Writing Standard: Grade 12

Strand 1: 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.

PO 1.  Generate ideas through a variety of activities (e.g., brainstorming, notes and logs, graphic organizers, record of writing ideas and discussion, printed material or other sources).

PO 2.  Determine the purpose (e.g., to entertain, to inform, to communicate, to persuade, to explain) of an intended writing piece.

PO 3.  Determine the intended audience of a writing piece.

PO 4.  Establish a controlling idea appropriate to the type of writing.

PO 5.  Use organizational strategies (e.g., outline, chart, table, graph, Venn Diagram, web, story map, plot pyramid) to plan writing.

PO 6.  Maintain a record (e.g., lists, journals, folders, notebooks) of writing ideas.

PO 7.  Use time management strategies, when appropriate, to produce a writing product within a set time period.

Concept 2: Drafting

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

PO 1.  Use a prewriting plan to develop the main idea(s) with supporting details.
PO 2.  Sequence ideas into a cohesive, meaningful order.
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?)

PO 1.  Evaluate the draft for use of ideas and content, organization, voice, word choice, and sentence fluency. (See Strand 2)

PO 2.  Add details to the draft to more effectively accomplish the purpose.

PO 3.  Delete irrelevant and/or redundant information from the draft to more effectively accomplish the purpose.

PO 4.  Rearrange words, sentences, and paragraphs in the draft in order to clarify the meaning or to enhance the writing style.

PO 5.  Add transitional words and phrases to the draft in order to clarify meaning or enhance the writing style.

PO 6.  Use a variety of sentence structures (i.e., simple, compound, complex) to improve sentence fluency in the draft.

PO 7.  Apply appropriate tools or strategies (e.g., peer review, checklists, rubrics) to refine the draft.

PO 8.  Use resources and reference materials (e.g., thesaurus, dictionary) to select more effective and precise language.
Concept 4: Editing

Editing includes proofreading and correcting the draft for conventions.

PO 1.  Identify punctuation, spelling, and grammar and usage errors in the draft. (See Strand 2)

PO 2.  Use resources (e.g., dictionary, word lists, spelling/grammar checkers) to correct conventions.

PO 3.  Apply proofreading marks to indicate errors in conventions.

PO 4.  Apply appropriate tools or strategies (e.g., peer review, checklists, rubrics) to edit the draft.

Concept 5: Publishing

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

PO 1.  Prepare writing that follows a format appropriate for the purpose (e.g., for display, sharing with others, submitting to a publication).
PO 2.  Include such techniques as principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, columns) and graphics (e.g., drawings, charts, graphs), when applicable, to enhance the final product.
PO 3.  Write legibly.
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.

PO 1.  Maintain a clear, narrow focus to support the topic.
PO 2.  Write with an identifiable purpose and for a specific audience.
PO 3.  Provide sufficient, relevant, and carefully selected details for support.
PO 4.  Demonstrate a thorough, balanced explanation of the topic.
PO 5.  Include ideas and details that show original perspective and insights.
Concept 2: Organization

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

PO 1.  Use a structure that fits the type of writing (e.g., letter format, narrative, play, essay).
PO 2.  Include a strong beginning or introduction that draws in the reader.

PO 3.  Place details appropriately to support the main idea.
PO 4.  Use effective transitions among all elements (sentences, paragraphs, and ideas).
PO 5.  Employ a variety of paragraphing strategies (e.g., topical, chronological, spatial) appropriate to application and purpose.
PO 6.  Create an ending that provides a sense of resolution or closure.
Concept 3: Voice

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

PO 1.  Show awareness of the audience through word choice, style, and an appropriate connection with, or distance from, the audience.

PO 2.  Convey a sense of identity through originality, sincerity, liveliness, or humor appropriate to topic and type of writing.

PO 3.  Choose appropriate voice (e.g., formal, informal, academic discourse) for the application.
PO 4.  Use engaging and expressive language that shows a commitment to the topic.

PO 5.  Use language appropriate to purpose, topic, and audience.
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.

PO 1.  Use accurate, specific, powerful words and phrases that effectively convey the intended message.
PO 2.  Use vocabulary that is original, varied, and natural.
PO 3.  Use words that evoke clear images.
PO 4.  Use literal and figurative language intentionally when appropriate.
PO 5.  Use clichés only when appropriate to purpose.
Concept 5: Sentence Fluency

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

PO 1.  Use a variety of sentence structures (simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex) and lengths to reinforce relationships among ideas and to enhance the flow of the writing.
PO 2.  Show extensive variation in sentence beginnings, lengths, and patterns to enhance the flow of the writing.
PO 3.  Demonstrate a flow that is natural and powerful when read aloud.
Concept 6: Conventions

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

PO 1. Use capitals correctly for:

a. proper nouns:

  • holidays
  • place/regional names
  • languages
  • historical events
  • organizations
  • academic courses (e.g., algebra/Algebra I)
  • product names

b. words used as names  (e.g., Grandpa, Aunt Lyn)

c.     literary titles (book, story, poem, play, song)

d. titles

e. abbreviations

f. proper adjectives (e.g., German shepherd, Chinese restaurant)

PO 2.  Use commas to correctly punctuate:

a. items in a series

b. greetings and closings of letters

c. introductory words, phrases and clauses

d. direct address

e.     interruptors

f.      compound sentences

g.     appositives

h.     dialogue

PO 3.  Use quotation marks to punctuate:

a.     dialogue

b.     titles

c.     exact words from sources

PO 4.  Use underlining or italics to correctly identify titles and vessels (e.g., ships, spacecrafts, planes, trains).
PO 5.  Use colons to punctuate business letter salutations and sentences introducing lists.

PO 6.  Use semicolons to punctuate compound and compound-complex sentences when appropriate.

PO 7.  Use apostrophes to punctuate:

a. contractions

b. singular possessives

c. plural possessives

PO 8.  Use hyphens, dashes, parentheses, ellipses, and brackets correctly.
PO 9.  Spell words correctly.

PO 10.  Use paragraph breaks to reinforce the organizational structure, including dialogue.

PO 11.  Demonstrate control of grammar and usage in writing:

a.     parts of speech

b.     verb forms and tenses

c.     subject/verb agreement

d.     pronoun/antecedent agreement

e.     parallel structure

f.      comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives

g.     modifier placement

h.     homonyms

PO 12.  Use appropriate format, according to type of writing, to cite sources (e.g., Chicago, APA, MLA, UPI, any other recognized style manual).

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.

PO 1.  Write in a variety of expressive forms (e.g., poetry, fiction, autobiography, narrative, and/or drama) that:

a.     use voice and style appropriate to audience and purpose

b.     organize ideas in writing to ensure coherence, logical progression, and support

c.     employ literary devices (e.g., irony, conceit, flashback, foreshadowing, symbolism, allusion) to enhance style and voice

Example:  After reading from Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, write your own version of a traveler’s tale.

Concept 2: Expository

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

PO 1.  Write a multi-paragraph essay (e.g., analysis, deduction/induction, problem/solution, extended definition) that:

a.     includes background information to set up the thesis (hypothesis, essential question), as appropriate

b.     states a thesis (hypothesis, essential question) with a narrow focus

c.     includes evidence in support of a thesis (hypothesis, essential question) in the form of details, facts, examples, or reasons

d.     communicates information and ideas from primary and/or secondary sources accurately and coherently, as appropriate

e.     attributes sources of information as appropriate

f.      includes a topic sentence for each body paragraph

g.     includes relevant factors and variables that need to be considered

h.     includes visual aids to organize and record information on charts, data tables, maps and graphs, as appropriate

i.      includes an effective conclusion

Example: Compose an essay explaining how your school’s service learning program has identified and addressed a community problem.

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.

PO 1.  Write a work-related document (e.g., resume, application essay) that:

a.     presents information purposefully and succinctly to meet the needs of the intended audience

b.     follows a conventional format

Example:  Write a resume outlining job experience, extra-curricular activities and other skills, formatted for the intended audience.

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.

PO 1.  Write a persuasive composition (e.g. speech, editorial, letter to the editor, public service announcement) that:

a.     states a position or claim

b.     presents detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning to support effective arguments and emotional appeals

c.     attributes sources of information when appropriate

d.     structures ideas

e.     acknowledges and refutes opposing arguments

Example:  Write a public service announcement persuading citizens to vote.

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.

PO 1.  Write literary analyses that:

a.     evaluates the author’s use of literary elements (i.e., theme, point of view, characterization, setting, plot)

b.     interprets figurative language (i.e.,  personification, hyperbole, symbolism, allusion, imagery, extended metaphor/conceit, and allegory) with emphasis upon how the writer uses language to evoke readers’ emotions

c.     explains how meaning is enhanced through various features of poetry, including sound (e.g., rhythm, repetition, alliteration, consonance, assonance), structure (e.g., meter, rhyme scheme), graphic elements (e.g., line length, punctuation, word position)

d.     analyzes a writer’s word choice and imagery as a means to appeal to the reader’s senses and to set the tone, providing evidence from the text to support the analysis,

e.     describes the function of dialogue, scene design, soliloquies, asides, and/or character foils in dramatic literature

f.      compares literary texts that express a universal theme, providing textual evidence (e.g., examples, details, quotations) as support for the identified theme

g.     analyzes characteristics of subgenres (e.g., satire, parody, allegory) that overlap or cut across the lines of genre classifications such as poetry, novel, drama, short story, essay or editorial

Example:  Write an essay comparing and contrasting the realities of war as presented in “Dulce Et Decorum Est ” by Wilfred Owen and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

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.

PO 1.  Write a research product that:

a.     incorporates evidence in support of a thesis or claim

b.     integrates information and ideas from multiple primary and secondary sources

c.     makes distinctions between the relative value and significance of specific data, facts, and ideas

d.     includes visual aids to organize and record information on charts, data tables, maps and graphs, as appropriate

e.     integrates direct quotes

f.      uses internal citations

g.     includes a works cited, bibliography, or reference page

Example:  Write a research report about inventions that were first mentioned in science fiction novels or movies and later became a scientific reality.