisit ORGANIZATION, looking for logical order and 'smooth flow' between ideas and paragraphs.
  • Revise STYLE for clarity.
    • Try to avoid: slang, abbreviations and fragments!
    • Watch out for shifting point of view (I? You? They? She/he?)
    • Watch out for 'run-away' paragraphing.
    • Double-check that introductions and conclusions connect.
  • Edit PUNCTUATION, GRAMMAR and SPELLING for correctness.

Express your ideas as fully and thoughtfully as possible. Your readers will remember this is a timed test, but your readers will also appreciate your best writing!