Rules for Answering Science Essay Questions
1. Think about your answer before you start to write. Plan and organize what you will say.
2. Restate the question in the first sentence of your answer.
a. Example: Why was Alfred Wegener's theory of plate tectonics debated by scientists?
Wegener's theory of plate tectonics was debated by scientists because …
3. NEVER begin an answer with a pronoun (they, he, it …), the word “because”, or the phrase, “The reason is because …”
4. Use complete sentences. Every sentence should make sense, so read through your answer carefully to make sure you don’t have missing words or jumbled thoughts.Nonsense or unclear answers = no credit.
5. Answer all parts of each question. Missing parts = missing points.
6. Include detail in your answer. Be specific by including facts and additional information related to the question. NEVER use the words “stuff” or “things”.
7. Include vocabulary in your answer. When you use a vocabulary term, also explain the word’s meaning in the context of the answer.
8. Write neatly even if it takes you longer. If your writing is hard to read, then it’s hard for me to read, so it’s hard to grade. If I cannot read it, I won’t grade it.