By: Kristi Eskelund
When I was a student myself, I competed in a UIL event called Ready Writing. This essentially was an impromptu essay competition that required competitors to produce an essay on the spot after any given a prompt. It was judged on a number of factors including the articulateness of the response, the ability of the writer to allude to other sources, the use of stylistic devices, and of course, correct usage of grammar and spelling! Years, later, when the College Board added an essay component to the SAT exam, the parameters of that exam looked an awful lot like my old Ready Writing requirements, and at that time I began teaching workshops on how to write that essay for a maximum score. I realized in the process that most of my material actually crossed over into preparing for limited prep speeches as well! The main points I always hit on are developing your structure, content, and style and then getting a LOT of practice! After that, you can develop some real strategies.