The Writing Standard is divided into three strands: Writing Process, Writing Elements, and Writing Applications. Each strand is divided into concepts that broadly define the skills and knowledge that students are expected to know and demonstrate in writing.  Performance objectives within each concept more specifically delineate the tasks to be taught and learned.

The organization of the Writing Standard does not imply that the teaching and learning of writing should be fragmented or compartmentalized. The order of the strands, concepts, and performance objectives are not intended to be a progression or hierarchy of literacy instruction, with individual performance objectives taught in isolation.  Effective instruction incorporates multiple performance objectives into an integrated experience of learning for the student.

A balanced approach to implementing the Writing Standard recognizes that not all skills and knowledge receive equal emphasis at all times.  As students progress as maturing writers, emphasis of concepts or performance objectives will vary to meet their changing needs.

The itemized portions of the performance objectives, shown with lettering, provide the specific content that is to be learned by students as part of the outcome of the performance objective.

The format of this itemized list does not imply that all components must be taught in one lesson or in any particular order. Teachers should decide how best to organize the content to fit the needs of their students.

An e.g. in a performance objective indicates a non-exhaustive list of examples provided as options; other examples may be appropriate but are not included. Teachers may use these examples or others of their own choosing. In contrast, an i.e. precedes a specific list of items in which all of the items should be included in instruction.

Due to the nature of the content, some performance objectives are repeated in subsequent grade levels. It is understood that the complexity, depth, and difficulty of the performance objective’s content will increase from one grade level to the next.

It is recommended that educators view the Writing Standard as a continuum across all grade levels. If students lack proficiency in skills from previous grades, remediation should occur prior to addressing related grade level objectives Likewise, students who demonstrate proficiency of grade level objectives may be challenged with subsequent grade level expectations. Therefore, the Writing Standard format is designed to allow each educator easy access to the performance objectives of preceding, current, and subsequent grade levels.

Strand One: Writing Process

Research has established the major steps of the writing process. These steps are identified in the five concepts of this strand, each supported with specific performance objectives.  While all steps are needed and used by effective writers as they compose text, different skills may be emphasized in individual assignments. These steps may be used recursively as a piece

moves toward completion. Throughout the process, students should reflect on their own writing skills, set goals, and evaluate their own progress.

Concept 1: Prewriting

Prewriting includes using strategies to generate, plan, and organize ideas for specific purposes.

Concept 2: Drafting

Drafting incorporates prewriting activities to create a first draft containing necessary elements for a specific purpose.

Concept 3: Revising

Revising includes evaluating and refining the rough draft for clarity and effectiveness. (Ask: Does this draft say what you want it to say?)

Concept 4: Editing

Editing includes proofreading and correcting the draft for conventions.

Concept 5: Publishing

Publishing includes formatting and presenting a final product for the intended audience.

Strand 2: Writing Elements

This strand focuses on the elements of effective writing. Good writing instruction incorporates multiple performance objectives into an integrated experience of learning for the student. . Throughout the process, students should reflect on their own writing skills, set goals, and evaluate their own progress. The order of the concepts and performance objectives is not intended to indicate a progression or hierarchy for writing instruction.  Instructional activities may focus on just one concept or many.

Concept 1: Ideas and Content

Writing is clear and focused, holding the reader’s attention throughout. Main ideas stand out and are developed by strong support and rich details. Purpose is accomplished.

Concept 2: Organization

Organization addresses the structure of the writing and integrates the central meaning and patterns that hold the piece together.

Concept 3: Voice

Voice will vary according to the type of writing, but should be appropriately formal or casual, distant or personal, depending on the audience and purpose.

Concept 4: Word Choice

Word choice reflects the writer’s use of specific words and phrases to convey the intended message and employs a variety of words that are functional and appropriate to the audience and purpose.

Concept 5: Sentence Fluency

Fluency addresses the rhythm and flow of language.  Sentences are strong and varied in structure and length.

Concept 6: Conventions

Conventions addresses the mechanics of writing, including capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar and usage, and paragraph breaks.

Strand 3: Writing Applications

Writing skills particular to the applications listed here may be taught across the curriculum, although some applications may lend themselves more readily to specific content areas. It is imperative that students write in all content areas in order to increase their communication skills, and ultimately to improve their understanding of content area concepts.  When appropriate, other content standards are referenced to show interdisciplinary connections.

Concept 1: Expressive

Expressive writing includes personal narratives, stories, poetry, songs, and dramatic pieces. Writing may be based on real or imagined events.

Concept 2: Expository

Expository writing includes nonfiction writing that describes, explains, informs, or summarizes ideas and content. The writing supports a thesis based on research, observation, and/or experience.

Concept 3: Functional

Functional writing provides specific directions or information related to real-world tasks. This includes letters, memos, schedules, directories, signs, manuals, forms, recipes, and technical pieces for specific content areas.

Concept 4: Persuasive

Persuasive writing is used for the purpose of influencing the reader. The author presents an issue and expresses an opinion in order to convince an audience to agree with the opinion or to take a particular action.

Concept 5: Literary Response

Literary response is the writer’s reaction to a literary selection. The response includes the writer’s interpretation, analysis, opinion, and/or feelings about the piece of literature and selected elements within it.

Concept 6: Research

Research writing is a process in which the writer identifies a topic or question to be answered. The writer locates and evaluates information about the topic or question, and then organizes, summarizes, and synthesizes the information into a finished product

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