There are two types of essays on the Writing HSPE: Expository Persuasive
An expository essay asks you to explain. SAMPLE EXPOSITORY PROMPT: Most of us have a favorite time of year. What is your favorite time of year? Write a multi-paragraph essay for your teacher explaining what time of year is your favorite and why.
A persuasive essay asks you to convince. SAMPLE PERSUASIVE PROMPT: Community officials have proposed that individuals under the age of 18 cannot be out after 9 pm unless they are with an adult. Take a position on this proposal. Write a multi-paragraph letter persuading community officials to support your position.
When you encounter a prompt on the Writing HSPE, you should first check for TAPF : TOPIC What are you writing about? AUDIENCE Who are you addressing? PURPOSE What is the point of writing? FORM How will you write?
Look for TAPF in this prompt: Most of us have a favorite time of year. What is your favorite time of year? Write a multi-paragraph essay for your teacher explaining what time of year is your favorite and why. What is the TOPIC? Who is the AUDIENCE? What is the PURPOSE? What is the FORM?
outline Once you have identified the TAPF, the next step is to write an outline. An outline generally looks like this: Thesis Reason 1 Specific Detail(s) Reason 2 Specific Detail(s) Reason 3 Specific Detail(s)
Copy this format leaving 5 line spaces between each: Thesis: –Reason 1 (Specific Detail/s) –Reason 2 (Specific Detail/s) –Reason 3 (Specific Detail/s)
thesis The thesis governs your entire essay as it’s what you’re arguing or explaining. Sample expository thesis: The class that is foremost in my memory is sixth grade P.E. with Mr. Fisher. Sample persuasive thesis: All students should be required to participate on one athletic team in order to graduate. A three part thesis?
Three Part Thesis Sample expository thesis: The class that is foremost in my memory is sixth grade P.E. with Mr. Fisher because he was always positive, he took us on field trips and he inspired me to try out for a team sport.
Three Part Thesis Sample persuasive thesis: All students should be required to participate on one athletic team in order to graduate in order to foster life-long health, to hone team working skills and to promote connectedness to a community.
thesis Write a thesis for this prompt: Most of us have a favorite time of year. What is your favorite time of year? Write a multi-paragraph essay for your teacher explaining what time of year is your favorite and why.
reasons Your reasons support your thesis. They explain why your thesis matters. Sample expository reason: One reason Mr. Fisher’s class was memorable was that he had he took us on amazing field trips. Sample persuasive reason: One reason students should be required to participate on an athletic team is that many American teenagers are overweight.
Let’s try it: Write one reason that supports your thesis.
Details Details are specific examples. They make your writing interesting and give support to your reasons and your thesis. Sample expository detail: For example, one day Mr. Fisher took us to a Mariner’s game in Seattle so we could get a feel for how P.E. was relevant to us. Sample persuasive detail: For example, my cousin Teresa’s doctor is concerned about Teresa’s obesity. She waived P.E. in her high school, and has never played on an athletic team.
detail Write one detail that supports your reason (and your thesis).
Complete your outline! Three reasons with supporting details listed.
essay introduction Once you have an organized outline, you can write your essay. The first paragraph of your essay is the introduction. There are many different types of introductions. Some are:
Types of i ii introductions: Analogy Making a comparison between your topic and something else For example: Parents are like aliens. There is no clear explanation for the way they dress, the way they speak, or the vehicles they cruise around in.
Types of i ii introductions: Anecdote Telling a story that somehow ties in to your topic For example: When my brother was three, he lost his front tooth in a freak tricycle accident. When I was six, I lost my front tooth the normal way. One day my sister blacked out everyone else’s teeth in the family picture, which made my mom laugh and my dad yell.
Types of i ii introductions: Definition Defining your topic, or a word that relates to it For example: Fear: a feeling of disquiet or agitation based on a sense of danger.
Types of i ii introductions: Fact or statistic Bringing in data or prior knowledge that relates to your topic For example: Most tiger victims die swiftly, their necks broken by the jaws of their predator.
Types of i ii introductions: Question (the weakest) Asking rhetorically about your topic For example: Has it ever occurred to legislators that teachers are underpaid?
Now Try It! introduction Using one of the strategies you just learned, write an introduction paragraph for your favorite season essay.
body The next (& most important) part of your essay is the body. Each body paragraph should contain: 1 reason that supports your thesis (topic sentence). 1-3 specific details that support your reason Explanation of how the details support your reason.
conclusion The final component of your essay is the conclusion. A good conclusion should: Stress the importance of your thesis Give the essay a sense of completeness Leave a final impression on the reader
Conclusion Conclusion suggestions: Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points Ask a provocative question Use a quotation Evoke a vivid image Call for some sort of action End with a warning Universalize (compare to other situations) Suggest results or consequences Refer back to the intro (with key words or parallel images or concepts)
When you have completed your essay, take time to proofread! Check for spelling and punctuation. Be sure that you have used transitions to segue into new reasons or details. (In addition, first, lastly, subsequently, also, etc.) Check for sentence variety. Watch out for fragments or run-ons.
Once you have written your essay, go back to the checklists to see if you have covered everything. Did you miss anything?
Write an outline for the following prompt: Community officials have proposed that individuals under the age of 18 cannot be out after 9 pm unless they are with an adult. Take a position on this proposal. Write a multi-paragraph letter persuading community officials to support your position.
Essay scoring is based on two factors: COS (Content, Organization, Style) CON (Conventions)
Your COS score is based on a 4-point scale. These are the skills your COS score measures: Focus on the topic Supporting details Transitions Strong word choice Sentence variety Voice
Your CON score is based on a 2-point scale. These are the skills your CON score measures: Usage Spelling Capitalization Punctuation Complete sentences Paragraphs
Your total Writing HSPE score should equal 17/24 or better to pass. One expository essay (6 points) graded twice = 12 points One persuasive essay (6 points) graded twice = 12 points
HSPE Writing Tips: DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS! Scorers want to see specific examples to support your ideas. Take your time. The HSPE is not a timed test, so there is no need to rush through anything (even if your classmates do). You will be provided dictionaries and thesauri to use on the test. Use them to bolster word choice and check spelling.
Past Prompts and Guides http://www.k12.wa.us/Writing/Asses sment/AnnotationsHighSchool.aspxhttp://www.k12.wa.us/Writing/Asses sment/AnnotationsHighSchool.aspx
The Writing HSPE takes place on the following dates: March 12, 13, 14 2013 If you are not present on the day of the test, you are not eligible to pass.