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Writing With PEARLS. A systematic approach to writing Mr. Edom. P oints E xamples A nalysis R elationships L anguage/Length S tyle/Substance. Points. THESIS Is it debatable? Defendable? Does it address the prompt? TOPIC SENTENCES Do they address the thesis? Are the verbs active?.

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writing with pearls

Writing With PEARLS

A systematic approach to writing

Mr. Edom










        • Is it debatable? Defendable?
  • Does it address the prompt?


  • Do they address the thesis?
  • Are the verbs active?


  • Do they directly support the topic sentence?
  • Are they brief?
  • Are there 1-2 examples from the text for each topic sentence?
  • Is the citation in MLA format?


  • How does the example support the topic sentence?
  • Why is the example important?
  • Are there at least two sentences of analysis per example?
  • How does the topic sentence serve the thesis?
  • Is there a transition to the next topic sentence (first, second, finally, accordingly, as a result, consequently, likewise)
language length is the language and length just right
Language/LengthIs the language and length just right?

Formal Language

Informal Language

Narrative essays

Reflective essays

Personal correspondence

Email, texting

  • Scholarly writing
  • Literary analysis essays
  • Business writing

Don’t use “I” in scholarly writing!

style substance
Style & Substance
  • WHAT you say is more important than HOW you say it.
  • Substance serves style.
  • Everything serves the thesis.
what an ap grader looks for
What an AP Grader Looks For
  • Points
            • Thesis hints/outlines structure of argument
            • Structure is evident immediately though paragraphs
            • Topic sentences introduce ideas (not evidence)
  • Examples
            • 1-2 quotes from the text, per paragraph at minimum
  • Analysis
            • 2 sentence minimum per example
            • Explanation of evidence is substantive, original, insightful
  • Relationships
            • Topic sentences relate back to thesis
  • Language/length
            • No use of “I” or “me”
            • Language is neutral and academic in tone
            • Includes intro, body, conclusion in 4-5 well developed paragraphs of 8-10 sentences (or more)
  • Style/substance
            • Timed writing gets to the point without fluff
understanding feedback
Understanding Feedback

Short Answer Rubric

Grade Conversion








A 3 on the AP exam is a passing score

The exam is scored on a curve, so how you perform in relation to your peers matters

  • 5s include a skillful introduction/hook; responsive to prompt without being formulaic; ample textual evidence; extended and insightful analysis; analysis provides clear relationship to the prompt, thesis, and overall meaning of text; sophisticated use of language and appropriate style
  • 4s responsive to prompt; textual evidence; competent analysis; analysis provides clear relationship to the prompt, thesis, and overall meaning of text; less mature use of language; minor lapses in style
  • 3s responsive to prompt; fewer textual examples; less thorough analysis; minor lapses in language and style
  • 2sstudent misreads prompt or misinterprets text; analysis is grossly underdeveloped; language or style renders the argument unintelligible
  • 1soffbase and underdeveloped
the nine point rubric
The Nine Point Rubric

Grade Conversion

…and Other Markings

PEARLS are used to quickly evaluate the content of your paper

P+ signifies “good point, while a P- signifies a poor thesis or weak topic sentence

Turnitin.com will give you comprehensive grammar feedback, with an option to review grammar rules

  • 9/A
  • 8/A-
  • 7/B
  • 6/B-
  • 5/C
  • 4/C
  • 3/D
  • 2/D-
  • 1/F
strategizing for improvement
Strategizing for Improvement
  • Read your paper aloud to yourself; you will catch mistakes by “hearing” them
  • Interpret your score and teacher feedback
    • Ask questions if you cannot read the teacher’s handwriting
    • Be aware that your early writing scores are our baseline for the year, and represents your starting point; it takes time to develop into a great writer
  • Make a plan for improvement
    • Note your score and create a list of three goals you have for improving your writing
    • List questions you have about writing
    • Keep in mind that clear thinking is reflected in clear writing
    • Keep a positive attitude and open your mind to suggestions
    • Pursue tutoring in writing for extra attention