2 Unpacking the PromptThe first step to any essay needs to be unpacking the prompt.This means breaking the prompt into chunks to help us understand the purpose for writing; to give insight into the task.
3 TAPTask – what you should write about Audience – who you are writing to Purpose – why are you writing (to argue a claim or to inform or explain an idea)
4 Purpose – why you are writing Words or phrases signal the purpose in the writing prompt.Key words: argue, argumentative, take a position, claim, agree or disagree – indicate an argumentative essay.KEY WORDS: inform, informational, explain – indicate an informational/explanatory essay.ArgumentativeInformative/explanatory
5 Audience – to whom are you writing A writer should always keep the audience in mind. The audience to whom you write determines how you write (formal, informal, personal, story-like, etc.)FSA writing is ALWAYS formal. This eliminates personal references (“you” and “I”) and rhetorical questions. (NOTE: An occasional “you” is okay, but avoid a friendly, chatty style.)
6 Task – what should you write about The writing task describes what thewriter has to do in order to compose aresponse.Look for words which help define exactly what your response should include.Write an essay in which you take a position on whether or not mistakes are a key part of discovery.
7 Let’s Practice TAPWrite an informational essay to explain how automotive transportation will change in the coming years. Your writing must be based on ideas, concepts, and information from the passage set.PurposeTask
8 Let’s Practice…againWrite an informational essay to explain how music can unite people in uncommon circumstances or situations. Your ideas must be based on ideas, concepts, and information from the passage set.PurposeTask
9 So what is a Controlling Idea? For what purpose do we use a GPS?We use a GPS to reach a destination.What information do we need to provide for the GPS to direct us?A GPS needs a needs to know where you want to go.A controlling idea is like the directions in the GPS; once you input the destination (controlling idea), it will be easier to stay on track to your destination.
16 Remember to TAP your prompt. ReviewRemember to TAP your prompt.Task – what you should write aboutAudience – who you are writing toPurpose – why are you writing (to argue a claim or to inform or explain an idea)Create a controlling idea which is on topic and true of all sources and the world.