Tools for TAs and Instructors
Back to Helpful HandoutsoWriting Center Home PageBefore the Exam: Prepare and Practice
Writing a good essay requires synthesis of material that cannot be done in the 20-30 minutes you have during the exam. In the days before the exam, you should:
- Anticipate test questions. Look at the question from the last exam. Did the question ask you to apply a theory to historical or contemporary events? Did you have to compare/contrast theories? Did you have to prove an argument? Imagine yourself in the role of the instructor--what did the instructor emphasize? What are the big ideas in the course?
- Practice writing. You may decide to write a summary of each theory you have been discussing, or a short description of the historical or contemporary events you've been studying. Focus on clarity, conciseness, and understanding the differences between the theories.
- Memorize key events, facts, and names. You will have to support your argument with evidence, and this may involve memorizing some key events, or the names of theorists, etc.
- Organize your ideas. Knowledge of the subject matter is only part of the preparation process. You need to spend some time thinking about how to organize your ideas. Let's say the question asks you to compare and contrast what regime theory and hegemonic stability theory would predict about post-cold war nuclear proliferation. The key components of an answer to this question must include:
- A definition of the theories
- A brief description of the issue
- A comparison of the two theories' predictions
- A clear and logical contrasting of the theories (noting how and why they are different)
Many students start writing furiously after scanning the essay question. Do not do this! Instead, try the following:
- Perform a "memory dump." Write down all the information you have had to memorize for the exam in note form.
- Read the questions and instructions carefully. Read over all the questions on the exam. If you simply answer each question as you encounter it, you may give certain information or evidence to one question that is more suitable for another. Be sure to identify all parts of the question.
- Formulate a thesis that answers the question. You can use the wording from the question. There is not time for an elaborate introduction, but be sure to introduce the topic, your argument, and how you will support your thesis (do this in your first paragraph).
- Organize your supporting points. Before you proceed with the body of the essay, write an outline that summarizes your main supporting points. Check to make sure you are answering all parts of the question. Coherent organization is one of the most important characteristics of a good essay.
- Make a persuasive argument. Most essays in political science ask you to make some kind of argument. While there are no right answers, there are more and less persuasive answers. What makes an argument persuasive?
- A clear point that is being argued (a thesis)
- Sufficient evidenct to support that thesis
- Logical progression of ideas throughout the essay
- Review your essay. Take a few minutes to re-read your essay. Correct grammatical mistakes, check to see that you have answered all parts of the question.
Essay exams can be stressful. You may draw a blank, run out of time, or find that you neglected an important part of the course in studying for the test. Of course, good preparation and time management can help you avoid these negative experiences. Some things to keep in mind as you write your essay include the following:
- Avoid excuses. Don't write at the end that you ran out of time, or did not have time to study because you were sick. Make an appointment with your TA to discuss these things after the exam.
- Don't "pad" your answer. Instructors are usually quite adept at detecting student bluffing. They give no credit for elaboration of the obvious. If you are stuck, you can elaborate on what you do know, as long as it relates to the question.
- Avoid the "kitchen sink" approach. Many students simply write down everything they know about a particular topic, without relating the information to the question. Everything you include in your answer should help to answer the question and support your thesis. You need to show how/why the information is relevant -- don't leave it up to your instructor to figure this out!
Back to helpful
Process Paper Topics for All College Students
In college, you'll need to write process paper topics at one point in your learning career. Through enough practice in both reading and writing, you'll have a comfortable experience. So, to give you an extra edge, take a look at some of these process essay examples:
- How To Earn Money While Still In College
- How Should You Study For Your Final College Exam?
- How To Write An Attractive College Application
- Steps In Writing An Impressive Cover Letter
- Ways In Which You Could Come Up With A Science Project
- How Should We Improve Schools Learning Curriculum
- How To Write An Excellent Dissertation Paper
- How Can You Save Money While In College?
- How To Prepare Adequately For Your High School Prom
- Effective Methods Of College-Level Research
Funny Process Paper Topics
Entertainment is an integral part of our lives. Reading funny process paper topics, especially after a hard day's work relaxes the mind. Therefore, as a writer, it's essential to come up with ideas which soothe and console the minds of your audience. Here are some funny process paper topics:
- How To Listen To An Orchestra And Not Fall Asleep
- How To Eat A Full Slice Of Pizza With Only One Bite
- How To Come Up With The Best Birthday Party Surprise
- Steps Towards Becoming A Fierce Online Gamer
- How Does A Well-Cooked Meal Every Day Prevent Divorce?
- Ways In Which You Could Meet Your Sole-Mate Online
- How To Prepare A Bachelor Party
- Steps In Planning A Colorful Wedding Celebration
- How To Stack The Food Buffet At Your Graduation Party
- How To Make Her Laugh On The First Date
Topics for Process Analysis Paper on Love and Marriage
As a student, you'll need to write essay papers on different topics. Among these types of articles, you'll come across topics for process analysis paper on love and marriage. How will you go around this? Well here are some amazing process essay examples to help you get started:
- How To Make Her Fall In Love With You On The First Date
- Steps Towards Building A Successful Marriage Relationship
- How Should Career Mothers Balance Work And Home Duties
- How To Know When Your Partner Is Unhappy
- How To Plan For A Winter Wedding
- How Should You Plan For A Family Holiday Vacation?
- How To Keep Your Marriage Interesting Even In Old Age
- Methods Of Reconciling Your Marriage After Separation
- How To Take Care Of Your Partner If He Or She Is Sick
- Stages In The Moaning Process For Widows And Widowers
Process Analysis Essays on Sports and Leisure
Sports are one of the exciting activities, especially in the current generation. A good process analysis essay on leisure and sports should captivate, inform and even compel the reader to try out something. Some of the interesting topics for process analysis paper on Sports and Leisure that we've come across include:
- How To Complete A Full Gym Work Out
- How To Train For A Marathon
- Steps In Building A Successful Swimming Team
- Ways In Which We Are Failing In Nurturing Young Talented Athletes
- How To Play The New FIFA 18 Like A Pro
- How To Become A Skillful Footballer
- Methods Of Building A Reliable Race Car
- How To Enjoy A Family Fun Day During The Weekend
- How To Become a Lucky Sports Betting Pro
- How To Plan For A Rugby Cup Final
Process Essay Topics on Justice and Legal Affairs
There are also various process essay topics touching on law and the entire justice system. If you are studying for the law, you'll come across questions such as:
- How To Handle A Litigation Process
- How To Submit Evidence Before A Court Of Law
- Steps Towards Making A Bill Into Law
- How To Pick Yourself Up After Losing A Court Case
- How To Choose The Best Legal Team When Dealing With Criminal Charges
- How Does The Supreme Court Discharge Its Mandate?
- Steps To Be Followed In A Family Court
- How To Punish Individuals Found To Have Committed Treason?
- Stages In The Legal Process Of The International Criminal Court
- How Does The Supreme Court Handle Appeal Cases?
Process Analysis Essay Topics on History, Politics, and Governance
Interested in learning how the government operates? These process analysis examples will help you out:
- How To Plan For A General Election
- How Did The United States Survive The Great Depression
- Stages Which Led To The End Of The Second World War
- How Can Event Organizers Plant For A Presidents Inauguration Ceremony?
- How Does The British Prime Minister Appoint Government Officials
- Functions Of State Governors In The United States
- How To Run A Successful Presidential Campaign
- How Does The President Distribute Resources Across Different Regions In The Country?
- How Has China Become One Of The Leading World Economies?
- How Can We End The Political Tension Between The United States And The Republic Of North Korea?
Process Analysis Paper Topics in Business and Information Technology
Here are some of the impressive process analysis essay examples on how we handle trade and commerce today. Also, with the growing rise in technology, it's now become hard to separate it from business. With that said, take a look at some of these ideas:
- How To Create An Attractive Business Portfolio
- How To Prepare For An Interview
- How Can Company Marketers Create Web Content
- How To Improve Your Team's Productivity Through E-Learning
- How To Sell Your Products Online
- How To Talk To Potential Customers Using Facebook And Twitter
- How Has eBay Changed The Way We Do Business
- How To Earn Money While Working Online
- How To Easily Sell Your Shares And Get Good Cash!
- How To Forge A Successful Career In Financial Banking
Process Paper Topics on Gardening and the Environment
Some of the interesting process paper topics on gardening and the state of the environment include:
- How To Conserve The O-Zone Layer
- How To Improve Soil Fertility Organically
- Steps Towards Creating More Healthy And Acceptable GMOs
- How To Prevent Drainage Of Wastes Into Rivers
- Ways In Which We Can Prevent Worldwide Poaching
- Methods Of Successful Garden Farming
- How To Prevent Soil Erosion And Landslides
- Effective Water Conservation Methods
- How To Grow Plants In A Hydroponic System
- Ways In Which You Could Grow Your Crops In A Polytunnel
Process Analysis Essay Topics on Science and Medicine
Some of the process essay topics on matters touching on science and medicine include:
- How To Prevent Infant Deaths Through Proper Pregnancy Methods
- How Can We Improve Space Travel Through Advancements In Science?
- How To Prevent The Spread Of HIV/AIDS
- Methods Of Successful Cancer Treatment
- How To Prevent Yourself From Getting Common Cold During Winter Months
- How Does Draining Stagnant Water Prevent The Spread Of Malaria?
- How To Take Care Of The Physically Challenged Individuals In Society
- Steps Towards Making Nutritious Breast Milk For Lactating Mothers
- How To Prevent The Spread Of Communicable Diseases
- How Have The New Cancer Treatment Machines Saved Lives?
Process Analysis Essay Examples on Film, and Music
Lastly, we'll mention some impressive process analysis essay examples on music and film. They include:
- How To Become A Professional Film Producer
- Steps In Preparing For A Singing Competition
- How Has Music Changed Over The Last Century?
- Process Of Making A Successful Theatre Show
- How To Introduce Your Child To High School Music And Theatre
- How Has A Career In Acting Changed Lives Of Different Individuals?
- How To Identify A Famous Music Producer
- Steps Toward Becoming A Good Scriptwriter
- How To Learn Dancing In 5 Easy Steps
- How Has Film Changed Over The Last Five Decades?
With the above process analysis essay examples, you have all you need to make you a professional writer. Just choose the category that suits you best and tackle as many topics as possible. Remember that these are only some few samples and there are many process analysis essay topics out there for you!