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"I Am. . ." Poem #8

9-12 Teacher Strategies to Increase Writing Skills



Authentic Writing

  • Provide opportunity to write for different audiences and for a variety of purposes.

  • Allow students to analyze models and examples of a particular form in order to create a similar piece.

  • Include a variety of real-world forms (e.g. letters to the editor, resumes, reviews, etc.).

  • Ensure that students have experience with the writing process.



Writing Instruction


Essential Element Writing


Framework Refer to box below





Authentic writing

W.5.9.2, W.5.10.2

W.5.9.5, W.5.10.5, W.5.11.5, W.5.12.5

W.5.9.6, W.5.10.6, W.5.11.6, W.5.12.6

W.5.9.7, W.5.10.7, W.5.11.7, W.5.12.7

Strand: Writing, Standard 4: Process

Articles, editorials, letters to the editor, speeches, letters, proposals, reviews, personal narratives, memoirs, personal essays, poems, short stories, plays, scripts, business plans, how-to manuals, memos, resumes, e-mails

SREB Literacy Across the Curriculum




Authentic Writing Assessment


Because the goal of authentic writing is to communicate successfully with a targeted readership for a specific purpose, rubrics to assess authentic writing would consist of the following elements:


  • Interesting leads inviting the reader into the piece. Writers must “hook” their readers to accomplish their purpose. To engage readers, writers turn to a variety of strategies, such as statistics, quotations, scenarios, dialogues, descriptions of people, connections to current events and issues, or use of rhetorical questions.


  • Focused purpose for the writing. Effective writers communicate a clear sense of why the piece was written. Writers are most successful in doing this when they connect with the interests of the targeted readership.


  • Idea development and supporting details. Writers develop original ideas effectively. To communicate those ideas to readers, they use reasons, facts, examples, personal experiences, charts, diagrams, illustrations, sensory details, quotations from interviews, setting details, checklists, analogies, or references to past events.


  • Organization and presentation. Effective writing flows from one idea to the next: sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, item to item. The physical appearance of text on the page also influences the reader. Effective writers meet the organizational needs of their readers with paragraphs, bulleted lists, headings and subheads, boxed information, diagrams, charts or illustrations, transitions, creative use of white space, or boldface type.


  • Diverse sentences. Effective writers purposefully create sentences with a variety of lengths, beginnings and complexity. They make sure sentences convey a complete thought to the reader. Any fragments are inserted for a specific impact.


  • Language precision. Writing manuals agree: effective writers use strong verbs and precise nouns. They choose adjectives and adverbs carefully and sparingly. Effective writers also define unfamiliar terms for readers and make word choices appropriate for their targeted audiences. They pay attention to conventional usage (subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement). In technical pieces, the vocabulary is not only clear – it is correct.


  • Mechanical correctness. Writers “honor” their readers by presenting ideas clearly, adhering closely to standard conventions of correctness: correct spelling, punctuation, paragraphing of dialogue and capitalization. They appropriately document words or ideas clearly, adhering closely to standard conventions of correctness: correct spelling, punctuation, paragraphing of dialogue and capitalization. They appropriately document words or ideas taken from other sources. Writers “honor” themselves by putting the necessary finishing touches on what they have to say.


  • Provocative endings. Successful writing should leave the reader with more to consider. Writers use different strategies to stimulate the reader’s mind: rhetorical questions, reflective passages, projected outcomes and attempts to connect to the reader’s own experience or calls to action.




Tiers II & III Additions/Accommodations/Modifications

  • Students can be instructed to write less complex sentences and use shorter sentences to convey their thoughts. Less paragraphs can be assigned also. Student can ask a student peer or paraprofessional to edit for grammar and spelling. Also, the student can have access to word processing technology as they revise, edit, and publish.



Tiers IV & V Modifications

  • Allow student to work with a student peer or paraprofessional and either dictate or use a tape recorder to record responses to a particular activity. Students may use any electronic means; such as, a computer, AlphaSmart, etc., to revise, edit, and publish as needed.


Copyright © 2006 Arkansas Department of Education. All rights reserved. School districts may reproduce these materials for in-school student use only. No resale. Materials may not be reproduced, distributed or sold for commercial use or profit. ADE employees are not authorized to waive these restrictions.

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