10th Grade cahsee timed Writing to Gain Higher Scores why review Writing?

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10th Grade CAHSEE

  • Timed Writing to Gain Higher Scores

WHY Review Writing?

  • Because ½ point on the writing = between 6-9 points on the multiple choice

In Other Words….

  • The Writing is Heavily Weighted!

How Can We Use This to Our Advantage?

  • Prepare the kids for structured timed writing

Review the Elements of the Perfect Paragraph

What is a Perfect Paragraph?

The Perfect Paragraph

  • Create a great topic sentence
  • Support topic sentence with evidence
  • Three support sentences work
  • Use some transitional words to smooth things out: because, but, and
  • Never put new info in the conclusion

Review the Elements of the Multi-paragraph Essay

What Are the Steps in a Five Paragraph Essay?

How do I make interesting essays?

  • Vary the Sentence Length
  • Simple Sentence: Subject & Verb or Subject, Verb, Object
  • Compound Sentence: 2 clauses of equal weight joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, or)
  • Complex Sentence: A clause and a phrase joined by a subordinating conjunction (but, because)
  • Correlative conjunctions are used in pairs to create more sophisticated sentences ( not only, but also) (both, and)
  • Compound/Complex Sentence: 2 clauses and a phrase joined by coordinating, subordinating, or correlative conjunctions

The Five Paragraph Essay: The Intro

  • Decide what the question or prompt is asking
  • FIRST PARAGRAPH: Introduce the topic
  • Create a bold thesis statement
  • Decide which evidence will support your thesis and mention in the intro
  • Use a transition into the body

The Bold Thesis Statement

  • Know the difference between a topic and a topic sentence
  • Know the difference between a topic sentence and a bold thesis statement

How do I make a thesis statement bold?

  • Know the difference between a topic, a topic sentence, and a bold thesis statement
  • WAR is a topic
  • “WAR is bad,” “War kills people” are both weak thesis statements & can be used as a topic sentence
  • “WAR is a crime against humanity” is BOLD!

Pound Your Fist!

  • When trying out different BOLD thesis statements, pound your fist
  • Did you laugh?
  • If you didn’t laugh, you probably have a bold thesis statement
  • A BOLD thesis statement often makes a person uneasy…

How do I develop this skill?

  • Get off the fence when writing essays
  • Don’t be afraid to take a stand
  • Do you have to believe what you are writing? NO!
  • You will often be asked to take a side on a debate that you don’t believe in

The Body

  • Paragraph 2,3,4 should illustrate the supporting evidence
  • One paragraph per element of support is adequate for a short essay
  • Use transitional words within paragraphs
  • Use transitional sentences between paragraphs

The Conclusion

  • Begin with a word that clues the reader that the end is near
  • No new info in the conclusion
  • Re-state, review, predict, make a bold statement, or use a quote that illustrates the theme of the essay

Add the Element of Time

  • This will get rid of the fear of writing

Three 7-minute False Starts

  • With this method, we get rid of the fear of writing in a timed setting
  • This method gives the steps that will get the student through a 30 minute essay including how much time to spend on each step

How Does this Work?

Step 1 (7-10 minutes)

  • Read the prompt carefully
  • Do you understand what it is asking?
  • Mentally work through your ideas to see if they fit the topic
  • Put a graphic organizer in the upper right-hand corner
  • Pay attention to tone

Step 2 ( 18-21 minutes)


Step 3 (2 minutes)

  • Read over your essay and check for spelling and punctuation errors. Use the cross-out method to make corrections. No white out!

Tips to Increase the Score

Essay Tips

  • Make it as long as you can within the time limits
  • Address each part of a multiple part question
  • Vary sentence length and structure
  • Get into the subject QUICKLY!

More Essay Tips

  • Don’t babble.
  • Stop and think. Then return to your task
  • Be specific
  • Write NEATLY!
  • ABSOLUTELY, no all caps or stylized writing!
  • Punctuate correctly

No “All CAPS” or Stylized


Ready for Practice?

  • Topic #1: Should this school put metal detectors at all gates?
  • Begin…..

More Practice

  • Topic #2: Should we keep the lockers or take them out?
  • Begin…

More Practice

  • Topic #3: Why do some students just take up a seat and expect a grade?
  • Begin…

More Practice

  • Topic# 1: How do we solve the trash problem on this campus?
  • Begin…

More Practice

  • Topic# 2: Is graffiti art or vandalism? Explain….
  • Begin…

More Practice

  • Topic #3: How do we solve the tardy problem on this campus?

More Practice

  • Topic #1: Do high school students have the right to protest?
  • Begin…

More Practice

  • Topic #2: Define civil disobedience, and apply it to your life.
  • Begin…

More Practice

  • Topic #3: When you go to college, do you want a school that is culturally diverse? Why or Why Not?
  • Begin…

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