How To Write The GED Essay 2024 (Extended Response)

GED Essay
Picture of Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Chief of Content At Gradehacker

How to Write The GED Essay

The best strategy for writing the GED essay is:

If you want a clear example of what your GED essay should like like, later in this blog you’ll find a sample.

Struggling with GED prep? We’re here!

Book a free call for personalized support and a strategic plan to excel in your GED essay and studies.

If you are planning on taking the GED test, you’ll eventually have to pass the GED essay.

Also known as the extended response, this assignment tests your evidence-based writing skills, and it’s where many students get stuck. However, writing the GED essay is easier than most people make it out to be.

It just takes practice and patience. And with these tips, you’ll be able to ace the test in no time!

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional adult student’s most trusted resource. Earning a GED diploma is necessary to enroll in college or access better job opportunities. We want you to be capable of writing an entire essay that will clearly show that you are up to the task.

This guide will teach you how to write a GED essay and share the best tips to make your text stand out and meet the passing score.

What Is The GED Essay?

The GED test consists of four sections:

The Reasoning Through Language Arts exam mainly consists of multiple-choice questions but also includes the Extended Response assignment, where you have to write an essay from scratch from two passages they give you.

You’ll have 45 minutes to analyze these two texts, choose which argument presents strong evidence, and explain why each piece of evidence supports your point.

While this part only represents 20% of your Reasoning Through Language Arts exam score (meaning that you can pass the Language Arts writing test even if you perform poorly in this section), it’s key that you know how to create a well-written GED essay.

Since they are testing your analysis of arguments and writing skills, it’s your opportunity to prove that you have mastered the core elements of the entire Language Arts section.

Plus, if you are planning on pursuing a college degree, where knowing how to analyze texts and write an essay response is important, passing the GED extended response is key.

GED Essay

GED Essay Prompt

To pass the essay portion, you’ll have to read two different passages that talk about the same issue but take an opposite stance about it. Your task is to determine which position presented is better supported.

It doesn’t matter if you disagree with that position; you must defend and explain your decision using multiple pieces of evidence from the texts.

Regarding length, the essay prompt suggests that your response should be approximately four to seven paragraphs of three to seven sentences each, which should be a 300-500 word essay.

While there is no essay length requirement regarding the number of words, we recommend writing between 400 and 500.

GED Essay Sentence Structure

So, how do you write a GED extended response? Well, It has a structure similar to an argumentative essay.

  1. Introductory paragraph:

This should be a primary and short thesis statement where you clearly address which of the two passages is better supported.

  1. Body paragraphs: 

Consist of three or four body paragraphs where you formulate your thesis using the text’s information as your source.

  1. Conclusion paragraph:

As a final step, briefly summarize your argument and reiterate its importance. If this is not your forte, there are many conclusion tips that can help you!

How to Pass The GED Essay

Now that you understand the GED Extended Response and what you need to do, here is our essay writing guide.

You’ll find multiple tips throughout it, but essentially, to write a cohesive, well-constructed essay, you’ll have to follow this four-part strategy:

Write a Winning GED Essay

Fear poor writing no more. Book a free coaching call for expert advice and a strategic study plan.

Read the two passages (5 min)

The first step is to read both body passages thoroughly but quickly.

You need to understand what the topic is about, and while you read the text, highlight the statistics and factual data each author uses as support.

Remember that you can have differing views on your chosen side. Recognize which stance has better sources to defend your point, and explain why in your essay.

Analyze the data and create an outline (5 min)

Once you are done reading both texts and already highlighted all the essential information the authors use, you’ll need to analyze the evidence!

While ideally, you should recognize who supports their point better in the previous step, doing it in this part will be easier as you have all the factual data on sight.

Usually, the text with more information highlighted will be the one that defends its stance the best

So, the next thing you need to do is make an outline and write down your ideas. This way, you’ll have all the information organized to begin the most crucial part of the writing process.

Write your extended response essay (30 min)

And now, with evidence highlighted and an outline created, you are ready to start writing!

If you are going for the minimum and writing a 5-paragraph essay, you’ll need at least three major ideas to develop individually in separate paragraphs.

Stick to one idea per paragraph, and include one or two of your selected pieces of evidence from the texts to organize the information better and keep a good flow.

Remember to use connectors! However, nevertheless, furthermore, additionally, and more! These vital elements will help you introduce the reason for your argument at the beginning of each paragraph.

And just like with any essay, you must use formal and academic language, but remember to be concise and straightforward. It’s the content of what you write that’s important here, so choose your words wisely to show your English language knowledge.

Plus, remember that there’s no specific word count you need to meet.

Our own pro-tip here is to write the introductory paragraph last.

Because many students struggle and waste valuable minutes when trying to begin with the introduction, you can save extra time by explaining and defending your arguments first and writing the intro once you are done.

You’ll see how easy it will be to summarize the main issue and thesis statement once you’ve already developed your points.

Since the GED essay works very similarly to an argumentative paper, there are many more pro-tips you can learn in our guide on how to write an argumentative essay. So be sure to check it out!

Reread and edit your writing (5 min)

Before submitting your essay, you must read what you wrote, check for spelling errors, and ensure that your ideas are clearly understood.

Not editing your essay can be one of your most critical mistakes!

Remember they are testing your understanding of the English language and writing skills; handing in an essay with spelling mistakes, flawed evidence, or poorly structured text can make you lose valuable points.

For this part, it’s crucial you know the most common essay mistakes so you can avoid them!

Transform your adult college journey

Book a 30-min coaching call for free and find the personalized support and mentorship you deserve!

GED Essay Sample

Follow all of these tips, and you are guaranteed to pass the GED essay!

However, here you have a GED Testing Service’s essay example that perfectly explains how this assignment should be completed:

Mastering the GED Essay

Now you know how to write the GED essay!

Remember to follow our essay-writing strategy to pass the Language Arts section by demonstrating mastery of your writing skills.

You are more than capable of completing the GED test with the highest score and then applying to the best colleges to continue your educational journey.

Once you make it happen, don’t forget that if you ever need assistance with your essays or classes, Gradehacker is always here to help!

Picture of Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea is a curious and creative journalist who first helped many college students as a Gradehacker consultant in subjects like literature, communications, ethics, and business. Now, as a Content Creator in our blog, YouTube channel, and TikTok, he assists non-traditional students improve their college experience by sharing the best tips. You can find him on LinkedIn.