(Main ideas and Major supporting points)
Read the questions very carefully at least 2 or 3 times.
The Literacy Reference Group (2017, para. 10) finds that more than 60% of the students who were assessed on their literacy scale made errors in their punctuation.
Circle all the keywords in the question.
My ELL students often passed the reading and math tests, but would have to take the writing test more than once to pass. They had a lot of anxiety around writing, and the state writing exam was like a monster growing in the room as the test date neared. After talking about their fears, the students and I worked together to develop a deeper understanding of the writing test requirements and how to write a solid five paragraph essay. I will outline the process in this article.
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Through this process students discovered that one of the most important categories to be scored on the writing test was organization. If the essay response was well-organized and there were mechanical errors, but they didn't detract from the meaning, the students would be given a passing score. This was surprising to many students, who had largely focused on spelling, grammar, and mechanics, thinking they needed to improve their English language skills in order to pass. Now we could identify what they had learned, and we had a place to start our essay writing work.
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I had the students analyze a simple five-paragraph sample essay to begin to understand the parts of an organized essay. The writing sample (see sample in hotlinks) had a basic beginning paragraph that stated the main idea with three supporting points. Here is an example: