Writing a Standardized Test Essay: Characteristics of Effective
Writing a Standardized Test Essay: Characteristics of Effective Writing Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost. More presentations, handouts, interactive online exercises, and video lessons are freely available at Time4Writing.com. Consider linking to these resources from your school, teacher, or homeschool educational site. The rules: These materials must maintain the visibility of the Time4Writing trademark and copyright information. They can be copied and used for educational purposes. They are not for resale. Want to give us feedback? We'd like to hear your views: [email protected] Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Writing is a necessary skill that you will continue to develop for the rest of your life. In college, whether you major in business,
science, or liberal arts, you will be required to write papers about what you are studying. Most jobs require some kind of writing, from reports to correspondence. The best way to improve your skill is to read more and to practice writing. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 To write effectively, use your creativity and your organization. Your creativity will inspire your ideas and help you formulate an interesting point of view. It will also help you find fun ways to use words, such as with figurative language.
Once you have developed your topic and supporting details, use your organization to maintain proper sentence consistency and grammar. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 To write effectively, logically express your ideas with clarity and precision. Choose a writing style that is appropriate for your topic: persuasive, narrative, expository, or comparative If you are presenting your opinion or point of view, then it cannot be wrong, as long as you have expressed it in a reasonable way and supported it convincingly.
Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Writing Essays on a Standardized Test Due to time limits, your essay is graded as a first draft. To receive credit for your test essay, you must write about the topic that has been provided. You can use some facts about the topic if you are sure of them, but otherwise state your opinion(s). Try to use a few higher level vocabulary words, but only where it is appropriate. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources
Copyright 2012 Writing Essays on a Standardized Test (Continued) Begin with a strong topic sentence that sums up what you think or how you feel. Develop your idea by providing reasons to support your statement. o Use many specific examples to illustrate your points. writing essays. Practice o See if it helps to make a quick outline. o Time yourself! For the SAT, you only have 25 minutes. Copyright 2012
www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Maintain a Balance of Abstract and Concrete Abstract language expresses general ideas and is good for beginning an essay with a broad perspective. Concrete language is more specific and is good for providing examples that depict abstract statements. "My dad is very brave." is an abstract statement. It can be effective if followed by a concrete illustration such as, "In his 30 years as a firefighter, he has saved 47 lives." Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Additional Features of Writing Include: 1) Consistency 2) Logical Expression of Ideas
3) Clarity and Precision 4) Appropriate Use of Conventions The following illustrate examples of these. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Examples of Ineffective Consistency Common Error Example Noun-Number Agreement The cat and dog eats their food. change to: The cat and dog eat their food. Subject-Verb Agreement
There is a cat and a mouse. change to: There are a cat and a mouse. Shift of Pronoun Sequence of Tenses Parallelism Copyright 2012 If she falls, try to catch them. change to: If she falls, try to catch her. I will slide and then running away. change to: I will slide and then run away. While I went back, forward you went. change to: While I went back, you went forward. www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Improving the Logical Expression of Ideas Common Error
Example Coordination and Subordination The ride took longer, and there was lots of traffic. change to: The ride took longer; there was lots of traffic. Logical Comparison Modification and Word Order Tautology Copyright 2012 She got more treats than her friend's bag. change to: She got more treats than her friend did. Tiptoeing out, the door closed behind her. change to: Tiptoeing out, she closed the door behind her. The brilliant genius knew every answer.
change to: The genius knew every answer. www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Examples of Improving Clarity and Precision Common Error The made cleaned the house. change to: The maid cleaned the house. Diction Missing Subject Weak Passive Verbs Ambiguous and Vague Pronouns Copyright 2012 Example
Went to her room. change to: She went to her room. Before you have dessert, lunch should be eaten. change to: Before you have dessert, eat lunch. In my class they said there wasn't homework. change to: My classmates said there wasn't homework. www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Appropriately Using Conventions Common Error Adjective and Adverb Confusion Pronoun Case I clean the house slow. change to: I clean the house slowly. She wants to go with you and I.change to: She wants to go with you and me.
This song is from Mozart. change to: This song is by Mozart. Idiom Comparison of Modifiers Sentence Fragment Copyright 2012 Example Of all of my toys, I love my teddy more. change to: Of all of my toys, I love my teddy most. While I slept soundly in my bed. change to: I slept soundly in my bed. www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 As you write, ask yourself questions about the structure and function of each sentence. Does this sentence have:
proper word usage? a logical ordering of words? subject/verb agreement? noun/number agreement? - Does this sentence have any unnecessary words that I can eliminate? - Is this sentence effective in expressing or supporting my idea? Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 As you write, ask yourself questions about the structure of each paragraph as a whole.
Does the sequence of the sentences in this paragraph follow a logical order? Is each sentence related to the surrounding ones in a way that the paragraph flows? Does the concluding paragraph summarize my points? Good Luck! Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 The end. More free SAT WRITING resources: choosing the better sentence editing & revising paragraphs improving sentences writing the SAT essay characteristics of effective writing
Eight-week WRITING courses: elementary school middle school high school Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
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