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Teacher Tips and Answers

Writing On-Demand Essays

A writing assessment gives you a short time to write a paragraph or an essay. To do so, you should use a shortened form of the writing process.

Prewriting (5 Minutes)

Start by reading the writing prompt and analyzing it using the PAST questions.

Sample Writing Prompt

In “Finding Your Instrument” by Tom Diesel, Jamal and his friends are trying to decide what instrument they would like to play. Denny and the others choose saxophone, but Jamal decides on trombone. Why? What motivates Jamal's decision? Write an essay that explains Jamal's choice, using evidence from the source to support your explanation.

Answer the PAST questions.

Purpose? Explain Jamal’s choice

Audience? Tester

Subject? “Finding Your Instrument”

Type? Essay

Write a focus statement.

Jamal realizes he’s better off choosing his own way.

List supporting details.

--Denny is pressuring everyone to play saxophone.

--Denny makes fun of Jamal.

--Jamal tries trombone.

This lesson is a part of the Reading and Writing for Literature Assessment unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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