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Don't Write Too Much for your Essay Answers

When completing an essay test, you can get into trouble if you don't write enough or if you write too much. Frequently, either of these situations is an indication that you don't know the material very well.

If you are answering four questions on a one-hour essay exam and you're finished after 20 minutes, you are in big trouble. Either you're the world's fastest writer, or you have a problem with content. You simply don't know enough about the material to write for nearly an hour. When this situation occurs, there is a tendency to go back and add extraneous material to what you've already written to fill up the time and fill space.

Your written filibustering will not go unnoticed. If you have established a main point or topic sentence for each of several paragraphs and lack adequate detail or explanation, rambling on with irrelevant material in order to fill up the space will only compound your problem.

The development of short content outlines before you begin writing will help prevent a written filibuster. You will establish your main point and then stick to it by means of supporting details, such as examples and facts. If you can't fill in with relevant details and explanations, rambling on serves no purpose.

Basically, you either know it or you don't know it. Filibustering only emphasizes your lack of knowledge.