How to Write an Essay for the GED Test
The writing section of the GED Language Arts exam has two parts. In the first section, you answer a series of multiple-choice questions before writing an essay in the second section. The writing prompt for the essay asks you to write about your own knowledge, opinions and experiences. Since the essay section has no right or wrong answers, the graders give you a score based on how well you write.
The typical GED essay has five paragraphs: an introduction, three supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. When you read the writing prompt, underline the key words that represent the focus of your essay and the main instructions. For example, the writing prompt may ask you about methods that you use to overcome stress. Once you feel confident that you understand the writing prompt, use a piece of paper to brainstorm your ideas. Write down possible ideas to use for the main arguments and supporting paragraphs. Then use your brainstorming ideas to create an outline of your five-part essay.
A GED essay’s introduction is where you present the main argument and give the reader a preview of the rest of your essay as if he didn’t read your writing prompt or the essay’s title. Keep in mind that you don’t have to create a title for your essay. Use the first paragraph to create interest in your essay, add any necessary background information and let the reader know about the points that you plan to argue or explain. At the end of the paragraph, state your thesis or main argument. For example, if your essay is about how you overcome stress, you may write, "While some people choose to reduce stress with medicine or alcohol, natural remedies and a healthy lifestyle work best."
The main points within each of the essay’s body paragraphs should support your essay’s main idea. Present a main point at the beginning of each supporting paragraph to create a topic sentence. Then include additional details that back up or support your topic sentence to complete each paragraph. For example, you may state in one of the body paragraphs that exercise helps you feel less stressed. After making this initial point, use the rest of the paragraph to explain why you hold this belief or offer personal experiences.
Use the last paragraph of your GED essay to wrap up the essay by restating your main point and summarizing your supporting statements. Emphasize the important of your subject and include a final thought that’s interesting. If you’re presenting an argument, you can explain why you think the reader should agree with you. Avoid introducing new arguments in the conclusion and don’t apologize to the reader about any of your statements or opinions.
Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.