Tackling the Essay Exam Question
Essay questions seek to evaluate how well a student is able to integrate facts and information into a coherent discussion. This means that professors expect a clear statement of a central thesis (usually the answer to the question prompt). In an essay exam, state this thesis as the first sentence. The body paragraphs of the essay test question consist of a clear and cogent development of that thesis drawn from insights and examples from course lectures and reading material. To answer essay questions successfully, consider these points:
Outline your essays before writing them.
Choose a simple, logical format for your essay.
What was Jesus’ favored phrase or title which he used to designate himself? Comment on its linguistic background, its OT and Second Temple Jewish context, its meaning for Jesus, and its relationship to the concept of the kingdom of God.
Notice that this essay prompt provides very detailed information about what the professor expects. A simple outline for this question might be as follows:
-Linguistic background of “Son of Man” (Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic)
Using this type of prompt as a guide makes structuring your essay fairly simple. However, not all essay questions provide this much specific guidance. In those cases, you will need to identify the important aspects of the topic and structure your essay accordingly.
Use clear, direct, and informative sentences, especially at the beginning of paragraphs.
There are three aspects to the transcendental argument. These are . . .
Unlike actual apologetic discourse, the essay question needs no finesse or embellishment. Simply demonstrate that you know the subject well enough to answer the question.
Utilize transition words and phrases to connect your ideas.
From a biblical theological perspective, another OT background to “Son of Man” involves seeing the term as representative of humanity—that is, as the seed Adam.
The underlined phrase clearly connects this paragraph to the prompt and to the preceding discussion (which in this case is the OT background of the title “Son of Man”).
Omit unnecessary introductory remarks, citation, and extraneous commentary.
Incorporate class notes and assigned reading in your essay.
As time permits, provide a one or two-sentence summary at the end of your question.
Other "Blue Book Exam" topics: