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GEORGIA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION WRITING TEST September 25, 2013
Format of Test You will have 100 minutes to compete the test Writing must be persuasive. –The purpose of this writing is to convince others to accept the writer’s position as valid, to adopt a certain point of view, or to take some action. –The methods used in this writing are details that appeal to the reader’s emotions and logic, facts, statistics, narrative anecdotes, humor, and/or the writer’s personal experience and knowledge.
Sample Question (Prompt) The prompt contains two sections—the Writing Situation and the Directions for Writing. 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. 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.
Figuring Out the Question 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. 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. About what am I choosing a side? In what format do I write my essay? Who is my audience?
How will my essay be scored? IDEAS: 40% ORGANIZATION: 20% STYLE: 20% CONVENTIONS: 20%
How will my essay be scored? The total weighted raw scores range from 10 (1’s in all four domains) to 50 (5’s in all four domains). The total score is then converted to a three-digit scaled score. There are three performance levels represented: Does Not Meet (100-199), Meets (200-249), and Exceeds (250+).
Domain 1: Ideas To receive a score of 5, you must demonstrate: –Full focus on assigned topic and persuasive purpose –A fully developed controlling idea that establishes the validity of your position –Supporting ideas and elaboration that are relevant to your argument and audience –Use of logical examples, details, and evidence (facts, expert opinions, quotations, or commonly accepted beliefs) –Use of emotional appeal, personal experiences, analogy/comparisons, and logical reasoning
Example of Depth of Development in a Paragraph I am against required school uniforms (intro. paragraph) Uniforms keep us from expressing our individuality. I like to express myself and my interests through my choice of clothes. But If I looked like 1,000 other people, how could I be expressive or original? No teenager likes being told what to wear every day. I have some friends who attend schools where they have to wear uniforms. None of them ever say they like the uniforms. They are all unhappy because their individuality is stifled. I do not want to be that frustrated with my clothing. Controlling Idea Supporting Idea Major Detail Specific Detail Major Detail Specific Details Closing statement
Domain 2: Organization To receive a score of 5, you must demonstrate: –An organizing strategy that is appropriate to your argument –Logical and appropriate sequencing of ideas within paragraphs –An introduction that engages readers and sets the stage for your topic and persuasive purpose (call to action) –Effective transitional words, phrases, and sentences
Domain 3: Style To receive a score of 5, you must demonstrate: –Carefully crafted phrases and sentences that maintain an appropriate tone for your purpose and your audience –Varied and precise language –Appropriate word choice –Appropriate figurative or technical language –Strong, authoritative voice throughout paper –Variety of sentence structure (simple, compound, complex, compound-complex sentences)
Domain 4: Conventions To receive a score of 5, you must demonstrate: –Correct use of simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences –Consistent clarity of meaning, even in complex sentences –Variety of subordination and coordination strategies (Combining appropriate ideas that relate to one another in sentences) –Correct usage of pronouns, s-v agreement, spelling, paragraph indentation, etc. –Infrequent, if any, errors
How will my final score be determined? Your final score is cumulative, which means that your number of points earned in each of the four individual domains will be added together to determine your overall, total score. What does this mean? –If you score really high, maybe a 7 or 8, in one section, it will make up for a low score, like a 2 or 3, in another section.
Final Thoughts to Remember An effective persuasive essay … clearly establishes a position on the issue & fully develops an argument with examples and details defends the your position with appropriate evidence and CALLS PEOPLE TO ACTION demonstrates that the writer can COUNTER ARGUE the audience’s opposing position includes appeals to logic & emotion is organized uses precise language that contributes to an appropriate voice coming from the writer contains a short narrative in the introduction that supports your position An effective persuasive essay is NOT… formulaic writing (“Three reasons I support this are ___, ___, and ___.”) A list of inappropriate ideas and examples that are “off topic” from your position Writing that FAILS to COUNTER ARGUE the reader’s position on the issue Only 1-2 paragraphs Writing that presents ideas and information in a confusing order Writing that does not fully develop ideas Writing that does not address the topic in a persuasive manner
All information taken from: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us
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