Purpose: to explain, clarify, or provide the readers with information. Well-written expositions have clear, central focuses that are developed through carefully crafted presentations of examples or definitions that enhance the reader’s understanding.
R.A.F.T.S.: to help guide you in your writing
Role- what role do I have as the writer?
Audience- who is my reader?
Format- what format do I use to write to my topic?
Topic- what is my topic of writing?
Strong verbs- did I use strong, vivid verbs and descriptive adjectives throughout my essay?
Role: In designing writing prompts allow students to take on a variety of roles so that they may explore different points of view. The role designated in the assignment should suggest whom the writer is as well as the tone of voice and mood used to convey the point. Suggested Roles: expert, parent, an object, enemy, a character from history or literature, critic, etc.
Audience: Clearly identify the audience for the writer. A student will write what he or she thinks the teacher wants if that is the only audience he or she writes for. "Role and audience together give you specifics about your relationship and attitudes which must be included in your writing." (Adler) Suggested audiences: self, peers, protester, company, a character from literature or history, etc.
Format: Be specific about the format for the assignment. Students will develop stronger writing skills if they are challenged to write in a variety of formats. Suggested formats: essay, narrative, letter, speech, editorial, script, memo, dialogue etc.
Topic: The topic of the assignment should be narrow enough for the writer to address without bring overwhelmed. Focus the topic to include the skills you are evaluating. A well-developed topic will encourage well-written papers.
Strong Verbs: Use strong verbs to define what the writer is to do. Include the tense you expect the writer to use. Most students are more proficient in past tense so it is valuable to develop some assignments that require present tense verbs. Suggested Strong Verbs: convince, share, assess, prove, persuade, translate, evaluate, etc.
Getting Started Means Getting Organized
Getting organized is a vital part of the writing process, which requires critical thinking and lots of practice. It is important to first analyze the information that you have to understand what is being asked in the assignment. Next, you need to think about the information that you know about the subject and decide what is relevant to the topic. Then you must decide which information you will use and where it will be most effective. These are the very basic steps. The first step is to analyze the assignment and determine what is being required. If it is written, you are lucky. You can use a highlighter to note the important words that help define the topic and aid in setting up the organizational plan. For example, let's assume that you have been given this writing prompt: Everyone has been given a present that was really memorable. It could have been for an important occasion or just for no reason at all. Think about one that you received. Tell us about a present you were given and why it was memorable. Be sure to include the reason it was given, a description of it, and how you felt when you got it. This tells us you are to write a narrative essay because you are "telling us about a present you were given," the subject is a memorable present, and the three main subtopics required are: • the reason it was given,
• a description of it,
• and how you felt when you received it.
Once you know and understand the scope of the assignment, you need to plan well and quickly. The better the planning, the better the essay. There are many organizational techniques that can help. Graphic organizers help students to plan their writing. If you need information...
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