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Advanced Composition
The POWER Formula for Writing Essays

November 25, 2003


The POWER formula is one way to ensure that a student takes the time to carefully plan and write a successful test essay. Each step gives suggested times.


Step 1: READ the topic carefully

—underline key words in the topic.

Step 2: Make a list of ideas

—Use brainstorming, clustering, the 5 W's etc. to generate ideas about your essay topic.

(10 minutes)


Step 3: Group your ideas and name each group

Step 4: Expand your groups. Put your groups in order.

—Select the most appropriate ideas to support point of view or opinion.

—Decide how to arrange your ideas for your audience

—Decide which examples best support your point of view

—Decide which examples to present first, second, and so on.

This will be your ROUGH COPY!

(30 minutes)


Step 5: Write the body of your essay

Step 6: Write the conclusion to the body of the essay.

Step 7: Write the introduction

—Write sentences based on your organized plan

(40 minutes)


Step 8: Evaluate your composition

—Make sure that your point of view or opinion is stated clearly and that your examples support your point of view.

—Does each paragraph have a good topic sentence?

—Does each paragraph have a concluding sentence?

(5 minutes)


Step 9 Make the changes that are needed

—Add information to make ideas clearer.

—Remove unnecessary information.

—Correct errors in usage, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation and capitalization.

(5 minutes)


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