Timed Writing

Timed Writing Assignment
created by:
Enzu Castellanos
Issel Guigou
Lisa Hoskins
Joseph O’Leary


Your goals in writing this essay are to demonstrate your ability to adapt the writing process to an abbreviated time frame by analyzing an essay exam question, understand what the question is looking for by recognizing cues and by interpreting and responding to key terms, and then to produce a written document, written under time constraint, that responds effectively to the prompt and that exhibits a clear thesis, coherent organization, and content appropriate to the question.

You may already be familiar with the experience of taking a timed writing test, but this unit is focused on bringing some of the skills that you learned and practiced in the previous units into a scenario where you are writing under a time constraint. By using these skills, much of the pressure and anxiety of a timed writing exam can be diminished and you will be better prepared to use the allotted time to produce an effective essay.

Your timed writing exam will be based on information that has been covered in class and in your readings. This will be an open-book exam. Therefore, you will need your Allyn & Bacon book to complete the exam, so make sure to bring it to class. You may also bring your Everyday Writer. Also, make sure to bring plenty of paper and something to write with.

When you enter the classroom, take your seat, put everything away except for your two text books, paper, and something to write with. Once the prompt is posted, begin unpacking it as we have discussed throughout this unit. When you are ready, start writing. Remember to keep an eye on the clock. You will have one hour to complete your essay.

Remember to include any evidence of your prewriting process, including your unpacking of the prompt, development of a thesis or theme, and outlining of your essay. This is especially important if you run out of time and do not complete your essay.

When you are finished, gather your pages, and bring them to the front of the class to staple them together and turn them in. Once you have turned in your timed writing test you will be free to leave the class. Remember that some of your classmates may still be working so please be quiet as you gather your belongings and exit the room.

Grading Criteria:

-Evidence of your process in un-packing the prompt, developing a thesis or theme, and outlining your essay are observable.

-The essay contains a thesis statement that effectively and logically guides the writing or the essay focuses on a specific theme that is obvious to the reader from the beginning of the essay and stays in focus throughout.

-The essay illustrates support with examples taken from the text

-Sources are incorporated logically through a combination of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.

-The essay illustrate opinion where appropriate.

-The essay is focused on the rhetorical purpose of addressing the prompt.

-The essay is clearly and logically organized.

-The essay is grammatically and mechanically correct.

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