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The Georgia Writing Assessments. Why are the writing assessments in Georgia changing?. When the Quality Core Curriculum was replaced by the Georgia Performance Standards , it became necessary to review all the statewide assessments in order to align them with the new performance standards.

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The Georgia Writing Assessments


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Why are the writing assessments in Georgia changing?

  • When the Quality Core Curriculum was replaced by the Georgia Performance Standards, it became necessary to review all the statewide assessments in order to align them with the new performance standards.

  • In March 2005, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) held focus groups with educators from around the state to discuss what they liked/disliked in the current writing assessment program. Educators made recommendations about all aspects of the current assessment. One of the recommendations was more consistency in the writing assessments across grades 3, 5, 8, and 11.

  • Teachers from every part of the state came together to develop the scoring rubrics, the writing topics, the administration conditions, and the performance levels for the new assessment based on the Georgia Performance Standards.


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Major Changes to the Georgia Writing Assessment

  • Analytic Scoring


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Previous Writing Assessments

Grade 3: teacher scored; one score for entire portfolio

Grade 5: rater scored; one score for entire paper

Grades 8 and 11: rater scored; multiple scores for each paper (analytic)

Current Writing Assessments

Grade 3: teacher scored; each paper in the portfolio is given a score in Ideas, Organization, Style and Conventions.

Grades 5, 8, 11: rater scored; each paper is given a score in Ideas, Organization, Style and Conventions.

Changes in How the Writing Assessments are Scored: The Score Scale

Introduction: Scoring Information


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5th, 8th, and 11th Grade Writing Assessments

Weight

Ideas 2

Organization 1

Style 1

Conventions 1

Weighting of Domains (except grade 3)Weighting means that the scores in some writing domains will be given more weight than others in determining the total score that a student receives.

Introduction: Scoring Information


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Weighting of Domain ScoresWeighting means that the scores in some writing domains will be given more weight than others in determining the total score that a student receives.

Introduction: Scoring Information


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Domain Score to Total Weighted Raw Score Conversion

The following table indicates the total weighted raw scores for several domain score combinations. Two raters score each student paper, assigning a score of 1-5 in each of the four domains. The range of total weighted raw scores is 10 – 50.

Introduction: Scoring Information


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Raw Score to Scale Score Conversion


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Scale Score Range


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Performance Level Descriptors for GHSWT

Introduction: Scoring Information


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The Rubrics (the details for which your students are held accountable)

  • The Rubric: Top to Bottom

  • Overview of Score Points 1 – 5: Five Levels of Competence


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Using the New Scoring Rubric:The Rubric Top to Bottom

Domain Title and Overview

Domain Components

Level of Competence

Score Point Descriptions (1-5)

Rubrics


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Genre AwarenessThe degree to which the writer selects ideas, an organizational plan, and stylistic devices that are appropriate to the genre of writing.

Ideas


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Overview of Score Points 1-5Five Levels of Competence

Score: 1

Lack of Control

(of the elements of the domain)

Score: 2

Minimal Control

(of the elements of the domain)

Score: 3

Sufficient Control

(of the elements of the domain)

Score: 4

Consistent Control

(of the elements of the domain)

Score: 5

Full Command

(of the elements of the domain)

GREEN = The degree to which the writer demonstrates control of the components.

Rubrics


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Writing Topics (Prompts)

  • Sample Writing Topic (Prompt)

  • Understanding the Writing Topic

  • Planning tips


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Persuasive Writing Topic

Writing Situation

Your teacher just posted the sign below. What animal do you think would be the best classroom pet? Why?

Directions for Writing

Write a letter to persuade your teacher to buy the pet of your choice for the classroom.

WANTED:

Classroom Pet


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The Writing Checklist

StudentWriting Checklist for Persuasive Writing

Prepare Yourself to Write

  • Read the Writing Situation and Directions for Writing carefully.

  • Brainstorm for ideas.

  • Consider how to address your audience.

  • Decide what ideas to include and how to organize them.

  • Write only in English.

    Make Your Paper Meaningful

  • Use your knowledge and/or personal experiences that are related to the topic.

  • Express a clear point of view.

  • Fully support your position with specific details, examples, and convincing reasons.

  • Include an appeal to logic and/or emotions.

  • Organize your ideas in a clear and logical order.

  • Write a persuasive paper and stay on topic.

    Make Your Paper Interesting to Read

  • Use examples and details that would be convincing to your audience.

  • Use appropriate voice that shows your interest in the topic.

  • Use precise, descriptive, vivid words.

  • Vary the type, structure, and length of your sentences.

  • Use effective transitions.

    Edit and Revise Your Paper

  • Consider rearranging your ideas and changing words to make your paper better.

  • Add additional information or details to make your paper complete.

  • Proofread your paper for usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

Writing Topics


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Planning = Focus = Success

1) Animals I am most interested in:_______

(pick one)

2) Reasons I think it would make a good classroom pet:_______________

(pick a few of the best reasons)

3) Why these are good reasons?


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For Example (during planning/prewriting)

1) --Hamster --Dog

--Snake--Rabbit

--Parrott--Piranha

2) Reasons it would make a good class pet:

--They are so cool --They are easy to care for --They don’t make much noise

--They don’t stink

  • Why are these good reasons?

    --They are so cool because they: tear creatures twice their size to shreds; they have huge teeth that stick out of their mouths, making them look so scary; their fins and scales have amazing colors and patterns.

    --It’s important that they don’t stink because stinky animals could be a real distraction: when we’re trying to learn; when we’re taking a test; when we’re eating a birthday snack on someone’s birthday.


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Ideas

  • The Components of Ideas

  • Controlling Idea

  • Depth of Development

  • Five Levels of Development

  • Sense of Completeness

  • Reader Concerns


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The Components of Ideas

Ideas: The degree to which the writer establishes a controlling idea and elaborates the main points with examples, illustrations, facts, or details that are appropriate to the assigned genre.

Ideas


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Controlling Idea

An effective controlling idea:

  • Serves as the focus of the paper

  • Ties all of the information in the paper to the assigned writing topic and genre

  • Helps the reader understand the writer’s purpose:

    • Informational: “What is the writer describing or explaining?”

    • Persuasive: “What is the writer convincing me to think or do?”

    • Narrative: “What story is the writer telling?”

    • Response to Literature: “How is the writer making connections between the text / him or herself / the world?

  • May be directly stated but is usually implied

Ideas


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Depth of Development: the key to Ideas

Controlling Idea (Focus)

Relevant Supporting Ideas

Major Details

Specific Examples

And Elaboration

Ideas


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Example of Depth of Developmentin a Paragraph (Persuasive)

Our class should definitely choose a piranha .

Controlling Idea:

Sample Body Paragraph

Piranhas are the coolest fish in the world.They are amazing eaters. They can tear animals twice their size to shreds.I once saw a show on the Discovery Channel. It showed how this bird was sitting on top of the water and about a zillion piranhas attacked its feet, took it underwater and devoured it. Wow! They also have these neat features. Their teeth stick out of their mouth, and their scales and fins have a greenish grey design. Every kid in the class would want to sit and look at our piranha for hours. You could let the kids who had good attendance and homework grades spend extra time with it.

Supporting Idea

Major Details

Specific Details and Examples

Ideas


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Examples of Depth of Development: Score Points 1 & 2: Persuasive Writing

Ideas Score 2Topic: Class Pet

Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. Let me tell you why.

They are so cool. They have huge teeth. They have neat colors and fins. Everyone will want to look at it.

Also, they aren’t that hard to take care of. We just need to feed it and change its water. We could take turns doing these things.

They aren’t that expensive. We can all donate some money and pay for it with no problem.

They don’t smell. Smelly animals are a problem.

We could name him Fred. Everyone would love him. I think we should ask Dr. Phelps if we can get one.

Ideas Score 1Topic: Class Pet

Piranhas would make good class pets. They are so cool. They aren’t that hard to take care of. They aren’t that expensive. They don’t smell. We could name him Fred. Everyone would love him.

Ideas


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Example of Depth of Development in Score Point 3: Persuasive Writing

Ideas Score 3Topic: Class Pet

Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. Let me tell you why.

They are so cool. Did you know they have huge teeth? Yeah, they stick out of their mouths. They have neat colors and fins.Their scales are grey and green.Everyone will want to look at it.

Also, they aren’t that hard to take care of.We just need to feed it and change its water.They eat worms, which are not expensive.We could take turns buying the worms.You could assign different students to feed it every day and change its water once a month.

They aren’t that expensive.We can all donate some money and pay for it with no problem.

They don’t smell.Smelly animals are a problem. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal.So we shouldn’t get ahamster or a bird, we should get a piranha instead.

We could name him Fred. Everyone would love him. I think we should ask Dr. Phelps if we can get one.

Ideas


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Example of Depth of Development in Score Point 4: Persuasive Writing

Ideas Score 3Topic: Class Pet

I know that you’re interested in getting a class pet. There are a bunch of different choices, but I think I have one everybody can agree on. We have studied piranhas in science class, and you know how everyone thought they were amazing. Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. Let me tell you why.

They are so cool. Did you know they have huge teeth? Yeah, they have four of them that stick out of their mouths. Because piranhas are carnivores, these huge teeth help them devour their prey. They also have neat colors and fins.Their scales are grey and green.Everyone will want to look at it.

Also, they aren’t that hard to take care of.We just need to feed it and change its water.They eat worms, which are not expensive.The pet store by my house sells worms for a penny a piece, so feeding our piranha will be cheap. They eat about ten per day. Ten cents per day is nothing.We could take turns buying the worms.A different students each week could buy them and bring them in.

They don’t smell.Smelly animals are a problem. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. Think about the times when we have to take a test. Everyone will fail if they keep getting whiffs of hamster chips or bird droppings. Therefore, we should get a piranha instead.

We could name him Fred. Everyone would love him. I think we should ask Dr. Phelps if we can get one.

Ideas


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Example of Depth of Developmentin Score Point 5: Persuasive Writing

Ideas Score: 5Topic: Class Pet

I know that you’re interested in getting a class pet. There are a bunch of different choices, but I think I have one everybody can agree on. We have studied piranhas in science class, and you know how everyone thought they were amazing. Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. Let me tell you why.

Piranhas are the coolest fish in the world.They are amazing eaters. They can tear animals twice their size to shreds. I once saw a show on the Discovery Channel. It showed how this bird was sitting on top of the water and about ten piranhas attacked its feet, took it underwater and devoured it. Wow! Not only that; they also have these neat features. Their teeth stick out of their mouth, and their scales and fins have a greenish grey design. Every kid in the class would want to sit and look at our piranha for hours. You could let the kids who had good attendance and homework grades spend extra time with it.

Also, they aren’t that hard to take care of.We just need to feed it and change its water.They eat worms, which are not expensive.The pet store by my house sells worms for a penny a piece, so feeding our piranha will be cheap. They eat about ten per day. Ten cents per day is nothing.We could take turns buying the worms.A different students each week could buy them and bring them in. The student who buys the worms gets to feed the piranha.

Did I mention that they don’t smell.Smelly animals are a problem. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal.Think about when we’re trying to take a test. Everyone would fail.They would be too annoyed by the foul aroma ofhamster chips or bird droppings. The class pet should be a joy, not an aggravation.

We could name him Fred, or we could take a class vote. Everyone would love him. I think we should ask Dr. Phelps if we can get one. He may say that piranhas are dangerous, but if we got our parents’ permission, there should be no problem. We would be the coolest class in the school.

Ideas


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The Bottom Line in Ideas

  • The more SPECIFIC the development, the better.

  • Specificity is a phenomena that few college students and adults exhibit.

  • Like anything, getting specific takes practice. Here’s a simple drill:

    Put this paragraph (or any paragraph lacking in development) on an overhead projector, Smart Board, etc:

    They don’t smell.Smelly animals are a problem. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal.So we shouldn’t get ahamster or a bird, we should get a piranha instead.

    Brainstorm with your students: how could these ideas be developed more specifically?

Ideas


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Organization

  • The Components of Organization

  • Types of Organizational Patterns

  • Effective Organization

  • Introduction-Body-Conclusion

  • Sequencing of Ideas

  • Grouping of Ideas

  • Transitions

  • Genre Specific Organizational Strategies

  • Formulaic Writing

    • Sample of Formulaic Writing

      10. Organization Drills


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The Components of Organization

Organization: The degree to which a writer’s ideas are arranged in a clear order and the overall structure of the response is consistent with the assigned genre.

Organization


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Types of Organizational Patterns

  • Chronological Order of Events

  • Comparison/Contrast

  • Spatial Order

  • Order of Importance of Ideas

  • Problem/Solution

  • Cause/Effect Order

  • Classification Order

  • Definition/Description

Organization


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Effective Organization

  • The organizing strategy is appropriate to the writer’s topic and genre and guides the reader through the text.

  • Ideas are sequenced and grouped appropriately and logically.

  • The introduction sets the stage for the writer’s controlling idea.

  • The conclusion provides a sense of closure without repetition.

  • Transitioning is used to connect ideas within paragraphs and across parts of the paper.

Organization


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Introduction-Body-Conclusion

Introduction: Sets the stage for the development of the writer’s ideas and is consistent with the purpose of the paper.

Body: Includes details and examples that support the controlling idea

Conclusion:Signals the reader that the paper is coming to a close

Organization


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Grouping of Ideas

  • In order to effectively group ideas in a piece of writing, the writer must first understand the logical relationships between the ideas that support the controlling idea.

  • Grouping ideas within paragraphs is not the same as formatting paragraphs. Grouping involves the logical presentation of ideas rather than simply indenting to indicate the beginning of a paragraph.

  • Even if a writer fails to correctly format paragraphs, ideas may still be grouped logically.

Organization


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Ideas Grouped Logically

I think we should have a hamster as our class pet. A hamster will make a good pet because they are cute, they won’t cause any trouble, and they are easy to take care of. I hope you will let us have a hamster as a pet.

We should have a hamster is because they are cute. All the kids will like playing with a cute hamster. They aren’t scary like a spider or a snake. The have soft fur that makes them cuddly. Everyone will want to hold it.

Hamsters also won’t cause any trouble. We can keep it in its cage while we are doing our work. We won’t hear it at all. It’s not like it barks like a dog or makes a lot of noise.

Finally, they are easy to take care of. You just give it some food and water each day, and clean its cage once a month. We can make a schedule of people to do these jobs. I think everyone will want to help.

I hope you agree with my reasons for having a hamster as a class pet.

Organization


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Sequencing of Ideas

Sequencing: The way the writer orders the ideas of the paper to implement the overall plan. Clear sequencing helps the reader understand the writer’s ideas.

Effective sequencing: Ideas build logically on one another and lead the reader through the paper.

Ineffective sequencing: The ideas may have little relationship to one another and could be presented in any order.

Organization


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Ineffective Sequencing

Piranhas are so cool. They have huge teeth. Their cool green scales and fins are awesome. The swim around at incredible speeds. Their big teeth are useful for devouring their prey. I think we should name him Fred.


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Effective Sequencing

Piranhas are the coolest fish in the world.They are amazing eaters. They can tear animals twice their size to shreds. I once saw a show on the Discovery Channel. It showed how this bird was sitting on top of the water and about ten piranhas attacked its feet, took it underwater and devoured it. Wow! They also have these neat features. Their teeth stick out of their mouth, and their scales and fins have a greenish grey design. Every kid in the class would want to sit and look at our piranha for hours. You could let the kids who had good attendance and homework grades spend extra time with it. (Persuasive).


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TransitionsMaking Connections Between Ideas

  • Transitions lead the reader through the paper by linking parts of the paper and ideas within paragraphs.

  • Transitions are used between sentences, between paragraphs, and within sentences and within paragraphs

  • Transitions can signal the type of relationships between ideas

  • May be explicit or implicit

    • May be a single word, a pronoun, a phrase, or a logical linking of ideas

    • Explicit transitional words: for instance, consequently

    • Implicit transitional devices: synonym and pronoun substitution, moving from general to specific or from specific to general

Organization


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Transitions in Action

Piranhas are the coolest fish in the world. They are amazing eaters. They can tear animals twice their size to shreds. I once saw a show on the Discovery Channel. It showed how this bird was sitting on top of the water and about ten piranhas attacked its feet, took it underwater and devoured it. Wow! Not only that; they also have these neat features. Their teeth stick out of their mouth, and their scales and fins have a greenish grey design.Every kid in the class would want to sit and look at our piranha for hours. You could let the kids who had good attendance and homework grades spend extra time with it.

Organization


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Genre-Specific Organizational Strategies

Organization


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Formulaic Writing

Characteristics of A Formulaic Paper

  • The writer announces his or her thesis and three supporting ideas in the opening paragraph

  • The writer restates one of the supporting ideas to begin each of the three body paragraphs

  • The writer repeats or restates his/her controlling idea and supporting points in the final paragraph.

  • Entire sentences may be copied verbatim from the introduction, used as topic sentences in each of the body paragraphs, and repeated in the conclusion.

Organization


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Example of Formulaic Writing in Persuasive Writing

Organization Score: 2Topic: Class Pet

Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. First, they are cool. Second, they aren’t hard to take care of. Third, they aren’t expensive. Finally, they don’t smell.

The first reason piranhas would make class pets is because they are cool. They have huge teeth that stick out of their mouths. They have neat colors and fins. Their scales are grey and green. As you can see, piranhas are cool.

The second reason piranhas would make good class pets is because they aren’t that hard to take care of. We just need to feed it and change its water. They eat worms, which are not expensive. We could take turns buying the worms. Taking care of it will be is easy.

The third reason piranhas would make good class pets is because they aren’t that expensive. We can all donate some money and pay for it with no problem. It won’t be expensive having a piranha.

The final reason piranhas would make a good class pet is because don’t smell. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal. So, we should get a piranha because they don’t smell.

In conclusion, piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. First, they are cool. Second, they aren’t hard to take care of. Third, they aren’t expensive. Finally, they don’t smell. Thanks for listening. Bye!

.

Ideas


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Repetition in Formulaic Writing

Organization Score: 2Topic: Class Pet

Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. First, they are cool. Second, they aren’t hard to take care of. Third, they aren’t expensive. Finally, they don’t smell.

The first reason piranhas would make class pets is because they are cool. They have huge teeth that stick out of their mouths. They have neat colors and fins. Their scales are grey and green. As you can see, piranhas are cool.

The second reason piranhas would make good class pets is because they aren’t that hard to take care of. We just need to feed it and change its water. They eat worms, which are not expensive. We could take turns buying the worms. Taking care of it will be is easy.

The third reason piranhas would make good class pets is because they aren’t that expensive. We can all donate some money and pay for it with no problem. It won’t be expensive having a piranha.

The final reason piranhas would make a good class pet is because don’t smell. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal. So, we should get a piranha because they don’t smell.

In conclusion, piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. First, they are cool. Second, they aren’t hard to take care of. Third, they aren’t expensive. Finally, they don’t smell. Thanks for listening. Bye!

.

Ideas


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Formulaic Elements but better

Organization Score: 3Topic: Class Pet

Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. First, they are cool. Second, they aren’t hard to take care of. Third, they aren’t expensive. Finally, they don’t smell.

They are so cool. Did you know they have huge teeth? Yeah, they stick out of their mouths. They have neat colors and fins. Their scales are grey and green. Everyone will want to look at it.

Also, they aren’t that hard to take care of. We just need to feed it and change its water. They eat worms, which are not expensive. We could take turns buying the worms. You could assign different students to feed it every day and change its water once a month.

They aren’t that expensive. We can all donate some money and pay for it with no problem.

They don’t smell. Smelly animals are a problem. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal. So we shouldn’t get a hamster or a bird, we should get a piranha instead.

In conclusion, piranhas would make good class pets. We could name him Fred. I’m sure Dr. Phelps would approve if we got our parents’ permission. Thanks for listening. Bye!

.

Ideas


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The Bottom Line in Organization

  • An overall formulaic plan is inappropriate because of repetition.

  • Formulaic elements are not the same as an overall formulaic plan, but better writers do not use them at all.

    A great technique to use to help writers eliminate repetition is to have them write the body of the paper first. Then, they can write the introduction and the conclusion, but they cannot say anything in the introduction and the conclusion that was said in the body of the paper.

Ideas


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Try the Org. Drill

  • Have student write the body of the paper first.

  • Then, they can write the intro and conclusion, trying out the strategies covered in the next several slides.


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Introductions: What NOT to do

Repeat or barely paraphrase the writing topic.

“Everyone is good at something even if it’s school, sports, games, or things at home.”

Formula thesis and three supporting points that gives away all the writer’s ideas and requires the writer to be able to restate the thesis and major supporting points in order to move beyond score point 2.

“If I was given a choice to live in the past or present, I would have to pick present. The first reason I would live in the present is because we have cars to get around in. the second reason I would choose the present is because we have electronics. The third reason I would pick the present is because we have better entertainment.”


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Types of Introductions That Invite the Reader In and/or Provide a Preview

  • Thought-provoking Questions

  • Description that Makes the Reader Wonder What’s Coming Next

  • Directly Addressing the Reader

  • Moving from the Broad Topic to the Writer’s Subject

  • Brief personal narrative (anecdote)

    F. Compelling Statement


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Sample Introduction: A Lead that Invites the Reader In

A. Thought-Provoking Questions

“Can you imagine what it was like not to have indoor plumbing or electricity?”

“Have you ever wondered what your parents or your teacher looked like when they were kids?”

“Have you ever wanted to learn something new?”

“Have you ever been the President for a day?”


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Sample Introduction: A Lead that Invites the Reader In

B. Description that Makes the Reader Wonder What’s Coming Next

“Close your eyes and imagine life without a t.v., computer, phone, or i-pod. Now open them quick. That was scary. But think if that was your life everyday.”

“Beep! Boom! Honk! The city is filled with ear shaking noises and sounds.”


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Sample Introduction: A Lead that Invites the Reader In

C. Directly Addressing the Reader

“Would you rather live in the present or the past?”

“Help! Help me! I’m getting sucked into the past.”

“What would you wear back in time?”

“To know how to snorkel you need to know how to swim. So I’m going to tell you how to do them both.”

“Are you wondering what I’m good at? Well, you’ve come to the right pencil.”


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Sample Introduction: A Lead that Invites the Reader In

D. Moving from the Broad Topic to the Writer’s Subject.

“Everyone has a plan for their life. Some people plan to be writers. Some people plan to go to college. Some people want to be athletes. Some people plan to be doctors. It all depends on what they’re good at. I’m good at a lot of things. My main talent is dancing. I got all of my talents from my brother.”


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Sample Introduction: A Lead that Invites the Reader In

E. Brief Narrative Related to the Topic

“I was three when I started kicking a soccer ball and running up and down a field. Well, it didn’t exactly work out for me. I was too good of a listener. The coach would tell me to stand somewhere and my feet were glued to that spot the whole entire game. I didn’t even budge or kick the ball, even if it was right in front of me.”

(topic: Something you do well)


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Sample Introduction:A Lead that Invites the Reader In

F. Compelling Statement

“I know I love being able to flip a switch and have a light come on instead of lighting a candle, or get into a car and turn a key and be off instead of hitching a horse and buggy.”


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Types of Conclusions:An Ending that Provides Closure

  • Compelling Statement

  • Summary of Key Points without Repetition

  • Reminder of Personal Connections the Reader Has to the Topic

  • Questions for the Reader to Think About

  • New but Related Issues for the Reader to Think About

  • Plan for the Future


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Sample ConclusionAn Ending that Provides Closure

  • Compelling Statement

    “In the present, you also don’t have big wars that might destroy your house or worse, destroy you.”

    “In the present, we are more modern, unique, and civilized.”


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Sample ConclusionAn Ending that Provides Closure

B. Summary of Key Points without Repetition

“That is how I learned to play soccer. It is a challenging and exciting sport. Learning how to play was fun, but now that I know how to play soccer, it is way more fun. Even though I am not a beginner anymore, I still like the clunk of the cones being put down at soccer practice and the swoosh of the soccer balls flying over my head. Learning soccer was a great experience.”


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Sample ConclusionAn Ending that Provides Closure

C. Reminder of Personal Connections

the Reader Has to the Topic

“Make sure you charge your video game overnight. That’s how it gets its energy. But that doesn’t mean you should charge it every second. Also you might want to get some kinds of covers or shields so the game doesn’t get scratched if it falls. That way it can be safe. Enjoy your games!


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Sample ConclusionAn Ending that Provides Closure

D. Questions for the Reader to Think About

“Would you like to live in a sod house or a nice beautiful stone house? In the sod house you would get snakes, bugs, and more bugs.”


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Sample ConclusionAn Ending that Provides Closure

E. New but Related Issues for the Reader to Think About

“I’d rather live in the present than the past, but the future might be great too. The technology will probably keep improving and getting smaller. What seems brand new today may be old in 10 years. We may be able to go to the moon for summer vacation. We may have cars that fly. We may not have to go to school to learn. That would be better than the present!”


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Sample Conclusion An Ending that Provides Closure

F. Plan for the Future

“My dream is to join the Major League Baseball Association. To do that, I’ll have to try out in about 11 years. Boy, I have a lot of time! Until then, I’ll just keep practicing until I’m like Chipper Jones or Alex Rodriguez. Practice makes perfect!”


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Style

  • The Components of Style

  • Word Choice

    • Levels of Language

    • Types of Language

  • Audience Awareness and Tone

  • Voice

  • Sentence Variety

  • Genre Appropriate Strategies


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The Components of Style

Style: The degree to which the writer controls language to engage the reader.

Style


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Word Choice

  • Effective word choice is determined on the basis of subject matter (topic), audience, and purpose.

  • Word choice establishes the tone and voice of a piece of writing.

  • Word choice involves more than the “correct” dictionary meaning of a word.

  • Word choice goes beyond precision to include the connotations (the associations, meanings, or emotions a word suggests) of words.

Style


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Persuasive Writing Topic

Writing Situation

Your teacher just posted the sign below. What animal do you think would be the best classroom pet? Why?

Directions for Writing

Write a letter to persuade your teacher (audience) to buy the pet of your choice for the classroom (topic / purpose).

WANTED:

Classroom Pet


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Genre Appropriate Strategies

Style


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Levels of Language

Style


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Voice

  • A writer establishes a clear voice through effective, engaging word choice.

  • A paper that demonstrates voice conveys a strong sense of the person behind the words and the person’s attitude toward the topic:

    Did I mention that they don’t smell. Smelly animals are a problem. Nobody wants to have a stinky classroom. It would be hard to learn if we were distracted by an animal. Think about when we’re trying to take a test. Everyone would fail. They would be too annoyed by the foul aroma of hamster chips or bird droppings. The class pet should be a joy, not an aggravation.

Style


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Audience Awareness and Tone

  • Audience Awareness refers to the ways a writer can make an impression on or engage the reader.

    • Because a piece of writing is created to be read, an effective writer attempts to create a relationship with his or her audience.

    • The effective writer anticipates what the audience will find interesting or engaging.

  • Tone refers to the attitude a writer expresses toward the reader, the subject, and sometimes himself/herself. It reveals how the writer feels about what he or she is saying.

    • To be effective, tone must be consistent with the writer’s purpose.

    • Tone is established through choice of words and details.

    • Some of the techniques used to engage the audience vary by genre, but all pieces of writing have a tone.

      I know that you’re interested in getting a class pet. There are a bunch of different choices, but I think I have one everybody can agree on. We have studied piranhas in science class, and you know how everyone thought they were amazing. Piranhas would make good class pets for many reasons. Let me tell you why.

Style


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Sentence Variety

How Sentences Vary:

  • Length

    • The number of words

    • Word length

  • Structure

    • Simple

    • Complex

    • Compound

    • Compound-complex

  • Type

    • Declarative

    • Interrogative

    • Imperative

Style


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Make it better in Style

Turtles don’t eat much food. You won’t have to feed it often. You won’t have to waste much money on food. Also you don’t have to go to the pet store to buy food often. A pet that doesn’t eat that much food is a turtle.


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The Bottom Line in Style

  • Word choice is key because it affects Voice, Tone and Audience Awareness.

  • Doing daily drills (e.g., slide 74) will pay-off, particularly if you emphasize task, purpose, and audience.

  • You can emphasize different components when doing these drills: word choice, tone, audience awareness, etc.

Ideas


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Conventions

  • The Components and Elements of Conventions

  • The Elements of Sentence Formation

  • The Elements of Usage

  • The Elements of Mechanics

  • Overview of Score Points 1-5

  • Balancing Strengths and Weaknesses in the Components and Elements

  • Determining Competence in Conventions


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The Components and Elements of Conventions

Domain

Components

Elements

Conventions


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Overview of Score Points 1-5Levels of Competence in Conventions

Score: 1

Lack of Control

Score: 2

Minimal Control

Score: 3

Sufficient Control

Score: 4

Consistent Control

Score: 5

Full Command

GREEN = The degree to which the writer demonstrates control of the components of Conventions.

Conventions


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Balancing Strengths/Weaknesses in the Components and Elements of Conventions

Score Point 5

  • Correct and varied in all nearly all elements of Sentence Formation, Usage, and Mechanics. Errors are infrequent and minor.

    Score Point 4

  • Correct in most elements of Sentence Formation, Usage, and Mechanics

  • Some elements may be weak, missing, or lack variety

    Score Point 3

  • Correct in a majority of the elements of Sentence Formation, Usage, and Mechanics, but there may be some errors in each element.

  • Correct in two components but one component may be weak.

    Score Point 2

  • Minimal control in all three components or one component may be strong while the other two are weak

    Score Point 1

  • Overall lack of control in all three components although some elements may demonstrate strengths

Conventions


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Conventions: some points to consider

  • Raters don’t tally errors. They are looking for the degree to which the writer controls the components of Conventions.

  • Nearly every student paper contains errors, even papers that receive score point 5.

  • Spelling is one of the most noticeable element of Conventions, but it actually makes-up only about 8% of the total score. Students do not have access to dictionaries, so they are not penalized much for attempting more advanced vocabulary that they may not know how to spell.

  • You will notice that a big difference between score point 5 and score point 4 is the amount of variety demonstrated in each component.

Conventions


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Drive Toward More Complex Sentences

Turtles don’t eat much food. You won’t have to feed it often. You won’t have to waste much money on food. Also you don’t have to go to the pet store to buy food often. A pet that doesn’t eat that much food is a turtle.

  • Model, then practice forming compound and complex sentences


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The Bottom Line in Conventions

  • Make a push toward more advanced sentence structure.

  • Back to daily drills:

    Rewrite a paragraph using more compound and complex sentences (e.g., slide 90)

    The logic behind this drill is that writers who use more advanced sentence structure show more competence in usage and mechanics; longer sentences require greater control of usage and more internal punctuation.

Ideas


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Keep in touch!

  • kraczyns@uga.edu

  • 888.392.8977


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