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Understanding the *GHSWT *Georgia High School Writing Test
Taking the GHSWT The GHSWT prompt (or writing topic) contains two sections—the Writing Situation and the Directions for Writing
Taking the GHSWT The Writing Situation gives the background for the writing assignment. 1. The first sentence introduces the general topic. 2. The remaining sentences help the writers think about different aspects of the topic, realize that they do know enough about the topic to write and then to focus their individual responses.
Taking the GHSWT Sample Writing Situation: Many public school systems across the country require students to wear uniforms. Some educators believe that wearing uniforms will help students concentrate more on their school work. On the other hand, some students argue that having to wear uniforms prevents them from expressing their individuality. Your principal is considering whether students at your school should wear uniforms.
Taking the GHSWT The Directions for Writing tell what the students are supposed to do for the writing assignment. 1. The first sentence provides the students with a format for writing (such as a letter, a speech, or a newspaper article) and gives the students an identifiable audience. 2. The final sentence reminds the students to give many specific examples and ideas to elaborate their supporting ideas.
Taking the GHSWT Sample Directions for Writing: Write a letter to your principal expressing your view on school uniforms. Provide convincing reasons and specific examples to support your position.
Scoring the GHSWT Ideas—40% Are the main idea and supporting details clearly stated? Organization—20% Is the essay well-organized? Style—20% Is the essay clear and convincing? Conventions—20% Is the essay written with standard English grammar and usage?
Scoring the GHSWT Ideas Controlling idea is focused and fully developed Logical supporting ideas are appropriate Supporting ideas include examples and details Writing contains complete information Writing addresses reader concerns and perspectives
Scoring the GHSWT Organization Essay remains focused throughout Ideas are appropriate and logical Related ideas are grouped together in paragraphs Writing is organized so that ideas are easily understood Transitions link ideas and parts of the paper
Scoring the GHSWT Style Writing uses appropriate, precise, and engaging language Writer uses a variety of strategies to reach the reader (questions, emotional appeals, relevant examples, etc.) Writer’s voice is constant throughout (sounds like one writer) Sentence length and styles are varied (not too choppy or too wordy)
Scoring the GHSWT Conventions Sentences are correctly formed; end punctuation is correct Grammar/usage is standard (subject/verb agreement, verb forms, word endings, etc. Correct punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and paragraph indention are evident
Taking the GHSWT Student Writing Checklist for Persuasive Writing 1. 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
Taking the GHSWT Student Writing Checklist for Persuasive Writing (cont’d) 2. Make your paper meaningful Use your knowledge and/or personal experiences that are related to the topic Fully support your position with specific details, examples, and convincing 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
Taking the GHSWT Student Writing Checklist for Persuasive Writing (cont’d) 3. Make your paper interesting to read Use 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
Taking the GHSWT Student Writing Checklist for Persuasive Writing (cont’d) 4. Edit and revise your paper Consider 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
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