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Deconstructing a Prompt
Transcript of Deconstructing a Prompt
Parts of a Writing Prompt
1. Subject: What is the subject you need to write about? A well-written prompt will identify the subject, but it may be vague. For example, a prompt might tell you to think of a childhood experience. What common themes or ideas (either implicit or explicit) are associated with the subject?
Think of something at your school that you would like to change in order to create a more positive learning environment. The change could affect anything from a policy or procedure to an attitude or tradition. In a well organized persuasive letter, write to an adult at your school presenting the problem, your solution to that problem, and why the environment would change.
Identify all of the parts in the four
prompts on page 49. You may use
different colored markers to highlight
different parts in each prompt. The first
prompt will be done together as a class. Afterward, complete the remaining
Answer the following three prompts the same way we answered prompt 1. Be prepared to go over these prompts in class.
Deconstructing a Prompt
SpringBoard 1.9 pg. 47-49
Writing prompts often contain many details but little direction. It is easy to get caught up in the details and forget the main task. You may write an excellent response with flawless syntax, but if you do not respond to the prompt, you will not receive a high score. This activity offers guidance in deconstructing - or reading, analyzing, and understanding - writing prompts.
When considering any prompt, look for five basic parts. Most if not all of the parts will be present. Finding as many as you can will help out figure out what you need to do and how to respond to the prompt correctly.
Five Parts to Look for in a Writing Prompt
2. Speaker: Who is writing the answer? (You are, but are you writing it as a student, a citizen, an
authority?) The prompt should tell you who you are as the writer. What VOICE are you using?
3. Type of Essay: What kind of response are you writing - expository, persuasive, synthesis, personal narrative? An effective prompt must tell you the type of writing you need to do. It may give you a choice. Choose wisely.
Expository writing is a type of writing, the purpose of which is to inform, explain, describe, or define the author's subject to the reader
a piece of writing in which the writer uses words to convince the reader of his/her view regarding an issue
The act of combining ideas from different sources to create, express, or support a new idea
4. Task: What is the prompt asking you to do? For example, your prompt may ask you to take a stand on an issue and write a five-paragraph persuasive essay. Read the details carefully and identify exactly what you need to do.
5. Hints: Does the prompt give you suggestions to get started? The prompt may suggest ideas to think about or literary devices to identify and analyze.
Contemporary life is marked by controversy. Choose a controversial local, national, or global issue with which you are familiar. Then, using appropriate evidence, write an essay that carefully considers opposing positions on this issue and proposes a solution or compromise.
The following is a mock press release from The Onion, a publication devoted to humor and satire. Read the article carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the strategies use in the article to satirize how products are marketed to consumers.
Your assignment is to collaborate with your peers to write an essay that responds to the following synthesis prompt: To what extent does one's culture inform the way one views others and the world? Be sure to support your claim with evidence from at least three different texts you have read, viewed, or listened to in this unit, as well as with personal experience and insights.
Subject: Something at my school that I could change, perhaps a policy (like a Tardy Policy) or the exclusive cliques that cause some students to feel left out of social groups, affecting their ability to learn.
Speaker: I am the speaker. I am a student in this school. I will have to use personal experiences and voice will be important.
Type: I am to write a persuasive letter, using appropriate formatting and deciding whether to be formal or informal. I will need to persuade an adult.
Task: Construct a persuasive argument. Present the problem, my solution, and why the environment would change. I will need to include all elements of an argument (claim, counter claim, support).
Hints: The prompt gives me a hint on organization because I need three separate chunks: to address the problem, my solution, and why the environment will change. The prompt does not give me the adult to write to, so it might be smart to choose someone who can actually help me initiate the change.
Precisely and clearly expressed or readily observable; leaving nothing to implication
Implied though not directly expressed; inherent in the nature of something