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Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Student Writing Samples
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Student Examples for Scoring MS Persuasive Introduction Pre-Lesson MS Persuasive Introduction Post-Lesson MS Persuasive Conclusion Pre-Lesson MS Persuasive Conclusion Post-Lesson HS Expository Introduction Pre-Lesson HS Expository Introduction Post-Lesson HS Expository Conclusion Pre-Lesson HS Expository Conclusion Post-Lesson 7th grade WASL Samples 10th grade WASL Samples
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Pre-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A There are so many reasons not to smoke and the crazy thing is that people do it anyway. Cigarettes contain tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide. Each of these substances is very harmful. Annotations: Some attempt to engage the reader (…the crazy thing…) Implies a formulaic organizational structure Weak attempt of a brief overview No support for the thesis Thesis present Score of 2
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Post-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A The smooth white surface of a cigarette. As you light it you slowly relax. You feel the day is over. How can you resist? I can. Just think about all those people you are hurting, the innocent people trying to live a normal life. Then you walk by with a cigarette in your mouth. People stare at you in disgust. You try to ignore it, but all the faces are looking, watching, waiting. You sit by the subway entrance in a huge crowd. The smoke slowly drifts into the smoggy air. You hear coughing, sniffling, whispering. They cover up their noses to get away from the scent. Annotations: Grabs reader’s attention. Implies an organizational structure. Includes multiple strategies (scenario, taking a stand, contrasting situation). Adequate choice of support Thesis/position stated. Score of 4
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Pre-Lesson Example Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Student B I personally would never smoke, even if “being cool” was at stake. I know how horrible it is to your appearance, and your insides. So why would I do it? So if you smoke, think of everything horrible that it does to you. If you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you do, just ask yourself, “Why do I smoke?” then take it from there. Annotations: Adequate connection to body Adequate use of conclusion strategies Wraps up the writing Score of 3
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Post-Lesson Example Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Student B The smell of burning cigarettes floating though your home, the neighbors complain, the dog complains, you complain. You want to stop, but you just don’t have the time. You feel older, you look older, it feels like your time has come, but you still have a chance. Quit smoking and live your life. It is never too late. Annotations: Adequately connects to beginning and body Uses more than one conclusion strategy Wraps up the writing and gives the reader something to think about Score of 4
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Expository Pre-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A My talent is playing baseball. The way I developed this skill is practicing pretty much my whole life. Baseball has taught me that you cannot get frustrated when you’re having trouble hitting or fielding a ground ball. Baseball is a very humbling game. Annotations: Little attempt to get reader’s attention Implies a vague structure Contains some announcements that seem to be a disconnected list Support not clearly connected to thesis Vague thesis Score of 2
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Expository Post-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Student A It was the bottom of the 6 th inning and we were down by one run. It was our rival team and the biggest game of the year. There were men on first and second and I was up to bat. The catcher put the ball on the tee, then I swung as hard as I could and the ball went flying and the two men on base came home. I knew then, that I loved the game of baseball. Annotations: Adequately engages the reader Implies a reason by reason structure (why I love baseball) Includes an anecdote and draws a conclusion Appropriate support for the thesis. Thesis present (I love baseball). Score of 3
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Expository Pre-Lesson Example Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Student B The first one I really enjoy is the chocolate chip cookie. I especially like them when they’re warm and soft. I like the way the chocolate just melts in your mouth. I also love the flavor of a warm chocolate chip cookie right when you bite into it. It’s like being in heaven. Annotations: Surface level connection with body of paper No attempt at using a strategy Doesn’t wrap up the writing Score of 2
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Expository Post-Lesson Example Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Student B Melted chips, soft creamy butter, a crunchy nut combine to make a delicious cookie. The soft, brown cookie melts in my mouth, then a chip melts in my mouth and it’s like being in heaven. I know it, my brother knows it – biting into one of mom’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies is like your own paradise even on a cold day. Annotations: Connects to introduction and body of the paper Uses the strategy of generalization Wraps up the writing Score of 3
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. WASL Examples 7th Grade
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Grade 7 Expository Writing Prompt What Every Seventh-Grade Teacher Should Know Suppose a new teacher has come to your school. In a multiple-paragraph letter, explain to this teacher what is important to know about teaching seventh-grade students at your school.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Sample 1 Introduction: “All you have to do is that!” screamed the new seventh-grade teacher across the hall angrily. “Wow, I thought to myself, “what a scary teacher! I hope I don’t have him.” Seventh grade is pretty new and scary for the kids who are experiencing it for the first time. What is even more frightening, however, is all of the new teachers. When the seventh graders arrive, they are bombarded with six new and different teachers, and they are overwhelmed with excitement and fright. What would help out a lot is if all new seventh-grade teachers know how to be patient, gave enough time to work in class, and demonstrated things that the class were constructing. Conclusion: So in conclusion, all new seventh grade teachers can work their way up to the number one place on the charts simply by being patient, giving enough time to work in class, and by giving demonstrations of many class projects and class art work. If all of the world’s teachers taught by these criteria, there would be happiness ringing down all of the halls at every school. Seventh grade would, for sure, be more fun for the teachers and the students. Now who wouldn’t want that?
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Sample 2 Introduction: Quiet as ever, sitting on the tips of their seats are the seventh graders awaiting their new teacher’s arrival. The bell rings. Five minutes after the bell, the anxious students hear something. “Click, clack, click, clack.” You can hear the teacher’s heels pounding furiously against the floor as she approaches the classroom door in a bit of a hurry. The door bursts open. “Hello class, I’m sorry I’m late but the photocopier got jammed.” Conclusion: “So you guys have been in school for seven months now, and your teacher has recently broken her leg. I think we should talk a little about me. My name is Mrs. W_____ and I have recently retired from 6th grade after eight years of hard work. Now, enough about me. Take out your reading books and start reading. I will let you know when time is up.” After about 20 minutes, the teacher says, “OK time to stop reading. I have whipped up an assignment for you to work on until the end of class. I want you to write me an expository letter. This letter explains to me what’s important to know about teaching seventh-grade students at this school. It’s due at the end of the class period.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Grade 7 Persuasive Writing Prompt Concert at Your School Your principal is considering inviting a singer or musical group to perform for students at your school to raise money for a local charity. If you could invite anyone, whom would you choose? In a multiple-paragraph letter, persuade your principal to invite the singer or group of your choice.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Sample 1 Introduction: I don’t believe that M____ is doing its part for this community. In order to fulfill our debt to those in need, I think we should have a fundraiser for S____’s Children Hospital. They do their part to help children, and I think they should be rewarded for their efforts. Throughout the course of human history, there has always been a passion for the one thing that unites us all in some form or another. Music. Music is a special bond between people that can change your feelings instantaneously and fill you with a natural ecstasy. Music stimulates you mind and filters out into other aspects of life. The whole world revolves around music, so what better way to raise money than a live concert? Of course, the obvious question races through your mind: Who should I have perform at the concert?” The answer is obvious. Who better to perform than the band led by the greatest guitarist ever, Jimi Hendrix Experience was an incredibly talented band, drawing their energy from Hendrix himself. Conclusion: As you can see, Mr. B______, there is absolutely no reason why you should exhibit any skepticism about inviting the Jimi Hendrix Experience to our school. Jimi Hendrix was the greatest man to ever pick up the guitar, and the money you donated to the children at the hospital would give you the appearance of a generous benevolent leader in our community. If you have any further uncertainties about anything regarding the concert, you can address your questions to me in person. I hope my input could be of assistance, and I hope you make the decision you feel is suitable for our school. Thank you for the time.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Sample 2 Introduction: The bell rings and kids rush in, pushing and shoving trying to get to their lockers. They walk into class and hear the announcement. They announced that all students are to go to the gym for a special performance by Maroon 5. All the kids are shocked. They all start whistling and cheering. Ms. B______, wouldn’t it be so tremendous to be able to put a smile on everyone’s face? To be able to see how shocked they are to hear those words? It’s not an everyday thing when you get to hear that Maroon 5 will be playing right here in our very own school. Conclusion: In conclusion, please take the time and check this band out. They’re really great. Most people don’t get a chance like this to have a singer or group come to their school and perform. So please take into consideration my idea of inviting Maroon 5 to come to perform.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. WASL Examples 10th Grade
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Grade 10 Persuasive Writing Prompt Your Community Many young people have strong opinions about whether nor not their communities are desirable places for teens to live. Do you consider your community a desirable place for teens to live? Write a multiple-paragraph letter to parents of teens who live in another area persuading them to move to or avoid your community.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Sample 1 Introduction: A nine year old and his best friends are proudly walking down a dirt trail to the pond to catch tadpoles. It’s a beautiful, quiet spring day. The woods are alive with birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. There’s hardly any crime and everybody seems to be happy. You must think that’s a perfect community for a teen to grow up in. Over 2,000 people must have thought that because they decided to move right in. The beautiful pond with frogs and tadpoles is now just a dried-up rock bed. The forest, alive with deer and animals, is now thousands of luxurious houses with a development name… Conclusion: I hate seeing more developments and more houses pop up around me. This is no place for a teen to grow up in. The crime rate has tripled. The noise pollution is unbelievable. On top of all that, no one has fun any more. No one is smiling. I do not consider this a good place for a teen to live.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Grade 10 Persuasive Prompt You have been asked to be on a committee to review your high school’s rules. Choose one rule that needs to be revised, added, or eliminated. Write a multiple-paragraph letter to your principal persuading him or her to adopt your recommendation.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Sample 1 Introduction As an appointed member of the recently established School Rule Review Committee, I have spent the past few days along with my colleague, Mr.. C----t, looking over the rules and regulations of Sesame High School concerning transportation and the housing of vehicles. In doing so, it has come to our attention that one in particular fails to support the needs and wishes of the student body. I am referring to Article III, Section IV of the Rules and Regulations hand book which states that “The parking of motor vehicles in the tricycle lot is prohibited. Violators will be subject to immediate defenestration.” Presently, the rule is more of a hindrance than help for the school. Conclusion By allowing owners of motor scooters parking privileges in the tricycle lot, the students will be delighted and tardies will promptly drop down to their previous numbers. Thirty years ago Article III Section IV was created for a purpose which it served most effectively. Now that threat is gone and new circumstances call for change. As amusing as it is to watch violators being thrown from a window, I hope that you will consider my words as legitimate representation of the student body and amend the policy. Thank you for your time.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. What follows are pre-instruction and post-instruction examples of introductions and conclusions that may be used for additional scoring.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Pre/Post Examples 7th Grade
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Expository Pre-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Hello, I am a girl from the future. 100 years to be exact. I live in the big city of …., ….. and many things have changed in the past 100 years. “How has it changed?” you may be asking yourself. In this letter I am writing you I will tell you how. Annotations: Adequately engages reader’s interest Implies a vague structure Includes a very brief overview and question Support loosely connected to the thesis Thesis stated Score of 3
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Expository Post-Lesson Example Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Life in the year 2005 is drastically different than in the year of Automobiles (our version of your horseless carriage) choke the air with pollution that would make you sick to your stomach. Women have the same rights as men and everyone dresses differently. We live in a time that is supposedly equal, but elitism still exists. I exist in a time that is rumored to be happy but that is not true for some. This is the future. Annotations: Grabs the reader’s attention Implies a comparison organizational structure Contains contrast, description and makes announcements Support connected to the thesis providing strong lead in that is clear, relevant, and connected Clear thesis Score of 4
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Pre-Lesson Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. Hello Ms. C. How are you doing? I just want to tell you what new exercise program or after school program you should add. You will learn more about this new exercise or after school program. Annotations: No clear attention-getter Implies a formulaic organizational structure No introduction strategies Support not clearly connected to topic Vague thesis Score of 2 (low 2)
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Post-Lesson Using the Introduction Scoring Guide, score the introduction. “Basketball, basketball, blah, blah, blah.” This is mostly a man’s exercise. What girls need is hip-hop dancing lessons. Hip hop dancing should be added to P.E. at E____. Then it won’t be “blah, blah.” It will be, “yaaa!” for girls and maybe even the boys, too. Annotations: Engages reader’s interest. Implies an organizational structure Uses multiple introduction strategies (taking a stand, contrasting situation) Support loosely tied to topic Thesis stated Score of 4 (low 4)
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Pre-Lesson Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Ms. C this is all I want. Do anything to me. You could flunk me, or make me pick up garbage or bucket duty. You choose. Annotations: Surface level connection to paper Ends with little or no attempt at conclusion strategies Does not wrap up the writing Score of 1
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Persuasive Post-Lesson Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Dancing is one of the most fun sports for girls. Hip-hop dancing has been around since the 1980’s. Dancing is better than playing basketball, baseball, and other sports. Hip- hop should be added to P.E. Annotations: Formulaic connection with the introduction and body of the paper Minimal attempt at conclusion strategies (generalization, call to action) Weak wrap-up of the text Score of 2
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Expository Pre-Lesson Example Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. In conclusion, life has changed a lot since Annotations: Surface level connection with the body of the paper Ends with a minimal summary statement Weak wrap up. Score of 2
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Middle School Expository Post-Lesson Example Using the Conclusion Scoring Guide, score the conclusion. Living in 2005 is great. The improvements and inventions since 1905 have made living so much easier and more enjoyable. Annotations: Surface level connection to introduction and body Uses generalizations, making a point Weak wrap up of the writing Score of 2
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Pre/Post Examples 10th Grade
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Pre/Post Expository Introduction Example Pre Ever since I was a young child, I have dreamed of having super hero powers. Three of those powers are the power to be invisible, the power to fly, and the power to have super human speed. These powers would be great because I could do secret missions for the government, I could save people in tough spots, and I could get out of tough spots myself. Post "98, 99, ready or not, here I come!" shouts my little sister Jackie. She looks everywhere and finds everybody, except for me. Nobody can find me because I am invisible. Invisibility is one of a few super hero powers I have always wished to have.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Pre/Post Persuasive Introduction Example Pre I am writing on behalf of the no- uniform party. The majority of the student body is against the required wearing of uniforms being incorporated into our lives. Being that we are the larger percentage of the school community, we would appreciate if you would print this letter in your article to help the school board understand our point of view. Post Imagine a world where all jobs are run by robots. Everything is strictly calculated. There is no room for error. Nothing is different. Everyone is identical in physical attributes and mental. Now picture that as you look closer. You discover that these aren’t robots; they are human beings. This is what would happen if everyone thought the same, no one had imagination, and not a soul was creative. This is the danger of the uniform.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Pre/Post Persuasive Introduction Example Pre The rigors of school leave many students sleep-deprived, but is starting and ending school two hours later a real solution? Starting school earlier would have many bad effects that the advantages could never equal. Changing school hours is a bad idea. It would have too many dire results. School hours should not be changed. Post Phil woke up at six, barely catching the bus to school an hour later. In first period, he fell asleep after staying out until midnight the night before. For Phil, this is a daily occurrence because he stays out with his friends as late as possible. Phil and most high school students from the country are suffering in the day for staying out late at night. This increasing trend has schools willing to concede that starting and ending school two hours later will be a solution to this problem. But will it?
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Pre/Post Expository Conclusion Example Pre If my house were burning down, I would make sure that these items were rescued. I made my decision on which items I would take by their worth to me in money and in sentimental value. I decided that the most important things to me were things that had cost me a great deal of money and items that were either next to impossible or impossible to ever have another of or fully replace. Post If my house were burning down, the three things I would take have a lot of meaning to me. They say a lot about me, my personality, and my dream. These three items are me, without these I would feel as if I had lost a part of myself and my personality. I would feel as if my dream had been crushed in a way if I had to watch these things burn away in my house.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Pre/Post Persuasive Conclusion Example Pre Thank you for listening to our petition and for your willingness to support us. We wait anxiously for your reply and hope that you make the right decision. Post Please don’t shirk your duties in education. Allow us this one area to let our imaginations shine!! Ways to express our individuality are few, so please let us keep the ability to show our personality. We urge you pick up your pens and vote down the uniform policy.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. High School Pre/Post Persuasive Conclusion Example Pre Starting and ending school two hours later is an exceedingly bad idea. When all of the pros and cons are found, the cons effortlessly outnumber every pro. I agree with sleeping longer, but I would rather be released from school earlier. I believe that the verdict over school times is a no-brainer; Leave school times the way that they are and have been for years. Post If school ended two hours later, Phil would fall asleep in first period after staying out past midnight the night before. The schools must realize that the answer of changing school times is a no-brainer: leave school times the way they have been for years. The school should go along with the old saying, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. A note about examples… The most powerful examples you can use for instruction and modeling in your classroom are examples collected from your students. Although we have provided several examples, we encourage you to find your own.
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. Agenda Discuss introductions: purpose, strategies, scoring Analyze introductions from printed texts Discuss conclusions: purpose, strategies, scoring Analyze conclusions from printed texts Analyze and score paired introductions and conclusions Practice writing and revising introductions and conclusions Score additional student samples
Copyright 2006 Washington OSPI. All rights reserved. We welcome your comments We welcome your comments. Please feel free to try these lessons and send feedback to Nikki Elliott-Schuman at We appreciate your labeling the subject line as Feedback: OSPI Instructional Support Materials.