Georgia Writing AssessmentTraining Grade 8 Writing Assessment
2013 Grade 8 Writing Assessment Administration • Main Administration: January 23, 2013 • Make-up Administration: January 24, 2013 • Session Length: 100 minutes
How the Grade 8 Writing Assessment is Scored • ANALYTIC Scoring • Four domain of writing are scored • Ideas • Organization • Style • Conventions • Papers receive a score of 1-5 in each domain. • Domains scores are weighted and added together to determine the raw score. • The raw score is converted to a scale score which is reported to the school/student.
Weighting of Domains Weighting means that the scores in some writing domains will be given more weight than others in determining the total score that a student receives. Introduction: Scoring Information
Domain Score to Total Weighted Raw Score Conversion The following table indicates the total weighted raw scores for several domain score combinations. Two raters score each student paper, assigning a score of 1-5 in each of the four domains. The range of total weighted raw scores is 10 – 50. Introduction: Scoring Information
Supplemental Performance Levels The table indicates the performance level that corresponds to the raw scores. There are two borderline levels to indicate papers that received raw scores close to the line between two performance levels.
Raw Score and Scale Score Ranges Does Not Meet Meets the Standard Exceeds the Standard
Genres of Writing • 2 Genres are assessed in Grade 8 • Persuasive • Expository
Defining Expository Writing Expository Writing: Writing that enhances the reader’s understanding of a topic by instructing, explaining, clarifying, describing, or examining a subject or concept. Method • Provides facts, statistics, descriptive details, comparison, contrast, analysis, evaluation, definition, humor, and personal anecdotes. Genres: Expository Writing
Just the Facts *Keep in mind that for the statewide writing assessment accuracy (in terms of factual content) is not evaluated given that students are not given time to research, revise, of access to reference materials. Writing is being evaluated…not subject matter knowledge.
What an effective expository writer does • Puts himself in the place of the reader • Anticipates and defines terms the reader may not know • Incorporates personal experiences that may be relevant to the topic • Uses vivid descriptive language to help the reader visualize the subject • Tries to compare the topic to something the reader is already familiar with
Defining Persuasive Writing Persuasive Writing: Writing that has as its purpose convincing others to accept the writer’s position as valid, adopt a certain point of view, or take some action. Method: • Provides logical appeals, emotional appeals, facts, statistics, narrative anecdotes, humor, and/or the writer’s personal experiences and knowledge. Genres: Persuasive Writing
What An Effective Persuasive Writer Does • Describes the benefits of his/her point of view • Acknowledges other points of view on the topic and tries to anticipate the reader’s questions and concerns about the topic • Directly addresses the audience: “You might think …but…”
Features vs Benefits Features are the attributes that physically describe your idea (or product, or service). Benefits describe how an idea (or product, or service) will actually help solve a problem or meet specific needs. In other words, what’s in it for me? Take gadgets for instance, “cool” features may get our attention, but it is the benefits – what’s it do for me – that persuade us!
Internet Benefits On Apple’s web site: With its advance Safari browser, iPhone lets you see Web pages the way they were designed to be seen. Zoom in on a page by tapping the Multi-Touch touch screen display with your finger. Create a Web Clip that appears on your Home screen for one-tap access to your favorite Websites and Web apps. And customize up to nine Home screen pages to organize your Web Clips. Transcript of the ad “What’s so great about having the Internet in your pocket?” “What’s so great about having the Internet in your pocket? Well, then you can see the trail map, when you’re on the mountain. Find a good place to eat in town, when you’re hungry. And change your flight when you’re just not ready to go home. That’s what’s so great.” The benefits are unquestionably more compelling than communicating the features alone.
Common persuasive techniques often used in advertising Bandwagon Testimonial Emotional Appeal Expert Opinion
Bandwagon A statement suggesting that everyone is using a specific product, so you should too
Testimonial A well-known person supports a product or service
Name Dropping I don’t like dropping names but Will Smith gave me this shirt
Emotional Appeal A person is made to have strong feelings about a situation or product
Expert opinion Experts approve this product, so you should use it
Aristotle in the Classroom Logos, Pathos, Ethos http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED458624.pdf
Logos Facts, numbers, and information can be very convincing.
Pathos Getting people to feel happy, sad, or angry can help your argument. Example: Your donation might just get this puppy off the street and into a good home.
Ethos If people believe and trust in you, you’re more likely to persuade them. Example: Believe me! I’ve been there before. I’m just like you.
A Helpful Visual Aid Logos % Pathos Ethos Thanks to: Nicole Nolasco
Student Sample (Before) I think we need less class time and more outside activities because people need exercise more than normal. P.S. We need more sports like dodgeball and ping pong. Thanks to: Nicole Nolasco
Student Sample (After) I think if you make less class time and more outside activities that 5% of students might go to class more often. People need more exercise today than then. Some sports that are good for students are dodgeball and ping pong. If students have less class time and more outside activities or sports, they might be more happy because they are not thinking about personal problems or drugs.Students will go to class refreshed if they have more play time than class time. I was like that once, but not the drugs part, but personal problems and I used to be alone and now since I started playing sports I don’t think about personal problems that much. One day my coach told me that one day I might go to the major leagues, and that inspired me to work harder in school so I could stay on the baseball team. (Logos) (Pathos) (Ethos) Thanks to: Nicole Nolasco
Types of Arguments • Arguments from the heart • Appeal to readers emotions and feelings • Evoking anger, sympathy,fear, happiness, envy. Love • Arguments based on values • Ask readers to live up to highest values by complaining they are not doing so. • Aligning your cause with values your readers hold • Arguments based on character • Readers tend to believe writers who seem honest and trustworthy • Sounding sincere, open-minded, knowledgeable • Referring to common experiences • Building common ground • Respecting readers • Arguments based on facts and reason • Offer factual evidence for every claim made • Writing with the skeptical reader in mind • Clarifying the issue for the reader From Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford
Arguments from the Heart:Emotional Appeals • Embarrass readers into contributing to a good cause: “Change a child’s life for the price of a pizza.” • Make readers feel the impact of their gift: “Imagine the smile on that little child’s face.” (compassion) • Tell readers a moving story: “In a tiny village in Central America…” • Use guilt: “Because of this, you owe it to them.” • Use patriotism: “All good Americans do this…” • Use greed: “There’s a payoff in this for you too!” • Use pride/ego: “You’re the only one who could do this for us.” From Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford
A celebrity role model? Ridiculous. You want to like someone just because of how they may act on television or Vanity Affairs? These people are actors, not real people…yes they may act normal and seem to represent the common working man, but they don’t even know what real work is. If you are going to look up to someone shouldn’t it be someone worthwhile? I don’t know how about a member of the United States Military? You know the ones putting his life on the line everyday to keep you free to worship your snobby toothpick thin actress or whiney chemically enhanced athlete that are not here to help anyone but themselves. The next time you see a proud American war veteran bearing the scars of a younger day I hope you stop and rethink your whole concept of what a role model should be.
Arguments Based on Values • Typically compare what is and what ought to be. • A person or group does not live up to current values • Past values were better or nobler than current ones. • Future values can be better or worse than current ones. From Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford
Back in the day our parents had special people like “Superman” to look up to. All me and my fellow students have are these action hero “clowns” that teach us that “the higher it blows up the better”. I hope the contrast is obvious. Superman stood for good, justice, and integrity. But if me and my classmates are only introduced to characters such as Vin Diesle, who teaches us to admire drugs, alcohol, and partying, Won’t our priorities reflect his? Give me an Action Hero and I’ll show you a drop out. Give me a model, I’ll show you a corporate puppet. As a nation we are taking giant steps toward a dimmer and dimmer future, and certainly do not need guides like Paris Hilton to hold our hand along the way.
Arguments Based on Values A good value argument is an argument based on values that your audience, opposition, and you would in general have in common. Some examples are murder is wrong, children dying is bad, and our freedoms being denied is bad. You then use these common values to develop an argument. Show how your argument falls in line with these values or how your opposition's doesn't “good, justice, and integrity” “drugs, alcohol, and partying” http://goodwin.public.iastate.edu/spcom322/montoya.pdf
Arguments Based on Character • Establish authority by drawing on personal experience • Be honest about who you are and what you do or do not know • Acknowledge other perspectives or point of view on the topic • Presenting your ideas clearly and fairly will improve your credibility. • Making people laugh will make them like you. From Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford
When I was small I wanted to be large like a John Cena type hero WWF wrestler on TV more than anything. So I could defend the weak from the bad guys, sort of an unsung hero to kids smaller than me. Well, I did get bigger and stronger. When I saw I could push people around, becoming a wedgy giving villain was much easier than a pacifist hero. I was sent to the office 5 or 6 times for hitting little boys in their faces. I had hurt one kid, hospital bad, and felt terrible. The principal told me “You may be stronger than the ones you think are weak but that doesn’t mean you are better”. It’s funny how that is true. If I was hurting anyone how was I better? I started to look for better people, not stronger ones. I can’t tell anyone who their role model should be, and I can’t tell you what my mama’s taught me with just words, or how my step father has taught me to be a better man when I grow up. All I can say is that these celebrity idols are just as sturdy as cardboard walls. If you lean on them they will fall down. Choose a good role model. That teacher who stays after school to help you understand hard math problems. The coach who makes his players follow the rules and be good sports. These role models show you how to be a man, somebody real, not a cardboard idol.
Arguments Based on Facts and Reason • Furnishing detailed evidence for every claim made in an argument • Facts make strong arguments • May employ the writer’s personal experiences From Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford
While not all celebrities make good role models many do. Take Oprah Winfrey for example. She inspires her fans every day. She overcame poverty and a single parent household in Alabama and worked hard to get where she is. She went from working in radio in high school making 35 cents an hour to owning her own show. Just a little show that is watched by 17 million people a day and worth over $100 million dollars. In addition to helping people on her show and watching her show by solving problems or paying for their therapy or rehab is she also is very giving. Her audience regularly gets brand new cars or fabulous trips. But that’s not all. She encourages other people to give to great causes through her charity, Oprah’s Angel Network. With that she has spent $48 million and established many schools in South Africa for underprivileged girls.
Combination Arguments • Arguments don’t have to follow a single pattern. • Writers may use a combination of all types of arguments. • By making students aware of these four types, you provide them with: • More possibilities for generating supporting ideas during the test. • A deeper understanding of how the persuasive writer can interact with his/her audience.
Genres of Writing • There’s more than one way to get there. • Think of Genre in terms of a purpose rather than a format. • Persuading the reader • Informing the reader
Genre Considerations Students are expected to write a response that is appropriate to the assigned genre. Genre is thought of in terms of the purpose rather than the format of the response. When deciding whether a sample is appropriate to the assigned genre the extent to which the writer addresses the informational or persuasive purpose of the prompt is considered, rather than simply the format in which it is written.
Genre A response to an Informational Topic may tell a story about a time a student learned how to play chess. Even though this response may be in a narrative format, the details in the story may very well inform the reader about the game of chess. A response to a persuasive topic may contain extensive factual information about an item to help the reader understand why it is desirable. Even if parts of the paper read like an information piece, the details about the item serve as support for the writers position. Likewise, the writer could include an extended narrative to illustrate what life is like without the item. The details in the story may reveal why the item is so important. Therefore the response does address the persuasive purpose in that the story contains compelling evidence to convince the reader that the item is important. Genre is thought of in terms of purpose rather than format.
Writing Topics “Because I enjoyed writing on this topic, see you next time in 11th grade if I make it there.”