GED Practice Essay: My First Revisions

Okay, I’m not going to put my whole GED essay draft in this post, so look back at the last post to read the whole thing. I want to get down to revising my essay for the GED… And I’ll start with the first paragraph:

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. The reason was that I reacted bad to my son getting engaged. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

Last time, I showed you some questions to ask yourself. These are the same questions GED readers ask about your essay, so it’s important to think about them. Put yourself in place of the GED reader… how would you grade the essay?

1. Did I answer the GED question and stay on topic?

Here’s the sample GED essay question I used to write my essay:

Sometimes, we don’t know in advance how we’ll react to a new situation.

Describe a time when you were faced with a new or difficult situation and explain your reaction. Do you wish you’d acted differently? Why or why not? Use your personal observations, experience, and knowledge to support your essay.

I don’t really say, “A time when I was faced with a new and difficult situation was…” but I don’t need to repeat the GED question, do I? I mean, it was a new and difficult situation….as long as that’s clear, I’m answering the question. I say that I was surprised and shocked, and that I had a bad reaction. I think in the first paragraph, I’m doing a good job staying on topic and answering the GED essay question.

2. Is my writing organized?

Well, the first paragraph of a GED essay is basically the introduction. It starts out by saying what the problem was, and I think that’s pretty good. It tells what I’m going to talk about. I think if you do prewriting for your GED essay, your organization is probably going to be pretty good.

3. Did I give enough good details?

Hmmmm… are there details in the first paragraph of my GED essay? It says I didn’t talk to my son for a year. That’s a detail. And him getting engaged is a detail.

You know what’s missing? I say that I reacted bad, but I don’t really say what my reaction was. Just “bad.” That’s not much of a detail, and details are important in writing for the GED. Maybe I’ll add some detail…

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. The reason was that I reacted bad to my son getting engaged. I got angry and didn’t want him to get married. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

4. Are there language mistakes, like spelling and grammar?

This one’s important for the GED test, too. I know I should watch for this better… let’s see what I can find… “The reason was that” isn’t a very good way to start a sentence, is it? It’s just a lot of extra words that don’t mean much. So, I’ll change it.

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. I reacted bad to my son getting engaged. I got angry and didn’t want him to get married. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

I think the word “bad” is wrong, too. Shouldn’t it be “badly”? That’s right… “badly” is an adverb… and the “bad” thing is the verb, how I reacted. So, to go with a verb, it needs to be an adverb…badly.

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. I reacted badly to my son getting engaged. I got angry and didn’t want him to get married. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

I think that’s pretty good now. I don’t really see any big mistakes… It takes some practice to look for grammar and spelling. The trick is to try, and to try to remember what things you usually do wrong.

5. Did I choose the best words to say what I mean?

Let me look at my words… that word “badly” doesn’t sound too good. Maybe “negatively”? That doesn’t sound bad enough. I was pretty bad! I’m going to look at a thesaurus… I can’t do that on the GED test, but the more words I know before I take the test, the easier it will be on the GED! I found one… “atrociously.” That’s a good one.

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. I reacted atrociously to my son getting engaged. I got angry and didn’t want him to get married. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

What about “my son getting engaged”? That’s wordy, too. Maybe I can say it in less words… “my son’s engagement.”

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. I reacted atrociously to my son’s engagement. I got angry and didn’t want him to get married. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

“Angry” is another word I bet I can replace. What’s a better word for angry? Really, really angry? I’m going to the thesaurus again… how about “furious”? “was furious” is probably better than “got angry.”

The unhappiest time in my life was when I didn’t talk to my son for a year. I reacted atrociously to my son’s engagement. I was furious and didn’t want him to get married. His engagement was surprising and shocking to me, and I wish I had reacted differently.

I think that’s better… what do you think? I’m going to go through each paragraph of the GED essay to make it better, and that will give me some good practice for the GED test…

To find out more about the GED test and GED test preparation, visit The GED Academy at passGED.com.

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