Writing the taks narrative


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Writing the taks narrative

  1. 1. Writing the TAKS Essay Exit-Level ELA TAKS March 3 rd , 2010
  2. 2. What is the TAKS essay? <ul><li>It is the writing portion of the ELA TAKS test </li></ul><ul><li>It follows the Reading portion, after the three OERs </li></ul><ul><li>The prompt is thematically connected to the literature and visual in the Reading portion </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do I have to write? <ul><li>The most popular way to approach the TAKS essay is by writing a personal narrative essay  a form of writing in which the writer relates an event, incident, or experience in his or her own life. </li></ul><ul><li>The personal narrative incorporates vivid descriptive details as well as the thoughts,  feelings, and reactions of the writer. </li></ul>
  4. 4. How do I write it? <ul><li>Use first person POV </li></ul><ul><li>Write from what you know! </li></ul><ul><li>Be specific…NAME the characters, places, and things…eliminate vague generalities (i.e.-everyone, anybody, someone, we, you) </li></ul><ul><li>Use vivid active verbs </li></ul><ul><li>Focus and narrow the story to the real story – hover over the action </li></ul><ul><li>Use authentic voice – eliminate street language (“cuz”, “dat”, “thru”, “2”, “til” etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Create smooth transitions…avoid “First, we…”, “Second, we…” </li></ul>
  5. 5. SHOW don’t TELL <ul><li>Some sentences just simply tell the reader information </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLE – </li></ul><ul><li>The man was really old and walked slowly. </li></ul><ul><li>Let your words create a picture in the reader’s mind </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLE – </li></ul><ul><li>A frail, stooped man with paper-thin skin shuffled along slowly in front of me. </li></ul>Give the reader the opportunity to imagine it for themselves and engage in your writing.
  6. 6. How do I structure my essay? <ul><li>Begin with an introduction that includes purpose and motivation for the action as well as the characters, setting and time </li></ul><ul><li>Build the body of the text around the ideas you presented in the introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Finish the essay with an insightful and meaningful conclusion ; reflect on what you learned from the experience </li></ul>
  7. 7. Of course, don’t forget… <ul><li>to use correct punctuation and spelling! </li></ul><ul><li>to develop sentences </li></ul><ul><li>No 1-pagers </li></ul><ul><li>evoke a reader response for the highest score…not just tears… </li></ul>
  8. 8. How is the essay scored? <ul><li>On a scale of 0 – 4 (“4” being the highest score) </li></ul><ul><li>You must score a “2” or higher in order to pass the entire ELA TAKS test </li></ul>
  9. 9. What qualifies as a “1”? <ul><li>Focus and Coherence </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Incomplete or extra information that is off subject </li></ul><ul><li>You aren’t clear about what you’re saying about the prompt </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Few/no transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas are hard to follow </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of Development </li></ul><ul><li>You give 1+ ideas but don’t develop </li></ul><ul><li>You just list ideas, and the reader can’t understand them </li></ul><ul><li>You leave out information, creating gaps that make it hard to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t seem to care about your ideas, so the reader can’t either </li></ul><ul><li>No personality </li></ul><ul><li>Conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Your writing does not show the reader you can correctly spell or capitalize, and you have many errors in grammar, usage, and sentence structure that make it really hard to read </li></ul>
  10. 10. What qualifies as a “2”? <ul><li>Focus and Coherence </li></ul><ul><li>Has some focus but may shift quickly from idea to idea </li></ul><ul><li>Some sense of completeness, but has extra information that doesn’t make your writing clearer or more interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Need better transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Weak organization and/or too many repeated ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of Development </li></ul><ul><li>You make lists of ideas and don’t explain them much </li></ul><ul><li>You write one or more ideas and try to develop them, but you don’t write from the heart about them </li></ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul><ul><li>In some places you make the reader feel like they know you, but you don’t keep it up </li></ul><ul><li>Some parts are real/original, but the reader has no sense of your personality </li></ul><ul><li>Conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Many spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, usage, and sentence structure errors that make it harder for me to follow your ideas </li></ul>
  11. 11. What qualifies as a “3”? <ul><li>Focus and Coherence </li></ul><ul><li>Most parts are focused </li></ul><ul><li>Clear links between ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Most of your writing is good quality </li></ul><ul><li>The introduction and conclusion add focus </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Sentences and paragraphs are smoothly linked to each other </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly good organization </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of Development </li></ul><ul><li>Good, clear ideas; most are elaborated </li></ul><ul><li>Try to develop all ideas, but some are more developed than others </li></ul><ul><li>You seem to be afraid to take risks and write from the heart </li></ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul><ul><li>The reader feels connected to you through most of your writing </li></ul><ul><li>Sounds mostly real and original </li></ul><ul><li>You let your personality come through </li></ul><ul><li>Conventions </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly good spelling, capitalization, punctuation, usage, grammar, and sentence structure. Your few, small mistakes don’t get in the way of your writing </li></ul>
  12. 12. What qualifies as a “4”? <ul><li>Focus and Coherence </li></ul><ul><li>Focused! Ideas fit together to form a while </li></ul><ul><li>Good intro. and conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Good overall quality </li></ul><ul><li>Most writing, if not all, leads to the end </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Sentences and paragraphs are smoothly linked to each other </li></ul><ul><li>Your PLAN makes your ideas clear </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of Development </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas are clear with lots of elaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Your ideas are shared in a thoughtful/wise manner </li></ul><ul><li>You aren’t afraid to take risks, to write from your heart, to weave in your experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Your writing sounds real and original </li></ul><ul><li>The reader feels like they know you when they read your writing </li></ul><ul><li>Conventions </li></ul><ul><li>No problems with mechanics at all </li></ul><ul><li>You take some chances by writing at high levels, but any errors in doing this doesn’t take away from your paper </li></ul>
  13. 13. Before you begin… <ul><li>Read the prompt a couple of times </li></ul><ul><li>Have a plan…Brainstorm about ideas that you could use to address the prompt </li></ul><ul><li>Create an outline or write a draft before you put your pencil to the essay paper </li></ul>
  14. 14. When you’re done… <ul><li>PROOFREAD!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Make any corrections </li></ul><ul><li>If you aren’t sure about spelling of a word, use the dictionary!!! </li></ul>