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Sign up or login to use the bookmarking feature. Many high-stakes writing assessments, including those that test the Common Core, require students to respond to a prompt.
Put it into action: Step One
Essay writing students did not answer prompt prompt is a compact set of writing instructions that students must follow within a set amount of time often between 30 and 90 minutes. Answering the prompt is critical. A student could write a brilliant essay but get a low score if the essay does not target the key features of the prompt.
As a result, students need a quick and accurate strategy for analyzing prompts.
How can students analyze writing prompts?
The PAST questions help students rapidly analyze the four important pieces of information conveyed by most writing prompts. PAST stands for the following:. Here is a typical writing prompt essa an analysis using the PAST questions:.
From early childhood, we all have a sense of justice: "That's not fair! But what is "fair"? Think about what you mean when you say something is "fair" or "not fair. Help other students understand what is "fair" and "not fair.
To define terms.
Other students. The terms "fair" and "not fair". A definition essay. Note that some prompts may not indicate a specific audience.
In such cases, students can assume the audience for the writing to be the grader of the test. You can use this free online minilesson to give your students practice using the PAST strategy. After students have done a PAST dod, they should jot down a quick list containing a one-sentence focus for their response and several supporting points:.
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The word "fair" means getting what you deserve. Students should complete their PAST analysis and quick list in the first 5 minutes or so of the writing assessment. Then they should spend the bulk of their time writing their responses.
Near the end, they should spend 5—10 minutes revising and editing the wriging, making sure it is on target with the PAST analysis.]