Write Better Answers

Writing is difficult for everyone. To write well is to be able to explain something in detail with as few words as possible. Since notebook assignments give little room to write answers, students must be brief but contain enough specific information to show understanding of the topic.

Avoid Pronouns

A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. A teacher is a noun. A school is a noun. A pencil is a noun. A holiday is a noun. Pronouns take the place of nouns that have been identified so that words are not repeated too often in a sentence.

Here is a sentence that uses pronouns: The teacher turned off her computer so she could give herself a break from her work.

There are four pronouns used in the example. However, without pronouns, the sentence would become repetitive with the same noun.

Here is a sentence that does away with pronouns: The teacher turned off the teacher's computer so the teacher could give the teacher a break from the teacher's work.

Without pronouns, sentences tend to get a little silly. Pronouns are good. They help make a sentence sound better. Yet, in short answers it is necessary to avoid pronouns whenever possible. Pronouns are vague terms and can mean many things. In answers, you want to be specific and clear.

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Be Specific

It is important to be specific when writing. Prefer exact language instead of terms that can mean many different things. Use numbers and names of specific items if it helps make the meaning of a sentence more clear.

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Use the Question

When answering a question, try to use some of the question in your answer if it helps make the answer more clear.

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More detailed and specific word choices will make writing more understandable. Being understood is what makes good writing.