So, as you read the essay prompt, really pay attention to what it's asking.
For example, if you are presented with a and you're asked to provide your opinion on the expressed position, be sure that you're clear on what you need to write about.
Keep in mind that you might be asked not just for a black or white answer but for a shade of gray.
You might also be asked, for example, whether the stated position has some merit, even if you don't completely agree with it.
You might think that one quick read-through is enough, but the trouble is that once the clock starts to tick, you might find yourself writing and writing and writing to beat the clock, only to stop and realize that you have gone off on quite a tangent, not really doing what the essay prompt has asked you to do.
And when that happens, there may not be enough time to fix it.
And that panicky feeling can wreak real havoc on the quality of what we write.
But there's good news: there are four basic steps that can put you on the right track to put together a great essay even in a tight time crunch, all while keeping your cool.
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