Category 4: The Timed Writing

An essay or essay examination written in class under supervised and timed conditions (fully developing the author's position and demonstrating knowledge of the subject).

Category Four is the only paper that should not be modified for submission. Your grade and any instructor comments must be erased, but no other edits are allowed. If your handwriting is unclear, you may type your essay and submit it with the original.

Essays completed electronically or in the office require a staff signature.

Your submission should respond to a single prompt for multiple pages in order to fit the category requirement of a fully developed essay. Essays completed in class or in a blue book do not require a signature.

If you do not have a timed writing that fits the expectations of the category or that you feel confident submitting, you can schedule an appointment at either location to write on any of the following prompts:

  • Select a twentieth century world, national, or local figure who has had an important influence in one area, such as politics, science, sports, or the arts. Explain the positive or negative impact of this person and give examples to support your view.
  • Individuals react differently to stress. Discuss several ways people deal with stress and indicate why such methods are either effective or ineffective.
  • What’s the wisest advice you’ve been given so far? Give examples of varied ways that advice has guided you through the years. Compare and contrast it to other words of wisdom that didn't help you.
  • As objectively scientific as we try to be, we cannot escape our own emotional and ethical responses to natural events, such as hurricanes, springtime, sunsets over the gulf, and death. Choose a natural event and write a narrative that recreates the event and your responses to it.
  • Select a word that has always bothered you or has had significant meaning in your life, personally, professionally, academically, or spiritually. Using your own experience, trace the development of this word’s meaning for you and compose an original definition.

To schedule an appointment, contact Margret Skaftadottir ( or 727-864-8363). You will be given 90 minutes to write an essay on an office computer, and you will be allowed to bring one 3X5 index card with no more than 4 lines of source or reference material. Source material is not required, but if included, it must be formatted in accordance with a recognized style.