I use this assignment to help students prepare for a timed writing. I generally allow my students the class period prior to the timed writing to work in class. They may take this home for homework. This is the only paper they are allowed to use the following day in class. I use this assignment to help my Pre-AP students become comfortable with the timed writing experience they will face as AP students in future classes.
The first time I give this assignment I generally allow for two to three class periods (50 minutes) to work. This allows me time to guide the students through the process of analyzing the timed writing prompt in order to create a supported thesis statement for their essays. I generally spend the first day as whole class discussion with an example prompt. The second day I give the students the prompt they will respond to for the timed writing. At the end of the second day students may take the assignment home as homework. They are to come to class the third day with a thesis statement and at least on main point with supporting quotes. The third day is a continuation of the second day. It is also a progress/thesis check day. Students are allowed one more homework night to finish up. The following day is the timed writing. After two to three timed writing assignments, students the entire process is shortened to two days (one day prep, one day write).