The tenth grade writing assessment

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  • 1. The Tenth Grade Writing Assessment “ I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.” (Steve Martin)
  • 2. What to expect?
    • On Tuesday, all sophomores will take the N.C. 10 th Grade Writing Assessment. You will receive a prompt and directions, two blank pages, and you will have 100 minutes to complete your writing assignment.
  • 3. Two Kinds of Prompts…
    • Cause and Effect (You will be asked to identify EITHER causes or effects of an event or policy or idea. There will be a “data box” that will give you plenty of information. You may refer to or quote from these ideas.)
    • Extended Definition (You will be asked to write two pages on what a word MEANS. The data box will contain quotations to help give you ideas.)
  • 4. Format and Audience
    • The directions will give you a designated FORMAT, such as a letter, a speech, an article, or an essay.
    • The directions will also designate your AUDIENCE, who may be your classmates, the school board, your principal, etc. Good writing always shows an awareness of audience.
  • 5. You will be graded on…
    • FOCUS
    • ORGANIZATION
    • ELABORATION
    • STYLE
    • CONVENTIONS
  • 6. FOCUS
    • Write on the topic assigned in the prompt.
    • Keep your writing unified. This test is not the place for stream of consciousness. 
    • Make sure you aim attention in each paragraph to the main topic.
  • 7. ORGANIZATION
    • Your paper should have an introduction, body, and conclusion.
    • You should have a thesis statement in your introduction that gives the main idea of your paper.
    • Every paragraph needs a topic sentence and a closing or transition sentence.
    • There should be a logical flow to your ideas.
  • 8. ELABORATION
    • In your body paragraphs, you need to explain your ideas by adding details and examples to help your reader “see” your thoughts.
    • Think of these phrases: for example, for instance, in particular, specifically…
    • Use the ideas or quotations in the prompt if you want, but attribute them appropriately.
    • “ Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing…Words are your paint. Use all the colors.” (Rhys Alexander)
  • 9. STYLE
    • Style includes your vocabulary, sentence structure, and “voice”. Metaphors or similes can make your writing more interesting.
    • “ Let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write…” (John Jakes)
  • 10. CONVENTIONS
    • Conventions include appropriate spelling, punctuation, and following basic rules of grammar.
    • Conventions are a courtesy to your reader so that your ideas can be understood.
    • A few mistakes in conventions will not result in a failing grade if you have focus, organization, and elaboration.
  • 11. TIPS FOR SUCCESS
    • Read the prompt several times. “Dissect” it by underlining or highlighting key words. Everything you need will be included in the prompt or directions. Even if you are asked to define a word you don’t know, the meaning of that word will be in the prompt information.
  • 12. TIPS FOR SUCCESS
    • Pre-write. Whether you use an outline, a cluster, a list, or any other method that works for you, planning your paper makes a huge difference in organization.
    • Use all of your space. Graders expect you to use two pages.
  • 13. TIPS FOR SUCCESS
    • If you experience panic or text anxiety, go back and re-read the prompt and directions. Everything you need will be there.
    • If you have trouble with concluding your paper, try answering this question: Why is it important to think about the meaning of this word? Or why is it important to think about the effects of this event?
  • 14.
    • “ A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination…”
    • (William Faulkner)