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The Georgia Writing Exam. 2012. The Georgia Writing Exam. The exam Students are given a writing situation and directions for writing, and must produce a persuasive essay. Example Prompt….

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the georgia writing exam1
The Georgia Writing Exam
  • The exam
    • Students are given a writing situation and directions for writing, and must produce a persuasive essay.

Example Prompt…

    • Writing Situation: Many factors come together for a student to be successful. Are parents or their children responsible for school success?
    • Directions for writing: Discuss in an essay whether you think parents or children are more responsible for school success. Explain your viewpoint clearly.
  • Students are given time to write an outline, a rough draft, and a final copy.

Exams are graded on 4 domains:

  • Ideas: degree to which a writer establishes a controlling idea and elaborates with appropriate main examples, illustrations, facts or details
  • Organization: degree to which ideas are arranged in a clear order and overall structure is persuasive
  • Style: degree to which the writer controls language and engages the reader
  • Conventions: degree of control of sentence formation, usage, and mechanics
grading of the test
Grading of the Test

The scoring range is from 100 to 350

  • Below 200-Does not meet the standard
  • 200-249-Meets the standard
  • 250 and above-Exceeds the standard

Your grade becomes a permanent part of your transcript

scoring the test
Scoring the Test

Does not meet the standard

  • Limited focus on topic
  • Minimal development
  • Shows little awareness of reader concerns
  • May lack introduction or conclusion
  • Word choice simple and/or repetitive
  • Brevity of response
  • Limited transitions

Meets the standard

  • Generally focused
  • Clear introduction, body, conclusion
  • Position clear and developed
  • Developed with some examples and details
  • Clear Sequence, some transitions
  • Engaging word choice, sentence variety
  • Clear voice, awareness of audience
  • Conventions generally correct
  • Sufficient length to demonstrate effective skills

Exceeds the standard

  • Focused
  • Position well-developed, validity established
  • Supporting ideas fully elaborated
  • Specific details that fully address reader’s concerns and/or counterarguments
  • Logical
  • Precise word choice
  • Varied transitional elements
  • Sentence variety
  • Distinctive voice
  • Correct conventions
  • Minor, infrequent errors
  • Sufficient length to demonstrate effective skills

Successful students will…

  • Clearly establish a position
  • Defend position
  • Anticipate and counter audience’s position
  • Use specific facts, personal experience, statistics
  • Appeal to logic or emotion
  • Use appropriate structure
  • Use multi-paragraphs
  • Introduce, develop, close
  • Correct conventions

New areas of emphasis

  • Topic, audience, purpose must be identifiable
  • Must make connections
  • Must give relevant information, details, examples
  • Must have depth of development
  • Must acknowledge that there is a different point of view (address readers’ concerns, counterclaims, biases, expectations)

What to avoid…

  • Formulaic writing-standard 5 paragraph formula
  • Restating the prompt
  • Listing (must expand)
  • Repetition or summary
  • Trite words or expressions
  • Use of "be” verbs exclusively
  • Venting or ranting on the topic
  • Failing to consider audience’s opinion
  • Flat, uninteresting writing
  • Impreciseness
  • Errors in usage, grammar, spelling
sample prompt
Sample Prompt
  • Many students do not think the subjects they study in high school prepare them for the real world they will face after graduation. The principal at your school is asking students for their opinions about new courses that could be offered to prepare students for life after high school. What new course do you think should be offered?
  • Write a letter to convince the principal that your new course should be offered. Be sure to explain why your new course is needed, using specific examples and details.

The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively




The Rhetorical Triangle





  • Reason (logos) - support your general claims with concrete, specific data.
  • Inductive: reason which begins with specifics and moves toward a generalization

Example:  Several clubs have reported difficulty completing their business during lunch period.  This proves that lunch periods should be longer.

  • Deductive: reason which starts with a general observation and moves to specifics

Example:  When people hurry, inefficiency and poor communication are the results.  Under current conditions clubs must hurry at lunch time meetings.  Therefore, lunch period should be lengthened to allow for better club meetings.

  • Use two or three different strong reasons to support your argument.
  • Support your reasons with evidence.
    • Facts - can be proven.
    • Expert opinions or quotations
    • Definitions - statement of meaning of word or phrase
    • Statistics - offer scientific support
    • Examples - powerful illustrations
    • Anecdote - incident, often based on writer's personal experiences
    • Present opposition - and give reasons and evidence to prove the opposition wrong
    • Conclude with call to action - urge the reader to do something

Ethics (ethos) - convince your readers that you are fair, honest, and well informed.  They will then trust your values and intentions.

  • Emotion (pathos) - a carefully reasoned argument will be strengthened by an emotional appeal.
  • Use description or narrate an example, often from your own experience.
  • Your point of view is demonstrated in an emotional appeal, and is important to the reader.
  • Careful word choice presents your position accurately.
more rhetorical devices
More Rhetorical Devices
  • Parallelism- repeating a grammatical structure or an arrangement of words to create rhythm and momentum
  • Restatement- expressing the same idea in different words to clarify and stress key points
  • Repetition- using the same words frequently to reinforce concepts
  • Analogy- drawing a comparison that shows similarity between two unlike things.