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Thomas A. Stewart Literacy Test (OSSLT) Prep Guide 2013 Long Writing: News Report.

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Presentation on theme: "Thomas A. Stewart Literacy Test (OSSLT) Prep Guide 2013 Long Writing: News Report."— Presentation transcript:

1 Thomas A. Stewart Literacy Test (OSSLT) Prep Guide 2013 Long Writing: News Report

2 Introduction This guide is intended to be a resource for students, teachers and parents. It has several sections covering what to expect, how these questions are marked, examples of good and bad answers with explanations for why. Throughout the guide there are suggestions, tips and hints. You can jump from section to section or go through the guide in order. We recommend visiting this guide more than once. To help you navigate the guide, the TAS Logo is a link to the Table of Contents

3 Table of Contents Overview How to Write a News Report How its Marked Sample Answers Sample Question The 5 Ws Format RISC IT Topic Development Writing Conventions Topic Dev Writing Con OSSLT -speak Other Guides

4 Decoding the OSSLT : OSSLT-speak The OSSLT has its own special terminology. Its important to know what their terms mean. Selection: A selection is the thing they have you read…it might be part of a book, a story from a magazine, something from a website, but basically its the thing you need to base your answers on. Prompt: The prompt is basically the question. For a Series of Paragraphs Expressing an Opinion the prompt will be the topic they want you to write about. Response: Your response is your answer; what you write about the selection in answer to the prompt. Scoring: Scoring is the word they use for marking or grading. Your score on each question is called a Code. So if you get 30 they call it a Code 30. Conventions: Spelling, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation.

5 Writing: News Report A News Report is one of the two major (Long) writing tasks you will see on the OSSLT. It is marked out of 100; 60 for Topic Development and 40 forWriting Conventions. This makes it one of the two most important questions in the OSSLT. Do well on the Long writing tasks; this and the Series of Paragraphs, and youre well on your way to passing the test. Bomb them, or worse, blow them off and your chances of passing arent good. An example of a News Report question and what good and bad answers look like follows. There are a couple of basic things to keep in mind: 1: Follow the proper format. 2: Dont leave space blank. Overview

6 Car wash a success Task: Write a news report on the next page based on the headline and picture below. You will have to make up the facts and information to answer some or all of the following questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? You must relate your newspaper report to both the headline and the picture. Purpose and Audience: to report on an event for the readers of a newspaper Length: The lined space provided for your written work indicates the approximate length of the writing expected. This is what a News Report question will look like. They give you a photo and a headline. The Headline and the Photo are equally important. The Headline tells you what the story should be about. In this case the answer has to be a story about a Car wash which is a success. The Headline tells you what the story should be about. In this case the answer has to be a story about a Car wash which is a success. The Photo puts the story in context. It gives you clues about Who the story should be about and perhaps Why and How. Newspaper Reports are always based on answering the Questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? The question will always be the same as what you read here, but the photo and headline will change.

7 Elements of a News Report A news story has to contain what everyone calls the 5 Ws…which really means: –Who is the story about? –What happened? –Where did it happen? –Why did it happen and/or Why does it matter? –When did it happen? –And How did it happen? Car wash a success Task: Write a news report on the next page based on the headline and picture below. You will have to make up the facts and information to answer some or all of the following questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? You must relate your newspaper report to both the headline and the picture. Purpose and Audience: to report on an event for the readers of a newspaper Length: The lined space provided for your written work indicates the approximate length of the writing expected. The key is to find (create) a logical link between the headline and the photograph that could be used as an event for a report that would appear in a newspaper. You get one (1) lined page (about 25 lines) for write your answer. The trick is to follow the format common to a real news report. Use the 5ws.

8 Who What When Where Why How This is an example of a good News Report Answer: You can see Who,What, When, Where, Why and How all right at the beginning of the report. This is an example of a good News Report Answer: You can see Who,What, When, Where, Why and How all right at the beginning of the report.

9 How to Write a News Report A news report must be written in the Third Person. That means you cant use I, me, mine our, we etc in it. Its not My school won a computing contest last week It has to be A Grade 11 class at Thomas A Stewart Secondary School won the Greater Kawartha Pine Ridge Binary Star Data Classic contest last week. If you want to include an opinion, you have to quote someone in the story. So, its not: We were really proud because we put a lot of work into it. Its: Students in the class were very proud said student Nichea Vass. We put a lot if work into this, so were really glad we won, Vass said.

10 RISC IT – the more you do, the more the reward. elate your story to the picture and the headline. indent paragraphs (lots of them). pelling and grammar – matter. Check them. ontains 2 quotations (at least) to support the story. nteresting - it wont be if youre not trying to make it so. ell nothing but the facts, leave out your opinion. RISCITRISCIT

11 Writing a News Report A news report must also be written in the past tense. This gets a little tricky because the Headline will always be in the present tense. IE: School Wins Contest. You still have to write the story in the past tense…about how the school WON the contest. Remember you always have to write about something that has already happened, not something that is going to happen. Heres a tip News Report questions are often school related. If the headline refers to a school event, trip, contest or issue save yourself time and energy by using TAS as the school. Use your friends names and teachers you know to be in the story and quote them to provide detail and colour in the report. Quote Mrs. Annie Johnston as the principal. Heres a tip News Report questions are often school related. If the headline refers to a school event, trip, contest or issue save yourself time and energy by using TAS as the school. Use your friends names and teachers you know to be in the story and quote them to provide detail and colour in the report. Quote Mrs. Annie Johnston as the principal.

12 Writing: News Report: Scoring: The News Report is scored – marked out of for Topic Development 40 for Writing Conventions The News Report is scored – marked out of for Topic Development Topic Development is basically what you write. Is it a proper News Report? Does it relate clearly to the headline and the photograph? Did you put enough specific detail in? Did you quote people to provide support? 40 for Writing Conventions Writing conventions are basically how you write. Spelling, sentence structure, punctuation and grammar. Topic Development Topic Development Writing Conventions Writing Conventions

13 Writing: News Report: Scoring: Topic Development BlankThe page is blank with nothing written or drawn in the space provided. (If you dont write anything theres nothing to mark.) There are three (3) ways to get a zero (0)

14 BlankThe page is blank with nothing written or drawn in the space provided. (If you dont write anything theres nothing to mark.) IllegibleThe response is illegible or irrelevant to the prompt. (Your answer is too hard to follow or isnt a News Report) There are three (3) ways to get a zero (0) Writing: News Report: Scoring

15 BlankThe page is blank with nothing written or drawn in the space provided. (If you dont write anything theres nothing to mark.) IllegibleThe response is illegible or irrelevant to the prompt. (Your answer is too hard to follow or isnt a News Report) Off topicThe response is off topic. (Whatever you wrote didnt relate to the headline or the picture) There are three (3) ways to get a zero (0) Here are some examples of News Report answers. Well start with the ones that werent so good.

16 The response is related to the headline and photo but is not a news report. It is a narrative. The story is about a car wash - or one car that got washed - but its not a News Report. Its just a story. So its a Code 10, a Fail. So its a Code 10, a Fail

17 They got the first part: The response is a news report related to the headline and photo, but the focus is unclear. There arent enough supporting details and theres very little organization.. Heres a Code 20, which is also a fail Basically what theyve done is throw Who, What, Where, Why, When and How down like a shopping list without trying to really make sense of them

18 Heres a Code 30, which is getting closer to what we want. The report has a clear focus on an event (car wash foundraiser) But there arent enough supporting details and the few they have are kind of sketchy. (enough money, going to almost every neighbourhood, successful car wash foundraiser). Whats good is there is some evidence of organization: the two main ideas– enough money and 1.5 million dollar – are linked.

19 This is a Code 40 which is definitely a pass. This is the minimum you should be shooting for. This is a Code 40 which is definitely a pass. This is the minimum you should be shooting for. Theres enough supporting detail. Some of it is specific (St. Johns elementary school, June 29th 2009, 2000$, 45 kids), which is good. Some is a little vague (local charity, What local charity?) Whats good is: Theres a clear connection to the headline and photo with a clear and consistent focus on an event (carwash).

20 The quotation here is good. It would be perfect if they game the Principal a name. Notice they use paragraphs to organize their ideas News reports are supposed to have lots of small paragraphs

21 This is a Code 50 A very solid job with only a couple of things missing. This news report is clearly related to the headline and photo with a clear and consistent focus on an event (carwash WHAT …trip to Ottawa WHY). There are enough specific supporting details (Saturday, May 5 WHEN, Highview Public School WHO, Ottawa, 8 am to 4 pm, student name). Even better: there are Quotations from two different people to support the story. The organization is logical with lots of paragraphs. The final paragraph mentions the schools trip to Ottawa again and provides a neat conclusion. Even better: there are Quotations from two different people to support the story. The organization is logical with lots of paragraphs. The final paragraph mentions the schools trip to Ottawa again and provides a neat conclusion

22 This is a Code 60 Its the best score you can get. This report is clearly related to the headline and photo with a clear and consistent focus on an event. Its got WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY and WHEN right up front. Then lots of detail on HOW backed up with quotations from different people involved. This report is clearly related to the headline and photo with a clear and consistent focus on an event. Its got WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY and WHEN right up front. Then lots of detail on HOW backed up with quotations from different people involved. Extra! They threw in a sub-head (a second smaller headline that gives more detail) and a cutline (a caption that explains whats in the photo). Real Newspaper stories usually have both of these elements. Its never a bad idea to include them.

23 This is good for a lot of reasons. It has lots of specific details (e.g., names of the city, students, a parent; Haiti, Canadian Red Cross, drivers couldnt resist a good car cleaning, not only helped people in their community, but people hundreds of kilometres away). AND Quotations from two perspectives. The Organization easy to follow. The opening lead connects effectively to the closing sentence. This is good for a lot of reasons. It has lots of specific details (e.g., names of the city, students, a parent; Haiti, Canadian Red Cross, drivers couldnt resist a good car cleaning, not only helped people in their community, but people hundreds of kilometres away). AND Quotations from two perspectives. The Organization easy to follow. The opening lead connects effectively to the closing sentence

24 Scoring Guide for Long Writing Conventions Writing Conventions? OMG, WT…H are Writing Conventions? CodeDescriptor Code 10 There is insufficient evidence to assess the use of conventions. OR Errors in conventions interfere with communication. Chill. Basically theyre talking about spelling, grammar, sentence structure and things like that. This is the second way answers are marked (scored) Writing Conventions OR You get a Code 10 – a Fail – if: Errors in conventions interfere with communication. Which means: There are so many mistakes they cant figure out what youre trying to say. You get a Code 10 – a Fail – if: There is insufficient evidence to assess the use of conventions. Which means: You left it blank (didnt answer the question) or you didnt write enough

25 Errors in conventions interfere with communication (e.g., spelling: vearis, braek, lik, there, cleen, besid, grach, saide, movies, dird, smils, mitearials, vires; lack of punctuation at the end of sentences, incorrect use of capital letters The children They washing; omitted words: To be cleen and success). Its a fail because there are just too many mistakes Its not just a fail, its an epic fail! Heres an example of a Code

26 Scoring Guide for Long Writing Conventions Section IV News Report Question 1 CodeDescriptor Code 10 There is insufficient evidence to assess the use of conventions. OR Errors in conventions interfere with communication. Code 20 Errors in conventions distract from communication. A Code 20 isnt a pass either, although its better than a 10 as every mark counts in the end. Basically, youre making them work too hard to try to understand your News Story Errors in conventions distract from communication. means: Youve made so many mistakes (spelling, grammar) that its hard to follow what youre trying to say.

27 The first problem is a lack of punctuation at the end of sentences and no capital letters. That makes it read like one big sentence, which is really hard to follow). This is a Code 20 Its a Code 20 because there are so many mistakes you have to work too hard to stay with the story. The hits just keep on coming: There are words missing: all you guys helped you guys; this for a good cause; A lot of spelling mistakes: coffe, ther, lookin, wher, fun raiser; And missing capitals: metro, april). ? ? ? ? ? ? V

28 Scoring Guide for Long Writing Conventions Section IV News Report Question 1 CodeDescriptor Code 10 There is insufficient evidence to assess the use of conventions. OR Errors in conventions interfere with communication. Code 20 Errors in conventions distract from communication. Code 30 Errors in conventions do not distract from communication. Code 30 is the minimum you want to get. Its a pass. Youre allowed to make some mistakes and still pass as long as those mistaks dont get in the way of following your story. Youre allowed to make some mistakes and still pass as long as those mistakes dont get in the way of following your story

29 This is a Code 30 This is the minimum level you want. A Code 30 is different from a Code 20 in that while there are mistakes, they dont get in the way of understanding the story So, there are a few spelling mistakes : reasearch, planing Some capitals missing: road, local, rexdale; There are some punctuation mistakes: missing commas in the date and the quotations

30 Scoring Guide for Long Writing Conventions Section IV News Report Question 1 CodeDescriptor Code 10 There is insufficient evidence to assess the use of conventions. OR Errors in conventions interfere with communication. Code 20 Errors in conventions distract from communication. Code 30 Errors in conventions do not distract from communication. Code 40 Control of conventions is evident in written work. Words. I am your Master. You get a Code 40 when your story follows the News Report format without any significant mistakes and shows you understand the format. Basically that You own it. You get a Code 40 when your story follows the News Report format without any significant mistakes and shows you understand the format. Basically that You own it

31 This is a Code 40 This is the best score you can get. What makes this a Code 40 is the obvious control the writer has over spelling, grammar and punctuation So the fact they spelled comittee, and its wrong and didnt put the periods or commas inside the quotations marks doesnt cost them any marks

32 TAS OSSLT Guides: Thomas A Stewart OSSLT Guide How the test is marked and why this matters Reading Questions: Open Response Reading Questions: Multiple Choice Writing Questions: Series of Paragraphs Overview of the OSSLT Writing Questions: Open Response Short Writing How to prepare for the OSSLT Writing Questions: News Report


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