Getting Ready For Your Impromptu Essay

Impromptu essays are on the spot, strictly-timed and often spontaneous essays which require your juices to start running quickly and you to respond quickly to the thesis question. You won’t have the benefit of lengthy research and enough time to arrange your thoughts and arguments out logically and to the best tune. The worst part is you won’t even get to know what topic you are writing on until the last minute when you finally get to see the essay.

Since you are working in a timed and regulated environment when you are writing these essays, you need to organize your thoughts and the entire creative and writing process to make sure you take care of the writing, the editing, and the proofreading.

How do prepare yourself to write a stellar impromptu essay?

Going Beyond the Introduction

An impromptu essay revolves around a thesis statement. The statement may be based on past reading material, or you may be required to explore content outside of your normal classroom material. Your introduction should immediately draw in and captivate your reader. This is your opportunity to make an immediate impression. You should have a draft or an outline of your proposed writing even if you just do it on the margin of your actual work. You should try to break down your essay into clear and succinct arguments with intelligible points to support them. If the word count allows you, you can introduce points against the arguments too. Identify three or four main arguments that you’d like to focus on, keeping in mind the strict timing you should adhere to.

Navigating the Body

Once you have an outline, you can start working on the body of your essay. This will wholly revolve around your thesis statement. You should choose the most compelling arguments for your work and then slit these into paragraphs with striking examples for each.

You should try to keep your transitions balanced and well spread out through the entire course of the paper. Your writing should flow seamlessly, and all your ideas should be connected, building your arguments. It is easy to veer off-track and digress when you are doing such writing, especially when you haven’t had time to collect your thoughts. You may focus too much on building your arguments and thesis statement and forget that the entire piece of writing needs to conclude. If you read through your essay and see a loose end, you should tie it up promptly. If any of the points that you are using as part of your build up don’t make sense in the overall structure of the essay, you should quickly delete it. In a good number of situations, you need to support a position. Don’t fence-sit. There is no room to be ambivalent or equivocal.

Other Tips for Writing a Great Impromptu Essay

  • Avoid generalities. It is better to have a few strong arguments with enough points to support them than a whole lot that you can’t back up.
  • Try using words that are specific and clear instead of vague words such as ‘them’ ‘there,’ ‘you’ and ‘these.’ Such words tend to leave your reader with more questions than they started with.
  • Your arguments need to be intelligent. They need to be based solely on facts that you can actually present, not assumptions, emotion or derivative thinking. If the essay needs you to give your point of view on a certain matter, then make sure you think through the essay question carefully.
  • If you are going to use references, make sure you can easily back them up. Don’t use references, especially direct, if you aren’t absolutely sure of them. If you are going to paraphrase, try to do it without twisting the idea that is being presented as a source.
  • If you are going to write, choose a tense, either past or present and stick to it consistently. If you oscillate in between two tenses, you will most likely lose your reader and probably yourself along the way.

Aside from these, also make sure to keep your paragraphs short, making clear use of whitespace. Last but not least, leave enough time to edit and proofread your paper. Check for grammar, sentence structure and logical flow of your ideas.