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The TAKS Essay. What is it like? What can I write about?. What kind of essay should you write?. It needs to be a MULTI-paragraph essay. You should have an introduction, several body paragraphs (the number of body paragraphs is open), and a conclusion.

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The TAKS Essay

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The TAKS Essay

What is it like?

What can I write about?

What kind of essay should you write?

  • It needs to be a MULTI-paragraph essay.

    • You should have an introduction, several body paragraphs (the number of body paragraphs is open), and a conclusion.

  • For the most part, the TAKS essay asks for a personal response/opinion. You can use the following as evidence:

    • Personal experiences

    • Movies you have seen

    • Books you have read

    • Stories you know are true

    • Examples from the media, etc.

    • Remember though you’re not just summarizing the plots of the samples or other literary material.

How are TAKS Essays scored?

  • The essays use a rubric with a score range that is from 1 to 4.

  • To pass the section, a student must earn a 2.

  • However, if you fail the essay (scoring a 1), then you fail the whole ELA test!

  • There are five areas of writing that the graders consider when scoring the essay:

    • Focus and coherence, organization, development of ideas, voice, and conventions

Are there specific requirements?

  • You are not required to follow the traditional CD, CM, CM format. However, if it works for you, use it.

  • Be sure the introductory paragraph states your opinion! (THESIS) Be sure that everything else in your essay SUPPORTS that opinion.

  • The “secret” or implied part of the prompt question is: How does this idea/event change/affect you?

  • VOICE is most important. One great personal story, developed in full detail, is better than three examples briefly addressed.

Other pointers…

  • It is okay to use I, me, my, etc. in your personal stories

  • However, watch using you too much – try one or oneself instead

  • Do not use: Contractions (can’t, they’re, we’re) or -Abbreviations (b/c, cuz, w/o, &, lqtm)

  • Do not skip lines between paragraphs when writing the essay. There’s a limited amount of space.

  • Write neatly and clearly; Avoid writing teeny tiny or huge and bubbly writing

  • Use transitions (To begin with, For example, In addition).

  • Avoid “chunky” paragraph format with presenting different examples in different paragraphs with no connections.

  • Take creative risks. Create your own metaphors, similes, imagery. Avoid clichés.

  • You are allowed to use a dictionary. Please do. If you're even slightly unsure how to spell a word, look it up!

Sample Essay Questions…

  • Write an essay explaining what you think makes a person admirable.

  • Write an essay explaining what can happen when someone has a strong influence in your life.

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