2 Prompt Specifications The GHSWT topics are often referred to as “prompts,” for their purpose is to prompt or elicit a writing sample in an on-demand setting.Each prompt is divided into two clearly marked parts: the Writing Situation and the Directions for Writing.Writing prompts contain six elements.
3 Six Elements of the Writing Prompt IssueThe issue is to be of enough complexity to allow for the expression of diverse viewpoints.The issue will be relevant to the experiences and interests of Georgia’s high school students.Topics are drawn from teen and school-based issues, societal concerns, and diverse content areas (such as the social sciences and sciences). The variety of topics is intended to foster writing across the curriculum and to allow for differences in students’ prior knowledge.
4 The Prompt Descriptive Setup The issue is presented within a framework that engages the writer’s interest, provides a realistic context for examining the issue, and presents enough information to familiarize any potentially uninformed writer with the nature of the issue.The context may be historical, literary, current, or hypothetical.Key terms that might be unfamiliar are defined, paraphrased, or illustrated with examples.
5 Knowledge BaseWriters should be able to produce a complete and competent response using knowledge gained through either personal or academic experiences or a combination of these sources.
6 Writer’s Intent and Writing Task Cues in the wording of the prompt should make it clear whether the writer is toexamine different sides of a controversy orchoose a position andprovide support for that position oranalyze a problem andits solution(s)The organization or structure of the writingsample is to be appropriate to the task.
7 AudienceThe audience is specified. The audience may range from the familiar (fellow students or family members) to the distant (legislators, school board members, newspaper subscribers).
8 FormForm is specified.However, the conventions of form, such as the inside address or salutation of a business letter, are not evaluated.Possible forms include letters, speeches, compositions, position papers, and papers to be read aloud.
9 New Georgia High School Writing Test Domain WeightIdeasOrganizationStyleConventions1. A domain is an aspect of writing.2. Each domain itself is scored holistically.The score assigned indicates thewriter’s command of the components.
10 Weighting of DomainsScoringDomainDomain Weight% of total scoreWeighting means that the scores in some writing domains will be given more weight than others in determining the total score that a student receives.Ideas2 x raters’ scores40%Organization1 x raters’ scores20%StyleConventions
11 Successful Essays are consistently focused on the assigned topic, persuasive purpose,and audiencehave an effective introduction, body, and conclusiondemonstrate a well developed and valid writer’s positionpresent supporting ideas that are fully elaborated with specific examples and details
12 Successful Essaysfully address readers’ concerns and/or counter arguments. *have main points of their argument that are logically grouped and sequenced within paragraphs and across parts of the paper.contain varied transitional elements that connect ideas (ex. first, next, finally)exhibit word choice that is variedand precise throughout the response
13 Successful Essayspresent sentences that are varied in length and structure.show a writer’s voice that is distinctive.maintain sustained attention to the audience in the introduction, body, and conclusion.
14 Successful Essaysstrive for sentence formation, usage, and mechanics that are consistently correct in a variety of contexts.contain only minor and infrequent errors.have a text of sufficient length to demonstrate effective writingskills in a variety ofcontexts.
15 Persuasive Writinghas as its purpose convincing others to accept the writer’s position as valid, adopt a certain point of view, or take some action.provides logical appeals, emotional appeals, facts, statistics, narrativeanecdotes, humor and/orthe writer’s personalexperiences and knowledge.
16 Persuasive Writingclearly establishes a position on the issue and fully develops an argument with specific details and examples.defends the writer’s position with relevant evidence that is appropriate for the audience identified in the writing topic.
17 Persuasive Writingdemonstrates that the writer can anticipate and counter the audience’s position on the issue .*uses specific facts, personal experience and knowledge, and/or statistics to support the writer’s position.
18 Persuasive Writing includes appeals to logic and/or emotion. contains an organizational structure appropriate for persuasion.
19 The Writing Checklist Prepare Yourself to Write Read the Writing Situation and Directions for Writing carefully.Brainstorm for ideas.Consider how to address your audience.Decide what ideas to include and how to organize them.Write only in English.Make Your Paper MeaningfulUse your knowledge and/or personal experiences that are related to the topic.Express a clear point of view.Fully support your position with specific details, examples, andconvincing reasons.Include an appeal to logic and/or emotions.Organize your ideas in a clear and logical order.Write a persuasive paper and stay on topic.Make Your Paper Interesting to ReadUse examples and details that would be convincing to your audience.Use appropriate voice that shows your interest in the topic.Use precise, descriptive, vivid words.Vary the type, structure, and length of your sentences.Use effective transitions.Edit and Revise Your PaperConsider rearranging your ideas and changing words to make your paper better.Add additional information or details to make your paper complete.Proofread your paper for usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
20 Scoring the Georgia High School Writing Test Five score points in each scoring domain (Ideas X 2, Organization, Style, and Conventions)A score of “5” represents the highest level of competence in each domain.
21 Timeline for the Testing Part 1: Planning/Prewriting (15 minutes)Read your assigned topic on the Writing Topic Page and review the Writing Checklist.Use the space provided for your notes, jot list, or outline.Organize your major supporting details before writing the first draft.Part 2: Drafting (35 minutes)Using your prewriting notes, write a first draft of your paper on the Drafting Sheet.Concentrate on getting your ideas down on paper in a logical order.Part 3: Revising and Editing (25 minutes)Carefully reread what you have written to see if your ideas are clear and fully developed.Consider any changes that would make your paper better.
22 Test Timeline (cont.) Part 4: Final Draft (20 minutes) Rewrite your paper on pages 3 and 4 of the Answer Document.When you rewrite, make sure that you use a blue or black pen and write neatly.You may either print or write in cursive.Do not use pages 1 and 2 of the Answer Document for you writing.Only what is written on pages 3 and 4 of the Answer Document will be scored.Part 5: Proofreading (5 minutes)When you finish writing your final draft, make any needed corrections onyour paper.You may strike through words, but do so neatly.Do not use correction fluid.The suggested times given in the directions are approximate. You will be remindedof the times for each part. What you write on the Planning/Prewriting Page and theDrafting Page will not be graded. Only your final draft will be graded.You MUST write your final draft (using a blue or black ink PEN) on theAnswer Document using only pages 3 and 4.
23 Sample Essay Prompt Writing Situation Many public school systems across the country requirestudents to wear uniforms. Some educators believe thatwearing uniforms will help students concentrate more ontheir school work. On the other hand, some students arguethat having to wear uniforms prevents them from expressingtheir individuality. Your principal is considering whetherstudents at your school should wear uniforms.Directions for WritingWrite a letter to your principal expressing your view onschool uniforms. Provide convincing reasons andspecific examples to support your position.
26 Annotations for Persuasive Paper Ideas Score: 5 The writer’s controlling idea (students should be required to wear uniforms) is fully developed.The writer presents a logical argument with fully developed supporting ideas (wearing uniforms provides for a discrimination free classroom, teens aren’t mature enough to decide what to wear, there are other ways to express individuality).The supporting ideas are fully elaborated with specific, logical examples (the private school example, specific clothes that are not appropriate).The response contains an abundance of relevant information that fully addresses counter arguments and reader concerns (how to express individuality, whether teens are mature enough).
27 Organization Score: 5The introduction engages the reader (posing possible questions the principal may ask) andsets the stage for the writer’s argument.Ideas are presented in a clear and logical order.The writer first cites private schools as an example of how uniforms work, then describes the advantages of uniforms, then addresses a possible counter argument (individuality), before concluding that students are not mature enough to express themselves through their clothing choices.The conclusion provides closure without repetition and calls on the principal to require uniforms.The writer uses varied and effective transitional devices to link all parts of the paper.
28 Style Score: 5The paper contains varied, precise, and engaging language (“higher rank,” “automatically,” “sparetire midriffs,” “enforcing a uniform code,” “chosen to disobey,” “modestly,” “discrimination free,” “I wager that you are asking”).The writer uses an extensive variety of sentence lengths, structures, and beginnings.Audience awareness is demonstrated throughout the paper (“You are probably asking,” “I implore you to do what you must to fix this problem”).The writer’s concerned voice is sustained throughout the response.
29 Conventions Score: 5The writer demonstrates full command of the components of Conventions. Simple, complex, compound, and complex/compound sentences are consistently correct.Usage and mechanics are also consistently correct in a variety of instances.
32 Writing Prompt for Homework Writing SituationMany students do not think the subjects they studyin high school prepare them for the real world theywill face after graduation. The principal at yourschool is asking students for their opinions aboutnew courses that could be offered to preparestudents for life after high school.What new course do you think should be offered?Directions for WritingWrite a letter to convince the principal thatyour new course should be offered. Be sureto explain why your new course is needed,using specific examples and details.
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