Workshop: Regents' Writing Test


What should I know before I take the test? Mouse over the questions to see the answers.

What is the format of the test?

How long do I have to take the test?

What is a passing essay?

When will I know my score?

How can best I prepare for the test?

What should I bring with me to the test?

 What should I do during the Regents' Test? Mouse over the questions to see the answers.

Choose well.

Plan carefully.

Keep track of your time.


The Question and Its Thesis

The thesis statement is essentially your answer to the essay question. It must be discussable, creating the question "Why?" in readers' minds. For it to be discussable, it must be an opinion and not a fact.

Workable thesis statement: Living in the city is preferable to living in the country.

Nothing to discuss — just a fact: I live in the city.

Workable thesis statement: My favorite movie is Gone with the Wind.

Nothing to discuss — just a fact: I have watched Gone with the Wind thirty-nine times.


Read the following questions and come up with a thesis statement for each. In the answer box will be a sample thesis. Click on the hint button for explanations.


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Discuss the influence that advertising has had on your life or the lives of your friends.


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How does a person make a good first impression in an interview? Discuss.


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It has been said that computers are taking over our lives. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.


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Discuss the influence that a relative (other than a parent) has had in your life.


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If you could influence the way products are advertised in the United States, what recommendations, if any, would you make? Discuss.


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How has the women's movement affected relationships between men and women? Discuss.




Once you have your thesis, come up with two or three points that will serve as the topic sentences in your essay. You might create them as a cluster or as an outline.

Consider the question, "How do you expect your college education to change the rest of your life? Discuss."

THESIS: My college education will change my life in several ways. POINTS: improved communication skills, increased self-worth, working in chosen career




How do I write a good introduction?

What makes an effective conclusion?

Show me how to approach different types of questions with an introduction and points.



If you would like to write a sample essay, you're welcome to stop by Dr. Strickland's office, 218, for help.




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