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Introduction to Writing on Demand
Transcript of Introduction to Writing on Demand
What do you think of when you hear the words "writing on demand"? What does writing on demand mean? How can you produce good writing if it has to be done "on demand"?
What is "Writing on Demand"?
Writing to a specific prompt
Writing in a narrow window of time
Expected to meet specific requirements based on the prompts and time given.
= Situation: Event that causes you the need to write. (on tests you pretend)
= Purpose: The reason you’re writing: to persuade, to narrate an event, to respond to a text/ graphic/ chart.
= Audience: The person (people) you’re pretending to write to.
= Mode: The type of writing you are to do: letters, feature article, editorial or speech.
1. Unpack the essay prompt using S.P.A.M.
2. Read any assigned articles or passages.
3. Outline your main ideas on the topic.
4. Write an Introduction and Thesis Statement (C+R)
5. Remember your time constraints and drafting.
6. What to do when you're done?
Very few of us can create our best writing when we're put on the spot, but there are some things we can do to improve our chances of writing well on tasks like essay exams.
This type of large scale writing samples is a requirement of the WESTEST 2 for students in Grades 3-11. Other examples might be college entrance requirements, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), by Advanced Placement (AP) exams, and NAEP Writing Assessment (National Assessment of Educational Progress).
We live in a world of high stakes testing and the 21st century workplace often requires the ability to write on demand.
End of Level testing
College entrance exams (SAT, ACT)
Advanced Placement (AP) exams
Situation is the setting.
It’s usually located in the first part of the prompt.
It’s often a situation that hasn’t really happened to you (you have to pretend).
It creates the need to write. Ask yourself, "Why are they asking me to write?"
The writing prompt may ask you to:
Respond to the text using a main idea and supporting details. Ask yourself, "How am I supposed to write the information?"
the audience as you solve problems and/or convince them. Use main ideas and supporting details.
something you saw, heard, smelled, tasted, touched, said, thought, did…to make a point.
the audience about information that you have learned and read about or listened to.
Locate the audience in the prompt. Ask yourself, "Who am I writing to? Who is going to read this?"
It might be an individual or a group.
If the audience isn't stated specifically use the "default". (Society as a whole OR Academic audience/Test graders)
Consider what the audience already knows, needs to know, and might want to know. (This will change based on the audience.)
Imagine what questions they might have for you. Answer them in your writing.
Look in the prompt for the Mode. Ask yourself, "What style/format should my writing be in?"
Look in the prompt for the mode:
Feature article Editorial
Follow the format, for example:
Letters have a date, a greeting, a body, a closing and a signature.
When in doubt
follow the multiple (usually 5) paragraph essay model - trust me.
The Writing Process - How do I use SPAM to help me write?
1. Unpack the prompt:
The first step when you receive a prompt is to figure out
what the question is asking.
Use S.P.A.M to help you identify each element of the assigned task.
This will ensure that you understand what the prompt is asking you to do.
2. Read assigned articles and passages:
Once you know what you're looking for you can read the passages carefully.
Look for the specific information (evidence) you will need to answer the prompt correctly.
Look for examples that you could use in your paper.
3. Outline main ideas:
While you might dismiss this because you feel pressed for time, a few moments planning will keep your essay from going off track and help you remember all the things you want to say.
Write this outline on scratch paper or the margin of your paper so that you can refer back to it as you write.
This should be bullets and NOT COMPLETE SENTENCES - it's an outline that you can expand on in your paper.
4. Write an Introduction w/Thesis Statement:
You won't have time to craft the most create of introductions so start with the basics...
Echo key ideas from the prompt in the first few sentences of your introduction.
Jump right into the thesis statement.
Spend a moment to develop a strong Thesis statement for your essay (Claim + Reasons).
Ask yourself, "What is my point?" "What am I trying to prove?"
5. Remember your time constraints and drafting:
Determine what time you will need to stop writing and periodically check the time remaining.
Be clear and specific. Simpler is better when crafting your essay.
Do not spend precious moments playing with wording or trying to get a sentence to sound EXACTLY right. This wastes time and can give you writer's block.
Use your outline to keep yourself on track. Periodically check your understanding of S.P.A.M. to be sure that you are still answering the question.
6. I think I'm done!
Leave yourself 3-5 minutes to re-read your essay and make any quick fixes.
Correct any spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors you spot on your read through.
Double-check your thesis statement and compare to make sure your body paragraphs match your thesis.
If you discover that your essay doesn't match your thesis statement, CHANGE THE THESIS - don't try to change your entire essay.
Check each paragraph and make sure it has a topic sentence that reflects the content of the paragraph.
Key Terms Used in Essay Questions
Analyze: to break something up into its component pieces and to explain how those pieces relate to the whole.
Classify: to place persons or things together in categories based on common elements.
Compare: to show how things are similar and why the similarities are important.
Contrast: to show how things are different and why the differences are important.
Define: to explain the meaning of a term - often using examples to clarify or illustrate the definition.
Describe: to tell what something looks like, to give a general overview of something.
Discuss: to talk about - a vague term, generally meaning to explain an issue from several points of view.
Evaluate: to make a judgement in comparison to a model or a set of criteria, to look at both sides and them judge.
Examine: to look closely and in-depth at an issue.
Explain: to tell how something works, to clarify, to describe a process.
Identify: to list, explain, or provide an example of; to describe the most important aspects that distinguish a subject from other things.
Illustrate: to show the reader a general concept or principle by using specific examples.
Interpret: to identify significance, meaning, or importance of a set of information. Interpret the data from the experiment.
Justify: to show the advantages of a position or claim.
List: to provide many examples.
Outline: to organize information, listing major and minor points and illustrating how the ideas relate to one another.
Reflect: to think back over what is significant to you and why, often calls for personal connection.
Refute: to disprove an assertion using logical reasons, evidence, and explanations.
Review: to repeat the key elements of the topic, keeping in mind the order in which they were presented.
State: to breifly present the facts or your position.
Summarize: to briefly present the main points of an issue.
Support: to provide proof for an assertion in the form of reasons, evidence, and explanations.
Trace: to follow a single idea over a period of time.
S = Situation
P = Purpose
A = Audience
M = Mode
"The locked door fascinated and puzzled her."
"Suddenly, the window slammed shut."
"The train was late today, and it was always early."
Choose one (1) or two (2) of the following: