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PSSA Writing Test Tips and Strategies for Success.

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Presentation on theme: "PSSA Writing Test Tips and Strategies for Success."— Presentation transcript:

1 PSSA Writing Test Tips and Strategies for Success

2 What will the test be like? Multiple Choice Section Informational Prompt Persuasive/Argumentative Prompt Narrative Prompt

3 Multiple Choice Section Short passages with errors Each passage is followed by multiple choice questions Questions will focus on revising and editing the passages.

4 Informational Prompt Purpose To explain To instruct To categorize To define Structure Compare/Contrast Cause/Effect Problem/Solution Classification

5 Persuasive Prompt PURPOSE To convince To persuade To solicit a response or reaction from a reader To take a position

6 Persuasive cont. Many possible STRUCTURES. Some include: Comparison/contrast Cause/effect Classification Problem/solution Key issue: using logic and evidence to support the stated position.

7 How will my test be scored? The PSSA uses a mode-specific scoring guideline for each prompt. The mode-specific scoring guidelines identify the most essential qualities of the mode of writing and the specific prompt related to the core areas of writing: focus, content, organization and style. Conventions of writing are scored with a separate scoring guideline.

8 Focus is the single controlling point made with an awareness of task (type) about a specific topic. It involves three essential features. 1.The writer should make a statement about the topic either in the form of a thesis statement or strongly implied. 2.The writer should write about the task using the type of writing stated in the prompt. (letter, story, informational) 3.The writer should clearly address the topic.

9 Content presents ideas developed through facts, examples, anecdotes, details, opinions, statistics, reasons and explanations. 1.The writer should support and explain or elaborate on any details. 2.Any points should be clearly developed and made relevant. 3.The writer should “ show ” the reader, not “ tell. ”

10 Organization is the order developed and sustained within and across paragraphs using transitional wording and including introduction and conclusion. It concerns the arrangement of the content into an order appropriate for the purpose of the response. The arrangement may be marked by transitional devices within and between paragraphs.

11 Style reflects the choice, use and arrangement of words and sentence structures that create tone and voice. 1.The writer should use specific language and sentence structure to develop a voice and tone consistent with and supportive of the main idea. 2.The writer should demonstrate an awareness of audience.

12 Conventions include grammar, mechanics, spelling, usage and sentence formation. The writer should demonstrate evident control of these conventions. The conventions score will be determined by the combined score of the conventions of writing scoring guideline and the multiple-choice revising and editing items.

13 Guess the mode… Remember …an informative prompt will ask for an explanation, clarification, evaluation, comparison or definition. … a persuasive prompt will ask you to take a side, support an opinion, or to defend, argue or refute.

14 Informative or Persuasive? Think about discoveries or inventions that have affected our lives. Select one. Write to inform someone about this discovery or invention. Tell whether it has been good or bad for society.

15 Informative or Persuasive? A new principal is contacting all students about changing or adding to the school rules. Think of a rule you would like to change or add. Write to persuade your principal to use your suggestion.

16 Informative or Persuasive? Many American citizens believe that the electoral college is unfair and propose that our President should be elected by popular vote. Take a stance and discuss your opinion of this issue.

17 Informative or Persuasive? “Great thoughts speak only to a thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all humankind.” —Emily P. Bissell How do “great actions speak to all humankind”? Write an essay that explains your understanding of this quotation.

18 Informative or Persuasive? Many areas have laws that require motorcycle and bicycle riders to wear helmets. Do these laws conflict with your right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Take a position for or against these laws and write an essay supporting your view.

19 Informative or Persuasive? You are the class president and have been asked to write an introduction for a person you admire greatly. Write an essay describing the most admirable qualities of the person.

20 Musts for a Persuasive Essay Take one side of an issue presented. Don’t be wishy-washy! If you must take a side, choose the side of the issue that is easier to argue, regardless of personal beliefs. State your position clearly! Don’t assume the reader will “get” what you mean. Support your stance with three specific, concrete and logical reasons. Be prepared to “back up” these reasons with evidence. A reason alone is not convincing enough! Anticipate and address the counter-argument.

21 Tips for Success Everything in your paper must relate to the topic – don’t get sidetracked! Present your ideas in a logical, organized fashion. The five paragraph essay format works well for both modes of writing on the PSSA.

22 Writing Your Introduction Start with an attention-grabber. You may ask a question, tell a brief story, give a startling fact, or use another attention-getting device. Clearly state your thesis or topic.

23 Writing the Body Paragraphs Each paragraph should have a main idea that is well-supported with examples or explanation. Use transitions within and to connect paragraphs. Stay on topic! Elaboration of your ideas is key!

24 Writing the Conclusion Re-state the main idea or position or your paper. A persuasive essay should end with a call to action. Write a logical ending for your paper.


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