Use the right arrow key to advance. Easy steps to becoming a great writer on for a Writing Assessment

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Easy steps to becoming a great writer on for a Writing Assessment

  • Expository
  • Persuasive
  • Descriptive
  • Narrative

What is an expository essay? It …

  • …Gives facts.
  • …Explains.
  • …Gives steps in a process.
  • …Presents ideas in logical order or correct sequence.

What are the key words that show it is an expository prompt?

  • Most people enjoy some type of music. Think about your favorite type of music and explain why you like that particular type of music.
  • Sometimes even the best drivers can get lost at times. Explain how you would direct a lost man to get back to the interstate highway from your neighborhood.
  • Tell how to make a hamburger.

What is a descriptive essay?

  • Sensory images are used to describe what the writer sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes.
  • It paints a clear description of people, places, objects, or events.

What are the key words that show it is a descriptive prompt?

  • Describe your bedroom. Imagine telling someone who has never visited you.
  • There are many tourist spots to visit in Birmingham. Describe your favorite place to take visitors. You may want to tell what you will see, hear, smell and how you feel when you are there.
  • Tell us what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel on Christmas morning.

What is a persuasive essay?

  • You are asked to prove something.
  • Give reasons why.
  • Present arguments against your reasons. Show them to be false.
  • Take a stand
  • Ask or call for an action.

What are the key words that show it’s a persuasive prompt?

  • Persuade a close friend to donate blood as part of a blood drive that your school is sponsoring for the Red Cross.
  • Some of your kid brothers friends have taken up smoking and want him to start too. Write a convincing letter to your kid brother to not take up this habit.
  • Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper telling why citizens in Birmingham should support a tax increase benefiting the local public schools.

What is a narrative?

  • What is a narrative?
  • A narrative…
    • Tells a story.
    • Has chronological order and sequence of events.
    • Has action.
    • Has conflicts or problems.
    • Has dialogue.
    • Has characters.
    • Has a definite beginning, middle and end.

What are the key words that show that these are narrative prompts?

  • You and your friend find a big box that is labeled “Do Not Open.” Your friend wants to open the box. Write a story about what happens next.
  • Tell about a time when you made a serious mistake.
  • Two little girls found a wallet on the sidewalk. Tell what happened next.

Ready to write? First determine what type prompt you have. You should read your prompt at least “three” times.

  • Expository--explain, tell how
  • Descriptive--describe
  • Persuasive---persuade or convince
  • Narrative-- tell about a time when, tell a story
  • Use your scratch paper to brain storm and then make an outline, or web, for a five paragraph essay.

Think – Brainstorm-PACO

  • P-What is your purpose?
  • A- Who is your audience?
  • C- Content --What are your ideas for details, facts, or reasons?
  • O- Organization --Think how you want to structure your paper.
  • Jot down these ideas.
  • First Paragraph
  • Second Paragraph
  • Third
  • Fourth
  • Fifth Paragraph

Let’s prepare to write an essay!

  • Here’s the prompt.
  • There are many good and bad things about being in the seventh grade. Explain what these things are.
  • What kind of prompt do we have?
  • Did you say expository? You’re right!

Use your scratch paper

  • Jot down a few transitions.
  • What are transitions?
  • Words or phrases that connect ideas or introduce the topic.
  • Such as one, if, although, however, finally, in conclusion, first, second, next, additionally,consequently
  • Make an outline or web. Develop a
  • 1-3-1 plan. One Paragraph for intro-
  • Three paragraphs for the body –
  • One paragraph for the conclusion.

Additionally One First Second Next Another- if Although Finally In conclusion Indeed Consequently Stars are key ideas or controlling statements. Explanations Examples, Evidence are listed below.

  • Conclusion: Sum up what you’ve said. Refer back to your introduction.

This is an important step! Don’t try to write your paper without doing an outline first. Why?!

  • You will be graded on organization.

Introductions for expository, descriptive and persuasive essays should….

  • Grab the reader’s attention.
  • Or -- Let the reader know what you’re going to talk about.
  • Or--Show a plan for what you’re going to be talking about in the three body paragraphs.
  • Or --State what the audience will learn in this essay.

Sample Introduction

  • Although I have taken many wonderful vacations, my trip with my two best friends to New York City is one I’ll always remember. This was a fantastic trip because of the sights we saw, the people we met, the plays we enjoyed, and the laughs we shared.
  • What’s the plan?
  • What’s the topic?
  • Each part of the plan will be developed into paragraphs.

After you make your web, outline, or four square start writing your introduction. Leave space at the top for two more lines. ( It won’t count against you.)You might come back later to insert a little background information in the introduction. Remember to grab interest and show the plan of your paper in the introduction.


  • Have you ever thought about what are the good and the bad things in seventh grade? There are good things like changing classes and more freedom. Some of the bad things are you have to stay in school longer, you have SAT tests, and tests get harder. Stay with me as I explain the good and bad things about being in the seventh grade.
  • How does the writer grab your attention?

Let’s start on the body. Go back to your web or outline for the second paragraph.

  • Good Fun Things
  • -Changing classes and teachers
  • -Ms. Trunchbull & Ms. Honey
  • More Freedom
  • - no line
  • -See friends at lunch

First I will tell you about the good and fun things about being in the seventh grade.You get to change classes so if one teacher is like Mrs. Trunchbull in Matilda, you are only with her for part of the day. If your teacher is like Ms. Honey you will enjoy a fabulous time with her. Another thing I enjoy is more freedom. We don’t have to walk in straight lines as if we were soldiers marching off to war. Next, you can get your own food instead of having the lunch ladies get it for you. I like spending time with my friends so if there are not in one of my classes, I can see them at lunch.

  • Transition words help!
  • Does he explain, give examples, use metaphors?

Look back at your outline for the third paragraph

  • Bad things
  • SAT Test
  • -not like elementary school
  • -compare to stale bread
  • more test and harder
  • -stress stomach hurts
  • -math makes me sick

Next I’m writing about the bad things you go through in seventh grade. First of all you have to take the SAT test. In elementary school you didn’t have to worry about this kind of thing. The SAT test is like eating stale food because it can hurt you and it can be boring. The tests get harder as you go on. We have so many of them they can cause a major stress and make you feel like your stomach was just pulled out. At my elementary school we got out fifteen minutes earlier. Sitting in math class for that extra minutes makes me feel terrible inside.

  • Did you find the transitions? What are the key ideas? How does he explain his key ideas? What is the metaphor?

Look back to your outline before writing the fourth paragraph

  • things that are both good & bad
  • Field Trips
  • -miss school
  • -might be boring
  • PE
  • -clothes sweat
  • -fun to play and compete
  • Homework
  • -too much
  • -pull up grades

Finally my next category is going to be things that come good and bad. First field trips are extremely fun because you can talk and miss school. However it’s bad if you go somewhere boring or can’t sit with your friend. Everybody loves P.E. because we play real sports with competitiveness. But sadly when we’re leaving PE, my clothes get sweaty which doesn’t feel good. Everybody knows the pluses and minuses of Homework! We have so much homework it just takes the energy out of you, which is bad. What is good about it is that the more homework you have, the better chance you have to pull up your grade.

  • Did you find the transitions? What are the key ideas? How does he explain his key ideas?

Now we are ready for the fifth paragraph – the conclusion which will summarize our main points or key ideas in the body.

  • Good and bad things
  • freedom
  • changing classes
  • SAT test
  • going to school longer
  • tests
  • Good and Bad
  • Homework
  • PE
  • Fieldtrips

In conclusion the seventh grade has good and bad things involved. Such as more freedom, and changing classes. Some other things are SAT test, going to school longer, and quizzes and tests. Homework, P.E., and field trips fall into both of those categories.

  • What are your transitions? Does the writer sum up what he written? Does he refer back to the introduction.
  • This paragraph was from an actual essay written by a student for the state writing assessment. His organization gave him a four.

Whoops! What did we forget?

  • Did you think title? You are right!
  • How about – “The Good and Bad Things About Seventh Grade”
  • Nah… Boring. Interesting titles have an action word.
  • How about- “Good and Bad Things Happen in Seventh Grade” …better
  • How about “Seventh Grade, Good or Bad- You Be the Judge”

Remember we said to leave a little space at the top. Let’s look at a classmate’s essay and see why…

  • In the near future I would like to become a forensic scientist and help solve crimes. The steps I would have to take to achieve my goals are finishing school, practice the procedure of my major, and be successful in everything I do.
  • What My Near Future Would Be Like
  • After rereading she came back to add a little background information. This is an important step Reread to IMPROVE.
  • I’ve always found the solving of crimes by DNA evidence to be interesting. A forensic scientist is doctor who examines data.

Now Let’s Look At Narrative

  • Tell about a time
  • Write a story
  • Chronological sequence of events
  • Dialogue
  • Action
  • Problems, conflicts
  • Beginning, Middle, End
  • Do you think there is a love story here?

Use this type of web for a Narrative


Some typical story transition words

  • One day
  • Suddenly
  • During
  • Until
  • Yesterday
  • Meanwhile
  • Afterwards
  • While
  • Typically transitions are about time. After, before, since, later

How to get your story rolling

Get the story rolling with dialogue

  • “What’s that smell?”
  • the seventh graders complained.
  • “Finish your experiment and we’ll head outside to get away from it,” said their teacher.
  • What punctuation goes with the words said?
  • Did you say quotation marks? You’re right!

Get the story rolling

  • Provide a “where” with prepositional phrases:
  • Near the park
  • Below the surface of the water
  • In Chicago
  • Throughout the crowded room
  • Inside the lunchroom

Here’s an excellent beginning by one of your classmates at Arrington.

  • It was an early Tuesday morning in Tokyo Japan. The sun started to rise over Juan Lee’s house. Boom! Juan Lee and his friend Jen went to see what was with all of the commotion. Then the door came crashing down. It turned out that Juan’s Aunt Lee kicked the door down.
  • How does he start his story? How does he grab interest?

Can you tell which passage is narrative and which is expository?

  • Marty and I jumped to our feet. “Ohhhh.” I heard Marty let out a frightened moan.
  • I started to back away. I thought maybe I could scramble out the other side of the car.
  • But the snarling, growling monsters came at us from both sides. “L-leave us alone.” I stammered.
  • A monster covered in tangled brown fur opened
  • After Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the New World, many Spaniards came to this continent to explore. One Spanish explorer was Ponce De Leon. He traveled through present-day Florida to find the Fountain of Youth. A second explorer, Coronado searched for the Seven Cities of Gold. He and his men traveled
  • Expository
  • Narrative

Put it all together and write!

  • Does this give you an overall review of what we’ve studied for writing?
  • There are many things that fit together to help us become excellent writers.
  • Text
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  • Identify your prompt
  • Plan your work with an outline.
  • Give your work a title with an action word.
  • Grab interest in the beginning
  • Build your paragraph with explanations, examples, & evidence following the topic statement or key statement.
  • Use strong action words
  • Use vivid adjectives
  • Use metaphors
  • Finished? Reread & reread to improve and clarify.

Mr. Ryan

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