(Last Updated: March 27, 2018)

Essay questions require learners to compose their own answers rather than select answers from a list of possibilities. Let’s learn how to work with this question type in the below tutorial.

Overview of Essay Questions

An Essay question contains a multiple-line text box that allows learners to input text. At this point, don’t confuse this question type with Fill in Blank questions since the former has a text box with only one line.

Working with Essay Questions

Essay questions give learners the freedom to voice their opinions. Learners have to analyze, organize, plan, and express their answer. Besides, since there are no options to select from, guessing is eliminated.

Create Essay Questions

Now is the time to learn how to work with Essay questions in ActivePresenter.

Insert an Essay Question

An Essay question is inserted into your project as a new question slide. To insert it, do either of the following:

  • In the Interactions tab > Essay Working with Essay Questions.
  • In the Home tab > Interactions > Essay.

Then, you see a question slide like this.

Working with Essay Questions

An Essay question has three parts. The top text box is where to add the question title. The middle part contains a blank text box where learners type their answer. The third part has feedback messages and a Submit button.


  • An Essay question has only one blank text box. You can’t add any other text box.
  • To change the tab order value, first select the question. Then, access the Properties pane > Interactivity > General. For next steps, see Using Tab Order.

Customize an Essay Question

Here are some ways to customize the Essay question:

  • Resize the question: Select the whole question and drag the resizing handles. Or, access the Properties pane > Size & Properties > Transform > type values in the Width and Height boxes.
  • Edit text boxes: Free to format and style text boxes like you do with a normal text box. See Working with Text Boxes for more details.

Tip: To restore the default text box, right-click the question and select Reset Placeholder.

Set Correct Answers

The app provides two modes to create an Essay question: Survey and Graded. By default, the Survey mode is selected. In this mode, you can’t set correct answers and points for the question. These features are available only in the Graded mode.

To set correct answers, do the following:

Step 1: In the Properties pane > Interactivity > Score & Reporting. Select Graded from the Mode drop-down list (1).

Working with Essay Questions

Step 2: Look at the General section (above the Score & Reporting section). Click Add Value (2) to display a blank box. Then, type your answer into this box.

To delete the answer, click Remove (3).

Note: This technique isn’t widely used since it’s hard for learners to give the same answer as predefined one.


  • You can type anything to the box, from alphabet to special characters.
  • Apart from typing the answer, you can copy and paste text from other places to the box.

To set scores for the question, keep reading to find out.

Set Score & Reporting

The Score & Reporting section also includes some useful options to set score and reporting.

Working with Essay Questions

Consider these:

  • Case Sensitive: Select this option to make uppercase and lowercase characters to be treated differently. In other words, learners have to exactly enter each letter of a word as required.   
  • Variable: Define the variable to take place. See Understanding Variables for more details.

For more information, see Defining Score and Reporting for Interactive Questions.

Note: The Password Field option is unavailable for Essay questions since it supports short text only.  

Add Events – Actions

Like other question types, Essay questions also have default events and actions. But you can change them or make them more advanced as you wish.

To do that, first, select the question. Then, access the Properties pane > Interactivity > Events – Actions. If you’ve selected the Graded mode early on, this is what you’ll see.

Working with Essay Questions

Generally, events of an Essay question are the same as those of text box object. However, some events like On Text Enter, On Rollout, and On Rollover aren’t commonly used in creating Essay questions.

See Working with Events – Actions to learn more.

Insert Feedback Messages

The app offers default feedback messages for this question type. However, you’re free to remove or add messages if you want. So, you can show your feedback in the right place at the right time. See Working with Feedback Messages to get more details.

That’s it! From now on, don’t forget to use Essay questions when you want learners to give their opinions. If you need any help, feel free to contact us.