GCSE English Quiz - Constructing an Essay (Questions)

Formulating a thesis is a vital part of constructing an essay. Essay writing is a skill which can be learned, practised and improved. In addition to this general quiz, try our quizzes on specific aspects of essay writing, such as writing a conclusion, writing an introduction, constructing an argument and writing about literature.

This quiz is a good introduction to the mechanics of essay writing.

1. Besides reading the text, what is the first thing you should do when writing an essay?
[ ] Plan the conclusion
[ ] Make sure you understand the question
[ ] Decide what your argument will be
[ ] Write your first sentence
2. Your answer to the question is called your...
[ ] debate
[ ] proposition
[ ] preposition
[ ] thesis
3. Which of the following is NOT one of the advantages of planning your essay?
[ ] Planning improves the essay's structure
[ ] Planning ensures that your essay will make sense
[ ] Planning will guarantee your essay receives an A
[ ] Planning ensures you fully answer the question
4. How many paragraphs should you plan to write?
[ ] A paragraph for each point, plus one each for the introduction and the conclusion
[ ] Seven paragraphs exactly
[ ] As few paragraphs as possible
[ ] As many paragraphs as possible
5. You should answer the essay question in...
[ ] the footnotes
[ ] your next-to-last paragraph
[ ] your introductory paragraph
[ ] italics
6. Your writing should be coherent. What does this mean?
[ ] It should be clear and logical
[ ] It should be exciting
[ ] It should be aggressive in order to prove your point
[ ] It should sound pretentious
7. What does it mean to support your argument?
[ ] You must annotate your essay with proof that your argument is correct
[ ] You must give the opposing view
[ ] You must provide evidence from the text and show how it upholds your argument
[ ] You must provide a list of everyone who agrees with your argument
8. Which of the following is true?
[ ] There is only one correct answer to an essay question
[ ] The answer to an essay question is always an opinion supported with evidence
[ ] The answer to an essay question is always a fact supported with evidence
[ ] There are no wrong answers to an essay question
9. An effective essay structure depends on...
[ ] thoughtful planning
[ ] the use of connectives and phrases which link paragraphs together
[ ] a logical argument
[ ] All of the above
10. After you finish writing an essay, you should...
[ ] proofread it
[ ] hand it in immediately
[ ] tear it up and start again
[ ] lose it
GCSE English Quiz - Constructing an Essay (Answers)
1. Besides reading the text, what is the first thing you should do when writing an essay?
[ ] Plan the conclusion
[x] Make sure you understand the question
[ ] Decide what your argument will be
[ ] Write your first sentence
Always read the question carefully to make sure you have understood it correctly. It can be helpful to underline key words, too
2. Your answer to the question is called your...
[ ] debate
[ ] proposition
[ ] preposition
[x] thesis
Your thesis is your main point. It must answer the essay question
3. Which of the following is NOT one of the advantages of planning your essay?
[ ] Planning improves the essay's structure
[ ] Planning ensures that your essay will make sense
[x] Planning will guarantee your essay receives an A
[ ] Planning ensures you fully answer the question
Failing to plan an essay will nearly always lead to a poor piece of writing
4. How many paragraphs should you plan to write?
[x] A paragraph for each point, plus one each for the introduction and the conclusion
[ ] Seven paragraphs exactly
[ ] As few paragraphs as possible
[ ] As many paragraphs as possible
Seven paragraphs is actually a perfectly decent length for an essay, but the number of paragraphs is dictated by the number of points which you plan to make (and you wouldn't skip the planning stage, would you?)
5. You should answer the essay question in...
[ ] the footnotes
[ ] your next-to-last paragraph
[x] your introductory paragraph
[ ] italics
You should always answer the essay question in your first paragraph - the rest of the essay builds an argument to justify your answer
6. Your writing should be coherent. What does this mean?
[x] It should be clear and logical
[ ] It should be exciting
[ ] It should be aggressive in order to prove your point
[ ] It should sound pretentious
7. What does it mean to support your argument?
[ ] You must annotate your essay with proof that your argument is correct
[ ] You must give the opposing view
[x] You must provide evidence from the text and show how it upholds your argument
[ ] You must provide a list of everyone who agrees with your argument
Evidence includes quotations and other references to the text (i.e. to characters, themes, scenes, events, etc.)
8. Which of the following is true?
[ ] There is only one correct answer to an essay question
[x] The answer to an essay question is always an opinion supported with evidence
[ ] The answer to an essay question is always a fact supported with evidence
[ ] There are no wrong answers to an essay question
Wrong answers do exist. Texts can support many varying interpretations, but they are not endlessly adaptable and it is possible to have an interpretation which just cannot be supported by the text
9. An effective essay structure depends on...
[ ] thoughtful planning
[ ] the use of connectives and phrases which link paragraphs together
[ ] a logical argument
[x] All of the above
10. After you finish writing an essay, you should...
[x] proofread it
[ ] hand it in immediately
[ ] tear it up and start again
[ ] lose it
It's so easy to make mistakes when writing, probably because writers edit themselves continually. Always check for mistakes