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Writing Short Answers



Writing Short Answers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.65

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    keywords, predicate, repeated, multiple, slavery, history, entire, text, impressed, writing, tests, otherwise, believe, subject, opposition, tips
     content words:    Civil War, Paul Revere, Colonial Army


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Writing Short Answers
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Your history teacher does not believe in true and false or multiple choice tests. His tests require you to write short answers to each question. He also requires you to write short answers on your homework papers. You have not been getting great grades on the tests or homework. You need some pointers on how to write a great short answer.
 
2     Short answers should be just that- short. They usually only require one or two sentences. But these should be complete sentences (unless the directions tell you otherwise). Complete sentences have a subject and a predicate. The subject is who or what the sentence is about. The predicate tells what the subject does. You need to have both parts in order to write a complete sentence.
 
3     For example: John walked the dog. This is a very simple sentence, yet it is complete. The sentence is about John. John is the subject. The predicate tells what John did. "Walked the dog" is the predicate of this sentence. Both parts needed to make a complete sentence are included.
 
4     It is also important to repeat key words from the question in your answer. By reading your answer, the reader should know what the question was. Your answer should never make him feel like he is playing Jeopardy. Never leave him guessing what the question was!
 
5     For example, let's say a question on your test is "Name two causes of the Civil War." You answer should look something like this: "Two causes of the Civil War were states' rights and opposition to slavery." This is a great short answer. It repeats key words from the question, "two causes of the Civil War." The reader doesn't have to guess what the question was; he can tell from the wording of your answer.

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