How to Pass English

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 00:20
Passing your English class may seem impossible if you have struggled with the subject in the past. However, there are some strategies that can help. To pass your English class, you will need to find some new ways to get organized, develop...
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Passing your English class may seem impossible if you have struggled with the subject in the past. However, there are some strategies that can help. To pass your English class, you will need to find some new ways to get organized, develop strategies for getting the most out of class time, and incorporate some good habits for passing your English tests. If you are willing to put in a little extra time and effort, then you can pass your English class.

Method 1
Method 1 of 6:

Reading Difficult Literature

  1. Step 1 Ask questions before you begin.
    Asking yourself some pre-reading questions can make it easier for you to retain what you read. Before you start reading a text, determine what you need to discover from the text.
    • Some instructors will provide students with a list of questions to help them stay focused as they read. You might ask your instructor about good questions to keep in mind as you read.
    • You can also develop your own questions. For example, you might simply ask, what is the focus of this chapter?
  2. Step 2 Take your time.
    Give yourself plenty of time to read and take breaks as needed. It is better to go slowly when you read a text than to rush through it and have to re-read it later on.[1] Make sure that you provide yourself with plenty of time to read and understand what you read.
    • For example, if you have to read 40 pages of a book by Friday, start reading on Monday and just read 10 pages per night. Don't put off reading until Thursday night.
  3. Step 3 Write in the margins.
    Making notes in the margins whenever you encounter something important is more effective than highlighting or underlining the passage. Try reading with a pen in your hands instead of holding a highlighter.
    • You can write key words in the margins, ask questions, or comment on something that just happened.
  4. Step 4 Summarize what you have read.
    Writing summaries of what you just read can help you to commit the information to memory as well. After you finish reading a chapter of a book or a short story, take a minute to write a brief summary of what you just read.
    • In your summary, don’t worry about including every little detail. Instead, try to provide a nice overview of the action.
    • You also might want to include a paragraph where you discuss your ideas about the reading. For example, if something surprising happened in the chapter, you might talk about how you reacted to it and why.
    • Summaries are also a good place to record information about symbols, themes, and characters. For example, you might note that the author uses nature symbolism to describe certain characters.
  5. Step 5 Use online study guides after reading.
    There are many online guides that you can utilise in order to better comprehend the literature that you’re assigned to read. Websites like SparkNotes and CliffsNotes provide summaries, character analyses, interpretations, helpful hints, essay tips and more for many different books. Read these after completing your reading assignment to feel more confident in understanding the material.[2]
    • Don’t rely solely on reading SparkNotes or CliffsNotes. Reading only these guides will usually not give you enough information to be successful.
  6. Step 6 Tell someone about the reading.
    Teaching someone else about the text that you have been reading is a great way to commit the information to memory as well. Try telling a classmate or friend about the chapter you just read.
    • When you tell someone about the reading, try to summarize the main ideas and explain anything that might be difficult to understand if you have not read the book.
    • Make sure that you explain the reading in your own words. Don't just repeat parts of what you read word-for-word.
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Method 2
Method 2 of 6:

Writing Polished Essays

  1. Step 1 Take time to prewrite.
    Prewriting (also known as invention) is what you do to generate ideas before you actually write a paper. While it may be tempting to skip prewriting and just start drafting your essay for English class, it is worth taking the time to prewrite. By spending time developing your ideas before you write, you can improve the quality of your work.
    • Freewriting. This is when you write as much as you can without stopping. Even if your mind is blank, you should write “My mind is blank,” until you get an idea to write about. After you finish writing, read over your freewrite and identify any important ideas that might be useful for your paper.
    • Listing. This is when you create a list of all of everything you can think of that is relevant to the essay topic. When you have listed as much as you can, read over your list and identify any useful information.
    • Clustering. This is when you use lines and circles to connect your ideas on a piece of paper. For example, you can begin by writing your topic at the center of the page and then draw lines coming from this idea. Keep drawing more lines and making connections until you are out of ideas.[3]
  2. Step 2 Research your topic...
    Research your topic. Some English papers will require you to conduct research before you write. If you have to write a research paper, then make sure that you spend some time finding quality sources and reading them carefully.
    • Search your library’s databases rather than just doing a basic internet search. You will be more likely to find quality sources by using your library’s database. Check with a librarian if you are not sure how to use your library’s databases.
  3. Step 3 Create an outline...
    Create an outline. An outline provides the basic structure for an essay. Outlines can be as detailed as you want and this can be a great way to keep yourself focused when you start drafting your paper.[4] Outlining your essay before you get started can help you write a better paper as well.
  4. Step 4 Draft your essay...
    Draft your essay. Drafting is when you take your notes, outline, and all of the ideas in your head and put them onto paper in essay form. If you have done adequate freewriting, research, and outlining, then this step should not be too difficult.
    • Keep in mind that if you struggle with the drafting phase of the writing process, then you can always return to one of the previous phases and come back to the drafting phase when you feel ready.
    • Remember to use your outline to guide you as you write.
  5. Step 5 Revise your work
    . Revising is when you go over a piece of writing before you submit it to determine if you need to add, delete, reorganize, or clarify something. Revising your work can help you to develop your ideas and catch minor mistakes as well. Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to read over your work and revise it as needed.
    • You can always swap papers with a friend and provide feedback for each other. Just make sure that the friend is someone who you trust to provide good feedback.
    • You might also consider asking your instructor or a writing center tutor to look over your paper for you and give you revision suggestions.
    • Having a few days to revise is ideal, but if you can only spare a few hours then that is fine as well.
    • All essays benefit from revision, so do not consider this as an optional step.
    • Try to give yourself a break before you revise. Even taking a few hours away from the paper will allow you to return to it with fresh eyes.
  6. Step 6 Ask to re-write unsuccessful essays.
    If you tried your best but didn’t do as well as you wanted on an essay assignment, ask to meet with your instructor about how the essay can be improved. After getting extensive feedback, ask your instructor if you can rewrite your essay and apply their revision suggestions for partial or extra credit.
    • This may be an opportunity to improve your grade and your writing abilities, and the worst they can say is “no.”
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Method 3
Method 3 of 6:

Improving Your Vocabulary

  1. Step 1 Make flashcards.
    If you need to master certain vocabulary words for a test, then making flashcards is a great way to commit these words to memory. To make flashcard, write the word on one side of an index card and then write the definition of the word on the other side.
    • You might also find it helpful to provide yourself with an example of how to use the word in a sentence.
    • Keep the flashcards with you and study them whenever you have a few spare minutes. For example, you can study your flashcards while waiting in line or riding the bus.
  2. Step 2 Read for fun.
    Reading is an excellent way to improve your vocabulary and grammar skills.[5] Try to discover a book or series of books that you enjoy and read during your spare time.
    • Read as much as possible and choose books that are slightly challenging for you.
    • Look up words that you do not understand when you are reading. Make sure to make a note of the word’s definition as well.
  3. Step 3 Use new words in conversation and in writing.
    Using new words will help you to remember them and figure out how to use them. Try to use the new words that you learn as often as you can.
    • For example, you might try out a new word in a conversation with a friend or include a few of the new words that you have learned in an English essay. Keeping a journal where you try out new words is another great option.
  4. Step 4 Consider getting a tutor.
    If you struggle with English sometimes, then getting a tutor from the writing center at your school may help you to develop your skills. A tutor can work with you on any areas that give you trouble, such as grammar, vocabulary, or reading.
    • Most schools provide tutor services to students as a free benefit. Your fees and tuition help to cover the costs of providing these services.
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Method 4
Method 4 of 6:

Setting Yourself Up for Success

  1. Step 1 Learn what is expected of you.
    When the semester begins, read over the course materials and make sure that you understand everything that is expected of you. If you do not understand something, then ask the instructor to explain it to you.
    • Highlight important details in your assignment sheets and other course materials. For example, you might want to highlight key words for assignments such as “describe,” “argue” “compare,” etc.[6]
    • Copy down all of the important due dates for your English class in your planner or on a wall calendar to make it easier for you to remember them.
  2. Step 2 Plan ahead.
    Figure out how much time you will need to complete your assignments, read books and essays, and study for tests. Make sure that you set aside plenty of time to complete these objectives every week. Procrastinating is a sure way to fail your English class.
    • If possible, start your assignments at least a week before they are due. Having plenty of time is especially important for writing essays. Starting early will provide you with more time to develop and revise your work.[7]
    • Keep in mind that in college level English courses the majority of your grade will come from assignments that are later in the semester. For this reason, make sure that you do not burn yourself out early in the semester. Take good care of yourself and reserve plenty of energy to finish the semester.[8]
  3. Step 3 Find a study partner or group.
    Studying with a classmate or a couple of classmates can improve your grades and make it easier for you to pass your English class. Plan to meet at least once per week to study and quiz each other.
    • Try to team up with classmates who are good students. Studying with someone who is a good student will make it easier for you to excel in English class than studying with someone who is struggling.[9]
    • If you plan to study with a friend or group of friends, it can be easy to get distracted talking about other things. To prevent this from happening, try studying at the library. The quiet environment should make it easier for you and your study group to stay focused.[10]
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Method 5
Method 5 of 6:

Performing Well in Class

  1. Step 1 Come to class.
    Attendance is essential for passing any class, but it may be even more important in an English class where participation may make up a large part of your grade. Make sure that you are present in body and mind whenever you attend your English class.
    • Never sleep in class.
    • Silence your cell phone and always keep it stowed away during class.
    • Avoid chatting with your classmates, especially when your instructor is talking.
  2. Step 2 Take notes in...
    Take notes in class. Much of what your English instructor talks about during lectures will end up on your tests and exams for the course. This information can also be helpful when you are writing papers. Make sure that you take good notes during class to earn as many points as possible on your English class assignments.[11]
    • Write as much as you can during class to help you retain the information. Things that your instructor writes on the board or includes on a PowerPoint may be even more important to remember, so be sure to write these things down.
    • If you have trouble keeping up, then you may consider recording lectures (with your instructor’s permission) or asking a friend to compare notes with you after class.
  3. Step 3 Speak up.
    If your instructor ever says something that does not make sense or that you’d like to know more about, make sure that you speak up. Raise your hand and ask your instructor to repeat, explain, or expand on what he or she just said.
    • Keep in mind that most instructors are happy to elaborate on a point if it will help you to understand it. Just make sure that you are listening closely because an instructor may find it annoying if you are always asking him or her to repeat things that have already been explained.
  4. Step 4 Meet with your instructor outside of class.
    Your instructor probably has regular office hours where you can drop in or make an appointment to meet with him or her one-on-one. Make sure that you take advantage of this valuable resource.[12]
    • Meeting with your instructor outside of class is a great way to get some extra help with assignments, ask questions that you didn’t want to ask in class, or just get more information about something.
    • Try to meet with your English instructor at least once per semester.
  5. Step 5 Go above and beyond.
    If you really want to excel in your English class, then look for ways to go above and beyond your instructor’s expectations. If your instructor ever says that something is a good idea, but that it is optional, do it anyways. These extra assignments can help you to increase your knowledge and that may improve your grade. Some instructors even offer extra credit for completing optional assignments.[13]
    • For example, if you are assigned a short story and your instructor says it might be a good idea to get a little background on the story’s reception after you read it, then do it! If your instructor recommends flashcards as a good option for improving your vocabulary, then make some flashcards!
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Method 6
Method 6 of 6:

Passing Your English Tests

  1. Step 1 Study in short...
    Study in short sessions. Rather than staying up all night for one big cram session the night before a test, try studying in small sessions over the course of a week. Studying in smaller sessions will make it easier for you to retain the information that you take in and it will be less stressful for you as well.[14]
    • For example, if you have a test on Friday and you expect that you will need to study for about six hours to get a passing grade on the test, then break your study sessions into three two hours sessions over the course of the week.
    • Make sure that you take a short break every 45 minutes as well. Most people can’t concentrate for more than 45 minutes at a time, so taking a short break (about 5 to 10 mins) will help you to reset and stay focused.[15]
  2. Step 2 Attend any review sessions that are offered.
    Some instructors offer review sessions before an exam to go over the material that will be on the test. Make sure that you attend these sessions whenever they are offered.
    • It can be tempting to skip review classes, since it is a review of old material, but you will increase your chances of passing English if you attend.
  3. Step 3 Take a practice test.
    Before you take the actual test, taking a practice test may be beneficial. Try asking your instructor for some practice test questions to help you prepare or come up with some practice questions of your own. You can create a practice test based on your knowledge of what will be on the test.
    • When you take the practice test, make sure that you simulate an actual test environment. Put away your notes, books, etc. and time yourself. Check your answers when you are done and use your results to help you figure out what you need to spend more time studying.
  4. Step 4 Get a good night’s sleep before the test.
    Being well-rested is one of the best ways to ensure that you will be able to focus on a test. Make sure that you go to bed a bit earlier than usual the night before your English test.
    • For example, if your usual bedtime is 11pm, try going to bed at 10pm instead.
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