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What to do Focus on the task.

How to do this Read the task instructions carefully. Understand what you are being asked to write, and how much. Note the amount of space allowed to write your answer. Underline or highlight key words and phrases in the task instructions and in the text. Use space for rough notes to jot down your main idea and supporting details. • draft your opening sentence.

Plan your writing.

Write complete sentences.

Reread sentences to be sure they make sense. You should be able to identify who is doing what. Use the checklist for writing sentences on the next page.

Write organized paragraphs. In all paragraphs, write • an opening sentence with a main idea. • supporting details -- proof, facts, explanations, examples. • a conclusion that restates the main idea. Order your sentences in a way that makes sense. Use transitions to join sentences and paragraphs. Examples: first, second, however, but, also, finally. Use the checklist for writing paragraphs on the next page. Write enough. Include enough supporting details -- proof, facts, explanations, examples -- to support your main idea. Many students who don’t do well on the writing tasks haven't written enough. Print or write as neatly as possible -- make it easy for a marker to read your work. Clearly separate your paragraphs, either by leaving a line blank or by indenting the first word. Review your work for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Frequent errors will make it difficult for a reader to understand what you're trying to say.

Pay attention to the quality and appearance of your work.

©Corina Koch MacLeod & Carla Douglas 2012