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We help students succeed Test of Academic Proficiency Writing.

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Presentation on theme: "We help students succeed Test of Academic Proficiency Writing."— Presentation transcript:

1 We help students succeed Test of Academic Proficiency Writing

2 We help students succeed Writing Objective 0013 Prepare an organized, developed composition in edited English as used in the United States in response to instructions regarding content, purpose, and audience.

3 We help students succeed General Information The writing subtest is 1 of 4 subtests : reading comprehension, language arts, writing and math. Each writing submission will be evaluated by 2 scorers. If there is a discrepancy between the two, a third scorer will be used. Individual scores range from 1-6. The marks from the 2 scorers are combined for a total score. As with all subtests, the raw score is converted to a scale of 100-300 with 240 representing a passing score. Scores are based on the following : focus, support/elaboration, organization, and grammar/conventions.

4 We help students succeed Elements of the Argumentative Essay Introduction o Hook o Purpose o Content Body Paragraphs o Topic sentence o Supporting details (development) o Closing sentence (transition) o Coherence & unity Refutation o Specify opposing idea o Turning point (however, but, on the other hand, etc.) o Refute with logical points, not just saying others are wrong Conclusion o Restatement of thesis o Review of content o Final wrap up * Essays must begin with the introductory paragraph and end with the conclusion. However, the body paragraphs (including the rebuttals) should be ordered to present the most coherent case for your argument.

5 We help students succeed Problems Associated with Writing an Introduction Many students discover that writing an introduction is difficult. Many, in fact, prefer to write the introduction after they have written the bulk of their paper. If you have experienced similar difficulty, consider that the sentences in your introduction, in addition to your thesis, may: Tell an anecdote Present interesting facts Explain a history Offer a definition Utilize a quote Explain a significance or pose a question

6 We help students succeed The Introduction to an Argumentative Essay Example: While there are good arguments both for and against mandatory national service, I believe there are at least three important benefits of requiring young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform one year of military or civilian service: restoring the idea of citizenship, providing young people with valuable work and life experience, and helping young Americans learn to live in a democratic society.

7 We help students succeed Writing the Body Paragraphs of the Argumentative Essay The body paragraphs of your argumentative essay support your thesis and deliver on the promises you have made to your audience. Most often, you begin with your weakest argument and work up to your strongest. If all your points are equally strong, you may want to build a relationship with your audience by discussing the most familiar points first.

8 We help students succeed Every body paragraph should contain a topic sentence, a sentence usually located at the beginning of each body paragraph that reflects its content. Every body paragraph should have unity; that is, every sentence in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence. Every body paragraph should have coherence or transitions that permit a flow between the paragraph’s ideas. About the Topic Sentence, Paragraph Unity, and Coherence

9 We help students succeed Examples of Topic Sentences in the Argumentative Essay Even though many siblings develop strong bonds, twins are closer than other siblings because they seem to have a mental connection and develop their own language. Although dogs require a great deal of training and time commitment, they are the best choice for a pet because of their exceptional loyalty and loving dispositions and because they provide security and companionship. A student’s intellectual capability is complex and must be measured through many means, not simply standardized tests or classroom performance.

10 We help students succeed An Example of a Cohesive Paragraph The students who go to college right after high school would benefit immensely from taking a finance course. These students often take out loans to cover the costs of their education. On average, a student graduating from college today carries over $20,000 in debt, often spread over multiple lenders. Upon graduation, students rarely know exactly how much money they owe, and because even bankruptcy cannot wipe out student loans, these students can spend much of their adult lives paying off the balance, complete with interest. A personal finance course could teach students how to manage debt and could even help reduce the amount of debt students are in by teaching them how to save money and live within their means. Taken from 8/8/13

11 We help students succeed Refutation of Opposing Arguments In your paper it is necessary to consider and discuss the opposing argument. You will challenge assumptions or beliefs, so you must clearly explain the fallacies of those beliefs. It is important to refute or disagree intelligently with the opposition so as not to undermine your own position. Demonstrate the holes in the opposition’s argument, do not simply state it is “wrong”.

12 We help students succeed Conclusion Restate in general terms the major arguments that you have marshaled in support of your thesis. Go beyond a simple restating of the thesis to include additional sentences that may o Emphasize the main ideas of your paper o Draw conclusions o Evaluate what has been done or determine the significance of what has been said o Echo the introduction o Offer a solution o Offer encouragement o Offer a course of action

13 We help students succeed Checklist for argumentative essays Does your essay develop an argumentative thesis? Have you considered the opinions, attitudes, and values of your audience? Have you identified and refuted opposing arguments? Have you supported your assertions with evidence?

14 We help students succeed Planning Your Essay Use the laminated sheet to make a visual plan. You can write an outline or use graphic organizers. A particularly useful visual is the house graphic organizer. 1.Draw a roof. This is your introduction. 2.Draw 3 walls. These are the topic sentences for your body paragraphs. 3.Draw 1 additional wall. This is the refuting paragraph. 4.Inside each wall, jot your supporting ideas. 5.Draw a basement. This is your conclusion.

15 We help students succeed Essay Test-Taking Tips Read the directions carefully. Make sure you understand the prompt and follow it precisely. Plan your essay before you write. Budget your time. Be as neat as possible. Don’t write overly long introductions and conclusions. If you have time, proof-read your essay

16 We help students succeed Additional Practice & Resources phs.html phs.html guides/documents/argumentativeessay.pdf guides/documents/argumentativeessay.pdf

17 We help students succeed Questions? Julia N. Visor Academic Center at (309) 438-7100, or stop by Vrooman Hall, Rm. 012 Hours 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM M-Th 8:00 – 4:30 Friday 4:00 – 8:00 Sunday Find a variety of online resources at

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