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Short Writing Tasks

Tutorial on short writing tasks and how to be successful on the OSSLT
by

Lela McKee

on 21 March 2014

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Transcript of Short Writing Tasks

Strategies for how to be successful on the test.
Short Writing Tasks
Key Points
1. Don't leave anything blank.

2. Use all of the space, but do not write beyond the space (6 lines).

3. Write legibly (so we can read it).

4. Stay on-topic - use the question to begin your answer.

5. Provide an explanation that is relevant.

6. Use specific details from the selection for support.

7. Be specific and clear.
Specific Text Questions
1. There are two questions that ask students to give a response with specific details from the text AND the students' own ideas. Students must give both for full marks.

2. Questions can be "direct" or "explicit", meaning the answer can be found in the text. Questions can be "indirect" or "implicit", meaning the answer must be arrived at by reading between the lines (inferring).

3. These questions are worth 30 marks each. Here are some sample questions from past tests:
(a) Explain how Burd's project demonstrates the work of a scientist. Use specific details from the selection and your own ideas to support your answer.
(b) Why should everyone learn about workplace safety? Use specific details from this selection and your own ideas to support your answer.
Character Trait Question
1. There is one question that asks students to describe a character's personality in a text, and to support it with specific details from the text. This question is worth 30 marks.

2. Students should create a t-chart to plan out their answer with a point and supporting proof. For example, Ben is a good waiter because he is polite. This is shown when he greets customers with a smile and says, "Good evening. May I take your order please?" Point Proof
polite "Good evening...please"
Main Idea Paragraph
1. There is one question that asks students to summarize an informational text by providing one main idea and two relevant supporting details.

2. This question is worth 30 marks, and is phrased in the following way:
(a) State a main idea of this selection and provide two specific details from the selection that supports it.
Open Response Questions
1. There are two open response questions that are based on your life experience. There are no correct or incorrect answers, but answers must be specific and on-topic.

2. These questions are worth 50 marks each (30 for content and 20 for grammar and spelling).

3. Sample questions from past tests include:
(a) Explain why it is important to learn about other cultures. Use specific details to support your answer.

(b) Identify the ideal destination for a high school field trip. Explain your choice with specific details.
Short Writing Task Tips
1. Read and reread the questions so that you clearly understand what is being asked of you.
2. Think of links between the topic and your knowledge and personal experience.
3. Use part of the question to start your answer. This will help you to stay focused.
4. Answer the question using specific details and relevant information.
5. Always use full sentences. Start with a capital letter and end with a period.
6. Reread your response and correct any errors.
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