Created:  October, 2000  (J. Crimando).

Answering Essay Questions in Science Classes

      Writing well takes practice. Answering essay questions requires more than just simply knowing the answer to the question. Good writing in science requires that you are mentally organized, have a firm understanding of the material and of course, solid English grammar skills.

      One of the keys to good writing is exposing yourself to plenty of good reading. The more you read from a variety of quality sources (good books, journals & periodicals) the more you'll begin to reflect the style and quality of good writing in your own works.

      In my BIO201/202 classes, I assign short takehome essay questions as part of their regular exams (a week ahead of time) so students can have plenty of time to organize their thoughts, plan their answers and proofread their work. I consider these short essays to be a showcase opportunity for students, a chance for students to show the very best work they can. It's a chance for students to shine as brilliantly as possible through their work without all of the hurried stress associated with doing in-class tests and assignments.

      These are some keys to answering essays that I think will help many students show their best work: